Coronavirus

Paul Krugman Thinks Holding Religious Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Like 'Dumping Neurotoxins Into Public Reservoirs'

The New York Times columnist misconstrues the issues at stake in the challenge to New York's restrictions on houses of worship.

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When the Supreme Court blocked New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's restrictions on religious services this week, it was the first time the justices had enforced constitutional limits on government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision predictably provoked hyperbolic reactions from critics who seem to think politicians should be free to do whatever they consider appropriate during a public health crisis.

Describing the Court's emergency injunction in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo as "the first major decision from the Trump-packed court," New York Times columnist Paul Krugman warned that "it will kill people." He added: "The bad logic is obvious. Suppose I adhere to a religion whose rituals include dumping neurotoxins into public reservoirs. Does the principle of religious freedom give me the right to do that?" Krugman averred that "freedom of belief" does not include "the right to hurt other people in tangible ways—which large gatherings in a pandemic definitely do."

There are several problems with Krugman's gloss on the case, starting with his understanding of the constitutional right at stake. The Court was applying the First Amendment's ban on laws "prohibiting the free exercise" of religion, which includes conduct as well as belief. Krugman, of course, is right that the Free Exercise Clause is not a license for "dumping neurotoxins into public reservoirs"—or, to take a more familiar example, conducting human sacrifices. But it is hard to take seriously his suggestion that holding a religious service during the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of the safeguards observed, is tantamount to poisoning millions of people's drinking water.

Under Cuomo's rules, "houses of worship" in state-designated "red" zones were not allowed to admit more than 10 people; the cap in "orange" zones was 25. Those restrictions applied regardless of a building's capacity. A 1,000-seat church, for example, would be limited to 1 percent of its capacity in a red zone and 2.5 percent of its capacity in an orange zone.

Cuomo's restrictions on religious gatherings were much more onerous than the rules for myriad secular activities that pose similar risks of virus transmission. That point was crucial because the Court has held that laws are presumptively unconstitutional when they discriminate against religion. At the same time, it has said the Free Exercise Clause does not require religious exemptions from neutral, generally applicable laws, which obviously would include statutes that prohibit mass poisoning or murder.

It is undisputed that both the Brooklyn diocese and Agudath Israel, which sued Cuomo on behalf of the Orthodox synagogues it represents, were following strict COVID-19 safety protocols, including face masks and physical distancing. It is also undisputed that no disease clusters have been tied to their institutions since they reopened. The plaintiffs were not asking to carry on as if COVID-19 did not exist. They were instead arguing that Cuomo's policy singled out houses of worship for especially harsh treatment and was not "narrowly tailored" to serve the "compelling state interest" of curtailing the epidemic.

After these organizations filed their lawsuits but before the Supreme Court considered their request for an emergency injunction, Cuomo changed the color coding of the neighborhoods where their churches and synagogues are located. "None of the houses of worship identified in the applications is now subject to any fixed numerical restrictions," Chief Justice John Roberts noted in his dissenting opinion. "At these locations, the applicants can hold services with up to 50% of capacity, which is at least as favorable as the relief they currently seek."

In other words, Cuomo suddenly increased the effective occupancy cap for a 1,000- seat church 50-fold in formerly red zones and 20-fold in formerly orange zones. By Krugman's logic, the governor is now allowing behavior as reckless as "dumping neurotoxins into public reservoirs." Yet this is the same man whose judgment on these matters Krugman thinks we should trust without question.

"The scary thing is that 5 members of the court appear to think they're living in the Fox cinematic universe, where actual facts about things like disease transmission don't matter," Krugman says. If so, Cuomo himself seems to have succumbed to the same propaganda, since he concluded that his original rules were far more restrictive than necessary.

New York Times reporter Adam Liptak suggests that the 5-to-4 decision in this case, which hinged on the replacement of Ruth Bader Ginsburg with the recently confirmed Amy Coney Barrett, reflects a new conservative majority driven by political considerations. "Chief Justice Roberts is fundamentally conservative, and his liberal votes have been rare," Liptak writes. "But they reinforced his frequent statements that the court is not a political body. The court's new and solid conservative majority may send a different message."

Yet the six opinions issued on Wednesday night, no matter their conclusions, do not simply express policy preferences or partisan allegiances. They show the justices grappling with constitutional issues, as they are supposed to do.

Was Cuomo's policy neutral and generally applicable? The five justices in the majority did not think so. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan disagreed, arguing that houses of worship are not fundamentally similar to the many businesses that Cuomo allowed to operate without occupancy limits. Roberts, while arguing that an injunction was unnecessary in light of Cuomo's sudden reclassification of the relevant neighborhoods, nevertheless conceded that "numerical capacity limits of 10 and 25 people, depending on the applicable zone, do seem unduly restrictive," and "it may well be that such restrictions violate the Free Exercise Clause."

Justice Stephen Breyer split the difference. "Whether, in present circumstances, those low numbers violate the Constitution's Free Exercise Clause is far from clear," he wrote, "and, in my view, the applicants must make such a showing here to show that they are entitled to 'the extraordinary remedy of injunction.'"

In other words, while only five justices agreed that an emergency injunction was appropriate, seven were prepared to at least entertain the possibility that Cuomo's restrictions were unconstitutional. Perhaps that proposition is not as outlandish as critics like Krugman think.

Leaving aside the specific legal issues raised by this case, the broader question is whether a public health emergency makes constitutional constraints optional. COVID-19 lockdowns that blocked access to abortion by classifying it as a nonessential medical service, for example, have been successfully challenged in several states. Does Krugman think those courts should have shown the same deference to politicians he believes is appropriate when restrictions on religious freedom are challenged?

In a Harvard Law Review Forum essay published last July, American University law professor Lindsay Wiley and University of Texas at Austin law professor Stephen Vladeck present a forceful argument against suspending the usual standards of judicial review during a crisis like the COVID-19 epidemic. They note that "the suspension principle is inextricably linked with the idea that a crisis is of finite—and brief—duration"; it is therefore "ill-suited for long-term and open-ended emergencies like the one in which we currently find ourselves." They add that "the suspension model is based upon the oft-unsubstantiated assertion that 'ordinary' judicial review will be too harsh on government actions in a crisis"—a notion that seems misguided given that "the principles of proportionality and balancing driving most modern constitutional standards permit greater incursions into civil liberties in times of greater communal need."

Wiley and Vladeck emphasize "the importance of an independent judiciary in a crisis—'as perhaps the only institution that is in any structural position to push back against potential overreaching by the local, state, or federal political branches.'" They quote George Mason law professor (and Volokh Conspiracy blogger) Ilya Somin's observation that "imposing normal judicial review on emergency measures can help reduce the risk that the emergency will be used as a pretext to undermine constitutional rights and weaken constraints on government power even in ways that are not really necessary to address the crisis." Without such review, Wiley and Vladeck warn, "we risk ending up with decisions like Korematsu v. United States," the notorious 1944 ruling that upheld the detention of Japanese Americans during World War II. The risk of excessive deference, they note, is that courts will "sustain gross violations of civil rights because they are either unwilling or unable to meaningfully look behind the government's purported claims of exigency."

