Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Provides a Lesson in What States Shouldn't Do To Stop a Pandemic

Some protestors were nasty and went overboard, but her harsh tactics will sap her legitimacy at a critical juncture.

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If any politician is looking for a lesson on how not to deal with the coronavirus crisis, they would do well to look at Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). Even if you have zero sympathy with the people who violated basic social distancing rules yesterday to protest Whitmer's new stay-at-home-order, you should at least understand that her policy was bound to spark an ugly blowback.

The spread of coronavirus represents a massive failure of public health authorities, but Americans everywhere—including in Michigan, where I live—have thus far willingly complied with their edicts. It has been amazing to see just how completely American society has transformed itself in three short weeks: Businesses that have been deemed non-essential have shut down, laying off millions of workers. The ones that are still operating are letting their employees telecommute from home. Grocery stores have become thinly populated because shoppers are limiting their trips. Every store near me has erected spit barriers between cashiers and shoppers and some are disinfecting every single cart before use. The vast majority of shoppers wear masks (regardless of whether local laws mandate this or not), sanitize their hands a gazillion times before touching items, and refrain from unloading their carts when someone else is checking out. Drivers wipe down pumps and steering wheels. Park visitors maintain a scrupulous six-foot distance.

Most local lockdowns have their share of nuttiness (for example, in Florida and D.C., you can walk through parks but not sit down) and excesses (a Colorado* man was handcuffed for playing with his daughter in an empty softball field). But so long as the ratio of good sense to nonsense is relatively high, for the most part Americans have gone along. Irate residents and partisans seeking to exploit these measures for political gain have been marginalized.

But that changed in Michigan with Whitmer's new executive order that not only extended the state's shelter-in-place mandate till the end of the month—something most everyone had expected and accepted—but added arguably the country's most draconian and nonsensical provisions.

Even as neighboring Indiana and Ohio are relaxing their orders and the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency guidelines are classifying more industries as "essential" so that they can reopen and minimize the economic hit from the shutdown, Whitmore has gone the other way on the pretext that Michigan has the third-highest share of coronavirus cases in the country.

She ordered big box stores to stop selling paint, carpets, and other home-improvement material not considered essential, though as Reason's Billy Binion reported, she does allow lottery ticket sales, probably because the proceeds go to the state's K-12 funds.

She shut down lawn-care services. Contender's Tree and Lawn Specialist Inc., a company that purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars of fertilizer and other supplies had to stop spraying its plants in the middle of spring season, risking its entire crop. (Michigan's gardening industry, with an estimated retail value of $580 million to $700 million and 9,000 employees, faces a complete loss this year if it isn't able to operate soon.)

In addition to large gatherings, she also barred families that don't share a home from getting together, preventing one man from seeing his girlfriend of 14 years because she doesn't live with him.

She forbade families from traveling to their vacation cottages in northern Michigan, a popular springtime activity in Michigan. She shut down golf courses and prohibited motorized boats, although non-motorized ones are allowed, for some reason.

This is arbitrary and irrational micromanagement that has understandably irritated many residents.

What's more, Whitmer has decreed that violations will count as misdemeanors punishable by up to a $1,000 civil fine. Criminal penalties are also on the table, should prosecutors choose to pursue that. Meanwhile, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has gone full China and is encouraging employees to rat out their bosses and call the police if they try to open up shop in violation of the lockdown.

What's so outrageous about all this is that the new businesses and activities that Whitmer is targeting can all be safely conducted while adhering to strict social distancing rules. But Whitmer's theory apparently is that anything beyond absolutely essential conduct jeopardizes frontline workers. This is the precautionary principle on steroids. It considers even an infinitesimal increase in secondary risk as unacceptable, a mindset that could justify stopping virtually any activity anytime.

That's why this order has disrupted the political equilibrium in support of her efforts. To date, hardly any legal challenges have been filed against any stay-at-home orders. But Whitmer's new order has already prompted four Michigan residents, including the guy who can't see his girlfriend, and Contender's, the landscaping company, to sue her for violating their right to free association and perpetrating an uncompensated regulatory taking. More lawsuits might well be underway.

A Facebook group called Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantining—whose very name suggests that it isn't opposed to reasonable quarantining—gained steam with over 282,000 members. Four Michigan sheriffs have declared that they won't enforce parts of Whitmer's executive order that they view as unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, Operation Gridlock, which was mounted by the Michigan Conservative Coalition inviting motorists to drive to Lansing, the state's capital, and shut down its roads, elicited a massive response Wednesday. Thousands of Michigan residents heeded the call and created an hours-long traffic snarl.

Although the motorists adhered to the social distancing rules as they were advised, the protest also brought out a lot of nasty gun-toting thugs onto the streets. Michigan Proud Boys, a supremacist outfit, blocked the intersection around a hospital. Not only did they ignore safety guidelines, exposing themselves and others to the virus just when Michigan was beginning to flatten the curve, they also waved Confederate flags and chanted "lock her up."

This is horrifying and indefensible.

However, Whitmer ought to take the pushback from responsible protesters seriously. She needs to use the minimal force necessary—not the maximum possible—to maintain public buy-in. If she is seen as too power-hungry, she will lose legitimacy. Instead of defeating coronavirus, she'll spark civil unrest.

Correction: The article mis-identified the state originally.

NEXT: It Figures That Michigan Is Among the First States To See Protests Against Social Distancing

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  1. Some protestors were nasty and went overboard

    Don’t do that Shikha.

    1. I hope they went overboard from canoes, not motorboats – – – – – – – –

      1. Long before there was twerking, there was the motorboat.

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    2. No kidding–wasn’t there an article just yesterday talking about how the more restrictive and arbitrary these idiots become, the harder and more aggressive the pushback will be?

      Whitless tells people that they can’t plant gardens in the face of a lockdown with no end, can’t buy baby seats first-hand because “safety” and those things should be ordered online (because fuck those warehouse workers, only Karen gets to stay home living off her hubby’s paycheck), and can’t buy seeds to plant gardens because that might make people a bit more self-sufficient by supplementing their food sources, whose supply chains are starting to break down.

      But lottery tickets? TOTALLY DIFFERENT, GUYS, PLEASE BUY ALL YOU CAN, WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. STAY INSIDE, STAY SAFE, KEEP SCRATCHING.

      1. my current favorite argument on the twittersphere in reaction to the absolutely catastrophic economic news is that business owners shouldn’t be complaining because the polling shows that most people are too scared to go out even if the restrictions were lifted. Which begs the question to my mind than, well if that’s the case why do we need the bans?

        1. Exactly that. I am starting to come to the conclusion that all we are doing here is pushing off the inevitable. At some point, this virus is going to have to burn itself out in the population. We can have that happen slowly and do all of this economic damage or we can do it fast and suffer a lot of deaths and have a nasty time of it but at least get it over with and get back to normal. Neither is a good choice but I think the get it over with option is the best of a set of bad options.

