Report from Louisiana: In-Person School is Better

By: Pat Austin

As hard as it is to admit this, I might have been wrong.

While some school districts across the country have remained closed, and while they attempt to reopen in coming weeks, I have come to the decision that having kids in the classroom, in person, is better for them.

In August, I was terrified of returning to school in this pandemic — and the numbers then were so much lower then than they are right now. I was certain we were all going to get Covid-19, that classes would be hopeless because of high absenteeism, and that schools would shut back down two weeks after opening. I was scared I’d be constantly battling kids who didn’t want to wear a mask. Everyone would see that this was a failed experiment to reopen during a pandemic and we would be sent back home for virtual learning.

“We should stay virtual!” I screamed into the void, terrified.

I was so wrong.

Is it a different kind of school year? Yes.

Have we seen cases of Covid? Absolutely.

Have we had multiple students and teachers in quarantine? Sure, we have.

Have staff members become gravely ill? Several, yes. Others, not so much.

Should we shut down again? No way.

Education has never been a one-size-fits-all endeavor and for many students, virtual classes do not work. I teach ELA in a Title 1 high school and many of my students do not have internet access or computers at home. When we shut down in spring 2020, so many kids slipped through the cracks and never logged into their lessons. Many had little to no support at home.

I know now that these kids need to be in school. I see the benefit every single day. They need the support and the relationships that we give them. They need the structure. They need the socialization. They need so much more than we are able to give, even outside of a pandemic.

It’s true that I spend most of the day cleaning and sanitizing surfaces, computers, desks, you name it (despite research that says Covid-19 is probably not spread that way.) And it is true that my classroom is crowded; we truly cannot social distance in the room; my student desks are about two feet apart. We wear masks and to be honest, the students comply better than some of the adults. Because my classroom windows do not open and there is no ventilation, I bought an air purifier. Maybe it helps.

Even though my students seem truly glad to be in school right now, I do worry about the toll all this might take on their mental health. So many people are without jobs right now and so many of them were in deep poverty even before the pandemic. Add that to the daily stress of sick family members, concern about becoming ill themselves, and worry about what the future holds, well, these kids are juggling a lot right now, just like their teachers and their parents.

Much of this is out of my control and I’ve had to accept that.

But, honestly, as far as classwork goes, not much has been different. In my tenth grade English classroom, we’ve read books, done gallery walks, written essays, analyzed literature, written narratives, basically all of the same things we would normally do. There has been less group work, but we have adjusted.

The bottom line is that kids are resilient. They adjust so much more easily than adults do.

There is growing concern that the new coronavirus variants, which are so much more contagious, will raise the number of cases in schools. This may be true, but it just means that we will increase our vigilance, keep our masks up, and distance as much as we can. We will be fine. Eventually, teachers in Louisiana will get vaccines.

In our district we still have a lot of parents opting for 100% virtual education for their children and I respect that choice. I will never vilify or criticize anyone for doing what they believe is best for their family and for their own health. If this pandemic has taught us nothing else, it should be that we ought to be civil and respectful to each other. But I would tell those parents that as teachers we are doing everything in our power to keep these kids safe.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

Report from Louisiana: Covid Fatigue

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – This probably won’t be a popular opinion, but I have to be honest.

I am sick and tired of losing good people to coronavirus. A very good man died this week from Covid-19; he was 57 and had recently retired from teaching. He was a popular high school football coach during his career and highly regarded by his peers. He leaves behind a father, a brother, a sister, and two children.

My friend is but one example of the hundreds dead from this virus.

You can tell me that these people died from their comorbidities, from sepsis, from heart attack, whatever; the point is, they’d be alive still had they not contracted the coronavirus.

Another good friend of mine came down with Covid-19 over the Christmas break. She is in her 50s, and in excellent health. She has mostly recovered from her illness but is still recovering from the double pneumonia Covid brought to her. She’s being closely monitored for blood clots.

My stepson, a nurse, caught Covid from a patient. Young and in excellent health, he suffered greatly and was hospitalized for a week. Because the hospitals are full, he spent over 30 hours in the ER waiting for a room

I know people that I otherwise thought were intelligent, educated professionals who are refusing the vaccine because they’re convinced that the government is injecting something into them through the virus.

I can no longer pretend understanding for people who think the virus is a politically motivated hoax. Even those who believe government officials are using the virus for nefarious gain – to tank the economy, to promote themselves, whatever.

