The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson
His Articles, Observations, Thoughts, Meanderings,
some would say Wisdom (and some would say not).
The Chinese Coronavirus pandemic is upon us. Its direct impacts are starting to be fully felt. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Americans, will become infected, and thousands, if not tens of thousands of Americans will die as a result of complications from this infection. Most of these deaths will happen to elderly Americans, but some deaths will be Americans of other ages. It is a tragedy for those that die and the families of those who have died. Extraordinary measures have been undertaken to reduce these infections and deaths. Extraordinary measures in the shutting down of businesses and restricting commerce, self-quarantine, or shelter-in-place of individuals and families, along with other governmental orders and restrictions on the American people and businesses.
However, these extraordinary measures are beginning to have deleterious effects on all Americans. Many businesses are closing, and many Americans are becoming unemployed. Commercial activities are decreasing, which will lead to many more businesses closing, and many more Americans becoming unemployed. We have already seen a large collapse of the stock market, which affects not only companies but ordinary Americans. The investment and retirement portfolios of middle Americans have significantly reduced in value, making middle Americans poorer. The elderly living off these portfolios has fewer financial means to support their retirement. Soon, many Americans will not be able to pay their mortgages or rents, pay their taxes, and they will have insufficient monies to purchase the necessities of life. Americans will have less money to purchase electricity, water, sewer, fuel, cell phones, cable television, medications, and other consumables. Food, clothing, and shelter will become scarcer and/or more expensive as fewer companies mean less production and scarcity of these items, leading to higher prices. The supply chain for both the production and distribution for these necessities may become crippled, leading to the scarcity of these items. Inflation may rear its ugly head and reduce the purchasing power of all Americans. Healthcare will also become scarcer and more expensive, and health insurance companies may falter, reduce their benefit payments, or perhaps go out of business. Banks, financial institutions, and other insurance companies will also be affected and may not be able to survive, leading to more deleterious effects.
The economy will shrink, and we will be in a deep recession, and perhaps a depression, for some time to come. It will take even more time to recover to our current level of prosperity. During this recession or depression, many Americans will suffer deeply, and some may even die as a consequence of this recession or depression. We may also see the impacts on society that we saw during the Great Depression prior to World War II. This will be a tragedy for all Americans.
And no governmental actions will be effective to change this outcome. Our economy is too large and interrelated for the government to have any significant impacts. Even a government takeover of segments of the economy will not work, and most likely make the situation worse. The monies being spent by the government to support Americans and American businesses must come from somewhere, and that somewhere is the Americans and American businesses still working. Increases in taxes or deficit spending for these support expenditures burden the taxpayers and depress the economy. Increases of the debt will further burden future Americans and American businesses and depress the economy. To believe that we can have these extraordinary measures and maintain a strong economy and our way of life is wishful thinking. Wishful thinking that will have severe negative impacts on all Americans. The hubris of governmental leaders who believe that they can correct or control this situation is astounding.
We are, therefore, at a point where we need to make an important decision that will affect all Americans. Do we continue these extraordinary measures and risk a recession or depression, or do we suspend the extraordinary measures and incur more infections and deaths of Americans as a result of the Chinese Coronavirus? This is the great moral dilemma that we face. A moral dilemma that must be resolved by the will and sacrifice of the American people.
I am reminded of another moral dilemma that we faced during World War II. The first was the moral dilemma of the NAZI bombing of the English city of Coventry. British intelligence had stolen a NAZI Enigma ciphering machine and were able to break the codes and determine NAZI military operations. They learned that the NAZI's were going to carpet bomb Coventry killing many hundreds of civilians. If they evacuated Coventry, the NAZI's would have suspected the British had broken their encrypted communications, which would have led them to change their codes. This change of codes would have prolonged World War II and led to many more deaths and perhaps a different outcome of the war. The question was to keep this code-breaking a secret, thus leading to the deaths of many civilians in Coventry, or to save the civilian lives by evacuating Coventry and potentially leading to a longer war and more war deaths? There is a picture of Winston Churchill walking through the rubble of Coventry after he kept this secret and allowed the deaths of the civilians in Coventry. A look of horror is upon his face. Not only the horror of the deaths of the civilians but the horror that he decided to sacrifice the lives of the civilians to reduce future deaths and hasten the end of World War II in Europe by sacrificing those civilians in Coventry.
There was also the moral dilemma of the Atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan during World War II. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians died as a result of these bombings, but millions of Japanese and Americans' lives were saved by the quick end of World War II in the Pacific.
Therefore, we need to decide if we should continue with the extraordinary measures to save some American lives, or should we suspend the extraordinary measures to potentially save many more American lives, our economic prosperity, and our way of life? We must remember that we will all eventually die. The only question is when, how, and where we will die. The Chinese Coronavirus is one of the answers to how, the when and where answer to this question is dependent upon the circumstances of the American infected by the Chinese Coronavirus.
As for me, I am a senior citizen who has had frequent respiratory problems in my life, and as such, I am at a higher risk of infection and death than most Americans. I say this not for your sympathy, but to help you understand my position on this moral dilemma. I believe that we need to suspend these extraordinary measures that affect all Americans and allow all Americans to continue with their normal lives. Precautions should be taken to reduce the possibility of infection, but not so onerous precautions as to negatively impact the lives of all Americans.
If I should die as a result of this suspension, then it is a sacrifice I will make for all Americans. Just as armed service people and first responders have sacrificed their lives to protect Americans and the American way of life, I too will make this sacrifice. It is time for American leadership to fully explain this moral dilemma and its ramifications and repercussions to the American people, and then ask for the sacrifice of a few Americans to preserve many Americans. May God bless us all, and may God keep all those who have sacrificed their lives in his bosom, and may all Americans remember their sacrifice.
One of the things we have learned from the Chinese Coronavirus pandemic is how the global economy has made us interdependent of the actions of other governments. We have also learned how dependent we are on other countries for the necessities of life. The actions or inactions of other governments exposes the world to health, economic, and safety risks that have far-ranging ramifications and repercussions not only on our country but for all countries. If China had been more forthcoming and responded to the Coronavirus more quickly than perhaps its negative health and economic impacts could have been abated. We may never know for sure, but the available evidence indicates that this is probably true.
This question is what we should do in the future to avoid this situation? The answer is that any country that wishes to participate in the global economy must act in a more global manner. They must assure that the health, safety, and human rights of their citizens are protected (at a minimum the human rights as espoused in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution), their internal economy is stable, and the safety of their exports is assured. The must be quickly forthcoming to any events in their country that could potentially affect other countries, and that these events are disclosed to the world. They must cooperate with other countries to mitigate these effects to assure the stability of the global economy, health concerns, and the safety of their exports is assured for all the peoples across the globe. If they respond that these are internal affairs of their country and of no concern of other counties, then they should no longer be participants in the global economy because if you are internal, then you cannot be global.
As to what each country should do, the answer is easier. Do not extensively trade with those countries that will not cooperate in assuring that the health, safety, and human rights of their citizens are protected, their internal economy is unstable, and the safety of their exports is not assured. This may have a negative impact on your economy, but the risks to your economy and your people are far greater, as the Chinese Coronavirus has demonstrated.
As too what the U.S.A. must do in the future is more complicated. We have seen how dependent we have become on the imports from China on the basic necessities of life, particularly in the health care industries. We must identify those products that are the basic necessities of life to assure that they are produced in the United States or by countries that are responsible trading partners. A responsible trading partner is one that assures that the health, safety, and human rights of their citizens are protected, their internal economy is stable, and the safety of their exports is assured and that they will not utilize trade in the basic necessities of life as political leverage to potentially harm another country. An inter-governmental forum (i.e., an Inter-Governmental Forum on Commerce “IGFC”) of those countries dedicate to these principles needs to be formulated that defines that upholds these principles, in which the participants engage in international trade under these principles. No significant international trade in the basic necessities of life would be allowed except by the members of this inter-governmental forum.
We, the people of the United States, must also require that more production of the basic necessities of life occur within the United States or by responsible trading partners. How this would be accomplished is more difficult. The first step is in identifying the basic necessities of life. The categories for this list, as a start, should be:
- Building Materials and Equipment
- Clothing Materials and Manufacturing
- Critical Minerals Extraction
- Electronics and Electrical Equipment
- Energy Mining and Production Equipment
- Farming, Farm Equipment, and Food Production
- Medications and Medical Equipment
After we identify all the categories and determine which products are necessities under these categories, we must determine how we can produce these products in the United States or safely and securely import these products from approved countries. In doing so, we must protect the supply lines for both the production and distribution of these products for all the countries involved in this commerce. If we can do this, then our necessities of life will be both protected and freely available through domestic production or responsible international trade.
While the Flu infects millions of people each year, can send hundreds of thousands of people to the hospital each year, and be responsible for tens of thousands of deaths each year, the seasonal effect of Flu is reasonably well understood and is planned for.
A comparison between the Flu and Coronavirus statistics is fraught with difficulties but does provide some context to our perspectives.
To be determined
The statistics for the Coronavirus are uncertain, as we have incomplete testing and reporting for the Coronavirus. This comparison also doesn't capture the potential for increased risks and heighten contagion of Coronavirus, nor the strain that the new Coronavirus is putting on hospitals. There are other statistical problems regarding the Coronavirus pandemic that calls into question their accuracy. For example, using fictitious numbers, assume that 100,000 people are tested positive for Coronavirus, of which 2,000 die as a result of Coronavirus complications. The death rate for the Coronavirus would then be 2%. The problem is in the statement “100,000 people are tested positive”. This is the number “tested”, but the actual number of people who have the Coronavirus is unknown. If the actual number were 1,000,000 infected, then the death rate would shrink to 0.2%. If the death rate were 2% and 100,000,000 million people were infected by Coronavirus, then we could expect total deaths of 2,000,000, but if the death rate was 0.2%, we could expect 200,000 total deaths. The difference between 2,000,000 and 200,000 deaths is significant and could alter our perceptions of the problems we face. There are also many other issues and concerns regarding the Coronavirus statistical models that cast doubts about their accuracy.
However, as to the Coronavirus projection models, we should remember George E. P. Box, one of the great statistical minds of the 20th century, as saying, “All models are wrong, some are useful.” Therefore, let us not presume the models are correct, but let us utilize the models to help in our planning and response to the Coronavirus.
The concern, if not panic by some, is the unknowns of Coronavirus. For the Flu, we have immunizations and treatments that are effective. For the Coronavirus, effective treatments are unknown or uncertain, and immunizations are not expected for many months and perhaps a year. With no way to medically treat or immunize ourselves, we are left with only being able to protect ourselves. Protection that is helpful but uncertain.
These statistics and projection models do not reflect the economic impacts of the Flu and Coronavirus. We, therefore, need to exercise sober judgments on how to protect and treat ourselves from Coronavirus. Protections that not only account for the medical health of our people but the economic health of our society. Precautions should be taken to reduce the possibility of infection, but not so onerous precautions to significantly and negatively impact the economic lives of all Americans.
An “Ethical Dilemma” or ethical paradox is a decision-making problem between two possible moral imperatives, neither of which is unambiguously acceptable nor preferable. The complexity arises out of the situational conflict in which choosing one solution would result in transgressing another solution, as sketched in my Article “Situational Ethics and Moral Dilemmas.” Sometimes called ethical paradoxes in moral philosophy, ethical dilemmas may be invoked to refute an ethical system or moral code, or to improve it so as to resolve the paradox. Sometimes, however, you must choose what you believe to be the lesser of two evils. This solution is most common in wartime decisions.
We are now in a wartime mode of decision making in regard to the Coronavirus pandemic. One solution is to take extraordinary measures, for whatever duration is necessary, to reduce the Coronavirus infections and deaths regardless of the economic impacts of these extraordinary measures. The other solution is to take only those measures to help reduce infections and deaths while not significantly impacting our economy. Either solution is an Ethical dilemma; 1) fewer infections and deaths and more recession or depression, or 2) more infections and deaths and less recession or depression.
My initial belief was that if we implemented the Coronavirus reduction extraordinary measures for more than a couple of weeks, it would initiate an economic recession that would last many months. More than a month of extraordinary measures could make this recession last a year or two years. Any more than six weeks of extraordinary measures would result in an economic depression of uncertain duration. With the current extension of the extraordinary measures to the end of April, we are at the tipping point between a recession and a depression. A depression that could last a few years or longer, depending on how long we continue to extend the extraordinary measures.
One of the difficulties in making our decisions is the statistical modeling problems regarding the Coronavirus pandemic, as I have written about in the section “03/27/20 2019-2020 USA Flu vs. Coronavirus Statistics as of March 27, 2020”. The issue that I have pointed out, and many other issues and concerns regarding the Coronavirus statistical models, cast doubts about the predictive accuracies of the Coronavirus statistical models. These doubts should give us pause for reconsiderations before we make any decisions. We need our political leaders, statisticians, and journalists to better understand and explain these statistical models to the American people so that the American people can make an informed decision.
The other difficulty is determining the economic impacts of continuing extraordinary measures. Our economy is too large and interrelated for anyone or any group, organization, or agency to be able to even roughly guess the impacts (the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of the impacts), let alone statistically model the projected impacts. And no governmental actions will be effective to change this outcome. The hubris of anyone who believes that they can identify, correct, or control this situation is astounding.
And economic impacts are not about money, but the ability of people to lead a healthy, secure, and productive life that is determined by money. Recessions and depressions duration and depth are determined by human actions and reactions to their economic circumstances. And human behavior is often indeterminate and unexpected. Consequently, it is not possible to reliably statistically model a recession or depression until after the impacts are known (and credibly not even afterward).
As regards to statistical modeling, especially the models for the Coronavirus infection and deaths as well as its economic impacts, we should remember George E. P. Box, one of the great statistical minds of the 20th century, as saying, “All models are wrong, some are useful.” We, therefore, need to determine the useful models and utilize them to help resolve the ethical dilemma.
The question of how to proceed with the Coronavirus Pandemic then becomes, which is the lesser of two evils:
- Fewer infections and deaths and more recession or depression, or
- More infections and deaths and less recession or depression
It is not possible to have it both ways. To believe that we can have these extraordinary measures and maintain a strong economy and our way of life is wishful thinking. Wishful thinking that will have severe negative impacts on all Americans. We need to choose and to choose wisely which solution to implement.
Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic, we have seen the Federal, State, and Local governments take extraordinary measures to curtail the spread of this virus and reduce the infections and deaths that the Coronavirus has inflicted. Shelter-In-Place, physical distancing restrictions, closing non-essential businesses, restricting gatherings of people, advisories or restrictions for travel, etc. are necessary to control the Coronavirus Pandemic. But these extraordinary measures have another thing in common, they are restrictions on our Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Justice for All, as well as violating our Human Rights, Constitutional Rights, and Civil Rights.
The question then is, what are our Liberties and our Freedoms and Human, Constitutional, and Civil Rights under a National Emergency, and what are the restrictions and limitations on governmental actions during a National Emergency? We have had several precedents in our history, such as declared war and natural disasters, that can guide us but provide no definitive answers. Broad powers delegated to the President and Governors under Emergency Powers legislation have been invoked to justify these actions. These extraordinary measures are needful and necessary to assure the health and safety of all Americans. As to their legality, we should all remember:
"The Constitution is not a suicide pact"
is a phrase in American political and legal discourse. The phrase
expresses the belief that constitutional restrictions on
governmental power must be balanced against the need for survival of
the state and its people. It is most often attributed to Abraham
Lincoln, as a response to charges that he was violating the United
States Constitution by suspending habeas corpus during the American
Civil War. Although the phrase echoes statements made by Lincoln,
and although versions of the sentiment have been advanced at various
times in American history, the precise phrase "suicide pact" was
first used in this context by Justice Robert H. Jackson in his
dissenting opinion in Terminiello v. Chicago, a 1949 free speech
case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. The phrase also appears in
the same context in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, a 1963 U.S. Supreme
Court decision written by Justice Arthur Goldberg.