          The distancing measures have certainly slowed the spread of the virus but it hasn’t stopped the spread and it has done nothing to eradicate the virus. As soon as things open up, the virus will go right back to spreading as fast as it would have. And it isn’t going to go away. And we are looking at at least September and more likely next spring before there is any kind of a vaccine for it. You tell me what our options are. I don’t think we can do this for a year. So at some point, we are just going to have to tough it out. And the longer we wait to do that, the more damage we do to the economy.

          1. Might have already done it as well. We have no idea. We know very little about this bug still. Serious epidemiological studies can take years to get a real picture of what happened. Even than it’s incredibly uncertain. I kind of agree with you though people have been duped into thinking we are just going to starve this thing out, I don’t think that is going to happen. We should have done phased lockdowns as the thing spread throughout the country instead of this carteblanche bullshit. Not everyone is new york not everyone will be overwhelmed. The gov is terrible at being reactive, I honestly think if the federal gov didn’t exist in this mess we’d have been far better off for the most part.

            1. We were told that the point of “flattening the curve” was so that hospitals would not be overwhelmed and there would be enough respirators, it will likely not change the total number of deaths, just spread them out. And of course, most people would social distance voluntarily anyway once they were aware of it. If no action was taken, would we see lots of dead bodies in the streets from those waiting to get into hospitals? Somehow I doubt it.

              1. Assuming the worst is true, and I don’t know that it isn’t, then the answer is that you set up special temporary hospitals for those with the virus and when those fill up, too bad for those left out. That way the regular hospitals don’t get overwhelmed and you don’t get a bunch of deaths as a result of it.

                That is a shitty solution. But in a worst case scenario, there are only shitty solutions. We would have been better off using the military and calling up the national guard to set up a special hospital system for people with the virus and taking the social distancing measures you mention and otherwise leaving the economy open (and probably canceling things like sporting events and big gatherings of people like concerts) than we are doing what we are doing.

                1. Yes, but ideally we should have had mass testing up and running from the beginning like S Korea and locked down Seattle and NYC, and other hotspots including a ban on all travel from those places to contain it.

                  1. I’m not sure at this point that a mass testing effort would have done any good. Where would we have gotten the tests from? China? Those fuckheads donated a bunch of tests to European countries that had a 70% failure rate. Build them here? Fine. Who’s going to pay for the factories, either re-tooling them or building new ones from scratch? Where will the workers come from? The 20 million that have just been put out of work? Fine. They’re going to want health insurance and a decent pay scale. How much does that cost per test? Christ, the vast majority of medical manufacturing was outsourced to China years ago. We’re going to shut that down and bring it all back in a couple of months?

                    This is the end result of 25 years or so of giving the PRC a rimjob because Americans didn’t want to pay an extra buck or two for shampoo and a sweatshirt at Wal-Mart.

                  2. “Yes, but ideally we should have had mass testing up and running from the beginning like S Korea and locked down Seattle and NYC”

                    South Korea has 70% of their population in 3 cities. They have two international airports. The United States has 150 international airports.

                    I don’t think people realize just how hard it is to scale things to the level that the US would have had to scale. S Korea did great work getting a couple local companies to do testing. They got up and moving in weeks so that they could do hundreds of tests a day in these three cities.

                    Now scale that out to the united states. You need to immediately be able to do about a thousand tests a day. And you don’t need to do that in 3 major cities, you need to have those thousands of tests distributed to around 150 ports of entry. So that means within the first week or so, you actually need around 150,000 tests.

                    This isn’t to say that the US is blameless. I still don’t see a comprehensive strategy for back tracing. I know someone who got sick, and the answer was “Hey call anyone you came in contact with, and uh, self quarantine.” Contrast that with Korea where there were designated people responsible for back tracing each confirmed case. But overall, expecting the US to have performed as South Korea did is a bit of a stretch.

          2. Also the economic damage is largely done I think at this point. The horrible sales and supply disruptions are in the pipe and are a month out. People are going to shocked at some of the actual blue chip large firms that are going to fail because of this. They pulled the bottom of the jenga board out and are acting like if they can put it back quickly the tower won’t tumble. This whole thing is built on the back of sales and service, the reverberations of this are probably going to take years to recover from I think at best we are looking at 2008-2009, at best.

            1. I think it will recover more quickly than you think. The damage being done is the result of an external factor not a collapse of the business cycle. When you remove that factor, the economy will recover more quickly than if it were an ordinary recession. Not everyone is out of work from this. A lot of people are working from home and still drawing a paycheck or working normally. I am sure some people are making money off this thing. When the restrictions are lifted, those people will have a lot of money piled up and be looking to spend it. And I think that pent up demand will be enough to get the economy rolling again and start a real recovery.

              Remember, things like the liquidity trap are bullshit. Unemployment never reaches 100%, prices never reach zero, GNP never reaches zero. The economy if left to its own devices recovers on its own even from the deepest downturn. The only reason it didn’t in 1929, is because first Hoover and later Roosevelt wouldn’t leave it alone and kept changing the laws and the rules such that the economy could never adjust and account for the next half ass scheme coming out of the Roosevelt Administration. I don’t think that will happen here.

              1. The problem here is that pretty much the rest of the school year is done for. That means millions of parents who should be getting the economy back to full are going to at least be spending some amount of time taking care of kids. Google is offering their employees a month of paid leave, which is great, but even in my (much less generous) company, they are giving (and people are taking) unpaid leave until the end of the school year.

                So we can certainly open back up the economy. However we have this huge drain on our productivity at least until the summer timeframe- assuming summer solutions are allowed to open- when parents can get back to full productivity. (And we are still paying teachers’ salaries, so it is a double hit to the economy, paying for school in taxes AND private daycare.)

              2. I’ll say one thing for Hoover and FDR with their meddling–at least they were concerned with getting people back to work. Things like the CCC ended up providing a much longer return on investment than any Great Society program ever did. The devil finds work for idle hands, and those efforts to at least get a shovel and hammer in people’s mitts building roads, schools, and civic buildings probably did more to keep the country from collapsing entirely into some commie revolution than anything else FDR did.

                1. That was only part of their meddling. And you are right it was the good part. There were a lot of other meddling in things like price supports for agriculture when people were starving that did a lot of damage and accomplished nothing except create uncertainty.

                  Something similar but less drastic happening after the 09 crash. Obama and the Democrats passed Obamacare, which was bad enough. But they made it even worse by putting off its implementation until 2013. The result was one of the biggest components of business expense, health care, was uncertain. I think that is one of the biggest reasons why the recovery was so sluggish.

                2. Can you imagine the reaction to a CCC now? Sure the government will give you a basic income, aka a paycheck, but you will get on this bus, live in a camp under primitive conditions, and do actual labor every day.

