Raimondo in Your Backyard

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Why are Rhode Islanders tolerating Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo’s assumption of power so far beyond what the government of a free people ought to assume?

Part of answer is that we’ve been living in an atmosphere of fear for months, which has followed a period of cultivated unease going back years.  COVID-19 certainly justifies concern and caution, but state governments and the news media have stoked it into a frenzy to the point that an extremely small likelihood of catching the disease and dying has transformed into a feeling that normal activities mean certain death.

Another part of the answer is that we’re several generations removed from education about and practice with political philosophy.  We’ve lost sight of the long-term risks of short-term concessions that allow a single executive to go ahead and do whatever she thinks needs to be done.  Moreover, we aren’t well trained in breaking down the facts of what’s happening in order to understand the principles that they are violating.

Thus, we get Raimondo cracking down on families’ backyard parties while pushing for the reopening of schools and saying nothing about regular left-wing protests:

She said it’s clear Rhode Island is not yet ready to move forward to Phase 4 of reopening, but it’s also clear the state does not need to move backward to Phase 2.

Raimondo said she was making one significant change to Phase 3 restrictions by lowering the social gathering limit from 25 to 15.

“So if you are having a birthday party or a baby shower or a pool party or a backyard barbecue or a neighborhood gathering — no more than 15,” she said. “Take it seriously.”

In taking this action, the governor isn’t just issuing emergency orders to protect lives and managing an immediate crisis. She’s making life-management decisions across society, determining what activity is worth what risk for whom.  Opening schools is important because she’s deemed it so.  Violent left-wing political protests are something to be quietly approved because she quietly approves of them.  If your local family of 20 people has three members graduating high school and/or college, potentially making future gatherings impossible, you cannot gather on your own property because the governor does not value what you want to do.

Simply put, this is tyranny.

Of all the “guidance” the governor is publishing — much of it beyond her authority — dictating the size of personal gatherings on private property is the least within her power.  This might be why the governor’s rhetoric doesn’t match the actual documentation of the rule: Raimondo realizes she only has this power if people pretend she does, so it’s more of a deliberately misleading bully-pulpit demand than a legally binding regulation.

But whether she is indeed asserting authority to send police onto our property and kick people out of our homes or she is just bluffing and hoping that a pliable (or gullible) population will voluntarily comply, this is not what we elect people to do.  We should therefore treat her commands as the senseless and invalid hot air that it is.

Continue to be cautious and make informed decisions for yourself and your family, and be respectful of those around you, but do these things because that is the right thing for you to do as a human being.  As for the governor, just ignore her.  History shows that the road she’s choosing can be more fatal than COVID-19 has any realistic threat of becoming.  Indeed, she’s spreading a political plague for which our hard-earned cultural vaccination has apparently worn out and which has no cure short of war when the disease has progressed too far to tolerate.



  • Lou

    Continue to be cautious and make informed decisions for yourself and your family, and be respectful of those around you, but do these things because that is the right thing for you to do as a human being. As for the President, just ignore him. History shows that the road he’s choosing can be more fatal than COVID-19 has any realistic threat of becoming. Indeed, he’s spreading a political plague for which our hard-earned cultural vaccination has apparently worn out and which has no cure short of war when the disease has progressed too far to tolerate.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    Look across the border. Massachusetts cancelled owner’s rights to evict tenants for non-payment. This has just been extended to October. I own a small rental property there, and am now owed $12,000, with no reasonable likelihood of recovery. Since the tenants are loudmouths and spreading the word that they are living rent free, I expect growth. This under the cover of the Covid 19 emergency. Courts are closed, you can’t even prove it is unrelated to job loss, or Covid 19.

    The House has just passed Tenant Right of First Refusal. While it still has to pass the senate, that would mean if I were to decide to sell the property I have to give the tenants 6 months to buy it. They can sell that right to a nonprofit. As the owner, I can also “buy out” that right by payment to the tenants. It includes any transfer. If I want to give it to my daughter I have to notify the tenants.
    PS The denial of the right to evict is by Executive Order.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    A further PS. When I open this site Microsoft warns it is “not secure”.

    • Lou

      Don’t worry, Justin’s always watching.

      Sorry to hear about your landlord dilemma. Go figure, Gina’s more landlord friendly than the governor with the “R” near his name next door. Maybe Justin can blog about that-LOL.

      • Rhett Hardwick

        The “R” stands for “Rino”

    • Justin Katz

      Rhett,

      I get that message, too, sometimes, depending how I access the site. I don’t know what it means. This is a straightforward WordPress site with Disqus for comments. We’ve got generic tracking (Google Analytics), but if that’s doing it, then most sites on the Internet would do the same thing.

      It could be because my WordPress version is old, and I’m struggling to find the time to rebuild the site so I can update.

  • ShannonEntropy

    I always get in trouble here — Godwin’s Law and all that — for comparing Queen Gina’s increasing grip on power with nary a word of opposition from the GA or The People to the rise of Hitler and his NSDAP in 1930’s Germany: People are Sheeple is the guiding principle in both cases

    So let me just point out that the exact same thing is happening in the EU:

    The coronavirus has revived attention and debate on the steady erosion of democratic practice in Hungary and Poland, where strongman leaders have tried to use the pandemic to strengthen their grip on power.

    https://bit.ly/3gitbdw

    That article doesn’t mention the fierce loyalty and friendship between those two countries. They are both outliers in the EU esp when it comes to immigration. Neither has the “Muslim Problem” that places like the UK or Sweden have, mainly cuz they don’t allow Muslims to immigrate in the first place. So in that respect autocracy there isn’t entirely bad, like it is here in Li’l Rhody

    FTR I personally am of 100% Polish heritage: all four of my grandparents were born there and I still have numerous family members living there. Also FTR, I’d vote for Duda in a skinny second if I could; nothing he’s done so far has upset me but toss him for an EU-backed puppet and my beloved Gdańsk would turn into another Londonistan in less than a decade

    • Rhett Hardwick

      I am surprised by the number of people I know who have considered retirement in Czechoslovakia. Has to do with thorough “Europeanism” (is that a word?)

      • ShannonEntropy

        Czechoslovakia hasn’t existed since 1993. Maybe you mean Croatia, on the Adriatic Sea. Cities like Dubrovnik are popular with American ex-pats

        And yes, Hitler was elected, as was Queen Gina. Both became totalitarian dictators of their States. But Hitler was granted his powers through The Enabling Act, passed by the German Reichstag & Reichsrat. Even he never took it upon himself to amend his government’s Constitution via executive order, like Queen Gina did when she changed our State’s name with an EO

        So in that respect she’s an even worse dictator than he was

        • Rhett Hardwick

          I can’t keep up with the times, I still think “Rhodesia”. Representing what could be called a failure of democracy, people seem to desire a belief that Hitler was “installed”.