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ND Bans Mask Mandates - Decentralized Authority - How the System is Supposed to Work


KimmieElise

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As a Libertarian, I am much in favor of State's Rights, and decentralized authority.  We are seeing an uprising against Federal Power in several forms as of late.  New Hampshire and West Virginia are both entertaining bills to ban Critical Race Theory education with strongly worded bills which prohibit any sort of education which favors one skin-type or color over another.  Montana, Utah, Texas, and two other states have laws which state that if a gun is manufactured in the state, stamped as manufactured in the state, purchased in the state and maintained in the state it is not subject to Federal regulation in any way.  Now this:

 

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/02/wow-north-dakota-house-passes-bill-making-mask-mandates-illegal-bill-sponsor-calls-mandates-diabolical-silliness/

 

Please, don't misunderstand.  It is not that I am necessarily in favor of these moves or against them.  Masks probably help some.  I just don't think they should be mandated.  What I am in favor of is the fact that a number of states are taking their power back, and not allowing a handful of people in one city, who are often largely out of touch with the people they represent from having all the power.  The states certainly have this right under the 10th Amendment.  I think it was Colorado, who was considering a bill to prohibit direct Federal Income Tax of its citizens some years ago.  The bill would have had Colorado collect its own taxes and pass a portion to the Federal government on behalf of its citizens, allowing Colorado to have its own tax structure, taxing businesses and individuals in a way it felt more appropriate.  Within this structure, Colorado could have setup a flat tax, its own sales tax structure or none at all, or tax businesses only.  I would love to see each state do something like this, though maybe not the exact same way.

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Well, I am all for personal freedom.

But there is a history of states using their authority to oppress some of their citizens.  We see this happening more and more lately - particularly in regards to trans rights.  Is it the federal government's responsibility to protect them?

There does seem to be some justification for the community restricting some rights, like the "right" to rape and pillage.

It is complicated.  Does the state take precedence over the federal government?  Or vise versa?  What about the county vs the state?  Do "authorities" have an obligation to protect their citizens?  Who decides who decides?

What about federal response to natural disasters?  Texas's "go it alone-no regulation" power system doesn't seem to have worked out very well lately.

How much does the individual owe to the community?

 

Yeah, complicated.

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1 hour ago, Jandi said:

Does the state take precedence over the federal government?  Or vise versa?  What about the county vs the state?  Do "authorities" have an obligation to protect their citizens?  Who decides who decides?

What about federal response to natural disasters?

So the Constitution says that any power not defined in the Constitution as a power of the Federal Government belongs to the states.  There are two potential solutions to the oppression of rights in states.  The first is to change things from within.  That might be quite a fight.  The other, and more viable in most cases is to go somewhere where the conditions might meet your needs.  This is what is currently happening with California, New York City, and Detroit.  People are migrating away from these places where there are more freedoms, or a better tax structure, or some other position they prefer.  California, New York, and Detroit have lost large swathes of their populations, and it impacts their revenue.  Businesses relocating to Texas and other states with better tax structures and more freedom are costing California and other locations a fortune in taxes that would be gathered if those businesses had not left.

 

As to disaster relief: The Great Mississippi Flood in 1927 was a disaster of epic scale, but the government did nothing and Americans banded together and recovery was quick.  There was a stock market Crash in 1919, worse than that of 1929, but we don't hear about that much, because the government stayed out of it, and recovery was so quick we call the decade following the crash the "Roaring 20's."  The government was all up in the second stock market crash which followed in '29 and it dragged on for more than a decade.  We call it the Great Depression.  There are tons of examples of this, both large and small.  When Joplin Missouri was hit by a catastrophic tornado in 2011, charities were on the ground first.  Though FEMA eventually showed up, most people declined FEMA aid and helped each other.  Recovery was quick.  In New Orleans, FEMA got involved and I am not sure recovery has even ever been completed.

 

The state's job is to protect its people within reason.  It is not, however the job of the Federal Government to protect the people in the same way.  The Fed's purpose is to create a defense against foreign invaders and power, make regular (regulate) commerce between the states, interact with foreign governments diplomatically, and that is it.  The design is not to have Centralized power.  The point where we failed is creating a layer of bureaucracy beneath the President which is filled with un-elected officials who cannot be voted out of office, but who have the power to create by fiat regulations, which are in effect laws.  Some violations carry jail terms for violation, yet neither Congress nor any legislative body was involved in their creation.  It is the job of the states to respond to their own emergencies, make laws which protect its citizens, and administer their territory.