Justice Neil Gorsuch's concurring opinion in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo amplifies that point. "Even if the Constitution has taken a holiday during this pandemic, it cannot become a sabbatical," he writes. "We may not shelter in place when the Constitution is under attack. Things never go well when we do."

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  1. At least Krugman is keeping his streak of being wrong about everything intact. At this point it’s truly impressive.

    1. He’s the gold standard of idiocy. I think the NYTs keeps him around to make their other propagandists seem sane.

      1. That would require NYT management being capable of introspection, critical thinking, rational thought. I doubt this is the case, Krugman is the norm, not an anomaly.

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    2. Wait until unreason has to admit they were wrong about Biden being President.

      Lefties just dont see whats happening because MSM refuses to cover any attempt to challenge Biden stealing election 2020.

      The SCOtUS smacking down NYs unconstitutional orders against religious practices is just a taste of upcoming smack downs by conservatives.

      Hearings in NV, AZ, PA, MI, WI, and GA about blatant democrat election fraud. It will be the SCOTUS in trump vs biden that saves the USA for now with a 5-4 decision for Trump.

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      2. Reason will never admit that. They’ll mumbler something about lesser of two evils and go back to advocating libertarianism that bears an uncanny resemblance to a communist utopia.

    3. Hey, being consistent is an important virtue.

      1. Like in religious belief?

        1. The court leans theocratic now. This will eventually take us all down, liberty wise. All of the revered members of the federalist society that are now on the court answer to a higher power than libertarianism.

          1. With any luck you are correct.

          2. And yet they delivered an opinion that increased liberty.

            1. No, it is not “and yet”. Rather, it is just this time. Any increase in liberty was incidental, because religion and liberty were not necessarily at odds. When they are at odds in the future, watch religion win under this bunch.

              If the petitioner had been a whore house in nevada that had a usually capacity of 1000 sinners, but local officials limited maximum capacity in the house to just a couple of dozen, scotus would have deferred to the local officials.

              1. Lots of question-begging in your assertions there.

              2. I can’t speak to the justices specifically, but your comment reminds me that in 2018, some Republicans decided they’d rather vote for a dead pimp than a Democrat.

                https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/07/pro-trump-pimp-dennis-hof-wins-nevada-election-weeks-after-he-died.html

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    6. Meanwhile Sullum thinks Krugman is making a sincere and considered argument.

      Silly Sullum.

    7. Krugman is a fool unable to recognize that a Nobel prize in a pseudoscience (economics) does not make him expert at everything. Or anything really.
      He has been an insufferable blowhard. At least Linus Pauling was mostly harmless when he decided that he would stake his reputation on vitamin C.

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  2. ‘Dumping Neurotoxins Into Public Reservoirs’

    Krugman has been toxifyting the Times by dumping neurosis into the op-ed page for years.

    1. I think a much better example would be a religion based around a woman’s sacred right to choose. I would like to see that taken to the Supreme Court.

      1. When will SCOTUS give a 1st Amendment ruling on Hollywood’s sacred right to throw virgins in volcanos?

        1. Only if they are tweens.

      2. You do realize you’re the krugman of funny takes right?

  3. Gorsuch came right out and said it. We are long past the point that the states can justify their bald faced tyranny. Trying to remember who put this guy on the bench. Oh that’s right. Orange Man. Fuck you Jacob.

    1. Commies in the media (including unreason) just are in denial about Gorsuch, barrett, thomas, alito, and kavanaugh going along with Democrat tyranny.

  4. Men can be Karen’s too!

    1. This. He’s definitely a cat person. Pure pussy.

      1. He and his wife were photographed in Vanity Fair several years ago holding their cats, so your instinct was right on.

        1. High probability of toxoplasmosis.

      2. Cats are fiercely independent killers. Dogs follow a master.
        You do the math.

        1. You do the math.

          You own a dog. You serve a cat. Domesticated cats are carnivorous rodents. They’re such fiercely independent killers that old ladies with saucers of milk can only attract, let alone handle and care for, 1 or 2 of them rather than dozens.

        1. Can’t eat em. Not kosher.

          1. But cats are the other other white meat!

    2. Case in point: Gavin Newsom.

  5. Suppose I adhere to a religion whose rituals include dumping neurotoxins into public reservoirs. Does the principle of religious freedom give me the right to do that?”

    He’s not even trying anymore.

    1. It’s funny how Sullum says it’s not allowed to practice a religion that includes human sacrifice when Christianity is based on a human sacrifice.

      1. Ah, not sure that is how Christianity works. Jesus was murdered for being a heretic by the Pharisees. I think calling if human sacrifice is a bit of a stretch.

        I believe what Sullum is referring to here is more akin to the pre-Babalonian Isrealities sacrificing their children to Molek/Baal or Mayan human sacrifice.

        1. Now do Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac.

          1. And then stopping him. So no sacrifice made.

          2. All religions at the time demanded human sacrifice. Introduce man to a god calling him away and promising him things. Doesn’t know any thing about said god. Said god reveals himself as not being like all the other gods through an unforgettable illustration.

            The key to the whole God and human sacrifice thing in Christianity is that Christ, as God and human, sacrifices himself. The only God-image sacrificed is God himself. Not any of his image-bearers.

        2. Actually, Jesus was executed by the Romans at the behest of Jewish priests. Jesus’ teachings threatened their luxurious lifestyle and power.

        3. No need to reach back into antiquity. Parts of India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Liberia, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe still see human sacrifices in the modern era. And if you’re going to reach out and call Jesus a human sacrifice, then I don’t see why what’s been done in Myanmar and is currently being done to the Uighyrs wouldn’t count.

      2. Yeah, No.

      3. Uhmm. Christ died for our sins, killed by Romans (non-believers) at the behest of the pharisees (hypocrites, one of the sins Jesus taught us to avoid). He wasn’t sacrificed by his believers. I think you missed the point of his death and more importantly, his resurrection (which is actually the key belief in Christianity, Easter not Christmas has historically been the most Holy day on the Christian Calendar).

        1. Well, what if that hadn’t worked, and they’d started sacrificing people left and right, saying, “Eventually we’re going to find — or create — us an immortal.”?

          1. Since they didn’t sacrifice anyone…

        2. If Christ died for our sins, isn’t that basically spiritual socialism? Shouldn’t we seek our own salvation, find our own way to right the wrongs that we have committed, and do our own spiritual work?

