Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Observed from some angles, the United States is falling apart. All over, we’re seeing signs of fragmentation.
At the smallest scale, the tony community of Buckhead, Ga., may be seceding from Atlanta. Mayor Keisha Bottoms’ anti-anti-crime strategy has led to a predictable criminal surge. Buckhead wants escape from dysfunction — via self-rule.
The same thing is happening within states. Last month, several communities in eastern Oregon voted to secede and join Idaho. The region’s farmers don’t want to be ruled from their state’s weed- and Antifa-plagued coastal regions.
Parts of New Mexico want to join Texas. A huge swath of downstate Illinois talks of splitting from Chicagoland. Some upstate New Yorkers have been talking for years of splitting away from Gotham. Then there are various plans for splitting California into two, three or even six new states. All are gaining attention.
These plans would be hard to pull off. Splitting a state requires consent from both its own legislature and Congress, and unless Congress is ruled by a one-sided majority, it will be hard to get anything through that changes the balance in the Senate. (It has really only happened once, when West Virginia split from Virginia during the Civil War.) But the growing interest in this sort of separation does signal something.
For most of US history, the trend has been toward bigness and consolidation. But now people are wanting to make things smaller.
States are also asserting themselves. First we had “sanctuary” laws involving illegal immigration. Then we had states legalizing marijuana and essentially daring the feds to do something about it. (The feds, for the most part, backed down). Now cities and states are declaring “sanctuary” status for gun rights, pledging not to cooperate with the enforcement of federal gun laws.
Left and right, in other words, are resisting federal rule when it comes to their pet issues.
And recently it’s gone beyond resistance. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is sending law enforcers to assist Texas and Arizona. Faced with the Biden administration’s reluctance to secure the border, threatened states are cooperating with one another to do a job once left to federal authorities.
Any one of these developments might be unimportant, maybe even amusing. But put together, they have a certain late-Roman-Empire flavor. And there’s more.
As Charles Murray writes in his new book, “Facing Reality,” the federal government is at a low point in terms of perceived legitimacy. In 1964, 77 percent of Americans said they trust the federal government to do the right thing all or most of the time, according to Gallup. That number dropped to 15 percent in 2011 and has hovered between 15 and 20 percent since.
A government distrusted by more than 80 percent of its population has a legitimacy problem.
The federal government makes more and more laws and regulations but has no real ability to enforce them without cooperation from state and local governments and from the people themselves. When people see the government as less legitimate, they are less likely to go along.
Given that according to a recent Rasmussen poll more than 40 percent of Americans believe the 2020 election was stolen (and that number is no doubt highest in the red states) legitimacy is in short supply. Writes Murray, “The continued ability of the federal government to enforce its edicts in the reddest portions of the nation will be thrown into question. The prospect of legal secession may be remote, but the prospect of reduced governability from Washington is not.”
This could be bad, but there’s a bright side. When we talk about the late Roman Empire (at least the Western part), we’re talking about a centrally governed state. In America, we have a federal system.
The federal government might collapse or go broke — current spending and debt numbers suggest the latter — but the states have their own credit ratings, their own bureaucracy, their own police and quasi-military forces, their own reservoirs of legitimacy. We’re already seeing that.
Even if the federal government fails, the states will remain. Think of it as a backup system that we hope we won’t need — but increasingly might.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds is a professor of law at the University of Tennessee and founder of the InstaPundit.com blog.
THE WAY I SEE IT by Don Polson Red Bluff Daily News 6/29/2021
Gaslighting over masks, China, Fauci
Please indulge anecdotes with a point. Maybe it’s the inner rebel accompanying my growing locks now covering my neck and below, but I won’t wear a mask outside of actual medical facilities, visited numerous times in the last month or so. A painful lumbar condition and urology-related issues will remain private.
The freedom to not breath smelly, unsanitary paper or cloth masks was rediscovered after the science of vaccinations set in, late April. After the objectionable, silly recycling of my own breath in the snowy outdoors at ski locations, as well as the obligatory, marginally useful retail rules, we took the immunity personally and just started walking in, past and through the signage and nagging (Costco was the worst). Given the number of like-minded customers, we won.
