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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 11/21/20

Mask Mandates: COVID-19 and the Law of the Instrument

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SARS-CoV-2 without background.
SARS-CoV-2 without background.
(Image by Wikipedia (commons.wikimedia.org), Author: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM)
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"One day after the state reported a record 92 COVID-19-related deaths," the Wisconsin State Journal's Mitchell Schmidt reports, "Gov. Tony Evers announced Wednesday he plans to extend the state's emergency declaration and accompanying mask mandate through mid-January. ... The current mask mandate was issued in July and extended by Evers in September."

The first two mask mandates didn't achieve the desired result! Something must be done! Hey, I've got an idea! How about another mask mandate?

At first blush this sounds like the old Alcoholics Anonymous definition of insanity: Repeating the same actions and expecting different results.

But there's more to it than that. Producing a particular result hardly ever explains or justifies a particular government policy very well. Mask mandates aren't about masks. They're about mandates.

Evers's obsession with issuing orders demonstrates Abraham Kaplan's Law of the Instrument: "Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding."

The voters of Wisconsin handed Tony Evers the hammer of political authority in 2018. Naturally, he's swinging that hammer repeatedly and with vigor. Whether he's hitting nails with it, or just smashing the thumbs of Wisconsin's people and businesses, is another question.

Keep in mind that the question of whether masks "work" is not the same as the question of whether mask mandates "work," if by "work" we mean "impede the spread of COVID-19."

Contrary to the claims of certain bureaucrats wearing lab coats, waving clipboards, and holding themselves out as the spokespersons for "science," the scientific jury remains very much out on the first question. And those bureaucrats change their stories based on political considerations. Take, for example, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Fauci on masks in May: "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."

Fauci on mask mandates and other government orders in November: "Now is the time to do what you're told."

The moral of the story:

If it makes you feel better to wear a mask, wear a mask.

If wearing a mask seems justified by science, or just by common sense, wear a mask.

If a property owner requires masks and you want to use the property, wear a mask.

If the law requires a mask and you'd rather obey it than fight it, wear a mask.

But don't assume that Tony Evers or Anthony Fauci are neutrally "listening to the science." They're not. They're just enthusiastically swinging the hammers they've been given.

 

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Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.


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5 people are discussing this page, with 11 comments  Post Comment


Mike Preston

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We are in the depths of an ongoing crime against humanity and Fauci is in the conspiracy.

There has to be some power keeping 79-year old Fauci in his job critical to the medical mafia. Vaxxines are the core of the profit model for Big pharma. It is your immune system that protects you and the assault on the immune system begins the day a baby is born in USD/Dollar America. 54% of US children have an autoimmune disease, we have more day-of-birth deaths than the rest of the industrial world, and all that. Vaxxines are not to help you. They are to increase profits.

Vaxxines are injurous to the body which gives Rockefeller Momopoly Medical a chance to sell you magic poison pills which leads to more pills. Why would someone not think wearing mask might be to make you sick?

Fauci holds a critical position to The Agenda and Pharma profits and despite being 79.9 years old hangs on.

There will come a time when the USA-USA chant is met with USD-USD-USD because the central banks are the central problem. The Fed is the illegitimate power that replaced constitution government.

In NC, the governor made an order to wear mask and to wear pink underwear in public. Turns out his wife said wearing pink underwear would do as much good as a mask so he figured he might as well do both.

I never heard of a governor's order in NC before. Just where did he get the authority to make laws and why did everyone play along? May the lawyers devour him.

It is Mythland v Reality and now Mythland has spent its Mythland Media by advancing too far. Fauci might have fit in Mythlander conversations, but it is a second F-word at present in my circles in Reality.

The only way the present tyranny can hold is to increase the tyranny, which was the plan all along since total tyranny is what they want.

Where is Planet Justice when you need them. PJ, please get Fauci- he is full of snakes. And please do something about pretend-leader Trudeau: .youtube.com/watch?v=n2fp0Jeyjvw



Submitted on Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 12:11:48 PM

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Among all who subjected their noses to rape, how many had previous flu symptoms? Among those who passed the COVID test, how many were immidiealy placed on a ventilator, and subsequently DIED? If the MAGIC FLU can not kill THE DONALD, it probably won't harm fit, healthy virile males. HA-HA-HA. Someone shouted "fire!" in a crowded forest, and California burned.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 2:41:28 PM

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Richard Pietrasz

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You are minimizing the effects that actual rape causes.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 10:35:12 AM

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Richard Pietrasz

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While you are at it, author Thomas Knapp and commenter Mike Preston, why do you not also include a complaint about the mandate against drunk driving? After all, the inconvenience and cost to self of having to arrange transportation and auto pickup after a night (or day) of drinking is far greater than merely wearing a mask (or two, as I prefer when out in public).