 

The concept of government protection is a slippery slope.  Each and every power we allow the government to take in order to protect us, is a power they can use against us.  Giving police power has created opportunity for police brutality.  Giving government the power to pay needy people has increased the power to tax.  Allowing the Executive to issue executive orders has given the Executive to use those orders for things with which we agree and things with which we don't agree.  As an example, Obama issued a ton of executive orders and the Left applauded, and the pretense was Congress was standing in his way.  The Right cried foul.  Then Trump did the same thing, and the Left cried foul.  Now, Biden's doing it.  It would be better if none of them were doing it, because you can't let one do it, and not another.  What is worse, with every administration, there is power creep.  Every administration goes just a little further with the executive orders to see what they can get away with.

 

This government power creep has been advanced with every passing generation.  People see a problem and they say, "They (meaning government) should do something about that."  There was a time when people said, "We should do something about that."  I have to point out such attitudes are more prevalent in urbanites who are accustomed to government provided services in greater proportion than those in rural communities.  No disrespect to urbanites.  They have a different perspective than those in rural communities.  Government power creep eventually leads to totalitarianism.

 

In regards to trans rights, that fight is far from won.  States should be addressing this issue, not the Fed.  It is not an appropriate level of power for the Fed, as it technically interferes with states rights to take whatever stance they feel best for their state.  Yes, some states are still rather behind in development of trans rights, and that is where we need to make an effort to educate and interact with as many people as possible, before we start trying to use a hammer to force certain issues.  The problem with the hammer of law is it is heavy.  It forces compliance or breeds rebellion rather than gets people to see the truth.  There is a vast gulf between compliance and volition.  It is always better to get people to accept, respect, and even protect trans people rather than force those who harbor hate underground, only to show up when they feel they've been pushed too far.  The hammer of government more often than not breeds resentment, and catalyzes the rigidity of people's beliefs.

 

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I believe the Federal government has often overstepped it's constitutional duties,  but will not venture further into that conversation, because sometimes it was probably necessary. The constitution defines what powers belong to each one.

 

I guess I'll venture into the masks. Having years of experience at jobs regulated by both OSHA and MSHA, I have to say that all masks are not equal. The best thing available to the general public is the N95. It has pretty good but limited protection from COVID and the effectiveness of the other varieties being used go down quickly from there. I can't figure out why OSHA and MSHA aren't yelling this from the rooftops. Some of their inspectors are. I always kept a good quantity of N95's around  previous to the virus. That is what I have worn most of the time since.

 

Hugs,

Mike

 

 

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1 hour ago, Confused1 said:

I believe the Federal government has often overstepped it's constitutional duties, 

Probably true enough.

 

1 hour ago, Confused1 said:

because sometimes it was probably necessary

This too.

 

1 hour ago, Confused1 said:

The constitution defines what powers belong to each one.

And the constitution can and has been amended at times.

It was originally written in the 18th century for a largely rural/wilderness country, which has been alluded to but is not the case now.  It also was a society that condoned slavery and genocide.  Some improvement was warranted.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm much in support of constitutional government, and swore to defend it when called upon back in the day.

But I see a disturbing tendency in a number of states of a desire to go back to the "good old days" of voter suppression and Jim Crow laws.  And I'm not cool with that.

 

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As another Libertarian, I've got to say that I agree completely with Kimmie. While there are some good points made by Jandi and I respect them, I'm afraid that in purely academic terms, my views were best expressed by a character of Robert Heinlein's in "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress." Therein, professor Bernardo de la Paz, descried by Heinlein as a "rational anarchist" states that while he would prefer a society that has no government and relies on the goodness of people, that simply isn't possible, so "government should be kept as small and inoffensive as possible." 

 

In terms of what that means in 21st century America, we are in a quandary. The scope of the federal government has expanded to the extent that to many citizens it has become their parent whose duty is to take care of them from cradle to grave. Historically, this trend began after the Civil War when the country began to be referred to as a single entity (ie: the "United States IS," as opposed to plural; ie: "The United States ARE") this seemingly small change in thinking began the rise of big government and the supremacy of the Federal Government over that of the several states.

