Thoughts on Silence in the Face of Tyranny

 

The following is a letter that I wrote to Don Boudreaux, in response to a recent article of his.  If you do not read Mr. Boudreaux at CafeHayek, and if you do not read AIER daily, I strongly encourage you to do so.  Both are indispensable sources of knowledge and insight, especially given our present intellectual climate.

Mr. Boudreaux,

Once again, Don, I thank you for being a reliable and consistent voice in support of liberty.

Once again, however, I must vehemently disagree with your position on the “passing of judgment” on other people’s silence.  I am referring to your most recent article, “Why the Silence in the Face of Covid Tyranny,” which seeks to understand the lack of vocal outrage with respect to covid tyranny, and to your renewed commitment to understanding, rather than judgment when it comes to those who are silent.

While I am inclined to agree that the association with Trump is partly responsible, I think of that association as a sort of snowbank, through which the giant snowball, thundering downhill, passed in order to double in size.  One of the best case-studies for conservatives/libertarians-turned-statists at the hands of covid, may be National Review.  NR may also be one of the best examples in support of your theory, given their long-term stance on Trump.

It is also an example of the greater force at play, here, which is simple group-think.  Something I noted early on about National Review was that it is based largely in New York and Washington DC.  Covid hysteria really hit its stride when it began to appear to some people that New York City was destined to be the next Lombardo, Italy.  Rural(ish) Washington State (where I live) was shut down in response to rising cases in New York … because once something begins to impact New York, it becomes personal for the media, and thus it takes on a wholly different tone.  It seems that which started the snowball heading downhill.  In essence, what happened was fear, which is driven by group-think, and which became responsible for an actual madness and loss of rational clear-thinking.

I’ve long said that Covid is like the test of war.  I’m very much pro-gun; I carry a gun, I have a great many of them in my house, and I’m relatively proficient in their use (having grown up in Montana, this is not terribly unusual).  But I will openly admit that I have zero idea how I would behave in an actual crisis.  As an attorney who practices dependency law (and previously practiced criminal law), I’ve been exposed to a great many extremely tense situations, and I have been reassured by my ability to remain calm and attempt to de-escalate… but an active shooter?  A person with a knife or a gun on me?  I have no idea how I would react, and whether I would survive.

What I do know, however, is how my intellectual and personal commitment to liberty and conservatism would handle rising tyranny, because that actually has been tested over the past year.  I know that I would stand up for what I believe is right, and that I would even do it in the courtroom, at the risk of alienating myself and potentially even at the risk of my job.  I know that I would continue to look at the world around me in light of those things that I know to be true – in an actual crisis, I would maintain an understanding of the nature of markets, rather than having an emotional response to the lack of supply, or “price gouging.”  Faced with a loss of income, I would maintain my understanding of the dangers of national debt and inflation, rather than asking the government for handouts.  Faced with a virus that I do not understand (and this only describes a period of about a month between March and April of 2020), I would maintain a solid belief that there is no problem so big that the government cannot make worse.  I would not view this as somehow the exception to the rule – the problem so important that suddenly our governments become competent, that individuals with power become focused solely on the interests and needs of others, and that incentives and temptations are somehow miraculously canceled by the sheer force of my own fear.

I have not lost any real friends, at least not that I know of.  But I have lost an amazing amount of respect for the intellectual consistency of a great many people who I used to believe possessed some insight into matters of economics, politics, and law (to say nothing of medicine).  I have lost an amazing amount of respect for my fellow citizens, and I have been hit upside the head with the reality that this country is maybe not what I thought it was.  When the first European mask mandate was implemented, I said “that will never happen in the US.  Tell us to wear masks, and we will tell you to go [REDACTED] yourself, and there will be absolutely no way to enforce it.”  So when the mask mandate came, I picked up my pitchfork and began charging, yelling “FREEDOM” at the top of my lungs … only to look back and see nearly everyone, masked up… saying to me: “don’t be an [REDACTED].”  And when I would point out the myriad evidence that these measures are arbitrary, senseless, and even harmful, I was met overwhelmingly with anger as opposed to argument.

I remain absolutely shocked by the same thing you complain of.  I am not terribly surprised that CNN would put out some idiotic report, and that some of my neighbors who only watch CNN would believe it.  I am, however, surprised by the lack of volume in opposition.