I have been called “delusional” because I believe the virus is real and that it will kill you. I do not care. Names do not hurt me.

I believe in the science.

Period.

And I am tired of watching friends suffer or die because people won’t wear a mask, are tired of wearing a mask, or think masks are stupid and useless. I am tired of parents sending their kids to school sick, while they wait on test results to come back. I am exhausted for the health care workers putting in twelve hour shifts laboring day after day to save people who are drowning in their own fluids because someone else thought this virus was a political tool.

We are so busy trying to solve the immediate crisis that we aren’t thinking too much about the coming mental health toll all this will bring.

Over the holiday season I have seen my social media filled with people gathering with family, extended family, and friends. I’ve seen photos of New Years celebrations, baby showers, football playoff parties, and birthday celebrations. And now the case numbers are higher than they’ve ever been. Go figure.

Deaths are rising too.

I know that people have to work, that the economy has to keep going. I get that. I see the benefit having the schools open has on our children.

But I’m past being patient with people who are too selfish to wear a mask and maybe save someone’s life.

I’m looking at the children of my friend who died yesterday and wondering how they will ever understand this.

Wear your mask. Get your vaccine. Let’s just please do our part to help end this and we can analyze conspiracy theories later.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

The latest Coronavirus stimulus is an enormous lump of coal in the stockings of every American

After nearly six month of petty partisan bickering the Republicans and Democrats finally agreed on a stimulus package to help the American people who are suffering due to the Coronavirus lockdowns.  The package they came up with is a major slap in the face to every single American, a slap that is all the more brutal because it comes just days before Christmas. 

Shame on the Democrats for being the party that blocked the second round of stimulus for months while Americans suffered just so they could score political points.  Shame on the Democrats for stuffing the stimulus package with so much garbage that help foreign countries and Democrat special interests far more than the American people.  Shame on the Republicans for going along with this travesty.

It would be far better for the American people if these small minded, cowardly politicians did not lockdown large segments of the American economy.  These lockdowns do, at best, hardly anything to stop the spread of Coronavirus.  These lockdowns do far more harm to the American people than any possible good they could do. If it wasn’t for these lockdowns the American economy would be roaring and no stimulus would be needed.

This Breibart Article describes the monstrous pork filled betrayel of the American poeple passed by both parties.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a massive $900 billion coronavirus relief and stimulus bill on Monday evening, mere hours after the nearly 6,000-page legislation was released.  It was unlikely any members read the entire legislation.

The bill, which included $1.4 trillion in stopgap spending to prevent a government shutdown, was ostensibly the result of bipartisan negotiations that reached an agreement less than 24 hours before. It includes $600 stimulus checks for American households and a temporary expansion of federal unemployment benefits by $300, half the amounts paid earlier this year.

But the legislation also includes many hidden provisions completely unrelated to coronavirus, many of which appear to be the work of individual legislators, acting at the behest of specific lobbyists and interest groups who seized the opportunity.

Here is only a small sample of goodies foreign governments will receive from the stimulus bill. The list is from this Breitbart article.

  • For some countries, Christmas came early:
  • $169,739,000 to Vietnam, including $19 million to remediate dioxins (page 1476).
  • Unspecified funds to “continue support for not-for-profit institutions of higher education in Kabul, Afghanistan that are accessible to both women and men in a coeducational environment” (page 1477).
  • $198,323,000 to Bangladesh, including $23.5 million to support Burmese refugees and $23.3 million for “democracy programs” (page 1485).
  • $130,265,000 to Nepal for “development and democracy programs” (page 1485).
  • Pakistan: $15 million for “democracy programs” and $10 million for “gender programs” (page 1486).
  • Sri Lanka: Up to $15 million “for the refurbishing of a high endurance cutter,” which is a type of patrol boat (page 1489).
  • $505,925,000 to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama to “address key factors that contribute to the migration of unaccompanied, undocumented minors to the United States” (pages 1490-1491).
  • $461,375,000 to Colombia for programs related to counternarcotics and human rights (pages 1494-1496).

This Breitbart article documents a rather egregious betrayal of the American people.

A year-end spending package meant to provide Americans with economic relief during the Chinese coronavirus crisis includes using United States taxpayer money to fund border security in foreign countries.

As part of the more than 5,590-page spending bill, the deal provides the country of Jordan with “up to $500,000,000” in taxpayer money “to provide assistance to the Government of Jordan to support the armed forces of Jordan and to enhance security along its borders.”

