Government mandates

COVID Revealed America To Be a Nation of Rulers, Not of Laws

Life is returning to "normal" after two years, but that normal includes even fewer limits on executive powers.

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"The United States is a nation of laws, badly written and randomly enforced," noted the late musician and satirist Frank Zappa. I often think of that snarky comment as I write about the sausage-making process in city councils, state legislatures, and the federal government. Did I mention that California's state government has 518 agencies, boards, and commissions?

Our system of checks, balances, more checks, additional balances, impact reports, legal challenges, voter initiatives, regulatory rulemakings, and administrative hearings frustrates people who want to "get something done." Americans spent $14 billion on the 2020 election cycle to influence political outcomes—and that was just for the presidential and congressional races.

I once ran a modest state bill to reduce the insanely onerous licensing regulations for people who shampoo hair at salons. After months of hearings and debate, the Assembly defeated it for going too far. That explains the public's desire to cut through the red tape and, as Arnold Schwarzenegger once promised, "blow up the boxes" of government.

Yet after COVID-19, it's obvious our democratic system of lawmaking is, as Winston Churchill put it, "the worst form of government, except for all the others." Given the choice between a system resembling a Rube Goldberg cartoon (with his bizarre and overly complex contraptions designed to complete simple tasks) and one that's streamlined and efficient, I'll take Goldberg's vision any day.

As we saw throughout the country but in California in particular, governors were happy to dispense with the usual checks and balances and impose rules by executive order and fiat. Some initial rules were defensible during a public-health crisis, but it wasn't long before elected officials operated like czars—imposing illogical and contradictory restrictions that made no rhyme or reason.

They kept moving the goalposts. One day, counties were on lockdown based on such and such infection rates, but the next day standards changed. In September 2020, for instance, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a re-opening blueprint based on COVID cases per 100,000 population, but then he refused to let counties that met the standard to loosen up their rules.

"A week after announcing the new blueprint, Newsom announced that the state would actually adjust those raw numbers using an algorithm based on testing rates," according to an NPR report. "Each county's case rate gets bumped up or down depending on how their testing rates compare to other counties." Californians got the sneaking suspicion we simply were subject to the whims of the king.

I viewed the pandemic as serious, but it became obvious that many rules the governor imposed had nothing to do with containing the virus. Governors (and not just Newsom) and federal regulators followed the Rahm Emanuel school of thought ("Never allow a good crisis to go to waste")—and used the pandemic to impose policies they always supported but could never pass via the usual channels.

"Newsom has used his executive authority to shut down businesses, move local elections to vote-by-mail, accelerate spending on homeless shelters, alter court proceedings and provide benefits for essential workers," according to an April 2020 Politico report appropriately headlined, "Newsom executive orders test constitutional bounds—and legislative goodwill."

The previous month, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R–Rocklin) published a 138-page document detailing the 400 laws the governor had unilaterally changed following his State of Emergency declaration. "Our founders had good reasons for rejecting autocratic models of government in favor of separation of powers, checks and balances, and the rule of law—all of which Gavin Newsom has discarded," Kiley wrote.

Kiley and Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City, challenged this in court, arguing the 1970 California Emergency Services Act does not give the governor authority to "legislate by unilaterally amending existing statutory law." The specific issue centered on the governor's decision to send vote-by-mail ballots to all of the state's voters—a good idea, in my view, but one that should have taken place by normal legislative action.

The Sutter County court sided with the Assembly members, although the decision didn't affect the election because the Legislature approved vote-by-mail after Newsom's order. That in itself proved that such executive actions often were inappropriate. There was plenty of time to pass the measure correctly, but Newsom preferred to impose the measure with a stroke of his pen.

An appeals court sided with the governor and found the emergency act gave him vast authority—including the "police power" to create new law. The California Supreme Court let the appeals court decision stand, meaning that in any declared emergency the governor can do whatever he deems appropriate without serious checks or balances.

Last month, Newsom mercifully lifted the vast majority of edicts and orders—but the precedent has been set for future emergencies. There are no real limits on executive power. Life is returning to normal after two long years, but I might never again complain about our convoluted democratic process.

This column was first published in The Orange County Register.

NEXT: Supreme Court Reminds Us That the Best Answer to Unwanted Speech Is More Speech

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  1. Two tin-pot-dictator wannabes doing their version of the Chicken Dance.

    1. Exactly. Except it's not as much fun to watch when I haven't had a crapton of beer first.

      It's one of the most maddening bits of proof that the very people who are dictating our behavior do not understand the 'rona.

      Covid spreads via aerosols, not fomites. We've known this for nearly 2 years now, though it was not known at first. But this "don't shake hands" think persists, even though it makes you bring your faces CLOSER together than if you just reach out and shake hands like normal people.

      Anyone who elbow bumps instead of shaking hands has no business telling me when to wear a mask or any other way to mitigate exposure.

      1. Just last month I entered a business in California that asked all its patrons to use hand sanitizer at the door. (Admittedly, I have come across few to none that required it even from 2021-22.) I was informed that it was for safety. When I mentioned that Covid is spread through the air, not surfaces, the clerk treated me like I was some kind of simpleton conspiracy theorist. I decided not to do business there.

        It was a comic book store and I was looking for supplies related to storing collectibles. Their customers are constantly touching the plastic sleeves the books are stored in - maybe they want their customers' hand to be cleaner, but disinfecting does not stop Covid. You can't introduce scientific information to these people - they've never read an article on the subject, they just do what those around them tell them to do.

        1. As SiC mentions, the lack of contact spread had been noted long ago, and yet the warnings regarding hand sanitizing are still, to this day, included in the CA gov PSA TV ads.
          Been ignoring that bit of religious ritual since it was clear that it had no practical effect, and it falls in the bucket with praying.
          I've also walked out of businesses which require it; doing my bit to educate the public by helping put such idiots out of business.

        2. You think the virus does not attach to surfaces? Always the people talking down to others that are the biggest morons.

          1. Always ignorant asshole making ignorant claims.
            Fuck off and die.

      2. They fully understand how the 'rona spreads. They simply do not care.

        It is an excuse to impose rules on you that they could not otherwise. Get used to it because that was the whole point.

    2. What dumbasses thought this country was ever ruled by anything but rulers?!?

      Maybe you are one because you think there are only "two."

      1. What a fucking ignoramus we have here!
        Fuck off and die, asshole.

    3. Covid proved to the world that America is a nation of fools and morons.

      The world is pleased that America is dead as a nation.

      1. Yeah, that's obvious since everyone is leaving the US and no one is trying to get in, right you fucking imbecile?

  2. Vote everyone out, every time.

    1. I thought I did, but how can I be sure?

    2. See, this is why we need to Fortify Our Democracy against Meddling by the voters.

      1. Some of us are fortunate to live in states that have reined in executive power. California goes the opposite way. Big surprise.

    3. YES and maybe, MAYBE it will make a difference.

    4. Corporate rule is the way to go.

  3. The commenter said this way back on 2020. Editors not so much

    1. Yeah, I was gonna say "took you long enough"

  4. And yet, you can elect new leaders. The people chose not to so maybe your viewpoint just isn't as widely celebrated as you think?

    1. More adults identify as Republican or lean Republican than Democrat or lean Democrat.

      https://news.gallup.com/poll/388781/political-party-preferences-shifted-greatly-during-2021.aspx

      1. "More adults identify as Republicans."

        Everyone is jumping on the Clown Car party Bus, hoping to get their Clown Car ride before it's wheels fall completely off.

        The world is laughing at the Failed American state.

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        2. No, most of the world is laughing at fucking imbeciles like you.

    2. Or maybe incumbents win 90% of the time because the system is stacked in their favor.

      1. The problem is that Our Guy may be a rat, but he's OUR rat, and while people generally object to rats in the abstract they are surprisingly okay with or even supportive of THEIR rat.

        1. It's not like it really matters. The problem isn't so much that voters vote for incumbents. The problem is the kind of people attracted to the job. "Throw the bums out!" don't mean shit when they're just going to be replaced by more bums.

          1. Yep. The required personal characteristics are the same - party, gender, race doesn’t matter.

            1. Must be shameless. Have to be able to repeat obvious falsehoods without any sign of doubt.

            2. Must have an uncontrollable urge to tell other people what to do. Why bear the time, cost, and aggravation to run for office to simply leave people alone?