                  1. The reaction would depend on the party of the President doing it. Had Obama done that, the major media would have declared it a great national cause and deemed anyone who objected a traitor and likely an agent of Russia. If Trump did it, the media would declare that the dark night of fascism has fallen on America and would do everything it could to ensure there were riots and calls for a military coup to stop it.

                    1. Bingo. I was seeing calls from the left for a new CCC or WPA during the 08 recession, but that was coming largely from bougies that already had a steady paycheck. Can you imagine the average American these days being told, “You’ll have a job, but you’re going to be living in an open-bay, tarpaper shack with nothing more than a cannon stove to keep you warm, at best, but you’ll probably be sleeping in tents even in the dead of winter. Your pay will be about $600 a month and 70% of it will be sent home to your family. You’ll spend days breaking trails and hauling gravel, with no smartphones to play with, because you will be working, not taking a work-study program for college.”

                      Only the most desperate people would sign up for that. The Depression was a time that produced desperate people.

                    2. Red Rocks-

                      To be fair though, those working conditions weren’t terribly different than a lot of people would have been used to. A huge amount of the people doing this back breaking work were from the heartlands, where they grew up on small farms that didn’t even have indoor plumbing. My grand father grew up in an honest to god log cabin in northern colorado. He walked into school each week with his sisters, and they lived in a shack outside of town, and go home on weekends. When he went to work in labor gangs, this was not a major change for him.

                      If a CCC were created today, you can bet they’d all be housed in Airstreams with wireless internet.

              3. It’s not the liquidity trap I’m worried about it’s the commercial morgage market and the capital that’s been wiped. Nobody is going to have cash reserves.

                1. One man’s real estate bust is another man’s cheap housing. When you say you are worried about capital being wiped out and lack of cash reserves you are talking about a liquidity trap. The reason why the lack of cash is a problem is that demand dries up which in turn destroys businesses which reduces demand and so forth. That is the liquidity trap. And that happens to some degree but it doesn’t happen forever. It stops and reverses itself. And when it does the same cycle that pulled the economy down reverses and brings it back up. Basically, the harder the downturn, the faster the recovery.

                  1. Yes, the markets and the economy will probably bounce back. A major problem, though, is there are many people who’s situations don’t allow them to bounce particularly well. Especially many older folk.

            2. I think so too. I’m worried about how many small business owners might have been wiped out from this. I’m with a smaller sized corporation, and we aren’t feeling the effects yet, our sales cycle is about 9 months, so we’re expecting to get hit hard in Q4 of this year/Q1 of next year.

        2. I said a couple weeks ago that this was going to absolutely crush local and state budgets soon, because the lifeblood of these entities are sales tax and income tax. Sure enough, in Colorado, Boulder County and Aurora are furloughing or laying off hundreds of workers, and are shutting down summer employment programs.

          I think the people who believe that we can keep lockdowns and even social distancing going indefinitely are pretty clueless as to how fragile our system is. The 2008 recession cratered the employment-to-population ratio, and even with the recovery it only got back up about halfway. You kick out the primary support for all this economic activity, which is mostly retail and service-related jobs, and it won’t be long before the “essential” workers start feeling the pinch, too.

          I mean, fuck, they’re laying off medical workers in the midst of what we keep getting told is a new Black Plague that will put 95% of those it infects in the hospital. Turns out COVID charges aren’t going to keep the lights on for very long, even if you use all your ventilators.

          1. That’s because the people making and influencing the decisions are the government workers who will never get furloughed and media types who already worked from home, all supported by people who are in the middle of their staycation.

            1. Even some of the media bobbleheads are self-aware enough to realize that they might not last if this goes on for very long. A lot of them were already on the ropes financially, and without advertising to sell, their business model goes up in smoke.

              I won’t be surprised if a lot of these “independent” (read: Democratic Party mouthpieces) rags end up getting bought by some hedge fund and sold off piece by piece when this is all over.

              1. Anyone want to go halfsies on the NY Times, and turn it into a real fucking newspaper?

          2. Finance, especially in medical enterprises, is racist!

          3. I think the people who believe that we can keep lockdowns and even social distancing going indefinitely are pretty clueless as to how fragile our system is.

            I wouldn’t say ‘our’ system is fragile. I would say that the system they enjoy the most doesn’t stagger around with a sucking chest wound for very long.

        3. Twitter? That’s both Catos and Reasons arguments the last few days. That people are voluntarily staying home.

          1. pro-shutdown people are now embracing it as well.

      2. These protests need to be nasty and overboard because they are in response to government actions that are nasty and overboard. Politicians need to start fearing the public a bit more.

        1. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem in the next 6 months.

        2. I would love to see a governor or two get kicked out of office. Offic iui als need to remember the power is inherent in the people, not elected officials.

          1. I would too. I would love to see a governor or two have to flee the governor’s mansion in panic and have to go into hiding for a few days. But, I doubt we will be lucky enough to see that. I will settle for sending a few of the rat bastards off in to public life.

            1. A guy can dream.

              1. My governor banned that.

              2. He’s visiting deutsche porno for relaxing, so you can try too…

          2. Between this and #bostonstrong it really solidifies in my mind what utter cowards and sheep the majority of people are. Most people will suffer under the boot as opposed to pushing back. It really just goes to show how rare serious revolutionaries are how few are actually needed to affect change. Constitution was absolutely gutted here it’s been rendered meaningless and we just took it as a nation.

            1. If I am willing to kill and die for a cause, I will defeat people who are not every time. That said, I don’t think people are quite as big of sheep as you say. I think most of them are not really affected by these measures and see them as temporary and a rational response to a real threat. Once people no longer see them as that, they will no longer put up with them and just ignore them in such great numbers the government will be powerless to enforce the law.

              1. This is right. People are staying home because they are (incorrectly) afraid of the Wu Flu. It is when people are staying home because they are afraid of the police officer outside that you can call them sheep.

                1. We’re already there.

      3. Whitler
        Half-Whitmer
        Gov. Tit for Brains

        1. Heil Whitler!

    3. That’s the, you know, POINT.

      I loathe ‘to be sure’ logic for its own sake.

  2. She looks like someone who gives an aggressive handjob.

    1. no no, leave the governor jacket on …

      1. ….and use your veto power liberally.

        1. That’s… not funny
          You are just awful at humor

    2. She looks like she’s ready to fuck the coronavirus to death.

      By golly go show the virus who is boss Whitmore!

    3. I was thinking blowjob with teeth.

  3. I’ve often thought the media’s biggest problem is that they believe their audience is other media people. This article is a perfect example, with all of its qualifying statements and OMG the Confederate flag I need my fan and pillow.

    1. Please sanitize your pearls before clutching them

      1. Love to see one of the protesters give her a Pearl Necklace …

    2. My reaction when I saw the comment about the “horrible” Confederate flag was: how many times over the years I have see the Hammer and Sickle flag at protests over “progressive” causes, including the famous women’s march protest over Trump’s inauguration; why isn’t that condemned as loudly as the Confederate flag.