- From the Wikipedia Article.
But we should also remember that “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” We need to be assured that these extraordinary measures are temporary restrictions on our Liberties and Freedoms and our Human, Constitutional, and Civil Rights. We also need to be careful that these extraordinary measures do not become acceptable practices in non-extraordinary circumstances. We should also have Congressional authorization for these extraordinary measures, Congressional restrictions and limitations on these extraordinary measures, and a Congressional termination to these extraordinary measures. Congress is the voice of the people, and the voice of the people should be heard when we need to restrict our Liberties and Freedoms and our Human, Constitutional, and Civil Rights during a national emergency.
For Congress to meet and pass this declaration would pose a danger to them and their staff of contracting the Coronavirus. Precautions need to be implemented to reduce this possibility, but leadership often involves placing yourself in danger; political, economic, and physical danger. If you are unwilling to endanger yourself, then perhaps you should not be in a leadership position.
We also need to be concerned that we do not endanger our future Liberties and Freedoms and our Human, Constitutional, and Civil Rights by encumbering ourselves with spending debts that will be passed on to future generations. After the Coronavirus Pandemic abates, we need to restructure our spending and taxing systems to not endanger our future. This will require massive spending cuts and shifts in taxation to accomplish this goal. Sacred Cows, Pork, and Earmarks spending needs to be reduced or eliminated. Spending priorities need to be established, and spending on lower priorities needs to be eliminated or reduced. Tax rates, tax deductions, and tax loopholes need to be targeted and adjusted or eliminated. Taxes may have to increase, but only after spending cuts are implemented. These massive spending cuts and shifts in taxation are also needful and necessary to reduce our present National Debt.
The 2020 Presidential and National elections are the proper means to discuss this restructuring. We should not allow our political candidates to ignore, obfuscate, nor dissemble about these spending cuts and shifts in taxation during this election. To do otherwise is to abdicate our duties and responsibilities as citizens and leaders of the current and future generations of Americans. Alas, I can hope this happens, but I do not expect it will happen, which is a sad commentary on our politics.
The blame game of politics has already begun even before the Coronavirus Pandemic has abated. There is a need to assign responsibility (but not blame) and accountability for what occurred at the start and during the Coronavirus Pandemic. And there is plenty of responsibility and accountability to go around. Most of the responsibility is from political decisions, some of it from business decisions, and all of it to those that allowed systemic problems to fester. Whether it was from lack of foresight, willful ignorance, increasing profits, or the lack of political courage to make tough decisions, mistakes have been made in the past and present. Some, if not much, of these mistakes were simply unavoidable. We need to learn from these problems and mistakes and not repeat them. But now is not the time for repercussions, but it is the time to join together to defeat the Coronavirus Pandemic. After the Coronavirus Pandemic has abated, we need to make a serious examination of what occurred and correct these problems. What we don’t need to do is exploit these problems for political advantage, as has been said:
“You never want a serious crisis to
go to waste. And what I mean by that [is] it's an opportunity to
do things that you think you could not before.”
- Rahm Emanuel, the Chief of staff to President Obama in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2008.
Rahm Emanuel was not the first to express this idea, as pointed out in a 2009 New York Times Magazine article. However this statement - which proposed a means the Obama administration could actually harness the chaos of the Financial Crisis of 2008 - became a frequently-repeated slogan for many economists, policymakers and business people who sought to change the world's financial and economic systems for what they thought was the best (but not always the best), with or without Congressional approval.
And the Coronavirus Pandemic is a serious crisis that should not go to waste. But the “go to waste” should not be in political agendas but in correcting the problems uncovered by the Coronavirus Pandemic and preparing to prevent these problems in the future. The problems such as I have pointed out in “03/24/20 Made in the U.S.A.” and “04/01/20 Liberty and Freedom in an Epidemic/Pandemic” sections of this article, and not for increased spending and taxes for non-related governmental and social policies.
The two trillion-dollar stimulus bill recently passed and signed in law by President Trump has many examples of governmental and social policies spending of non-related Coronavirus spending. Spending that will mean increased taxes and/or deficit spending, and therefore will increase our Nation Debt. It may also endanger the other problems, as I have pointed out in the “03/21/20 Pandemic Ramifications and Repercussions” section of this article.
An additional stimulus bill is being suggested that would “put America back to work,” which would include spending on infrastructure. Like most spending bills that Congress passes, it will be loaded with other spending and social policy changes. And work for work's sake is not necessarily a stimulus to the economy, and indeed, can have a negative impact on the economy. We should all remember the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which spent a combined one trillion dollars to stimulate the economy and save or create new jobs. Despite these stimuli spending, our economy performed sluggishly for the next eight years.
Government deficit and debt spending will have long-term negative repercussions on our economy and society. Negative repercussions that will be passed on to future generations. We must assure that the monies we spend are necessary and proper to abate and correct the Coronavirus Pandemic and its economic impacts, as well as prepare for future epidemics and pandemics. Any additional monies we spend to stimulate the economy should only be spent on projects that benefit all Americans of the present generations and that the benefits of the spending, but not the costs of the spending, can be passed on to future generations of Americans.
The political gamesmanship and blame game, the conspicuous partisan commentary, and the bias tactics of “Modern Journalism” do not help in resolving the problems, and they need to end (or at least be roundly condemned or criticized) until we get the Coronavirus Pandemic under control and develop the solutions for future disasters. And when we determine responsibility and accountability, we must remember in our determinations that:
“Perfection is reserved for
God; humans should strive to do their best.”
- Mark Dawson
If people have tried to do their best with their limited knowledge and experience, then we should temper our judgment of them. Responsibly and accountability need to be assigned and corrected, but judgment must be tempered with leniency as I have written in an article “Who are you to judge?”.
The ages-old economic theory of “Supply and Demand” is highlighted in the current Coronavirus Pandemic. In a free-market economy, when supply is greater than demand prices fall, and manufacturing decreases. When demand is greater than supply, prices rise and manufacturing increases. When supply and demand are equal, prices and manufacturing remain steady. The way to judge supply and demand in a free market economy is to examine changes in prices. This is a basic tenant of economics. This is why price controls do not work to meet their intended purposes, and often price controls have a deleterious effect on Supply and Demand. With price controls, the suppliers have no way of knowing what the demand is, and no way of knowing how much to supply. Price controls also stifle innovation as there is no way to judge if your product is needed and if you can sustain your business. Consequently, price controls are also harmful to the public as the demand cannot be met, and prices cannot level off with demand.
Prior to the Coronavirus, Pandemic prices for ventilators or masks were steady, which indicated that the supply was meeting the demand. In the current Coronavirus Pandemic, the demand has increased dramatically, the prices have increased, and the supply has not been able to keep up with the demand. Why is there not a sufficient supply of ventilators or masks? The reason is that there was no demand for these items before the Coronavirus Pandemic. The supply was adequate to meet the demand before the Coronavirus Pandemic, and the demand is greater than the supply during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
You cannot simply need something and expect it to be supplied immediately or quickly. Manufacturers need to obtain the raw materials or parts beforehand, which the suppliers of these items need to ramp up to meet the manufacturers' demand. The manufacturers then need to set up a manufacturing process and begin production before they can supply anything. And this entire process takes some time to accomplish.
Career politicians, political commentators, journalists, and many academics usually have no direct knowledge and experience in manufacturing Supply and Demand. These same people who are informing us, or telling us how smart they are, or how they are moral they are, have never designed anything, engineered anything, build anything, assembled anything, or trucked anything except maybe some assembly required bookcase they bought at a store and drove home. They have no experience in manufacturing Supply and Demand, but they assume they are qualified to insist that ventilators or masks should as if by magic appear overnight. It is very easy to require something to be manufactured if you don’t have to do it yourself, but it is much more difficult to actually manufacture anything.
Redistributing the current supply means shortchanging some to supply others. This begs the question of ‘Which States should get an increase in the current supply and which States should have a reduction of the current supply?’. Who is wise enough to choose which people will benefit and which people will suffer? Try asking the Governors of New York, Michigan, and California how much they need and how much they are willing to give up to other States in the current supply of ventilators or masks.
And, no, Socialism will not solve this problem. Socialism does not respond to Supply and Demand, as the socialist decisions about Supply and Demand are dictated by bureaucrats and not the market. And who amongst us believes that a bureaucrat can predict the current and future market of anything? And Socialism cannot dictate an increase in manufacturing any better than Capitalism, and usually does a worse job of meeting demand. For those that disagree, I would suggest that they examine the history of the 20th-century economies of Socialists and Communists countries. You should also examine the consequences of price controls that occurred in the shortages of oil and gas that occurred in the late 1970s. None of this history paints a rosy picture, and none of this is a society in which we would want to live.
In the current Coronavirus Pandemic, we can learn much about Supply and Demand. As the demand for ventilators or masks has increased, manufactures are ramping up their production lines to meet this demand. I am not surprised that they are doing this, but I am surprised at how quickly they are doing this. I am amazed by the retooling of manufacturers who did not produce ventilators or masks to start producing these items, and the speed in which they are doing this. This speaks well of American manufacturers and points out the strengths of a free market economy of Supply and Demand. To interpose or control this process will only slow this process. To encourage this process will allow the suppliers to more quickly meet the demand. Just not immediately, as it is not possible to manufacture anything immediately. To say that the manufactures did not foresee the increased demand is very good 20/20 hindsight. Foresight is a lot more blurred than hindsight, and hindsight in this situation is only a good lesson to prepare for the future.
Addendum: I have just discovered that some American manufacturers and distributors of ventilators and masks are selling and shipping these products internationally. This is shameful on their part and needs to stop. Until American people’s needs are satisfied, there should be no shipments overseas. It is also my understanding that President Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act forbidding these shipments. This invocation should not have been necessary if these American manufacturers and distributors had a conscience. Shame on them, and I would support naming names for the American people to know who behaved shamefully. This, however, is not an indictment on all American businesses, especially those that stepped up or started production of these items, but only those American businesses that acted shamefully.
Irrational Times, Irrational People, and Irrational and/or Manipulative Politicians often lead to irrational governmental actions and social policies. And just as often, these actions and policies lead to the detriment of the people. Large scale irrationality led to The French Revolution which engendered the Reign of Terror, the Russian Revolution led to a repressive government, human rights violations, and mass starvation, and the Maoist Revolution led to the same results as the Russian Revolution. Italian Fascism and German Nazism were driven by irrational crowds, which led to massive human rights violations, and many smaller countries have also had their irrational crowd rule. All these large-scale irrational actions have resulted in violence, wars, and massive violations of human rights, as irrationality respects nobody and nothing, and will always end up poorly.
Smaller-scale irrationality often leads to governmental laws or actions which are detrimental or a violation of human rights. The United States has not immune to this type of smaller-scale irrationality. The history of 20th century America has had spurts of irrationality. Usually, such spurts calm down and we pursue more rational policies. The labor/management unrest of the early 20th century, the bigotry and suppression of Black Americans in the early 20th century, The Great Depression, the abuses of liberty and freedom of some peoples during World War I and II, and the reaction to the Vietnam War were often irrationally driven. But after these crises passed, we became more rationally driven. The exception to this history was the Civil Rights movement. It started and continued to be rationally base, with only a few instances or irrationality. However, in the late 20th and early 21st century, the Civil Rights movement has morphed into irrational charges of current systemic “Racism” in the United States.
However, in the late 20th and early 21st century, irrationality has become a political tactic. Mob actions and violence with calls for “Change” are often the catalysts for irrational governmental actions and social policies. Mobs that are not spontaneous but organized to agitate for change. Mob tactics that are utilized to inflame a situation rather than call attention to a situation. And politicians who advocate these changes utilize the mob actions, rather than rational considerations, to justify their plans for change. Things that were unobtainable in a rational political environment suddenly look possible in an irrational environment. Any negative situation or crisis that occurs is utilized to push for change that would not happen in a more rational environment. These tactics have been utilized mainly by one political party to advance their agenda – The Democrat Party – as demonstrated by the following quote by one of the Democrat leaders:
“You never want a serious crisis to
go to waste. And what I mean by that [is] it's an opportunity to
do things that you think you could not before.”
- Rahm Emanuel, the Chief of staff to President Obama in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2008.
The Democrat Party is a coalition of interest groups, interest groups advocating for change for the benefit of their members. The Democrat Party is organized to split America into interest groups, then appeal to these interest groups to obtain their votes and get elected. But this is done by the Democrats not so much as to advance the agenda of the interest groups but as means to Obtain and Retain Power for Democrats. A power that they can leverage to control Americans and American businesses. A power that can dictate what Americans can and cannot do. A power that is autocratic rather than the leadership of a free people. A power that infringes on the Freedom, Liberty, Equality, and Justice for All.
The Democrats do this because they believe their agenda is what is best for America. However, if it is truly what is best for America, then they should be able to rationally explain their reasoning, garner the American peoples' support for their agenda, and pass rational laws and social policies. Most often, their agenda requires more governmental laws, rules, and regulations. More social policies and bureaucrats to enforce these laws, rules, and regulations and social policies, and, of course, more taxes to pay for these governmental activities. In doing so, they often do not account for the negative social and economic impacts of these items, nor do they account for “The Law of Unintended Consequences”. A Cost/Benefit economic and social analysis is often not done, or when it is done, it is done incompletely or incorrectly to skew the results in the Democrats' favor.
With the Coronavirus Pandemic, we have seen a different reaction. Perhaps because people are staying at home and contemplating the enormousness of this situation, or perhaps because irrational mobs cannot congregate and call for irrational governmental actions and social policies. Consequently, we are all behaving in a more rational manner (except for hoarding). Yet, current comments by Democrat party leaders reveal that they are planning to use the Coronavirus Pandemic crisis to advance their agenda. Rather than solve the current Coronavirus Pandemic crisis and utilize the knowledge and experience we have gained to prevent or alleviate future epidemics or pandemics, and to alleviate the economic hardships of Americans and American businesses as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic crisis, they are planning to utilize the crisis to advance their agenda. An agenda advancement that is unrelated to the current Coronavirus Pandemic crisis.
Given the Democrats' past actions, we can probably expect that when the current Coronavirus Pandemic crisis has passed we will see more non-spontaneous mob actions and violence with calls for “Change” to advance the Democrat Party agenda, rather than solve the Coronavirus Pandemic problems. Perhaps not, however, as the American people have had time to think and contemplate on these problems. Perhaps we can achieve a rational solution to these problems and avoid irrational responses. We best be sure that we arrive at rational solutions. Otherwise, we run the risk of transforming our society in a manner that will infringe on the Freedom, Liberty, Equality, and Justice for All.
In my Coronavirus Chirp of “04/01/20 Liberty and Freedom in an Epidemic/Pandemic” I expressed concerns that our Liberties and Freedoms and our Human, Constitutional, and Civil Rights could be endangered by the actions needed to combat the Coronavirus Pandemic. The actions taken by the President, Governors, and Mayors to combat the Coronavirus Pandemic have increasingly been a violation of our Liberties and Freedoms and our Human, Constitutional, and Civil Rights, done to protect our lives, health, and safety. To justify these actions as necessary to protect Americans from the effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic is a slippery-slope justification that would allow for any or all actions. But these actions have now become excessive, and we are sliding down this slippery slope. Many Governors and Mayors are even discussing extending these actions for many more months. However, these actions must end soon, and end before we become inured to the violations to our Liberties and Freedoms and our Human, Constitutional, and Civil Rights. We, the American people, must learn and accept the consequences of living with the Coronavirus. Consequences of increased infections and deaths as a result of the Coronavirus. For we can never completely defeat the Coronavirus, just as we never completely defeat influenza. The Coronavirus is now part of our human existence, and we must accept this as fact and live with this fact.