            1. I've met a few politicians and I always felt a little grimy after. Like I was in the presence of something disgusting and the smell had gotten into my clothes.

        2. I say this all the time, BUT the voters could vote their rat out for a new rat in the primaries and therein lies the problem. They are ALL rats. A better way to say that is they are all humans. So unless you know a super secret human species that is yet undiscovered, there is no solution because humans are the rats!

          1. Personally I think government servants should be chosen by lottery because anyone who wants the job shouldn't have it.

            1. This is worth exploring.

              I lean towards constitutional monarchy because it’s a genetic lottery. Basically, you occasionally end up with someone who doesn’t really want the job but does it well.

              I’m not a particular fan of the 4 year turnaround on policy and I care more about politicians who are tied to and invested in the consequences of their policies far less than I am in democracy.

              But I’d go with your idea.

              1. *than I do democracy*

          2. Please take a LOT of rat poison, asshole.

      2. Maybe Americans are dumber than their own excrement.

        Seems more likely, doesn't it?

        1. Nope, not nearly as dumb as you, turd.

    3. If that was a problem for libertarians, there wouldn't be any libertarians.

    4. And yet, you can elect new leaders. The people chose not to so maybe your viewpoint just isn't as widely celebrated as you think?

      There's an election coming later this year, actually.

      1. It's going to be so much fun watching the truly corrupt Republicans take over the country.

        Hahahahahahahah....

        1. As much fun as watching assholes like you whine and whine.
          Fuck off and die, asshole.

    5. They're not leaders. They're elected representatives and co-equal citizens.

      People who refer to them as "leaders" are the entire problem.

      1. What really gets me is when people talk about the president as the guy who "runs the country." No, dipshit, he's the head of the executive branch of the government that only gets in the way of the people and businesses that run the country.

        1. But humans cannot wrap their heads around that. They actually want dictators because it's easier to understand. They don't even know who their representatives are how on Earth could they blaME THEM?!?

        2. How pathetic it is that businesses run America.

          No wonder why it is in it's grave.

          1. Every interaction with business is voluntary. They don't force people to work for them and they don't force people to buy their products. So the country being run by businesses and the people means it's all cooperative.
            As opposed to government where every interaction involves a threat of force.

            So you'd rather the country be run by fear of violence rather than cooperation?

            1. I wasn't there when I signed the contract allowing Facebook to collect my personal data and place tracking cookies, harvest my HTML canvas data, or serve me ads from their network on third party websites. It must have been on the same day I signed my social contract.

              Never had the government freeze my bank account, sell my personally identifiable information to third parties, allow my identity to be stolen through careless security practices, or prevent me from speaking. I've had businesses do all of those things though. I guess it's a good thing that the national economy is a simplistic as the examples in your middle school economics textbook and the sole book you read on the subject as an adult, written by a man with literally no training of any kind in economics.

              1. What a risible screed. Notice how Facebook was conveniently offered as a "business" example. Pointing to an authoritarian manifestation of Mammon that operates on a global level is hardly a fair representation of what might be achieved by voluntarism. Facebook became the behemoth it is because we, the people -- along with the government -- chose (and still choose) to keep feeding its insatiable avarice.

                And yes, you were there when you "signed the contract allowing Facebook to collect my personal data and place tracking cookies, harvest my HTML canvas data, or serve me ads from their network on third party websites". First of all, read the fine-print of their terms of use and privacy policy. Second of all, how else do you think "free" social media generates revenue for its shareholders?

    6. Appeal to consensus is probably very persuasive with the 5-8 year old little boys with whom you're accustomed to spending most of your time, shreek, but for adults it's pretty transparent.

  5. Newsom announced that the state would actually adjust those raw numbers using an algorithm

    Whenever use of an "algorithm" is proposed, the proposer should be required to publicly explain the logic -- the "science", if you will -- behind it, starting with an elucidation that xi even knows what an algorithm is.

    1. This is Newsom; he heard the word used at a neighboring table at French Laundry and thought it sounded cool.

      1. ^

  6. Vote for fascists, get fascism.
    Every time.

    Welcome to the revolution.

    1. I'm not carrying pictures of Chairman Mao.

      1. If you did you wouldn't make it with anyone anyhow.

      2. We're all doin' what we can

      3. we all want to change the world.

      4. Imagine no possessions.

        1. Life goes on.

        2. You’ll own nothing and be happy.

    2. They ALL are. It is just a matter of THEIR version of the fascist rules

  7. Roundup only happens on alternate Fridays now?

    1. The roundup happens whenever you want it to happen. Unless you read the articles, but who does that?

  8. Are there any greenhut pieces that aren't bloviation start to finish? I I I me me me arbiter of neutrality and all that is correct... His take on some issues in the clearly fucked state of california may be correct -this does not make the narcissistic self-aggrandizing less risible.

  9. A societal and government system based maximum individual autonomy and responsibility, and minimal fundamental rules applied equally to everybody?

    THIS IS NOT HOW MOST PEOPLE THINK!

    Have you ever stumbled into a bunch of 5 year olds inventing their own social system? They create one bizarre rule after another, often arbitrary and contradictory, never the same for everyone, and sometimes just to spite others. Have you ever heard someone say, "There ought to be a law..."? Have you ever felt that if you were in charge, things would be better? Can you imagine any collection of people that does not include one or more tribal groups seeking to push their interests and agenda ahead of others?

    Most people want rulers. They want to rule and be ruled. At best they want to rule others so others do not rule them. They are not subjugated by rulers--they seek them out, and then eagerly yield more autonomy and control.

    1. Most people are not, and never will be, libertarians. Hell, quite a few libertarians aren't even libertarians, they're just in the movement because we have an open bar.

      1. Don't say we.

        Or are you talking from experience of you grifting an open bar?

        You are pretty fucking far from being a libertarian.

      2. Libertarians are traitors and fools.
        Every one of them.

        1. Dude, why are you even here?

    2. “Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

      ― Robert A. Heinlein

      1. I still find it strange you constantly post this quote but haven't seemed to understand the meaning. Your past is riddle with cries of anti conservative hyperbole and calling people you disagree with trump cultists.

    3. Well, that's why the founders tried to be adults and specify and limit what the government could and could not do. Nice try but failing. Too many people want to take other people's stuff and tell them what to do.

      1. Bullshit, the founders made it very easy for the shitshow we have.

      2. The founders created a government where an elite group of land holders ruled over the working class.

        Brilliant system, I'm sure you agree.

        1. They understood that most people are too stupid to usefully participate in public policy decisions.

    4. > Have you ever felt that if you were in charge, things would be better?

      Well, yes, mostly because my one and only position would be to leave each other the fuck alone.

    5. Calvinball.

    6. I agree with this. Libertarianism, which I consider my philosophy (for the most part), is only appealing to that small percentage of people who don't want to rule and don't want to be ruled.

  10. 14 epochs to flatten the curve.

  11. > A Nation of Rulers, Not of Laws

    This is a concept that many people fail to grasp. I'm on another forum for an otherwise intelligent libertarian leaning conservative thinks that "Rule of Law" means to obey all the legislation and regulations on the book, and if you don't like it then get them changed, but while they are law then you obey them without question. He explicit states that civil disobedience is crime deserving of punishment. How many conservatives are like this? We know most progressives already are.

    Rule of Law does not mean we obey the law. It means that we are governed by laws and not men. It means it's shouldn't matter who the governor is, or who the president is, the laws still all went through a process, and that process is open for us to change the laws. And it does NOT mean those laws are sacred and holy. Slavery used to be legal, in Germany it was against the law to help Jews, other horrible things across all nations, that they were laws does not make them right.

    But it does mean we are not ruled by the whims of men. Edicts by governors are not laws. At times they may be necessary, which is why those powers need to be limited and constantly up for review.

    In short, I want a country where I am NOT ruled by Biden, or Harris, or Trump, or Pence, or Newsom or Cuomo or any person. I want a country that is governed by a constitution that the government itself is bound to.

    We used to be that country. More than a century and a half ago that used to be the United States. It hasn't been since then, and no one much since then has cared because everyone is too concerned about getting their particular team color onto the throne.

