Sunday Morning Alarms, 4/5/2020: After The First Two Items, You Won’t Want To Read Any More And Will Just Go Back To Bed…

….like I did…

1. KABOOM! Pennsylvanian Anita Shaffer, 19, decided to flee her York County home  a week ago for a mental health drive.  On her way back home, two Pennsylvania State Police officers stopped her about her car’s faulty tail-light. While talking with the officers,  Shaffer told them that she was just “going for a drive.” In response, they wrote her a ticket for more than $202.25 for violating the Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home order.

That’s the citation above. It says Shaffer “failed to abide by the order of the governor and secretary of health issued to control the spread of a communicable disease, requiring the closure of all non-life-sustaining businesses as of 20:00 hours on March 19, 2020. To wit, defendant states that she was ‘going for a drive’ after this violation was in effect,”

State police spokesman Ryan Tarkowski explained the ticket, saying, “Troopers have been encouraged to use contacts with the public as opportunities to reinforce the necessity to abide by stay-at-home orders.”

And how, exactly, does ticketing an individual who is engaged in conduct that cannot possibly infect anyone  accomplish  that?

Well, Tarkowski blathered,  being a soulless bureaucrat incapable of admitting that THE STATE is full of it in this case, “Troopers maintain discretion to warn or issue citations and the decision is specific to the facts and circumstances of a particular encounter.”

Fine. These facts do not justify a ticket by any stretch of the imagination. The officers’ discretion shows they are not qualified to wield the power they have. Indeed, the citation magnifies the extreme arbitrariness of such orders, and their danger when those charged with enforcing them have the judgment of Gestapo officers.

I’m surprised the cops didn’t slap her around a little, shoot her in the kneecap or even rape her, you know, to show the defiant prole who’s boss and not to ever, ever defy Big Brother.

Tarkowski also said Shaffer’s citation is the only one issued for violating the stay-at-home order. It’s good that the police picked a representative one to symbolize the Pennsyvania message to it’s citizens, which is apparently, “You will do as you are told, underlings.”

Well, not to be crude, but screw that.

Shaffer told reporters  she was within her rights to operate her car, and plans on challenging the citation.  Good. And again I ask, where is our vaunted American Civil Liberty Union on this issue? For three years, we have been hearing false cries of outrage about how the President is an autocrat just waiting to crush our civil rights, and now, when the civil rights of citizens are being ignored by tin pot governors all over the country, the ACLU just shrugs and sighs in its bunker, “It’s for the greater good.”

Oh..there was nothing wrong with her tail light.

2. KABOOM! Yes, the President will really come to regret being mean to Jeb and George W. Bush.

In mid-February, the beneficent George H.W. Bush Foundation helped donate two million masks to China. Now, as we all know, American healthcare workers and the public face  shortages of the vital equipment, especially with  Americans being advised to wear masks. The Foundation’s  sizable donation was backed by Chubb and Walmart, and FedEx comped shipping fees.

The media coverage of this transaction is also telling. The most easily accessed sources reporting the episode are Chinese. The mainstream media buried the story, then and now. For their part, conservative news media and websites are deceptively reporting the donation as if it recently occurred, rather than taking place in February.

To be fair, we all know that “America first” is racist, even in a pandemic.

3. Big Brother, Malibu style: Is this as bad as #1, or was this freedom-loving citizen justly arrested?

In California, a paddleboarder was arrested  after ignoring lifeguards’ orders to get out of the ocean. The man ultimately chose to stay in the water near the Malibu Pier for about  40 minutes, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a Facebook post.

Deputies summoned their patrol boat from Marina Del Rey, and the unidentified  paddleboader swam to shore once it arrived. He was then arrested for disobeying a lifeguard and violating Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay at home order,  a misdemeanor. The man could face a $1,000 fine, up to six months in jail, or both.

Much as I enjoy bashing California, this episode was on the other side of the line from #1. Not only did the scofflaw defy lifeguards, but the beaches are closed to prevent  idiots like those who swarmed over Florida on Spring Break from doing their imitations of Annette and Frankie.

If the highways were closed in Pennsylvania, then Anita Shaffer would have deserved to be arrested too.

4. We’re right, they’re wrong. Mailonline reports that English barrister Rashid Ahmed headbutted a female lawyer in her face,  leaving the woman covered in blood and lying on the ground .Ahmed, an immigration law specialist, had to be restrained by bystanders. He was convicted for the attack in April 2018 and given a 12 month community service order.

For this offense, a  Bar disciplinary tribunal has ruled that Ahmed was “not a risk to the public,”  and had “shown insight,” what ever that means. His professional discipline will consist of a three month suspension. In his hearing, Ahmed admitted a single charge of professional misconduct: behaving in a way likely to diminish public trust in the profession.

