Spelling Disaster: Louisiana Asks For Disaster Declaration As Louisiana Pastor Defies Authority With 1000 Person Service

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has asked for a federal declaration of disaster in Louisiana where he claims numbers of coronavirus are rising faster than anywhere in the world. The state previously banned groups greater than 50 and has now called on all citizens to shelter at home. That is clearly not resonating with Pastor Tony Spell who defied authorities (and widespread pleas) by holding services with 1000 followers of his Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge. Spell, who has claimed to cure such things as AIDS and cancer at such services, insisted that this is a “politically motivated” effort and promised to hold additional such services.

Spell objects that churches are expected to close their doors but not businesses. He told CNN “If they close every door in this city, then I will close my doors.” However, he is referring to stores like Walmart that are needed to continue to supply badly needed essentials for people sheltering at home. As other churches and places of worship have demonstrated, it is possible to make services available remotely (except when ministers spontaneously catch on fire). It is not as easy to make all of this food available remotely.

It bring to mind the case of Mary Mallon, known as “Typhoid Mary,” who was a cook who repeatedly defied orders to wash her hands and quarantine herself. She proceeded to spread disease in New York.

The standoff could lead to a test case on enforcement. There are calls for his arrest and such defiance could lead to a conflict between religious exercise and health protection. The law favors the state in the enforcement of pandemic measures designed to slow the spread of this virus. A court is more likely to respond to Spell that he should consider the biblical principle “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” 

190 thoughts on “Spelling Disaster: Louisiana Asks For Disaster Declaration As Louisiana Pastor Defies Authority With 1000 Person Service”

  1. From worldometer, Louisiana has 1,775 active cases.

    In a population of 4.66 million.

    — David B Benson

  2. Religious, Non-College Whites Lean Heavily Republican 

    New York Times columnist Thomas B Edsall has a column today presenting a battery of statistics regarding religion in America. The stats show that mainstream Protestant congregations are essentially melting away as college-educated Whites are becoming significantly less religious.  

    But Evangelical congregations are thriving on the strength of non-college Whites.  And these religious, non-college Whites are overwhelmingly Republican voters.  Which means that the GOP’s obsession with abortion restrictions is largely driven by non-college, White Evangelicals.

    Pollsters have been telling us for decades that White Evangelicals are Republicans.  But these updated stats confirm how strong this trend has been.  It helps explain why Trump’s War On Science is acceptable to his base.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/25/opinion/religion-democrats-republicans.html

    1. Religion, he continued, “is real with values and motivated institutions, while non-college is barely more than an analytical category. Christians call themselves Christians, non-college folks don’t call themselves uneducated. Christian is an identity, non-college is a label.”

      You wrote:
      Which means that the GOP’s obsession with abortion restrictions is largely driven by non-college, White Evangelicals.

      It helps explain why Trump’s War On Science is acceptable to his base.

      Unless I missed it, these conclusions you’ve drawn here are your own, not of the author. Is that correct?

      Are you familiar with the term confirmation bias?

      1. Olly, what part dont you get? Non-college White Evangelicals now compose a significant ratio of the Republican base. And they demand abortion restrictions. At the same time, they dont mind that Trump denies Climate Change. Nor do they mind that Trump has orientated our national energy policy towards dirty fuels.

        Olly, if you like these facts, that’s not my problem. That’s your Republican party.

        1. And they demand abortion restrictions. At the same time, they dont mind that Trump denies Climate Change. Nor do they mind that Trump has orientated our national energy policy towards dirty fuels.

          Clarify where you are getting those conclusions from. Are they in this poll? I missed it if they are. Let’s start there.

        2. Seth:

          Why do more college educated folk vote Democrat? Because universities are Democrat madrassas. There is intense bias and persecution against conservatives in College. Their invited speakers are nearly universally threatened with violence. They are graduating people at a loss as to how to think and reason through a problem. They only know how to parrot. That is why they ignore facts and will not reason their way through them.

          The elites despise rural folk. They only think in terms of what’s good for cities, which is often opposed to rural people’s best interests. So rural people tend to vote Republican.

          People who want restrictions on abortion, such as the last trimester, tend to vote Republican. Democrats used to want it to be a rare occurrence. Now they’ve gone whole hog and want abortion legal up until the moment before a healthy, full term infant draws his first breath.

          The Democrat Party is becoming increasingly atheist, as you can see whenever people mock Christianity in general. They don’t do that so much to Muslims, because they don’t want to die. But Christians turn the other cheek. So if you are a Christian, you tend to vote Republican.

          If you’re patriotic, you tend to vote Republican. Democrats believe that the US, and apparently only the US, is to be held responsible for the global slave trade, which went on since the dawn of mankind.

          If you are a white man, the Democrat party has labeled you as guilty by race. So more white men vote Republican.

          If you are black, you are expected to vote Democrat. There is intense peer pressure to do so, and unfortunately, it’s nearing brainwashing status at this point. Candace Owens is leading the charge of the great black awakening, and getting people off the Democrat plantation. Democrats promptly attack blacks who don’t vote as they are told.

          The Democrat Party keep claiming that Republicans are stupid. The elites point to their college degrees as evidence of their superiority. However, my blue collar husband could build me a shelter, and hunt for me if needed, while white collar workers don’t know what to do besides horde toilet paper and panic. The country doesn’t really need college educated people, besides doctors, during any kind of dystopia. They need people who can farm, fish, hunt, build, keep machines running, and shoot straight. Do you really need a CPA, a poet, or a gender studies major during dystopia? No. All of a sudden most of those degrees look pretty useless.

          1. Oh, and why do more young people than old vote Democrat? Because the punitive taxes don’t often affect them.

          2. Karen, Republican priorities are largely driven by less educated White folks in smaller cities. Because of the Electoral College and the 2 Senators from each state arrangement, these less educated White folks have a disproportionate say in national policies. It allows an oppression where smarter people are stymied by Trump’s War On Science.

            1. Seth Warner,

              steel workers, railroad operators, farmers, food service managers, millwrights, explosives workers, brickmasons, steamfitters, biomass plant technicians, railroad conductors, chemical plant operators, production supervisors, oil drill operators, stationary engineers, boilermakers, sheriffs and deputy sheriffs, non-destructive testing specialists, creative writers, postmasters, power plant operators, customs brokers, gaming managers, police records officers, customs inspectors, power distributors, ship pilots, nuclear power reactor operators, financial service sales agents, web developers, respiratory therapists, diagnostic medical sonographers, computer support specialists, clinical laboratory technicians, radiation therapists, opticians, dental hygienists, first line supervisors/managers of police and detectives, first line supervisors/managers of fire fighting and prevention workers, computer programmers, computer security analysts, database managers, tool-and-die makers, network and computer systems administrators, pharmacy technicians, etc, etc,

              I could go on and on listning the number of absolutely essential careers that people pursue instead of a college degree. Careers where the ONLY requirement is intelligence and a good education. But you’re going to sit there and maintain that none of them is as smart as someone with a degree in something like gender studies, or psychology, philosophy, art history, or queer musicology.

              Farmers. Farmers! Where would YOU be without farmers.

              But they don’t have a major in art & dance choreography, so by your standard they don’t count. They shouldn’t even get a vote.

              1. em, it is a fact that average Trump voters are less well educated than Clinton voters were, and there are not enough pointy headed liberal professors to swing any vote, let alone win as Hillary did. That is not necessarily a slam on those without degrees, like me (well, an AA).

                Studies have also shown that Fox viewers test as less informed than those depending on other sources.

                1. Studies have been created to show what the left wants everyone to hear. One has to be able to understand such studies, but you lack such a talent.

                2. bythbook and Seth Warner, you’re both ignoring the essential point. On purpose?

                  The essential point is that possession of a degree is not a significant measure of people’s educational attainment or their intelligence. Despite popular assumption.

                  There are plenty of reasons why people are becoming less interested in college – educated, reasonable, intelligent reasons.

                  I have no problem with the statement, “A larger percentage of degrees are held by Democrats than Republicans.”

                  That’s a fact.

                  But using that to infer that Republicans must be stupider is not only wrong, it’s directly inverse to the actual phenomenon. Many of the people Lemonites are bashing are making an educated decision to forego college.