          1. And I hadn’t even committed my first wrong yet back then.

          2. No, Christ chose to die for our sins, e.g. it was an act of charity. Also, for redemption you have to accept Christ and try to live a Christ like existence while also realizing you will fall short and sin, ergo you do have to work for your own salvation.

            1. “Die for our sins”

              How is this accomplished exactly? What is the mechanism by which sins are absolved by something or someone else dying (well, not really completely dying, but ceasing to live on Earth)?

              1. i’m made so that i cannot believe… but i do find great beauty in self-sacrifice of the highest order. from my perspective, christ is an analog for our forefathers who suffered so that we might know less suffering. to live in a christ-like manner is to conform to a method of improving the world through our presence in it.

                our original sin is the knowledge of good and evil, and through it the kernel of evil in each of us.

                you can make it fit if you try, and regardless of its literal truth, there is truth to be found if you look.

                in another light, i view long religious and spiritual traditions as received wisdom through the ages. not knowledge, but wisdom. What does it mean to live a good life, what kind of person do we wish we could be, what kind of person do we wish to be in the life of those around us… i see the christian sacrifice as epitomizing that. I agree with you that no one else can absolve me of the my sins, they are mine as much as anything… but perhaps by setting the example of self-sacrifice the christ figure is setting the example of how best to live with them and minimize them.

          3. Also Christ ands us to love our neighbor and treat everyone equally
            So again work on your part. Not everyone is saved. It isn’t automatic.

            1. The idea behind socialism is ultimately derived from Christianity.
              But it takes the moral impetus of altruism and tries to throw out the justification of that morality: God.
              This is internally inconsistent – it is quite senseless without God. Thus it is unable to throw out God, but simply transforms the almighty from an abstract, intangible idea to the very real State.

              1. This is why emphatic secularism tends toward growing government.
                Power abhors a vacuum.
                As the spiritual is denied/de-emphasized as a locus of power, that power is reassigned to the tangible.
                Life is, among other things, a burden. The freer one is, the heavier that burden weighs. The religious man, be he Christian/monotheist or pagan, alleviates his consciousness of that burden through sublimation – he cedes power/responsibility to an abstract, innate force. The secular man alleviates his burden through submission – he cedes power/responsibility to an earthly master.

              2. Socialism from Christianity is about our relationship with one another. And it is more appropriate to call it communitarianism than socialism.

                The relationship of the church with Christ is a providential monarchy. Not socialism or communism.

                1. That’s not the Platform Germany voted for in 1933. National Socialist Positive Christianity is all over that thing like Italian Republican Fascist Party bombers on Ethiopian villages.

              3. The idea of socialism was not derived from Christianity. Christianity would dictate the selfless act of, say, willingly giving of your means to help the less fortunate. Socialism is forced government takeover of both the means of production and the distribution of income – it is all about political power.

                1. You and clm1227 are both missing what I’m saying, which was admittedly poorly written.
                  There is no logical or moral basis for socialism without the logic and morality of Christianity.
                  That isn’t an indictment of Christianity, it’s just recognition of the historical environment in which socialism arose and the psychological premises it appeals to (takes advantage of).

                  The Kingdom of Heaven is not of this earth. The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.
                  Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.

                  Socialism rejects god, but cannot replace his place psychologically. So socialism turns the Kingdom of Heaven into a temporal utopia, and God into Caesar (The State).
                  But the moral foundation – altruism, charity, kinship with all – is entirely Christian. Thus “treat thy neighbor as thyself” becomes “from each according to his ability to each according to his need” because the moral imperative is no longer justified by an abstract, innate rule but by a physical, temporal ruler.
                  Necessarily so to keep the morality after disposing of God.

                  The Christian higher power and the socialist higher power call for the same feelings, but socialism takes the role of God unto itself (The State).

          4. Christ’s sacrifice was a voluntary gift. Hence, not socialism.

      4. I think you’re confusing the ritual of symbolic cannibalism for human sacrifice. They’re not related in any way in Christianity.

        1. Yes and no.
          Faith is a psychological process. Religion is historical development.
          No faith or religion can exist outside these patterns – they’re as true and immutable as physical laws. Indeed, they are forms of physical laws, as interpreted by the human mind.
          I suggest Joseph Campbell’s “Masks of God” series for fuller exploration of the subject.
          It all comes down to consumption and the life cycle, and how those were interpreted by hunter-gatherers vs agrarian civilization, and how those two modes of living have met and merged and conflicted – and still do within us all.

          1. I suggest Joseph Campbell’s “Masks of God” series

            no thanks; I’ve had my fill of masks…

    2. The funniest part is that Reason and its commentariat uses literally this exact argumentative template to rationalize all of the regulations they support. Literally every single day.

  6. Paul Krugman. Hahahahaahahaha! The only idiot in NY that is taken less seriously than Andrew Cuomo.

    1. Do you have a Nobel and Ig Nobel prize in economics?

      1. Probably not. But to his credit, he probably also isn’t on record as praising Venezuela under Chavez as being an economic success story, or of predicting that a Trump presidency would lead to crashing stock markets and a global recession. It’s not as though the Nobel prizes have meant much of anything for quite some time now.

  7. There was a time when Krugman was a hell of a reporter. No seriously, there was a time, decades ago. Now he is a fleeting shadow of what he was. His acrimony and bitterness come through loud and clear in his writings today. His self-torment is punishment enough.

    Is Sullum now walking down that same path? One wonders.

    1. He hasn’t been caught jacking off in a Zoom meeting yet so he’s got that going for him.

    2. He’s never been a reporter; he’s always been a political commenter who happened to have a main job as an economics professor.

      It’s not an accident that his columns went downhill when his wife started injecting her own opinions in to them.

    3. At least Krugman saved the country from the horrors of austerity.
      We have 27 trillion reasons to thank him.

  8. The function of government is to defend liberty, period. It’s not to protect us from disease any of the other innumerable ways people die that don’t involve the initiatory use of force.

    1. Sadly, 80% of the population doesn’t understand this concept. Heck, I’m not sure a majority of the “Libertarian” writers here understand.

      The comment board, maybe 60/40.

      1. Most of that 40% belongs to chemjeff and his victims young acquaintances.

      2. The numbers get way more depressing when you look globally.

    2. Too bad they don’t teach this stuff in public school. But then why would they?

    3. and they start defending your liberty by taking 40% of your income.

      1. and they stop defending when they reach 90%.

    4. The population at large would find that concept to be “scary.”

    5. With a debt of 27 Trillion (and climbing) will the economy at some point dictate how much liberty we have?
      China, with its draconian rule has more or less defeated COVID19 and is ‘back in business’.
      But hey, if you need your superstitions…

      1. So move to China.

      2. China is back in business because its leaders recognize the Civic scare for the sham it is.

        They are also happy to stoke those fears in the West because it helps their economic interests

      3. Covid numbers coming out of China have approximately the same credibility as Kim Jong Il’s golf scorecard.

  9. Who?

  10. Paul Krugman is a reservoir.

    1. I suppose I septic tank qualifies as a reservoir, so yes. I agree.

    2. I think those items are usually described as receptacles.

  11. These scolds primarily want to complain about the court because of their political lean. And this decision involves religion, which turns up the vitriol 5 fold.

