$1000 fine for surfing in the Pacific Ocean—Has pandemic governance gone overboard?

How much more social distancing is there than surfing in the ocean, alone?

Image Credit: Shutterstock

The more I learn how wrong the virus models have been about the Chinese Communist Party virus (CCP virus) and due to the lies told by the Chinese communists, the more I’m bothered by local governments enforcing local CCP virus restrictions. (Note: I’m adopting The Epoch Times convention “CCP virus,” because it’s accurate and it doesn’t allow lefties to distract with claims of racism.)

It also troubles me that we’re starting to hear about officials reclassifying people as either dying “of” the CCP virus or dying “with” the CCP virus. That is a significant difference. I first heard about this last week with a report of Italian doctors reclassifying their CCP virus deaths.

The Telegraph reported, “The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.”

I understand the impetus to want to protect our fellow Americans during a pandemic, but doesn’t it seem too convenient that these restrictions just happen to coincide with socialist political aims of collapsing the social order to impose increasing government controls over—everything? Why are the vast majority of governments calling for extending the shutdown and increasing restriction enforcement leftist jurisdictions?

According to MSN News, some jurisdictions, such as the law enforcement agencies in Story County, Nevada, have opted to “educate the public about social distancing guidelines prior to issuing citations.” The Story County sheriff said, “We’re not going to go out and write a bunch of tickets because I think that’d be ridiculous, especially during these times.” But the sheriff wants officers and deputies to “remind” people to comply with the governor’s orders.

Reminding folks about a health or safety issue may be prudent, especially if you truly believe violations are a threat to other people. But how dangerous would it be for politicians to use this crisis as a cudgel to impose leftist policies? With the “scientific” models I mentioned earlier apparently being so wrong, is it wrong to question these extreme policies in America when this CCP virus is the ostensible reason for suspending portions of the U.S. Constitution? I don’t think so.

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But what about these confusing and conflicting restrictions? I’ve written about some officials closing gun shops as “non-essential.” Since when is a constitutional right non-essential? All while some of these same officials are declaring marijuana shops “essential.” Medical pot, sure, but recreational? Not when the government has categorized as non-essential other similar “recreational” products and activities.

But how far should America go over the constitutional line? I’ve written many times about leftist jurisdictions passing laws and enforcing policies that make cops the bad guys. This CCP virus crisis is a virtual candy shop for leftist, cop-hating jurisdictions. Although, this shows them they will need the cops if they want to impose their socialist agenda, even during non-emergency times.

The L.A. Times reports a “Surfer [was] fined $1,000 for ignoring coronavirus closure in Manhattan Beach.” The “suspect” was in the Pacific Ocean! How much more socially distant could he have been?

NPR has a story out of New Jersey, a leftist-run state, saying, a “Man Faces Terror Charge After Allegedly Coughing At Worker, Then Saying He’s Infected.” Disgusting? Yes. Is the guy a complete asshole? Sure is. Should he be charged with something? Yes. But “terror charge”?

They do this while California has passed and Washington State (two leftist-run states) is attempting to pass a law reducing the intentional transmission of AIDS to another to a misdemeanor from a felony.

Newsweek reported, “A police department in Colorado has apologized to a man who said officers handcuffed him in front of his young daughter while playing ball in an almost empty softball field.” Police handcuffed the man, a former Colorado State Trooper, while playing, reportedly socially distant, with his wife and daughter who is six years old. Where is the sanity? How can any cops keep up with these randomly applied CCP virus “restrictions”?

Democrat New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has threatened to close churches “permanently.” To make matters worse, these incidents are occurring while some (again leftist-run) jurisdictions are announcing delaying or declining arrests for “non-violent” misdemeanor crimes. So, make the police arrest and cite for CCP virus, non-violent offenses, but let chronic street criminals off? This is insane, folks.

Whenever constitutional rights must be temporarily suspended for crises like the CCP virus, it seems intervention should be the least intrusive and should reflect the degree of the problem in the specific locale.

For example, surfing at Manhattan Beach, where the exposure is virtually nil unless someone contaminated his surfboard, is not the same as two dozen people playing shirts vs. skins touch football in a park in New York City, the CCP virus American epicenter.

I understand this situation is a mix of some officials sincerely trying to do the right thing and other officials attempting to use the crisis to promote a political agenda. It’s easy to see which is which, usually by political ideology, but with either motivation, don’t we have to draw a line?

When this is all over, whenever that is, even if we find out conclusively that the government-ordered mitigation was way overblown, the promoters of increased and extended restrictions will declare victory. And then they are likely to do it again.

Supporters of the extreme economic and sociocultural shutdown, and its expansion and extension, will say their overreaction was exactly what the nation needed to combat the CCP virus. They’ll say it regardless of the economic devastation wrought by any government overreaction based on evidently seriously flawed scientific models.

What a convenient way to exploit a crisis—oh, and to attempt to weaken a president who’d unleashed an American economic Goliath like none ever seen before and has accomplished so much good, generally, for the American people—and right before a national election. Again, how convenient is that?

meet the author

Steve Pomper is a retired Seattle police officer. He's served as a field training officer and on the East Precinct Community Police Team. He's the author of four books, including "De-Policing America: A Street Cop's View of the Anti-Police State." He's also a contributor to the National Police Association.

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