Michael Barone: As in the 1960s, violent rioting hurts the most disadvantaged.

“America is burning. But that’s how flowers grow.” So spoke Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

“Riots are an integral part of the country’s march toward progress.” So read a statement from the Democratic Committee of Fairfax County, Virginia, the affluent Washington suburb that has a population of 1 million.

“Please, show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful,” asked CNN’s Chris Cuomo. He’s apparently been too busy interviewing his brother, the governor of New York, to reread the First Amendment, which protects “the right of the people peaceably to assemble.”

I take a different view. I know how violent rioting, and that’s what we’ve been seeing, despite media attempts at hiding it, can destroy a city and ruin the lives of its residents. In the summer of 1967, I was an intern in the office of the mayor of Detroit when the city suffered a six-day riot in which 43 people died. I was at the mayor’s side in the so-called command center as radio calls came soon after nightfall. Police were abandoning 1 square mile after another.

The riot finally ended after some 12,000 federal and federalized national guard troops restored order. But most of Detroit has still never fully recovered. You can still see the abandoned commercial structures and the residential streets with burned-out houses and hauntingly empty lots.

Downtown and adjacent areas have enjoyed a revival, which I hope will continue. But the lesson is clear. Violent riots destroy people’s willingness to invest their lives and money in a city. Those most harmed are those who start off the most disadvantaged. Violence and crime are a confiscatory tax on what people would otherwise earn and accumulate over a lifetime.

The combined effects of the COVID-19 lockdowns and the last several days’ rioting threaten to destroy the efflorescence of gentrifying central cities, which has followed Rudy Giuliani’s demonstration in New York City, a quarter-century ago now, of how to reduce and nearly eliminate violent crime. The demonstration these last few days that it can be suddenly increased threatens to undo that progress for the next quarter-century.

The short-term political effects are harder to gauge. A Morning Consult poll showed a 58% to 30% majority, unusual in these polarized times, supporting “calling in the U.S. military to supplement city police forces.” Will President Trump and Republicans benefit from their calls for “law and order,” as President Richard Nixon and Republicans did in the years after the riots in Detroit and many other cities half a century ago? Maybe, and especially if folks like Healey and the Fairfax County message poster are seen as representing the Democratic Party.

But unlike Nixon in 1968, Trump in 2020 is the incumbent president. Incumbents’ first duty is to maintain order and keep things from spinning out of control. Trump might be in trouble if voters come to agree that, as Fox News’s Tucker Carlson put it in his Monday monologue, “No one in authority is keeping order.”

The late political scientist Nelson Polsby called 1968 — with its King and Kennedy assassinations, multi-city urban riots, and violence outside the Chicago Democratic convention — the most awful election year in American history. So far, 2020 is looking like a competitor for that title.

“The moment has come for our nation to deal with systemic racism,” Joe Biden tweeted. Doing so, he might argue, is the only way to get things under control. But one might ask why that moment didn’t come earlier — if not in the 36 years he served in the Senate, then in the eight years he served as an active and involved vice president in the administration of President Barack Obama.

The uncomfortable fact is that the election and reelection of the first African American president did not produce the improvement in racial relations most of the public surely hoped for.

Quite the contrary. In 2008, the Gallup Poll reported that 70% of non-Hispanic whites and 61% of blacks said “relations between blacks and whites” were very or somewhat good. Gallup showed similar results to that question in seven polls during George W. Bush’s presidency.

Feelings deteriorated under Obama. By 2015, only 45% of non-Hispanic whites and 51% of blacks said relations between the races were good.

One can debate how much of this deterioration was Obama’s fault, a subject for another day. But surely there was a widespread sense of disappointment that black-white relations had not become as harmonious as many expected or hoped. Violent rioting won’t help, do that, any more than they’ll grow flowers.

Are we being honest about who is to blame for systemic racism?

The Knoxville News Sentinel published a front-page photo on Wednesday with a caption about protests against “systemic police brutality against people of color.”

Systemic racism is being discussed a great deal in the wake of George Floyd’s death under the knee of now-former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

The video of Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, as Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe, has ignited protests peaceful and violent, with the tragedy also being used by some as a way to destroy, steal – and worse. In one case, looters in St. Louis shot and killed David Dorn, a highly respected black retired police captain, as he was trying to protect a pawn shop.

