At the very beginning of the Coronavirus lockdowns, Liberty Nation asked if the solution might bring more devastation than the problem it was meant to solve. We predicted it would back then, but more recently, LN’s Pennel Bird confirmed that it has. And he put forth a new question that must now be answered: “How many more tragedies will occur before we stop trying to extinguish the flame with a blowtorch?”
Yet rather than releasing America from the oppressive grip of Coronavirus social controls, local leaders across the nation are demanding compliance – or else. From state-wide mask requirements enforced by fines to random traffic checkpoints for out-of-towners and utility shutoffs for folks who have too many guests over, mayors and governors are flexing their tyrannical muscles in the new pandemic police state. So much for the land of the free.
(No More) Power to the People
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has had enough of folks getting together and having a good time during the pandemic. “These large house parties have essentially become nightclubs in the hills,” he said during a press conference, Wednesday, August 5. “These large parties are unsafe and can cost Angelenos their lives.”
True to form for the California nanny state, rather than let those grown Angelenos party at their own risk, Mayor Garcetti has authorized the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to shut off the utilities to homes, businesses, or any other venue that hosts “unpermitted” large gatherings. Beginning Friday, August 7, those Angelenos Garcetti claims to be so worried about will pay for their social crimes by losing their water and electricity – whether the bill has been paid or not.
You may think it’s shameful, but the city of Los Angeles is proud of its oppression. On July 23, the city listed its offenses in a news release, boasting about shutting down 26 restaurants, a grocery store, a pool, and 67 other businesses. As of the end of August, businesses that refuse to comply will face fines ranging from $100 to $500 and permit suspensions.
Escape From New York
Many large cities, such as Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York City, are requiring out-of-towners to self-quarantine for 14 days. In Chicago, this is enforced with fines between $100 and $500 a day – assuming they know who doesn’t belong, that is.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot posted a list on August 4 of states and territories considered Coronavirus hotspots. Keep in mind that Chicago alone has had 190,000 confirmed cases and 7,795 deaths reported. New York City comes in at a whopping 423,000 confirmed cases and 32,431 deaths. Neither Illinois nor New York makes the list. Still, according to the bigwigs in the windy city, the real danger zones are states like Arkansas, with 46,293 confirmed cases and a terrifying 508 deaths. Iowa is also on that list with its 47,251 confirmed cases and 908 deaths, as is Nebraska at 27,520 cases and 342 deaths. And that’s assuming all those reports are accurate – an assumption even the CDC director, Robert Redfield, isn’t comfortable making these days.
The city of New York, however, has a solution for that pesky problem of not being able to tell who might be coming from one of these danger zones. Checkpoints are being set up at many of the entry points, where sheriff’s deputies stop travelers at random and see if they’re coming from one of the 35 areas New York considers a Coronavirus hotspot.
“The checkpoints I think are going to send a very powerful message that this quarantine law is serious and important and crucial and people have to follow it,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Oh, it sends a message all right. Stay out of the big cities across the nation, but especially New York City – as if you needed any other reason.
Behind the Mask of the Greater Good
As egregious as these examples are, they are at least isolated to certain cities. When it comes to mask mandates, 34 states – led both by Democrats and Republicans – now require face coverings. Refusing to comply can result in fines between $100 and $500, with varying degrees of enforcement to be expected. All of the states mentioned so far – California, New York, and Illinois, as well as the so-called Coronavirus hotspots Arkansas, Iowa, and Nebraska – are featured on that list.
But power-mad mayors and governors aside, not everyone is happy to see the mask mandates. Various police agencies are flat out refusing to enforce the rule. The Houston Police Officers’ Union said that “under no circumstance will a person be arrested for not wearing a mask” in Houston, TX. Just north a bit, in Texarkana, AR, the police department said it wouldn’t be enforcing the order, as its primary responsibility is “fighting crime and providing police services.” In Montana, 38 sheriffs signed an op-ed saying they don’t believe the mandate means they need to issue citations or arrest violators. Back in Arkansas, Lang Holland, chief of police in Marshall, said he won’t even make his officers wear masks, never mind the citizens. “All I’m saying is if you want to wear a mask, you have the freedom to choose that,” he said. “It should not be dictated by the nanny state.”
Hear, hear! Well said, Chief Holland.
Read more from James Fite.
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