In college, I became fascinated with Russian history.  Tyranny and fascism and communism fascinated me.  I went to a tech school but crafted a “liberal studies” degree, largely out of Russian history and literature (among other things).  More recently, I sat down to re-read “The Gulag Archipelago,” but I had to put it down in the middle of the third volume – right around March of last year, because it started to feel disturbingly too real and immediate.  I felt like Solzhenitsyn himself – not in the sense that I was physically experiencing the same horrors, but in the sense of what I believe to be the overwhelming tone of all 3 of the Gulag volumes.  Pardon the silly reference, but the attitude is that of the Will Farrell character in “Zoolander,” when he looks around at a crowd and says:  “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!”  In other words, it is the phenomenon of the emperor’s new clothes, with a disturbing twist.  In that story, the child looks around at the crowd and is flabbergasted by the fact that the obvious is being denied by everyone.  It is about the innocent honesty of a child who is not yet the victim of self-delusion, and the effects of peer pressure and individual insecurity on the adults around him.  At the end, the awakened crowd laughs as the king completes his march in a vain attempt at maintaining his dignity.  Our story is different.  The crowd does not laugh, but responds with anger; not at the king, but at the person speaking truth, which points to something far more nefarious than

In Russia, it was far more nefarious.  It was intentional.  The power of the show trials, says Solzhenitsyn, lies in their absurdity.  The trial is not intended to reveal facts.  The only truth is the party, the only reality is the party.  The purpose of the trial is to make this absolutely clear – it doesn’t matter what the facts are.  It matters what the party says, and if the party says that you are guilty, then you are guilty.

This is a horror of tyranny that felt very real in the first part of the 20th century, and it is described in literature of the time – Koestler’s “Darkness at Noon,” or Kafka’s “The Trial,” or any number of others.  It is why freedom of press and freedom of speech are so absolutely crucial for the maintenance of liberty – but like voting rights in Iran, these “freedoms” are only valuable if they are actually exercised.

What shocks me about covid is best embodied by what has become the single most tyrannical aspect of the past year:  Masks.  A dad at one of my sons’ baseball practices asked me the other day:  “how many of these people do you think actually believe that masks work?”  And I responded that it is actually pretty easy to see.  Look around at all of these coaches and parents, I said.  They are not wearing masks right now; but they all wore masks the first day of practice.  They take them off when they see that other people are taking them off.  They will wear them at games, because this is school-district property, and the school district requires that everyone wear masks, even outside, playing baseball.

The shocking thing about that is the fact that it is ridiculous.  It is, in so many contexts, patently obvious.  When you walk into a restaurant with a mask on, remove it to sit, then place it on again to go to the bathroom or leave … that is ridiculous.  At my ski mountain, all year, the employees were directed to be extremely harsh about face coverings.  “OVER THE NOSE!!” was shouted, and you risk having your pass yanked for failure to comply.  At least when you’re standing in line… or when you go inside.  It could be 40mph winds, outside, but you had better be wearing that thin piece of cloth all the way up over your nose.  At 15 degrees outside, everyone looks like they are smoking cigarettes as their hot breath goes directly through the masks…  but you had damned-well better wear it!

We are at that point with COVID in general, not simply with respect to the obvious nonsense involving masks.  There is so much data out there, showing that lockdowns are worse than ineffective – that they do actual harm.  There are scientific studies showing that masks either don’t work, or again, that they may even do harm, and there are no actual studies showing that they stop any sort of virus.  There is real-world data showing the differences between states and countries with harsh restrictions and those with none.  There is data revealing that testing is extremely flawed, that deaths are overcounted, that the fatality rate is far closer to the flu than to ebola (and for most age groups, lower than the flu).  And for those who are still terrified, there are vaccines.

But the theater continues.  In my courtroom – which is presently online via zoom – the judge last week stated that we would hopefully be allowed back in person this summer, with proper “safety protocols,” of course.  Plexiglass barriers have been ordered, so that nobody will be sitting adjacent to anyone else, people will be forced to wear masks, etc… etc…  and zoom will still be available for anyone who is not comfortable.  There is talk about vaccine passports to “allow” basic freedoms that were never granted by our government in the first place.  Masks and even covid tests required for travel.  We still walk all over those stickers on the ground that say “stay safe, stay apart!”  And there are signs everywhere that still say “mask up to open up!”  I wondered aloud to my wife the other day whether all of these signs that say “maintain a safe distance of six feet” would now be replaced with ones that say “maintain a safe distance of three feet.”  Nah…  but the theater continues.

And when you are told by your good friend that it is unwise or unkind to call out fellow conservatives and libertarians for their failure to speak up … as he says; how can you know their reasons?  How can you know what’s at stake for them?  How can you know what pressure they might face?  What if they simply disagree with your assessment of the facts?

Well, it gets back to Solzhenitsyn.  He wandered around the Soviet Union eternally flabbergasted by the silence.  He points out again and again and again that if “the party” had met with any resistance whatsoever, the whole thing would have fallen apart overnight.  Solzhenitsyn also recognized that these people had their reasons.  They wanted to protect their jobs and livelihoods.  They wanted to protect their families.  Prisoners in the Gulag knew that they were innocent, and they knew that it would be sorted out, eventually…  but they also secretly believed that everyone else there was guilty.  Some of them simply bought the party line.  They hated their fellow prisoners because they were “wreckers;” even after having been tortured during interrogation, even knowing of their own innocence … they remained afraid, and they remained convinced by the propaganda.