It’s likely – just as it’s likely the sun comes up in the west – that when a good many people say “systemic racism,” they’re not including the politicians they like and the political party they favor.

One way to tell? Their attitude toward who has been running the systems.

On social media the other day, in discussions of George Floyd’s death, I saw an increasing number of references from Democrats and Democratic friends about the problem of systemic racism. I wrote the following post, citing only a few municipal examples:

“Below are pertinent questions, given the way the Democratic Party defines itself as being the party of tolerance and inclusion, and many Democrats’ characterizations of Republicans or conservatives as racists or racially insensitive.

“Minneapolis, Minn. has been under Democratic control since 1978. Chicago has been under Democratic control for 89 years; its present mayor is a black woman. Philadelphia has had Democratic mayors for 68 years; three of its last five mayors have been black men. Six of the last seven Atlanta, Ga., mayoral administrations were led by black Democratic mayors, and the present mayor is a black woman.

“A city runs its police department and other services; therefore, if there is so much ‘systemic racism’ in these organizations, why hasn’t it been corrected over so many years under Democratic leaders?

“Why aren’t these cities garden spots of racial tolerance, understanding, and virtue?”

There have been no answers.

In the wake of the 2015 riots in Baltimore after the death in police custody of a black man named Freddie Gray, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo interviewed black Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby, a Democrat.

Mosby’s answer, particularly to Cuomo’s last question below, is instructive, in that it’s clear he wasn’t expecting it:

MOSBY: This is much more than Freddie Gray. Freddie Gray was the culmination of, again, decades – the young guys out here showing their frustration and venting, being angry and doing it in an unproductive way, they are carrying their father’s burden. They’re carrying their grandfather’s burden. Again this is generations old of failed policies and broken promises.

CUOMO: You are a Democrat, right?

MOSBY: Yes.

CUOMO: Is this on you guys? The mayor is a Democrat, you’re a Democrat, 50 years of Democratic rule here, and is this an idea that you haven’t gotten it done as a party, as a structure here, and is that the focus on the blame?

MOSBY: Leadership is not based off of party lines, and at the end of the day, have individuals failed in this city, in this state, in this country? Yes. Have there been failed policies? Yes. Have things adversely affected places like Baltimore? Yes, whether you’re talking about Reaganomics, whether you’re talking about the contraband where they talk about stop and frisk procedures or mass incarceration. All of these things directly play into recidivism and play into the things that plague these communities. So it’s all about leadership and not necessarily about parties.

That’s a lengthy, rambling way around the barn to say he wasn’t going to give a specific answer to a direct question, because it’s about the party to which he belongs. However, if you go to the City of Baltimore’s website and click on the government directory, under “P” you’ll find the Baltimore Police Department, because it’s the city of Baltimore’s responsibility.

Cuomo’s question was pertinent. It went unanswered.

Why do we not want a knee on George Floyd’s neck? Not only because it’s wrong, but because we don’t want one on ours. If we want our rights respected, we must respect – and protect – the rights of others.

Unfortunately, in too many cases when people say they want an open and honest discussion about race in America, what they mean is they want an open and honest discussion only about what they say is wrong with people who aren’t them.

When people talk about the need to deal with systemic racism, if they’re not willing to talk about the systems run – often for generations by the political party or politicians they support – they aren’t interested in an open and honest conversation; instead, they want only to use the issue as a club against people who aren’t them.

If that’s the case, we’re condemned to never get off this tragedy of a merry-go-round.

Radio Host, Pawn Store Owner Filing Lawsuit Over Gov. Northam’s Mask Policy

CHARLOTTESVILLE Va. (WVIR) — Charlottesville radio host Rob Schilling and a pawn shop owner are suing Governor Ralph Northam and other officials over the mask mandate.

Schilling and his lawyer, Matthew Hardin, spoke to the media and supporters Monday, June 1, explaining why this lawsuit was important.

“The legislature made it pretty clear, as I said, decades ago, that masks are illegal in the commonwealth of Virginia. It’s a class six felony,” Hardin said.

Northam announced Tuesday, May 26, that folks would be required to wear masks inside retail shops, restaurants, personal care and grooming establishments, places people congregate, government buildings, and on public transportation. Exceptions will be allowed, including while eating or drinking, exercising, those with trouble breathing, and children under age 10.

