Sunday, June 14, 2020

Time to let people take own risks

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 13, 2020)

I would expect, given the record of failure, this coronavirus experience would cause people to reconsider their belief in the credibility of government. From past experience, I know hope-- or something darker-- springs eternal. Most people are desperate to believe government is capable and credible in spite of 5000-plus years of evidence to the contrary.

As face masks become mandatory in more places, don't forget those same government experts were ridiculing people who were wearing masks early; insisting masks didn't work-- and telling people to stop buying or wearing them-- just weeks ago.

They have also been encouraging businesses to limit their hours of service which forces more people into a business during fewer available hours, and they're closing campgrounds and other places where people could physically distance in the healthy outdoors. Both policies are the opposite of helpful.

People choose to not remember the deadly errors, but view them as government taking decisive action to "flatten the curve".

I understand the call to "flatten the curve"-- especially in the early days of the pandemic when everyone was just guessing what might happen. We now know that's not going to work. It's time to let people make their own choices and take their own risks.

This will solve itself if people let it; faster if government stops dragging it out.

There's not going to be a vaccine-- not a real one, anyway. This virus is going to have to go through its natural cycle. If you're going to catch the virus, it's going to happen sooner or later. Since eighty percent of cases don't cause symptoms, you may never know. You may have already had it.

Let the virus spread and naturally lose strength over time, as these types of viruses always do.

No, that's not "safe". Nothing is. Americans are giving up their liberty for promises of safety. Promises which were lies from the start. "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin wrote those timeless words on November 11, 1755.

Soon you may be forced to decide which is more dangerous-- the virus, the government, or economic disaster-- and act accordingly.

Every non-governmental job is essential! It's time to do the adult thing and get back to normal life. Lead the way and force government policy to play catch-up, as it usually does. Recovery is, and has always been, up to you. Let's get to it!

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Tearing down statues

I have no personal attachment to monuments to military/political people or events. You could say I even hate most of them. You probably understand why. Every historical figure is almost surely someone's Hitler.

However, art-- even when ugly or offensive-- is art. And older art is historical. Destroying historical art because it has unpleasant connotations is ignorant. The "reasons" are irrelevant. I opposed it being done in Iraq and I oppose it being done in America.

Not only is art being destroyed, but the vandals are also burying history. Hiding something doesn't change what happened, and often helps some people pretend it didn't.

Tearing down monuments is the book-burning of our time. At least until book-burning comes back into fashion.


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