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 2:57:25 PM

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Thomas Knapp

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Reply to Richard Pietrasz:   New Content

When I write a column about X, I usually stick to X rather than throwing in Y and Z, if for no other reason than that I write in the 400-500 word range for newspaper publication.

Then there's the fact that the straw-man argument you offer versus drunk driving mandates is not an argument I used vis a vis mask mandates. So your "after all" has nothing to do with anything I wrote.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 3:59:04 PM

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Richard Pietrasz

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Reply to Thomas Knapp:   New Content

Mandates in general played a significant role in your article. My comment specifically addressed mandates in general, and my counter example is very valid. I can understand why you did not bring it up in this article, as it contradicts your point.

Your source on Fauci's comment omitted the actual date of the interview (it was March 8), and lied about this being Fauci's current position as of May 10; your article repeats that lie.

You misrepresented the "law" of instruments as described by your source, and compared public health and executive officials to a little boy in a worthless ad hominem argument.

You have nothing to support your argument that wearing masks in public does not provide protection to the public. In reality, combined with other mandates including isolation, distancing, and limits on size of gatherings, masks are obviously effective. (Not perfectly, of course, but nobody expected them to be perfect.)

Your "moral of the story" is both wrong and lethally dangerous. I have read your articles before, and I do not recall any of them being close to as bad as this one.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 7:20:51 PM

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Thomas Knapp

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Reply to Richard Pietrasz:   New Content

Your argument on mandates in general went to the "convenience" of following them, not their efficacy. I didn't bring it up in part because it's complete bullshit, and in part because I write to a length limit (if I'd had room, I might have examined other mandates).

I did not "lie" about the date of Fauci's interview. I got the date wrong. There's a difference.

Since I didn't argue that wearing masks in public does not provide protection to the public, I had no reason to support such an argument.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 8:15:55 PM

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The convenience (ie cost) of efficacy versus cost is not bullshit. You concentrated your argument on masks, the easiest things for individuals and society to do compared to distancing, social limits , and quarantine.

You identify yourself as a libertarian, not as someone who has any capability of understanding this issue, or that people who are willing to carelessly risk the lives of others for relatively trivial limits on their part are ignoring the liberty to be risk of harm by people who think like you.

As for the Fauci date, I did not accuse you of deliberately lying. I accused you of repeating a lie without checking your source.

The last part of your article did argue that wearing masks by the majority of the public that has not already been infected is simply wrong. Anyone who has modeled emitter to receiver calculations based on experience with that modeling, the mechanisms involved, and reviewed or been reviewed by their betters in the field would agree with me. Unless of they are infected with a libertarian or Trumpist attitude.

Submitted on Tuesday, Nov 24, 2020 at 2:14:20 PM

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Thomas Knapp

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Reply to Richard Pietrasz:   New Content

"You concentrated your argument on masks"

No, I concentrated my argument on mask mandates.

And at no point did I "argue that wearing masks by the majority of the public that has not already been infected is simply wrong." In point of fact, I started wearing a mask when Anthony Fauci and the Surgeon General of the United States were still yelling at me not to.

Arguing with what you wish someone had said instead of what he actually said is a neat trick if you can get away with it. With me, you can't.

Submitted on Tuesday, Nov 24, 2020 at 3:15:45 PM

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What's this? On the one hand the author declares that mask mandates are not about science but about mandates, better stated as control. In conclusion he states that the public should bury their collective heads in the sand, leaving their collective butts elevated and follow the mandates or control measures. Well this about a lot more than mask wearing which is an out growth of a messaged pandemic rather than a real one as a conditioning exercise to ready the public to shed their freedom and dignity besides the giving up of autonomy over one's own body and that of their children. Here is a link to one of Canada's top doctors addressing the Edmonton city council which are deliberating more restrictive lockdown measures. This is the first item in this podcast but it takes a few seconds to come up. .bitchute.com/video/WJKWWw3j9Kw/ Wear a mask at your own and everyone else's risk.

Submitted on Monday, Nov 23, 2020 at 2:06:29 AM

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Thomas Knapp

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Reply to Brad Fuller:   New Content

Pro tip: You might want to read the column before responding to it.

Submitted on Monday, Nov 23, 2020 at 11:26:20 AM

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