    1. Cite which website that is. Because no conservative i know believes in blind loyalty. They were the ones protesting lockdowns, unlike democrats.

      Why are all of you leftitarians so full of shit?

      1. I have definitely heard conservatives citing the illegality of drugs as per se reasoning that drugs should be illegal, even after they had acknowledged my point regarding Prohibition, the 18th and 21st Amendments, and the lack of such amendments behind the War on Drugs. Though they typically also toss out any argument they can come up with to avoid any possibility of acknowledging that maybe the whole thing is dumb and illegal, so maybe it's not a good example of them actually thinking this way, since they're pretty much dumping their pockets for anything they can throw at me by that point.

      2. LOL speaking of full of shit...

    2. "The law is often but the tyrants will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual" -- some guy we can't acknowledge anymore

      1. Hitler?

  12. Do people really think these 'lockdowns' and mandates were instituted for shits and giggles? I mean, they happened all over the world in a wide variety of cultures, governments, etc. Isn't it more likely that when bodies started piling up in places pols and bureaucrats turned to experts who gave the best advice they could and then instituted the measures they thought would keep them from being the face of the next place where bodies were sitting in hallways?

    1. Isn't it more likely that when bodies started piling up in places pols and bureaucrats turned to experts who gave the best advice they could and then instituted the measures they thought would keep them from being the face of the next place where bodies were sitting in hallways?

      But it's even more likely that they chose relatively arbitrary but highly visible "measures" in the name of "Doing Something" that they hired some Experts to lend credence to in order to package themselves as Protectors with the Divine Mandate of Science.

      Have you any seen any studies showing that mask mandates and lockdowns had any efficacy whatsoever?

      1. I doubt you or I are qualified to evaluate the epidemiology here. More importantly, I don't think that's the question: the question is, was it reasonable for a politician faced with what they were told was a communicable respiratory disease to turn to mask mandates and 'lockdowns' when told by relevant experts it would help? Sure, there's going to be silliness because of 'doing something' syndrome, but the question is, how unreasonable was the 'doing something' given the situation?

        1. This is despite years of previous scientific knowledge that these measures would be ineffective at best, as we have been screaming at you since the beginning.

          1. Why do you think so many experts told so many governments to use these measures that were known for years of scientific knowledge to be ineffective at best? I mean, were they paid off? Were they part of some worldwide cabal? Did they not know their own fields they've been educated and worked in for so many years as well as brilliant amateur epidemiologists like libertarian blog commenter 'Salted Nuts?'

            1. It wasn't all scientists. It was largely government scientists who also worked to silence dissent dummy.

              1. I didn't say all, I said 'so many.' It's interesting how you elided that, almost like you're not very careful in your analysis...

                1. read masque of the red death for even some recent historical perspective on lock down effectiveness..

                  1. It checks out you'd resort to a fictional book from hundreds of years ago.

                    1. "What an argument!"

                      Care to state why you believe Poe was wrong? Mentioning the time he lived in is simply an ad hominem attack.

                2. Almost like your point was useless as you now admit your appeal to authority is baseless. Lol.

            2. Why do you think so many experts told so many governments to use these measures that were known for years of scientific knowledge to be ineffective at best? I mean, were they paid off?

              There were also experts who were saying that masks and lockdowns wouldn't do anything (and they didn't do anything, in fact). Weirdly, the public officials not only chose not to listen to those experts, but went so far as to demonize and de-platform them, almost like they weren't so much "listening to experts" as "finding experts to back what they already wanted to do."

              1. You need to get your head out of right wing media's butt. Most experts agreed with those advising public officials. Those disagreeing with them were not 'demonized' and 'de-platformed' so much as that other professionals in the field thought they were engaged in dangerous misinformation and said so.

                1. Most experts agreed with those advising public officials.

                  You're full of shit, which is why I guess you don't quote or cite.

                  Those disagreeing with them were not 'demonized' and 'de-platformed'

                  You can't be serious.

                  so much as that other professionals in the field thought they were engaged in dangerous misinformation and said so.

                  Oh, I see - you're not. You're just confirming exactly what I said but pretending it means something different.

                  1. Do you think most experts didn't agree? Again, maybe provide some semblance of a cite?

                    "You can't be serious. "

                    I can, because I don't have my head up the butt of right wing media. Try it sometime, very refreshing!

                    "You're just confirming exactly what I said but pretending it means something different."

                    Telling people a person isn't reputable isn't de-platforming.

                    1. Do you think most experts didn't agree? Again, maybe provide some semblance of a cite?

                      Why should I? You have backed up exactly none of your claims while loudly claiming everyone else is just making things up.

                      Let's recap:

                      You started the conversation by asserting that there is no disagreement on what the best course of action was, and the moment you got pushback declared that no one here has a valid opinion, including you.

                      It was pointed out to you that it's actually a possible, even likely, scenario that your notion that politicians are simply listening to the best available advice of experts without considering their own self interest is . . . naïve.

                      It was also pointed out to you that it was not in fact the universal consensus that masking and lockdowns would be effective, and they have not, in fact, been effective.

                      You also agree that these people were smeared and discredited, and even de-platformed, by those whom the politicians chose to designate "experts."

                      So you are making some very definite claims here about levels of consensus and certainty in the epidemiological community that you back up in no way, while the assertion that these opinions were not universally held in the epidemiological community is facile to the point of being self-evident.

                      You declaring that the burden of proof isn't on you doesn't make it so.

                    2. "You started the conversation by asserting that there is no disagreement on what the best course of action was,"

                      Ok, so right way you're lying or wrong. Cite where I said that or don't be taken seriously.

                    3. Queen Amalthea
                      March.25.2022 at 11:51 am

                      Do people really think these 'lockdowns' and mandates were instituted for shits and giggles? I mean, they happened all over the world in a wide variety of cultures, governments, etc. Isn't it more likely that when bodies started piling up in places pols and bureaucrats turned to experts who gave the best advice they could and then instituted the measures they thought would keep them from being the face of the next place where bodies were sitting in hallways?

                    4. There are plenty of people who are anything but right-wing who have been criticizing lockdown and mask policies all along.
                      Get your head out of the sphere of media who decided it was their job to propagandize on behalf of the public health establishment.

                  2. Don't waste your effort arguing with the fucktard. It's not sapient.

                    1. What an argument!

                    2. And your arguments consist of "I defer to the government's chosen experts and refuse to think for myself or acknowledge that experts disagree".

                    3. Don't waste your effort arguing with the fucktard. It's not sapient.

                      Meh. I have Chavez Day off because I'm a public employee, and QA is roughly as amusing to kick around as Tony.

                    4. "And your arguments consist of "I defer to the government's chosen experts and refuse to think for myself or acknowledge that experts disagree".

                      No, I defer to what most experts think. I've never said otherwise.

                    5. @Queen Amalthea

                      You're not thinking for yourself, if that's all you do.

                    6. No, I defer to what most experts think.

                      Cite?

                    7. No, I defer to what most experts think. I've never said otherwise.

                      The problem with that is that even the experts are self interested human beings. They're not angels. They've got their own agendas, just like everyone else. Especially if they are in positions of power or appointed by people with power. Just like businessmen strive to acquire more wealth, government actors strive to acquire more power. It's human nature.

                      That's why you need to do the "smell test" whenever these people make proclamations. If it smells like bullshit then it's probably bullshit.

                    8. How do you know that most experts think what you think they do? Did you take a census of experts and poll them all? There are thousands of people who qualify as experts on epidemics and public health. Are you sure that most of them agreed that lockdowns were a great idea? That's a pretty hard claim to justify.

                    9. Qa, you just said most experts but also admit other experts disagreed. Lol. Weakest appeal to authority ever.

              2. You neglected to mention that the public officials routinely ignored their own mandates. More often than not.

                And there were things like the Met fundraiser where the ruling class was exempt from the rules while the servant class had to comply.

                These things might suggest what they really thought about the necessity of these life saving mandates.

                1. So there are antecedents where officials ignored what they were told to mandate?

                  And you think that proves....?

                  1. "what they really thought about the necessity of these life saving mandates."

                    1. Unwittingly, QA provides the answer in the OP:

                      "Isn't it more likely that when bodies started piling up in places pols and bureaucrats turned to experts who gave the best advice they could and then instituted the measures they thought would keep them from being the face of the next place where bodies were sitting in hallways?"