The title of the American Thinker article Republicans and Democrats come together to rob American taxpayers says it all.

Late Monday night, in a huge, secretive rush, Congress passed a combined virus relief and omnibus spending bill that’s almost 6,000 pages long and, in less than a year, will spend $2.3 trillion that does not exist.

The bill’s length alone is enough to justify a second American Revolution. It should have been a simple bill: Checks for Americans in need (with provisions to prevent the French Laundry and its ilk from ever receiving another penny of taxpayer money) and basic funding for basic government. I’m thinking maybe 100 pages, max.

Here is more from the American Thinlker article

What’s in this super-secret bill that Monoparty doesn’t want us to see? People are frantically trying to acquaint themselves with its contents but a few hours is not enough time to familiarize oneself with the details of a document more than 5,600 pages long. The broad outline is that $900 billion, or 39% of the $2.3 trillion, will go to Covid relief, with the remaining $1.4 trillion slated for funding the government through September 2021.

For Americans hurt by the Democrats’ (and some Republicans’) sustained attacks on the American economy, there will be a $600 stimulus check for people earning less than $75,000 per year or married couples earning less than $150,000. I may be speaking out of turn here, but I don’t think $600 will make a big difference to people in the upper brackets, while a larger check would make a huge difference to people in the lower brackets.

Thank you for the Christmas slap in the face Democrats and Republicans.

Governor Baker’s Coronavirus edicts violate the Massachusetts Constitution

The draconian restrictions issued by Governor Charlie Baker in the name of fighting Coronavirus violate many provisions of the Massachusetts Constitution, along with provisions of the United States Constitution.  The proper level to undo these unconstitutional edicts is on the State level not the federal level. Thanks to our abysmal educational system far too many of us have been brainwashed into believing that the Supreme Court is the one and only venue for addressing all wrongs committed by any level of government.  The founding fathers of this nation along with the framers of the US Constitution and the State Constitutions would be completely dismayed by that level of constitutional ignorance.

The system of government enshrined in the United States Constitution is a distributed constitutional system where legal and constitutional disputes involving state governments are supposed to be solved on the state level and only those involving the federal government are supposed to be solved on the federal level.

Stay at home orders and the orders to close businesses clearly violate the following clause of the Massachusetts Constitution because  liberty, or the freedom to live our lives as we please, is one of our most important natural rights.

Article I.  All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.

The government of the State of Massachusetts can only take away the freedom of individuals to come and go from their homes as they please if they are found guilty in a court of law.  That is spelled out in this clause:

Article XII.  And no subject shall be arrested, imprisoned, despoiled, or deprived of his property, immunities, or privileges, put out of the protection of the law, exiled, or deprived of his life, liberty, or estate, but by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.

Police officers have absolutely no authority under the Massachusetts Constitution to knock on your door and check to see if you have more than ten people attending a Thanksgiving gathering, Christmas party. or any social event.  If they do the we have every right to demand they produce a warrant.  You are guaranteed that right by the following clause:

Article XIV.  Every subject has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches, and seizures, of his person, his houses, his papers, and all his possessions. All warrants, therefore, are contrary to this right, if the cause or foundation of them be not previously supported by oath or affirmation; and if the order in the warrant to a civil officer, to make search in suspected places, or to arrest one or more suspected persons, or to seize their property, be not accompanied with a special designation of the persons or objects of search, arrest, or seizure: and no warrant ought to be issued but in cases, and with the formalities prescribed by the

Only laws passed through the formal legislative process are valid laws in the State of Massachusetts.  These edicts issued by Governor Baker were not passed through the formal legislative process therefore they are not valid.

Article II.  No bill or resolve of the senate or house of representatives shall become a law, and have force as such, until it shall have been laid before the governor for his revisal; and if he, upon such revision, approve thereof, he shall signify his approbation by signing the same. But if he have any objection to the passing of such bill or resolve, he shall return the same, together with his objections thereto, in writing, to the senate or house of representatives

This article specifically prevents any governor of this state from issuing any edicts of any kind.

Article XXX.  In the government of this commonwealth, the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them: the executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them: the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them: to the end it may be a government of laws and not of men.

This article clearly states that we the people are in charge of the State of Massachusetts, not the politicians we elect.

Article V.  All power residing originally in the people, and being derived from them, the several magistrates and officers of government, vested with authority, whether legislative, executive, or judicial, are their substitutes and agents, and are at all times accountable to them.