A “gear fix” shop was the first to insist; I refused and simply demanded to know if my ski boots were fixed. Their designated hulky “enforcer” was dispatched to make demands; I made my own demands; he said he would call the cops; I said “you can go through all that, or you can simply look up my name and tell me if my boots are done.” He relented, but lied that they hadn’t accepted boot repairs for 6 months; ok, buh-bye.
The Costco pharmacy, unlike the Walmart pharmacy, was adamant that I not pick up my prescription unmasked; I refused and demanded my drug order; the manager got another manager who got the top guy. I’m a rebel with common sense and pulled up my t-shirt, saying “you can’t see my mouth or nose, now get me my med; I’m handicapped and have rights.” They relented.
For 15 months of badgering, guilt-tripping, accusations of wanting to murder fellow citizens, demands that the unmasked be reeducated and all but wear a “wrong think” patch—I’ve said masks were benign, a minor inconvenience. The “it’s the science” folks remain oblivious to the scientific fact that the virus is 1000x smaller than the mask materials, making them useless.
There has been no discernible difference in Covid illness or death rates between mask-mandated states and schools and those without, a massive pool of scientific data that defies refutation. “Wake up, people: Science shows mask zealots were very, very wrong,” by Trevor Thomas, says it all. Will they admit it? It remains an issue as the spreading “Delta variant” (from India’s delta—but mustn’t name Covid-19 for Wuhan, China) is feeding the “anxiety-and-fear” narrative.
Not only is the World Health Organization reverting to “mask mandates for all, everywhere,” even the vaccinated; but places like Australia are imposing “lock downs” on millions, in spite of the now-undeniable evidence of futility. Will “news” outlets report the fairly benign effect of “Delta” in the U.K. and U.S.? “New Study Delivers Kill Shot to the Leftist COVID Panic Lockdown Regime,” by Matt Vespa; end of debate.
Thank God we were blessed with a system whereby the states have considerable autonomy from the central government. It’s nearly lost on the miseducated, media-persuaded and ideology-addled that our Constitutional Framers were determined that, by states forming the national government (not the other way around), there must be tools for the states to retain their power against inevitable federal despotism. Canada lacks those protections and preachers are jailed; we should protect our independent rights.
It's fine with me if some cling to the illusion of credibility for compromised and duplicitous “authorities” like Dr. Fauci. Apparently besotted with his own self-reverence and sycophantic fans, he pronounced his own ever-shifting medical opinions to be “Science” itself. He lied to the public, and to Congress, by feigning ignorance of the $1 million+ in American tax money that went to knowingly fund “gain-of-function” bat research at Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). He lied to Congress, insisting ignorance that President Trump ordered a stop to “gain of function” funding to WIV through EcoHealth Alliance, falsely making him blameless and Trump culpable.
He knowingly assisted Communist Chinese researchers (party hacks with lab coats) in dismissing and downplaying that lab’s role as the source of the COVID-19 virus. He and his agency have no excuse or defense against charges of misleading this nation and covering for China’s perfidy. As early as late fall, over 10,000 military athletes went to the Wuhan area for sporting events; that city of millions was a “ghost town” while athletes returned home with symptoms.
Honest virological scientists (including Fauci) knew that China had flu-like infections showing up among the WIV staff. Early analysis could reasonably have suspected a “cross species” transfer of the “bat” virus, but not past spring, 2020. And yet, Fauci insisted no evidence pointed to the WIV, as recently as months ago, in spite of detailed microscopic deconstruction of the virus showing not only a humanly engineered virus, but also reverse engineering to misdirect researchers to the “bat market” source.
“China Lied About COVID Again: Outbreak Might Have Begun Months Earlier,” by Stephen Green; “New Research Shows Extent of China’s Cover-Up of COVID-19’s Origins,” by Anthony Ruggiero; and, in an article that almost implicates Dr. Fauci in the deception, “Early Covid Data From China (was) Removed by NIH After Request From Chinese Researchers,” by Rick Moran. How could Fauci not have known?
Unsurprisingly, “Dr. Fauci Is In An All Out Media Blitz To Rescue His Image,” by Dylan Housman; he’s “on the defensive after emails were leaked revealing he downplayed the lab-leak theory of the novel coronavirus origin.” Fauci accuses opponents of “distortion” and, of course, taking his emails “out of context.”
I bear no negativity to those forming different opinions; just spare me attacks on my veracity and informed analysis.