My biggest fear is that what we’re experiencing right now is really not all that different from what happened in Russia, and has happened across the globe since the beginning of time.  We are experiencing the onset of actual tyranny, wherein people must be protected from themselves and from each other, by placing their trust in the all-knowing state.  Truth is what the party says it is.  Anthony Fauci says that two masks are better than one, that potential mutations require us to stay fearful indefinitely – I read an article, though, saying that Anthony Fauci (somehow now a lawmaker) assures us that there will be no “vaccine passports!” – and you had better trust him, because he is the expert.  No, we don’t operate on objective definitions, anymore.  We don’t worry about the scientific method (and all the scientific journals are on board with this!).  Forget about any of the doctors and epidemiologists who have presented contrary data, or studies, or viewpoints … they are not state-sanctioned experts.  Truth is what the party says it is.  Reality is what the party says it is.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn recognized and understood that all of his colleagues had their reasons for not speaking out.  He recognized and understood that his countrymen had their reasons for not rising up.  And he spent three large volumes in thousands of pages of The Gulag Archipelago, not just calling them out, but condemning them in the harshest terms possible, saying:  “You are responsible for this.  And you are responsible for ensuring that it never happens again.”

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 63 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball
    @DougKimball

    Here in AZ, the mask mandate has been lifted, but not quite.  While the state no longer requires masks, individual businesses and other concerns decide for themselves and few defy the accepted dogma.  The Masks Required signs remain.  The plexiglass still dangles over the checklout areas.  The six foot stickers remain affixed to floors.  Employees remain masked at all restaurants and retail establishments.  And folks still work from home.  At church on Easter, the service held outdoors in the AZ sun, folks dutifully wore masks, some quite ornate like COVID Easter bonnets.  Chairs were carefully spaced.  The minister wore two masks (twice as careful) and the choir muffled their songs through fabric and paper.  The congregation did not sing at all.  My father, wheelchair bound with Parkinsons and fully vaccinated, did not wear a mask.  And I (1/2 vaccinated) did not wear a mask.  This raised the wife’s eyebrows, but she thought better of asking; I was attending church which was itself a miracle. In any case, I received no wry looks other than hers, no reprisals.  Churchgoers are good followers and polite, but as for me as everyone knows, a hard case.  I kept my mask in my pocket.

    I had to set a good example

    • #1
  2. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    The tragic side  of the situation is that for those of  us who are not silent, not at all, we are the outliers.

    Yet our thinking is based on solid information.

    I base almost all of my thinking on COVID on my response to the foundation laid by one Bill Gates.  I began my notions about the political side of the COVID situation by listening to the  initial interviews that Mr Gates gave on CBS, and the BBC, plus several lesser known interviews. He himself stated that there would need to be lockdowns for two years. His excuse was that that time period  is how long it would take for vaccines to be developed.

    He then went on to explain that he was totally aware of how much “protection” Americans would clamor for, given the seriousness of COVID. (These interviews occurred between mid Feb and mid May 2020, when the idea that the infection might take out 3.4% of every 100 cases was something ringing in our ears.)

    His entire plan is to have this “protection” take place in the form of the 5G combined with a sort of electronic harness that will surround everyone everywhere. Although this might have seemed delusional thinking, a full 12 months ago, the fact that the American public, or at least 40% of it, has embraced masking up, indicates that whatever Gates undertakes on the behalf  of the three hundred families he works for will indeed come about.

    Fifteen months ago no one would have envisioned a public clamoring for perpetual enslavement.  And although I believe that right now, only half of all Americans are still embracing it, the way this psy op has continued to develop shows the 11 years Gates, The Rockefeller Foundation and the Inner Circle have planned things out did indeed pave a smooth way for the psy op to continue. (BTW, recent reports indicate that Pfizer profits are going thru the roof!)

    I’ll end with this picture, as it really is worth ten thousand words:

    • #2
  3. Hammer, The Member
    Hammer, The
    @RyanM

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):

    Here in AZ, the mask mandate has been lifted, but not quite. While the state no longer requires masks, individual businesses and other concerns decide for themselves and few defy the accepted dogma. The Masks Required signs remain. The plexiglass still dangles over the checklout areas. The six foot stickers remain affixed to floors. Employees remain masked at all restaurants and retail establishments. And folks still work from home. At church on Easter, the service held outdoors in the AZ sun, folks dutifully wore masks, some quite ornate like COVID Easter bonnets. Chairs were carefully spaced. The minister wore two masks (twice as careful) and the choir muffled their songs through fabric and paper. The congregation did not sing at all. My father, wheelchair bound with Parkinsons and fully vaccinated, did not wear a mask. And I (1/2 vaccinated) did not wear a mask. This raised the wife’s eyebrows, but she thought better of asking; I was attending church which was itself a miracle. In any case, I received no wry looks other than hers, no reprisals. Churchgoers are good followers and polite, but as for me as everyone knows, a hard case. I kept my mask in my pocket.

    I had to set a good example

    When it comes to madness – to quote someone else – people go mad all at once, but awaken slowly, and one at a time.  We help to foster this along by being an example, as you say.