    But in order to do the PEOPLE WILL DIE stuff, they’ve assume that several (many?) people in these churches WILL catch the virus, that they WILL all be contagious, that they absolutely WILL NOT take precautions in their outside life, that many people around them WILL be contaminated, and that most of those people WILL become seriously ill and die. Those are, combined, a very aggressively pessimistic set of assumptions. Ridiculously so.

    Even that set of assumptions doesn’t reach to Krugman’s pouring neurotoxins in a reservoir analogy. Yet he publishes garbage like this in the NYT, which used to be a good paper but is now simply a partisan progressive rag with zero standards.

    Somehow, as incompetent and awful as he is, Trump has caused these entities to destroy themselves. I’ll never understand it.

    1. the NYT, which used to be a good paper but is now simply a partisan progressive rag with zero standards

      The NYT is where the “educated” leftist elite go to learn what they’re supposed to think.

    2. the NYT, which used to be a good paper

      When was that? Sometime around 1890 or thereabouts?

      -jcr

      1. They still have good writers and a few good reporters, but no good editors.

    3. Given that none of these governors have provided a lick of evidence that these places are a significant source of outbreaks, the choice to shut them down is clearly driven by politics and secular animus, not public safety.

  12. The progressive religion adherents hate competition

    1. Pretty much this.
      And blasphemy is still an offense, but the gods are different.

  13. Any opinion held by fucktard Krugman is insane and illegitimate.

    1. You can pretty much take anything he says, do the opposite and you’re good. It’s actually impressive that he can consistently wrong so often.

      1. He was a pretty good economist before he became a liberal mouthpiece for the paper of record.

        1. He was a pretty good economist

          That’s like saying someone is the best retard.
          Has there ever been an economics theory that actually worked?

          1. Has there ever been an economics theory that actually worked?

            Yes but it effectively reduces down to “Economists don’t know what the fuck they’re doing most of the time.”

  14. This is not the fight you want Mario.

  15. He’s absolutely wrong as a matter of religious teachings, legal doctrine, and disease transmission. It’s the trifecta.

    I have been teaching college classes in person the entire semester. 45 times over the past 15 weeks, I have stood in a room filled with young adults (one class was 78 students strong), and there have been absolutely zero classroom transmissions of COVID. Any students that were quarantined or ill contracted their transmission exactly where you’d expect: their dorms, the athletics busses, or off campus.

    People can meet safely and responsibly en masse now that we understand how this illness spreads. And being in community with other people is precisely what we need right now. When you have a community of people who are devoted to keeping their operations open and care for one another’s well being (like a college campus or a church), people will act to keep one another safe and involved.

    There is no rational or legal reason that these people of faith should not meet together. I’m certain they’ll be keeping the safety of their organization and their fellow members in mind.

    Why does Krugman still draw a salary for writing this stuff?

    1. Well said. Are you new here? We could use more posts of this caliber. Helps balance the trolls.

    2. Like I posted the other day, Colorado’s three main outbreak sources the last two months have been nursing homes, prisons, and college campuses. These numbers are posted right on the state’s COVID website, so they are being commendably transparent in how they’ve gathered and broken the numbers down.

      It’s pretty clear, based on that massive sample, that this is a disease that spreads primarily through large groups of people who are clustered together for days at a time, including older populations who are already suffering from severe health problems. This recent effort at blaming “small gatherings” was made and spread through the media without any real, actual evidence whatsoever.

      1. And what really matters is not “cases” but those who suffer extreme illness or die. Thus an increase in COVID on campus is not a big deal, at least compared to flare-ups in nursing homes. And the restrictions imposed should not be the same.

  16. This is a new low even for Krugman. Surely he cannot have given much thought to his analogy. He might be a jackass and authoritarian leftist but he’s not an idiot. Well, he is now.

    1. If you look in Krugman’s weekend closet you’ll see several fedoras, a black denim duster, three Darwinfish t-shirts, two pairs of cargo shorts and several socks with sandals combos.

    2. He’s been an idiot for a LONG time. Don’t forget his advocacy of the real estate bubble to remedy the dot com bubble.

      -jcr

  17. Remember, kids: Trump is the one who’s rhetoric divides us.

    1. At least some progressives are starting to realize this isn’t completely true. I’ve read several articles lately from progressive publications bemoaning the election results and loss of blue collar workers, almost universally they admit their rhetoric and echo chamber is the cause, but they still are parroting that it isn’t their policies but the rhetoric. Thus, nicer messaging will convince the uneducated masses to let the educated class do what is best for us, because we aren’t smart enough to do it on our own. At least they’ve done a little introspection maybe admitting their policies aren’t popular because people don’t like them is a step to far yet.

      1. They will never realize that their policies are as much of a problem as the rhetoric.

        1. No, they just don’t care.
          Being a devout progressive of the herd (not master) caste is about Being Good via motive, not effect. Taking effects into account jeopardizes the value of motive, thus is a threat to Being Good.
          It’s much like a jealous lover who kills his beloved because he loves her so much – fundamentally narcissistic.

  18. I like how Krugman’s phrase “Trump-packed court” goes completely unchallenged. You can see how the manipulation of the narrative will go… “Yes, the Democrats packed the court, but really the Republicans actually did it first…” as the proggies try to Obi Wan gaslight us with “from a certain point of view”.

    1. Yes, when did using his Constitutional authority to appoint replacements to the USAF become packing the courts? Did they call it attempting packing the courts when Obama nominated a progressive to replace a constitutional originalist? Thank God McConnell gambled and didn’t bring it to a vote. And you know if they had voted and defeated Garland, the proggies would be crying that they shouldn’t vote against Saint Barry’s nominee and they did it because they’re all racists.

  19. Okay, no dumping whatever Krugman’s wife feeds him into reservoirs. Got it.

  20. Cuomo’s restrictions on religious gatherings were much more onerous than the rules for myriad secular activities that pose similar risks of virus transmission

    The problem with Gorsuch’s concurrence is that it simply assumes that statement, rather than engaging with the evidence either way. Or, to put it another way, he was trying to make policy rather than enforce law.

    1. To be more precise, Gorsuch assumed the “similar risk” part. There is plenty of reason to suppose that the risks are far from similar. And there is additional reason to think that judging those risks is not the job of the judicial branch.

      1. No cases linked to the Catholic diocese because of their precautions, so the risk appears very minimal to non existent.

    2. Considering the evidence that churches are a significant outbreak vector for COVID has been a months-long exercise in question-begging, Gorsuch’s argument stands.

