Blue state police state: Local officials cook up boatload of stupid COVID-19 restrictions
The Trump administration is largely freeing the economy of regulations to ensure that America can beat back the coronavirus. The FDA's latest act, lifting a federal ban on imported masks to ensure that hospitals get the personal protective equipment they need, is just the latest in this pattern of extending liberty. The FDA's swift approval of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for emergency use on gravely ill patients, as well as other deregulatory freeings, are also the hallmarks of Trump administration leadership.
But then there are the lefty politicians in blue cities and states, often claiming to be on the same team as Trump, who have an entirely different set of instincts.
They're doing what lefties do, which is tighten the grip.
It's not just freeing criminals from jails, while banning gun sales for the law-abiding, something a court smacked down Los Angeles for.
It's a host of pointless and unenforceable restrictions on the public that require a police state to enforce, a police state they don't have and aren't entitled to.
Here are three new stupidities that use such sledgehammers on the public when simple persuasion would do.
From the International Business Times:
Vermont’s Agency of Commerce and Community Development issued the order to all retailers in the state that sell food, beverage, and pharmacy items to help reduce the number of people coming into stores.
The agency said that these big box retailers must cease selling nonessential items that are not listed in the executive order, which includes arts and crafts, beauty, carpet and flooring, clothing, consumer electronics, entertainment items such as books, movies, and music, furniture, home and garden supplies, jewelry, paint, photo services, sports equipment, toys, and other nonessential items.
Right. You're in a house full of bored kids who are done with their online classroom lesson and somehow you get them some toys to keep them busy when you make your next meat and milk run. Or some sports equipment to keep them busy in the back yard. What kind of idiocy is this? No arts and crafts? That keeps people in quarantine busy, too. I was particularly disgusted to see that seeds were on the 'banned' list. Seeds are perishable, same as fruits and vegetables, so the seeds will go to waste. And the thing is, gardening is a wonderful way to pass the quarantine time away, it keeps people at home, fascinated with growing things, and if it's vegetables they're growing (some get to harvest point pretty fast) it's a secondary food source, and yet another reason to stay home. It's also good exercise, inherently socially distanced. They had to ban seeds?
Who are these clowns who made these ignorant lists and demanded retailers follow them to their own detriment? And why are police forces, which have plenty to worry about these days, now responsible for enforcing this pointless garbage? So long as people socially distance, there is no reason why they can't pick up the kinds of extra supplies they might need beyond eating. This is the work of micromanaging bureaucrats who don't understand a thing about what people need and who are flexing their totalitarian instincts.
Here's another stupidity, from Los Angeles again, that place that can't clean up its homeless population, from Breitbart News:
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) is encouraging residents to report businesses that violate the city’s stay-at-home order aimed at combating the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.
“If any non-essential businesses continue to operate in violation of the stay at home order, we’re going to act to enforce the safer at home order and ensure their compliance,” Garcetti said at a Tuesday press briefing.
Store sales don't cause COVID-19, the issue is social distancing. Two people can be on a sidewalk and not social distance, why is that worse than being in a store? Why open the box to disgusting little snitch rewards? This is classic East German spying, and it's going to lead to no good.
The issue is social distancing, and stores here in San Diego now enforce that with six-foot tape markers, masks, gloves and plexiglass screens for cashiers. Consumers, meanwhile, are social distancing as per the recommendations, wearing masks and gloves, and keeping to the distances.
I also wonder who these people are who are running these stores that haven't shut? This being Los Angeles, odds are they're not the big boxes most people go to, but the smaller bodegas and tiendas run by illegals, who won't be getting stimulus checks. I make a special point to patronize those since there are some I like and want to see remain in business, and I know they aren't getting stimulus checks. These establishments enforce the same social distincing requirements as anyone else. Might that be the same instinct going on in Los Angeles? Seems like it.
Here's another one, from New York, reported by Reason magazine:
New York City is asking its citizens to report other people to the authorities for failing to abide by social distancing orders. This is an unnecessary—and authoritarian—escalation of the city's coronavirus response.
"The City has enacted public health social distancing restrictions to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus," states the government's non-emergency services website. "You can report a violation in progress for the City to enforce as appropriate." As examples of the kinds of things that people should report, the city lists non-essential businesses remaining open, and overcrowding in general.
Again, more wasted police resources on something that's impossible to enforce, and therefore unlikely to be enforced, except in 'kill the chicken to scare the monkey' manner. That's some kind of reign of terror now that everyone around you is a spy. That's some formula for building social trust. What works best, and I've seen it myself, is for everyone out there to simply call out those who aren't social-distancing. "Six feet!" or "hey, social distancing" work very well at my local Wal-Mart here in San Diego. People know and understand, so there is no need turn the country into a police state, which in any case won't work.
It's beyond stupid because it won't work, and it's contrary to the great sense of national unity built up by the Trump administration as we all recognize we are all in this together. Leave it up to the blue state lefty pols to try to turn the U.S. into Cuba, where neighbor spies on neighbor and every purchase is watched. They need to be called out and forced to knock it off.
Image credit: Screen shot from Sony Pictures trailer, via YouTube