Local pundits are debating whether this incredibly lenient punishment is because he is a Muslim, or because professional discipline levied against barristers is frequently inadequate. No, it’s because the British have lost their minds. A lawyer who did this in the U.S. would be disbarred, probably for life.

 

27 thoughts on “Sunday Morning Alarms, 4/5/2020: After The First Two Items, You Won’t Want To Read Any More And Will Just Go Back To Bed…

  1. 1). I suppose it’s a lot to ask for policemen who harass law abiding citizens by mis-applying clearly-written laws to be punished. I think the standard behavior is a form of can’t-blame-a-guy-for-trying, but, in fact, I have been quite successful in blaming people for failed attempts at villainy in the past. I may be a prodigy, I admit. Consider, the officer, in writing the ticket, was acting outside his clearly-defined authority and demanding monies from a citizen while displaying a deadly weapon – all while we’re being too hard on the ones who shoot miscreants in circumstances which said miscreants ought to be shot! The formulation of the legal system and the public media outlets which comment on it can only be said to consciously be moving toward a deliberate failure state.

    And I’ve said so all along! Isn’t this great?

    4). I find myself wanting to ask what the lawyer said. I’m a fierce opponent of our bizarre limpwrist society’s absolute ban on all physical responses to taunts and personal insults. A man’s honor is more real than his mortal life and demands a more vigorous defense. Additionally, no offense, Jack, lawyers have a way of pushing that new, preposterous ban on responding to personal attacks to its furthest extreme while people are in the tensest of circumstances.

    However, the lawyer in question is a woman (presumably (because who knows anymore)), and chivalry demands a man never head-butt and bloody a woman in any circumstance for the sake of that same honor he has the now-denied right to defend.

    It’s too bad he’ll never get the treatment offered by the Pennsylvania State Police wherein they stick you with any fine they wish, leaving you with the opportunity to challenge it in court at your own personal expense. Though, I suppose they’d never have done that to a minority-class citizen. They probably would’ve fixed his tail light for him too.

    Then again, the English legal system is a mystery to me. If a barrister is a public position, perhaps Ahmed is enjoying the same protections as the Pennsylvania State Police who can cite people with broken tail lights for imaginary acts of extortion and second-degree manslaughter on a whim.

    • Or maybe if you’re a Muslim guy, you’re duty bound to assault any woman who has the temerity to question you, even after you’ve been day drinking with her. After all, you’re a man. Where are the Brit feminists on this? Oh, wait, Diversity! Muslims are wonderful and add to the fabric of our western societies! That trumps women’s equality, et cetera, et cetera….

  2. 1. So it begins. When the cases begin to wane, will the governors relinquish their edicts?

    I don’t believe they will. Never let a crisis go to waste, and this crisis is the perfect excuse to justify a descent into authoritarianism and end the democratic republic. I expect many of them to embrace the opportunity.

    2.

    To be fair, we all know that “America first” is racist, even in a pandemic.

    Apparently so. Trump should engage all legal authority to prevent such things in the future, “racist” or not.

    3. Yes, you are right. The beaches are closed, and disobeying an order to remove yourself is reasonable justification for being arrested. It is not the same as #1 at all, but it is indicative of the same problem.

    Our governor gave us assurances that he would not unleash the police on the public for minor violations of his order. I begin to doubt his sincerity based on these actions, even if they aren’t his. Beshear has shown a willingness to escalate restrictions, and at this point, the only real escalation is more stringent enforcement.

    This despite the fact that cases appear to be at least level and arguably declining in Kentucky. But Beshear is sure his doctors’ models showing hundreds of thousands of cases and many thousands of deaths are right, despite evidence to the contrary.

    He, like the rest of the governors taking strong action, will defend these flawed models to the last. Trust me.

    4. Forget it, Jack. It’s England.

  3. #3 “Much as I enjoy bashing California, this episode was on the other side of the line from #1. Not only did the scofflaw defy lifeguards, but the beaches are closed to prevent idiots like those who swarmed over Florida on Spring Break from doing their imitations of Annette and Frankie.”

    Opposing arguments…

    1. The paddle boarder was not on the beach he was in the water well off the beach. The Malibu Pier is 780 feet long, that’s just over two and a half football fields. In fact he was paddle boarding in the waters directly around the Malibu Pier, the waters where people are usually fishing as is shown in this photo posted by the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station of the paddle boarder.

    2. I cannot find any information on where the paddle boarder got in the water. We do not know if he crossed one of the closed beaches to get in the water or if he used the publicly accessible Malibu Pier staircase that goes down to the water level thus completely avoiding the beach.

    3. Isn’t the beach the sandy part next to the water, not the water itself?

    4. If the beaches are closed, what are the lifeguards doing there? Aren’t the lifeguards the ones that are literally violating the closed beaches rule?

    5. By ordering the paddle boarder to swim to the beach they were ordering him to break the law and go to a closed beach – that’s entrapment and it’s illegal.