    3. Option 1: Gorsuch came to a conclusion ahead of time and tuned out. A conclusion that the other justices agreed with him on.

      Option 2: bratschewurst is worse at this “I’m a reporter. I report the truth.” schtick than Boehm.

  21. https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/head-irans-nuclear-weapons-project-assassinated

    “Iran accused Israel and the U.S. of organizing the assassination of one of its top nuclear scientists on Friday and vowed revenge, sharply escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf in the final weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was the head of research and innovation at Iran’s Ministry of Defense, and was also viewed internationall as the head of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. He was killed close to the Damavand campus of Islamic Azad University, about 60 kilometers east of central Tehran, Iran’s Tasnim news reported.”

    1. Killing civilians == Narz pron

      1. You’re mourning the hit on a nuclear weapons developer for the Iranian regime?

        1. All I said was that killing gives you wood. Whatever you read into that about me is all in your imagination.

          1. Insight is not something you’ll ever, or often, be credited with having.

      2. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was an officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

        He was not a civilian.

        1. You really don’t expect sarc to know about anything before posting some nag, do you?

        2. Did not know that. Apologies to.. naw fuck it. I don’t apologize to assholes.

          1. As evidence by your rampant self hatred?

          2. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was not a civilian regardless of whether I’m an asshole.

            1. I’d never call you an asshole, Ken. I meant Nardz.

              1. You mean yourself, but you can’t admit it to yourself.
                Sadly, you’ll probably never work this shit out either.

        3. Turns out being a revolutionary guards officer working on a secret nuclear weapons program is a dangerous occupation.

          Who would have thunk it?

        4. Also, head of R&D in the Ministry of Defense. We’d certainly be irate, but it’s not like libertarians would be unequivocally advocating war if the head of the DoD’s dronesassination program choked on some polonium.

          Blow up a federal building or kill 9 churchgoers we might insist on putting a needle in their arm, but it’s not like we haven’t shrugged off the deaths of American journalists, ambassadors, or Easter worshippers.

      3. A Brigadier general in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is a “civilian”

        What is this, I don’t even…

      4. Iran has been at war with the USA since 1979. Look it up. Just because the USA doesnt reciprocate endless war with Persia, does mean we cannot fight back here and there.

        Dont declare war on the USA if you cannot handle losing to the UsA.

    2. https://twitter.com/omriceren/status/1332415242479996931?s=19

      Some enterprising journalist should ask John Brennan if this tweet constitutes a Logan Act violation by John Brennan according to the standards articulated over the last four years by John Brennan.

      “This was a criminal act & highly reckless. It risks lethal retaliation & a new round of regional conflict.
      Iranian leaders would be wise to wait for the return of responsible American leadership on the global stage & to resist the urge to respond against perceived culprits.”

      1. It’s certainly aid and comfort.

        But for some reason Snowden is a traitor and Brennan walks free.

      2. You didn’t notice the sweet-ass AP comment on the news?

        An Iranian scientist that Israel alleged led the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program before it was disbanded has been killed in a shootout, Iranian state television said.

        So there is no Iranian nuclear program and we have no idea who the head of such a program might have been.

        1. At least they didn’t call him an “austere religious scholar” or “popular general” this time…

    3. If people don’t want to be targeted for assassination by Israel because they’re trying to help Israel’s greatest enemy develop nuclear weapons, there’s an easy way to avoid that.

      Don’t try to help Israel’s greatest enemy develop nuclear weapons.

      1. But muh libertarianism!

      2. Why does Iran see Israel as a threat? They had good relations in the past.

        I think for several reasons. Iran still believes in the Shia revolution to become the dominant power. It does this through groups like Hezbolla and Israel stands in its way.

        They also see Israel as an American proxy due to the strong alliance between the two. America is what stands in the way in its goals of taking control of the Middle East. Threatening Israel is an indirect way of threatening the US.

        What is remarkable is that the Israelis have repeatedly attacked the Iranians in Syria and they have done almost nothing about it. This is far from the first such operation on Iranian soil. Israel has them by the short hairs. Israel can tell you what Rouhani had for breakfast.

        Iran is weak and nukes are a way to fix that.

    4. Gotta hand it to Mossad for the incredible job they do of impeding the goatfuckers’ efforts to obtain nuclear weapons.

      -jcr

      1. I’d say this is arguably the first real fruit of those recognition agreements between Israel and Saudi Arabia/UAE that were signed this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was actually coordinated between those three nations rather than Israel and the US, and all they did was give us a heads-up.

        1. Good eye.
          Israel gives the Saudis a bit more bite than they’ve had before. No accident that this happened so soon after the recent Houthi attack.

          1. Real Libertarians would do well to learn that coincident interests and a common enemy/threat can be a very solid foundation for friendship/cooperation.

        2. I don’t know. They have done this many times. Possibly they got some intel help from the US. Mossad does the wet work. The timing is probably because Trump is still in office so Biden doesn’t have to deal with it.

  22. More and more its almost enough to make me wish for a terrorist A-bomb “incident” in NYC.

      1. aka “skin cancer inducing robots”

        1. Skin cancer is a small price to pay to keep people from catching a cold!

    1. Can’t be dependent on the state if you’re allowed to own a home. Kommunalka to the rescue.

  23. The idea that other people’s rights should only be protected insofar as they do nothing that might negatively impact other people is garbage.

    Practically everything we do (or don’t do) negatively impacts somebody in some way. Every time you decide not to order a pizza, you’re hurting someone to some extent.

    The real standard is that we should all be free to do as we please so long as we don’t violate someone’s rights. Everyone who wishes to cloister themselves in fear should be free to do so–even if they’re hurting the economy by isolating themselves.

    1. But what about the “right” to happy feelings? Certainly, I have the right to never be afraid, no matter how irrational my fears might be.

      1. Rights are the obligation to respect other people’s choices.

        Insofar as feeling happy is a right, we’re all obligated to respect your choice to feel happy.

        If you choose to feel sad, that’s also your right.

        1. Ah, but the Kingdom of Heaven is not within you, the Kingdom of Heaven is Caesar’s…

    2. “The real standard is that we should all be free to do as we please so long as we don’t violate someone’s rights.”

      I strongly agree.

      Unfortunately, those who voted for Biden and other Democrats do not recognize that standard, as they keep voting for politicians who have violated that standard every day since they took an oath to uphold the US Constitution.

      1. MAGA wet mop needed on aisle four, next to the Dr Trump Salve, Lindsey Graham bumper sticker bushels and Billy Graham Thanksgiving Toothpicks (made from The True Cross for the Truly Cross).

        1. What’s Hank taking. It’s got to be something.

    3. So Ken can I drive drunk so long as I don’t get into an accident? Where is the boundary here?

      There will always be gray areas. Risk is difficult to assess. My work in medicine is a constant risk/benefit analysis dealing with uncertainty. Cant pretend to have all the answers. No computer or statistical model will tell you. You need to take responsibility for that.