The damage done by the Coronavirus Pandemic is not only to our lives, health, and safety, but to our economy as a result of the actions of the President, Governors, and Mayors of this country to combat the Coronavirus. These actions must end and end quickly, and our economy must be restored as not to endanger our lives, health, and safety as a result of economic recession or depression. This restoration has also invoked consequences to our Liberties and Freedoms and our Human, Constitutional, and Civil Rights. The questions of who, what, when, were, and how to restore the economy has evoked a political contestation on restoring the economy. The questions of the proper Federal, Regional, State, or Local governmental actions to restore the economy is contentious. Indeed, the following quote highlights this contention:
"We don't have a king in this
country. We didn't want a king, so we have a Constitution and we
elect a president,"
- Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York
Governor Cuomo should also remember that we elect Governors and Mayors in this country, and all the elected officials bear the responsibility to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, as well as their State Constitutions. They are not rulers of their fiefdoms, but leaders responsible to their citizens, as I have pointed out in my article “To Be Rulers or to Be Leaders”. They cannot take actions or make decrees directing the activities of the American people that are in violation of the United States Constitution or State Constitutions. They can only suggest activities of the American people, but not direct actions of the American people. This is a difference between being a ruler or being a leader. The American people are responsible for their actions, and the American people are responsible for restoring the economy. To do otherwise is only possible for a subjugated or subservient people.
Presidents, Governors, and Mayors must always be cognizant of our Freedoms and Liberties and take no actions that encroach on these Freedoms and Liberties. More specifically to the Coronavirus Pandemic and the economic recovery, they must remember the United States Constitution Amendments:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Amendment XIV Section 1”
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
If any of their directives or actions violate these Amendments, then such directives or actions are unconstitutional and must be challenged by the American people. Not only legal challenges that could take weeks, months, or years to resolve but also by defiance to such directives or actions. For defiance is an American birthright that preserves our Liberties and Freedoms and our Human, Constitutional, and Civil Rights. Mob violence is not an acceptable form of defiance, but disregarding such directives or actions is acceptable. If enough Americans disregard such directives or actions, they become unenforceable (after all, they cannot lock up or fine a massive number of people).
The Presidents, Governors, and Mayors must also remember that we have a hierarchical structure of government in the United States. A structure of Federal, State, and Local governance limited and enumerated in their Constitutions or Charters, and in decreasing hierarchy of authority, and increasing order of responsibility. When several Governors of regional areas of the United States discussed coordinating their responses for the economic recovery, they should be reminded that the United States Constitution makes no allowances for regional coordination, especially in the arena of interstate commerce. All actions regarding State coordination are the responsibility of the Federal government as express by laws passed by Congress and signed by the President. To do otherwise is to engage in Unconstitutional actions. These regional actions are also undemocratic, as they have no elective representatives to the regional authority responsive to the will of the people in these regions, and, therefore, no authority from the people of these regions to enforce these actions. To justify the regional actions as what is best for the people of these regions is to disregard our Liberties and Freedoms and our Human, Constitutional, and Civil Rights.
It is time for the American people to arise and demand that our Presidents, Governors, and Mayors act in a Constitution manner that preserves our "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All" . To not do so is to become a subjugated or subservient people.
The economy of the United States is extremely complex. The Supply and Demand, the Manufacturing Processes (materials, production, distribution), the Agricultural process, the Pipeline flow of inputs and outputs for all these processes, and all the support services needed to keep the processes running are staggering and unplannable. All the preceding is but one part of the economy, and there are many other parts needed to keep the economy running. So many parts that are interrelated and in constant flux that it is impossible to understand or predict the economy of the United States. This is why economists and politicians have a dismal record in predicting or directing the economy. There is too little known, and too many unknowns, about the economic factors and their interrelationships for any one person or group of persons to understand or direct the economy. There is also “The Law of Unintended Consequences” when trying to direct an economy.
This can be seen in the history of the 20th century when governments tried to control the economies of their countries:
The five-year plans for the development of the national economy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR] consisted of a series of nationwide centralized economic plans in the Soviet Union, beginning in the late 1920s, and they were all total failures.
The Five-Year Plans are a series of social and economic development initiatives issued since 1953 in the People's Republic of China. Since 1949 the Communist Party of China has shaped the economy of China through the plenary sessions of the Central Committee and national congresses. The Party plays a leading role in establishing the foundations and principles of Chinese communism, mapping strategies for economic development, setting growth targets, and launching reforms. And all of these plans were total failures.
The Nazis of Germany, the Fascists of Italy, and the Imperialists of Japan, could only direct their economies by placing their countries on a war footing and aggression against other countries, which led to disastrous consequences for the rest of the world. The United States ended its Great Depression of the 1930s when it too went on a war footing to counter the Nazis, Fascists, and Imperialists. Prior to this occurrence, the economic recovery programs of the United States had very limited positive results.
The history of the late 20th century in European countries that tried to be more socialistic by nationalizing some companies or economic sectors, or provided direction to other businesses, led to economic stagnation. Wage and Price controls all resulted in economic troubles. Their economies were stagnating, their peoples were suffering, and their hopes for a better future were dashed. It is only after they loosened the reigns on their economies that this situation changed for the better.
The history of government control of the economy of other non-European countries has all had the same results; stagnation, suffering, and despair. The hubris of a government that believes that they can direct or control an economy is astounding. And this government control is only possible by the subjugation or subservience of the people under economic control. Freedom, Liberty, Equality, and Equal Justice for All are not possible in a managed economy.
Which leads us to the question of how to economically recover from the impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic? Plans have been put forth by President Trump, Governors, Mayors, and others for an economic recovery. But they are all plans that require governmental control of the recovery, and as we have seen governmental control rarely, if ever, works. Therefore, I expect that these plans will only have limited positive effects. The only way to fully recover is to set the American people free to do what they do best, which is the Freedom and Liberty to make their own decisions. Allow the American people to control their own economic, health, and safety decisions, which will result in the recovery and growth of the economy but at the cost of more Coronavirus infections and deaths. A cost that must be borne, as the Coronavirus is now part of the human existence that cannot be eliminated nor fully controlled. The government should provide health and safety information, but not directives, and perhaps assure personal protective materials for individuals or businesses are available to help reduce the impacts of the Coronavirus. Other than that, governments should assure that the Human Rights, Constitutional Rights, and Civil Rights, and the "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All" is preserved.
In this time of the Coronavirus Pandemic, many people are looking to Science or God, and many times both, for answers and hope. Some believe that only science can provide answers or hope, while others believe that God is our only salvation. But it is too both Science and God that we must look to for both answers and hope.
I am a firm believer that science is the best way of explaining the physical properties and physical laws of the universe. I also am a firm believer that God created our universe and established its physical properties and physical laws. And I see no conflict between the views of Science and Religion. Science is the explanation of how God created the universe, and God is the explanation of why we have the physical properties and physical laws of the universe. Science cannot prove nor disprove the existence of God, as God is outside the realm of science.
I believe in science to answer scientific questions, And I believe in God to answer the questions that science cannot answer. There are questions that can be asked that science is incapable of answering. Those questions are best left to philosophers, ethicists and moralists, and theologians. Scientists are free to believe or not believe in God, as are all peoples, but scientists cannot prove or disprove the existence of God. To utilize science to answer the question of God is the misuse of science. All parties should recognize that the question of God is indeterminable and resides in the realm of belief. No party has a definitive answer to the question of God. Therefore, let us debate the question of God in an intelligent, reasonable, and respectful manner, and if we cannot agree, simply agree to disagree. Consequently, each party should not claim the truth of their beliefs as the truth may never be known.
Many scientists who argue against the existence of God do so on the basis that if science cannot explain something, then it must not have occurred. They also argue against the literal truth of the Bible, but I do not believe in the literal truth of the Bible but a moral, allegorical, or metaphorical truth of the Bible that science cannot address. Also, science cannot explain many things, most importantly the mysteries of the mind such as good from evil, right from wrong, truth from falsehood, creative from destructive, reasonable from emotional, love from hate, wisdom from folly, beauty from ugliness, and morality and ethics, etc., as well as many other questions, and science cannot explain God. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Maimonides, Spinoza, Locke, Descartes, Hume, and many other great Philosophers were not grounded in science but provided many great truths about human existence. As such, when a religious or philosophical person makes a claim about science, the claim should be subject to scientific scrutiny. When a scientific person makes a claim about religion or philosophy, the claim should be subject to religious or philosophical scrutiny.
I have written more extensively on this subject in my article “Science versus Religion”, and I would direct you to this article for more of my thoughts on this topic. So, as I leave this Chirp on the Coronavirus Pandemic I grasp my Bible and my Science books together and leave you with the words of one of the greatest scientists in history, and one of the greatest science popularizers of the last half of the 20th century.
"Science is not only compatible
with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality."
- Carl Sagan
"Science without religion is
lame, religion without science is blind."
- Albert Einstein
I have written a Chirp “04/27/20 Bankruptcy of States” that has a tangential reference to the Coronavirus Pandemic. It addresses the responsibilities of the Federal government in assisting the States to pay for debts that occurred because of the Federal actions as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic. I hope that you will take the time to read this Chirp, as well as my other Chirps.
Social Distancing, No Handshaking, Frequent Hand Washing, Sneezing into Your Elbow, and No Touching of the Face are difficult human actions to control and achieve. Millions of years of human evolution and social customs make changing these human interactions challenging to accomplish.
There are many other human actions that are spontaneous and are very difficult to consciously control. Such actions as; many types of sneezing, eye rubbing, headache rubbing, scratching facial itches, head-scratching, hair finger combing, nail-biting, and nose blowing, nose rubbing and nose picking, are all human reactions to human conditions. Other necessary actions are dental flossing and dental picking, and ear cleaning could also pose a risk. Hugs and kisses, either through friendship or romantic reasons, as well as physical intimacy of lovemaking, are other human interactions that are part of the human existence.
In addition, when we are tired of sleepy (or sleeping), it is difficult to control your automatic responses. Yet, now, we are being told that we should control these reactions to combat the Coronavirus. Handshaking is a voluntary activity that now poses a risk. Perhaps we should replace this social custom with a palm(s) to the upper chest with a slight forward movement of the upper body, which may be a suitable replacement for a handshake. Social Distancing is more difficult, especially in a work environment. So much of human communication is non-verbal and requires proximity to the other person. Too distant from another person reduces the effectiveness of communication, while too close increases the risk of infection. A middle way, balancing both risk and reward, needs to be adopted. Perhaps three feet, rather than six feet, might be more appropriate, especially as people learn to control their reactions. Masks and other personal protection may be needed in the workplace, but this should be decided by the employers and employees as governmental requirements are oppressive (see my previous Coronavirus Pandemic Chirps), and are usually inappropriate to individual workplace environments as one size does not fit all.
However, the other automatic responses are more difficult to control, and we may have no other means to satiate them. Therefore, when we don’t control these reactions, they pose a risk to ourselves and those around us. Then what are we to do when such things occur? In private, we need to chastise ourselves and retrain our reactions. In public, an apology for our reactions is necessary, and a gentle admonishment to others' reactions is acceptable. You should not make excuses for your reactions, but you should sincerely apologize for your reactions. Chastising others is not acceptable in public situations, as this exacerbates the situation and leaves hard feelings of those chastised. Consequently, you should remember, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
We are now getting past the Coronavirus Pandemic crisis period and into the Coronavirus Pandemic recovery period. You can tell the difference by the political rhetoric that politicians, leaders, commentators, and journalists have spoken or written. We can expect to see Congressional and Presidential Committees and Commissions examining the causes and actions regarding the Coronavirus Pandemic. We can also expect that many of these committees and commissions to focus on the past, and often look to place blame, the political blame game. And, as usual, they will be looking at actions with 20/20 hindsight, with little attention being paid to the circumstances at the time of the occurrence of these actions. It is much easier to say what we should have done than it is to determine if the actions were reasonable, given what we knew at the time when the actions occurred. These committees and commissions should, instead, be focused on what we should and should not do during future national emergencies.
Give the forthcoming Presidential election we can expect these committees and commissions to become very politicized. A politicization that will not be helpful for the future, but harmful to the political personages involved in making the decisions. When these committees and commissions are formed and begin their investigations, it is important that they not become kangaroo courts. This would require impartial membership and rules of procedures that would allow all sides to express their viewpoints. We should remember that what has been done is done, and recriminations should be utilized to guide us in future actions for national emergencies and not for the blame game. Some blame needs to be allocated to those who reacted inappropriately. However, the primary purpose of the blame should be to ascertain how we could have better reacted rather than to score political points.
As such, the currently formed House Committee to Investigate the Coronavirus Response is populated and structured more like a kangaroo court rather than an investigative committee. It should be disbanded and reformulated along bi-partisan lines. It should also investigate the overreactions and infringements of our Constitutional Rights that were perpetuated by some State and Local government authorities. The infringements of our Constitutional Rights are as important as the abatement of the Coronavirus Pandemic. It should also examine the impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic and our responses in the deaths from suicide, stress, drug and alcohol abuse, physical abuse, or those who had serious pre-existing medical conditions but were scared away from doctors’ offices, hospitals, and life-saving treatment.
We also need to address Legal Tort reform as businesses start to reopen. If businesses are liable for any or all Coronavirus infections as a result of their operations, they will be hampered in their actions. A hampering that will slow down, and possibly stall, the economic recovery from the Coronavirus Pandemic lockdowns. Willful misconduct by businesses that endanger their employees or customers should not be tolerated, but unintentional actions need to be immune from legal actions. Otherwise, businesses will become embroiled in legal actions that could ruin them, not to mention the overburdening of our legal system as a result of increased legal suits as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
We also need to be careful that we do not overreach on the economic and social corrections needed to recover from the Coronavirus Pandemic. This is not the time to expand government or institute social policy goals. Focus, instead, on what is required to recover from the impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic. We also need to focus on the national debt and its reduction, a debt that ballooned as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic spending. For the increased national debt may have a greater impact than the Coronavirus Pandemic, an impact that could negatively harm future generations of Americans.
All of these issues, including my Coronavirus Pandemic Chirp “03/24/20 Made in the U.S.A.”, and more, needs to be examined so that we are better prepared in the future for any national emergency that may arise.
Many have called for continued stay-at-home and business lockdowns and “Wait Until It’s Safe” to remove these restrictions. We should remember that we live in an unsafe world, and no human activities would occur if we “Wait Until It’s Safe.” It is unsafe to get out of bed in the morning, it is unsafe to travel to and from work, and there is unsafeness in the workplace and in the home. It is possible to be infected, injured, or die in any human activity. Automobiles and trucks have accidents, trains crash and derail, airplanes have accidents and crash, and boats and ships collide or sink. On the other extreme, a meteor could strike the earth, a massive Coronal Mass Ejection could strike the Earth and fry all electrical and electronic equipment, a massive Volcano could erupt and make unhabitable large portions of the Earth, or an immense Earthquake could occur that would have devastating impacts. All these things, and much more, make for an unsafe world.
Some unsafe events we have no control over, while some unsafe events we can influence and mitigate the impacts. However, we live in an unsafe world, and there is nothing we could do if we "Wait Until It's Safe". We accept the risks, try to mitigate the risks, and we go on with our lives. And so, it must be with the Coronavirus Pandemic. The Coronavirus is now part of our world, just as influenza and other infectious disease are part of our world, and we must learn to live with it. We must accept this, mitigate the risks, and continue with our lives. To "Wait Until It's Safe" would require that we wait for a long time, an exceedingly long time, or forever. If we “Wait Until It’s Safe”, we will destroy the economy, disrupt the supply chain required to provide the essentials of life, and destitute a large percent of our population. Deaths, diseases, starvation, homelessness, poverty, and more are unintended consequences of "Wait Until It's Safe".
