Following in the footsteps of Maine Governor Janet Mills (D), Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (whom Joe Biden recently confused with jazz great Charlie Parker) just issued an “Executive Order” banning visitors from many other states unless those temporary immigrants show proof of being “COVID19-Free” or they quarantine for fourteen days.
And, goodness knows, quarantining in the leftist Empire of Massachusetts -- with many businesses still shut-down state-wide, and an even more draconian lockdown in Boston proper, thanks to Mayor Marty Walsh (D) – must be a real treat.
Holding a news conference on July 24, the self-styled “Republican” Governor explained that his glorious order would require visitors from all but eight other states – and any MA residents returning from those states – to provide proof of a “negative COVID19” test taken within the 72 hours prior to entering his decaying fiefdom. Those who could not provide proof of said “reliable” tests (wink) would be forced to fill-out a “Massachusetts Travel Form” (which, surely, the state will sanitize and keep hermetically sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk and Wagnall’s porch until Carnac the Magnificent returns) and quarantine for two weeks. And, of course, since Massachusetts always needs money, and Charlie Baker’s extra-long suits probably cost a lot, violators would be fined $500 per day.
All of which is curious for numerous reasons.
First, Mr. Baker doesn’t have any constitutional or moral power to do this. Not only is the US Constitution’s Interstate Commerce Clause supposed to stop this kind of interstate trade and travel block, Baker’s edict overtly contravenes the right to freedom of association that is supposed to be protected by the First Amendment, the right against unwarranted search and seizure supposedly protected by the Fourth Amendment, the right against self-incrimination supposedly protected by the Fifth Amendment, the prohibition against deprivation of liberty without due process enshrined in the same Amendment and in the Fourteenth Amendment, and prohibition against any government inflicting cruel and unusual punishment (without a trial, there can be no punishment).
Second, on a practical level, beyond the in-your-face imposition and potential virus spread caused by having cops question people, and collect and check paperwork, Baker’s eight “Special States”, the travelers from which he won’t require “PAPERS!”, include New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, which, according to the constitutionally dubious US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), happen to comprise the top four slots for COVID19 “related” deaths in the US. Oh, and that list was updated, on July 24, the day his Grand Governerisimo Baker called his press conference.
Good thing the press does such a stellar job following the info and asking questions of Baker, isn’t it?
And then there’s Hawaii, which is also one of his magic “exemptions”. That would be the multi-island state across the Pacific Ocean and across the continent of North America. It’s the location that requires nearly half a day in the air if one wants to fly direct, and usually requires a stop-over or transfer in LAX before completion of the journey. Even if Steve McGarrett, Danno, and Chin Ho were to pass the unreliable “COVID19 Test” prior to leaving their Five-0 base on The Big Island, the travel and potential contacts they’d encounter on their way to play jazz with Charlie Parker would be so numerous as to render any such test even more useless and invalid.
Like Maine’s Governor Janet Mills -- who issued the same kind of edict a few weeks ago, and broke her own “mask in public” order by grabbing a photo-op at an ice cream stand – it’s almost as if Charlie is less than sincere when it comes to things like caring about Massachusetts businesses and fundamental rights.
And, as with Mills’ “order”, some might wonder how Baker plans on enforcing his command. Well, the answer lies in something most Americans blithely have accepted for far too long: business licensing.
Like Mills, Baker will tell any hotel or short-term lodging to collect and record the “PAPERS!” of out-of-state visitors. Should the agents of the state find that the hotel/lodging files are “not in order”, the state will fine them or threaten to revoke their license to open.
This in a state where the Governor has decreed that casinos can open prior to amusement parks, and where gun “licensing” halted for weeks because, of course, the government offices handling that unconstitutional mandate were closed.
If more Americans understood the economic definition of “fascism”, they might see it as more than a “weapon-word” bandied about to deride and mark, and understand that it means the nominal – in name only – ownership of a private business that is actually run according to state/government/political commands. They might see that the entire superstructure of licensing is offensive and stands in the way of private property, voluntary association, and individual will. No one should have to get permission from "the state" to engage in peaceful market offerings and purchase. Ever.
So, here’s a message for Charlie Baker:
The more people understand the meaning of this word, the more they will understand that this is precisely what you have instituted in your New England redoubt, Charlie. Don’t be shocked or laugh it off as frivolous rhetoric when people tell you this fact.
Because it is the truth, Charlie, it has no place in the United States, and it has no place in the mind of anyone who wants to treat others ethically.