    6. Does closing the beach also close all the surrounding waters within sight of the beach for all forms of watercraft? Are they going to arrest people that are in the water on their boats regardless of where they are in relation to unseen and unposted arbitrary lines in the water separating the beach from the ocean?

    If this is the kind of anti-civil liberties totalitarian measures the government is going to take against one isolated person doing absolutely nothing wrong, risking absolutely no one, then he should fight this until a judge dismisses the entire case against him or they drop all the charges. He should sue the government entity for violating his rights.

    This should be a clear message to everyone that the government will do anything to enforce their totalitarian anti-civil liberties rules. We are not under martial law, we still have individual rights.

    Okay, discuss.

    • We had the beach-water discussion just yesterday, when my wife and I went for a walk. We wanted to cross the large athletic field near our house to get to a path, but a new sign said “Field closed.” Even though I assume that meant “closed for activities,” I assumed this also applied to using it for access.

      Do you think he parachuted into the water?

    • The sentences in the link you provided, “In the third year of Trump’s nepotistic regime, Trumps has busted the thriving economy he has inherited from Obama. Trumps has proven again that everything he touched would turn into shit.”, sound a whole lot like this propaganda meme that’s started going around Facebook…

      • It’s so, so obviously unfair and stupid that it can only hurt the “resistance” by exposing their ruthless resistance to the truth. IF it makes them feel good, fine. Better that than cutting themselves or drinking Sterno.

    • I have no idea what idiot came up with that 34 trillion dollar figure. At best, if we assume we have a 24 trillion dollar economy and we shut it down by 80% for 2 months then we might see a loss of GDP of maybe 3.2t over the 2 months and a bit more as we ramp back up. This is not counting the other spending on health care costs that otherwise would not exist. I would expect that investment spending at Abbot, Roche and Lilly is exploding as each races to find a vaccine or other treatment and or testing devices. Those biotech workers cost far more than wait staff.

      GDP is one value but National Income is a derivative of GDP and far more relevant to American households because it is from National income do we get to personal income and ultimately disposible personal income. If G transfers 2.2 trillion to households the income losses are mitigated by that amount.

      I will admit this is just back of the napkin calculations but to lose 34t from the virus would mean that the economy would have to be 0 for 17 months or that significant portions of the economy will never reappear. I would disagree with the latter. If anything the pandemic is teaching us that we cannot rely on any other nation to be the sole supplier for anything other than non -essential goods. In the long run I expect that we will beging ramping up domestic production of goods that are critical to our survival as a nation. The globalists will have a hard time justifying why outsourcing critical components is beneficial.

      • I think it will depend on what part of the economy you’re looking at. Big companies will come back — they have the reserves to weather this. The businesses that concern me are the small businesses that may well close and never be able to reopen. Miss a rent payment or two and, depending on your landlord, you may not have a storefront left to reopen.

        How many jobs and lives is it worth it to save whatever we’re saving with all these lock downs?

        • “…they have the reserves to weather this.”

          I don’t know how true that is. I think most companies, have about the same amount of cash on hand, proportionate to their size as a company. Implying, given proportional labor bases, most companies would probably have a similar “burn through” time table of those “reserves”.

          Companies usually don’t sit on stacks of cash (despite what leftists meme’s would have us believe). Most companies maintain a little bit of rainy weather money (way outside the scope of what we’re currently facing) but operate on razor thin margins…competition tends to do that, thank goodness. Most companies have to reinvest what end of year budget they haven’t distributed through bonuses back into the company to make better products (thank goodness) or otherwise improve the service.

          “How many jobs and lives is it worth it to save whatever we’re saving with all these lock downs?”

          I agree with asking this question. At the end of the day, “Not Dying” and “Living” while tenuously synonymous are NOT the same thing. We have to balance the risk in order to move on and continue an optimally improving civilization. Are we doing the world any good 100 years from now by likely wrecking that civilization in an effort to avoid what will inevitably get all of us in the world of today long before the world 100 years from now even shows up?

          Nature always has a vote and we can’t pretend like we can control or stop nature to ensure 100% risk free lives.

          • I agree with asking this question. At the end of the day, “Not Dying” and “Living” while tenuously synonymous are NOT the same thing. We have to balance the risk in order to move on and continue an optimally improving civilization. Are we doing the world any good 100 years from now by likely wrecking that civilization in an effort to avoid what will inevitably get all of us in the world of today long before the world 100 years from now even shows up?

            I just wish this question as asked more often on cable news shows.

  4. I was married to a police sergeant for 24 years. You and I both know there was nothing wrong with her tail light.

  5. 1) At some point, the emergency powers of executive authority have gone on long enough for the associated legislatures to actually start passing laws pertinent to combating the emergency. If those laws aren’t being passed by the *legislatures* at some point people *SHOULD* begin pushing back against what is becoming executive branch whim in these various polities.

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