It is time to stop "Wait Until It's Safe" and get on with our lives. You should do what you can to protect yourself and others from contracting or spreading the Coronavirus, but you need to live your life as well. Therefore, you must accept the risks, try to mitigate the risks and go on with your life. Let us hear no more of "Wait Until It's Safe".
The question of sovereignty within the United States has become paramount during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Is it the President, or the Governors, or the local officials? The answer is neither of these people, but the people themselves that are sovereign over any government official!
It has been truly said that “First Came Rights, and Then Comes Government” as espoused in our “Declaration of Independence”. The American Revolution was fought over this principle, and the entire Declaration espoused this principle. Our forefathers were terribly aware that governments were often oppressive to the Natural Rights of the people, and the people need to be wary of government actions and to protect their rights against governmental incursions of our Natural Rights. The instituted the “The United States Constitution” to formulate a government that places the sovereignty with the people and to prevent governmental incursions on our Natural Rights. They also passed the “Bill of Rights” and the “Other Amendments” to further protect our National Rights. They expected the people to utilize their Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All to retain their Natural Rights and resist governmental incursion on these Natural Rights.
You cannot pass a law, nor implement any rules or regulations, that is a restriction or constriction of our Natural Rights. Any governmental authority cannot enforce any restrictions or constrictions on our Natural Rights. Consequently, no President, or Governor, or local official cannot arbitrarily place any rules or regulations upon the Natural Rights of the people. For governmental authorities to institute any actions, they must pass laws that enable these actions. Laws that must not infringe on our Natural Rights and that must be constitutional. Any rules or regulations that do not meet these criteria can be ignored or resisted by the people. For if government officials have no legal authority for their actions, there is no legal duty for the people to obey these actions.
As the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution state:
Amendment IX (9): Rights retained by the people:
“The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
Amendment X (10): Powers retained by the states and the people:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Consequently, the people are sovereign, and they retain their Natural Rights and have no duty to obey any rules or regulations that infringe on our Natural Rights. The Congress of the United States, and the State Legislators, have not passed any laws, nor has the judiciary of the United States or the individual states reviewed such laws for the constitutionality of such laws for much of the actions of the President, or Governors, or local officials. The broad and sweeping powers that the President, or Governor, or local officials have claimed under the banner of a National Emergency do not negate nor infringe on our Natural or Constitutional rights. Some limited authority of limited duration may be necessary to overcome a national emergency. But such actions must be narrowly defined and of short duration or they are infringements on our Natural Rights.
For those that would respond that most of the people support these actions, I would retort that the majority does not get to impose its will on the minority, for that is antithetical to Natural and Constitutional Rights. I would also remind you that during the American Revolution, John Adams, one of the leading proponents of the Declaration of Independence, a founder of the Constitution, and the second President of the United States, said about majority support. When asked how many of the colonists supported the American Revolution, he stated that about one-third supported it, one-third opposed it, and one-third had no opinion on it. Clearly not a majority in support of the American Revolution. Should we have not fought the American Revolution as it did not have majority support? Absolutely not – as revolutions are often fought by a minority that feels oppressed by the majority. So, it should be for those that are resisting governmental actions to combat the Coronavirus Pandemic. They are standing up for our Natural and Constitutional rights, and although they may be in the minority, they are also right to stand up for our Natural and Constitutional Rights.
We have persevered with these restrictions and constrictions of our Natural and Constitutional Rights to fight the Coronavirus Pandemic for well over month for the good of all. However, allowing the government to decide what is good for all can lead us down the slippery slope of permanent restrictions on the Natural Rights of the people. Therefore, it is time to reaffirm our Natural Rights, the principles of the Declaration of Independence, and the limited powers of government as espoused in the Federal and State Constitutions. To not do so is to endanger our Natural and Constitutional Rights in the future and empower governmental authorities to be sovereign over the people.
In my writings, I often reference Natural Rights and Human Rights, and occasionally reference Fundamental Rights. But the question is, what are the differences between these rights? Natural Rights and Human Rights are different terms for the same thing. Fundamental Rights are those Natural Rights and Human Rights that are enumerated in our Constitution, as constituted mainly in the Bill of Rights -- the first ten amendments, and the 14th amendment to the Constitution. Natural Rights were mostly utilized by our Founding Fathers and several generations prior and preceding them. Gradually the term Human Rights superseded the term Natural Rights. Fundamental Rights is the term utilized in our Judicial system to reference Human Rights enshrined in our Constitution. However, our Human Rights are not limited to our Fundamental Rights, as the 9th Amendment to the Constitution makes abundantly clear.
Natural Rights and Human Rights are integral to each person, and they are too numerous to list. The anti-slavery crusader Lysander Spooner would explain it thusly: “A man’s natural rights are his own, against the whole world; and any infringement of them is equally a crime, whether committed by one man, or by millions; whether committed by one man, calling himself a robber, ... or by millions, calling themselves a government.”
Natural rights collectively constitute the moral ability and sovereign authority of every human being to make personal choices, if these personal choices do infringe on the Human Rights of others. And these Human Rights are free from government interference or government permission. They are essential to assuring our Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All.
Occasionally, Human Rights need to be curtailed in an emergency, but their curtailment must be limited in scope and of short duration. This curtailment must cease as quickly as possible, and the people harmed by such curtailment must be indemnified for the harm caused by the curtailment. To not do so is to allow for the infringement of Human Rights for specious reasons. It is a Human Right for the people to protest these curtailments and seek to redress these curtailments. To prohibit these protests is to institute tyrannical rule over the people. We also should always remember the words of Benjamin Franklin:
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
Let us, therefore, be incredibly careful and circumspect when we think about curtailing Human Rights.
For more on these Fundamental Rights in regard to the Coronavirus Pandemic, I would direct you to the “U.S. Constitution shredded by dangerous elected officials” by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano.
In the last several decades we have heard the hue and cry that this election is the most consequential election of our time. This is because governmental actions have become so intrusive in our political, social, and economic spheres of life that this intrusion makes for every election to be consequential. It is, indeed, a sad state of affairs that in a society dedicated to Freedom and Liberty that this governmental intrusion has become significant. For such governmental intrusion often encroaches on the Human, Constitutional, and Civil Rights of the individual.
However, the upcoming election may indeed be the most crucial election of our time. This is a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic and our responses to this pandemic. These responses have illuminated the differences in the approach to governance between the rights of the individual and the needs of society. Politicians on both sides have revealed their true stripes on this question. The President, Governors, Mayors, Judges, and other governmental officials’ responses to the Coronavirus Pandemic responses demonstrated their priorities and their approach to governance.
Executive orders without legislative approvals, executive orders that do not take into consideration our rights, and executive orders sans significant judicial reviews reveal a propensity for rulership rather than leadership. Occasionally, our rights need to be curtailed in an emergency, but their curtailment must be limited in scope and of short duration. This curtailment must cease as quickly as possible, and the people harmed by such curtailment must be indemnified for the harm caused by the curtailment. Executive orders that extend weeks or months are beyond the scope of Executive powers, and are often injurious to the economy and deleterious to our rights, as outlined in my Coronavirus Pandemic Chirps of “05/04/20 First Came Rights” and “05/07/20 Natural Rights, Human Rights, and Fundamental Rights”. If such Executive powers are necessary, they should be preceded by quickened Legislative approval and expedited Judicial review. To not do so is to allow for arbitrary and capricious Executive authority.
In general, the Republican leaders have less supportive of, and more concerned about, these executive orders. Democratic leaders, on the other hand, tend to support these executive orders and seem not so concerned about their impacts on our rights or our economy. It is also true that the most restrictive executive orders originated from Democrat politicians (although some Republicans have done so). As to the argument that Democrat leaders are more concerned about our lives and safety I would respond to this argument by directing you to my Coronavirus Pandemic Chirp “05/03/20 Wait Until It’s Safe”. Both sides are concerned about our lives and safety, but only one side has exhibited concerns about our Human, Constitutional, and Civil Rights as well as the harmful economic impacts of our responses. And all of these concerns need to be addressed to appropriately respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic emergency.
In this next election, and subsequent elections, we shall choose whether we want leaders or rulers. We will decide whether the rights of the individual are subordinate to the needs of society, and if government has control of our economy. If we choose leaders then we will preserve our Human, Constitutional, and Civil Rights. If we choose rulers then we shall be subservient to governmental powers. We need to choose wisely in these elections, and with consideration about the future course of our society. As for me, I will decide based on the current actions of our politicians, and whether they have exhibited leadership rather than rulership.
Is might right, or is might just the power to do what you will? Might is never right but might be necessary when utilized for a just purpose. In a time of crisis, it may be necessary for might to establish order and to save lives, but might should always be tempered by mercy. For if it is not tempered, it becomes repressive and a violation of human rights.
Might is necessary for the enforcement, prosecution, and incarceration of criminal actions. However, the utilization of might is only justified when just laws are being implemented, and only when the might is applied justly.
For non-criminal actions, the application of might is almost always wrong, but there are shades of grey for this application of might. This is elucidative in the actions we have taken to curb the Coronavirus Pandemic. The government has applied its might to combat the Coronavirus Pandemic, but this might have caused much harm to many people. Is the application of this might justified in this case, or has the might been unjustly applied?
How much harm can the government inflict upon the people to combat a national emergency? Has the application of governmental might been necessary and evenhanded? Is the harm inflicted on the people greater than the harm of the emergency? Is the government responsible for indemnifying the people harmed by its actions? How much might should the government have to intervene in the personal and economic affairs of the people? What are the limits of government might and the natural rights of the people? These questions and answers of governmental might during the Coronavirus Pandemic will be debated for decades to come.
We should learn the lessons of the Coronavirus Pandemic and apply these lessons to future governmental actions. And the voice of the people, not just politicians, governmental officials, and the judiciary need to be involved in this debate. The people need to speak out and direct their elected and appointed officials to give prominence to the people’s concerns, and not just governmental concerns. And the people need to be concerned that “Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All” is the foremost criterion when we formulate answers.
Once again, we are utilizing statistics improperly regarding the Coronavirus Pandemic. With the relaxation of the extraordinary measures to control the Coronavirus and the increase in social contacts, we have seen an increase in the number of people who have contracted the Coronavirus. We have also seen an increase because of more testing for the Coronavirus. All these increases are a result of more testing and social contacts. The question is, are these increases a result of greater contagion or more testing results? The answer is both, but it is not possible to separate these increases into the categories of contagion or testing results. And it may not be necessary to do so.
The increase in the number of people who have contracted the Coronavirus is not an important statistic. The important statistic is the increases in the number of sick people, the number of people who are hospitalized, and the increase in the number of deaths because of the Coronavirus. These increases show the current impact of the Coronavirus on Americans. While we have seen an increase in sickness, hospitalization, and deaths, are these increases significant to the public state of health in America? While these increases are significant to those who have suffered from sickness, hospitalizations, and deaths from the Coronavirus, do these increases pose a significant impact on the health services for Americans? Will these increases cause safety and economic harm to Americans? And should we wait to open America until we have a vaccine or cure for the Coronavirus?
The Coronavirus will continue to have an impact on Americans, even after a vaccine or cure is developed. This is the nature of viruses, and nothing we do will change this fact. The question we need to ask ourselves is, are these increases an acceptable risk as counterbalanced to the harm of the continued extraordinary measures to control the Coronavirus? We face risks every day of harms, deaths, and diseases in our commonplace lives. Should the Coronavirus risk be part of these everyday risks, and should we accept these risks and carry on with our lives? And what reasonable and prudent measures should we take to reduce the Coronavirus risks after we carry on with our lives?
These are the questions that we need to answer to decide on how we should go forward with our Coronavirus comeback. As for myself, I have put the fear of the Coronavirus aside, and I believe that it is time that we accept these risks, take reasonable and prudent precautions, and carry on with our lives.
During the Coronavirus Pandemic shutdowns, Governors and Mayors were quick to declare what governmental services and private businesses were considered essential and non-essential. Those businesses and governmental agencies that were determined non-essential had to stop operations, while essential business and governmental agencies had to make many changes and take precautions to continue to operate. The Governors' and Mayors' determinations of essential and non-essential had economic impacts on all businesses and governmental agencies. Business and individual incomes declined, and because of these declines, the tax revenues from businesses and individuals decreased, while more and different governmental expenditures increased to combat the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The Coronavirus Pandemic recovery will require both businesses and governments to reallocate their spending to meet the demands of the precautions of social contacting. These businesses and Governors and Mayors will need to determine what spending in their budgets is essential or non-essential and adjust their budgets accordingly. There need to be large increases in cleaning and disinfection services as well as reasonable and prudent precautions for both employees and people who occupy and visit these business and government facilities.
I have no doubt of the business leaders to make these adjustments as they have often done this in the past. However, I have serious doubts about government leaders to make these adjustments, as they very rarely have made adjustments in the past, but instead relied on increased tax revenues and increased spending. It is these adjustments by the government that is the focus of this Chirp.
Raising taxes to increase tax revenues to fund these increased costs is not a viable option, as raising taxes during an economic recovery depresses the economic recovery. It also often results in fewer taxes being collected as people adjust their behavior to reduce their tax burden. It will require that governmental leaders differentiate between essential and non-essential government services and increase the funding for essential services while decreasing or defunding non-essential government services. Something which politicians are loath to do as they are reluctant to make hard choices.
For a State or Local government to reallocate funding means that some people will be negatively impacted, while other people will have little or increased positive impacts. Politicians are all in favor of having enhanced positive impacts but are opposed to negative impacts. There is the specter of their not being reelected by making these choices, and to most politicians, their reelection is of primary importance.
As a result, many State and Local politicians, and their supporters and special interest groups, have started to call on more Federal funding to assist the State and Local governments to meet their funding for the Coronavirus Pandemic recovery. However, increase Federal funding requires increased Federal taxes or Federal deficit spending, both of which have a negative impact on the economy. By calling for increased Federal funding, the State and Local governments are also shifting the responsibilities and tax burdens to the taxpayers of other States or Localities, with the other States or Localities taxpayers having no say in the election of the politicians that would spend their taxes (i.e., No Taxation Without Representation).
I am opposed to increased Federal funding unless and until the State or Local governments take the actions to differentiate between essential and non-essential government services and increase the funding for essential services while decreasing or defunding non-essential government services. This, of course, will result in political gamesmanship as hard choices will have to be made. To this is say, ‘Let the Games Begin’ and ‘Let the Chips Fall Where They May’.
In what is considered one of his iconic dispatches, published on 7 February 1968, Peter Arnett wrote about the Vietnam war of the Battle of Bến Tre: "It became necessary to destroy the town to save it,' a United States major said today. He was talking about the decision by allied commanders to bomb and shell the town regardless of civilian casualties, to rout the Vietcong." The quotation was gradually altered in subsequent publications, eventually becoming more familiar, "We had to destroy the village in order to save it." The accuracy of the original quotation and its source has often been called into question. Arnett never revealed his source, except to say that it was one of four officers he interviewed that day. US Army Major Phil Cannella, the senior officer present at Bến Tre, suggested that the quotation might have been a distortion of something he said to Arnett. The New Republic at the time attributed the quotation to US Air Force Major Chester L. Brown. In Walter Cronkite's 1971 book, Eye on the World, Arnett reasserted that the quotation was something "one American major said to me in a moment of revelation."
The same can be said for America today, as in order to protect the people of the village of the United States from the Coronavirus Pandemic, we are destroying the village of the Constitution of the United States that defines the people. The lockdowns, restrictions, school closings, and economic impacts on persons and businesses have been slowly destroying America, not to mention the corrosion of our "Natural, Human, and Civil Rights". Will America ever restore itself to a nation that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Or will be become a subservient or subjugated people subject to decrees by government officials masked as protections from the Coronavirus Pandemic by following the science, even though the science is disputable and sometimes contrary to the decrees.