                  But forget the whole partisan distinction for a moment. I provided a slapdash list of careers that don’t require a liberal arts education. Point out which one of those is unessential. Point it out. Point out the career that makes that individual so unfit for public discourse that her/his vote should be discounted.

                  I’m not disputing the observation. I’m disputing the absolute ignorance of Seth Warner’s conclusion.

                  1. em, as someone who has a 2 year AA degree, I’m 1/2 way between being educated and no, so hopefully I won’t be declared an elitist. I have argued here with some right wing elitist that our constitution and government should be and is accessible and understandable to all citizens regardless of education and no one here – except Kurtz – has suggested literacy tests for voters.

                    The question is not whether we should have expected the less educated to vote for Trump, but that given on average those who did were less educated, it’s a clear mark against that group. Stupid is as stupid does. On the other hand, I don’t know if there is a history of this before, and given how unusually bad he is as president, and an obvious lying con man, it is probably an outlier, not a pattern.

                    As to choosing trade school over college:

                    1. Not really a trend., nor something I bet you or others who are running down college educations pick for your kids or grandkids. I think the hope is that those poor whites and blacks will quit trying to get in in such numbers and leave the field more open. On average those with a degree make much more over their life than those without.
                    2. A general liberal arts education is one of the main benefits of college and is still judged important by employers, regardless of major. It demonstrates an ability to handle more complex issues and also read and write at a higher level. Does it benefit voters in picking the better of our choices? Probably.

                    Encouraging more, not less college enrollment is still the future in a high tech world becoming more so. We are not doing so well in that metric and China among others is making strong advances there. They still send tens of thousands to attend our universities and grad schools, but as they build more, they will be doing less and depending on their own research. We better get ready.

                    1. bythebook, anyone with any amount of sense should hold a more favorable view of someone with an associate than someone with only a bachelor. Particularly if the AA was a stepping stone – which is quite often the case.

                      I think you’re presenting an overly generous view of the typical liberal arts education. On paper it looks good, but most of the courses freshmen and sophomores have to settle for – even juniors – are so worthless, they amount to little more than a scam.

                      Even course work in your major can be useless – depends on the major. The humanities are notoriously bad. You learn so much more on the job and from the people who are actually making a living doing what you’re learning about. For me, that was the only benefit of college. It gave me access to people who actually knew something.

                      And the students… heaven help us, the students… When I went through, at least 50% of the kids in any given class were utter morons. I wouldn’t trust them to wipe down toilet seats. But they walked – got that degree – for whatever the hell that’s worth. Not like it endowed them with a brain or a work ethic.

                      But we’re probably never going to agree about what “educated” means. I’ve met far too many people lacking a degree that are extremely well-educated – and far too many blathering idiots with one.

                    2. They weren’t morons, you just had and have a bad attitude.

                      There are lots of junk course, but the problem with contemporary higher education is less junk courses than padding and lack of focus. A calendar year or two academic years of a discrete subject would be better than a haphazard jumble of courses you currently find on the transcript of the BA holder.

                    3. I have argued here with some right wing elitist that our constitution and government should be and is accessible and understandable to all citizens regardless of education and no one here – except Kurtz – has suggested literacy tests for voters.

                      I agree btb, it is accessible and understandable to all citizens, regardless of education. What this great experiment of self-government has proven however is permitting accessibility without understanding has been a detriment to maintaining a constitutionally-limited government. And no, that is not to be misread as a limited, constitutional government.

                      There is a reason the franchise is restricted and not universal. It’s because reasonable people have determined the act of voting requires the capacity to acquire and understand how their vote will affect the function of our government. I personally believe a civics literacy requirement should be part of our electoral system. My reasoning is based on the fact that one vote cast by someone civically-illiterate potentially disenfranchises one vote of someone civically-literate.

                    4. em, we couldn’t disagree more about college educations. The humanities are the most important part of liberal arts teaching as far as opening eyes on the variety of thought and beauty of art humans have achieved. Not being on the narrow track for a major is exactly the point. While basic sciences are necessary, important, and critical to our future, technique without understanding is missing the point.

                    5. Olly, I wouldn’t object to civics training as part of voting requirements, even if only in tract form, A few simple classes would be better. Similarly I think it should be mandatory in our schools as it once was.

                  2. This is absurd x XXii says: “They weren’t morons, you just had and have a bad attitude.”

                    Oh, this’ll be good, go on. Explain to me why my opinion of 3/4 of my astronomy class was due to a bad attitude. Explain to me why my opinion of 85% of the students (in whatever that environmental studies course was) is somehow invalid.

                    That’s just for starters. I have six years worth of anecdotes, but let’s see what you do with those two using the information you apparently have.

                    go on

                    1. Oh, this’ll be good, go on. Explain to me why my opinion of 3/4 of my astronomy class was due to a bad attitude. Explain to me why my opinion of 85% of the students (in whatever that environmental studies course was) is somehow invalid.

                      You live in country with 155 million employed persons. The number of people in this country collecting public disability benefits for autism, developmental disorders, and intellectual disability sum to about 950,000. Those are your ‘morons’. About 1/3 of those 155 million have baccalaureate degrees. They’re not a random sample of the population. Possession of such a degree is correlated with general intelligent, though not with particular skill sets. If you think they’re morons, its because you despise pretty much everyone except people you fancy are peers.

                      Astronomy is not a subject for everyone, which someone who wasn’t a clueless jack-wagon would understand.

                    2. This is absurd x XXii
                      And it’s a miss.

                      Try again.

                      But I give you one point for not calling me a poopy head and pulling my hair. You do however lose one point for the ad hominem at the end.

                      But there’s always another opportunity to get in the last word. Try taking your time, on your next attempt, though. You might even want to go back and reread some things because you’re already off track.

                    3. And it’s a miss.

                      I can explain something to you. I cannot comprehend it for you.

                3. it is a fact…

                  Studies have shown that when you begin a sentence with those 3 words, 9 times out of 10 it is your truth and not a fact at all. The study is being charitable on the outlier.

                4. If they were studies accepted by sociological journals, I’m not surprised. The field of sociology is served by journals which have repeatedly accepted hoax submissions, some of them generated by computer programs to put buzz words in strategic portions of the text.

              1. “How do you define educated?”

                Olly, Paint Chips defines educated as being knowledgeable enough to use the phone to call someone over when the toilet bowl overflows. I suspect his educated talents are mostly useless.

                1. Allan,
                  Folks like Chips my have intelligence, but they are living in a fantasy world where all their problems are someone else’s fault. Think: Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

        3. Seth Warner, what you and Don Lemon consider educated is an insult to the word. And the arrogance of that statement is astounding. Did you wire your house for electricity? Did you build your car from scratch? Did you build your house? Install your plumbing? Even create the materials needed to do any of that? Did you build the computer you use for your evening brainwashing sessions with msnbc? Did you build the modem you need for that? Or any of the appliances you have in your house? Did you make or grow a single thing that you ate in the past month? Pave your road? Any road? Have you built ANYTHING beyond your quivering Leftist bubble? And what do you do when things stop working? Do you fix them yourself?

          Guess what. A sizable number of the people who did all of that because you can’t, because you don’t have the slightest idea how – many of those people who CAN and DO, do not have a degree from college.

          Only an absolute moron would call the people who literally keep an entire civilization running stupid.

            1. The liberal in my head’s eyes are rolling at the untenable position you’ve entrenched yourself in tonight – yet you keep on digging that hole.

              1. Em, I’m outside the rightwing bubble. No one in my universe thinks I’m ‘digging a hole’. The stastics are what they are: less educated voters hav a disproportionate voice in America’s priorities.

                It explain why we can never discuss common sense regulation of guns; even after mass shootings. It explains how Trump can claim we need to loosen gas mileage standards. The automakers weren’t even asking for that. It’s just the politics of spite.

                1. Em, I’m outside the rightwing bubble. No one in my universe thinks I’m ‘digging a hole’. The stastics are what they are: less educated voters hav a disproportionate voice in America’s priorities.

                  1. No they don’t, and that’s perfectly obvious if you look at the substance of public policy contra popular preference.

                  2. It’s pretty funny that you fancy yourself in a position to instruct others.

                2. I’m outside the rightwing bubble. No one in my universe thinks I’m ‘digging a hole’.

                  You present a telling visual of how you see yourself and those you call right-wingers. In your mind’s eye, there exists this bubble, a small but distinguishable collection of uneducated conservatives. Outside of that bubble is this universe where you and mankind’s educated liberals exist. Bubble – Universe; Uneducated – Educated. This would explain why you fancy conservatives have a disproportionate voice in America’s priorities.