      That aside…for Shikha, this was a good article.

      1. Go look at any Wiki entry with groups like Antifa. You won’t get ‘Antifa is a far left group’.

        But you will see that with conservatives groups often described as ‘right-wing’.

        Media are in a bubble wrapped inside a bubble who really do see people as deplorable. They just convinced themselves they’re the good, smart people we all should listen to because they’re ‘enlightened’.

        1. I don’t know if I’d call wiki “media”. It should be obvious wiki is ruled by leftists though, for all their talk of neutrality.

  4. One hopes Pa. gov. Wolf is next. Only state where you can’t buy booze. Anyway, yesterday the State Senate passed a bill requiring Wolf to come up with a plan to re-open businesses. A plan, mind you. Every Democrat senator voted against the bill; one said she couldn’t support coming up with a plan because there isn’t a cure for the virus yet. How dare the people’s representatives require so much as a plan from their imperial governor!

    1. PA’s liquor laws have always been the most retarded in the nation.

    2. Was it a 5-year plan?? The Donkeys would have loved that.

  5. Ya, i dont care who you are, dont fucking block traffic, its a shit move and you deserve to get run over if you do. “Horrifying and indefensible” so your okay with civil officials completely abusing their power Dalmia and when people show up to protest ,and they have guns presumably for self protection they become thugs? Could you point to all of the supremacist things the proud boys are promoting? I may be wrong but i dont remember you railing against antifa when they were doing all their violent protests.

    1. This is horrifying and indefensible.

  6. It considers even an infinitesimal increase in secondary risk as unacceptable, a mindset that could justify stopping virtually any activity anytime.

    “BWAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!”

  7. Start up the woodchippers!

    These dictates from state governors are unconstitutional.

    1. Dream on.

    2. This is horrifying and indefensible.

  8. I really don’t think these people have any idea the storm that is coming. Especially wants the fear subsides and people think they can just return to work to jobs that no longer exist. This is could get pretty ugly around august once unemployment runs out. I imagine the governors are going to be really disappointed with the greedy business owners who are bankrupt are unable to put the unemployed people back to work.

    1. Dream on. There is no “storm” coming. When things get really bad, nearly all Americans will just sit down and cry.

      1. This is horrifying and indefensible.

  9. Guess what? Check your facts!! Yes, there was a group of patriots who evidently brought guns although I didn’t see them. I was at the event. I spent most of the time close to the hospital. There was never a time that the hospital entrance was blocked! some people took pictures as cars drove across the entrance, implying that they were sitting there, but they were simply passing in front of it. no group blocked the entrance to any hospital, and not only have the police verified this but the hospital themselves. Please do not perpetuate these lies! Gretchen is manipulating you. stop listening to what she claims and verify these events before you post them as if they were truth. You have lost total credibility with me. And the many, many others who were there. Were you?

    1. Did you take time to look at the author of the article?
      Shikha has no credibility to lose. Facts are irrelevant.

      1. If I remember right Dalmia considers herself a “Progressive Libertarian”. That should tell people all they need to know.

        1. Dalmia also posted an article here three years ago about how “brown people” are going to save Americans’ constitutional liberties.

          Well now. Governor Gretchen is giving “brown people” the opportunity to prove Dalmia right. Let’s see how they respond.

    2. When most of the articles here cite twitter and cnn, what can you expect?

      1. They showed up with guns. I mean guns have a mind of their own. Those guns could have gone crazy and started killing people. Don’t you understand that?

        1. I just bought my first scary black rifle like a week ago. I mostly just had shotguns and revolvers prior to that. Let me tell ya, nothing makes me feel more fucking American.

          1. It is a great point of pride with me that while I own several guns, I have never actually bought one. They have all come as gifts from family members or in trade for something else. But, the panic over the dreaded “assault rifle” has really made me think I need to break down and buy an AR 15 or maybe a semi automatic M14, not because I need them. I really don’t. But because like you, I feel like I am not quite a full American if I don’t tell the gun grabbing assholes to fuck off by owning one.

            1. I still prefer my semi auto twelve just because the variety of stuff you can fire out of it. Next is a variant of the Kalashnikov. Im thinking one with wood furniture. I appreciate the look of wood on my weapons.

              1. I love a wood stock. That is why I would rather have an M14 than a AR 15. ARs are just ugly weapons. It is not like I am going to use it in combat, or at least I hope I don’t, so why not have something that looks nice? Also, I just like the idea of having a big .30 caliber or similar round. My neighbor, who is a great guy and very pro gun, thinks I am nuts. My home defense plan is my 8mm Mouser rifle. He is convinced that the round will go through both our houses and whack him too. They wouldn’t quite do that.

                If I am ever the victim of a home invasion, I just hope the guy is wearing a Kevlar vest thinking he is impervious since all the home owner might have is a hand gun. If I ever have to shoot someone, I would like to see the look in their face as they realize they broke into the wrong house and ran into some nut armed with a rifle as the round burns through their vest, them and the guy behind him.

                1. A nice rifle chambered in .30-06 will ensure that you can always find ammo, and never feel shy about taking it to the range to practice. I bought a Browning Automatic for elk hunting a few years back. It is fantastic, and in some rural parts of the country you can find .30-06 in gas stations. One of my brothers has one of these belted supermags. It is 20 lbs, kicks like a fucking bull when you shoot it, and costs $7 per round. This all makes him reluctant to practice.

                  The mauser sounds like a fantastic option. I have an old lever action Marlin 336 chambered in 35 Rem. It is great for home defense, with a short barrel, low velocity, and that awesome “Chunk Chunk” loading action. The only problems are that 35 Rem is getting difficult to find, and its ballistic profile means you really have to site for close range or distance (or have a dual site setup).

                  1. The only thing that bothers me about ever having to fire that thing in home defense is how loud it would be and what it would do to my and my wife’s and our dog’s hearing. I can’t imagine one of those things going off in a confined space.

                    The other drawback to any kind of a long gun is they are hard to maneuver in a small space like a home. But, I don’t see that as much of a drawback. If I am ever in a gun fight in my house, I have no intention of it being a fair one. So, if someone broke in, I am not playing John Wayne and going to confront them. I am putting myself in a corner and waiting on them. And for that, a long rifle is ideal. It also makes it a lot harder for the cops to claim I could have retreated or wasn’t in fear of my life. Even in a liberal place like where I live, they would have a very hard time prosecuting someone who used a gun in self defense after they were confronted and cornered in their own home.

                    1. “The other drawback to any kind of a long gun is they are hard to maneuver in a small space like a home.”

                      Compromise with a carbine.

                    2. You make a good point Sarcasmic. And an M1 Carbine would be a neat little rifle to own.

                    3. Or get an M4 if you want more punch.

                    4. At pistol in Blackout. Fits well wedged between car seat and console too. But again, noisy. Suggest you don earmuffs whilst burglar still has a leg outside the window.