    Your experience is interesting.  Mine is a little different.  The mandate remains in my state, and yes, all of those signs and plexiglass and everything else are all still in place.  But things are unlike before.  I’ve never worn the mask, and only now do I not really get hassled about it anywhere I go (though I avoid places I know to be hard on it).  I see a lot of people without them, and I’ve stopped and talked to many strangers on walks or wherever else, shook hands, talked for a little while (just as close in proximity as in years past).  There are a few masked faces at our church, but fewer every week.  People are largely ready to cast off the madness, but they need to feel enabled to do so.  This is why I was talking about voices, especially conservative voices.  When doctors are willing to open up their practices mask-free, and speak openly about their disagreement with “the experts,” people will actually start to listen.  Once it becomes a conversation, again, the truth will begin to emerge, and I honestly believe that people will open up their eyes.

    But this empowers individuals and it opens conversation, which disempowers governments and bureaucrats (i.e. the accepted “experts”) and it will be opposed by those forces.  They absolutely rely on silence, and we need to recognize that truth, and refuse to be silenced.

    • #3
  4. Hammer, The Member
    Hammer, The
    @RyanM

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):
    Fifteen months ago no one would have envisioned a public clamoring for perpetual enslavement.  And although I believe that right now, only half of all Americans are still embracing it, the way this psy op has continued to develop shows the 11 years Gates, The Rockefeller Foundation and the Inner Circle have planned things out did indeed pave a smooth way for the psy op to continue. (BTW, recent reports indicate that Pfizer profits are going thru the roof!)

    A couple of things, here…  Amazon profits are through the roof as well, same with Zoom.  This is a product of the sudden onset of demand, and it will correct as that demand subsides.

    Now, it is a fact that, when presented with a perceived crisis, individuals in power will seek to provide solutions that enhance their own power.  The fact that so many politicians and folks like Gates, the media, people in tech, have all appeared to be operating in concert is not due to any conspiracy on their part, but rather it is the product of similar responses to the same incentives.  We see various governments and bureaucrats worldwide all seizing this opportunity to be freed of restraints and placed in positions of even greater power.  Why wouldn’t Anthony Fauci want to suddenly go from being a fairly nameless bureaucrat (and what name he possessed was largely due to his failures over the years) to being a sort of deified health czar?  He recently made some statement about vaccine passports, as if he is in any position to mandate or not mandate anything of the sort…   He is responding to incentives.  Gates, who has long possessed a sort of egomaniacal desire to be some sort of technocrat, is likewise responding to incentives.  He is well positioned to do so.  Likewise with Bezos or the facebook guy or the twitter guy…  they are perfectly intelligent individuals who see opportunity to grow both influence and wealth.  And keep in mind, virtually all of these people occupy the ideological left.  They believe in government authority, they believe that most people are too stupid to be trusted with making their own decisions, and they believe that they are themselves uniquely qualified to make those decisions for everyone.  

    This is not a conspiracy, and it is nothing new.  People have always demanded a ruler.  They have always sought out protection from some perceived external threat.  People have always wanted to take the easy road.  And there will always be other people willing to meet that demand.  Liberty and knowledge beget responsibility and risk; the American experiment depends on a population that understood that this risk is both a God-given right, but also that the reward is well worth it.

    • #4
  5. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    People are largely ready to cast off the madness, but they need to feel enabled to do so.

    I literally despise putting on a mask to enter a business, and I yank it off as soon as I push open the door to leave. The other day I went into a large chain store to pay a bill, and at the counter in front of me was a young mother with 4 kids; one in a baby carrier and the other three all age 6 or under. None, including Mom, were wearing masks. I felt a bit sheepish (baa!), and almost wanted to say “good job” and shake her hand, but resisted. The store clerk didn’t say boo to her.

     

    • #5
  6. Hammer, The Member
    Hammer, The
    @RyanM

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    People are largely ready to cast off the madness, but they need to feel enabled to do so.

    I literally despise putting on a mask to enter a business, and I yank it off as soon as I push open the door to leave. The other day I went into a large chain store to pay a bill, and at the counter in front of me was a young mother with 4 kids; one in a baby carrier and the other three all age 6 or under. None, including Mom, were wearing masks. I felt a bit sheepish (baa!), and almost wanted to say “good job” and shake her hand, but resisted. The store clerk didn’t say boo to her.

     

    And you should take yours off, too. Once enough people ignore the signs, they will be removed.

    • #6
  7. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    This is a product of the sudden onset of demand, and it will correct as that demand subsides.

    Will the rebound bring back all the competing business that have closed?

    • #7
  8. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    When it comes to madness – to quote someone else – people go mad all at once, but awaken slowly, and one at a time. 

    It depends. The people of Ceaușescu’s Romania woke up one morning and realized that the primary problem with Ceaușescu’s Romania was it had too much Ceaușescu in it. It wasn’t so much everyone getting fed up all at once. They had been fed up for a while. It was realizing that everybody else was fed up too.