                  There is a problem with that worldview; it’s a fantasy. Meaning, it does not exist in reality. There is no right-wing or left-wing bubbles. There is no universe of liberals and mere bubbles of conservatives. Educated and non-educated is not defined by your degrees and/or the institution you attended. These are all constructed labels intended to put people in manageable boxes. That’s right; manageable, as in being managed, and guess what, you’re not the manager.

                  Until you recognize this fantasy world you’ve created for yourself, you will never be able to reflect right reason in your worldview. It will all be artificial constructs designed for unachievable outcomes. Unachievable, because they ignore the laws of nature and most importantly, human nature. Guess what happens when you defy nature? You dig holes for yourself. And those people “in your universe”? They don’t think you’re digging a hole, because they’re in there digging with you.

                  1. Olly, it sounds like you’re trying to say something important for a change. But your abilities are better suited to nasty little insults.

                    1. it sounds like you’re trying to say something important for a change.

                      You always have an option: Prove you are capable of making a rational and reasonable argument; at least try.

                    2. Come on Seth, are you going to try make a rational and reasonable argument, or was that the extent of it?

                    3. ‘No rightwing bubble ‘, Olly? It was on full display in the run-up to this pandemic. Rightwing media was spinning a completely different message.

                    4. The point you failed to address is there is no bubble; right wing or left wing. If you want to differentiate worldviews as right wing or left wing, then that would be more accurate. But to state there exists a bubble on one side and a universe on the other, completely distorts reality.

                    5. Olly, rightwing media, Fox News in particular, was in full denial mode until Trump was forced to acknowledge the pandemic. At that point Fox News changed its message so completely it was like all their on air people had changed personalities. ‘Before & After’ videos have been all over Facebook. That’s evidence of a bubble. Rightwing media consumers have been in that bubble for years. We see evidence of it every day on this blog.

                    6. ” until Trump was forced to acknowledge”

                      What a jerk. You, your friends and the MSM didn’t even recognize the threat of Chinese travellers. Trump banned them and you guys became hysterical. Your brains fried the day Trump was nominated by the Republican Party. Since then you guys can’t control yourselves because he has done a tremendous job just like he has and is doing regarding the Coronavirus.

                    7. That’s evidence of a bubble.

                      Seth, that’s evidence of news media, in real time, reporting on the information they have, of a virus that has no history available for accurate predictions. Name one media outlet that has not made an inaccurate report. Every outlet has bias, that does not mean they live in a bubble and every other outlet is outside that bubble.

                      Do you know what a SWOT analysis is? Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/and Threats. We are essentially at war with an unknown enemy and every day we are reassessing; doing a SWOT analysis of what we are learning. This is war-gaming and they are learning every day what the variables are of this enemy and our own. You can Monday morning quarterback what happened yesterday, last week or two months ago. That might be cathartic for the masses, but the reality is any objective evaluation of this crisis will take months if not years to complete.

                  2. Diaper Man, show us a video soundbite of Trump expressing concern for the virus prior to March 6. He may have cut off flights from China, but did Trump really express sincere concern regarding a pandemic here?? I’d like to see those clips if indeed they exist. But I don’t think they do.

                    1. “Diaper Man, show us a video soundbite of Trump expressing concern for the virus prior to March 6. He may have cut off flights from China, but did Trump really express sincere concern regarding a pandemic here?? ”

                      Paint Chips, one has to be pretty stupid to ask such a question. The President did what a lot of people advised him not to do. He took tremendous abuse for doing so and that act caused a risk to his trade policy. If the virus turned out to be a nothing that act alone could hurt his 2020 campaign. The only reason he had to do such a thing was out of concern for the lives of Americans something you seem not to give a dam- about.

                      Do you want that box of diapers?

        4. Seth Warner,

          The systematic murder of 58,586,256 human babies is nothing to be proud of.

          I have yet to meet a Republican who doesn’t believe in climate change. Anyone who still thinks the ongoing debate about climate change is whether or not it exists, should really change the channel.

          I think making fun of people who are religious is risky, especially when it’s coming from people who devote heart and mind to a political party, tithe to the party, preach the party, make sacrifices for the party, hate for the party, steal for the party, hurt for the party, and even kill for the party – if only they could get away with it.

          Religion is not based on the object, but the act.

          1. “Abortion and ‘free stuff'” is the communist (liberal, progressive, socialist, democrat) motto and battle cry.

        5. The last time I checked, “Non-college White Evangelicals” pay their share of taxes, and have the same vote you or I do. Their votes determine their say in national policy.

          Using someone’s race and religion as a pejorative’s a bad look.

          As far as climate change is concerned, I see room for disagreement among reasonable people.
          I think the evidence for anthropogenic climate change is there, but I’m with Dr. Chris Landsea of the National Hurricane Center in questioning the figures IPCC publishes for its impact on, say, named tropical storms.

          I also why the Green New Deal demands we invest in two renewable technologies which add toxic or radioactive waste streams to the environment. Photovoltaic power is inextricably tied to arsenic as a dopant for solar power cells. The very most promising PV technology involves tantalum arsenide. Photovoltaic cells have service lives of about forty years, then into the industrial waste stream they go, arsenic salts and all, along with tailings from arsenic mining operations.

          The other “not quite green” renewable energy technology with heavy metal waste stream issues is wind-generated power. High-efficiency wind power generators require lanthanum and other rare earths for magnets capable of turning as much wind power into energy as possible. Where lanthanum is found, thorium is found as a co-mineral. Some lanthanum mines must, by law, ship their thorium-rich tailings to Nevada for long-term storage in secure facilities because thorium is a nuclear fuel.

          Interestingly, that thorium could be used in highly-efficient molten-salt nuclear reactors that don’t just use thorium and uranium as fuels, but can also burn nuclear waste from the nation’s civilian and military nuclear waste depositories.

          However, the “Not so Green New Deal” specifically disallows use of nuclear power, which logically would be what the nation would turn to if the idea were to actually add as little carbon to the atmosphere as possible and arrest or reduce global warming.

          But the authors of the Not-so-Green New Deal won’t have nuclear power. Using renewables also entails having conventional power to generate baseload and peak power when weather idles renewable power generators (as happened last year in Britain). One reason why Sen, John Cornyn (R, TX) recently became a fervent convert to wind power – he knows the drillers and frackers back home will be working overtime to produce natural gas as a back-up power source when renewables are forced on the national power grid.

          It doesn’t make sense to me. It doesn’t reflect well on the integrity of the so-called Green New Deal.

          But that’s not my problem. It’s your progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

          I don’t care what race they are or what religion they follow – but they might be fervent, practicing Rastafarians, because they were smoking primo weed when they wrote the Green New Deal. They don’t seem to care much about the environment at all.

        6. I’m white, what’s wrong with white folks. Ten bucks says you’re white too. Diff is, we’re not ashamed of it?

          1. What is the percentage of minorities in your neighborhood? Tell the truth now. Which percentage is unacceptable, causing you to “vote with your feet” and move?

    1. Based on which epidemiological evidence? Really, if you have a peer-reviewed paper in a medical journal saying that, please share.

  3. It would be ok if all these suicide attendees for from crown virus. But they will pass it around. Lock up the pastor and burn down the church.

  4. “The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.”
    ~Albert Camus

    1. The American Framers were geniuses whose limited concept of welfare was GENERAL which reduces the alibi to that of, only and none other than, ALL which can only be roads, water, sewer, electricity, trash collection, post office (archaic, set for redux in “The Night of the Living Dead”), etc., understanding that all people don’t use clothes, healthcare, transportation, food, etc., in the same type, amount and frequency. Specific or individual welfare being charity which may only be conducted in the free markets of the private sector. Free people provide for their own individual and specific welfare and create their own wealth.