The governor has stated enforcement would be done through the Virginia Department of Health — similar to health inspections of restaurants — rather than using law enforcement. Governor’s Chief of Staff Clark Mercer said during Tuesday’s press briefing they are aware of equity and practical issues of enforcement for this policy, and a special session of the General Assembly is expected later this summer.

Tobey Bouch, the owner of Tobey’s Pawn Shop, says he is concerned businesses will be punished for not enforcing the mandate that folks be required to wear a face mask inside retailers.

Bob; Just to make it clear, I liked the scenery, but I don’t miss leaving.


Double Counting in Washington State

Public health officials in Washington state are counting people who were fatally injured with a firearm in the tally of COVID-19-related deaths. This decision – and it appears to have been made consciously – reinforces what we already know about public health officials.

In the best-case scenario, public health officials report data without regard for nuance. Perhaps that is the case in Washington state. As reported in the Seattle Times, “The rapid onslaught of this coronavirus forced officials to part from their normal process of counting deaths, [Health Statistics Manager Katie] Hutchinson said. Their goal was to get the data out as quickly as possible, “in near-real time so immediate decisions could be made to protect the health of Washingtonians,” Hutchinson said.

The data dashboard created by the Washington Department of Health includes people who tested positive for the virus and subsequently passed away from any cause – including gunshot wounds.

“About five cases involved COVID-positive people whose deaths involved gunshot wounds,” according to Hutchinson. The state epidemiologist for noninfectious conditions, Cathy Wasserman, claimed that “There’s a commitment to provide data as rapidly as possible and we have to balance that with our commitment to accuracy.”

Accuracy is critical in scientific analysis – and especially so when that analysis is used to guide policies that impact the people those policies are supposedly protecting. The inclusion of fatal gunshot wounds in this data raises some important questions.

Is there – or will there be – an effective double count of certain deaths in Washington state? Will these deaths – and the deaths of other COVID-positive people who were killed by some other cause – be counted once as the underlying cause of death and once as COVID-related? KOMO News reported that the counts will be adjusted, but why did the Department of Health put itself in position to need to make that sort of obvious adjustment.

Why are clear cases of non-COVID fatalities included at all? There is not likely to be disagreement among doctors or coroners about the cause of death, so these cases should not be attributed to anything but that cause. External causes – like gunshot wounds – are not as difficult to determine as internal causes, like a virus or the related effects.

This reflects a long-standing concern with fatality reporting as it relates to Second Amendment issues. Fatalities are tragic. Death certificates are produced for every death in the United States, meaning there is a record of every death and the cause of death. Every death can be counted and accurate counts are used for analysis. The CDC maintains two public databases that provide anyone access to this data (with certain limits to protect privacy) – WONDER and WISQARS.

When firearm-related fatality counts are not as high as anti-gun activists would like, they simply change the methodology. They rely on something other than death certificates. The Associated Press and the USA TODAY Network used the anti-gun “Gun Violence Archive” to claim that there were more fatal gunshot-related accidents among children than the CDC reported death certificates. These anti-gun “journalists” just could not believe that the number of such fatal accidents had hit record lows in recent years and so they turned to a notoriously biased web scraper to produce a different count.

A count that did not rely on actual data.

Data is essential to good policymaking and government agencies that manipulate data – either intentionally or inadvertently – undermine trust in government. The pro-gun community must always closely examine the details of any argument supposedly based on data because, time and again, anti-gun activists will do whatever it takes to push their agenda.

We already know that anti-gun politicians will regurgitate whatever talking points and skewed “data” they think will help their cause. Electing reliable defenders of the 2nd Amendment will ensure that our rights are secure.

We don’t need a dataset to tell us that.

Image

And all this had nothing to do with any ‘protests’, just Chicago Way™


16 dead, at least 30 injured in second straight weekend of violence in Chicago

Officials in Chicago said Monday that the city registered 16 deaths and at least 30 injured in shootings across the region over the weekend.

NBC Chicago reported that one of the incidents involved a drive-by shooting that killed two men who were also in a vehicle. They were shot in the head and pronounced dead at the scene.