                    5. Henry sells Mare’s Leg models now in various calibers that would serve as decent home defense guns, and also be an easily transportable truck gun as well.

                    6. If you have to fire it in a home defense situation, is your dogs hearing really something to be overly concerned about? When you get to heaven are you going to say “Well, I was going to shoot that guy, but I didn’t want to blow out my eardrums, not to mention my wife’s and dog’s, so in the end that guy stabbed all three of us to death and here we are.”

                    7. I’ve got a variety to choose from should someone break in, but the plan doesn’t get much beyond my .45, though I do keep a backup .380 given it’s 13 shot capacity. I don’t care what the SOB is wearing, being shot by such a thing in the 10-15 ft distance of most rooms will knock the fuck out of someone, well enough to drop him from the impact and bruise if not break a rib, and that’s only if it is a quality vest and well-fitted. Which is all the advantage one needs to fire a second shot while the stars are still circling, and get close enough to pick an unprotected spot. This really isn’t a big concern for me. Most home invasions are done by punks who aren’t dropping $500 on a vest. I’m far more concerned with maneuverability and speed to aim on my part.

                2. I’m trying to get a friend of mine to sell me their M1 carbine. It’s more powerful than a pistol but less powerful than a rifle, short enough to be easily maneuverable indoors while being accurate as fuck out to reasonable distances. I really like that gun.

                  1. They are. I have shot the M4, which is sort of the carbine version of the M16. And they are great.

                    1. They certainly are made to be shot; more so than any other weapon I have ever held.

                3. I’d go with AR15 over M14. I have both, and I like both (I prefer the M14 as a range weapon myself, just because I’m more used to it), but the AR would have the upper hand when it comes to usability. 5.56 can have better penetration too over .308 when it comes to body armor, at least from what I’ve read. M1 carbine also works great, although I’m not sure how well it would work against body armor.

            2. Aside from providing a talisman of patriotism the little gun will provide you a measurement of fun if you use it rather than hide it under the bed. Light, easy recoil and fairly accurate at medium distance, it’s a joy to shoot. When the revolution redux occurs you will be marginally proficient. Downside is, they’re aggravatingly noisy with an ear cracking report, unlike most any other rifle, nothing a makeshift suppressor won’t fix. Fairly economical, thousand round purchases Can be relatively cheap, providing you with brass for the next hobby on your bucket list.

              1. I treat all my guns fairly by giving them equal range time. The hsrdest part is accessorizing, so many choices.

              2. I have shot an M16 and an M4 in the Army lots of times. And yes, they have the recoil of a Daisy Red Rider BB gun. And the .223 rounds are a lot cheaper than 8 mm or .30 caliber rounds.

                I like to shoot. My problem is there are not any good outdoor ranges near me. I would like to shoot more, but it would be another hobby that gives my wife something to complain about. At some point, I will move closer to where I can shoot outdoors and will take it up more.

                1. Shooting can become an expensive hobby. The cost of ammo adds up real quick. I mostly plink with my Marlin 60 or Ruger Mark II just because I can get 500 rounds for forty bucks.

                  1. If you really want to do it, you need to load your own. As you say, ammo gets really expensive really quick unless you just want to shoot .22 all of the time and even that isn’t as cheap as it used to be. If I ever decided to do it a lot, I would buy a loader and reuse my brass. I don’t see how I could afford it otherwise.

                    1. But then you pay for it with your time. I’d rather buy the ammo and spend my time doing something I like to do. In town here there’s a guy with a small factory who reloads once-used brass. I haven’t checked it out, but I’ve been told the prices are reasonable and the quality is good. Think I might go there when I run out of 9mm.

                    2. Fair point. Honestly, I have never really loaded my own. I assume it isn’t too bad but I could see it being a real pain in the ass as well.

                    3. I’ve never done it either, but it looks like one of those tedious, repetitive tasks that gets really boring really quick. I could be wrong.

                    4. For those of you who envision reloading as a great way to save money, you might want to have a good look at the cost of components. Mind you, I’m not saying you can’t save a little, but you absolutely will not save a lot if you’re just reloading for general inexpensive target practice. You can get 5.56/.223 ammo pretty cheap if you shop around. Steel cased ammo, while having a bad reputation among gun snobs, works well in your average AR15, and it’s throw away cheap. Yeah, if you spent two grand building your perfect AR, then go ahead and buy or build your spendy ammo. But if you want to learn to shoot well, buy cheap ammo and shoot a lot in a cheap gun. You can still bring the Lamborghini out for a few rounds after you’ve warmed up with the Ford. Then you get the best of both worlds, lots of shooting for minimum cost. Reloading is more a labor of love than a money saver.

          2. I honestly do not understand this notion that gun ownership is associated with “feeling American”. For me, to be American is more than just one amendment to the Constitution.

            1. I’m inclined to like them all, I-X; 2A good a lot of press bc, well guns.

              1. I agree that all of the amendments are pretty good. (Well, except that income tax one.) I don’t consider anyone “more American” if they like one more than the other, though.

                1. This is horrifying and indefensible.

            2. “chemjeff radical individualist
              April.16.2020 at 1:00 pm
              I honestly do not understand this notion that gun ownership is associated with “feeling American”. ”

              Yea, because there’s nothing uniquely American about the founding principle of a nation being that citizens of that nation are to be, individually and collectively, independent enough that they have the right to forcibly defend themselves against the power of those that govern them, and prepare to do so on relatively equal footing.
              No, that’s totes the norm worldwide

    3. It is interesting to get an account from somebody who was there. I still think is is not a great plan to stage a big protest given the current circumstances, though I support everyone’s right to do it. I find it interesting that people are complaining about the author of the article when she is just reporting what everyone else did, even if it is slightly exaggerated. The point of the article, at least to me, is that this is protest is a result of the governor being too restrictive and communicating poorly. The fact that some people brought guns and that others waved confederate flags confuses whatever message the protestors were trying to make, and does make them appear as nut jobs to the typical American. I find it sad, as it just convinces the Republicans and the Democrats that Libertarians are just a bunch of assholes. I am a libertarian, but try not to be an asshole.

      1. 1. This was a conservative group that protested (as mentioned in the article), not libertarian. 2. I don’t know how often you read this website, but this is the closest I’ve ever seen this writer go for a neutral tone, Shikha is a progressive, not a libertarian. The last article I saw from her had her trying to argue that Trump was somehow responsible for India’s centuries-long religious tensions, that’s about the regular level of both intelligence and bias for her. That’s why the regulars are giving her a tough time, they know that she’s a shit journalist and that if she’s portraying it like this, it’s pretty much a given that it’s better than what she said.

  10. Park visitors maintain a scrupulous six-foot distance.

    Right up until they closed the parks.

    1. How about everyone wear a mask in public and stay away from each other to the greatest extent practical? It seems to me that a whole lot of things could open consistent with those rules and it would likely control the spread of the virus about as well as what we are doing is.