If we do not like what our elected servants are doing we the people of this state have the absolute authority to reform the government and make sure they listen.

Article VII.  Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men: Therefore the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity and happiness require it.

Sorry Governor Baker but your latest edicts are tyrannical and not based on science

On Monday, November 2 Governor Charlie Baker announced extremely draconian restrictions on all residents of the State of Massachusetts  These totalitarian restrictions were announced because Governor stated that the Coronavirus pandemic is becoming dire. A careful examination of the WCVB daily Massachusetts Covid19 tracker will show that is not accurate. 

The number of positive tests per day, which has now risen to 2000 per day, looks alarming compared to June when it was only around 200 a day. In reality that ten fold increase is not alarming because it is the result of a drastically increased number of daily tests, the vast majority who test positive are asymptomatic.   The number of deaths per day has not shown the same 10 fold increase as the number of positive tests, increasing from a low of 13 to 26 or so.   Hospitalizations have only modestly increased from an average low of 400 to a current rate of 600 per day with intensive care numbers increasing from a low of 70 to a current average of 110.

This WCVB Channel 5 article discusses the draconian new mandates in great detail.  This one mandate is as anti liberty as you can get and not based on science in any way.  As far as I know a virus cannot tell time.

Baker announced an overnight stay at home advisory, resembling a curfew, from 10 p.m. through 5 a.m. It will allow activities such as commuting to or from work, running essential errands and talking a walk.

This next mandate boggles the mind and makes no sense.  Now you will have to wear a mask if  you walk down an empty street with no one around you for miles.

Baker’s orders include a change to the statewide mask order. Under the altered order, masks will be required for anyone in any public space, indoor or outdoor, regardless of the ability to maintain social distancing.

Governor Baker will win the Grinch of the year award with this next mandate.  We usually have a few dozen relatives over forThanksgiving and Christmas Eve.  Governor Baker has no right to dictate what people do in their own homes.  That is tyrannical in the extreme.

Gathering limits at private residences across Massachusetts will be reduced, Baker said. Indoor gatherings at private residences will be reduced from 25 to 10, and outdoor events will be reduced from 50 to 25.

Here is Governor Baker’s rational for this tyrannical mandate.

“Young people need to stop having big house parties, and we’re planning to talk to local officials about how we can work with them to prevent these events going forward. Folks need to postpone or rethink any indoor get-togethers, like big birthday parties, baby showers or watching football or some other big sports event with your neighbors. These are places where COVID spreads, unregulated gatherings, even if they’re small, where people let down their guard, ” Baker said.\

This next mandate makes no sense scientifically because for it to have any effect on the transmission  of Coronavirus the virus would need to be able to tell time.

Restaurants will be required to cease in-person dining by 9:30 p.m., although takeout or delivery of food can continue. Liquor stores and other establishments will be required to cease alcohol sales at 9:30 p.m. Several other categories of recreation and entertainment businesses will also be required to close at 9:30 p.m.

This Federalist article proves that mask mandates are not backed up by science in any way at all yet we are all forced to wear them, even alone in a large public park.

Scientists have long tested the value of masks for the general public. The results are not, on the whole, in favor of masks for general use because there are just too many trade-offs and exceptions. Besides, not all masks are created equal. A clean, properly-fitted N-95 respirator and face shield worn, and never touched while worn, by a trained health professional is one thing. A dirty cloth neck gaiter worn begrudgingly at the gym is quite another.

Even Dr. Anthony Fauci used to admit this. “In the United States, people should not be walking around with masks,” Fauci told “60 Minutes Overtime” back in the spring. “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better, and it might even block a droplet. But it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is.”

The people of Massachusetts have become such a pathetic bunch of sheeple. Only a small minority are voicing any opposition to these tyrannical restrictions.  They won’t end until enough individuals demand they stop.

The science behind Coronavirus lockdowns is far from settled

Far too many individuals blindly accept the freedom and economy destroying lockdowns that governors have forced upon us because they believe that the lockdowns are based on science.  That is the narrative that has been crammed down the throats of all of us by the dangerously corrupt liberal news media.  The truth is far different but few are aware it.  That is why I’m writing this article.  On social media I share the truth, however, so many of my liberal friends dismiss the truth because it comes from right wing websites such as Breitbart, American Thinker, and the Federalist.