It is past time that we submit to fear itself and awaken to the negative impacts of these decrees. We must make reasonable and rational decisions as to how to best proceed and to restore our Constitutional ideals of “Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All”. We must also insist that our politicians exhibit leadership rather than rulership, as I have written on in my Article, "To Be Rulers or to Be Leaders".
In a recent article by Michael Barone, “Too Much Risk Aversion Is Too Risky”, he points out some interesting correlations between the different responses to COVID between the Red States and the Blue States. The one oddity he points out of American COVID responses has been the one-dimensional perspective of liberal decision-makers. An oddity that highlights the differences between Risk-Aversion and Risk-Taking persons. Some excerpts from this column are:
"As economist Allison Schrager argues, welfare-state protections have appealed to risk-averse traditional Democrats, while deregulated free markets have appealed to more risk-taking Republicans.”
“Women tend to be more risk-averse, for obvious evolutionary reasons (they're needed for species survival), and be more Democratic and dovish; men, more willing to take risks, are more Republican and hawkish. There's a reason every society protecting itself against attack has always depended on strong, aggressive, utterly non-risk-averse (think skateboarding!) young men.”
“One oddity of American COVID responses has been the one-dimensional perspective of liberal decision-makers. They claim to be following "the science," but with a narrow focus.”
“To prevent the spread of a virus that is often asymptomatic and less lethal than influenza to people under age 65, they have imposed restrictions that have reduced life-saving medical screenings and produced mental illness and stunted development among children and adolescents.”
“We're learning that risk aversion can go too far. A 5 mph speed limit could reduce vehicle deaths toward zero, and closure of elementary schools would vastly reduce the spreading of colds. But too much risk aversion can be too risky.”
I would recommend that you read this entire article to fully appreciate his comments. I would also add that upon reading his article, that I began to cogitate on the impacts of Risk-Aversion and Risk-Taking in personal, political, and societal actions.
Risk takers are those persons who advance themselves and our society, while risk aversion persons are those people that preserve themselves and our society. Society needs both risk-takers and risk-averse people to flourish. Generally, a person is either more of a risk-taker or more of a risk aversion person. The question is, of course, what is the balance between Risk-Aversion and Risk-Taking?
In our personal lives, those that are risk takers often achieve either success and economic prosperity or failure and economic adversity. Those that are risk-averse often achieve a modicum of success but not as much economic prosperity. Each person must decide for themselves what are their personal success and economic prosperity goals, and the best means of Risk-Aversion and Risk-Taking to achieve these goals. All, however, must realize that there are no guarantees in life and that any decision has the possibility of success or failure.
In our societal politics and governance, there is also the question of Risk-Aversion and Risk-Taking. However, the stakes are higher as political decisions and governance impact all Americans. Democrats seem to be more inclined to risk aversion when it comes to the welfare of the people but more risk-taking in the creation and administration of laws to achieve this risk aversion. Republicans, however, seem to be more of risk-taking when it comes to the welfare of the people but more risk-averse in the creation and administration of laws. This may be a result of their Constitutional interpretation, as I have written in my Article, “A Republican Constitution or a Democratic Constitution”.
So, how do we achieve this balance between Risk-Aversion and Risk-Taking in our politics and governance? I would suggest that we look into the American ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. And we should look at them through the lens of "Natural, Human, and Civil Rights" and ”The Law of Unintended Consequences”. Any Risk-Taking actions that would endanger these American ideals should be taken cautiously and with due deliberation. Any Risk-Aversion actions that engender the common good of the people, but not the greater good of the people as I have written on "Greater Good versus the Common Good", should be undertaken after forethought and due deliberation of our "Natural, Human, and Civil Rights", and our American ideals of “Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All”.
Under no circumstances should we as a people be in a rush to accomplish this Risk-Aversion or Risk-Taking, as I have Chirped on, “10/01/20 Rush to Judgment and Rush to Solutions”. Much of this Rushing to Judgment and Rushing to Solutions is based on Impatience. An impatience that seems to be a characteristic of Americans. We, as a nation, are often in a hurry to accomplish something. A hurry that often leads to poor decisions and unintended results. Let us make these Risk-Aversion and Risk-Taking decisions through thoughtful and deliberate considerations by the normal functioning of our Legislative process.
Dr. Anthony Fauci and several of his associates are excellent examples of what is wrong with experts in today’s society. Most experts believe that they have the answers and that their judgment should reign supreme, as I have Chirped on, “06/03/20 Experts ought to be on tap and not on top”. They also have the attitude of many "Progressives/Leftists" and "Democrat Party Leaders" in that they are more intelligent, better educated, and morally superior; they are, of course, always correct. An attitude that should be antithetical to a good scientist, as a good scientist should always follow the data no matter where it may lead.
Dr. Fauci’s recently revealed e-mails under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), although heavily redacted, have revealed his and several of his associate’s duplicitousness on COVID-19. Taken along with his public statements, which were often contradictory, he has revealed himself to not be a person of science but a person of public policy.
A person of science examines all the facts derived from observations and experiments, constructs a hypothesis based on the facts, then reveals the facts and hypothesis for critical review by other scientists. As new facts are obtained that contradict their hypothesis, they modify, discard, or create a new hypothesis as appropriate.
A person of public policy, in a Republic, utilizes good science to present the facts and conclusions to our elected representatives for them to formulate public policy. They themselves do not formulate and implement public policy, nor do they disassemble, misinform, or misdirect our elected representatives. Nor do they try to suppress contrary opinions to their own. In no cases should a public servant attempt to mislead elected representatives on the facts and conclusions but, instead, help our elected representatives understand the “Reasoning” that led to their conclusions.
In the COVID-19 Pandemic, Dr. Fauci and several of his associates have acted with the intent of formulating and implementing public policy, rather than as a person of science intent on giving our elected representatives the information that they can utilize to formulate public policy. It is for this reason, and their duplicitousness, that Dr. Fauci and several of his associates should resign or be fired from government service, as he and several of his associates’ actions have been an assault on our republican principles. As such, they are unfit to serve as public servants. They may even have committed criminal actions of perjury to Congress for which they should be held accountable. Their firing or resignations would also set a good example for all public servants that they are to provide accurate and thorough information to our elected representatives and not attempt to formulate or implement a public policy for which they believe is correct.
It is time for Dr. Fauci and several of his associates who colluded with him to join the ranks of ignominious persons in American history for their assaults on our republican principles and for the damage they have done to our country.
It has now become apparent that Dr. Fauci was an active supporter of Gain of Function research. Despite the warnings of the possible negative repercussions of such research, he believed the benefits of such research outweighed the risks. And despite the United States ban on such research, he successfully lobbied for a national security exemption to this ban. After which, he then funneled government monies to a non-governmental agency to conduct this research in China. He may also have transferred government funding directly to China under a disguised misnomer to cover his tracks. At the same time, he did not perform his due diligence to assure that the labs performing this research were doing so in a biologically safe manner. As a result of these decisions, it now appears that the COVID-19 virus, either accidentally or on purpose, escaped from the Wuhan China lab where this research was being done, thus inflicting the world with a pandemic that killed millions, sicked many tens of millions, and did economic harm to the order of tens of trillions of dollars to the countries of the world.
Anyone who would inflict such deaths, illness, and economic harm, whether done intentionally or unintentionally, may be guilty of Crimes against humanity. Unfortunately, as Dr. Fauci did this as an agent of the United States government, all Americans and our government may share some guilt in this Crime against humanity. It is certain that China did this research without proper safeguards, is complicit in these Crimes against humanity. If it is not a Crime against humanity, it should be, as any government, group, or individual who biologically engineers then loosen a pandemic upon the world is assaulting humanity.
The other question is whether China deliberately or accidentally loosen this pandemic upon the world. We may never have a definitive answer to this question, but in this case, it does not matter. As China instituted internal bans on travel when this pandemic was discovered, and they did not institute international travel bans, it does not matter. The deliberate decision to not ban international travel while banning internal travel constitutes a deliberate act of biological warfare against the world. As such, China bears the burden of a biological assault upon the world and should pay the penalty for this assault. In addition, the Chinese leaders who made these decisions on lab safety and no international travel bans are guilty of Crimes against humanity and should be brought to justice.
The question is, then, what constitutes justice in this case? I would propose that the individuals responsible for these decisions should be brought to trial before the World Court, and those that are found guilty should face long prison terms for these crimes. I would also propose that all private foreign debts that China holds should be impounded and set aside to compensate the individual victims that China harmed. I would also propose that all foreign government national debts that China holds should be nullified and the debts returned to the foreign nations be utilized to repair their economies. In addition, all foreign trade with China, by all nations, should be banned for ten years. I realize that these punishments may be harsh, but they are not as harsh as what China inflicted upon the people and the nations of the world by their Crimes against humanity and biological warfare assault. There may be internal national economic tremors by the ban on Chinese trade, but this is a lesson on the people and governments that to have expansive trade with a closed nation bears some consequences.
There are many lessons that can be learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic and our response to it. Some of the most important are:
- Scientists can be wrong, scientists can be political, scientists
can be corrupted, and scientists can lie. Science can get it
wrong, and sometimes science should fear to tread where angels
would never go.
- Statistics and probabilities can be manipulated to a
predetermined outcome, especially if politics or money is
involved, and therefore you should always be wary of statistics
and probabilities. And remember:
"All models are wrong, some are useful."
- George E. P. Box, one of the great statistical minds of the 20th century
- When relying on experts to formulate governmental policies, you
should always remember that:
"Experts ought to be on tap and not on top."
- Irish editor and writer George William Russell
- Many politicians and special interests groups will use any
excuse to accrue more power to themselves and government at the
expense of individual Freedom and Liberty, as the following quote
“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that [is] it's an opportunity to do things that you think you could not before.”
- Rahm Emanuel, the Chief of staff to President Obama, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2008.
- The American people can be bamboozled, the American people can
be driven by fear, and the American people will band together to
combat a common threat. However, the American people will not do
so for long without reasserting their Liberties and Freedoms.
- Whenever the government becomes involved in directing private
commerce, it will not end well for the businesses, the consumers,
and the general public.
- Our economy is complex and interrelated, and government actions
and reactions will always have unintended consequences to the
- Whenever the government makes decisions about public health, you should be very concerned about your personal health.
These lessons learned are not only applicable to the COVID-19 Pandemic but to all government actions. Let us not forget what has happened and the lessons we have learned, for if we do forget the lessons learned, then:
“Those who cannot remember the past
are condemned to repeat it."
- George Santayana
The Natural Right of Self-ownership, also known as a sovereignty of the individual or individual sovereignty, is the concept of property in one's own person, expressed as the moral or natural right of a person to have bodily integrity and be the exclusive controller of one's own body and life. It is this concept that makes slavery and involuntary servitude morally abhorrent. It is repugnant for any person or persons, entity, or government to force you to do something with your body that you are not disposed to do. This concept, however, does not apply to Abortion Rights, as abortion also includes this principle in regard to the unborn child's rights to life as I have Chirped on, “09/22/20 Abortion Articles”.
This leads to the question of how Self-ownership applies to medical procedures. In most cases, Self-ownership means that you cannot be forced to undergo a medical procedure that you do not desire. In some cases, this is not true, such as if you have been legally declared mentally incompetent to make your own decisions, the right of a parent to determine a dependent child’s medical procedures, and if you present a clear and present danger to others as a result of your medical condition (i.e., an infectious disease carrier).
If you have been vaccinated or have a natural immunity to an infectious disease, then you are not a clear and present danger to others, and therefore need not be forced to undergo a medical procedure related to your infectious disease. If you have not been vaccinated or have a natural immunity to an infectious disease, and are exposed to the infectious disease, then you assume the risk of contracting the infectious disease. Consequently, your decision on inoculation is your decision alone because it only impacts yourself, and you have the Natural Right to Self-ownership.
Regarding the current COVID-19 Pandemic and the government’s decision to force inoculations on those people who choose not to have the vaccine or those that have natural immunity but have not taken the vaccination, it is an infringement on their Natural Right to Self-ownership. As such, these government actions, whether through intimidation or coercion, are not acceptable to a people dedicated to Liberty and Freedom. No "Torturous and Convoluted Reasoning" nor "Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors" to justify the government’s decision to force inoculations is acceptable. Even in the private, public, or commercial sphere, there is no justification to force inoculations upon a person when there is no clear and present danger. For the government to require proof of immunity to conduct private, public, or commercial activities, or to force immunizations upon employees, is another issue of Natural Rights which is the subject of my next Chirp.
Consequently, any government actions to require immunizations is a violation of our Natural Rights and should not be tolerated under any circumstances.
In a previous Chirp on, “07/29/21 The Natural Right of Self-ownership”, I spoke on this right regarding medical procedures. If you have been vaccinated or have a natural immunity to an infectious disease, then it is highly unlikely that you will become infected or infect others. Given this premise, does your Natural Right of Liberty and Freedom preclude the government or employers from requiring proof of immunizations to engage in the normal activities of society?
Unless there is a clear and present danger to others, for the government or employers to require proof of immunizations for infectious diseases is a restriction on our Natural Rights of Liberty and Freedom. At the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, there was a clear and present danger of becoming infected, or spreading the infection, to others. With the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine and natural immunity and the widespread inoculations that have occurred, it is no longer a clear and present danger to others. It is only a danger to those who have voluntarily chosen not to be inoculated, a danger in which they have assumed the risk of contracting the infectious disease. This is no different from the dangers of contracting or spreading other infectious diseases such as Influenza, Hepatitis, Measles, Mumps, Polio, HIV/AIDS, and Whooping cough, etc...
For the government to require proof of immunizations for any infectious disease requires that the government establish a database of those who have been vaccinated or have natural immunity. A database that would contain private medical information on vaccinations or natural immunities of individuals that would have to be accessible by government agencies and private entities to confirm your status before engaging in the normal activities of society. In lieu of a database, the government would have to require all persons to obtain and retain an identity card with their immunization status and present such a card before engaging in the normal activities of society. Such a database or identity card is abhorrent to a people who believe in Liberty and Freedom. It also could be utilized in the future for nefarious purposes and actions of government or private entities.
Therefore, our Natural Rights of Liberty and Freedom supersede any power of government or employers to require proof of immunizations for infectious diseases.
Equal Protection of the Law refers to the idea that a government may not unequally apply the application of its governing laws that would favor or disfavor an individual or groups of individuals. This doctrine requires that all governments must treat an individual or group in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances. Equal protection forces the government to govern impartially -to not draw distinctions between individuals solely on differences that are irrelevant to a legitimate governmental objective. Thus, the equal protection clause is crucial to the protection of civil rights. I have more fully examined this topic in my Article, "The Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution and The Equal Protection of The Law Doctrine.
The Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause requires the United States government to practice equal protection as it states:
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” [emphasis added]
The ‘without due process of law ‘clause has been interpreted by the courts to require Equal Protection of the Law as well as Due Process of the Law – as you cannot have one without the other. The Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause requires States to practice equal protection and due process of the law. The 14th Amendment states in part:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” [emphasis added]
We, in America, have seen unequal protections of the law regarding COVID Edicts and Orders. From not enforcing these Edicts and Orders during the mob protests of 2020, to the southern border illegal immigrants being untested and unvaccinated, to the immigration of Afghanistan refugees that have not been tested nor vaccinated, to the craving out of special exemptions for various groups of people, and to the non-enforcement of the politically connected or powerful, we have seen unequal protection of the law, subject to the whims of those issuing the COVID Edicts and Orders.
These unequal protections of the law, therefore, make these COVID Edicts and Orders unconstitutional. There are many other reasons that these COVID Edicts and Orders may be unconstitutional, such as they were not passed by Congress or the State Legislators amongst other constitutional issues, but the unequal protections of these COVID Edicts and Orders is sufficient to declare them unconstitutional. The Supreme Court must stand for the Equal Protection of the Law Doctrine, or our Liberties and Freedoms are subject to the whims of government authorities acting as despots. If the Supreme Court cannot put an end to these unconstitutional actions, then the American people should disregard these COVID Edicts and Orders and actively oppose them to retain their Liberties and Freedoms.