The Chicago Tribune reported last week that there were 191 deaths so far this year as the result of violence. The paper reported that the majority of the deaths were a result of gunfire. The city, under Mayor Lori Lightfoot, saw its deadliest Memorial Day weekend in years, which included 10 deaths and 39 wounded.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the city had the bloody weekends despite a stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus.

“There is a validated playbook for dealing with riots”


Mayor Moron Destroys America’s Major Cities
When you reward bad behavior, expect more of it.

Can you make this stuff up?

Here is the city’s message in full, issued May 28, after several days and nights of rioting. Here is the final sentence:

The city urges everyone to exercise caution and stay safe while participating in demonstrations, including wearing masks and physical distancing as much as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The city has made hundreds of masks available to protesters this week.

Protesters? Earth to Minneapolis Mayor Moron: Rioters torching whole sections of your city are not protesters. Many are professional agitators from out of town. Locals who loot stores are opportunists, many of them career criminals. The city’s message took zero notice of these elementary realities.

Mayor Moron’s contribution to the city’s full message was this: “We need to offer radical compassion and love that we all have in us. I believe in this city and I know that you do, too.”

There is a validated playbook for dealing with riots. It is a tale of two riots in the awful summer of widespread racial unrest in 1967. Eugene Methvin’s 1991 National Review “riot primer” laid out the playbook:

In a nutshell: Riots begin when some set of social forces temporarily overwhelms or paralyzes the police, who stand by, their highly visible inaction signaling to the small percentage of teenaged embryonic psychopaths and hardened young adults that a moral holiday is under way. This criminal minority spearheads the car-burning, window-smashing, and blood-letting, mobbing such hate targets as blacks, or white merchants, or lone cops. Then the drawing effect brings out the large crowds of older men, and women and children, to share the Roman carnival of looting. Then the major killing begins: slow runners caught in burning buildings and-as civic forces mobilize-in police and National Guard gunfire.…

The time to halt a riot is right at the start, by pinching off the criminal spearhead with precise and overwhelming force. The cops will usually be caught flat-footed (no pun intended) by the initial outbreak. But they need to spring into a pre-arranged mobilization that should always be as ready in every major city as the fire-department or hospital disaster-response program.

Methvin compared two July 1967 riots. In Toledo, rioters began smashing things, throwing rocks at police cruisers. The authorities resounded instantly and decisively, arresting the thugs, with order restored within 36 hours. No one died. Not so in Detroit, where the authorities decided to allow rioters to let off steam. Five days of violence followed, with more than 40 fatalities and more than 1,000 injured. Property damage was estimated at over $40 million, in 2020 dollars, roughly $300 million. It was the worst rioting in America since the 1863 New York City draft riots, not to be exceeded in scale until the 1992 Rodney King riots.

And there is a lasting loss for failing to do so. South Central Los Angeles never recovered from the double blow of the 1965 Watts and 1992 conflagrations. Detroit and Newark never recovered from the destruction of 1967. Washington, D.C., never fully recovered from the riots after the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr……………….

If you still believe in any great danger from the bug, ask yourself why.


De Blasio backs George Floyd protests despite coronavirus gathering ban.

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday welcomed peaceful mass protests in the Big Apple over the police-involved death of George Floyd — even as he has staunchly barred other demonstrations, religious gatherings and fined small businesses $1,000 for reopening.

“I want to just say anyone who wants to protest, we’re going to protect your right to protest, but please also respect [that] the cop in front of you did not create the problem,” de Blasio said on WNYC radio’s “The Brian Lehrer Show.”

He was referring to the hundreds of activists who gathered in Lower Manhattan Thursday — in violation of the city’s pandemic lockdown rules — in the latest national demonstration sparked in the days since a handcuffed Floyd, who was black, died after a white police officer held him to the ground with a knee to his neck in Minneapolis.

While many protesters in the city wore protective face masks, they largely flouted social-distancing rules.

Over 70 demonstrators were arrested including for criminal possession of a weapon and assaulting officers.

De Blasio urged the NYPD to go easy on the activists.

“I want to see a light touch because people are undeniably angry for a reason,” he said.

De Blasio said nothing about the demonstrators violating city and state rules against large gatherings, even though he insisted earlier this month that rallies “spread the disease and help kill people.”