I was shocked to see actual truth in this New York Times article, which I immediately shared on Facebook and Twitter.  As you can see, Coronavirus is no where as prevalent in the United States as the media trumpets because the most often used test is far too sensitive.

Some of the nation’s leading public health experts are raising a new concern in the endless debate over coronavirus testing in the United States: The standard tests are diagnosing huge numbers of people who may be carrying relatively insignificant amounts of the virus.

Most of these people are not likely to be contagious, and identifying them may contribute to bottlenecks that prevent those who are contagious from being found in time.

Here is the scientific explanation behind the overly sensitive tests:

The PCR test amplifies genetic matter from the virus in cycles; the fewer cycles required, the greater the amount of virus, or viral load, in the sample. The greater the viral load, the more likely the patient is to be contagious.

This number of amplification cycles needed to find the virus, called the cycle threshold, is never included in the results sent to doctors and coronavirus patients, although it could tell them how infectious the patients are.

The PCR tests uses too many amplification cycles.

Most tests set the limit at 40, a few at 37. This means that you are positive for the coronavirus if the test process required up to 40 cycles, or 37, to detect the virus.

Tests with thresholds so high may detect not just live virus but also genetic fragments, leftovers from infection that pose no particular risk — akin to finding a hair in a room long after a person has left, Dr. Mina said.

A more reasonable cutoff would be 30 to 35, she added. Dr. Mina said he would set the figure at 30, or even less. Those changes would mean the amount of genetic material in a patient’s sample would have to be 100-fold to 1,000-fold that of the current standard for the test to return a positive result — at least, one worth acting on.

There has been a mini-serge of Coronavirus cases here in Massachusetts which has resulted in Governor Baker halting his tortuously slow reopening plan.  This serge is based on a big lie.

 In Massachusetts, from 85 to 90 percent of people who tested positive in July with a cycle threshold of 40 would have been deemed negative if the threshold were 30 cycles, Dr. Mina said. “I would say that none of those people should be contact-traced, not one,” he said.

A large number of medical experts have recently condemned the Coronavirus lockdowns. Those who rely on the mainstream media for news are completely unaware of this development.  Here is a description of the group from this Breitbart article

The internationally known experts, who identify themselves as “coming from both the left and right, and around the world,” have produced what they call the “Great Barrington Declaration,” which, to date, has been signed by nearly 4,700 medical and public health scientists, 8,900 medical practitioners, and 123,300 members of the general public.

Here are the opening paragraphs ofThe Great Barrington Declaration

As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection. 

Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice. 

The Great Barrington Declaration recommends a must better approach for dealing with the  Coronavirus Pandemic.

As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all – including the vulnerable – falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e.  the point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity. 

The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection. 

Instead of placing all of us under house arrest and shuttering all of our businesses we should:

Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.

The lockdowns are so not backed by science that the World Health Organization has recently reversed course on them,

Governments cannot eliminate risk without eliminating freedom

This whole government overreaction to the Coronavirus pandemic has proved that the only way government can minimize risk is by minimizing freedom.   There is no other way for governments to minimize risk.  These lockdowns by states and municipalities, which are meant to minimize the risks associated with a supposedly deadly virus spreading wildly throughout their population, have resulted in the almost total loss of freedom for the majority of individuals living in this country.  This loss of freedom has resulted in tremendous harm to the individuals who have lost freedom and to the country as a whole.

Exercising your freedom naturally results in some form of risk.  It is something we as individuals all understand.  Throughout every day we make decisions based on this fundamental truth. We weigh the risks versus the benefits every time we decide to exercise out freedom.  The only person qualified to weigh the risks of exercising our freedom is each and every individual. 

An honest and thorough investigation of history will confirm that when government, even at the most local, attempts to decide for others which risks are more acceptable than others, government does a terrible job.  California, New York, and Massachusetts, with their disastrous lockdowns, have proved that governors of states do a tremendously poor job making these decisions for us.  It is far worse for every individual in the United States when the Federal Government attempts to minimize risk for us.  We should all be extremely grateful that President Trump followed the Constitution and did not lockdown the entire country.

Freedom used to be a concept that was universally cherished by everyone in this nation.  Sadly that no longer is true thanks to the brainwashing that has been taking place in our colleges and universities for decades.  Far too many individuals meekly accept the freedom destroying restrictions placed on them to minimize the risks associated with Coronavirus.  It turns out that Coronavirus is far less deadly than the media and so called experts make it out to be.  Even if it was far deadlier than it actually is that would not justify any freedom destroying restrictions.   Earlier generations would not have put up with these restrictions.