After eighteen months of the COVID-19 infectious disease we are at the point of asking what is the current status of this disease - is it an Epidemic, Pandemic, or an Endemic? This question is important as it determines how we should treat this disease in our society. First, however, a few definitions are in order:
- Epidemic - A widespread outbreak of an infectious disease; many people are infected at the same time.
- Pandemic - An epidemic that is geographically widespread, occurring throughout a region or even throughout the world.
- Endemic - Of or relating to a disease (or anything resembling a disease) constantly present to a greater or lesser extent in a particular locality.
With the development of the COVID-19 vaccine and the inoculations of most people in America, as well as the spread of Natural Immunity, we can safely say that we are no longer in a pandemic. The possibility of variant does not qualify as a pandemic, and the fear that it may become a pandemic is groundless until it appears and becomes an epidemic. Normal precautions against a COVID-19 variant, such as the yearly Influenza precautions, are justifiable, but Pandemic precautions for a possible variant are unnecessary and are harmful to our health, our economy, our society, and our Liberties and Freedoms.
If the COVID-19 vaccine works, then those who are vaccinated need no protection against unvaccinated persons. Also, those who have acquired natural immunization do not need to be vaccinated as they cannot contract nor spread COVID-19. These scientific facts should be kept in mind whenever we institute a policy to deal with any endemic. Our policy should be one of local containment and vaccinations whenever and wherever a COVID-19 variant may occur and not overreacting out of fear of a pandemic. This is how we dealt in the past with Pandemics that have morphed in Endemics, as we did with the 1917 Spanish Flu. Yearly inoculations for the expected flu variant are a normal occurrence in America, and Americans have the Liberty and Freedom to choose to or not choose to receive these vaccinations. We should therefore expect that there may be a cycle of COVID-19 variants and that we should deal with them as we do with influenza variants.
Speaking from the East Room of the White House recently, President Joe Biden announced his administration's latest expansive and overreaching plan to combat Wuhan coronavirus. "We are going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers," he continued. "This is not about freedom or personal choice. It's about protecting those around you." Ronald Klain, the White House chief of staff, faced criticism on social media Thursday after he retweeted a post that seemed to praise the Biden administration for pulling off the "ultimate work-around" for a national COVID-19 vaccine requirement. Klain retweeted MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle, who posted, "OSHA doing this vaxx mandate as an emergency workplace safety rule is the ultimate work-around for the Federal govt to require vaccinations."
This statement is so obviously false on its face that the only correct response to it is to remember:
"I think we ought to exercise one of
the sovereign prerogatives of philosophers- that of laughter."
- Charles L. Black
But laughter is not the only response we should give this statement, as President Biden and Ronald Klain’s statement is an assault on our American Ideals and Ideas. Working around the Constitutional rights of a person is not acceptable in America. If we work around the Constitution, then the Constitution becomes meaningless, and our Liberties and Freedoms are negated. These statements demonstrate that President Biden, and those who support his policy, have no wish to lead American but only to rule America, as I have examined in my Article, "To Be Rulers or to Be Leaders".
To choose to take or not take any medication, or undergo any medical procedure, is about freedom of personal choice. If your decision has no impact on the health and safety of others, then it is your personal decision and not a government's decision. Even if it has an impact on the health and safety of others, the government's reactions need to be constrained to immediate circumstances. To not constrain the government's reactions to immediate circumstances is to allow for the rule of government over a person. We should also remember a famous Supreme Court opinion that addressed this issue:
“[I]nspection laws … form a portion
of that immense mass of legislation, which embraces every thing
within the territory of a State, not surrendered to the general
government: all which can be most advantageously exercised by the
States themselves. Inspection laws, quarantine laws,
health laws of every description, as well as laws for
regulating the internal commerce of a State, and those which
respect turnpike roads, ferries, &c., are component parts of
this mass. No direct general power over these objects is
granted to Congress; and, consequently, they remain subject to
State legislation.” [emphasis added]
- Supreme Court Chief Justice Marshall in Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
President Biden’s statement and other statements that he and his administration have made regarding the enforcement of his COVID-19 constrictions and policies are therefore unconstitutional and despotic - dominance through threat of punishment and violence, and he and his administration are becoming despots. Congress also has no authority to intervene in COVID-19 constrictions as ‘No direct general power over these objects is granted to Congress ‘. The Governor’s, Mayor’s, and other state and local officials that issue COVID-19 restrictions that are not ‘subject to State legislation’ are also unconstitutional.
Even if the President, Governor’s, Mayor’s, and other state and local officials believe that what they are doing is best for America and Americans, there can be no best if you violate our American Ideals and Ideas. And you should always remember:
"The most basic question is not what
is best, but who shall decide what is best."
- Thomas Sowell
Providing thorough and accurate information to the American people for them to decide for themselves is always the best policy. Then the American people, enacting legislation through their elected representatives operating under Constitutional constraints, become the best deciders in America.
The twentieth century saw many natural rights abuses, including medical abuses. Electroshock Therapy, Eugenics, Forced Sterilization, Lobotomies, NAZI Medical Experimentations, The Tuskegee Study, and many other medical procedures were tried on uncooperative or unsuspecting persons. There were many excuses for doing so, such as helping cure the individual, finding cures for others so inflicted, advancing medicine for the good of humankind, etc., none of which recognized the Natural Rights of the persons subject to the medical procedures. With the advancements of medical science in the late twentieth century, the moral and ethical dilemmas of medical procedures needed to be addressed.
The International Bioethics Committee (IBC) of UNESCO is a body composed of 36 independent experts from all regions and different disciplines (mainly medicine, genetics, law, and philosophy) that follows progress in the life sciences and its applications in order to ensure respect for human dignity and human rights. It was created in 1993 by Dr. Federico Mayor Zaragoza, General Director of UNESCO at that time. It has been prominent in developing Declarations regarding norms of bioethics that are regarded as soft law but are nonetheless influential in shaping the deliberations, for example, of research ethics committees (or Institutional review board) and health policy. The Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights was issued by the IBC, which declares inviolable the principle of “informed consent” regarding all medical policies. The Nuremberg Code’s definition of informed consent is as requiring a person to be “situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force … or other … constraint or coercion.”
While none of these have been officially accepted as law by any nation or as official ethics guidelines by any association, they provide the philosophical basis for discussion on the ethics of medical experiments and procedures and hence on the Natural Rights of those involved in these medical procedures.
This brings us to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the vaccines developed to combat the Pandemic. As I have Chirped on, “09/19/21 Epidemics, Pandemics, and Endemics Oh My!”, the current Biden Administrations' plan for universal vaccination for COVID-19 is a violation of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights and the Nuremberg Code. Being required by one’s employer to take an injection on the pain of losing one’s livelihood cannot by any reasonable measure be considered “voluntary” or unconstrained. A government that requires an employer to enforce these injections under pain of fines is equivalent to governmental coercion. The framers of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights make clear that “human dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms are to be fully respected” in all public health legislation and that “the interests and welfare of the individual should have priority over the sole interest of science or society.”
Too often in history, tyrants, dictators, and despots have utilized an ‘emergency’ to enforce their will and subjugate their peoples, all to the detriment of Natural Rights. True emergencies often require limited (in scope and duration) measures to combat the emergency, which infringes on Natural Rights. But these Natural Rights must be reinstated in an expeditious manner, or we have the situation that I described in my Chirp on, "08/27/21 The Fall of Western Principles".
Today, the COVID-19 Pandemic and now Epidemic (as I have Chirped on “ 09/19/21 Epidemics, Pandemics, and Endemics Oh My!”) has been the ‘emergency’ that has allowed the abrogation of our Liberties and Freedoms by the government. It is well past time that we restore our Liberties and Freedoms and resist these government orders and edicts. Otherwise, we may never recover our Liberties and Freedoms.
In an article by Paul Adams, a professor emeritus of social work at the University of Hawai‘i, and was professor and associate dean of academic affairs at Case Western Reserve University, the article “If There Is No Truth, There Is No Injustice” puts forward:
“Can there be injustice if there is no truth?
Martin Luther King Jr. considered this question in his powerful Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1963). He was responding to fellow members of the clergy who opposed segregation but rejected civil disobedience, which involved breaking the law. His central point was that laws may be just or unjust. We have a duty to obey just laws and to oppose, even defy, unjust laws. We need to recognize that both kinds exist and learn how to tell the difference.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote and spoke extensively about just and unjust laws, and social justice, in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and “I Have a Dream” speech as well as other speeches and letters, which I have extracted in my “Quotes of Martin Luther King Jr.” webpage. Of particular interest to this Chirp is the following quotes:
“One may well ask: "How can you
advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies
in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I
would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only
a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely,
one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would
agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.’“
- Martin Luther King Jr.
“Now, what is the difference between
the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A
just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the
law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with
the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: ‘An
unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and
- Martin Luther King Jr.
Therefore, it is the preservation of Natural Rights that makes a law just and the violation of Natural Rights that makes a law unjust. There is always a tension between the Natural Rights of individuals and the Natural Rights of individuals and Societal interests. The Natural Rights between individuals are a matter of civil disputes to be decided by law, but the Natural Rights of individuals and societal interests are Constitutional issues, as the Constitution was formulated to constrict government to preserve Natural Rights. When a conflict arises between the Natural Rights of individuals and Societal interests, only a compelling interest of Society can override Natural Rights, and that compelling societal interest is the harm to the safety and security of individuals and society in an emergency, and such Natural Rights violations must be of limited scope and duration.
This brings us to the question of the governmental actions to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic – were these actions just or unjust in relation to a compelling interest of Society, and were they limited in scope and duration? At the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the restrictions they imposed may have been just if these restrictions were supported by a cogent scientific basis. As the science at the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic was unclear, they may have been justified. However, as the science became clearer and as a vaccine was developed, the scientific basis for these restrictions no longer supported a compelling societal interest to infringe upon our Natural Rights.
As the science revealed that the COVID-19 virus was spread as an aerosol and that the masks that people used were ineffective against aerosols, and the dangers of the COVID-19 virus were mostly limited to the elderly and specific groups of persons, the violations of our Natural Rights were no longer a compelling interest of society. With the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine, those that chose to take that vaccine were in no danger to their health from those that chose not to take the vaccine or those that have natural immunity. Therefore, there is no compelling societal interest to force the unvaccinated person or those that have a natural immunity to take the vaccine. Indeed, as I have Chirped on, "09/24/21 Have We Learned Nothing", it is immoral and unethical to force an individual to undergo a medical procedure without their ‘informed consent. Consequently, the current government restrictions and requirements of COVID-19, especially the governmental coercion to take the COVID-19 vaccine, are unjust.
Therefore, as Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in his ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’, these restrictions and requirements being unjust ‘one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws’. It is, therefore, the duty and responsibility for Americans to disobey these restrictions and requirements to preserve our Natural Rights and our Liberties and Freedoms. It is also the duty and responsibility of Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Supreme Court to overturn these restrictions and requirements as they are Unconstitutional under the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution, which states:
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
The Natural Right to not undergo a medical procedure is one of the rights ‘retained by the people’. Therefore, Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Supreme Court would be in violation of their Oath of Office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States if they did not overturn these COVID-19 restrictions and requirements.
The failure of the Supreme Court to not even consider lawsuits challenging these COVID-19 restrictions and requirements is especially egregious. By not doing so, they are eviscerating the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution. This is not surprising, however, as I have written in my Article, "The Failures of the Supreme Court", as they have often not ruled on Ninth Amendment Natural Rights issues, or they have ruled incorrectly not based on Ninth Amendment Natural Rights issues such as Dread Scott v. Sandford, Plessy v. Ferguson, Roe v. Wade.
When the Supreme Court does not rule or rules incorrectly, the consequences for America are too often destructive to American society. It has resulted in Civil War, Institutionalized Racism, and Civil Strife in America, and often government overreach of their enumerated powers of the Constitution. In the case of the COVID-19 restrictions and requirements, it may result in the destruction of our essential Liberties and Freedoms and the imposition of despotism in America.
The Great Barrington Declaration is a document signed by over 15,000 infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists, and over 45,000 medical practitioners, that states that they have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies and recommends an approach that they call Focused Protection.
The premise of the Declaration lies on two scientific facts. First, while anyone can get infected, there is more than a thousand-fold difference in COVID-19 mortality between the oldest and youngest. Children have lower mortality from COVID-19 than from the annual influenza. For people under the age of 70, the infection survival rate is 99.95%. We now have good evidence on the relative risk posed by the incidence of chronic conditions, so we know that among common conditions, age is the single most important risk factor. For instance, a 65-year-old obese individual has about the same COVID-19 mortality risk conditional upon infection as a 70-year-old non-obese individual.
Second, the harms of the lockdown are manifold and devastating, including plummeting childhood vaccination rates, worse cardiovascular disease outcomes, less cancer screening, and deteriorating mental health, to name a few. The social isolation induced by lockdown has led to a sharp rise in opioid and drug-related overdoses, similar to the “deaths of despair” that occurred in the wake of the 2008 Great Recession. Social isolation of the elderly has contributed to a sharp rise in dementia-related deaths around the country. For children, the cessation of in-person schooling since the spring has led to “catastrophic” learning losses, with severe projected adverse consequences for affected students’ life spans. According to a CDC estimate, one in four young adults seriously considered suicide this past June. Among 25 to 44-year olds, the CDC reports a 26% increase in excess all-cause mortality relative to past years, though fewer than 5% of 2020 deaths have been due to COVID-19.
The Great Barrington Declaration also has answers to many Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19:
Lockdowns And Collateral Damage
- How do you define lockdowns?
- Do lockdowns have a successful history against infectious diseases?
- Are governments still using lockdowns?
- What are the physical health impacts of lockdowns?
- What are the mental health impacts of lockdowns?
- What are the harms from closing schools to in-person instruction?
- How do lockdowns specifically harm the working class?
- How do lockdowns harm the developing world?
- How Dangerous is the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the COVID-19 disease?
- With schools closed, how can you say that the mortality risk to children is low?
- Why are so many people afraid of COVID-19?
Protecting The Old and Other High-Risk Groups
- How can one separate younger and older generations to ensure that the latter are not infected by the former?
- Don’t the current age-wide lockdown strategies properly protect the old?
- How do we protect the elderly in nursing homes and other care settings?
- How do we protect older people living at home?
- How do we protect older people still in the work force?
- How do we protect older people in multigenerational homes?
- How about younger people with risk factors?
- For how long must high-risk individuals be careful and/or self-isolate?
- How can older people know when to be extra careful?
- What is herd immunity?
- Do you believe in herd immunity?
- Is the Great Barrington Declaration advocating a ‘herd immunity strategy’?
- Does the Great Barrington Declaration advocate for “Letting the virus run free”?
- For COVID-19, what percent of the population needs to be immune to have herd immunity?
- What are the current levels of immunity against COVID-19? Is it enough for herd immunity?
- Should people deliberately get infected to generate herd immunity?
Standard Public Health Practice
- Isn’t Focused Protection too risky an experiment?
- How were prior pandemics dealt with?
- Have contact tracing, testing and isolation been successful against infectious diseases?
- Is it not better to pursue a ZeroCOVID strategy like New Zealand and South Korea?
- What is the role of vaccines in focused protection?
This may surprise some persons who know of this Declaration, its FAQs, and its recommendation for Focused Protection, given the unfortunate caricature of the Declaration, where some media outlets and scientists have falsely characterized it as a “herd immunity strategy” that aims to maximize infections among the young or as a laissez-faire approach to let the virus rip through society. On the contrary, they believe that everyone should take basic precautions to avoid spreading the disease and that no one should intentionally expose themselves to COVID-19 infection. Since zero COVID is impossible, herd immunity is the endpoint of this epidemic regardless of whether we choose lockdowns or focused protection to address it.