      1. The week before they shut down California, all of the businesses were following CDC guidelines voluntarily. Utensils had been pulled from the counters. Half of the tables had been marked off limits. Distancing guides (like tape marks on the floor) had been put down. We were already doing this shit voluntarily, until the government decided to turn it up to 11.

        1. Hey, virtues must be signaled. How else can to run an election?

      2. >>How about everyone wear a mask in public

        nope. i’m too pretty.

      3. “We need to stop the spread of the virus, how do we do that?”
        “Declare a bunch of businesses ‘non-essential’ so that everyone that needs to go out is funneled into a few limited places.”
        “Brilliant!”

        1. My favorite is the curfews. Let’s compress the amount of time people go out so there are more people out together!

          I’m sure most of these bureaucrats had raging boners the second they realized they could potentially start ordering quarantines and curfews. They just couldn’t contain it any longer and blew their curfew loads, even though they make 0 sense.

        2. This^

          Everyone, or just about everyone has been exposed at this point through being pushed to the big box stores for all the essential necessities. Couple that with the fact that the virus has very likely been circulating worldwide since fall 2019. How else can it be explained that once testing showed up, in a scant few days it popped up all over the world – even on remote islands?

          It’s just not that big a problem, never was – just supplanting Influenza for the most part.

  11. “Some protestors (sic) were nasty and went overboard . . . ”

    But since they were all white citizens we can call them names.

  12. I am willing to bet money that Whitmer will be Biden’s veep pick.

    She has a vagina
    She’s relatively young
    She’s from a critical swing state
    She’s a micromanaging busybody sure to get the soccer mom vote
    She’s somewhat attractive (at least when I caught a look at her on the Today show)

    1. But she is proving herself wildly unpopular in the swing state. It would likely hand Michigan to Trump.

      1. This shows how absurd American politics have become.

        Trump called for the reopening of the economy. Since it is apparently the sworn duty of every registered Democrat to adamantly oppose anything Trump claims to support regardless of its merits, Witmer has to prove her anti-Trump bona fides by shutting down the Michigan economy even more completely, “science” and common sense be damned, because she wants the VP nomination.

        But fear not. NPR assured me Tuesday morning that SCIENCE!!!!, not politics, is guiding the state governors in their responses to the coronavirus.

        1. Trump calling for the re-opening of the economy is very smart politics on his part. Despite what reason claims, he fully understand that he can’t do that and that only the governors can do it. But in calling for it to happen, he has made the governors responsible for the economic fallout of not doing it. If this goes on and the economy really tanks, Trump can now say “hey, I am trying to re-open the economy but the governors are refusing to do it”. And as you say, the Democrats completely lack self control and will immediately do the opposite of whatever Trump wants. So, they are refusing and in the process assuming responsibility for the results of not doing so.

          1. Conversely, Witmer’s response is very dumb politics on her part. But more importantly, it demonstrates that her actions are arbitrary and capricious.

          2. Thats what i was thinking about Trump. Hes alot smarter than people would give him credit. They call him a buffoon but dont realize hes playing that often mentioned game of 4D chess while theyre playing checkers.

            1. Also, whether he can quote Napoleon or not, he does a decent job of letting his enemies fully commit to their own mistakes.

        2. Science from the WHO headed by a former Marxist who isn’t even a doctor, right?

          EVERYONE FUCKING LOVES SCIENCE!

          1. So he’s not doctor WHO?

            sorry.

            1. (groans)

            2. This is horrifying and indefensible.

    2. Will she let Joe finger her?

    3. If the goal of Whitmer on the ticket is to deliver MI then Biden will look elsewhere. She rolled the dice on “safety”. Her political career in MI is dead.

  13. >>The spread of coronavirus represents a massive failure of public health authorities

    seems more like a massive overreach of public servants.

    1. Can’t it be both??

  14. Ah, Sparrow Hospital. I did a urology clerkship there in fourth year of medical school, even interviewed for a residency there. Not my favorite hospital in the world, but a very nice one nevertheless, and within eyeshot of the capitol building.

    She never comes out and says it directly, but Dalmia would have us believe the Proud Boys were blocking doors to deny patients and their families access, as though they were protesting at an abortion clinic. Knowing the Proud Boys, though, it strikes me as far more likely they were guarding the doors to ensure access in case things got out of hand on the streets.

    It’s just Shikha being a piece of shit. As usual.

    1. Right, she couldn’t just call out Whitmer for being a twit [at which, to be fair, she did a pretty good job] but being Shikha she cannot pen any thing without a dig at the big bad white racists and the oppression of everyone else.

      NOTE TO EDITOR: “Whitmore has gone the other way…”
      There’s an error that needs to be fixed.

    2. Proud Boys would do the right thing and help doctors.

      Antifa would block entrances and fuck up a nurse or two.

      So yeh, she can go fuck herself for pushing a false narrative about PB.

      I know someone who was around an Antifa/PB clash. She’s a lefty and said without a doubt Antifa were the assholes and a PB helped her get out of harm’s way.

      Now? She stays home.

      1. Proud Boys would do the right thing and help doctors.

        These are not the heroes you are looking for.

        https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/proud-boys-members-sentenced-four-years-prison-violent-clash-antifa-n1070166

        1. When the PB instigate violence they get what they deserve. No problem with that. But this is the tiny extremist minority.

        2. You are completely fucking full of shit, as usual. That case was fucking bullshit. They had every right to stop those little pussies who OUTNUMBERED AND AMBUSHED them to a pulp, instead they let them run off after their embarrassing loss. Self defense is outlawed in NY, and you, a fake libertarian, are siding with the oppressive government. Sickening.

    1. [The Governor said] “The people themselves are primarily responsible for their safety. They are the ones that are entrusted with expansive freedoms.”

      No wonder the population of SD is so small.

  15. Grocery stores have become thinly populated because shoppers are limiting their trips government-induced mass hysteria has stripped the shelves bare.

    FTFY

    1. >>Grocery stores have become thinly populated

      it’s been so nice

      1. You mean not dealing with the idiots clog up the aisles and intersections by treating grocery shopping as a social outing?

        Yes, that’s been nice.

        1. I take it you literally hate Walmart?

          1. Sometimes I shop there, but I would never do my grocery shopping at a WalMart.

            Why, you don’t ask? At my Walmart, it’s not unusual to smell rotting food in the produce section. If things are that bad, everything is contaminated.

            1. For years I’ve considered Walmart to be a bait and tackle shop with other departments. AFAICT, the catfish have never cared if the chicken livers were expired or not.

            2. Yes, WalMart produce is horrible. I think it’s a combination of A. the people who grocery shop there prefer that their foods come in a microwavable container and B. the employees are mostly brain-dead

              1. I used to work in a grocery store. Maintaining the produce section is a non-stop job.

        2. Actually my personal nemesis are the retired husbands who tag along to the store with their spouses, and then aimlessly wonder around and get the fuck in your way at every turn.