Thanks to the Coronavirus ‘crisis’ the United States has become a police state and far too many are OK with that

I heard a call on my police scanner this past Saturday that perfectly illustrates just how far along the road to becoming a police state large portions of the United States have become.  A concerned citizen called the police because there were a dozen cars parked on her neighbor’s lawn.  The caller was concerned that the neighbor was having a party and the guests were not wearing masks and were not social distancing.  Two cruisers were dispatched to make sure no one at the party was being naughty.  The home owner welcomed the officers and demonstrated that all guests were properly following Governor Baker’s edicts from on high. 

I was shocked that the neighbor was such a meddling busybody who would tattle on her neighbor for daring to do something so shockingly evil as have a party in their own home.  I was not shocked that the police responded to such a frivolous call because I have read all of Governor Baker’s draconian, liberty destroying, edicts.  Here is a description of the rather odious proclamation that supposedly granted local police officers the authority to trample on the rights of property owners across the state of Massachusetts:

Baker also announced the formation of a an enforcement and intervention team, which will be tasked with ramping up enforcement in key communities and evaluating rising trends such as new positive cases and the percentage of positive tests.

Public safety officials, including state and local law enforcement, now have the jurisdiction to enforce safety orders and crack down on events hosted in violation of the orders, according to Baker.

“These teams will coordinate an increased enforcement effort across the state to assure businesses and residents are aware of and are following the COVID-19 orders,” Baker said. “By authorizing state and local police to enforce these orders, we can not only increase the number of people who will be out there to enforce these measures but also ensure that are penalties for those who refuse to make the adjustments that so many people in Massachusetts have made and continue to make.

Those who fail to comply with the orders will be subject to fines or cease and desist orders,

If I was hosting a party at my home and the police showed up to determine if we were wearing masks and practicing social distancing I would not have allowed them entry.  I would have demanded they produce a search warrant and I would have asked them to cite the exact laws we were breaking.  If the police officers cited the governor’s emergency edicts I would have informed them that these edicts are not valid laws, not having passed through the formal legislative process.  That situation could easily happen because my family always hosts large gatherings over the Christmas Holidays and we have no intention of followings emperor Baker’s commandments on our private property.  I know a great many individuals believe the same way.  I could see this type of scenario easily spinning out of control and leading to violence or a standoff.

These regulations have turned Massachusetts into a police state with local law enforcement officers and an army of busybodies acting as Governor Baker’s secret police force.   Because so many states such as New York, California, and Virginia have similar draconian regulations most of the country is now a police state.  It is not just sad, it is disgusting that far too many people blindly follow these obscene and unconstitutional regulations.  These regulations are worthy of mass protests demanding they be removed immediately, where are these protests?

Update on the continuing Illinois Exodus

By John Ruberry

I’ve been writing here about the Illinois Exodus for several years. The COVID-19 outbreak, as it has many other societal trends, is accelerating the people drain. But two rounds of riots and looting, one after the homicide of George Floyd, and the second last month, after false rumors that Chicago Police had killed a man now charged with murder, are gut punches that the city will not quickly recover from. 

In my DTG post-second riot post about the decline and fall of the city, Welcome to Detroit, Chicago, I wrote, “But when Chicago’s downtown area is dominated by boarded up store-fronts with signs declaring ‘Move in now–lease rates reduced again–first month free!’ you’ll know the downtown descent is well under way.” The vacancy rate for luxury units in downtown Chicago are at their highest level ever recorded according to Mike Flannery (more on him in a bit).

I haven’t been downtown since that “Detroit” entry, but on my own blog, Marathon Pundit, an automated Google Ads banner from a downtown Chicago apartment building offered this promo, “First two months rent free.”

Decline and fall.

And keep in mind that over seventy percent of Chicago’s economic activity comes from the downtown area. And Chicago is of course Illinois’ largest and most important city.

Downstate things aren’t much better. AP is reporting on three towns in St. Clair County, which is across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, that are considering merging because of “severe population decline.” St. Clair County, like Chicago and Cook County, are Democratic strongholds where corruption is widespread.