    1. “The Best Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List”

      JFK, Monster

      By Timothy Noah

      “I knew that John F. Kennedy was a compulsive, even pathological adulterer, given to taking outlandish risks after he entered the White House. I knew he treated women like whores. And I knew he had more than a few issues with his father about toughness and manliness and all that. But before I read in the newspaper that Mimi Alford’s just-released memoir, Once Upon A Secret: My Affair With President John F. Kennedy And Its Aftermath, described giving Dave Powers a blow job at JFK’s request and in his presence, I didn’t know that Kennedy had an appetite for subjecting those close to him to extreme humiliation.”

    1. oh another opinion from a psychiatrist… BUT did he ever examine trump?

      no

      so he’s making a conclusion without data. is that “scientific?”

      that should be the end of the story but here you are a responsible professor and information specialist and yet you brought it to the table. sad, Benson, you have a lot better to share than armchair shrinks

  5. Congress has the power to tax and provide for the “…common Defence…,” the “…general Welfare…” and the “…calling forth

    of the Militia…” “…to repel invasions.”

    It is axiomatic that a national existential threat involves the “…general Welfare.”

    The United States government must defend the “…general Welfare” of Americans from an existential virological threat by

    calling forth an epidemiological militia to repel an invasion by the “Wuhan Flu.”

    Congress must impose any and all national measures deemed most efficacious by experts and scientists of germane disciplines to

    defend the “…general Welfare of the United States…” for the duration of the virological invasion and no longer.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    “For extreme diseases, extreme methods of cure, as to restriction, are most suitable.”

    – Hippocrates

  6. Spell, who has claimed to cure such things a AIDS and cancer at such services,

    Why is crap like this allowed. If a person claims to cure a disease by using salt and incantations to ward off an vengeful ghost they are arrested and charged with fraud. If a person claims to cure a disease by using prayer and incantations to ward of a vengeful demon they get a mercedez benz, a vacation home in the Hamptons, and get invited to the White House.

  7. Guns are quicker!
    Go shoot yourself today!
    Quit, quit smoking and end your days!

    –to the tune of hail Britannia!

  8. Knel down in your pew and puke. Say to the Lard:. I speak to you on Sunday and Krisco on Monday.
    Oh Lard! Won’t you buy me a Mer se des Benz?
    My friends all ride horses, I must make amends.
    Worked hard all my lifetime..
    With help from my friends.
    Oh Lard won’t you fry me …
    A wife with thin skin

      1. People do not have a right to endanger others – children in the assembly, relatives, and acquaintances who may encounter them later.

        1. btb:

          “People do not have a right to endanger others – children in the assembly, relatives, and acquaintances who may encounter them later.”
          ***********************

          Really? Sell your car.

          1. You’re right. I meant to add the qualifier a ‘total’ b hole.

            In all seriousness, Mespo…your argument has a shelf life of roughly a week or two on this one. Basically until wherever you live becomes an inflection point. Don’t worry, I won’t judge when you come back singing a different tune and wondering why Fox let you down so hard.

    1. I for one think this is not such a terrible thing.
      Its a good experiment

      If these 1000 people get sick no more than the people who stayed at home that will tell us something. If they get a lot more disease and death than those who stay at home that will also reveal something.

      The simple fact is not a lot is known about how this works and without some people willing to experiment we may never know.
      Personally I will self select myself to be in the group that stays at home, but i applaud those willing to expand our knowledge.

      1. I see your point. Although a lot more about contagion rates are known re Covid 19 than the treatment of it, it’s origins, etc.

      2. No, even if no one gets sick, it tells us nothing whatsoever, because this is not a scientific study. The only way this could be a scientific study would be for there to be the same number of COVID-19 positive people mingling amongst the congregation as there are in society at large. We have no idea how many Americans are already infected because we are so far behind in this crisis.

        We do know that it is spread by droplets due to sneezing, for instance, or even microdroplets from being in close proximity to someone and breathing in air they just exhaled. Apparently, it can stay suspended in air for awhile, which is the reason for staying 6 ft. away from others. We know it can survive on hard, warm surfaces, like table tops, computer screens and handrails, up to 9 days, but a shorter time on softer surfaces, such as paper, hair and clothing.

        Because there are so many unknowns, the only reasonable thing to do is to reduce transmission opportunities by reducing person-to-person contact until the number of new cases goes down substantially. Cases have not peaked in the U.S., and the rate of growth of new cases is not reassuring. It exceeds irresponsibility to ignore the recommendations to limit person-to-person contact. It also exceeds irresponsibility to imply that places of worship should plan on being “packed” on Easter Sunday.

        1. I should add this: the makeup of the congregation should be representative of the makeup of America–matched in terms of age, race, gender, ethnicity, and underlying health problems. Then, the results would be presumably predictive.

        2. “We have no idea how many Americans are already infected because we are so far behind in this crisis.
          (…)
          Cases have not peaked in the U.S., and the rate of growth of new cases is not reassuring.”
          *******************
          If you have “no idea” of the former, you can’t possibly conclude the latter.

          Just another insight into the mind of natacha.

          1. Mespo: look at the graphs for US new positive test cases, and compare it to the graphs for China and Italy. We are still in the sharp incline phase. New York is doubling about every 3 days, and the rest of the U.S. is also on track to do the same. It’s only when the curve starts going down that we’re past the worst of it, but still far from safe. We hope that 2 to 3 weeks of stay at home will blunt the curve, but the numbers haven’t started going down or leveling yet. The idea behind stay at home orders is so that the curve does not exceed hospital capacity. If that happens, then ventilators will have to be rationed, and choices as to who lives or dies will have to be made. Also, as more and more health care providers get sick, we might reach critical mass wherein we don’t have people to care for the ill.

            Not knowing the number of actually infected people we have does not mean that we can’t analyze the trend of the number of positive test cases. If you don’t understand this, then don’t criticize me.

            1. natcha;

              Yeah but we’re at the peak along with everybody else. It should flatten and still keep Wuhan deaths below Influenza (59,000) deaths. Italy for some reason is the outlier. Probably because social distancing is about as popular there as Mussolini.

              1. We don’t know that we’re at the peak yet, regardless of what Trumpy Bear says. There’s no evidence of that, and we won’t know until it happens. Even if there were to be a slight drop, it could jump right back up, like it did in Italy. We are behind China and Italy, which means that we had more time to take preventative measures if we had leadership that took this seriously, but it was wasted while Trumpy Bear tried to bluff his way out of the mess his incompetence has made much worse. He still won’t shut up and let the scientists tell us the unfiltered truth. This thing won’t be gone by Easter, and there won’t be “packed churches” on Easter morning.

                It has been explained to you that seasonal influenza has nothing to do with COVID-19. which is novel and way more virulent.

                1. Networks need to cut him off. He’s a dangerous fool who has now been proven wrong in real time on national TV multiple times over the last month. Reporters should ask somebody else the questions and ignore him. In a sane world they’d call him on being wrong on practically everything he’s said since this approached and got rolling.

                2. Natch, quit taunting Trump and everybody who likes him. Trump made mistakes. Xi made mistakes too.
                  Perhaps Trump is humiliated for trusting Xi’s false statements. Perhaps Trump has a legitimate concern for the economy which undeniably will be affected due to shutdowns. Perhaps Trump is not to blame for the failures of a supply chain that has been relying on globalism and production of stuff like medical supplies in China for a couple decades now.

                  This is not to say that either Trump nor Xi has been particularly effective per se; but neither caused this. Nature caused this. Neither one of them wanted this mess on their watch. Regardless of how they have reacted, for good or for bad, each clearly takes their leadership roles seriously. There is plenty of time to feed the fire of partisan rancor later.

                  Perhaps constant strident insults are counterproductive if you are actually trying to convince people of something important? but you keep it up nonstop. let me suggest a thought experiment for a moment. if this were a lifeboat chatting, your mouth would get your hair wet. so, how about toning it down for the sake of conversation?

                  anyhow, we’re not even close to the peak. its going to get ugly. and the peak may not be the end either, it may have waves. we will see soon enough

                  1. Impressive meditation on keeping things civil. Maybe start with actually addressing her by her real name?

                    1. I dont know her real name. is paulie yours? mine sure isnt kurtz. natch is close enough. i stopped calling her nuthatch a month ago to be nice. im not going to lech arsche i am just shooting for civil

                    2. Actually I’ve been called Paulie dating back to my basketball days in school. The j part? Well, that comes from other adventures.