 

As to how this applies to masks, well, it boils down to this--the Federal Government has decided that We The People, cannot think for ourselves nor accept the personal responsibility of whether or not tow wear a mask to protect ourselves from contagion. In some of the directions issued regarding mask wear, the CDC has gone so far as to tell us how to wash our hands. Think about the ramifications of that. Government bureaucrats actually don't believe the populace is smart enough to wash themselves. That should frighten us, as the second and third order ramifications are reminiscent of either 1984 or Animal Fram--take your pick.

 

And that begs the question, where does it end?  I have no answer for that. All I can do is point out that historically, once a government begins to take emergency powers and issue mandates regarding personal freedoms, they never take them back. With regard to trans rights, I don't know the answer either. Bigotry is an ugly thing; an evil thing and something that all decent people should stand against without question This country has laws in placed to protect minorities that should be enforced. Do we need more laws to protect folks of all genders? That's a topic that should be discussed. But, and this is a legitimate question, are such laws enforceable? Prohibition didn't work as a means to enforce morality. The Jim Crow era's laws increased racial animosity. And so it goes. If I sound cynical, I apologize.

 

Masks are simply one point among many larger issues surrounding individual liberty. Sorry. I didn't mean to go this long, but it sort of got away from me...

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IMO, states rights is why we have over half a million Covid-19 deaths.  That won't bother many who consider protecting the economy of paramount importance.  Ask Black people if they prefer when states rights prevailed in the 1950's and 1960's.

 

There should be limits to what the Federal government can do, what they can order people to do.  But when you have a national emergency you need a national response.  Or perhaps we should have 50 SEMAs instead of a FEMA, and see what happens the next time a category 5 hurricane or a 7.0 earthquake strikes.  Good luck with that!

 

Carolyn Marie

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Hahaha of course my state does this. 

Not wearing a mask endangers others, so that is kind of a big problem. There is no opinion about this. People walking around without a mask could literally be spraying COVID everywhere, and many don't even know they have it.

People whine about how long COVID is going on for. Most of these people have no right to. When mass amounts of people choose ignorance and OMG "Freedom" over science and don't follow CDC guidelines, what do you expect to happen? If you refuse to wear a mask and have big social gatherings or hang out with people that aren't following social distancing protocol, you are a willing host for a deadly disease.

We have a federal government for a reason, because states left to their own devices have historically proven to ignore their citizens' rights and needs.

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2 hours ago, Confused1 said:

I believe the Federal government has often overstepped it's constitutional duties,  but will not venture further into that conversation, because sometimes it was probably necessary. The constitution defines what powers belong to each one.

Ooo. I stirred things up a bit.  I love it. LOL

 

Define necessary.  

1 hour ago, AwesomeClaire said:

We have a federal government for a reason, because states left to their own devices have historically proven to ignore their citizens' rights and needs.

 

Evidence?  Prove it.

1 hour ago, Carolyn Marie said:

Or perhaps we should have 50 SEMAs instead of a FEMA, and see what happens the next time a category 5 hurricane or a 7.0 earthquake strikes. 

 

Yes, we should have 50 SEMAs.  The problem currently in between us and accomplishing such a feat is fiscal irresponsibility by state governments, and the fact many of them are practically so far in debt they can't pay attention, much less their interest payments.  Also, we need to continue supporting charities who are often on the ground with supplies and help loooong before FEMA even thinks to get their equipment moving.  Even more so, we should get government out of the way so people can rebuild their own lives when disaster strikes like in the Mississippi Flood of 1927, and Joplin did after the Tornado of 2011.

 

As to the mask issue, I have checked into the numbers.  India is taking the exact same precautions we are.  They are second in COVID cases in the world next to us.  They have a population density on the order of 6x our own, and yet we have something like 50% more deaths.  I don't object to mask wearing.  I object to mandatory mask wearing.  This doesn't have to be a dilemma either.  The only options are not A or B.  There is the option of protecting the vulnerable minority and allowing the less vulnerable to proceed with re-opening the economy.  Maybe we need to sequester some elderly folks and provide for their needs through safe procedures rather than sequestering everyone.   Maybe we need to identify and provide special masks for those with respiratory ailments, such as filtered over-pressure masks.  There are solutions we aren't even looking at or for at this point.  Of course, I expect as much from the Republicans and the Democrats who frame everything as a dilemma with only binary solutions, often ridiculously diametrically opposed to each other, and downright lazy.  They always go for the  hammer rather than doing the work to find the scalpel.