      1. So Ken can I drive drunk so long as I don’t get into an accident?

        From whence would one derive the right to use public thoroughfares as one sees fit, unencumbered by rules and regulations thereon?

        1. Good question. Is the crowded sidewalk different than the street? Arguably not.

          The drunk driver has not harmed anyone – yet. The drunk diver is a potential hazard. The drunk driver differs in that he knows he is drunk. In this case it is more complicated. I may not know I am a disease vector.

          Now step off the sidewalk into the cafe. The cafe consists of customers and workers any one of which may be a vector for a deadly virus. The virus has no distinctions. Customers and workers are both at risk. I have no way of knowing if I then can infect others. Takes a week or two to even develop symptoms.

          Then I walk out to the public space and we are full circle. Choice is not an issue because it is not my own risk only, it is unknown potential risk to others.

          Because the disease has no boundaries what use is it to discuss public and private space in such a situation. At best we can talk consequences. That is where we begin to define such things as public policy.

          In this case science has a large degree of uncertainty here. At best a pragmatic empirical approach is best. Don’t be a schmuck. Wash your hands, take distance and reasonable precautions. Life goes on so do that.

          1. Good question.

            Yes it was…and yet you never even attempted to address it.

            Is the crowded sidewalk different than the street? Arguably not.

            That would be a pretty moronic argument. There aren’t many multi-ton piles of iron zooming down sidewalks at speeds of tens of miles per hour (or more)….except for a few piloted by homicidal maniacs and drunk drivers.

            The drunk driver differs in that he knows he is drunk.

            You clearly have not been around many drunks.

            1. Yes I did.

              Your answer to my question was

              “From whence would one derive the right to use public thoroughfares as one sees fit, unencumbered by rules and regulations thereon?”

              My answer is there is no such right when considering relative risk. There are only consequential considerations.

      2. So Ken can I drive drunk so long as I don’t get into an accident?

        This has been a pretty solidly libertarian “Yes.” as far as I can remember. We all know people who’ve killed more people and broken more laws sober behind the wheel than some who drive intoxicated, if not drunk. The standard should be commission of an infraction not the marginally increased probability of committing an infraction. Given that you’re not even allowed to touch your phone in several states of both colors, I think we’ve erred exceedingly far into the side of caution.

        1. We all know people who’ve killed more people and broken more laws sober behind the wheel than some who drive intoxicated, if not drunk. The standard should be commission of an infraction not the marginally increased probability of committing an infraction.

          FFS, this has been a decent portion of the argument in favor of marijuana legalization; that we’re unable to precisely quantify what defintively constitutes “stoned”.

  24. https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1332169019143704579.html

    A few (of over a hundred) Michigan Exhibits from @SidneyPowell1 legal filing

  25. https://twitter.com/smartmatic/status/613378731298680832?s=19

    Our CEO introduces @BillGates to Smartmatic’s efforts to improve elections around the world. At the @GlblCtzn meeting

  26. https://twitter.com/ConceptualJames/status/1332457623933898752?s=19

    New England Journal of Medicine recommending reparations while also saying they won’t achieve their intended goal, meaning they’re not enough. Such. a. grift.

    Every editor encouraging this should give away all they own or recuse over conflict of interest.

  27. https://twitter.com/RepThomasMassie/status/1332467695606968326?s=19

    Which immunity is superior?

    Vaccines shown to be 70-90% effective at 7-14 days based on a few hundred cases of COVID-19.

    or

    Natural Immunity shown to be 99.999% effective at 8 months based on a few million cases.

    1. Much as the idiots like to talk up herd immunity, they like to ignore cross-reactivity/partial immunity as well. Naturally contracting COVID-19 likely produces immunity to other coronaviruses as well. The vaccine almost certainly doesn’t.

  28. Krugman’s record of correct predictions approaches the records of Ehrlich and Mann.
    And all three continue to get ink, ’cause they’re ‘sciency’!

    1. To state the obvious, they get ink because they supply apocalypse porn and cater to certain political ideologies.

  29. Correct me if I am wrong folks but doesn’t Krugman want to mint a trillion dollar fiat coin to payoff debt with China?

    I am almost tempted to search the NYT archives to see if Krugman penned a letter to Cuomo after his COVID orders actually killed people in nursing homes. Kidding. We all know he didn’t.

  30. Krugman’s wife edits his columns to make them more controversial.

    1. She’ll be running off with a mathematician soon enough.

      1. Like the Krugster isn’t making her bring home big bucks while he hides in the closest tugging it.

  31. I would argue with the premise of your article, that Krugman thinks holding church services is like dumping neurotoxins in a public reservoir. He thinks no such thing, he merely says so in order to talk shit about the things he hates. The fact that he’s not bitching about Cuomo murdering people by lifting the church sanctions prove this. He’s just Grandpa Simpson shaking his fist at the clouds at this point, a senile old man ranting about imaginary shit.

    1. Is this the same Krugman who won the Nobel Prize for economics? Not the Nobel Peace Prize, which is a Miss Universe pageant for politicians, but an actual prize for mathematical stuff. I wonder if it’s the same guy…

      In my experience, very bright people don’t need to prove their smarts to anyone, they’re too confident in their intellectual gifts for that. But they are uncomfortable being seen as stupid. So if there’s a subject they aren’t knowledgeable about, they tend to be reticent rather than risk saying something that will make others look at them and laugh, thinking, “Wow. I’d heard this guy was smart, but he seems dumber than most.”

      It’s incredible that he can sound this idiotic and not feel the least bit self-conscious about it. Did he suffer a traumatic brain injury or something?

      1. an actual prize for mathematical stuff

        It hasn’t ever been that. There’s a Nobel prize for mathematics. The Swedish bankers’ prize isn’t it.

        Regrettably, Hayek once accepted Swedish bankers’ prize, conferring a prestige upon it that it never warranted.

        -jcr

        1. Nobel’s squeeze ran off with a mathematician. That there is no Nobel prize for math has spared mathematicians a lot of embarrassment. The story–told by a UT Prof. in class–is, of course now fact-Chechened, pee-revued and flagged on socialized media.

  32. The Supremes got the right answer

    1. They basically told Cuomo to Stop! In the name of love.

  33. “RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew into Saudi Arabia last weekend for a secret nighttime rendezvous with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, he and his allies in Washington hoped to win assurances that a normalization deal between the two longtime Middle East rivals was in reach, Saudi advisers and U.S. officials said.

    . . . .

    But Prince Mohammed pulled back from a deal, according to the Saudi advisors and U.S. officials, largely because of the U.S. election result. Saudi aides said the prince, eager to build ties with the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden, was reluctant to take the step now, when he could use a deal later to help cement relations with the new American leader.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/secret-meeting-in-desert-between-israeli-saudi-leaders-failed-to-reach-normalization-agreement-11606508754?