                    3. Paulie J – I hate being called Paulie. I have one friend who calls me that and I tolerate because of our friendship.

                  2. No one said Trump CAUSED COVID-19, but he has consistently downplayed it to his detriment and to our collective detriment. When someone is a leader, he or she has a duty to be honest and not try to paint a pie in the sky picture that gives people false hope. He has known since January at least that the Chinese weren’t forthcoming about how bad it was, that this was a virulent, novel strain of virus, and that lots of people could get sick and die. He should have had epidemiologists go to China and get the facts. He didn’t. In fact, up until recently he was praising President Xi.

                    I have no doubt that competent epidemiologists explained to him what happens when you: 1. have novel virus–that means no herd immunity, and that it will take 12 to 18 months, if we’re lucky, to get a vaccine; 2. that there is no proven safe, effective drug treatment, and it will take time to develop and test one; 3. that draconian measures, such as social distancing, closing down restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gyms, churches, schools, etc, would be necessary to contain the spread–the sooner it is started the better; 4. that need could exceed the capacity of our health care system if the spread isn’t slowed; 5. that because he dismantled the pandemic rapid response team, we weren’t ready with supplies or anything else.

                    What did Trump do: 1. called it a hoax; 2. Kudlow and Kellyanne both said it was “contained’; 3. said there were 15 cases and soon would be 0 cases; 4. said that we’d have a vaccine “very soon”; 5. said anyone who wanted one could get a test; 6. said the chloroquine and hydrochloroquine could be “game changers”; 7. yesterday, said he thought we could get up and running by Easter, with “packed churches”. Why would he say these things?

                    All Trump cares about his himself, and right now, his chances for re-election are pretty dismal. Then, there’s the lack of rallies, which his delicate ego requires for affirmation. He brags about the economy, robust when he inherited it from Obama, but it is headed toward recession or even depression, and that, plus impeachment will be his legacy, so he thinks he can bluster and bully his way past science and the experts and force the country open again. Even when the risk goes down, people have been out of work for so long that they won’t be flocking to restaurants or buying things other than necessities. They’ve been struggling just to eat and keep a roof over their head with the utilities turned on. The economy is not going to “skyrocket” like he claims. Well, thankfully, that’s not his call. Only the governors of the various states can do this, and none of them who has issued stay at home orders is going to take his or her cues from Trumpy Bear.

                    You think citing the facts above is being “strident”? Facts are facts. Giving people false hope that a safe and effective vaccine and that “game changing” safe and effective drug therapy are just around the corner is beyond irresponsible–it is immoral. Why won’t Trump just shut up and stay away from the podium? Because his ego won’t let him.

              2. The supposition that public health officials appear to be working with is that in Italy, important protocols were not followed which were followed in the Far East, and the hospital system itself was thereafter the main vector of infection. You’re looking at a high case mortality rate because the infection was rampant among people already hospitalized and the hospitals themselves were losing manpower because the patients were infecting the staff. There was a surprisingly informative discussion of this on The News Hour the other night.

              3. I have a theory about some parts of Italy’s narrow corridors and alleyways.

                I also have a theory about the air ducts in NYC, as well as older buildings with narrow hallways and tiny elevators.

                And then the theory about the more inbred you are, the more likely it is to hit you harder, or maybe the more recessive genes. Either way, my two roomies not sick when I was sick last year with flu or whatever it was…but one of roomies clients around same time ended up in hospital for four week with pneumonia…at the same time I was sick, question is, who gave it to who, and was the asymptomatic person the transferring party. Not ruling out coincidences. And of course it not being CV19. Without testing, will never know.

      3. Jinn, fine as far as your argument goes, but this particular SARS strain spreads so fast because people start dropping infectious virions as soon as the infection takes hold. They don’t even know they’re infected in most cases until 5 days post-exposure. “Old SARS” didn’t make its victims shed virions until later in the incubation period

        So you’re really talking about exposing people at Bible Chunker City, then sending them out to infect others all week long WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT. The lack of control over the size of the “infected arm of the study” makes it scientifically unsound. Not to mention, your proposed study is a violation of the Helsinki Declaration forbidding subjecting people to medical experimentation against their will.

        I’m a libertarian who believes strongly in the “common welfare” clause in the Constitution and legitimate police power to assure that welfare in times of dire need. Gov. Edwards of Louisiana has no choice but to prevent 1,000 person-strong assemblies by any means necessary for the duration of the emergency.

        1. I don’t think it’s been established that exposure to asymptomatic people is aught but an atypical source of infection.

          1. Droplet transmission is a recognized source of transmission, however, so at some point in the five-day incubation period just before symptoms occur, at least some of those people would be leaving infectious matter on environmental surfaces around them and in droplets which can spread the virus to those within six feet of the carrier.

            CDC is being very careful not to take the case for isolation at home farther than the evidence will bear: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/transmission.html

  9. It’s interesting that Turley – who’s second to none in steadfast support of civil liberties – hasn’t deemed it necessary to even pose the question of whether those liberties are being violated in this time of crisis. (Nor has he questioned the existence of a crisis.) Maybe that’s coming, but so far he seems to be satisfied that everything is being done within the Constitution.

    1. The first day in constitutional law the professor usually says something like this. “The plenary powers of the Crown devolved upon the states, but the federal government is a government of limited, enumerated powers.”

      We all have to learn what plenary powers are. All of us wondered. Not a normal word in the usual lexicon.
      That means general government powers.
      Such powers are subject to state constitutions and bills of rights.. And because of the Civil war and the 14th amendment, the federal bill of rights too.

      The Civil war also taught us another thing.

      That the federal government is supreme both over individuals and the states.

      During normal business, it is a government of limited powers.

      These are not normal days. When they say we are at war, what they mean is, we will not be limited by the bill of rights or anything at all necessary to achieve victory.

      This is truly a war. I am not so sure that the two decades plus of the “Global war on terror” really was; i have been a huge critic of those reductions of our liberties.

      When it comes to a pandemic onshore, in my mind, yes we are now at war. And they can shut any church they want and they will. When the hospitals overflow in NYC, and they soon will, maybe by tomorrow at this time, then you will see people begin to adjust finally to the reality which is upon us.

      After New York other cities will follow. Major metros. It is going to get ugly. It’s not ugly yet. The pastor in this article was a fool. Many fools are leading their flocks to ruin. Normally I would not care but in a disease epidemic our physical health is more intertwined than usual.

      The government can and will exercise police powers more fiercely as this thing increases. And if you want to adjust and haven’t yet, start with the wishful thinking that this will suddenly abate. It will not.

        1. I had to tell a client yesterday, follow orders and close your shop or you will run the risk of being fined or arrested by the state police. freedom? that’s not the issue right now.

          people are not free to ignore some of these orders., some of these executive emergency declarations are clear lawful orders and they have the power of law and the police have the power of arrest to enforce them. or they could just go get chains and padlock shops shut, or issue fines. these actions will not be changeableness in courts. courts are also closed. in my jurisdictions you can theoretically file things online or file emergency actions but it is NOT business as usual. hearings are all cancelled for now except emergency. criminal trials have even been postponed. it is not situation normal. it is an emergency and people need to understand that and get with it. or they will face arrest etc. this is just reality. these are police powers in action. bills of rights are things that get sorted out in courts later. i hear your point, but this is my point.

          if people are responsive they will act properly and cooperate. this is not tyranny in action. we have had plenty of that and more will come later. for now this is all hands on deck.

          oh here’s another thing. rioters will probably be shot on sight. if rioting happens. it could. hopefully not. right now police are getting sick and they will not have the resources to play nice.

          1. Mr Kurtz – I agree that the gov. has the emergency powers to close businesses and courts (except for Constitutionally mandated hearings). However, the governor has no authority over the Feds and no authority over the Church. That is my stand, Constitutionally.

            1. Paul, every church is subject to fire inspections for proper exit signs, egress, smoke detectors, etc. the general police powers of the state include a certain degree of “health and safety” stuff that is not optional for anybody including churches. I contend that these declarations of emergency due to pandemic fall within that concept.

              But I am sure various zealots will leap at the chance for martyrdom.

              right now this is the only kind of terminal sacrifice i find impressive from the clergy:

              https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2020/03/24/covid-19-italian-priest-who-donated-his-ventilator-has-reportedly-died/2906351001/

      1. Those powers must be imposed to bring forth the epidemiological militia for the duration of the war until the enemy, an existential threat, is defeated, after which those powers must be fully abolished and abrogated.