          1. Them too. And unsupervised human larva.

        3. that. driving 80 mph everywhere. my office building is empty … my own private Dallas

  16. Thank you Governor Whitmore!

    /useful idiot.

  17. It tells me something that even Dalmia recognizes that some government officials are going too far. They have nothing in common with us and they don’t understand or like us. They don’t seem to realize that we’ve been patient and adaptable so far but we don’t like it when some power-mad pol tries to take advantage of our good nature.

  18. This is horrifying and indefensible.

    Why, because they look scary? It wouldn’t be a reason article without some finger-wagging at Constitutionally protected activity, would it?

  19. Our county, (Hillsborough FL) implemented a 9P to 5A curfew on Monday on top of an existing “Safer at Home” order. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one this pissed off. By Tuesday I had blanket received emails from both the County Sheriff and a Potential House Representative candidate which asked if we supported or approved of the curfew. Naturally, I opposed. The reply from the sheriff’s office surprised me. ”
    Thank you for participating in our poll.

    Over 33,000 citizens in Hillsborough County responded and gave their valuable opinions on if they support or oppose the 9pm to 5am curfew.

    After further review of the issue, I am inclined to vote to rescind the curfew as the current safer-at-home order passed by the Emergency Policy Group already contains a curfew with very detailed exemptions. While it was important to emphasize the importance of staying indoors, especially to those who have been violating the safer-at-home order and the ban on groups of 10 or more congregating, the curfew is redundant and no longer necessary.

    This health emergency is unlike hurricanes and weather-related emergencies that pass through our community quickly, while we stay inside to avoid high winds and dangerous conditions. That is why our safer-at-home order for this health crisis includes limits on traveling, gathering, and distancing. These are in effect all day, no matter what hour, while this state of emergency lasts. Your overwhelming support for these limited restrictions on how we move around our community will keep us healthy and save lives.

    Thank you,

    Sheriff Chad Chronister
    – POLL RESULTS –
    Do you support or oppose the curfew?

    Do you support or oppose the curfew?

    Support: 64%

    Oppose: 36%

    How about that?

    1. Chronister can go fuck himself with a rusty spork for issuing that Curfew. Shits going to go pear-shaped soon….

      1. Chronister is actually recommending it be rescinded, and it was today. They still have their “Safer at Home” rules to try and slap everyone around with, but he actually removed a redundant rule that gave him more authority, in spite of Majority approval for the curfew. I think he deserves at least cookie for that.

  20. This is horrifying and indefensible.

    Oh Jesus-Fucking-Tap Dancing-Christ, are you fucking serious? Get your fucking head out of your asshole. Go to your fucking fainting couch, get your fucking smelling salts, and kindly SHUT THE FUCK UP! We didn’t ask for you Proggie fuckchops to invade our party and start shitting up the place with your goddamn “Oh, trust the government, its not so bad!” bullshit.

    Horrifying and indefensible is obliterating the livelihoods of millions of fellow Americans to “save” a few thousand lives that were likely going to be dead in the next year anyway. It may sound heartless only cause you lack any kind of fucking critical reasoning skills and don’t even grasp basic science that could be explained to anyone with a fucking 5th grade education.

    Horrifying and indefensible would be throwing the poor capitol building Janitor face first into the woodchipper, cause he works for “Da Man!”, after dispensing justice on that bitch Whitmer and her goddamn lackeys and enablers.

    1. Getting stomped in the culture war by your betters has made you very cranky, clinger.

      1. Oh thanks fucking hilarious, shitbag. Go drown in a sewer.

      2. You’re quite the bitch today. I know you’d eat out that MI governor if you could, but you’re too clingy even for her tastes.

        1. Your ruining your country because you couldn’t even stay home for 30 days , your a pathetic joke 6 billion people are watching you completely screw this up New Zealand and Australia open schools next week we been on lockdown for weeks without uber eats! , it’s not that hard , why be so dramatic? Thank you for removing yourself from the Global market, have you seen the price of seafood? Beef? Diary? Keep an eye out for our exports we will be in your grocery stores soon , this literally does not end for you your dying faster than anywhere else in the world the virus has infested your country it’s spread to every corner and you’re bleeding money , for what? It’s so perfect This could only happen in America China is fully reopened they are back making you antibiotics Starbucks apple GE motors all making money Shameless

      3. I love the roll up rug I sleep on in mommy’s basement.

  21. Wow, I got almost all the way to the bottom of the article before I knew it was Shikha.

  22. Top three things that have me fearing an apocalypse right now:

    3. COVID-19 is sweeping the globe
    2. Massive economic damage is being done
    1. Shikha has written several actually decent articles over the last few weeks

    1. Trump’s approval rating hit 43 today.

      Which is nice.

      1. Often, lately, I’ve taken to imagining how this would have played out under a President Hillary. I perspire then, cling to my Bible, and load another thousand rounds of brass. The one thing I’m most embarrassed about is the non response from the citizenry. I’d thought our Michigan Militia would have had a response, however timid. Perhaps a run on the Governor’s mansion is underfoot. If you can blow off half a Federal building I should think a run-of-the-mill mansion would be a cake walk.

      2. I pottied all by myself today. I did good!

  23. Hint: real journalists don’t use words like “gazillion.”

    1. How about “oodles”?

  24. “The spread of coronavirus represents a massive failure of public health authorities,” No, but it does show the massive dangers to Americans from open borders, international travel and diversity. There is nothing “horrifying” about the Confederate Flag. The men who flew it were Americans, something you will never be. Go back to India where you belong.

  25. Well on the bright side, this tyrant made herself a one term one trick pony.

  26. 3 weeks and America has completely fallen to pieces, the rest of the world is watching behind a pillow cringing from secondhand embarrassment 3 weeks? What is wrong with you? Imagine a lockdown in Wuhan in forced by the CCP these people would be traumatized The rest of the world will be open and the Americans will still be crying about freedoms, no other country in the entire world has screwed this up as much as the Americans , everything they have done has been pathetic ,

    1. Yeah, freedom. What a silly thing to be concerned about.

    2. Obviously not an American.

  27. “Hmm. I wonder why Reason would have a problem with people protesting for civil liberties.” Oh right. It’s Shitkha Dumblia. Can’t roast jackbooted authoritarians without first making sure you dish out a prevaricative “BOOOTH SIDES!” No, there’s really no both sides to this. Fuck you. DEATHPLAGUE 2K19 isn’t killing enough people to be statistically important and that’s not because our betters have been dutifully protecting us. Every restriction is too many restrictions. People aren’t staying home because they are scared of COVID. They are staying home because they are scared of going to jail. Let that sink in a moment. In ten short weeks we’ve gone from a free society to a gulag. My grandfather told me that protecting liberty is important because every society is one generation away from tyranny. How could he have been so wrong? Ten weeks is a hell of a short generation. That’s vacation for a frenchman.