In early May, nine protesters pushing for the Empire State to reopen from its coronavirus lockdown were busted outside City Hall for not obeying social distancing guidelines.

At the time, Blasio said gatherings, including the small reopen protest, are prohibited.

“We’re not allowing any kind of gathering, period,” the mayor said at a press briefing.

“I don’t care if it’s 20 people or a hundred people or a thousand people, it’s not going to be allowed. So the point is, if you gather, NYPD is coming there to give you a summons and if you resist, to arrest you, period, across all communities.

 

Tucker Carlson: Our leaders have sided with the agents of chaos – we’re told crimes of the mob are our fault

Here’s a simple question: A police station in a major American city was occupied, looted and burned on Thursday night. Most of us assumed we’d never live to see something like that happen here. But it did happen.

So the question is, has anyone been arrested for doing it? Will anyone ever be arrested?

No one in authority seems especially interested in apprehending the people who did it. All of it happened on camera, but the perpetrators just walked away. And it’s, maybe likely, that most of them will never be punished for it.

That’s striking.

It’s a very different experience from the ones most Americans have living here.

As Minneapolis burns and crowds grow in the streets of Atlanta and many other cities, the rest of us are continuing on as we always do — dutifully following the rules. There are many of those.

Every year, there seem to be countless new rules to follow. They multiply like insects.

We do our best to keep up. We get our permits, apply for our licenses, put on our reading glasses to check the latest regulations on the internet.

We wear our little masks.

We keep our dogs on leashes.

We drive sober.

We don’t eat on the subway. We never litter.

We make orderly lines and patiently wait our turn.

In airports and government buildings, we remove our shoes and submit to body searches from strangers. We lose our dignity every time we do this, but they tell us we must, so we accept it without complaint.

In public, we hide what we really think.

We bury our natural instincts. We keep our deepest beliefs to ourselves.

We know the boundaries. We understand we will be punished for telling the truth.

This is the America the rest of us live in.

For the privilege of citizenship in a country like this, we work as hard as we can.

We never stop sharing what we earn with others.

Until the FBI, DOJ and any other gubbermint agency that corruptly used the power of this law for political purposes is completely exposed and all perpetrators brought to justice, even a more watered down version of this shouldn’t even be considered. Of course the President should have been making this case before the Senate got their hands on it as it can be passed in the House without one Republican representative voting for it.
And if it does pass, Trump should veto the bill.


Trump urges House Republicans to reject FISA renewal bill
House to vote on surveillance-powers bill on Wednesday; Senate has already approved it

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump called on House Republicans to reject pending legislation that would renew a set of domestic surveillance powers that lapsed two months ago, a move that could doom the bill less than 24 hours before lawmakers were set to begin consideration of it.

“I hope all Republican House Members vote NO on FISA until such time as our Country is able to determine how and why the greatest political, criminal, and subversive scandal in USA history took place!” Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday night, referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The president has said the intelligence community improperly used the law to surveil his presidential campaign for political reasons, an assertion disputed by former Obama administration officials.

Trump’s tweet follows months of uncertainty about whether or not he would support the legislation concerning aspects of FISA that both chambers of Congress have been debating since the start of the year. The Senate earlier this month voted 80-16 with large bipartisan support to renew the expired provisions with a host of changes intended to bolster privacy and transparency protections.

The House is expected to vote as soon as Wednesday on the Senate-approved measure, but also had agreed to consider an amendment that would curtail when the Federal Bureau of Investigation can collect internet search records and browsing history from Americans when working on a national security investigation. A similar measure came one vote short of passing in the Senate but was expected to clear the House, along with the overall FISA bill.

demoncrap controlled cities. Need I say more?


17 people shot in just 12-hours of violence in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS — At least 17 people were shot in a 12-hour window between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said.

Mayor Lyda Krewson ’s statement on the shootings:

“I am outraged over the shootings and violence that have occurred over this Memorial Day weekend. Too many guns. Too much anger. Too many sad families. A sad, tragic beginning to summer. Please, no further retaliation. Put down the guns.”


Chicago’s deadliest Memorial Day weekend since 2015: 10 shot dead, 38 wounded

Ten people are dead and 38 others are wounded so far in weekend shootings in Chicago — the deadliest Memorial Day weekend since 2015, when 12 people were killed.