                      There needed to be the appearance of "Doing Something" even if it made no difference and they themselves didn't really believe it would.

                      Experts who were saying "these things won't work" were really of no use in that situation.

          2. You mean years of science showing that basic health measures like masks and gloves are highly effective.

            Are you from planet Stupid? Or are you from it's forest moon Mental Illness?

            1. Once again - why are you here? Masks do nothing to stop viruses. Period. You're a lying moron, and nothing else.

        2. So then no.

        3. Epidemiology isn't the basis for public policy. It was a hammer to set policy by authoritarians.

          1. It certainly shouldn't be the only basis, I agree. But it's certainly relevant for policy in dealing with infectious disease.

        4. I doubt you or I are qualified to evaluate the epidemiology here.

          What was the point of your original post then?

          1. Uh, to say you likely don't know what you're talking about but you're questioning people with a higher likelihood who do?

            Not quite the gotcha you envisioned, huh?

            1. Uh, to say you likely don't know what you're talking about but you're questioning people with a higher likelihood who do?

              Who, you?

              Not quite the gotcha you envisioned, huh?

              No, I think it landed pretty squarely.

              1. "Who, you?"

                No, the experts public officials around the world from many different cultures and governments did. You're complaining about their decisions, right?

                1. Experts! Consensus! Heretics! Cloth masks! Plexiglass shields! WITH COVID!

                  1. This is it in a nutshell. You either think you know more than most people with more training, expertise and accomplishments in a field or you don't. And you can dress yourself up as Galileo if you're the former (of course, he was prosecuted by politically motivated people and all you amateur *extremely* partisan folks are totes different!) to make you feel great.

                    1. he was prosecuted by politically motivated people

                      He was also prosecuted because he was, in fact, wrong, and please don't pretend that you wouldn't have been cheering on his persecutors and telling everyone in earshot that the government experts had already shown the errors in Galileo's math and that people need to stop listening to him.

                      1) You're assertion that a consensus of experts = "truth" is just paradigmatically misguided.

                      2) Even if it weren't, you haven't come anywhere close to addressing the question of what the "consensus" is on any topic you're preaching about.

                    2. This is it in a nutshell. You either think you know more than most people with more training, expertise and accomplishments in a field or you don't.

                      There is another option you left out - Critically thinking beyond the media hysteria, propped up by your experts, and not buying it from the start.

                      For example - Even though the media screamed Pandemic, what if we stopped, assessed the New York situation, assessed other parts of the country's risk and likely infection rate and acted accordingly. What do you think the result would have been? Did that fit the purpose of the experts?

                      As another example. WMD. How credible were those experts and the media that screamed apocalypse.

                      In each case the fear was followed by your 'experts' whose only job seemed to be to encourage the fear based narrative further.

                      No, the experts public officials around the world from many different cultures and governments did.

                      How do you think these experts and public officials would have assessed their Pandemic response had we altered ours as above?

                  2. Cloth masks, and shields worked well.

                    Their lack of use in American Retard land has resulted in a million excess deaths.

                    Congratulations... You are a loser.

                    1. Wait….. so you’re saying more masking than what people were already doing would’ve prevented “a million excess deaths”?

                      I think your math is off. You should at least adjust for the nursing home deaths your heroes caused.

                      Lol. Congratulations….. you are a bootlicking loser.

                2. No, the experts public officials around the world from many different cultures and governments did. You're complaining about their decisions, right?

                  I don't see any of them here, or any links to any of their work. All I see is a thread that you started in which you make a lot of universalist claims that you don't back up in any way while pretending that those of us pointing that out are the ones making wild claims.

            2. Another “trust the experts “ idiot.

              1. Trust them over internet commenter 'Don't look at me!' Uh, yeah.

                1. No one is asking you to trust some anonymous commenter. There is tons of data available. And tons of smart people analyzing it. Some of them might come to incorrect conclusions. This is not some esoteric virology topic. This is about public policy and the effects in the real world. If you don't think people have a right and obligation to do their own fact finding and make up their own minds, then you are simply full of shit when you claim to support democracy.

                2. But we are all supposed to pay attention to a “queen”. Uh, yeah.

        5. Great Barrington Declaration. "As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection."

          Email from NIH Director Collins to Dr Fauci:

          "This proposal from three fringe epidemiologists who met with the Secretary seems to be getting a lot of attention — and even a co-signature from Nobel Prize winner Mike Leavitt at Stanford," "There needs to be a quick and devastating takedown of its premises,”

          1. I signed the Great Barrington Declaration as Frank. N. Stein.

            LOL!

            1. What are you, 13? 12?

    2. That may have been part of the initial motivation, but the bigger political motivation was to be seen "doing something".

      If governors and health commissioners actually cared about the results, they would have adapted when data showed some responses not working (e.g. mask mandates) or worse than doing nothing (sending the infected elderly back to their nursing homes) or non-sensical (vaccine mandates for schoolchildren who were at negligible risk from COVID and non-zero risk from the vaccines).

      1. OK, so let's stipulate that neither of us are qualified as experts in this field, right? And let's take just one of your claims then, that vaccine mandates for schoolchildren who were negligible from risk from COVID is 'non-sensical.' As one non-expert to another, don't these kids have, say, grandparents and such they might visit who have higher risk?

        1. OK, so let's stipulate that neither of us are qualified as experts in this field, right?

          Yet here you are telling everyone what to think about it.

          As one non-expert to another, don't these kids have, say, grandparents and such they might visit who have higher risk?

          As an admitted non-expert why do you feel that it's your right to make this decision on our behalf?

          1. I'm the one arguing pols take the advice of the experts. But, as to the second point, I'm not sure one has to be an expert in the field to note what seems like a flaw in your reasoning. Given the risk better established to kids by experts, don't they have other people in their circles is a perfectly non-expert thing to notice.

            1. I'm the one arguing pols take the advice of the experts.

              Asserting =/= arguing, as I pointed out to you in another response, above.

              The pols did the same thing with epidemiologists that they do with climate scientists. "Expert" is defined as "one whose research supports my policy goals."

              One whose research does not support the pol's policy goals is a "Contrarian" whose work is to be suppressed as "misinformation."

              Therefore, "Expert Consensus!"

              Given the risk better established to kids by experts, don't they have other people in their circles is a perfectly non-expert thing to notice.

              This is completely circular: "Trust the experts who said what I wanted them to!"

              1. Uh, ok, you've given the game away. Do you really want to argue that most experts in climate science argue with the IPCC?

                "Given the risk better established to kids by experts, don't they have other people in their circles is a perfectly non-expert thing to notice.
                This is completely circular: "Trust the experts who said what I wanted them to!""

                Holy shit, I seem to have given you too much credit. I only pointed to the experts on the risk, not the extrapolation about wider circles.

                1. Do you really want to argue that most experts in climate science argue with the IPCC?

                  It's funny that you should use a phrase like "you've given the game away" to lead into a declaration that you don't read IPCC reports.

                  I only pointed to the experts on the risk, not the extrapolation about wider circles.

                  Which experts? I haven't seen you "point" to anything. You're simply bloviating.

                  1. "to lead into a declaration that you don't read IPCC reports. "

                    Where the fuck are you getting this, or are you more wacky than I initially thought? I have read them. Do you want to argue most relevant scientific organizations haven't largely endorsed the IPCC? Or are you gonna do your 'oh, they demonized them into it' routine?

                    1. Here's what you said:

                      Do you really want to argue that most experts in climate science argue with the IPCC?

                      What does the IPCC say? What are its sources?

                      Strap that knee down and think about those questions for a moment.

                      And just to head you off at the pass, no I'm not saying "it's an international conspiracy of lies." It isn't. Based on your tone and general knowledge level I'm going to guess that you were in diapers if you were even born yet when I was in Greenpeace going door-to-door telling people about global warming.

                      What I'm asserting is that you don't understand what the IPCC does and where its information comes from.

              2. And he's still pretending jabs stop transmission.

            2. "The experts" is not a thing. Experts disagree all the time. But we are expected to agree that there was a consensus worth taking seriously when the virus had been around for a few months? Fuck off with that shit.

          2. He isn't making any decisions on your behalf.

            The health care experts are.