Large swaths of downstate Illinois have been facing population losses for decades, for instance Iroquois County, an agricultural powerhouse that is just 55 miles from Chicago’s city limits, saw its population peak in 1900. Universities have allowed other downstate counties to buck that trend, but enrollment was struggling at many of these colleges before COVID-19 hit. Business Insider last week compiled a list of the “30 college towns that could face economic ruin if schools don’t reopen or have to close again this fall.” Two of them are in Illinois.

The Prairie State has lost population for six straight years. It’s a safe bet that when the counting is over for 2020 it will be seven.

On the usually-worth watching–Fox Chicago’s Flannery Fired Up, three cheerleaders for the city and one moderate skeptic talked about its descent and for the most part, it’s quick bounce back. But this weekend’s episode was an aberration. The show sucked. It was up to the host, Mike Flannery, to bring up the two 800-pound gorillas in Chicago’s otherwise looted basement: rampant corruption and the worst-funded municipal pensions in the nation. 

Since 1973 over thirty members of Chicago City Council have been sentenced to prison. At one time he was the city’s most powerful alderman, but now Ed Burke is under indictment for allegedly shaking down a fast food franchisee. Do you want to bring your business to Chicago? You may have to endure having your pockets picked by a pol. Or by several of them.

Where do I sign up?

Burke has been an alderman since 1969. Chicago needs term limits. And so does Illinois. Boss Michael Madigan, who is from the same part of the city as Burke, has been speaker of the state House since 1983 except for two years in the 1990s when the Republicans had a majority in the lower chamber. Madigan is also a Chicago ward committeeman. He’s been chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party since 1997. Illinois’ most powerful Dem is also currently under investigation as part of an evolving federal corruption probe that has already ended the careers of several Chicago and suburban politicians

There is no way out of Chicago’s pension bomb other than a municipal bankruptcy, one that may also force many city vendors to go under, or a federal bailout. Even if the the Democrats capture the Senate and the White House in November, such a rescue for irresponsible spending, a backhanded reward really, faces tall odds in Washington. But under current Illinois law, government bodies are prevented from declaring bankruptcy.

The “moderate skeptic” on Flannery Fired Up mentioned transportation as a city selling point. While O’Hare is one of the world’s busiest airports–it used to be ranked first in traffic–and Chicago is a rail hub and it has many miles of interstate highways, that “expert” needs to drive on Chicago’s streets. They are falling apart. 

And if you don’t own a car and you use your feet to get around? Watch out, walking on crumbling sidewalks often requires strong ankles and a steady balance. 

Violence in Chicago was declining over the last few years but shootings are way up since the pandemic was declared.

As I’ve mentioned before, like an alcoholic, Chicago’s cure won’t begin until it admits complete and utter defeat. 

That point has not been reached. But it’s probably coming soon.

As it is for the rest of Illinois. The state’s pension programs are almost as poorly funded as Chicago’s.

Decline and fall. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

I long so much for the time before Coronavirus dominated all aspects of our lives

This year will go down in history as the year that everything was either canceled or ruined.  Those that are uninformed, or have bought into the media coverage will blame the Coronavirus for the disruption of our lives and the US economy.  Those that really understand what is going on will rightly blame government overreaction to the Coronavirus as the true culprit causing so much misery.

This past weekend I would have attended the Woodstock Fair, however, like everything else fun, that was canceled.   The number of Coronavirus cases in the surrounding area is quite low along with hospitalizations and deaths.  The virus peaked way back in mid April.  The only reason virus cases show up at all is because so many asymptomatic individuals are being tested.

Life for school children has been turned completely upside down and it is all so unnecessary.  It has been reported so often that school aged children are barely affected by the virus.  Most schools will require students to wear masks full time.  Few ask whether this will be physically or mentally harmful to the children.  I fear it will be both.  Also schools will require that students maintain social distancing and not engage in any fun activities. 

Massachusetts still leads the nation in unemployment thanks to our governors disastrous business lockdown.  Restaurants can only operate at 25 percent capacity and all bars are still closed.  Wearing masks in restaurants when walking to tables and when servers are near is required.   Oh that is so much fun.

Concerts and other crowd intensive activities are still canceled in the State of Massachusetts.  Any type of gatherings in this state is limited to just 50 people,  The governor mandated that if you have ten or more in your own house or backyard everyone must wear masks.  I say bite me to that.

Even going to the library has been turned into a depressing experience.  Masks must be worn and social distancing is a must.  They take down your information for contact tracing reasons.

The only way life gets back to normal for all of us is if we stand up and say enough is enough in very loud clear voices.