    • #8
  9. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    It’s truly staggering how many people continue to follow along with this charade but disheartening how many are simply numb to it. I’ve never bothered to count how many friends and acquaintances I’ve lost respect for over the past year but I’m willing to bet its a majority of the people I know – pastors, friends, local leaders, family members, even some Ricochet members. Those of us proudly walking around unmasked, who haven’t and wont submit ourselves to someone shoving a swab up our nose, or a jab in the arm, are few and far between. We’re the remnant of those who think even the smallest degree of liberty is a pretty important thing, and aren’t afraid to say so.

    Thanks for taking a stand. 

    • #9
  10. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    I’m curious.    Is it the mask itself or the fact that government mandates it?  

    Thought experiment…suppose Fauci hadn’t flip-flopped on masks and was still saying that the public shouldn’t wear masks?   Moreover what if government prohibited wearing masks by anyone but first responders?    Banned owning N95 masks and equivalent?    Would you be decrying their tyrannical  impediment to the free market?   Would you be sporting your contraband 3M N95 at every opportunity?

    • #10
  11. Hammer, The Member
    Hammer, The
    @RyanM

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    This is a product of the sudden onset of demand, and it will correct as that demand subsides.

    Will the rebound bring back all the competing business that have closed?

    Hopefully some. I am not saying that these businesses and the people running them are not awful for basically petitioning the government to put competition out of business. they are awful, and there are a lot of those places that I simply will not shop at anymore. I am simply differentiating between conspiracy and self-interest.

    • #11
  12. Hammer, The Member
    Hammer, The
    @RyanM

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    I’m curious. Is it the mask itself or the fact that government mandates it?

    Thought experiment…suppose Fauci hadn’t flip-flopped on masks and was still saying that the public shouldn’t wear masks? Moreover what if government prohibited wearing masks by anyone but first responders? Banned owning N95 masks and equivalent? Would you be decrying their tyrannical impediment to the free market? Would you be sporting your contraband 3M N95 at every opportunity?

    I did not ever wear a mask even when Fauci was saying those things, and so it is very unlikely that I would wear one if he continued saying them now. The reality of the situation is, all of those previous recommendations were based on sound science. If you went to the CDC website back in March of last year, there were a great many studies on masks that were actually linked on the website, which you could read yourself. I did read them. Once the CDC changed its tune, and started recommending the exact opposite, all of those studies disappeared. Right now the only studies that anybody actually cites to in favor of masks, are basically just computer models, pre-assuming the efficacy that they are claiming to prove. There have actually been real scientific studies, even double-blind studies involving covid, and none of those studies have found that masks are effective.

    So no, it is not simply a matter of oppositional defiant disorder on my part. But that is somewhat irrelevant, don’t you think? It hardly undermines my position to suggest that I might take the opposite position if things were different. That is simply another way of saying “I don’t think you really believe any of the claims you’re making, and I also don’t believe that you are sincere about the reasons why you are making those claims..” Calling me a liar is perfectly fine. I don’t really mind it. But I don’t find it terribly persuasive, either.

    • #12
  13. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    This is a product of the sudden onset of demand, and it will correct as that demand subsides.

    Will the rebound bring back all the competing business that have closed?

    Hopefully some. I am not saying that these businesses and the people running them are not awful for basically petitioning the government to put competition out of business. they are awful, and there are a lot of those places that I simply will not shop at anymore. I am simply differentiating between conspiracy and self-interest.

    There is a self-interest on the “conspiracy” side too.  Corporations have been merging for 25 years now, creating world-wide monopolies of the few (or oligopolies?).

    • #13
  14. Hammer, The Member
    Hammer, The
    @RyanM

    That being said, Ekosj, I think you sort of missed the point of my post. Yes, it would be equally tyrannical if the government was mandating behavior that I think is actually good behavior. Yes, I would oppose it, even if I agreed with the underlying premise that the behavior is desirable.  Obviously, if the government was banning the use of masks, or the wearing of masks, I would have a problem with that, too (though I do not have a problem with government bans on mask mandates in businesses that are open to the public).  I oppose a great many regulations that the government does, “for people’s own good.”

    But I do think that this is a somewhat broader topic, which strays from the subject of tyranny, and gets more into ideas about why free market is far superior to centralized planning.  I am not at all opposed to having that conversation, and if you look at the CafeHayek blog that I suggested at the beginning of my post, you will find that those things are often discussed on that blog.  It is a very interesting (and important) conversation, but it isn’t really what I was talking about, above.

    • #14
  15. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    I’m curious. Is it the mask itself or the fact that government mandates it?

    Thought experiment…suppose Fauci hadn’t flip-flopped on masks and was still saying that the public shouldn’t wear masks? Moreover what if government prohibited wearing masks by anyone but first responders? Banned owning N95 masks and equivalent? Would you be decrying their tyrannical impediment to the free market? Would you be sporting your contraband 3M N95 at every opportunity?

    I have N-95 masks for going into derelict buildings with foul fungal growth.  The problem is dictating any behaviors, and certainly not without scientific evidence of efficacy, and then the risk/ benefit alanysis on top of that.