            The fact that you failed to notice this while complaining about it, shows that you don't have the mental capacity to make such decisions for yourself.

            Thanks for playing.

        2. so let's stipulate that neither of us are qualified as experts in this field

          Why should we stipulate that? This is the first hurdle you have to overcome. If you can read (and keep an open mind when you do), there are enough examples of holes in the prevailing wisdom regarding Covid that you could at least grow a little skepticism. But you don't want to do that. You just want to defer to experts.

          Think hard about this question: Why is that?

    3. Perhaps in the beginning they thought the measures were a good idea, but it quickly became about saving face. When the number of deaths from COVID weren't enough to justify policy they started counting the number of death with COVID. When that wasn't enough it became hospitalizations. Then new cases.
      What should have happened was after it became painfully obvious that only a very small percentage of the population was vulnerable, to stop forcing these ineffective policies on everyone else. But that would mean admitting to being wrong, and governments just don't do that.

      1. Do you have some kind of evidence that they moved from deaths 'from' COVID' to deaths 'with COVID' and such?

        1. I'm sorry but I thought it was obvious. Did you pay any attention to the news over the last two years? In the beginning the hyped number was deaths. Am I wrong? Then they were using case numbers to justify restrictions. Am I wrong? I thought it was self evident to anyone who was paying attention.

          1. You seemed to have moved some goalposts so I will ask again: "Do you have some kind of evidence that they moved from deaths 'from' COVID' to deaths 'with COVID' and such?"

            1. "Do you have some kind of evidence that they moved from deaths 'from' COVID' to deaths 'with COVID' and such?"

              "and such".

              Here's a tiny little health department that removed over 4000 deaths attributed to COVID. What we could say happened here is they counted COVID deaths "with covid" and removed them altogether because the accounting methods were discovered to be bullshit.

              BOSTON — Beginning Monday, March 14, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) will update the criteria used for identifying COVID-19 deaths to align with guidance from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. Currently, the COVID death definition includes anyone who has COVID listed as a cause of death on their death certificate, and any individual who has had a COVID-19 diagnosis within 60 days but does not have COVID listed as a cause of death on their death certificate. The updated definition reduces this timeframe from 60 days to 30 days for individuals without a COVID diagnosis on their death certificate.

              The revision follows the recommendation of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to create a standardized approach for states to use for counting COVID-19 deaths. Several other states are adopting this definition.

              Massachusetts has applied this new definition retroactively to the start of the pandemic in March 2020. As a result, 4,081 deaths in Massachusetts that were previously counted as associated with COVID will be removed.

              1. So the authorities later corrected themselves and this is...proof...of your neo-Nazi-level Big Lie movement?

                Uh, OK Dianne!

                1. You lost, and you refuse to take an L. Go away now.

                2. And you might want to unhook your goalpost from your tow hitch before you do.

                  1. And you might want to unhook your goalpost from your tow hitch before you do.

                    Well, they can't very well be left where they are, can they?

                  2. Uh, this is a cite that a state agency moved 4,000 deaths because of a 60-30 day covid certification timeframe. I think I asked "Do you have some kind of evidence that they moved from deaths 'from' COVID' to deaths 'with COVID' and such?

                    1. Colorado removed 30% after am audit. A county in California just under 30% the cdc just removed 74k deaths this month

                      For fucks sake how dumb are you.

                      These aren't small numbers.

                      And newly released data is now showing spikes in non covid rates like alcohol related and cardiovascular.

                    2. Queen, they changed the METHODOLOGY on how to count Covid deaths. Either a person dies from Covid, or they do not. There would be no reason to change the methodology unless it fits a particular political narrative.

                      How this isn't plain to see to you is beyond my comprehension.

              2. Early in the pandemic, and absent clear national guidance, DPH matched COVID-19 surveillance case information with death certificates to identify deaths in people who tested positive for the virus but did not have COVID listed as a cause of death. To avoid the possibility of missing any COVID-associated death, anyone who tested positive for COVID and died was counted as a COVID-associated death regardless of the length of time between their diagnosis and their death or whether COVID was listed as the cause on their death certificate. This approach was overly broad and led to an overcounting of COVID-19-associated deaths.

                Beginning in April 2021, based on the growing knowledge about COVID-19 and an analysis of deaths in Massachusetts up to that point, DPH updated the way it counted deaths. COVID-19-associated deaths still included anyone with COVID-19 listed as a cause of death on the death certificate but DPH also applied a 60-day timeframe from diagnosis to death for anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 but who did not have COVID-19 on the death certificate.

                1. Thank you. I just don't feel like googling the obvious.

                  1. It's not hard. The evidence is literally everywhere. Hell, I've posted so much evidence of this that people have COMPLAINED about the volume of my evidence. "Waaah, waaah, I don't want to read a whole NIH study, just send me a Rachel Maddow tweet!"

                    1. I feel like I'm having a "We were always at war with Eurasia" moment. Like people simply didn't notice that the hype went from deaths to hospitalizations to cases because the previous number wasn't scary enough. Blatant goalpost shifting to justify emergency action. It makes my head hurt if I try to understand.

                  2. We know.

                2. So your cite is that *one* state moved from declaring a 60 day covid diagnosis as a covid death to a 30 day covid diagnosis as a covid death?

                  1. They're all doing it now Queenie. Along with the UK. Keep up. It was a money thing. It moved to 'with' Covid when Covid was declared a national emergency and the government responded with it's usual ineffecient policy by throwing a blanket solution (lockdowns, masks) at the country and providing an incentive (higher payments for Covid related patients) to the hospitals.

                3. “I just want to be clear in terms of the definition of people dying of COVID. The case definition is very simplistic. It means at the time of death it was a COVID positive diagnosis. So, that means that if you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live, and then you also were found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death. It means that if technically even if you died of a clear alternate cause but you had COVID at the same time it’s still listed as a COVID death. Everyone who is listed as a COVID death—that doesn’t mean it was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of the death.”

                  Dr. Ngozi Ezike of the Illinois Dept. of Public Health, admitting that COVID deaths are being grossly overcounted.

            2. I honestly thought it was obvious. I'm not going to do research for you. Sorry.

        2. Also it's no secret that the CDC counts any corpse that tests positive as a COVID related death. Doesn't matter if they died of cancer or in a skydiving accident. It's right on their website. Look it up if you don't believe me.

        3. Your continued ignorance of all facts that contradict your narrative isn’t my concern.

        4. 5.5% died solely OF Covid. How many damn times have I cited this?

          https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7014e2.htm

        5. Evidence? Republicans/Libertarians don't need evidence.

          All they need is their deceitful liedeology.

    4. Hello, slaver. Please fuck off.

      1. What's fascinating is how different your message is from your mother's which was :Hello, make me your slave. Fuck on me.

    5. Some of the early rules were understandable. The problem was that there were not checks on balances on them, so the rulers just kept on going. Sometimes emergencies happen. But two years later and you can't call it an emergency any more.

      What should have happened is an automatic three month legislative review, plus immediate ability to sue for relief. Instead most locales just declared most of their populace to be "non-essential" and forbade them to go to work. What rubbish. But then three months later... no change. Where was the review?

      1. "Some of the early rules were understandable"

        No.
        Go fuck yourself, and hopefully get killed by someone who had their business "understandably" closed by edict that passive-aggressive totalitarian pieces of shit like you cheered on.

      2. Two years in the 836 Americans are still dying of COVID each day.
        300,000 a year.

        I'm fine with it because they are mostly Republicans and Libertarians and they are deserving of death.

    6. Yeah... see, this has already been done in the counterexample. The studies are in. Mandate, no mandate. No difference in rhe curves.

      Big difference in economic damage.

      1. "The studies are in. Mandate, no mandate. No difference in rhe curves."

        Canadians followed the mandates. The result 1/3 the death rate of Americans, per capita.

        The world is laughing at America the Retarded.

        1. That is just stupid.

          What is the population density of Canada? What are the age demographics?

          Compare Wyoming with Saskatchewan, not New York.

          Plus, America largely had mask and vaccine mandates. California and New York are still farting around with mandates.

          And no, not remotely 1/3 the death rate.

          But other than that.....