    2. Turley’s last paragraph:

      “The standoff could lead to a test case on enforcement. There are calls for his arrest and such defiance could lead to a conflict between religious exercise and health protection. The law favors the state in the enforcement of pandemic measures designed to slow the spread of this virus. A court is more likely to respond to Spell that he should consider the biblical principle “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” “

      Professor Turley did cover the civil liberties implications of the crisis, and reached reasonable conclusion.

  10. Their choice, their consequences.

    Just like transplant candidates can disqualify themselves with lifestyle choices, these 1,000 worshipers have chosen to limit their access to scarce medical resources.

    No treatment for violators.

    And forced quarantine for them.

    Draconian, but choices come with consequences.

    1. Except that, this is Louisiana, deep-red Trump territory. Trump has downplayed the risk from the get-go, given false hope for a quick vaccine and a “game changing” treatment that is unproven, but there are still people who believe what he says. These people have been misled. Then, there’s the pastor who is behaving irresponsibly. We have a collision between faith and science here. I believe God has given us science and knowledge to understand what our duties are to our fellow people. That does not include encouraging people to take unreasonable risks.

  11. I am going to back the pastor here. Religion (even though I am agnostic) is very important for many people. I am not sure the state has the right to close churches. I am also not sure the state has the right to close gun stores and seize weapons.

    1. The issue here is not so much his, or his followers’, right to exercise their religious beliefs. It’s that in doing so, the endanger PUBLIC health. He’s not just exposing all who attend his services, he’s exposing others who don’t consent, and who don’t share their beliefs.

      He can believe whatever he wants, but he doesn’t have the right to endanger others.

      1. Mel – the issue is in the state deciding that his parishioners cannot worship in his church. I think that is unConstitutional.

        1. it is under usual circumstances. Under a pandemic the phrase “police powers” reaches its zenith. The executives can issue whatever orders they want and everyone is going to follow the rules, or face punishment., That includes all the judges and lawyers too. This is a nasty time but its one in which we will find out who is in charge.

          We better hope that the virus isn’t in charge. But we’re gonna see about that.

        2. I’m with Mel on this one. The conduct Louisiana must curtail to protect the common welfare isn’t worship in that building. It is an assembly in that building that will cause a certain percentage of those present (or their neighbors) to die horribly.

          It’s the same reason a pastor may not legally have services in buildings that are structurally unsound or violate the fire code, and no one has a constitutional right to do either of those things. First Amendment protections doesn’t come into play here.

      2. Mel:
        “He can believe whatever he wants, but he doesn’t have the right to endanger others.”
        ***********************
        You “endanger others” every day when you make a left hand turn against on-comng traffic. We balance risk; we don’t run from it to eliminate it.

        1. We routinely control risks by prohibiting certain behaviors. There are many actions a driver cannot perform because they create too much danger for other drivers and pedestrians.

          A church isn’t a zone beyond the reach of the law. Declaring an action to be an “exercise of religion” doesn’t automatically make it Constitutionally protected. It’s true, we balance risk. In this case, considering the scientifically proven grave risk that the worshipers are creating for others, it’s reasonable to prohibit them from congregating.

            1. The lethality is estimated to be 50 times greater and it is highly contagious. The risk is much greater.

              1. The risk is much greater.
                ___________________________________________
                Maybe so or maybe not.

                these 1000 people seem to be willing to find out the answer.

                You seem to be more concerned about stopping them so that a definitive answer is not found

              2. Sound like your EU numbers on electricity generated by nuclear power figures. Here’s some data;
                “Just some numbers regarding Coronavirus so we are dealing with facts.

                Italy .0001187% of population have died from Coronavirus
                Spain .0000730% of pop. have died from Coronavirus
                Iran .0000250% of pop. have died from Coronavirus
                France .0000169% of pop. have died from Coronavirus
                Switzerland .0000168% of pop. have died from Coronavirus
                England .0000062% of pop. have died from Coronavirus
                S. Korea .0000025% of pop. have died from Coronavirus
                China .0000024% of pop. have died from Coronavirus
                USA .0000022% of pop. have died from Coronavirus

                Not making any political statements, just giving people the facts. The most important part of these numbers is weather Europe and US will be able to start slowing down # of deaths as we go through the next month, as Asia seems to be past the peak of the virus deaths. The number of deaths is a more important number than number of cases because number of cases is inconsistent throughout the world due to testing. Number of deaths is probably pretty accurate.“

                1. The comparison is to flu where the mortality rate is about .1% of those who come down with it. Covid 19 is expected to be at about 1-2%, but in China and Italy, higher.

                  “Italy’s high rate of death from COVID-19 (7.2%, vs. 2.3% in China) may be explained by the country’s relatively high proportion of older people…”

                  http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/03/italian-doctors-note-high-covid-19-death-rate-urge-action

                  It is also more contagious than normal flu and we lack resistance and immunity.

                  1. In the Corona Virus death rate is .0000022%; In China it was.0000024%. Influenza’s death rate is .09%. You tell me why we don’t freak out over influenza like we do the Wuhan virus.

                    1. Freak out? Panic?

                      No, the panic is feigned; the panic is created.

                      No greater support exists for a politician than that provided by an “enemy.”

                      It’s not panic for communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats).

                      It’s seizing the opportunity.
                      _____________________

                      “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

                      – Rahm Emanuel

                    2. Italy fatality rate: 7.2% China 2.3%

                      expressed as a ratio not a percentage, that means 0.072 and 0.023

                      http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/03/italian-doctors-note-high-covid-19-death-rate-urge-action

                      Fauci said it was ten times more fatal. if the fatality rate for regular influenza is about 1% then it seems to me that was an understatement, and it is at least 20 times more fatal based on the China ratios. And a lot worse if you get something like the Italians.

                      Germany fatality rate is super low, by comparison to other places, no clue why but they have a lot of nurses there and maybe just a super effective response at this point.

                      time will tell if this all was an over-reaction or not.

                  2. If I can add one more fact. NY is the hot spot but as testing increases the death rate is falling due to finding more and more people with Covid.

                    At present: 30811 total cases in NY with 285 deaths .92% mortality and apparently falling as they test more. Since that is where the most testing has occurred I think their number represents the outside of the death rate we are likely to end up with and most probably the death rate of those infected will substantially fall below that.

                    1. allan i agree with your prediction, as tests become available, revealing the asymptomatic carriers and at home cases will lower the overall death rate. the bigger the sample size the more valid the conclusions, in general

                    2. as you suggest allan, “selection bias” is indeed probably happening skewing the fatality rate into a more severe direction. nonetheless a massive contagion even with a small fatality rate can be a disaster … is a disaster, unfolding

                    3. Let me add 2 more numbers.

                      Alcohol involved auto deaths >10,000
                      2018, 67,367 drug overdose deaths

                      Ref: CDC

                      Will Covid cause 10,000 deaths this year?
                      Will Covid cause 67,367 deaths this year?

                      I doubt we will reach 10,000 and the likelihood of reaching 67,000 is highly unlikely.

                      We have a problem which is hospital overloading and death to our older or sick population. This problem is not a grave enough reason to destroy the American economy.

                      The way we get to save lives from sickness is by having a good economy and thereby the money to treat sick patients.

                2. it’s not accurate at all. The CCP liars have failed to count the casualties properly. People were dying in Wuhan from pneumonia behind closed doors and by the time they came for the corpses nobody was bothering to test the dead, as they were too busy with the living.

                  South Korea is the gold standard for testing. Those numbers and Italy’s numbers are probably the most credible.

                  Right now the US numbers are pathetically understated. It will be clear soon enough

            2. My friend with respect I say, no it is far far worse. The diseases are comparable in some ways. But the fatality rate is believed to be higher for covid. And what is more important is that there is no existing immunity, and no vaccine, so it will not be slowed down by those things, not yet. So it will sweep through with a wider contagion than the flue and even if the fatality rates were similar, it will kill more before it’s done.

              The novel emergent nature of the covid wuhan virus thing makes it far more dangerous than the flu.

              I support draconian measures at this time. Nail the church doors shut if need be. I have zero problem with that for now.