    President Trump losing reelection fucked up so many good things in so many ways, it’s heartbreaking.

    1. We haven’t even seen the start of it yet.
      Some of us have seen what’s coming, to greater and lesser extent.

      1. Narcz, Der Fuehrer’s own personal Nostradamus!

    2. I like the way the media was honest and fairminded, covering this as the important story of international relations that it is….

      Oh, wait. That didn’t happen. In fact, if not for Ken, I would not have known about it. Thanks WSJ. And thanks Ken.

    3. Trump lost thanks to infiltration of the GOP by girl-bullying prohibitionist rednecks with green teeth. But I am in favor of all such infiltrators having holy-roller in the clover orgy services and Mazola parties with no masks or rubbers at the Landover Baptist Church in Freehold, Iowa with Billy Graham and Ted Haggard as special guests.

      1. girl-bullying

        Is Hank Sarcasmic’s drunk nick?

    4. “BIRMINGHAM, Alabama, Ku-klux Ken weeps at wailing wall over missed opportunity for Army of God alliance with Islamic State monarchy,” U.S. officials said. Neil Young albums burned in protest at nearby park.

  34. Every agnostic and atheist should support this and any “separation of state and church” ruling. Remembering freedom of religion is also freedom from religion.

    1. Freedom from religion does not mean freedom from seeing (or even thinking) that others practice religion.

      If you demand a society without religion for anyone, you are just as big an asshole as those pushing theocracy.

      1. I don’t think that was the point at all.

    2. This atheist strongly supports the “separation of state and church”.

      Unfortunately, religious fundamentalists (and most folks who are religious) vehemently oppose the separation of state and church because they’ve been lobbying government officials (and voters) to impose their religious viewpoints on everyone else (including all atheists) for many centuries.

      Those who believe America is One Nation Under God have no respect for the US Constitution or the separation of church and state.

      1. Secular, business, consumer and individual gatherings deserve the same rights and protections under the US Constitution as do people attending church and other religious gatherings.

        1. Nice bullshit generalization there. Group 60% of thble country into a cariflcagure and then demonize them. Way to show tolerance for those who believe differently than you.

      2. Examples, dilettante?

      3. religious fundamentalists (and most folks who are religious) vehemently oppose the separation of state and church because they’ve been lobbying government officials (and voters) to impose their religious viewpoints on everyone else (including all atheists) for many centuries

        Desiring and attempting to use the power of the state to impose one’s views on the public at large is not a feature of being religious, but of being authoritarian…a human trait that manifests itself in abundance among believers and non-believers alike.

      4. Those who believe America is One Nation Under God have no respect for the US Constitution

        “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” asshole.
        You douchebags always ignore that part when you’re trying to stamp out public expressions of faith.

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  36. I don’t think it was random to compare a religion’s holding of services to a fictional one wanting to kill with neurotoxins; he’s clearly showing that he believes faith of any kind is toxic to the brain. I and many other people do not agree with that. If that’s his ideological underpinning, though, it weakens the rest of his argument because it shows that he’s predisposed not to like religion and might like to see churches undermined for that reason alone.

    Of course, beyond that speculation, the analogy was ridiculous because people voluntarily choose to attend religious services and incur whatever risk that entails. I choose to ride a motorcycle. That’s probably still riskier than going to church.

    The thing we really have to keep in mind as Americans is this: Folks like Krugman are enraged that issues such as this haven’t already been settled in favor of government’s ability to dominate the individual. It has been across most of the planet. We’re an outlier. Very important for us to stay vigilant and keep it that way. Even during a pandemic. Especially during a pandemic, actually. And if you look at the countries that have gladly mowed down individual liberties ostensibly to control the pandemic, several have fatality levels higher than the United States.

    1. To put it simply, the primacy of the individual over the state is the true American exceptionalism. And yes, plenty of people want to destroy this.

      We really need to find a way to encourage people who want to live more authoritarian and socialist to find their place elsewhere in the world.

      1. There are still a few other countries, such as Switzerland, where individual liberties are valued. But, not many.

        1. There are no Swiss troops in Afghanistan.

          1. There are no Swiss troops in Afghanistan.

            There are no Swiss troops at all.

            1. There are no Swiss troops at all.

              That would come as a real shock to the > 100,000 active duty members of the Swiss Armed Forces.

        2. Ummm no

          Here are a few things to get you started.

          It is forbidden to jaywalk or cross the street on a red light. If you are caught by the police, a fine for jaywalking will be imposed on the spot
          Drug possession is also taken very seriously and there are heavy penalties, jail sentences and fines depending on the type of narcotic found
          Taking drugs across an international border automatically constitutes drug trafficking and has a heavy penalty
          There is a mutual respect for neighbors in Switzerland. This can be taken to extreme lengths, for example, many towns have special party houses in woodlands where people can host events to avoid making noise where they live and disturb their neighbors
          Sundays are taken as particularly sacrosanct, and it is forbidden to use a washing machine or a lawnmower so that the neighborhood is not disturbed. Many who work as concierge at hotels or hostels have become frustrated when foreign travelers ask to wash their clothes on a Sunday – so keep this in mind
          The Swiss like the neighborhood to be tidy, and each citizen must keep their home in order. The police have been known to visit homes where washing is not hung out tidily enough on the line
          Good Samaritan laws are in place in Switzerland, so if you see something bad happen or someone is in trouble, the least you must do is call the police (dial 117). If you do not even try to help out, you could be in trouble
          During winter it is a citizen’s responsibility to clear ice and snow from their paths so that people do not fall or slip. If the neighbor is elderly or ill, it is the responsibility of the other neighbors to clear their paths.

          It goes way past that. Switzerland is one of the most regulated places on the planet.

    2. he’s clearly showing that he believes faith of any kind is toxic to the brain.

      Well, since his religion is exactly that, I can see why he would make that assumption. Socialism is a mental cancer.

      -jcr

  37. Krugman is doing the journalistic equivalent of “bad standup.”

  38. Why won’t this terrible little man go away? The good die young they say …. Paul Krugman will live forever.

  39. Krugman is hateful, unpleasant scum. His idiocy and vile statements define the cesspool of propaganda that the NYT has become.

    1. The conscience of a liberal described very well.

  40. These attendance caps look silly in other arenas as well. College basketball just got started, and some states have crazy restrictions. In North Carolina the governor limited attendance, so the 22,000 seat basketball arena on the campus was almost entirely empty.

    One could have set a reasonable standard – like attendee groups must be able to distance by more than 6 feet during the game/performance. But they didn’t do that. So the UNC athletic department limited attendance to families and a handful of others. The entire upper deck was empty, and most of the lower deck was empty.

