Tyranny, Plain to See from Raimondo

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Warnings have been issued from the Castle of Smith Hill that we peasants are misbehaving, and the Empress will have none of it.

She’s threatening to give Rhode Islanders a “tough dose of reality” for not taking her proclamations seriously enough.  By that, she means sending our economy back to COVID-19 De-Opening Phase 2.

If you’ve forgotten, phase 2 is called “Navigating our way,” in which all social gatherings are limited to 15 people and limits on restaurants and other businesses are escalated, including a limit of 33% of employees (up to 15 people) in all businesses.  Restrictions on retail and churches will increase again, too.  Entertainment businesses would return to complete closure.

But here is the most important part of Raimondo’s interview with WJAR’s Brian Crandall, which all Rhode Islanders should carefully roll around in their minds:

Raimondo acknowledged that large numbers of cases are not coming from stores, restaurants and schools, but she said going back to phase two would reduce some of the spread.

“Phase two would remind us all that there are real consequences to not complying,” Raimondo said. “Right now, too many of us have just gotten too lax.”

In other words, the move to phase 2 (and the threat to make that move) would not be not meant to address a narrow, specific problem directly, but to impose an indirect lesson to Rhode Islanders to comply.  This is so far outside of the laws permitting her enhanced emergency powers that Rhode Islanders should refuse to comply, and government agents should refuse to enforce.  This is the attitude of tyrants wielding unchecked power.

The intent of emergency powers is to prevent danger in a specific area where there is an imminent emergency.  If there is a flood in South County, the governor should not be empowered to impose water restrictions on Providence County so as to teach Rhode Islanders a lesson about the dangers of too much water.

So:  No, no, no, and no, again.  This has gone far enough.