    For me, in just 15 or 30 minutes my sweat clogs the mask, then starts dripping down and off my chin.  And I’m breathing hot exhaled air, which makes every breath seem like a half breath.  And then on top of that I get reminded if I forget to put it on and have to go back to the car.  And I got reprimanded by a store employee for not crimping the mask against the sides of my nose.  I said but masks are only to prevent ejection of spit when coughing or sneezing.  And she looked like she was considering  having me ejected.

    And I can’t read lips with people wearing masks.  I have to ask What? 4 and 5 times.

    I’m thinking of getting those special nose masks that only go over the nose made for people who are dining (though what the functional point of that is is ludicrous).  I’ll sign an affy-davey that I’ll only breathe through my nose.

    • #15
  16. Hammer, The Member
    Hammer, The
    @RyanM

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    I’m curious. Is it the mask itself or the fact that government mandates it?

    Thought experiment…suppose Fauci hadn’t flip-flopped on masks and was still saying that the public shouldn’t wear masks? Moreover what if government prohibited wearing masks by anyone but first responders? Banned owning N95 masks and equivalent? Would you be decrying their tyrannical impediment to the free market? Would you be sporting your contraband 3M N95 at every opportunity?

    I have N-95 masks for going into derelict buildings with foul fungal growth. The problem is dictating any behaviors, and certainly not without scientific evidence of efficacy, and then the risk/ benefit alanysis on top of that.

    For me, in just 15 or 30 minutes my sweat clogs the mask, then starts dripping down and off my chin. And I’m breathing hot exhaled air, which makes every breath seem like a half breath. And then on top of that I get reminded if I forget to put it on and have to go back to the car. And I got reprimanded by a store employee for not crimping the mask against the sides of my nose. I said but masks are only to prevent ejection of spit when coughing or sneezing. And she looked like she was considering having me ejected.

    And I can’t read lips with people wearing masks. I have to ask What? 4 and 5 times.

    I’m thinking of getting those special nose masks that only go over the nose made for people who are dining (though what the functional point of that is is ludicrous). I’ll sign an affy-davey that I’ll only breathe through my nose.

    No – you just refuse to comply.  As all of us should be doing.  If you get kicked out of a business, respectfully leave. There will be other businesses you can go to.  As more people refuse to comply, it eventually becomes impossible to keep up this nonsense (especially when you can point to fully open states with no adverse consequences).  There is no longer any excuse for staying silent on these issues.

    • #16
  17. Hammer, The Member
    Hammer, The
    @RyanM

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    This is a product of the sudden onset of demand, and it will correct as that demand subsides.

    Will the rebound bring back all the competing business that have closed?

    Hopefully some. I am not saying that these businesses and the people running them are not awful for basically petitioning the government to put competition out of business. they are awful, and there are a lot of those places that I simply will not shop at anymore. I am simply differentiating between conspiracy and self-interest.

    There is a self-interest on the “conspiracy” side too. Corporations have been merging for 25 years now, creating world-wide monopolies of the few (or oligopolies?).

    Agreed.  But that is just one more reason why government interventions are tyrannical, isn’t it?  Tyranny always favors its friends. 

    • #17
  18. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Great post, thank you. Just as a side note after listening to teachers and some school board members, some that never intended for their comments to be heard by the public, I’m tempted to believe that schools reopening may not be the right thing. Some of them should never be allowed anywhere near a child.

    • #18
  19. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Great post, thank you. Just as a side note after listening to teachers and some school board members, some that never intended for their comments to be heard by the public, I’m tempted to believe that schools reopening may not be the right thing. Some of them should never be allowed anywhere near a child.

    The ideal scenario is for all the public schools to remain permanently closed. But not everyone can make the jump to homeschooling, and most parents can’t afford the private schools.

    • #19
  20. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    I’m curious. Is it the mask itself or the fact that government mandates it?

    Thought experiment…suppose Fauci hadn’t flip-flopped on masks and was still saying that the public shouldn’t wear masks? Moreover what if government prohibited wearing masks by anyone but first responders? Banned owning N95 masks and equivalent? Would you be decrying their tyrannical impediment to the free market? Would you be sporting your contraband 3M N95 at every opportunity?

    I have N-95 masks for going into derelict buildings with foul fungal growth. The problem is dictating any behaviors, and certainly not without scientific evidence of efficacy, and then the risk/ benefit alanysis on top of that.

    For me, in just 15 or 30 minutes my sweat clogs the mask, then starts dripping down and off my chin. And I’m breathing hot exhaled air, which makes every breath seem like a half breath. And then on top of that I get reminded if I forget to put it on and have to go back to the car. And I got reprimanded by a store employee for not crimping the mask against the sides of my nose. I said but masks are only to prevent ejection of spit when coughing or sneezing. And she looked like she was considering having me ejected.

    And I can’t read lips with people wearing masks. I have to ask What? 4 and 5 times.

    I’m thinking of getting those special nose masks that only go over the nose made for people who are dining (though what the functional point of that is is ludicrous). I’ll sign an affy-davey that I’ll only breathe through my nose.