Despite the state’s stay-at-home order, the weekend’s death toll has already surpassed last year’s holiday weekend, when seven people were killed and 34 were injured during the period from 5 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Tuesday.

In 2018, seven people died and 30 others were wounded. In 2017, six people were killed and 44 others were wounded. In 2016, six people were killed and 56 wounded.

 

Seig Heil
Thbpt!
Heil
Thbpt!
Right in Der Führer’s face!


Michigan restaurant owner defies Gov. GretchenFührer Whitmerless’s order in last-ditch effort to save family business

The owner of a restaurant in western Michigan is defying Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order by reopening in a late-ditch effort to save his business.

Jim Cory resumed dining service at Jimmy’s Roadhouse in rural Newaygo and now faces a threat by the state health department to revoke his licenses, he said Sunday on “Fox & Friends Weekend.”

“It’s just been one different set of rules after another,” Cory said of the state’s ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

Whitmer, he complained, “throws up something different every time you turn around.”

Cory made the comments two days after Whitmer, a Democrat, extended her stay-at-home order to June 12 — the fifth extension of a mandate that has put her at odds with Republican lawmakers and sparked anti-lockdown protests.

The order, called “Safer at Home,” will extend temporary business closures and movement restrictions in an effort to combat the pandemic. Whitmer also extended her state of emergency through June 19, WJBK-TV reported.

In a statement, she said that while Michigan COVID-19 cases and deaths are declining, “we are not out of the woods yet.”

Cory said Jimmy’s Roadhouse has been in his family since 1970 but he wonders if the business can survive the outbreak.

Cory estimates he’s lost about $65,000 since mid-March, when Whitmer told restaurants to close dining rooms and offer only takeout.

While Cory says he received a loan from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, he said the money can only be used to pay his employees.

Der GretchenFührer™ strikes again


Gov. Whitmer Extends Michigan’s Stay-at-Home Order Again

On Friday, Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended her state’s stay-at-home order through July 12. The order was set to expire on May 28. The governor is facing mounting criticism for some of her coronavirus-related restrictions, among the strictest in the nation.

“I find it reasonable and necessary to extend Executive Orders 2020-62, 2020-69, and 2020-96 for three weeks from the date of this order,” Whitmer stated in her executive order.

Earlier this week, the governor did allow social gatherings of 10 people or fewer to resume and retail stores to arrange appointment-only shopping for customers. But things like gyms, hair salons and barbershops remain closed.

Despite a decline in coronavirus cases in her state, Gov. Whitmer says Michigan is “not out of the woods yet.”

“If we’re going to lower the chance of a second wave and continue to protect our neighbors and loved ones from the spread of this virus, we must continue to do our part by staying safer at home,” the governor said in a statement first reported by the Detroit Free Press.

Gov. Whitmer is accused of using her coronavirus response to boost her national profile as she competes for a spot on the ticket with presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. But many in her state find the governor’s restrictions baffling, and the governor has faced protests and criticism over her handling of the outbreak.

How about that ‘The cure can’t be worse then the disease” thing?


California Doctors Say They’ve Seen More Deaths From Suicide Than Coronavirus Since Lockdowns

Doctors in Northern California say they have seen more deaths from suicide than they’ve seen from the coronavirus during the pandemic.

“The numbers are unprecedented,” Dr. Michael deBoisblanc of John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California, told ABC 7 News about the increase of deaths by suicide, adding that he’s seen a “year’s worth of suicides” in the last four weeks alone.

DeBoisblanc said he believes it’s time for California officials to end the stay-at-home order and let people back out into their communities.

“Personally, I think it’s time,” he said. “I think, originally, this was put in place to flatten the curve and to make sure hospitals have the resources to take care of COVID patients. We have the current resources to do that, and our other community health is suffering.”

Kacey Hansen, a trauma center nurse at John Muir Medical Center for more than 30 years, says she’s worried not only about the increased suicide attempts but also about the hospital’s ability to save as many patients as usual.

“What I have seen recently, I have never seen before,” Hansen said. “I have never seen so much intentional injury.”

Businesses across California have started defying stay-at-home orders imposed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, and hundreds of protesters have hit the streets, making the argument that the orders were only meant to flatten the curve of the virus’s spread, which Newsom himself said was achieved in mid-April.