  28. There is a long lost protest that involved some tar and some feathers and a wooden fence rail and trip out of town. Maybe it is time to bring it back… I have several candidates in mind. Do you?

  29. The virus has been an intelligence test for the governors. Whitmer flunked. She was late in doing anything, and then she went Chicken Little when the infections erupted, trying to blame the Feds and her own citizens. Some liberal governors, like Gavin Newsom in California, reacted intelligently. He saw what the Bay Area counties were doing, and he followed their example statewide. He has solicited and obtained lots of help from private industry in solving problems. Whitmer doesn’t have the goods. She’s not smart and she’s not a leader.

  30. This is the precautionary principle on steroids. It considers even an infinitesimal increase in secondary risk as unacceptable, a mindset that could justify stopping virtually any activity anytime. Yes, preventing activity is how you control a virus when you do not have a vaccine, and no one is immune. Dalmia’s quote above perfectly captures the malign combination of willfulness, delusion, and innumeracy which continues to put this nation at risk. The rule of the virus is geometric increase. That means in a time of contagion the notion of, “infinitesimal increase in secondary risk”— relying as it does on inapplicable linear projection—must always be suspect. And with geometric contagion, the risk is never infinitesimal. At the beginning of the chain of New York’s present catastrophe are one case, or a few cases, to which no one can point. Only stronger action, taken slightly earlier in New York could have broken that chain to prevent the horrifying mortality and enormous economic loss which ensued. Without realizing what she says, Dalmia insists it would not have been worth it to do that. That is because Dalmia’s ideology-clouded imagination is incapable of grasping the fundamental similarity between New York 10 weeks ago, and Michigan now. What Dalmia says is what all the minimizers and small government ideologues will now be saying, as they agitate to tear down the very notion of public health. For small government ideologues, the best policy is always the policy which obstructs government success before it can win a following. But the next-best response is to deny afterward that government succeeded, no matter how impressive the evidence, as Dalmia is now doing. The problem with evaluating pandemic policy is that public health success always looks in hindsight like overreach. With public health success the worst never happens. Methods which delivered success appear disproportionate to an undramatic continuation of the status quo. Among the poorly educated, information deprived, and innumerate, the everyday rule of thought is to take your views from the folks around you. It is a self-comforting policy which reliably delivers immunity from social disapproval. Socially, it is far safer to be wrong in plentiful company, than to be right when everyone else has been wrong. It is that principle which lies at the root of the corrosive political cynicism which always seeks to obstruct use of politics for social improvement. That cynicism has long been the identifying mark of what passes for conservatism. It is what John Stuart Mill famously commented on, when he said, ‘”I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative.” It is that principle which Dalmia now applauds in Michigan. Unsurprisingly, she has taken that view from folks around her.

    1. Where the hell are the paragraph breaks. I will try again. See below.

  31. This is the precautionary principle on steroids. It considers even an infinitesimal increase in secondary risk as unacceptable, a mindset that could justify stopping virtually any activity anytime. Yes, preventing activity is how you control a virus when you do not have a vaccine, and no one is immune. Dalmia’s quote above perfectly captures the malign combination of willfulness, delusion, and innumeracy which continues to put this nation at risk. The rule of the virus is geometric increase. That means in a time of contagion the notion of, “infinitesimal increase in secondary risk”— relying as it does on inapplicable linear projection—must always be suspect. And with geometric contagion, the risk is never infinitesimal. At the beginning of the chain of New York’s present catastrophe are one case, or a few cases, to which no one can point. Only stronger action, taken slightly earlier in New York could have broken that chain to prevent the horrifying mortality and enormous economic loss which ensued. Without realizing what she says, Dalmia insists it would not have been worth it to do that. That is because Dalmia’s ideology-clouded imagination is incapable of grasping the fundamental similarity between New York 10 weeks ago, and Michigan now. What Dalmia says is what all the minimizers and small government ideologues will now be saying, as they agitate to tear down the very notion of public health. For small government ideologues, the best policy is always the policy which obstructs government success before it can win a following. But the next-best response is to deny afterward that government succeeded, no matter how impressive the evidence, as Dalmia is now doing. The problem with evaluating pandemic policy is that public health success always looks in hindsight like overreach. With public health success the worst never happens. Methods which delivered success appear disproportionate to an undramatic continuation of the status quo. Among the poorly educated, information deprived, and innumerate, the everyday rule of thought is to take your views from the folks around you. It is a self-comforting policy which reliably delivers immunity from social disapproval. Socially, it is far safer to be wrong in plentiful company, than to be right when everyone else has been wrong. It is that principle which lies at the root of the corrosive political cynicism which always seeks to obstruct use of politics for social improvement. That cynicism has long been the identifying mark of what passes for conservatism. It is what John Stuart Mill famously commented on, when he said, ‘”I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative.” It is that principle which Dalmia now applauds in Michigan. Unsurprisingly, she has taken that view from folks around her.

    1. If a man has gangrene in his leg and the surgeon cuts the leg off to save the man, is the surgeon right or wrong? This is the question I keep seeing asked and it’s the wrong question. The right question is, who owns the leg? Who owns the American economy? The owner is the only legitimate decision maker. Anything else is robbery and should be handled as such.

  32. Okay then. Paragraphs not allowed at Reason.

  33. Third try, pasting in from another program, see again.

  34. No such luck. Now blocked. With a peculiar admonishment, “You are posting comments too quickly, slow down.”

    1. Just manually use the enter key to create divisions between your text.

      1. Not working. Even hitting enter twice and putting multiple line breaks isn’t working. It just posts as a wall-o-text.

  35. “Although the motorists adhered to the social distancing rules as they were advised, the protest also brought out a lot of nasty gun-toting thugs onto the streets. Michigan Proud Boys, a supremacist outfit, blocked the intersection around a hospital. Not only did they ignore safety guidelines, exposing themselves and others to the virus just when Michigan was beginning to flatten the curve, they also waved Confederate flags and chanted “lock her up.”

    This is horrifying and indefensible.”

    This passage is weak, embarrassing, and dishonest. The Proud Boys are doing more for liberty than you are. The Proud Boys are objectively not a supremacist outfit (there are members from all races), and you and your editor deserve to get sued for libel for that alone. It is perfectly defensible to practice your right to keep and bear arms, and to speak through whatever symbols you choose to use. Please stop pretending to be a libertarian when you are incapable of defending someone saying something you disagree with. I’d say it’s time for you to go to HuffPo or the like, but it’s so clear that Reason stopped caring about the CULTURE of liberty – i.e. anti-establishment, punk, brash, and loud – a long time ago. Reason is now a place for ineffectual bitching about inadherance to its particular brand of libertarianism. Stuff it.

  36. Hopefully Whitmer and Newsom and all the other panicked/power-mad governors will lose their jobs too.

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