    No – you just refuse to comply. As all of us should be doing. If you get kicked out of a business, respectfully leave. There will be other businesses you can go to. As more people refuse to comply, it eventually becomes impossible to keep up this nonsense (especially when you can point to fully open states with no adverse consequences). There is no longer any excuse for staying silent on these issues.

    I did that at a pawn shop, but at the grocery store?

    • #20
  21. Hammer, The Member
    Hammer, The
    @RyanM

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    I’m curious. Is it the mask itself or the fact that government mandates it?

    Thought experiment…suppose Fauci hadn’t flip-flopped on masks and was still saying that the public shouldn’t wear masks? Moreover what if government prohibited wearing masks by anyone but first responders? Banned owning N95 masks and equivalent? Would you be decrying their tyrannical impediment to the free market? Would you be sporting your contraband 3M N95 at every opportunity?

    I have N-95 masks for going into derelict buildings with foul fungal growth. The problem is dictating any behaviors, and certainly not without scientific evidence of efficacy, and then the risk/ benefit alanysis on top of that.

    For me, in just 15 or 30 minutes my sweat clogs the mask, then starts dripping down and off my chin. And I’m breathing hot exhaled air, which makes every breath seem like a half breath. And then on top of that I get reminded if I forget to put it on and have to go back to the car. And I got reprimanded by a store employee for not crimping the mask against the sides of my nose. I said but masks are only to prevent ejection of spit when coughing or sneezing. And she looked like she was considering having me ejected.

    And I can’t read lips with people wearing masks. I have to ask What? 4 and 5 times.

    I’m thinking of getting those special nose masks that only go over the nose made for people who are dining (though what the functional point of that is is ludicrous). I’ll sign an affy-davey that I’ll only breathe through my nose.

    No – you just refuse to comply. As all of us should be doing. If you get kicked out of a business, respectfully leave. There will be other businesses you can go to. As more people refuse to comply, it eventually becomes impossible to keep up this nonsense (especially when you can point to fully open states with no adverse consequences). There is no longer any excuse for staying silent on these issues.

    I did that at a pawn shop, but at the grocery store?

    I haven’t worn one this entire time, and there have been many stores that “require” it.  Our grocery stores stopped trying to enforce it sometime this last fall.

    • #21
  22. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Except on an airplane.  A woman and her family were removed from a flight when she could not get her three-year-old to wear a mask.  Yes, the Health Nazis require masks for little kids.  That is the most despotic.  You could be banned from an airline forever if you disobey their edicts.  We are flying to Nashville at the end of the month, and that is the part I am looking forward to the least.  We will be in First Class, required to wear the mask the entire flight, even “between bites while eating”.

    • #22
  23. Hammer, The Member
    Hammer, The
    @RyanM

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    This is a product of the sudden onset of demand, and it will correct as that demand subsides.

    Will the rebound bring back all the competing business that have closed?

    Hopefully some. I am not saying that these businesses and the people running them are not awful for basically petitioning the government to put competition out of business. they are awful, and there are a lot of those places that I simply will not shop at anymore. I am simply differentiating between conspiracy and self-interest.

    There is a self-interest on the “conspiracy” side too. Corporations have been merging for 25 years now, creating world-wide monopolies of the few (or oligopolies?).

    Agreed. But that is just one more reason why government interventions are tyrannical, isn’t it? Tyranny always favors its friends.

    The reality, here, is that many businesses are willing to support restrictions that are too costly for their competition to absorb.  That is the whole idea behind “crony capitalism.”  When our governor announced his mask mandate (and a slew of restrictions), he had the CEO of costco standing beside him.  Because the CEO of costco is a concerned citizen?  Of course not.  Because it means more customers for him, and more competitors out of business.  It’s not a conspiracy, though, and that was the point of my comment.  People will often take advantage of situations that benefit them at the expense of others.  Large businesses (even though we support free market and free trade in general, that doesn’t mean that all businessmen are good or honest) will often seek handouts and favors from politicians, especially in the form of regulation that creates monopoly.  That is why we should so strongly distrust government power – and why we should seek to limit that power.  But it’s not a conspiracy.

    • #23
  24. Hammer, The Member
    Hammer, The
    @RyanM

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Great post, thank you. Just as a side note after listening to teachers and some school board members, some that never intended for their comments to be heard by the public, I’m tempted to believe that schools reopening may not be the right thing. Some of them should never be allowed anywhere near a child.

    The ideal scenario is for all the public schools to remain permanently closed. But not everyone can make the jump to homeschooling, and most parents can’t afford the private schools.

    Enter vouchers. It’s your tax money, let it follow your children.

    • #24
  25. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Great post, thank you. Just as a side note after listening to teachers and some school board members, some that never intended for their comments to be heard by the public, I’m tempted to believe that schools reopening may not be the right thing. Some of them should never be allowed anywhere near a child.

    The ideal scenario is for all the public schools to remain permanently closed. But not everyone can make the jump to homeschooling, and most parents can’t afford the private schools.

    Enter vouchers. It’s your tax money, let it follow your children.