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1 hour ago, AwesomeClaire said:

OMG "Freedom" over science and don't follow CDC guidelines

The CDC was contra-indicating for lock downs, and yet... we're talking about locking down again...  So what?

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1 hour ago, AwesomeClaire said:

Hahaha of course my state does this. 

Not wearing a mask endangers others, so that is kind of a big problem. There is no opinion about this..

Actually for decades OSHA and MSHA have said that the mask is for the wearer. Some of the N95s have an exhale valve and they all pull ups snug to the face, even more so when you inhale. This idea of protecting others is a new variant that was introduced about a year ago just for COVID. I struggle with that because of all the training I received says otherwise. It is true that some protection is given to others, but it is primarily for the wearers protection.

 

1 hour ago, KimmieElise said:

Ooo. I stirred things up a bit.  I love it. LOL

Yes Kimmie, you did. 😁

 

Hugs,

Mike

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1 hour ago, Confused1 said:

Yes Kimmie, you did. 😁

 

Hugs,

Mike

I hope no one  thinks I am just starting trouble.  I like to make people think a little, and I like a good discussion.  I often learn new information from a good discussion. :)  I am kind of a Devil's Advocate. :)

 

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5 hours ago, Marcie Jensen said:

As to how this applies to masks, well, it boils down to this--the Federal Government has decided that We The People, cannot think for ourselves nor accept the personal responsibility of whether or not tow wear a mask to protect ourselves from contagion.

Nobody I know of has ever claimed masks were 100% effective.  Even if a person didn't care about their own heath, it still seems somewhat selfish to increase the risk to others just to thumb ones nose at an oppressive government

5 hours ago, Marcie Jensen said:

CDC has gone so far as to tell us how to wash our hands.

As far as I know there has never been a "required" way to wash one's hands.  Of course it's hard to think of washing oneself now and then as being oppressed.  But some folks are easily offended.  There already are requirements for restaurant workers to wash that most folks don't have a problem with.

 

Whether we like it or not, we are all a part of something bigger than ourselves; our society, the communities we live in, states, nation, really this planet.  Very few of us are completely independent no matter how we want to think of ourselves.

I learned to put up with a degree of BS in the service knowing it was necessary at times for the good of the larger mission.  Doesn't mean I enjoyed it though.

 

I really hate that the pandemic turned to a political thing.  I find it hard to believe that any restrictions were imposed maliciously.

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Federal government has had to step in lots of times to get states' antics under control. That is just a known fact.

To me the CDC has been pretty clear - wear a mask, wash your hands, and social distance. I guess people just want to keep making up fake arguments and going on and on while people die. That has been the scariest realization of this whole thing, is how ignorant and dangerous we can be to each other.

 

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3 hours ago, Jandi said:

 

I learned to put up with a degree of BS in the service knowing it was necessary at times for the good of the larger mission.  Doesn't mean I enjoyed it though.

 

 

First, as one veteran to another, thank you Jandi for your service and sacrifice. In my 24 years of active duty, I, too put up with a number of odious duties. And, like you I didn't enjoy them. That said, there is a significant difference between military service and the rights of a private citizen. From the day I enlisted, I was told that when we serve, we voluntarily give up some of our rights. Commissioned officers do get a choice--they can resign whereas enlisted personnel cannot.  That is a significant difference. Comparing what we went through and put up with as service members to the rights of private citizens is comparing apples to oranges, and is frankly fallacious. 

 

Like you, I deeply regret that what should be common sense (wearing a mask) has become a political issue. I also can't comment on the malicious nature of the restrictions. Perhaps I've become too cynical, but I've read too much history and grew up in a metro area notorious for its corrupt political machine.

 

As to the federal government "having to step in" regarding the "state's antics," That issue was settled for good in 1865 when the Confederate States lost the Civil War. That isn't the question. It never has been. The question is which do we a society hold to be more valuable: individual liberty or safety? Benjamin Franklin is reputed to have said that when one sacrifices liberty for safety, then one shall have neither.  The central question in all of this has nothing to do with the pandemic (yes I know that's sacrilege). The pandemic is a symptom of the problem. The problem is whether or not persons sacrifice their liberty for the sake of expediency and safety combined with what are the limits of the federal government. 

 

While I wear a mask, and personally believe that only a fool doesn't when in public, the central question remains--what are the limits of the federal government in our lives?

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