Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. — William Pitt The Younger

Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program -– Milton Friedman

So this is how liberty dies… with thunderous applause. — Padme Amidala


New York City’s provincial putz, Bill De Blasio, has taken a break from his dilettantism and lame-duckery to do what all good statists do reflexively – take another nibble at our liberties. He has decreed that proof of vaccination will be required to enter all restaurants, fitness centers and indoor entertainment venues, starting sometime in the next few weeks.

Mind you, this isn’t a suggestion that private property owners set such a rule for their own businesses – something that anyone with a respect for liberty should not take issue with. This is a blanket requirement, a government mandate, a “stick” that’s going along with the various carrots being offered to get people to get vaccinated. Sure, some will tell you that you don’t have to go to restaurants, gyms, or entertainment venues, that your liberty is still intact.

That’s pure horseshit, of course. One fundamental liberty is that of association, as in I get to hang out with whomever wants to hang out with me. Some dude selling shawarma out of a storefront invites me in, and I want to go in, and his policy is “none of my business if you got a shot, and my staff agrees with me,” all our rights are violated if the government says “no you can’t.” That this sort of violation is routine is no excuse for more of it, by the way.

Making this even more offensive is the utter dismissal of the concepts of post-infection individual immunity or resistance, and of herd immunity. A dismissal by none other than those who purport to be all about “the science!,” which makes it even worse.

First, we were told to say home two weeks to flatten the curve. Then we were mandated to maintain social distancing, erect plastic barriers, and wear masks Not asked, mandated. Now, after the large majority of high-risk people have gotten their shots (90% of the 65+ crowd, and nearly 3/4 of the 40-64 crowd), coupled with the free availability of vaccines for anyone who wants them, we should be at what Andrew Sullivan calls the “let it rip” stage of the pandemic.

The government cannot be held responsible for sickness and death it has already provided the means to avoid.

Sullivan echoes my belief – we have reached the point where anyone who wants a vaccine can get it, so it’s time government back off and let us live as we wish. While the vaccines are not 100% proof against infection, they are pretty much 100% proof against severe illness or death. I got mine, I think every adult should get it.

I don’t have a problem with the endless encouragement ads I see on television, but I absolutely refuse to support a mandate. And so should you. The notion of having to show papers to engage in normal social activities, where the hosts would choose not to require them, should be an utter affront to our sensibilities.

We’ve already had massive abridgments in that regard – notably in air travel, where the giant Kabuki that is security is mostly about convincing us we are safe, rather than making us safe (there are three things that make us safe, post 9/11: armored cockpit doors, air marshals, and passengers knowing that they should fight back rather than comply. Alas, the air marshal program is underfunded and stretched thin, while the dog-and-pony check-grandma’s-panties-for-bombs TSA theater carries on).

The sad joke of all this is that there doesn’t seem to be an end point in our leaders’ minds. Fauci, for one, seems almost desperate to retain his fame and relevance, to the point of self-contradiction and caricature. Authoritarian types, aka today’s Left, seem to think that any case of COVID is one too many, so their demands, if tolerated, will never cease. Meanwhile, the reality – that the only way this is managed further, now that we have vaccines, is to let those who don’t want to get their shots risk catching the bug. Maybe a few examples will encourage others to vaccinate, maybe they’ll speed us to herd immunity. And, maybe, the reality that this bug is of little threat to the young should be given more credit.

Yes, I’ve gone Godwin with the cover art for today’s installment. Sometimes, the comparison is apt. As George Santayana warned us, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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