Follow the politics
What do we really know about Canada and the people who live there? Why do they sometimes speak a form of English (“about” comes out “a-boot”) then begin jabbering in something that sounds like an art house movie but without the subtitles?
Despite siding with King George 3, they also yearn to live free, apparently. Big rig truckers are blocking the streets of their capital, Ottawa, and the bridge to Detroit. They’re protesting Canada’s strict Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns and the Liberal government’s rule by expert. They’re winning.
Same thing happened after Jimmy Carter imposed the double nickel. He sold it as a way to preserve scarce fuel supplies and to combat runaway inflation. (Someone wake Joe Biden!) As time wore on, experts explained that the 55 mph speed limit saved lives. Crawl along at 10 mph on I-90 between Madison and Milwaukee! You might miss the Brewers game but the deer will survive.
Except that real people did their own cost-benefit analysis and voted with their feet; or, more precisely, their right foot. Thanks to their civil disobedience — won at the cost of thousands of dollars in speeding fines — we now drive 70 mph on highways designed to accommodate 80 mph. And live to see the first pitch.
In a democracy, the people ultimately decide — not the experts. That’s why Democrats in blue states are doing a modified volte face. Not Justin Trudeau in Canada but governors of true blue states like Illinois and New Jersey. Don’t get too excited. New York had actually mandated face masks in private offices! (Now the CDC says cloth masks don’t work.) The nine states announcing rollbacks still allow local governments and school districts to maintain their own requirements. Pretty much like Dane County WI, where the mask mandate runs through February.
“Stacey Abrams said she removed her mask because she said she ‘wanted all of them to hear me.’
Just imagine how that sounds to students and teachers who have been struggling to understand
and be understood for years under mask rules.” — Chris Stirewalt
Eyes on November elections
“Just in time for the mid-terms!” Politico reports:
“Their pandemic pivot comes as they brace for a brutal November election in which the virus … is shaping up to be Democrats’ biggest blind spot. … Vulnerable Democrats worry that ugly clashes over masks, school closings, and vaccine mandates will crush them in purple districts this fall. But the current shift may be too little, too late.”
“After two years in which masks, sanitizer, distancing, and closures became powerful shibboleths for the American left,” Chris Stirewalt reports, “letting go is proving very challenging.” Witness the New York Times today:
The raucous images from Canada, a country widely regarded as a model of calm, tolerance and reason, demonstrate the worrisome degree to which Covid-19 mandates and other regulations have become a potent, and perhaps lasting symbol, for the far right of what they see as governmental assaults on their “freedoms.”
“Raucous”? Canadians? Note well the Times’ snarky quotation marks over the word “freedoms.”
Dane County Supervisor Jeff Weigand is drumming up support for State Senator John Jagler’s bill (LRB 5573/1) to cap health officials emergency orders at 60 days. Extensions would require legislative action.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Like the rebellion against the highway double nickel, Canada’s mother truckers assayed the risks versus the rewards and made a reasonable choice. They may be blue collar but they’re not suicidal.
Still seeing drivers all masked-up?
Going into the 3rd year, if masks worked Dane County wouldn’t have had a massive spike in cases last month.
End the mask mandates ESPECIALLY in schools. AND your must never be allowed to be handled in this manner again. Dane County is in some kind of mass psychological breakdown with “emergency” orders extended month after month, year after year, with NO EFFECT on the virus.
I see people walking outdoors by themselves with no one around, in 2022, wearing N95 masks, and it is clear a good number of folks around here have kind of lost it. Then there are the people who have been huddled inside for more than 2 years who NEVER come out of their house. Mass mental health crisis under the surface? One wonders.
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Fine. Masks don’t work. Next time you have surgery, let the surgeon know he does not have to wear a mask! AND the CDC also has research showing that they are effective. https://stevensclark.typepad.com/coronavirus_news_and_view/2021/09/evidence-that-facemasks-prevent-covid-19.html
Bullshit. CDC said 2 months ago cloth masks are worthless. That’s what most people have been wearing for the last 2 years!
And walking outside alone with no one around is not a surgical procedure! Neither is walking 10 seconds to a restaurant table only to remove the silly mask and sit there eating, drinking, and chatting for an hour.
The stupid, it hurts!
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I have worked at a number of events at either the Dane County Coliseum or the Alliant Energy Center as an outside contractor. In all of the events that I have worked, after the first few minuets of walking in the door most people take their masks off. I would estimate that probably 80-85% of the people at any event that I have worked at do not wear a mask. That would include Dane County employee’s.
I will guarantee you that at the home and garden show and especially the Korn concert, after walking in the door, most people will take their masks off and remain without their masks for the remainder of the event.
If it so important to wear a mask then why does Dane County enforce the mask mandate on it’s own property?
Why don’t all Dane County employee’s wear a mask while indoors at public events at property owned by Dane County?
Perhaps because they too see the mask mandate as what it is: Bullshit!
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Masks: please continue the crusade to not let the government tell us what to wear and assert your freedom to be also pants-less wherever you please. Our genitals don’t even (usually, I think) spew infectious droplets – why can’t I let my god given body be free? Why is this no shoes, no shirt, no service tyranny allowed to continue? I have yet to understand why faces must not be covered but other parts of our bodies must be covered.
Truckers: I don’t really care about their protest, but recall that when BLM blocked roads conservative media had a huge hissy fit. They didn’t even disrupt international commerce, but suddenly this tactic is just fine if “my side” does it. I personally don’t mind this tactic, nor do I mind the government clearing out the protest. I do not support running over protesters in the street as I try my best to be non-violent.
Both topics reek of ideological inconsistency. Both sides do it, and both sides act like only the other does it. Let’s all give up on demonizing “the other” and think for ourselves. Put forward our ideas more and attack other’s ideas less. Accept that people have different views and it doesn’t make them evil, and that we all need to compromise – none of us should be fully in support of everything our democracy decides. That wouldn’t be a democracy. Incessant demonization of “the other” never leads to good things.
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Kudos, Adam C. Surgical masks are a valid method of minimizing the chance of infection when intentionally bypassing the billion year old evolutionary safeguards, equipping living bodies to exist in a biotic world filled with bacteria, viruses and parasites. Masking is for the benefit of patient when slicing through skin or probing counter directional to the normal functions of our external orifices. Up Yours? Not without a mask, please.
The CDC, in 2019, published a review of multiple studies investigating the effect of public masking on the spread of respiratory infections, and found no positive effect. Masking the public is a disproven medical treatment. It is witch doctor medicine. The fact our medical community enthusiastically embraced it demonstrates, IMHO, they fear government threats to their income more than they value their independence to make treatment recommendations based on their own knowledge.
This has been an experiment in dictatorship by those factions of the government who, by claims of “expertise”, desire dominion over the lives of “free” Americans. I may be wrong on facts, but I doubt it. In my opinion: hey, I have an asshole too, and put a mask on if you want to probe it, but many of my neighbors seem to enthusiastically embrace being told how to live. Safety first … you know … for the children … and planet.
Dave, do you have an SB or AB number for the Jagler bill? I went to his webpage and couldn’t find any references there. I also couldn’t find a way to search for LRB listings, but I’m probably missing something.
Not posted yet. Will update