    Amen. Amen.

    (And awomen.)

    • #25
  26. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):
    Fifteen months ago no one would have envisioned a public clamoring for perpetual enslavement. And although I believe that right now, only half of all Americans are still embracing it, the way this psy op has continued to develop shows the 11 years Gates, The Rockefeller Foundation and the Inner Circle have planned things out did indeed pave a smooth way for the psy op to continue. (BTW, recent reports indicate that Pfizer profits are going thru the roof!)

    A couple of things, here… SNIP

    Now, it is a fact that, when presented with a perceived crisis, individuals in power will seek to provide solutions that enhance their own power. The fact that so many politicians and folks like Gates, the media, people in tech, have all appeared to be operating in concert is not due to any conspiracySNIP  Why wouldn’t Anthony Fauci want to suddenly go from being a fairly nameless bureaucrat (and what name he possessed was largely due to his failures over the years) to being a sort of deified health czar? He recently made some statement about vaccine passports, as if he is in any position to mandate or not mandate anything of the sort… He is responding to incentives. Gates, who has long possessed a sort of egomaniacal desire to be some sort of technocrat, is likewise responding to incentives. He is well positioned to do so. Likewise with Bezos or the facebook guy or the twitter guy… they are perfectly intelligent individuals who see opportunity to grow both influence and wealth. And keep in mind, virtually all of these people occupy the ideological left. They believe in government authority, they believe that most people are too stupid to be trusted with making their own decisions, and they believe that they are themselves uniquely qualified to make those decisions for everyone.

    This is not a conspiracy, and it is nothing new. SNIP

     

    A conspiracy is something that occurs all the time. Do you think the Federal Reserve simply came about in an organic way, propelled by ordinary citizens concerned that we needed a better way to avoid economic collapses? If that had been the way it came about we most certainly would not have seen an economic collapse within 16 years of it being set up, and with that economic collapse somehow affecting everyone except the same inner circle of Elites who had set it up.

    Anyway this elegant presentation of many facts related to COVID tells a very compelling story about Gates, starting at page 41 and running through to page 54. (This is a new app and it really transports reports into an amazingly chic way of making a presentation – so visual it is breathtaking.)

    https://online.anyflip.com/inblw/ufbs/mobile/index.html?fbclid=IwAR2igI3J2n0y6CFfDAW997Gxm_kJkWbGl9d4xBxw0ywHt73ZHjZqAY8sZs0

     

    • #26
  27. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

     

    I did that at a pawn shop, but at the grocery store?

    I have a friend who complies everywhere because he believes it’s their business their rules. I disagree because there are only four stores in my town where I can buy milk for my family. All of them require masks. And yet, they don’t get to arbitrarily decide to deny basic essentials to community members who won’t wear a mask, and they won’t if we don’t play along.

    So back in April 2020 I told them “no” at the door, smiled and walked past essentially daring the kid at the door to stop me. We did the same at the doctors appointments. They learned to let it go, and that’s how we defeat this.

    Now what happens if I want to fly? It will take an airline CEO with guts and common sense to take that stand, or a bunch of lawsuits, but freedom should be worth it.

    • #27
  28. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    How one man delivered his New Zealand church  congregation from tyranny:

    https://www.facebook.com/AdvanceNZParty/videos/872460540288940

    • #28
  29. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

     

    I did that at a pawn shop, but at the grocery store?

    I have a friend who complies everywhere because he believes it’s their business their rules. I disagree because there are only four stores in my town where I can buy milk for my family. All of them require masks. And yet, they don’t get to arbitrarily decide to deny basic essentials to community members who won’t wear a mask, and they won’t if we don’t play along.

    So back in April 2020 I told them “no” at the door, smiled and walked past essentially daring the kid at the door to stop me. We did the same at the doctors appointments. They learned to let it go, and that’s how we defeat this.

    Now what happens if I want to fly? It will take an airline CEO with guts and common sense to take that stand, or a bunch of lawsuits, but freedom should be worth it.

    I foresee an industry of private plane owners who will fly people hither and yon without asking for masks. Rebel Charter Planes Will Fly!

    • #29
  30. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    You know how I know any mask mandate was a crock?

    Because there are no standards. 

    So I’ve got a kid wearing a bandana (that he bought from God knows where and fished out from the bottom of his truck), another wearing a mask from a box of masks we got from Home Depot, JY wearing a mask that is (frankly) horrifying in what he’s trying to avoid, and me in one where the site where I bought it from says “it’s useless, just like every other mask” and my grand daughter said (I swear to God) : Why can I see your mouth?”

    So really? Everyone needs to wear a mask? If masks are truly important and life saving, why don’t we have a bloody clue about which masks are best? Or not best, but kind of safe. Or not kind of safe, but at least you’ll be left alone. Okay, everyone is leaving you alone…  because they literally don’t care anymore.

    My five year old granddaughter considers her mask a fashion accessory.And chooses likewise.

    I propose we all do the same. Or just forget the whole thing and forget this ever happened.

    • #30