              When the risks abate, then normal civil liberties should be fully restored.

              I always believed that in a diseases crisis the police powers of government were theoretically unlimited, limited only by expediency and what is possible. there are essentially no constitutional restrictions that necessarily impede government in an emergency like this as it happens. But we will get back to normal one day and excessive or wrongful use of powers will be addressed in court or electorate or both. But so will a failure to act timely.

              Decades ago in law school I was a “liberterian” (not so much anymore) but i also believed even then as I do now that when it comes to pandemic, it’s a whole other ball of wax.

            3. mespo – I always thought we should close the schools for the flu seasons. However, there are the attendant problems of finding caretakers for the children during the season. I would go to a year-round system and everyone could take their vacations when the kids were sick. 😉

              1. PCS,

                Necessity is the mother of invention.

                Have you noticed the automation of public education during this outbreak? That should have been done decades ago. Auto plants installed robotics in the 80’s. Rockwell Automation automates entire factories globally creating peopleless factories. Automated ports have handled containerized cargo for eons. Entire bays of girls at data entry stations became obsolete and were vaporized long ago.

                Public schools should be teacherless, digital, virtual and students should telecommute. One teacher nationally. One teacher per subject per level nationally by broadcast to all classes in all states. Holograms of teachers may be appropriate.

                It is impossible to teach every student perfectly and the “product” of public education is proof of that – they’re not all Einsteins and many graduate to 7/11 clerk or forklift driver status. Even so, America expends absurdly massive amounts of funding to attempt to do just that.

                Lazy, greedy, thug union teachers are nothing more than an obsolete communist redistribution program. America doesn’t need Range Rovers and Mercedes Benzes in the teachers parking lots. There is a rational free market price for appropriately trained people who impart information to students. Understanding that the critical component in the educational process is the cognitive capacity of the student not that of the teacher, Ameirca deserves the Ford version of educators not that of the Lamborghini.

                1. George – I have taught at computerized schools and I have taken online courses. Some students have the discipline for it, some don’t. Bright students can get through a class in 6 weeks or less. ADD students will never finish it.

                  1. “Lazy, Greedy, Striking, Thug Union Teachers – A Study In Failure”
                    ____________________________________________________

                    Taxpayers are obligated to provide the opportunity for a basic K-12 education, not the Lamborghini version.

                    Talented students should be privately funded after their senior year.

                    All students are created equal. After creation, they’re on their own.

                    Ultimately, the overpaid union teachers have achieved a preposterously low 3% (rounded) success rate, as

                    only that many students were sufficiently prepared by public education to persist to graduation with

                    an advanced degree.

                    Most certainly, automated, digitized, remote and virtual education will meet or beat the achievement of union

                    teachers.

                    The critical factor is not the teacher but the capacity of the student.

                    Teachers make preposterous claims for compensation based fraudulently on the capacity of a small number of

                    students to learn, not on the capacity of all teachers to teach.
                    ________________________________________________

                    80% of students graduate high school.

                    40% graduate college.

                    12% of complete graduate school.
                    ___________________________

                    32% of high school graduates exit college successfully.

                    2.66666666667% of high school graduates exit grad school successfully.

            4. We are able to immunize large parts of the population against influenza. That’s not now the case with the SARS_CoV2 virus which causes COVID-19. And as Italy, China and Iran show, drastic precautions to prevent an immunologically-naive population from exposure to the virus causing COVID-19 will filll a nation’s hospitals with many more gravely-ill patients than existing ventilators and other needed medical devices can treat. The CDC is preparing American physicians and other health care wokers to perform triage – decide who will benefit most from access to a limited number of ventilators during this pandemic .
              So, yes, I do want to close churches, theaters, dance clubs, and many more places where the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread.

        2. No you don’t – unless you’re careless and fail to follow right way rules, traffic lights, and other signage.

          1. “No you don’t – unless you’re careless and fail to follow right way rules, traffic lights, and other signage.”
            *******************
            Really? When you make a left in the middle of the block it’s your judgment of speed and distance we’re relying upon as we approach you from the opposite direction. No signs, no lights — just you and your brain. That’s real risk yet we don’t prohibit left-hand turns, do we?

            1. “Follow right way rules, traffic lights, and other signage.”

              Similarly, don’t turn into a church packed during an incipient pandemic and avoid those who have. Unlike cars and roadways, they aren’t marked.

              1. Similarly, I’d add don’t steer a church into the oncoming public health traffic of abortion related issues.

                Insert the huffing mutants to the thread.

                1. this has nothing to do with abortion. don’t troll people, show some compassion at a time of difficulty with those whom you disagree with. that’s what im trying to do. with everybody

                  1. Take your point about being compassionate. Beg to differ re church vs. state issues, whether they be state against church or church against state.

                    Do try to expand your thoughts to see the broader point, and I’ll promise not to crack on the onslaught of loosely associated info you may throw at this response.

                    1. I see the broader point I just dont agree with it. This is not a religious freedom issue at all in my view. Now since you want some loose association here it comes.

                      Now in defining abortion, religion is also a secondary to biology.

                      See embryos and fetuses are clearly distinct human beings inside a woman’s body, they have their own dna and physical bodies and are alive. They are alive because we know when they are dead. Abortion can kill them along with other stuff. This is factual; you don’t need a priest or rabbi to tell you that an embryo is alive or if it is dead, you need an ultrasound machine with a competent tech to run it. or maybe a doctor at best. the question of physical life is very simple.

                      the question of when legal rights of the child begins, at whatever stage, even up until the cord is cut, that is a legal question. religion may inform opinions but it is the state which decides.

                      the purpose of pandemic restriction is to keep the living, alive.

                      if the church meeings propagate disease, then the pandemic measure of closing them, keeps people alive.

                      this is an emergency measure and the 1st amendment has no bearing on it.

                      The notion that the 1st amendment has any bearing on the abortion debate is arguable. I know a lot of religious people are making that point in regards of health care coverage etc. I don’t care about that issue one way or another.

                      I am not personally exercised about abortion at this juncture., I used to be pro life and in theory I stil am. However my opinion doesnt really matter, it is the SCOTUS that legislates that issue for us, it’s not a subject of voting anymore. So why should I argue about it at all. The state decides when the legal protections afforded to living individuals begins, whether at conception or birth or somewhere in between.

                      But in strictly materialistic biological terms, it is purely factual to say that life begins with conception. any fertility doctor could explain this if you need a consult. And they are almost never Catholics since they are trashing embryos all the time. But it is their goal to actually keep some embryos alive and deliver them; hence they must not die. the question of life and death is a question of fact not opinion.

                      What laws should be, is a question of opinion.

                      I find it incredibly dishonest of pro-choice advocates that they can’t just admit that life begins at birth, but in their viewpoint the physical posture of the fetus as inside the woman’s body until birth, means that the legal rights of the individual should not start until birth. Just say that if that is your position. I can see valid reasons to believe that. I am not going to get into an argument with people about that, as I said, our opinions don’t matter too much the law is dictated by the SCOTUS end of story.

                      and finally as I said, it has nothing to do, legally speaking, with the subject of closing some church potentially spread the virus or not.

                    2. I actually agree with your biologic point, Kurtz. I’d even up it a notch and say life begins with the thought that precedes the biology…

                      Which of course means that, to me, that trying to define life in the realm of physical manifestation is a day late and a dollar short.

                      True fan of Roe vs. Wade btw as it’s the best approach to what is a public health and women’s rights issue. To me, not being a lawyer i believe the SC got that one right regardless of their methods for getting there. And making it a federal issue, in a practical sense, sidesteps all the state to state nonsense that existed pre Roe vs. Wade.

                      Public health rules with me no matter the physical manifestation of the syndrome/situation. Having said that, I’m sensitive to people’s religious beliefs, but not at the expense bigger picture health. Certainly around this church issue during Covid 19 shut down. Relatedly around abortion.