          1. If you read any other comments this lunatic has posted, it all makes sense.

    7. Congress of the United States
      House of Representatives
      COMMITTEEONENERGYANDCOMMERCE
      2125 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING
      WASHINGTON, DC 20515-6115
      Majority (202) 225-2927
      Minority (202) 225-3641
      February 14, 2022
      Dr. Francis Collins
      National Human Genome Research Institute
      National Institutes of Health
      31 Center Drive MSC 2152
      9000 Rockville Pike
      Bethesda, MD 20892-2152
      Dr. Collins,
      Recently disclosed emails revealed that in January 2020, virology experts told you and
      Dr. Anthony Fauci that they believed COVID-19 had lab-made features and that the virus may
      have escaped from a lab.1
      However, those same email communications, particularly when
      viewed in light of other publicly available information, demonstrate an apparent effort by you
      and Dr. Fauci not only to cover-up the concerns those virologists raised, but to suppress
      scientific debate about the origins of COVID-19. It appears you and Dr. Fauci may have done so
      to protect China and avoid criticism about incredibly risky research that the National Institute of
      Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) was funding at the Wuhan lab.
      According to emails released by House Oversight and Reform Republicans, there was
      significant concern among virology experts that COVID-19 may have originated from a lab.2

      One scientist told you he was “bothered by the furin site” and had a “hard time explain[ing] that
      as an event outside the lab,” which led him to opine it was “70:30” that the virus came from a
      lab; another scientist told you he “can’t think of a plausible natural scenario”; a different scientist
      claimed that “some of the features (potentially) look engineered”; and yet another said the “furin
      cleavage site” struck him as unusual as it related to natural evolution and that “if evolutionary
      origins…were to be discussed…only people with sufficient information or access to samples to
      address it would be the teams working in Wuhan.”3
      1 Correspondence posted by House Oversight and Government Reform Republicans (Jan. 11, 2022) available at
      https://republicans-oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Letter-Re.-Feb-1-Emails-011122.pdf
      2
      Id.
      3
      Id.
      Letter to Dr. Francis Collins
      Page 2
      Rather than allow for scientific review and robust debate, communications in these
      emails show that you and Dr. Fauci appeared more concerned about protecting certain
      relationships and institutional interests in collaborations in China. In fact, the NIAID has had a
      full-time official, Dr. Ping Chen, stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing for several years to
      oversee and promote NIAID’s interests in China and the emails show that your immediate
      concern was how discussion of the lab leak theory would do “great potential harm to science and
      international harmony.” Specifically, you were responding to an email chain that included this
      statement from Dr. Ron Fouchier: “However, further debate about such accusations would
      unnecessarily distract top researchers from their active duties and do unnecessary harm to
      science in general and science in China in particular.” You even went a step further and asked
      how NIH could work to “help put down this very destructive conspiracy.” In contrast, there is
      no evidence from the available emails nor has NIH provided any information to us that indicates
      Dr. Fauci or you took action to investigate further the possible lab origins of the pandemic.
      Instead of alerting national security experts to the potential threat that scientists were
      questioning the origin of the SARS2 virus, you shut down debate about the COVID-19 origin.4
      We are deeply concerned about your decision to suppress highly relevant information when you
      received the early alert that the SARS2 virus could be a potential threat. As the then Director of
      the NIH that includes NIAID’s multibillion dollar biodefense program and the NIAID as an
      advocate for global sampling and surveillance to detect potential pandemics, when the alert was
      in your hands, you remained silent and worse, propagated a counter narrative that may have hurt
      our government’s response in the early days of the pandemic.
      We oversee public health and are seeking the truth about how this pandemic started so we
      can better prepare and hopefully prevent future pandemics. We have significant concerns that
      your conduct, which appears to have been designed to protect China and, in furtherance of that,
      to suppress certain scientific information, occurred at a time when it was critical for government
      leaders and decisionmakers to be aware of all relevant information and may have hurt our
      COVID-19 response.

      1. Retard accusations made by Congressional Republican Retards.

        Go drink your bleach... Child.

    8. EXACTLY!! The idea that only Democrats or leftists instituted rules/mandates is a significant break from reality by right-wing nut balls.

    1. "Prasad prompted social media controversy when he published a blog post comparing the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic response to the beginnings of Hitler's Third Reich."

      Sounds like a serious guy!

      1. He also votes Democrat and "is an associate professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco" if you check a quick published bio.

        So yeah, one of those qualified sources you keep telling people to trust.

          1. Here's the conclusion at the end:

            The key factors that currently exist and may pave the way to totalitarianism are the following:

            1. Strong force, including military force, has been used in other western, democratic nations to combat a respiratory virus

            2. The public has accepted severe restrictions on movement and commerce in the face of respiratory pandemic, with many calls for greater restrictions to be applied

            3. The media is able to present vignettes or anecdotes about overwhelmed hospitals or the untimely death of a young person, without acknowledging the denominator or comparing the risk to other risks we accept.

            4. The rise of social media corporations means that public dialog increasingly occurs in spaces that can be regulated.

            5. American increasingly comfortable with regulating and censoring information

            6. The idea of safety as a virtue above all other dominates the culture

            7. The party that favored stronger application of force during the COVID19 pandemic is vulnerable to misuse of force for a respiratory virus from the counterparty in the future

            These core trends provide the basis and preconditions for a potential usurping of democratic norms. Increasing political polarization and tribalism would fuel that effort, as would worsening income inequality and reductions in upward mobility, which have worsened in recent decades, but may be exacerbated by the pandemic. Ultimately however, the proximate proffered explanation would be safety.

            The key lesson of the coronavirus pandemic is not that the fall of democracy is inevitable, but rather that our policy preferences, and polarization, have set the stage for a series of events where it is possible democracy falls. As Madeleine Albright. says, “While democracy in the long run is the most stable form of government, in the short run, it is among the most fragile.” We must be careful not to create a roadmap to this future with our policy choices today, perhaps we already have.

            1. This is obtuse and facile to a high level. Point by point it's ridiculous, but all that needs to be noted is *motive* which can change murder to justified self defense. The Nazis were driven by a very ugly racism/nationalism, the Covid restrictions were driven as harm mitigation (especially favorable to the more vulnerable [you know, those the Nazis wanted sterilized/euthanized]). It's just so palpably obtuse and facile it's embarrassing.

              1. And here you display your ignorance. Nazis also wrapped their goals in science.

                1. Uh, saying 'because of science I want to kill and/or sterilize all non-strong Aryans' and 'because of science I want to protect the vulnerable' are two very different things. You're like 'omg, they both used science!!!!! They're totes the same!!!' That's incredibly facile, like saying 'omg, both the us police and the Nazi US used guns, they're totes the same!!!"

                  1. You are completely missing the point. It doesn't matter if the motivating force is nasty racism or supposedly well-intentioned public health measures. The same things can happen that lead to a totalitarian state. If it comforts you to know that the people ruling over you and taking on dictatorial powers and violating your rights and ruining people's lives had good intentions, you are even dumber than I thought.

              2. How is it ridiculous "point by point"? you make a lot of boasts with no substance.

                1. You posted this more than a few minutes after my 12:39 post dude.

              3. Just as reminder, I had to imagine that the mayor of Champaign IL *had* to have had her maniacal plan at the ready, probably in a special red folder in the center drawer of her desk, just waiting for the chance to unleash her dream of ultimate power. This was her set of orders on March 13th. And they call Trump "authoritarian".

                https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/wandtv.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/51/551ced24-6535-11ea-9826-4f4fd396dacb/5e6b960454b21.pdf.pdf

                After the declaration of an emergency, the Mayor may in the interest of public safety and welfare make any or all of the following orders and provide the following direction:

                (1) Issue such other orders as are imminently necessary for the protection of life and property.
                (2) Order a general curfew applicable to such geographical areas of the City or to the City as a whole, as the Mayor deems advisable, and applicable during such hours of the day or night as the Mayor deems necessary in the interest of public safety and welfare.
                (3) Order the closing of all retail liquor stores, including taverns and private clubs or portions thereof wherein the consumption of intoxicating liquor and beer is permitted;
                (4) Order the discontinuance of the sale of alcoholic liquor by any wholesaler or retailer;
                (5) Order the discontinuance of selling, distributing, or giving away gasoline or other liquid flammable or combustible products in any container other than a gasoline tank properly affixed to a motor vehicle;
                (6) Order the discontinuance of selling, distributing, dispensing or giving away of explosives or explosive agents, firearms or ammunition of any character whatsoever;
                (7) Order the control, restriction and regulation within the City by rationing, issuing quotas, fixing or freezing prices, allocating the use, sale or distribution of food, fuel, clothing and other commodities, materials, goods or services or the necessities of life;
                (8) (a) Order City employees or agents, on behalf of the City, to take possession of any real or personal property of any person, or to acquire full title or such lesser interest as may be necessary to deal with a disaster or emergency, and to take possession of and for a limited time, occupy and use any real estate to accomplish alleviation of the disaster, or the effects thereof; (b) In the event any real or personal property is utilized by the City, the City shall be liable to the owner thereof for the reasonable value of the use or for just compensation as the case may be.
                (9) Order restrictions on ingress or egress to parts of the City to limit the occupancy of any premises;
                (10) To make provision for the availability and use of temporary emergency housing;
                (11) Temporarily suspend, limit, cancel, convene, reschedule, postpone, continue, or relocate all meetings of the City Council, and any City committee, commission, board, 6 authority, or other City body as deemed appropriate by the Mayor.
                (12) Require closing of business establishments.
                (13) Prohibit the sale or distribution within the City of any products which could be employed in a manner which would constitute a danger to public safety.
                (14) Temporarily close any and all streets, alleys, sidewalks, bike paths, public parks or public ways.
                (15) Temporarily suspend or modify, for not more than sixty (60) days, any regulation or ordinance of the City, including, but not limited to, those regarding health, safety, and zoning. This period may be extended upon approval of the City Council.
                (16) Suspend or limit the use of the water resources or other infrastructure.
                (17) Control, restrict, allocate, or regulate the use, sale, production, or distribution of food, water, fuel, clothing, and/or other commodities, materials, goods, services and resources.
                (18) Suspend or limit burning of any items or property with the City limits and up to two (2) miles outside the corporate limits.
                (19) Direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened areas within the City if the mayor deems this action is necessary for the preservation of life, property, or other disaster or emergency mitigation, response or recovery and to prescribe routes, modes of transportation and destination in connection with an evacuation.
                [sic, 20 omitted in original]
                (21) Approve application for local, state, or federal assistance.
                (22) Establish and control routes of transportation, ingress or egress.
                (23) Control ingress and egress from any designated disaster or emergency area or home, building or structures located therein.
                (24) Approve the transfer the direction, personnel, or functions of City departments and agencies for the purpose of performing or facilitating emergency or disaster services.
                (25) Accept services, gifts, grants, loans, equipment, supplies, and/or materials whether from private, nonprofit, or governmental sources.
                (26) Require the continuation, termination, disconnection, or suspension of natural gas, electrical power, water, sewer, communication or other public utilities or infrastructure.
                (27) Close or cancel the use of any municipally owned or operated building or other public facility.
                (28) Declare, issue, enforce, modify and terminate orders for quarantine and isolation of 7 persons or animals posing a threat to the public, not conflicting with the directions of the Health Officer of the community.
                (29) Exercise such powers and functions in light of the exigencies of emergency or disaster including the waiving of compliance with any time consuming procedures and formalities, including notices, as may be prescribed by law.
                (30) Issue any and all such other orders or undertake such other functions and activities as the Mayor reasonably believes is required to protect the health, safety, and welfare of persons or property within the City or otherwise preserve the public peace or abate, clean up, or mitigate the effects of any emergency or disaster.

                Notice how if the City Council were to start to question her orders, she could suspend meetings of the City Council.

            2. The points are actually so easily countered. Note the moving goalposts ("in other western, democratic nations" and "American increasingly"). "The idea of safety as a virtue above all other dominates the culture", holy historical ignorance Batman, that's like every era while also not being what the Nazis relied on! "The party that favored stronger application of force during the COVID19 pandemic is vulnerable to misuse of force for a respiratory virus from the counterparty in the future," is...fairly incoherent. Etc.

              1. So easily countered you didnt do it.

                1. You not getting it doesn't mean it didn't happen. Sure that's not the first time you've heard that in your life.

                  1. .. holy historical ignorance Batman,..

                    So compelling.

                  2. You not getting it doesn't mean it happened. Sure that's not the first time you've heard that in your life.

          2. I've read enough of his writings I should have him bookmarked by now, you're right...

        1. I knew his credentials, but I'm not sure you understand the inductive logic here. It's not to defer to any one expert, it's that deferring to a majority or general consensus of experts is logical. Any expert here or there could be wrong or motivated by something other than the science. It's less likely 90% of them will.

          As for 'he votes Democrat,' come on. So did Bill O'Reilly!

          1. You defer to scientists from the government just above dummy.

              1. Someone's ring buffer is leaky. Anathema just needs a reboot and it'll be able to find what it posted an hour prior in the lookup tables again.

            1. You're full of shit, which is why I guess you don't quote or cite.

              1. You admitted you only cite some scientists, those who agree with your policy preferences, above and discount all others. Lol.

          2. Here's the thing. In March 2020 there were no experts. Just people making shit up as they went along. And to the extent that there was an expert consensus in early 2020, it was and had been for decades a consensus against harsh lockdowns and mandates in response to a pandemic. Then that all changed somehow. It wasn't based on science. There hadn't been time to do any science. It was all desperation to be seen as doing something.

            1. The experts said 2 million Americans would die the first year. Qa still believes.

          3. A consensus of experts were positive that the world was flat.
            A consensus of experts were positive that the Earth was the center of the universe, and that the sun and all the other planets rotated around it.
            A consensus of experts were positive that blacks were a subhuman race.
            A consensus of experts were positive that Newtonian physics explained the universe.
            A consensus of experts were positive that spontaneous generation occurred, creating life from inanimate materials.
            A consensus of experts were positive that the world was entering a new period of extended glaciation, aka global cooling.

            There's generally a good reason to go with what the experts say, but one cannot accept the consensus of experts blindly, nor discount new information just because it falls outside the accepted consensus.

    2. Bioethicist Arthur L. Caplan said that Prasad's arguments were specious and ignorant, and science historian Robert N. Proctor said that Prasad was "overplaying the dangers of vaccination mandates and trivializing the genuine harms to liberty posed by 1930s fascism".

      1. Haha. Multiple attempts to shitpost troll the threads and no one will play with you. Your schtick is not clever or funny. Go away.

  13. We are not back to normal.

    California is trying to include the mRNA jab as part of standardized vaccinations DESPITE the CDC recently confirming MORE infections in vaccinated children to unvaccinated. Even with massaged numbers, the infection case rate was 133/100,000 vax, 120/100,000 un.

    The CDC stated that you are only considered "vaccinated" for the first two weeks after verifiably completing initial injection or a booster series, markedly down from recent 6-8wk efficacy estimates.

    And don't forget, 1,291 listed side effects in Pfizer's applications and 1,223 dead in the first 90 days of trials. Athletes continue to have inexplicable heart attacks and coroners are finding pre-mortem blood clots stretching for feet long.

    Strokes in children. Totally normal.

    1. Do you have some citations for your many numerical claims?

      1. look it up on google - I believe many folks on here linked the yahoo article that has some of these numbers.

        1. Why in the world should I look it up? The person putting it forward as evidence has that burden.

          1. Why in the world should I look it up?

            Maybe just to expose yourself to an opinion that hasn't necessarily been officially sanctioned by government experts?

            1. Nice of you to elide "The person putting it forward as evidence has that burden."

              1. Which is why your comments up and down this page are full of cites left and right.

                1. Uh, yeah, if I'm the one claiming people confidently asserting facts might be wrong it's gonna be that way. Inductive logic, how does it work?

                  1. Uh, yeah, if I'm the one claiming people confidently asserting facts might be wrong it's gonna be that way.

                    I sorry . . . what?

                    You might have missed my sarcasm.

                    You're confidently asserting that the government was right to institute mask mandates and lockdowns because it was based on scientific consensus, yet you provide no cites to back this up.

                    Inductive logic, how does it work?

                    I understand how it works - I used to teach logic to college freshmen. You seem a little fuzzy on it, on the other hand . . .

          2. Why in the world should I look it up?

            It takes just as much effort as asking for a cite.

            1. You can see why so many folks here would find the idea of 'he who confidently asserts a fact should back it up' to be offensive.