Econuts & gubbermint don’t mix.


Failed dam owner fought with state over Wixom Lake levels before flood

EDENVILLE, MI — Owners of a collapsed dam that caused major flooding in Michigan say they were pressured by the state to maintain elevated water levels on Wixom Lake behind it, despite concerns about the structure’s ability to handle flooding. It is an accusation a state agency spokesperson calls “misinformation.”

Boyce Hydro Power LLC owners accused Michigan regulators of being more concerned with preserving aquatic life and appeasing property owners than ensuring public safety in a statement following the catastrophic Edenville Dam collapse on Tuesday, May 19. ………

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vowed the state will “pursue every line of legal recourse” against those responsible for the calamity. On Thursday, she suggested that such critical infrastructure should not be in private hands.

Boyce Hydro, which has been criticized for failing to keep the Edenville Dam in compliance with federal regulations, said it sympathizes with those affected by the flood but defended its actions in the weeks and months before record rainfall caused the dam to fail.

Boyce says it asked EGLE for permission to lower Wixom Lake last fall “due to concern for the safety of its operators and the downstream community.” EGLE and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources denied the request. Boyce lowered the lake without approval in mid-November “believing its safety concerns were paramount.”

Boyce claims it raised the lake this spring “under pressure” from the shoreline residents and state regulators.

“The state agencies clearly care more about mussels living in the impoundment than they do about the people living downstream of the dams,” said Lee Mueller, part owner of Boyce Hydro LLC, which owns the Edenville Dam….

Broad Lockdowns Are No Longer Constitutionally Justified.

Now into the third month of the coronavirus crisis, Americans are getting restless. Having for the most part accepted in March that fighting a pandemic with incomplete data required taking drastic steps, they now want the benefit of the lose-lose bargain that COVID-19 forced on them. We flattened the curve, the thinking goes, preventing our medical system from being overwhelmed—heck, health care workers are being laid off!—so now it’s time to resume our lives and recoup as much as we can.

The constitutional analysis of the various shutdown orders tracks that popular sentiment: States have the “police power” to govern for the general health, welfare and safety of society, so long as they have sufficient justification for doing so. But that doesn’t mean that there’s no limit on the actions that state and local officials can take, or that actions that were justified at one point will continue to be justified forever, regardless of underlying developments.

In other words, it’s prudent in a pandemic to restrict activities that would otherwise bring people together in a way that facilitates viral transmission, but it doesn’t mean governors get to “shut down” anything and everything on a whim. Recall that viral video of the guy running along the beach in California, chased by a hapless cop. Or that dad who got arrested for playing catch with his kids in a public park. Or mayoral edicts that stop drive-in church but permit drive-thru liquor sales. Or the Michigan order banning motorboats but not sailboats; the sale of seeds but not weed.

State officials also have to follow their own constitutions. ……..

 

 

Reining in the bureaucraps


To boost hobbled economy, Trump orders agencies to ease rules
Executive order does not provide specific instructions but is a blanket message across the government to roll back or change regulations

President Donald Trump ordered federal agencies to pinpoint regulations “that may inhibit economic recovery” and alter or eliminate them in order to boost the economy hobbled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The executive order issued Tuesday does not provide agencies, departments or officials with specific instructions but is a blanket message across the U.S. government to roll back or change regulations in the face of the health crisis that has killed more than 90,000 Americans and sent more than 35 million into unemployment.

“Agencies should address this economic emergency by rescinding, modifying, waiving, or providing exemptions from regulations and other requirements that may inhibit economic recovery,” the order says in part.

Trump unveiled the order at a Cabinet meeting, touting his efforts to eliminate federal rules.

“With millions of Americans forced out of work by the virus, it’s more important than ever to remove burdens that destroy American jobs,” Trump said. “Regulations, we’ve done more regulation cutting than any president in history.”…………..

report that the nonpartisan watchdog group Accountable.US released last week found federal agencies have issued more than 730 rules or rule proposals since Feb. 11, when the World Health Organization released the name of the virus. Just 2 percent of those rules or proposed rules directly related to COVID-19, the group said.

Congressional experts say an effort to dodge the Congressional Review Act, a law that allows Congress to repeal executive branch rules put in place during the previous 60 legislative days, may be driving the administration’s push to release new rules……….