        3. The difference is that the left hand turn is not an unreasonable risk, in that it doesn’t unreasonably place others at risk of serious bodily injury or death. The same cannot be said for exposing others to the risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. Just to further utilize your example, the mortality rate associated with catching this virus absolutely dwarfs the mortality rate associated with making a left hand turn across traffic. That discussion doesn’t even involve the serious complications to persons who only get sick without dying from this virus.

          to mespo

          1. Kmra:

            That’s just make believe argumentation. Left-turns result in many deaths and injuries. Here’s a summary of the data disproving your guessing:
            “Studies from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that 36 percent of all automobile accidents happen at intersections. More than 480,000 of those crashes involve drivers turning left. The most common reasons cited in the study for left turn crashes are:
            Obstructed view while turning.
            Inadequate surveillance (driving into blind spots).
            Misjudgment of the other driver’s speed.
            Miscalculating the distance or “gap” across the intersection.
            Illegal maneuvers, such as failure to signal or failure yield to right-of-way.
            Department of Transportation studies show that left turning vehicles are the most likely to cause a fatal intersection crashes.”

            If I use an example, I’ve researched it first. Unlike you.

        4. Mespo, let;s sat Pastor Spell’s church is a fire ttrap, as disciverered by a fire marshal, with faulty wiring, rotten timbers and only one poorly accessible entrance for all his thousand parishioners. Does he have an absolute right to have full meetings of his flock there? That wouldn’t work in Louisiana or very many other places. Since the Cocoanut Grove fire in Hollywod, America’s been aggressive about enforcing fire codes.

          COVID-19’s high transmission rate and high lethality for parts of the population pose an even greater risk to the community than fire code violations in a single building. The First Amendment doesn’t protect assemblies or worship that are reliably deadly to members of the entire community.

          1. Let’s redo that one:

            Mespo, let’s say Pastor Spell’s church is a fire trap (as discovered by a fire marshal) with faulty wiring, rotten timbers and only one poorly accessible entrance for all his thousand parishioners. Does he have an absolute right to have full meetings of his flock there?
            That wouldn’t work in Louisiana or very many other places. Since the Cocoanut Grove fire in 1942 America’s been aggressive about enforcing fire codes.

            COVID-19’s high transmission rate and high lethality for parts of the population pose an even greater risk to the community than fire code violations in a single building. The First Amendment doesn’t protect assemblies or worship that are reliably deadly to members of the entire community.

    2. Paul:

      “I am not sure the state has the right to close churches. I am also not sure the state has the right to close gun stores and seize weapons.”

      *******************************

      I am not sure either. There is an argument that the fundamental right to religion trumps the leakily applied law of public safety. You have a 1000 people shoulder-to-shoulder in Walmart but can’t have the same people in church or in a gun store. The selective enforcement and reasons therefore are not something courts like to deal with but you are dealing with curtailment of fundamental rights to worship and to bear arms. On balance, my guess is the Courts would wuss out and punish the minister, but like in Korematsu they may have to apologize for it later if their worst fears about the virus and its spread aren’t realized.

      1. A belief in supernatural beings should not include rights not available to those who base their actions on logic. If other assemblies may be limited in numbers and proximity by the state, churches should be as well.

        1. btb:

          “A belief in supernatural beings should not include rights not available to those who base their actions on logic.”
          **********************
          You don’t base your numbskull comments on logic or even facts and we let you stay around.

          1. With Mespo on this. I don’t care if it’s 1,000 religious believers, or 1,000 agnoistics who want to hang out in an enclosed space during this pandemic. Throwing that into this decision pretty much breaks your argument, BTB.

        2. supernatural, preternatural, or natural — higher beings?

          fermi’s paradox

          perhaps the crazier thing than believing in higher beings, is believing that there are none and that man is the pinnacle of nature…. i personally doubt we’re the top. if we knew what else was out there, we might find out that we are pretty close to the bottom.

          most days i believe there are higher beings but if they notice us at all, do they care?

          1. Kurtz, you’re probably right that it’s illogical to think Humanity, the Master Race of the Solar System, is the only intelligence in the universe. I just want to add that we’re got a whole lot of nothing in the way of the necessary knowledge to prove you or Enrico Fermi right. Drake’s Equation lacks observational data to shed light on whether or not we own the whole Milky Way by default.

        3. Btb, I finally explained my grinning man story to you from 2012, ~ 3 a.m. Similar clothes to the drawing of the character in Darren Smith blog post. But the man did not have the bird beak mask….just the long trench coat and the hat…no gloves…big smile…glad it wasn’t just me trying to catch the roof person, had my ex, and the neighbor, who was a father, looking out for the banging/stomping on the roof. It stopped though after we met the guy. Never found out what was in the bag, besides the guy told my ex “cat food, ” but refused to open the bag. And no, no one was doing drugs, or alcohol, which is always the first assumption. That’s one of two very strange “supernatural” stories, the other my last night in DC. But I was alone for that one, that was outside of Bob and Ediths diner near the Pentagon at ~ 12 a.m.

          Before 2012, I was atheist; after 2012, I’ve been agnostic ever since.

          1. Although the second one, my friend just says that guy, “borrowing his brother’s car for the night, had a wooden Ankh hanging from the rearview mirror, said he wasn’t religious, and then told me it was his brother’s car, but nonetheless still wanted me to follow him down the street to behind the CVS so that I could get into his car and share dinner together in our take-out boxes of breakfast food.” Yep, my friend says that guy was just one Americas Most Wanted list and I should have got a license plate no. My bad, I didn’t. I should have thought reported it to DC police. But I was just trying to get to my hotel and then leave town the next morning. So, IDK.

            There is always a nonsupernatural explanation for these things too

        4. A belief in supernatural beings should not include rights not available to those who base their actions on logic.

          Gene Roddenberry was not a philosophical sophisticate and neither are you.

      2. mespo – I think this came up with swine flu (from China) and Muslims praying in mosques. I think the government decided to walk away.

    3. Paul I believe in the pandemic situation “Rights” are beside the point. The question is what must be done and can the authorities physically do it. The question is only powers not rights. And they have plenary powers in general to respond to a health emergency. It certainly does include closing churches and anything else that’s a disease vector.

      ” I am also not sure the state has the right to close gun stores and seize weapons.”

      They could certainly close gun stores now too if they are disease vectors. Interestingly they have not,. In Illinois Pritzker allowed them to stay open.

      Very smart Pritzker. I have liberal friends buying guns now who never did before. Clue guys: get an Illinois FOID first and you should have not waited until now because that’s a 7-30 days wait under normal circumstances.

      https://www.ispfsb.com/Public/FOID.aspx

      1. Mr Kurtz – food and medicine are necessities. Why not religion? Why not guns to protect yourself from marauders when the social system breaks down in 2-4 weeks.

        1. in tndiana and illinois gun stores are open, deemed essential. michigan is a question mark. i know some gun nuts in michigan and I guarantee if they have not headed for the hills already then they are making sales hand over fist. which means prolly none headed for the hills because they knew this would be a boom and it sure is

          https://www.thetrace.org/2020/03/coronavirus-gun-store-closures-state-map/

          local shop is following strict social distancing guidelines. i am not a buyer, i am sufficiently armed my entire adult life and keep my larder full. it’s my liberal friends who are the buyers now.

          and they will be paying a premium. prices always go up at least 20% in a run. I see prices for ar 15s now that are 50% higher then they were a month ago. probably there will be a run on ammo too.

          is religion a necessity? rather the question is, are religious meetings a necessity? in the short run clearly not.

          in the long run, sure it is and every religion allows for private worship and practice., that’s in the essence of religion. the meetings can wait. but i am not the governor so I need not decide. I observe that Catholics have a blanket absolution for sins and dispensations from mass attendance. And protestants can just pray in private anyhow, we hear that all the time, right?

          muslims can do their thing in private too. jews can too.

          btw jews got hit in Westcester New York early on. lawyer got it, then spread through synagogue, rabbi got it, etc. that was the initial vector if I understand the facts correctly

          Purim is going to be a diff ball of wax this year.

          https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-the-coronavirus-spread-from-one-patient-to-1-000-now-quarantined-in-new-york-11583423323

          Christians will gather for Easter, regardless of the law or virus, you can bet on that. otherwise the religion is dead on the vine.

          1. My wife’s church gathered for the last time this monht Sunday before last – ten parishioners, celebrated services and the services were streamed over the Internet for the other faithful. I am very sure our church community will gather on the Internet for Easter (our bishop has forbidden us to celebrate Easter Mass on parish grounds). Christianity has survived worse things than this. It will not only survive, but (paraphrasing Faulkner) it will prevail over COVID-19.

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