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Road-trippin’ & Cigar-smokin’ Through The ‘Rona | The Pragmatic Constitutionalist

I haven’t been traveling much, lately.  Not since The ‘Rona came to town.  The road always inspires me to write.  Fresh observations and new experiences make it even easier to comment upon the news of the day.  40 years of road life keeps my mind clear.  I’m missing that regular mental reboot.  I now call it “windshield therapy” — especially since I refuse to fly if the destination is within a 24-hour drive.  (The upper end of my driving limit.)  That personal policy is a result of post-9/11 TSA tactics at airport security.  I prefer not having my junk fondled by gloved strangers, simply on the pretense of making people feel safer to get on an airplane.

It’s the same thing with masks.  (I know.  Some of you are rolling our eyes again.)  Science vs. Pretense.  You be your own judge. 

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.  [I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.]  Even this evil is productive of good.  It prevents the degeneracy of government, and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs.  I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” – Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, January 30, 1787

Jefferson is my hero.

As it happens, I’m sitting this very moment in a Cuban cafe and cigar lounge in downtown Tampa, FL.  Coffee, Cuban sandwich, locally-rolled cigar, and MacBook all going at the same time.  Neither the bartender, barista, or cigar girl are wearing masks.  This, despite the fact the front door says they are required.  My kind of place . . . and it’s quite busy.  As patrons enter — faces covered — they see the staff un-masked and immediately rip theirs off.  An island of normalcy.

I’ve spent the weekend moving my daughter down to Tampa for her new job.  Last night, she, myself, my son, and a friend of theirs who also made the trip did a little bar-hopping in the historic Ybor City district.  Some venues were decidedly more militant in their enforcement of mask rules.  One place would not even allow us to stand at our high-top bar table without donning the mask of servitude.  You could sit, talk, drink, and smoke . . . mask-less . . . but if you stood, one of the waitstaff would issue a stern reminder of their mask policy.  “You have to sit, or put on your mask.”  To stand, in the same spot, while engaging in the exact aforementioned activities is apparently a great danger to the other guests.  (Science?)

I’ve yet to wear the mask — though I do keep a medically-worthless piece of stretchable cloth wrapped around my wrist — and where required, simply hold it over my face while walking to a table.  (“A little rebellion now and then is a good thing.”)  None of the gas stations I’ve stopped at, nor the two hotels in which I’ve stayed have bothered me for not wearing a mask, and I’ve yet to be accosted by any #KommieKaren.  I’ve most certainly not been alone, either, as there are abundant examples of others mutually engaging in our “little rebellion.”

I hit the road on Thursday afternoon, leaving Raleigh, NC a few hours before the Democratic “Convention” began, but did manage to force myself to listen to Joe Biden’s acceptance speech on some NPR affiliate along the way.  As you can imagine, one particular moment of his remarks caught my attention:

“We’ll put the politics aside and take the muzzle off our experts so the public gets the information they need and deserve.  The honest, unvarnished truth. They can deal with that. WE’LL HAVE A NATIONAL MANDATE TO WEAR A MASK — not as a burden, but to protect each other.  It’s a patriotic duty.”

Let’s put aside any discussion of his Constitutional authority to issue such a mandate, and delve into the first thought that crossed my mind.  Namely, the timeline upon which any such mandate might be issued.  Assuming #BumblingBiden overcomes #OrangeMan’s alleged assault on Ole Ben Franklin’s postal service to win the Presidency, it won’t be until January 20, 2021 before he is inaugurated.  It can therefore only be then, or shortly thereafter, that any such mandate can take place. 

 “We’ll have a national mandate to wear a mask” . . . FIVE MONTHS from now!  And then, for how long?  Where and when?  Under what penalties, should we refuse to comply? 

Meanwhile, in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Holland, the vast majority of their citizens are not wearing masks and doing quite well, thank you very much.

(Excuse me.  Time to select another cigar.)

Okay . . . I’m back.  I grabbed an EIROA CBT Maduro, 60 x 6 . . . for those so interested.  (This joint is really hopping, now.)  Whoa.  This EIROA is a monster.  Perfectly rolled, extremely full-bodied with big pepper notes, dark chocolate, and coffee flavors — and an extremely long, sweet finish.  The best Honduran cigar I’ve had in a long time.  (But, I digress.)

Where were we?  Oh, yes: Biden, mask mandate . . . and not until next year.

How much longer are we going to put up with this?  We’re already hearing from “the experts,” governors, mayors, and Karen, that we’re not getting back to normal until after a “mandatory” vaccine is widely distributed — with tens-of-billions of dollars in distribution, tracing, and compliance measures put into place.  Vaccine I.D. cards, sub-dermal infrared-visible dye, chips, and the like — all being bandied around as required proof that we’ve received the vaccine — so that we can then be allowed to go to the grocery store, cinema, concerts, school, and our jobs.

In the face of this avalanche of bureaucratic declarations, speculation, recommendations, hypothesizing, and scare-mongering, millions of liberty-loving patriots are pounding their chests on social media, in defiance.  “I will not take the mark . . . er . . . vaccine.”  But, is that really so?  We’re not yet facing that stark reality of having to choose between liberty and servitude.  Right now, it’s just a mask . . . and we can bypass that requirement by ordering literally everything we need online, and we can pay for gasoline at the pump.  What happens to those families who cannot homeschool, live in states no longer allowing religious or ideological exemptions from vaccine requirements, and then must face the specter of child services knocking on their doors?  Will your patriotism survive the choice between rejecting the needle and earning a living?

How many of you are old enough to remember when you could legally deny giving out your Social Security number to open a bank account or buy a car?  We easily acquiesced to that number becoming our de facto national identifier for virtually every transaction in which we now engage.  How many of you proclaiming the #CommieVirus vaccine as your “line in the sand” are now wearing a mask?

That slippery slope is becoming progressively slipperier as Big Brother’s grip tightens around the available options of what we can and cannot do without his permission.  Trading a little freedom for little conveniences eventually becomes a trade for perceived security.  Finally . . . numbed, brainwashed, or frightened into accepting those myriad incremental usurpations of liberty, government finds a large enough number of the population willing to relinquish all for a little more safety.  Statistically — in the case of COVID-19 — about an extra 0.001% of safety for the vast majority of us.

I don’t care how “pragmatic” you think you’re being — right now, just wearing that mask — because this is inevitably leading all of us to a very, very bad trade.

#CommieVirus2020 #iWillNotComply #UnMaskTheAgenda

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