A longer but important Chirp, on the current status of our efforts to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic and the societal impacts of this effort.
In the book “The Case for Vaccine Mandates”, by Alan Dershowitz, he explains why he believes that Vaccine Mandates are a legitimate government action in certain cases. He does this by starting out his argument from a libertarian basis. In his ‘Introduction: A Libertarian Case for Vaccine Mandates’, section A: ‘A libertarian Case Derived from John Stuart Mill’, he utilizes the following quote:
“[T]he sole end for which mankind
are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with
the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection.
That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised
over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to
prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is
not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do
or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it
will make him happier, because, in the opinion of others, to do so
would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for
remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him,
or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him
with any evil in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the
conduct from which it is desired to deter him, must be calculated
to produce evil to someone else. The only part of the conduct of
anyone, for which he is amenable to society, is that which
concerns others. In the past which merely concerns himself, his
independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own
body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”
- John Stuart Mill
A folksier way of putting Mill’s doctrine is to say that your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose.
In Section B. ‘Analysis of Hypotheticals’, Professor Dershowitz utilizes a “Socratic Methodology” that gives two hypothetical situations that he then utilizes to make his case:
“So, here are the two polar extreme Hypotheticals. The first posits a vaccine that cure cancer with a 100 percent certainty and with no risks or side effects. I would urge everybody to take it. I would want the government to make it available free. I would support incentives to encourage such medical treatment. I might even limit insurance and other benefits to those who refuse to take it. But I would not allow the government to compel any competent adult to take a vaccine that prevents a non-contagious disease from killing only individuals who decline to take it. They have the right to make decisions – even foolish ones – regarding their own bodies, lives, and health. As I put it in the context of smoking cigarettes: everyone has the right to inhale into their own lungs, but not to exhale into mine.
The second hypothetical is imagining a risk-free vaccine that in addition to helping the individual who received it, was also 100 percent effective in preventing the spread of a highly contagious and deadly disease to others (even those who were vaccinated and took additional precautions). I would support a governmental decision, arrived at democratically, that required everyone (with limited medical exceptions) to be vaccinated.”
These hypotheticals are important to discover some truths and to give direction to our decision-making on how to combat this disease. However, the reality of our current situation is between these two polar extremes. A reality that he does not discuss, as the facts of the reality are dynamic and fast-changing. A reality that has changed since he wrote this book. This reality is:
“Vaccines that were developed to prevent the contraction of this disease and lessen the spread of this highly contagious and deadly disease to others. Vaccine development which was done outside of the normal testing and verification procedures for medications. Vaccines in which the effectuality on the individual, the effectivity in combating the pandemic, and the risks of side effects are uncertain or unknown. These vaccines were then provided for free voluntary inoculations but are rapidly becoming mandated inoculations. Mandates for the purpose of blunting this pandemic which were instituted outside of normal democratic procedures, and which are being enforced in an invidious manner. Mandates that are being enforced by despotic government actions.”
Would Professor Dershowitz be supportive of these mandates if this situation was the actuality? I would suggest that under the John Stuart Mill Libertarian Doctrine that these mandates would be unacceptable.
We currently know that these vaccines do not fully prevent the transmission and contraction of this disease. However, for many persons, these vaccines reduce the severity of the impact of contracting this disease. We also now have therapeutics that assist in the treatment and recovery of this disease, but that government has not stressed nor provided therapeutics, nor have they considered herd immunity in their efforts to combat this disease. We also know that the risks of this disease seem to be mostly limited to persons that have comorbid factors in their medical history, and the contraction of this disease by persons without comorbid factors is small, and the impacts to them of this disease are less severe. We know that healthy adults under sixty-five years of age are less likely to have severe reactions to this disease when they contact this disease. We also know that children very rarely contract this disease and have much less severe reactions to this disease if they contract this disease. We also know that there can be complications when taking these vaccines by persons of all ages, although we do not know the full extent of these complications. We also have no information on what, if any, are the long-term impacts of taking these vaccines.
We do know that the impacts on our society and our economy to combat this disease have been severe and may be longstanding. Unemployment, business foreclosures, and government deficit spending to combat this disease and bolster the economy will be felt for at least the next decade. The social development abilities of our children, along with their educational skills, may be felt for generations. The divisiveness between the vaccinated and unvaccinated that has been sown by excessive rhetoric that promotes fear and loathing against the unvaccinated, for the purposes of intimidating the unvaccinated to become vaccinated, will linger. The distrust and suspicions of our government and its institutions due to confusing and contradictory information they provided about this disease, and the invidious enforcement of the mandates, may permeate our society for decades to come.
I, therefore, believe that the current science and the current events of the COVID-19 Pandemic are this reality. As such, no governmental nor employer mandates to impose this vaccination on an individual is acceptable. The decision to take this vaccination must reside with the individual and based on their circumstances and their risk and reward evaluation on taking the vaccination.
A recent Rasmussen poll on government actions to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic revealed that:
– Fifty-eight percent (58%) of voters would oppose a proposal for federal or state governments to fine Americans who choose not to get a COVID-19 vaccine. However, 55% of Democratic voters would support such a proposal, compared to just 19% of Republicans and 25% of unaffiliated voters.
– Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Democratic voters would favor a government policy requiring that citizens remain confined to their homes at all times, except for emergencies, if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Such a proposal is opposed by 61% of all likely voters, including 79% of Republicans and 71% of unaffiliated voters.
– Nearly half (48%) of Democratic voters think federal and state governments should be able to fine or imprison individuals who publicly question the efficacy of the existing COVID-19 vaccines on social media, television, radio, or in online or digital publications. Only 27% of all voters – including just 14% of Republicans and 18% of unaffiliated voters – favor criminal punishment of vaccine critics.
– Forty-five percent (45%) of Democrats would favor governments requiring citizens to temporarily live in designated facilities or locations if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Such a policy would be opposed by a strong majority (71%) of all voters, with 78% of Republicans and 64% of unaffiliated voters saying they would Strongly Oppose putting the unvaccinated in “designated facilities.”
– While about two-thirds (66%) of likely voters would be against governments using digital devices to track unvaccinated people to ensure that they are quarantined or socially distancing from others, 47% of Democrats favor a government tracking program for those who won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine.
How far are Democrats willing to go in punishing the unvaccinated? Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Democratic voters would support temporarily removing parents’ custody of their children if parents refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccine. That’s much more than twice the level of support in the rest of the electorate – seven percent (7%) of Republicans and 11% of unaffiliated voters – for such a policy.
The survey consisted of both telephone and online polling of 1,016 likely voters and was conducted on January 5, 2022, with a margin of sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points and a 95% level of confidence.
This attitude against the unvaccinated is being stoked by Democrat Party Leaders and Progressives/Leftists for political purposes, and indeed, for the purposes of their rulership over the American people. They are scapegoating the unvaccinated to achieve this rulership and impose their will upon the American people. This is reminiscent of how Adolf Hitler scapegoated the Jews, the Undesirables, and un-Germanic thought to obtain a dictatorship over Germany.
These percentages of Democratic voters are not only shocking as to their size but also to the disregard Democratic voters have for our "Natural, Human, and Civil Rights". They also reveal that Democratic voters have no qualms about imposing despotism, and indeed tyranny, upon America. As such, these Democratic voters are not committed to our "American Ideals and Ideas" but are un-American in their disposition. God help us all if they manage to elect "Democrat Party Leaders" who will implement their policy predilections.
As the war between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated escalates, the side battle between the masked and the unmasked intensifies. And this side battle is getting uglier as many people begin to understand the science behind masks, become weary of wearing masks, and refuse to wear masks unless compelled to wear masks to obtain essential services and goods. This compelling of mask-wearing is being driven by fear of contagion and not by science.
Nearly all public health authorities claim that masks are absolutely necessary to save lives, as well as the need for social distancing to reduce contagion. But they have virtually no science to back up these claims. There is, however, abundant scientific evidence that masks are worthless in preventing contagion and have harmful psychological effects upon society.
As Medical Doctor and epidemiologist Vinay Prasad of the University of California at San Francisco commented on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's child masking recommendation in one sentence: "The CDC cannot 'follow the science' because there is no relevant science." And what about surgical masks? They are not designed to prevent the spread of viruses but to prevent medical personnel from accidentally infecting the open wounds of patients on the operating table, and to prevent body fluids from patients spraying up into the mouths and noses of the surgical team. Dr. Colin Axon, a COVID-19 advisor to the British government, made this point clear: Medics were "unable to comprehend" the minuscule elements involved: "A Covid viral particle is around 100 nanometers, material gaps in blue surgical masks are up to 1,000 times that size, cloth mask gaps can be 5,000 times the size."
The social impacts of wearing masks are also beginning to be felt, especially the impacts upon children. In July 2021, an article published under the auspices of the USC Center for Health Policy and Economics addressed the issue of the wearing of masks by children:
"Masking is a psychological stressor for children and disrupts learning. Covering the lower half of the face of both teacher and pupil reduces the ability to communicate. In particular, children lose the experience of mimicking expressions, an essential tool of nonverbal communication. Positive emotions such as laughing and smiling become less recognizable, and negative emotions get amplified. Bonding between teachers and students takes a hit. Overall, it is likely that masking exacerbates the chances that a child will experience anxiety and depression, which are already at pandemic levels themselves."
This fear of contagion prevention by mask-wearing and social distancing is not rational, and our political and social leaders need to stop stoking this fear. But stoking fear is one of the tactics that despots utilize to gain control over people. Consequently, mask mandates and social distancing are not about contagion but are about control. A control and despotism that is anathema to our Liberties and Freedoms.
In a new article by Dr. Marty Makary, “10 biggest COVID mistakes – Americans deserve an apology from the medical experts”, he discusses the biggest mistake our “experts’ made about the COVID-19 virus. Sometimes mistakes are made through ignorance, sometimes by willful blindness, and sometimes by pernicious considerations. Unfortunately, many of the mistakes about COVID-19 were made by willful blindness or pernicious considerations. This was especially true after science determined the physical characteristics and transmission method (size and aerosol) of the COVID-19 virus, which was determined early on in the Pandemic.
His list of the biggest mistakes that our experts made is:
- Surface transmission
- No hospital visitation
- Closing schools
- Ignoring natural immunity
- Downplaying therapeutics
- Not spacing out vaccine doses
- Cloth masks
- Promising no vaccines mandates, then breaking it
- Downplaying a lab leak
- Boosters for young people
Unfortunately, these mistakes have had, and are continuing to have, far-reaching negative consequences in both the short and long term that have impacted all Americans and the nature of our society. The negative impacts on our economy for all persons, businesses, and the government itself will be felt for the next decade or more. Society has fractured along the lines of those that embraced the edicts of masking, social distancing, and vaccinations and those that disputed the need for such edicts. Government at all levels took greater control over the lives of Americans, and in this control, they often violated the Natural and Constitutional Rights of Americans. Americans have become more dependent upon government largess in providing for their needs and, therefore, less self-reliant. This government largess has plunged America into deeper and deeper debt, which burdens future generations of Americans to pay off this debt. Americans have also become more inured to government intervention in our lives, and many political leaders feel emboldened to continue this government intrusion into our lives.
It is for these mistakes that the American people deserve a forthright and candid apology from those persons who perpetrated these mistakes. Public health officials and politicians alike need to apologize for these mistakes and to make amends, if possible, for these mistakes.
Given the facts and truths that are now surfacing about these mistakes, many Americans have become disillusioned about science, scientists, and government and government officials who perpetrated these mistakes. The cynicism and distrust of government have grown to the point where many Americans no longer believe that government has the best interest of Americans at heart but are only interested in the best interests of politicians, bureaucrats, and businesses that support and benefit from the government actions in this pandemic.
This disillusionment, cynicism, and distrust, along with the erosion of our Natural and Constitutional Rights, has led to a lessening of our "American Ideals and Ideas". A lessening that may end the American experiment, as President Lincoln so nobly said in his Gettysburg Address; “… that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
In the 20th century, we in America have become captivated by expert opinion in all aspects of our society. We have, however, forgotten to be wary of expert opinion, as their expert opinions often come with caveats. Some of these caveats are:
"There are some ideas so absurd that
only an intellectual could believe them."
- George Orwell
“Nothing would be more fatal than
for the Government of States to get in the hands of experts.
Expert knowledge is limited knowledge, and the unlimited ignorance
of the plain man who knows where it hurts is a safer guide than
any rigorous direction of a specialized character.”
- Winston Churchill
“Our theory, which we have often put
forward, is that experts ought to be on tap and not on top. We
have had during our career a long and intimate knowledge of
experts, most interesting men in their own speciality to which
they have devoted themselves with great industry and zeal. But
outside this special knowledge they are generally as foolish and
ignorant as any person one could pick up in the street, with no
broad knowledge of society or the general principles of
- Irish editor and writer George William Russell
“I would rather be governed by the
first 2,000 people in the telephone directory than by the Harvard
- William F. Buckley
I have examined this phenomenon in my Article, “The Intellectual Yet Idiot (IYI) and Skin in the Game (SIG)”, and my Chirps on “01/09/21 The Intellectual and the Preposterous” and “06/03/20 Experts ought to be on tap and not on top”, but it bears repeating especially in light of what has happened as a result of our COVID-19 responses.
The major lesson to be learned from our COVID-19 responses is that we should not blindly follow the advice of experts, as experts often disagree amongst themselves, and they rarely consider the impacts of their opinions outside of their field of expertise. There is also the issue of the correctness of their Studies and Statistics, as I have outlined in my Article, “Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave ”.
What we have all forgotten is that experts can be, and often are, wrong. Wrong because they lack sufficient knowledge of all aspects of an issue, wrong because the facts they rely on are incorrect, wrong because they have an unrealistic belief in the accuracy of their statistics and modeling, and most importantly, they are wrong because they lack wisdom. And sometimes, the experts have hidden agendas for their expert opinions. Hidden agendas to accomplish what they believe to be good for Americans, but that they believe Americans cannot fully understand the good they wish to achieve.
Therefore, let us be wary of expert opinion, examine the dissenting expert opinion, and obtain expert opinion from others outside the field of expertise that will be impacted by an expert opinion. If not, then we will continue to be seriously impacted by expert opinion that can be wrong or not examined in light of the impacts outside of the field of expertise.
On Monday, November 91, 2922, Brown University economist Emily Oster had an essay published by The Atlantic in which she begged, “Let's declare a pandemic amnesty because we need to forgive one another for what we did and said when we were in the dark about COVID.”
However, forgiveness should only be given to those who repent and ask for forgiveness, and in the case of criminal actions, only if they have paid the penalty for their crimes. In the case of the COVID-19 virus, we can segregate forgiveness into those persons that could not have known, those persons that should have known, those persons that did know and did not speak up, and those persons that knew and spoke and acted foolhardy, harmfully, or maliciously.
The harm that was done to our society, economy, the educational and social development of our children, and our Liberties and Freedoms are destructive and incalculable. Alas, much harm was done, some of which was not avoidable, but some of which could have been avoided if more deliberative and rational thought had been applied rather than a rush to ‘do something’. Therefore, forgiveness should be allocated to each group based on their culpability.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 virus, little was known, and excessive precautions were justifiable. As soon as we discovered the size and airborne transmission of the COVID-19 virus, anybody with a knowledge of medicine and physics (especially fluid dynamics and gases) would have known that masking and social distancing were ineffective in preventing the transmission and reception of the COVID-19 virus. As we learned more about the COVID-19 virus, we understood that its impacts were on our senior citizens and those adults that had comorbid complications, while most adults and children were minorly impacted by the COVID-19 virus. It was when this knowledge became known that we can adjudge persons for the forgiveness of their words and deeds.