              1. You're the one being asked to back up your argument, you twit. You're the one arguing that your recommendations should be mandatory.

                1. No, I'm asking others to back up their claims. I doubt them.

                  1. I'm asking others to back up their claims.

                    Perhaps if you obeyed your own rules?

                    1. If she's defending the status quo then I'm afraid the burden of proof is on those who disagree.

                    2. If she's defending the status quo then I'm afraid the burden of proof is on those who disagree.

                      I disagree. I actually agree with QA that "he who confidently asserts a fact should back it up."

              2. It has been my experience that people demanding a citation will a) ignore the citation, or b) not accept a citation as being valid. Personally, I often don't trust a citation that I cannot confirm with my own research unless the citation clearly reflect original source material.

              3. Yes, you and your fellow leftist are emotional reactionary douche canoes who can’t be bothered to back your assertions up with actual facts.

            2. Maybe its programmers didn't include a curl or wget hook. That would make the anathema bot incapable of forming and executing independent search queries.

          3. Why in the world should I look it up?

            Because there's nothing to lose and a lot go gain by doing your own research? Who knows, you might learn something new!

            1. *to* not go

          4. You've offered zero links to your assertions in this thread dummy.

      2. Jesus Christ, dude. This is not controversial anymore. It's all well documented in officially released documents.
        It doesn't mean that no one should take the vaccine or that it is useless. But the risks are not negligible, particularly for certain demographics. It was absolutely disgusting and unethical to hide this information and just insist that it's "safe and effective". No drug is perfectly safe or effective. People must be fully informed and freely consent to any medical treatment. That didn't happen.

        1. People should be allowed to make their own choices. Personally I believe the risks from Covid outweigh the risks from the vaccines. But those who disagree shouldn't be forced to take the vaccine.

          1. Exactly. I'm not trying to discourage anyone. And people definitely shouldn't be forced (or strongly "nudged") to take something that has known, non-trivial dangers. And the relative risks differ greatly depending on a person's age and health. There's a big difference between potentially being exposed to a natural pathogen and deliberately being exposed to something with known dangers (even if they are quite low overall and there are also benefits).

      3. Of course. Will you actually read them, or are these the wrong experts again?

        https://phmpt.org/pfizers-documents/

        1. Of main interest here is the postmarketing report for the listing of side effects. I forgot which specifically lists 90-day mortality.

        2. There's a limit to what my phone can do on the CDC Covid tracker.

          Data here: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#rates-by-vaccine-status

        3. If you wish to read direct case studies of jab harm and mortality in children, Dr. Malone keeps a list of references.

          https://www.rwmalonemd.com/references

        4. QA, where did you go?

  14. COVID really revealed that the Dems have no bench. Where are the reasonable, moderate Dem governors with national appeal? Cuomo was disgraced, Newsom was mocked, and Whitmer remained an unsympathetic figure, even after a kidnap attempt.

    Who achieved better COVID results with effective policies and following the actual science?

    1. I'll take, "what is Florida," on this one.

      And I'd be sympathetic to the kidnap plot if most of guys involved weren't gov't ops. And if she hadn't ordered Covid patients back into nursing homes.

    2. On Team D, the least stupid was probably Polis of Colorado.

    3. They have Tulsi... If they havent completed a formal excommunication yet.

    4. " . . . reasonable, moderate Dem . . . "
      That is a very long way of saying Republican - - - - - -

  15. >>I viewed the pandemic as serious

    I did not. everything was fine.

  16. Get ready for all the "temporary" executive measures to address climate change, racial equity, and other "emergencies"

  17. Worst fortifications ever conceived...

    https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1507403685055406082?t=9LDixHHtYz66KQpzcAotdA&s=19

    This is more vague, incoherent and rambling than some deliberate or clear statement that US troops are headed to Ukraine, but that's the problem.

    You can't send confused signals when it comes to an already highly tense conflict between the world's two largest nuclear powers:

    It's been a month since Russia invaded so a type of normalcy has settled in, but it's still the case that you can't overstate the dangers of the US fighting a proxy war against Russia, especially after 6 years of Russiagate priming half the country to blame Russia for all ills.

    [Video]

  18. My favorite part of the COVID thing is the people who bitched the loudest about "literal Hitler" over the last, oh, two decades looked in the mirror during COVID and realized they was he and he was they. I think that's why they're such little cranky-pants now.

    1. They need to be put down like rabid squirrels

    2. I doubt it. I figure when they look in the mirror they feel the warm glow of good intentions, then they turn around and pave the road to hell.

      1. He's talking about you, you know.

    3. I doubt it. I figure when they look in the mirror they feel the warm glow of good intentions, then they turn around and pave the road to hell.

  19. That’s the problem with rulers. Give em an inch….

    1. ...and you never get it back.

  20. There is something called the internet and video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Webex. Emergency powers are obsolete. If we need new laws to deal with a crisis then call the legislature into session - virtually if necessary - and pass the required laws.

    Allowing governors and public health officials to become dictators has been a disaster.

    1. Very brief emergency orders may be appropriate. If, say, we are actually being invaded by a foreign power, or a meteor strikes a major city or something. But there is no reason why the legislature shouldn't be able to review it within a few days. Indefinite states of emergency should never happen in an ostensibly free society.

      1. Well said.

  21. It’s a double-edged sword. Up here in the Great White North, where we use the Westminster parliamentary system, it’s true that a government can pass pretty much whatever legislation it wants as long as it has a majority of the seats. Under Justin Trudeau this has been a very horrifying experience.

    The flip side, however, is that a government can also repeal pretty much any legislation it likes as long as it has a majority of seats. When the Conservatives under Stephen Harper were in power they were able to repeal legislation and cut onerous regulations at rates that would make an American legislator flourescent green with envy.

    The American paradigm of onerous checks and balances contributes to the “ratchet effect” in which it may be hard to “get things done” but when bad things do get done it’s almost impossible to repeal them. e.g. Obamacare, the department of education, etc

  22. America’s banks are clearly regulated by Rulers, not by Laws, because there’s no way the US Constitution can be read as accepting risk weighted bank capital requirements with decreed weights of 0% the Government, and 100% We the People
    https://subprimeregulations.blogspot.com/2013/11/have-risk-weights-of-current-bank.html

  23. “ but then he refused to let counties that met the standard to loosen up their rules.”
    Was that written by a native speaker of English?

  24. Thank goodness for the Confederate states which stood up against Newsom's executive power by rolling back MLK's Voting Rights legacy, banning trans athletes, banning books about the many murder attempts and beatings MLK suffered, and putting out bounties for spying on vaginas to stop abortions.

  25. Only with the China Virus did he get the memo?!

  26. "the governor's decision to send vote-by-mail ballots to all of the state's voters—a good idea, in my view"

    It was an insanely bad idea. You must be severely brain damaged to not see that.

    1. You never thought it was a bad idea before Donald Trump told you to.

      As he's still claiming to have won not only the 2020 election but also the 2016 popular vote and also the 2016 Iowa caucus, having been cheated out of them by various parties, maybe his opinions on election machinery are less than valid.

      1. Nobody in the history of ever thought vote by mail was a secure way to run an election. That is why even Democrats refused to support it. Until the "fortification team" got it done, that is.

      2. Now you're claiming that you know my thoughts? Tell us more about your psychic powers.

  27. Success and failure in public health are measured by body counts. The "king" did a fine job. The court jester in FL, not so much.

  28. No, it revealed America to be somewhat populated by perpetually hysterical right-wing news addicts who will actually turn the right to poor hygiene into a civil rights struggle, if that's what Tucker Carlson tells the to do.

    We all live in the same pandemic. Some of us were mature adults about it, and some of us were insane freakish children. That's all.

    1. That's correct. Unfortunately, the insane freakish children were in charge of the government response to the epidemic.

  29. If you don't vote; you don't endorse rule by force; you don't forfeit your sovereignty; you don't self-enslave. However, you are still forced to live without rights, in defense of something called "the common good". Is this sane? Is it working? No matter. Force is not reason; it's irrational dictates, social chaos, dividing and conquering society.

  30. You get rulers when elections are no longer fair, and those in power know they can't lose.

  31. No more Biden's America.
    No more Trump's America.
    This is our America!

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