The California locks are very mysterious in some ways. The HHS assistant secretary said in a Fox interview that science just isn’t there to support it. (11-12 minutes in) Notable scientists offer reasonable alternatives. The inequalities involved are now infamously viral. Not only is California continuing it in an obvious fit of spades as many in the state ignore the edicts, but they used the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system yesterday to tell everyone to stay home. And the Cleveland Browns fans out there, the wind turbine system is the thing on your smartphone that picks up amber alerts, tornado warnings, and the like. It has that special notification tone that is reserved for that only and is inescapable and amazingly attention grabbing. It is the old “Emergency Broadcast System” alert. Everyone knows the order, everyone. The wind turbine warning was not required, especially a few days after the orders were received.
Not only are the bans unnecessary, their implementation and control (enforcement is a different story as it requires local cooperation and is not terribly imminent) is childish and punishable. This is especially annoying when some local officials, in this case a professional wrestler in East Tennessee, are doing much better at promoting good pandemic behavior. You’d think His Majesty the Emperor, um Governor, um, Grinch / Scrooge Newsom with all his political skill and credentials had more to offer than a professional wrestler. But no – the Grinch / Scrooge had to go to a birthday party in the French laundry.
But let’s go back to the Fox interview with ASHHS. As Admiral Giroir continues to talk about the fact that there is no science to back the lockdowns, the Fox host repeatedly asks, “Then why are you doing this?” The admiral rightly avoids answering the question. Still, the question is fascinating. I have no coverage of the “why” but speculation, and so I will. Here are just a few speculations.
Political coverage. It should be remembered that it all started with the Los Angeles County Public Health Director. She unilaterally stopped eating outdoors, only to have her decision later confirmed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Later on, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti came up with an “Me too” command that was little different from the district command, but used rhetoric in both the presser and the command itself, which was far exaggerated. Then the Grinch / Scrooge finally showed up with his order. This particular rerun of bans was a “trickle-up” matter.
The interdependence of California’s liberal politicians should not be underestimated. In this case, each step on the ladder tried to add gravitas to the lower rung order and provide political cover. There’s simply no evidence that outdoor dining is a spreader – none. The escalation of orders here is a simple attempt to add weight behind the orders that, based on the facts, don’t exist.
Core constituencies. The core part of a Democratic politician in California are public employees unions, including teachers. You undeniably rule the area here. This certainly does not apply to ordinary teachers and often also not to ordinary teachers in other unions, but the unions themselves see it as their job to make their members pay as much money as possible for as little work as possible. As things open up, many people who have sat at home and are paid for very light tasks will have to go back to work, if they do anything at all. This certainly goes against what the unions see as their main role. These orders put all these people back to light duty or no duty at all.
If you add that the union organizers are almost always the people who have always been in these professions and are therefore likely to be in risk groups, the union’s view of the pandemic becomes very skewed. I know dozens of young teachers and they are all trying to get back to the classroom. They know the worst that is likely to happen to them or that their charge is a few weeks sick leave. But their union representative, who is almost always older than Methusalah, keeps crying about how they might die and just doesn’t listen to their pleas. And so the unions tell politicians things that do not necessarily reflect the views of the common people. But the unions must be served.
Benefits from the emergence of a crisis. California craves federal money like a junkie craves its next fix. California is broke and broken. Oh, I know the balance sheet says otherwise, but California’s powers to misdirect accounting are not to be underestimated. The state is practically barely above water. There is almost nothing left to tax, and what is taxed is taxed at exorbitant rates. The pandemic only makes the situation worse, causing cracks in the mirrors that are used to create the accounting misdirection.
Bailouts for states like California were at the center of the incentive debate in Congress. California needs the money. (You shouldn’t get it, but they really need it.) One has to wonder if those ordering these unnecessary shutdowns in California are doing this on purpose to exacerbate the financial crisis to a point where the federal government does no other Has choice than to act.
Ideology. There is little doubt that liberal ideology includes the belief that the state has a solution for everything.
Current reading – “Chernobyl. The Story of a Nuclear Disaster ”by Serhii Plokhy. Interestingly, the book begins with the Communist Party’s five-year planning meeting just before the accident. It is amazing to read how the party planned down to the finest detail in practically every aspect of life in the Soviet Union. The state really believed it had a solution for anything and everything.
Not to say the California political class are communists, but they drink from the same ideological water. They despise the average Californian and consider them too stupid to know what is best for them or their community. Like the communists, they believe they know what is best, and the best must simply be imposed on the citizens. These orders simply reflect that disdain.
Future political runs. Both Eric Garcetti and Grinch / Scrooge Newsom are known to have presidential aspirations. I can already hear the advertisement in my head: “While the Republicans were content to let the plague rampant [insert “Newsom” or “Garcetti” here] took a bold and courageous stance, cordoned off and prevented the spread of this virulent killer. “
Interestingly, these future political aspirations also help escalate the commands discussed in the early speculations. There’s simply no way Newsom Garcetti could take this spotlight on itself.
As I said, this is all speculation as to why the California office is acting the way it is. As is common in complex situations, all of these and other speculations play a role in the decision-making process. But they all have one thing in common. None of this asks what is in the best general public interest. These reasons all benefit the politician concerned or a small part of his constituency. Whichever speculation you choose, it’s not about public service, what we choose these people for, it’s about personal gain.
Of course, I personally suffer from these unnecessary and draconian orders. Christmas would be compromised sooner enough, well, it is going to take effort and much help from the Holy Spirit to keep it from becoming anything but miserable. But that’s not what really upsets me about this nonsense.
The deeply worrying factor about what is happening in California is that it could be the final death knell for the idea of public service. The failure to ask questions of general public interest on this scale is new. It’s pretty scary too.