As to those persons that could not have known, which includes most Americans, forgiveness is fully warranted. Those persons that should have known but did not examine the facts nor speak up should be forgiven but chastised for not finding out and speaking up. Those persons that did know and did not speak up should not be forgiven and reprimanded for failing to do the right thing. Those persons that knew and spoke and acted foolhardy, harmfully, or maliciously should not be forgiven and should face possible civil lawsuits or criminal prosecutions for their actions.
What should not be forgiven is those people and organizations that attempted to silence or suppress information and warnings about the harmful actions that were undertaken in response to the COVID-19 virus. The people and organizations that raised the alarms about the COVID-19 virus responses should be lauded and indemnified for speaking out. It is those people and organizations that spoke out that the American people should pay heed to and support in the future, and those that silenced or suppressed their speech should not be forgiven and punished to ensure that this never happens again.
Consequently, it's time for COVID-19 virus responses accountability, not amnesty, as Spencer Brown has written in his article “There Should Be No Covid Amnesty” and Michael Brendan Dougherty article “A ‘Pandemic Amnesty’? Hell, No.” Blanket amnesty is not warranted and is, indeed, harmful to the future of our society. A harm to our society in that if the unforgivable persons and organizations are forgiven and go unpunished, then they will continue in their harmful ways without fear of punishment and in the hope for forgiveness for their future actions.
The fiasco that occurred in our response to the COVID-19 Pandemic has led many (perhaps most) Americans to be wary and distrustful of public health officials and practitioners. This situation needs to be rectified, as public health and practice are crucial for a functioning society. However, trust must be earned, and once trust is lost, it is difficult to regain. An important first step to regaining this trust is for every medical society to establish and enforce a set of “Ethical Principles of Public Health”. An article by David Bell, “10 Principles of Public Health That Could Save Society”, suggests what these principles should be. These Ethical Principles of Public Health are:
- All public health advice should consider the impact on overall health, rather than solely be concerned with a single disease. It should always consider both benefits and harms from public health measures and weigh short-term gains against long-term harms.
- Public health is about everyone. Any public health policy must first and foremost protect society’s most vulnerable, including children, low-income families, persons with disabilities, and the elderly. It should never shift the burden of disease from the affluent to the less affluent.
- Public health advice should be adapted to the needs of each population, within cultural, religious, geographic, and other contexts.
- Public health is about comparative risk evaluations, risk reduction, and reducing uncertainties using the best available evidence, since risk usually cannot be entirely eliminated.
- Public health requires public trust. Public health recommendations should present facts as the basis for guidance, and never employ fear or shame to sway or manipulate the public.
- Medical interventions should not be forced or coerced upon a population, but rather should be voluntary and based on informed consent. Public health officials are advisors, not rule setters, and provide information and resources for individuals to make informed decisions.
- Public health authorities must be honest and transparent, both with what is known and what is not known. Advice should be evidence-based and explained by data, and authorities must acknowledge errors or changes in evidence as soon as they are made aware of them.
- Public health scientists and practitioners should avoid conflicts of interest, and any unavoidable conflicts of interest must be clearly stated.
- In public health, open civilized debate is profoundly important. It is unacceptable for public health professionals to censor, silence, or intimidate members of the public or other public health scientists or practitioners.
- It is critical for public health scientists and practitioners to always listen to the public, who are living the public health consequences of public health decisions, and to adapt appropriately.
The failure of medical societies to promulgate these ethical principles will prolong the distrust that many Americans have for Public Health officials and practitioners. Another important step to regain this trust is for Congress to investigate and illuminate the words and deeds of Public Health officials and practitioners during the COVID-19 Pandemic, then enact legislation based upon these Ethical Principles of Public Health. The failure of medical societies and Congress to do so will only prolong the distrust of the American people. A distrust that will have negative reverberations for our society for many years and perhaps decades to come.
Large pharmaceutical companies have often been a great benefit to humankind, providing prevention and cures to many diseases and illnesses. But they also have become a problem in the functioning of society in that they are operating as a Government-Pharmaceutical Complex similar to the Military-Industrialization Complex as I have chirped on, “11/18/22 The Military-Industrialization Complex”.
This has become apparent in the development of vaccines to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic. The government funded the research and development for these vaccines, then purchased these vaccines for the inoculation of all Americans. In doing so, the government bypassed the normal procedures to ensure the safety and efficiency of a drug, restricted the legal liability for any harm of these drugs, and increased the coffers of the pharmaceutical companies who were involved in the development of these vaccines. It is also unfortunately true that many government officials increased their own coffers by investing in the companies that developed these vaccines. The government also paid third parties to administer these vaccines, and as such, these third parties became part of the Government-Pharmaceutical Complex. The government and pharmaceutical companies also covered up or lied about the safety and efficiency of these vaccines, as well as attempted to suppress any free speech that questioned the safety and efficiency of these vaccines or alternative preventions and treatments.
These are the actions of a large-scale Government-Pharmaceutical Complex, and like any governmental complex, they lobbied and donated monies to politicians to support these actions. I have no problem with pharmaceutical companies making a profit, as this is the capitalistic way of life in America. My problem is that the Congressional and Executive Branch are making health policy not based upon the needs of our society but upon the needs of the pharmaceutical companies making profits and on their own election and reelection coffers and vote garnering.
Consequently, the pharmaceutical companies are not the problem; it is a problem of proper decision-making by the Congressional and Executive Branches on health policy. The only solution to this problem is for the American electorate to vote for politicians that will put our healthy well-being needs above their own insular needs. However, determining what is politically insular versus what is needed for our healthy well-being is very difficult to accomplish for the electorate. The only wise method to accomplish this is to look for virtuous candidates that you believe will do what is best for America rather than what is best for themselves and the pharmaceutical company’s interests.
“We are living through the largest, deadliest scandal in American history, but the elite media refuses to connect the dots and analyze it.”
So begins a new article by Newt Gingrich, “The biggest scandal in American history”, in which he explains why the COVID-19 Pandemic and our responses to it have turned into the biggest scandal in American history. His explanation, with which I concur, is that the COVID-19 Pandemic scandal has so negatively touched so many areas of American society that it is breathtaking.
- It touched "Big Bad Science" in that so many scientists were willing to lie or misinform the American public or remained silent. These lies and silence by scientists will engender the American people to be skeptical of what any scientists say in the future.
- It touched the "Mainstream Media", who advanced the government narrative and slandered or refused to report credible persons who disagreed with the government narrative. Thus, once again vividly demonstrating their political proclivities and that they could not be a trusted source of honest information to the American public.
- It touched "Big Tech" in their willingness to censor anyone who would disagree with the government narrative on the Pandemic. Thus, they violated the Free Speech Rights of all and not allowing Americans to make an informed decision on the proper Coronavirus Pandemic responses.
- It touched the "Mainstream Cultural Media", who so blindly parroted the government narrative that they became untrustworthy voices, which will impact the American public’s faith in them so that when they make appeals for a good cause, we can no longer be assured that it is a good cause.
- It touched "Modern Big Business", that profited at the expense of small and medium-sized businesses. It isolated Big Pharma from liability for the side effect of the vaccines that they developed, which resulted in improper testing of those vaccines and medical harm to many Americans. It also enriched Big Pharma through the government's wholesale purchasing of the Coronavirus vaccines.
- It touched "Modern Education", which demonstrated that they were more concerned with teacher's unions rather than what is best for the students. It harmed the educational and social development of the students, the consequences of which will be felt for many decades by the students and our society.
- It touched our "Natural, Human, and Civil Rights" in the constrictions and mandates that were enforced by despotic actions that forced us to violate our consciences and liberties, as I have written in my collected Chirps on the "Coronavirus Pandemic".
In doing so, with all the lies, misinformation, and disinformation that were propagated by all levels of government and our institutions, they destroyed the faith of many of the American people in the American government and our institutions.
Mr. Gingrich closed his article by stating:
“This scandal is so large, and covers so many areas, it will be a major factor in politics and government for the next decade. It will go down in history as a turning point in our lives and the life of our country.
We just need to decide what direction we turn: toward clarity and accountability, or toward lies and chaos.”
Given the current lies and deeds of the Democrat Party Leaders and the Biden Administration on so many other issues and concerns facing Americans, I fear that we are drifting “toward lies and chaos” rather than “toward clarity and accountability”.
Once again, I have not been posting my Chirps on a regular basis. This time, however, it is because I have contracted the COVID-19 Coronavirus. While the first two days of my contraction were spent with a mild fever, chills and sweats, shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing, and a lack of restful sleeping, the next several days, I only had coughing and wheezing. I have therefore decided not to post any Chirps until I am mostly recovered.
I have, however, reviewed my previous Coronavirus Pandemic Chirps to determine if my perspective has changed as a result of my contracting the COVID-19 Coronavirus. My perspective has not changed, and I am even further convinced, due to recent revelations, that the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic is the largest scandal perpetrated on the American public in the last hundred years. These recently confirmed revelations are:
- Masking does not prevent nor slow down the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. I knew this to be true when the size and the airborne transmission of the COVID-19 Coronavirus were determined at the beginning of the Pandemic. I knew this immediately because my scientific knowledge of the motion of Gases and Fluid Dynamics, as well as the internal structure of masks, made it impossible for masks to block the flow of the COVID-19 Coronavirus to and from the nasal and oral cavities.
- Social distancing was useless, as the airborne transmission of the COVID-19 Coronavirus occurs within tens of seconds over dozens of yards. Again, my scientific knowledge of the motion of Gases and Fluid Dynamics leads to this conclusion.
- Isolation is of limited value, as no person can be truly isolated from others except in a controlled biohazard environment. Even then it can fail, as can be seen from the accidental release of the COVID-19 Coronavirus from the Wuhan China biohazard laboratory.
- As the COVID-19 Coronavirus was propagated by airborne transmission, the constant anti-biotic washing of hands had no impact on the transmission or contraction of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
- The COVID-19 Coronavirus was man-made and not naturally occurring. Indeed, it was impossible for it to be naturally occurring due to the structure of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, as such a structure could only occur with human intervention by Gain of Function research.
- The COVID-19 Coronavirus vaccines did not make a significant impact on preventing the contraction or spreading of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
- The efficacy of the COVID-19 Coronavirus vaccines is of dubious value and sometimes harmful, with the long-term negative impacts of the vaccine only now becoming apparent.
- Many people, organizations, and companies enriched themselves by the fear and panic of the public without providing tangible benefits to the solutions to the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic.
- The fear and panic caused by the COVID-19 Coronavirus have led to a significant altering of the relationship between the individual and the government, with much more government intrusion into the lives of the individual. It also led to much more power of the government to the detriment of the Freedoms and Liberties of Americans.
In many of these points, I am reminded of the phrase that was often said by Chief Engineer of the U.S.S. Enterprise Montgomery Scott in the original Star Trek television series, “You cannot violate the Laws of Physics”. Much of what was recommended for the COVID-19 Coronavirus protections violated or ignored the Laws of Physics, which can never work as physics laws are inviolate nor ignorable.
To those who would object to the points I have made above, I would remind them of what Martin Luther said in defending his "Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences", which came to be known as The Ninety-Five Theses, in opposition to the Catholic Church position:
“I cannot and will not recant
for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.
Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.”
- Martin Luther
On May 18, 2023, the SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES reached a
decision in ARIZONA, ET AL. v.
ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY, ET AL. This decision dealt with Title 42 restrictions on immigration. Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch issued a separate statement that laid out the history of “Title 42 orders” in the first seven paragraphs of his statement, and then in the last seven paragraphs of his statement he stated:
“Since March 2020, we may have experienced the greatest intrusions on civil liberties in the peacetime history of this country. Executive officials across the country issued emergency decrees on a breathtaking scale. Governors and local leaders imposed lockdown orders forcing people to remain in their homes. They shuttered businesses and schools, public and private. They closed churches even as they allowed casinos and other favored businesses to carry on. They threatened violators not just with civil penalties but with criminal sanctions too. They surveilled church parking lots, recorded license plates, and issued notices warning that attendance at even outdoor services satisfying all state social-distancing and hygiene requirements could amount to criminal conduct. They divided cities and neighborhoods into color-coded zones, forced individuals to fight for their freedoms in court on emergency timetables, and then changed their color-coded schemes when defeat in court seemed imminent.
Federal executive officials entered the act too. Not just with emergency immigration decrees. They deployed a public-health agency to regulate landlord-tenant relations nationwide. They used a workplace-safety agency to issue a vaccination mandate for most working Americans. They threatened to fire noncompliant employees, and warned that service members who refused to vaccinate might face dishonorable discharge and confinement. Along the way, it seems federal officials may have pressured social-media companies to suppress information about pandemic policies with which they disagreed.
While executive officials issued new emergency decrees at a furious pace, state legislatures and Congress—the bodies normally responsible for adopting our laws—too often fell silent. Courts bound to protect our liberties addressed a few—but hardly all—of the intrusions upon them. In some cases, like this one, courts even allowed themselves to be used to perpetuate emergency public-health decrees for collateral purposes, itself a form of emergency-lawmaking by-litigation.
Doubtless, many lessons can be learned from this chapter in our history, and hopefully serious efforts will be made to study it. One lesson might be this: Fear and the desire for safety are powerful forces. They can lead to a clamor for action—almost any action—as long as someone does something to address a perceived threat. A leader or an expert who claims he can fix everything, if only we do exactly as he says, can prove an irresistible force. We do not need to confront a bayonet, we need only a nudge, before we willingly abandon the nicety of requiring laws to be adopted by our legislative representatives and accept rule by decree. Along the way, we will accede to the loss of many cherished civil liberties—the right to worship freely, to debate public family, or simply to leave our homes. We may even cheer on those who ask us to disregard our normal lawmaking processes and forfeit our personal freedoms. Of course, this is no new story. Even the ancients warned that democracies can degenerate toward autocracy in the face of fear.
But maybe we have learned another lesson too. The concentration of power in the hands of so few may be efficient and sometimes popular. But it does not tend toward sound government. However wise one person or his advisors may be, that is no substitute for the wisdom of the whole of the American people that can be tapped in the legislative process. Decisions produced by those who indulge no criticism are rarely as good as those produced after robust and uncensored debate. Decisions announced on the fly are rarely as wise as those that come after careful deliberation. Decisions made by a few often yield unintended consequences that may be avoided when more are consulted. Autocracies have always suffered these defects. Maybe, hopefully, we have relearned these lessons too.
In the 1970s, Congress studied the use of emergency decrees. It observed that they can allow executive authorities to tap into extraordinary powers. Congress also observed that emergency decrees have a habit of long outliving the crises that generate them; some federal emergency proclamations, Congress noted, had remained in effect for years or decades after the emergency in question had passed. At the same time, Congress recognized that quick unilateral executive action is sometimes necessary and permitted in our constitutional order. In an effort to balance these considerations and ensure a more normal operation of our laws and a firmer protection of our liberties, Congress adopted a number of new guardrails in the National Emergencies Act.
Despite that law, the number of declared emergencies has only grown in the ensuing years. And it is hard not to wonder whether, after nearly a half century and in light of our Nation’s recent experience, another look is warranted. It is hard not to wonder, too, whether state legislatures might profitably reexamine the proper scope of emergency executive powers at the state level. At the very least, one can hope that the Judiciary will not soon again allow itself to be part of the problem by permitting litigants to manipulate our docket to perpetuate a decree designed for one emergency to address another. Make no mistake—decisive executive action is sometimes necessary and appropriate. But if emergency decrees promise to solve some problems, they threaten to generate others. And rule by indefinite emergency edict risks leaving all of us with a shell of a democracy and civil liberties just as hollow.”
Justice Gorsuch’s statement is the civil liberty concerns that I have expressed in my Coronavirus Pandemic Chirps. All Americans should read this statement, and consider the negative impacts of emergency edicts on our "Natural, Human, and Civil Rights", then take corrective actions as needed.