    The same thing happened at the UNC/ND football game. Large chunks of the stadium went unused, as arbitrary number limits rather than distancing limits ruled the day. Even sillier in this case, because the event was held outdoors.

    It really would be nice if our government were run by people who could make honest, rational decisions… and change their mind when confronted with better information. But then again, they are chosen by us, so what do you really expect?

  41. Ruth Bader Ginsburg dying when she did was one of the greatest blessings our country has received in decades. It gave us the first pro-Constitution Supreme Court of my lifetime!

    About the only thing that could top that would be Clarence Thomas retiring in the next few days to allow his replacement to be approved by Trump as a final parting “fuck you” to the left.

    1. It’s fate and destiny.

    2. That would be AMAZING!

    3. I second that. Thomas turned out to be another girl-bullying creep like Rehnquist.

      1. how so, intellectual lightweight?….explain in detail..(this will be humorous, lol)

  42. Krugman has been an arrogant asshole for a long time. His Nobel only made him more so.

  43. religious expression is explicitly protected, even more specifically than the general idea of free speech….. and that is an important right to withhold any ability to infringe on from the government. the government cannot dictate anything to churches.

    that said….. if you are using your freedom to chose to gather indoors with hundreds or thousands of people right now…. you are a fucking jackass, and it is likely to create problems. the bible directs Christians to honor the sabbath, but that is not defined anywhere as gathering in large groups indoors. if i remember correctly, Jesus defined it as anything more than one person in any place. churches are streaming services. you do not need to be at one to worship and express your beliefs. god never commanded anyone to be irresponsible or put other people at risk.

    1. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25

      To your first paragraph’s point, the onus needs to be on the government to prove the need for restrictions. The assertion that “it is likely to create problems” is empty. Most Churches have been meeting since April or May. Without some solid evidence that it’s a vector for death. the Government has no business telling them they can’t do it.
      Likewise, I’d appreciate you letting me live my life the way I see fit. You take responsibility for your own safety. I’ll do the same for mine. 🙂

      1. The assertion that “it is likely to create problems” is empty.

        “Oh, very well. Our scientific data show that the probability of creating problems is 0.85.”

      2. Matthew 18:20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” sorry…. god does not say it has to be a large group. saying you should interact with someone is not saying you must interact with everyone. god is cool with small gatherings…. he never said they must be big ones.

        as for your claims of churches not being problems….. yeah, gonna have to call BS on that one.

        https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article246965397.html

        you might want to check that no church has been connected to a big spread in the last couple weeks before you say some BS like that….

        1. You know what the fallacy of the lonely fact is, fuckwad?

          1. you know damn well this is happening in more than one church.

    2. if you are using your freedom to chose to gather indoors with hundreds or thousands of people right now…. you are a fucking jackass

      “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”, dickhead.

      1. what part of “the government cannot dictate anything to churches ” was hard for your stupid ass to understand? how is it so hard for you fucktards to understand that i will defend your right to do what you see fit, even as i tell you you are fucking stupid if you use that freedom to make stupid choices?

        1. “…how is it so hard for you fucktards to understand that i will defend your right to do what you see fit, even as i tell you you are fucking stupid if you use that freedom to make stupid choices?..”

          Hard enough, since you couch your claims of wonderfulness under so many piles of shit.

    3. “if you are using your freedom to chose to gather indoors with hundreds or thousands of people right now…. you are a fucking jackass”

      Using the government to tell the children and grandchildren of holocaust survivors that they can’t get together and celebrate Jewish religious traditions–and then expecting them not to complain about it?

      That’s a dick move, too.

      1. READ THE WHOLE FUCKING COMMENT.

        i very explicitly said that the government cannot do anything to restrict this…. you can be a fucking idiot…. and you need to be prepared for people telling you you are an idiot when it happens.

        1. Oh, yes, you hope your later coda means your prior bullshit is irrelevant.
          Please tell us, oh steaming pile of shit, whether we should read the first part of your bullshit or the later.
          Let’s make this easy:
          Your an asshole and the world would be better off if you were to fuck off and die.

          1. “i want to ignore what you actually said so i can call you an asshole.”

            fuck off, troll.

  44. They’re gonna trigger another woodchipper incident.

  45. Paul Krugman is repugnant and repulsive.

  46. Did he say the same thing about BLM protests? No? Oh, well, then. Krugman is a lying douchebag, whose voice carries weight with other lying douchebags.

  47. “Suppose I adhere to a religion whose rituals include dumping neurotoxins into public reservoirs. Does the principle of religious freedom give me the right to do that?”

    “Suppose I adhere to a religion whose rituals include marrying multiple partners. Does the principle of religious freedom give me the right to do that?”

    “Suppose I adhere to a religion whose rituals include ingesting a psychoactive substance. Does the principle of religious freedom give me the right to do that?”

    1. The answer sheet for the Rich quiz is:
      A. Only in Guyana
      B. Yes
      C. Yes, repeat, Maybe (See UDV USA v. John Ashcroft et al, CIV. No. 00-1647 JP/RLP) Prel. Injunction under RFRA granted

      1. ^ this.

        1. See below, oh, hypothetical fantasist.

    2. Why is the idea that we should be free to do as we please so long as you don’t violate anyone else’s rights so hard to understand?

    3. Suppose I drag up all sorts of hypotheticals. Does that make me as brain-dead as Rich?
      Hint: Your bullshit says nothing at all regarding A1, but it says a LOT about you.

  48. Too bad Owsley isn’t around anymore. Still, one has the right to hope headlines will someday shriek that another champion of freedom has finally dosed the water dispensers at the NYT. Where are the Merry Pranksters of yesteryear?

  49. after reading Krugman and then the Jeff Sachs article, i could not decide who was the bigger intellectual dilettante…it was a race of the damned

  50. Don’t you love how the decisions are so wishy washy and just can’t bring themselves to actually making one.
    Of course it’s an absolute Constitutional violation of the religious freedom clause.
    There is zero doubt about that. Zero. None.
    But of course, in order to keep all the explosive danders down and the endless lawsuits tamped, a sort of half baked stoner who isn’t really sure about anything judgement, along with outright liars in the opposition, is certainly par for the miscourse.

  51. No matter the problem, government repression is always the answer.

  52. They used to feature the photo of Krugman with his hands around the neck of a fluffy little cat.

    I guess he finally tightened his grip because they don’t have any new photos with the cat.

  53. Paul Krugman is a tiny little man in size and intellect. He has never ever been correct about anything

  54. I am not sure which is worse, politicians or academics when it comes to pronouncements on things in which they have no qualifications. The self importance would be stunning if it was not so disgusting.

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  56. he’s clearly showing that he believes faith of any kind is toxic to the brain.

    Well, since his religion is exactly that, I can see why he would make that assumption. Socialism is a mental cancer.
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