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I see our govt using Covid-19 to take away our fundamental rights Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 06:31 AM

I am an American constitutional lawyer Ė and I see our government using Covid-19 to take away our fundamental rights
22 Mar, 2020 11:46
By Robert Barnes, American constitutional lawyer representing high-profile clients in civil and criminal trials, and known for his prescient political prognostications in American and international elections. Follow him on Twitter @Barnes_Law
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<More Here>

Do we really think "it can't happen here" in America? Could we quarantine the constitution? Are we doing it already?

Panics from pandemics unleash unchecked governmental power. The very premise of popular films like V for Vendetta reveal this: a group uses a virus to seize power and create a totalitarian society. Anyone could witness this from far-off lands, watching the news about China locking people up in their own homes and then removing them screaming from those homes whenever the state wanted. World War I and the Great Depression birthed virulent forms of governments with leaders like Hitler, Mao, Mussolini and Stalin.

Governments across America already used the pandemic, and the media-stoked panic around the pandemic particularly, to limit, restrict or remove First Amendment freedoms of speech and free association, with officials complaining about the potential restraints the freedom of religion imposed upon them. Others denied or declared the right to deny Second Amendment rights of gun purchase for personal safety (at a time governments are issuing no-arrest and no-detention orders for a wide range of crimes in their community while publicly freeing inmates from jails and prisons). They want to coordinate with tech companies to surveil and spy on your everyday movements and activities, in violation of the Fourth Amendment and potentially waive, unilaterally, your medical right to privacy in multiple contexts. Stay-at-home orders deprive you of your profession, occupation, business and property, without any due process of law at all beyond an executive fiat in violation of the Fifth Amendment right to due process. Governments request the authority to involuntarily imprison any American on mere fear of infection without any probable cause of crime or clear and present danger of harm by that person's volitional conduct, deny access to personal counsel in an unsupervised, un-surveilled manner in violation of the Sixth Amendment, and act as judge, jury and executioner in violation of the Seventh Amendment right to a trial by jury, as jury trials themselves get suspended around the country in the nation's quieted courts and fear-muted public.

The real pandemic threat is here. It's the panic that will quarantine our Constitution.

First Amendment Quarantined?

Already, governments in America suspended the First Amendment freedom of millions of citizens with shutdown, stay-at-home, curfew orders that prohibit obtaining a petition for a public protest, or even being physically present for a public protest. Indeed, even meetings in "more than ten" are prohibited by various governing jurisdictions within the United States. Surprising places like Missouri did so. Towns like Hartford did so. Maryland soon followed suit. The effect of the stay-at-home orders of New York, California, Nevada, Illinois and Pennsylvania effectively achieve the same outcome. Other governing officials recognized the dubious lawlessness of these orders, but remain outliers. Remember the Hong Kong protests? Gone. Remember the Yellow Vest protests? Soon to be gone. Seen any protests on American streets today? A pandemic is here. Protests gone. Constitution quarantined.

Second Amendment Quarantined?

But that is not all. Under the guise of "unnecessary businesses," "emergency powers," or simply by furloughing or reducing staff in the background checks department, governments show the willingness to limit Second Amendment rights as well as First Amendment protections. Mayors declare the right to ban gun sales, governments declare no background-check personnel to process a background check, delaying gun sales indefinitely, and other governments simply shut down all gun sales businesses entirely. Most worrisome, this happens while governments release inmates into the streets, and discussreleasing even more, and, at the same time, issue no-arrest and no-detention orders from Philadelphia to Fort Worth for a wide range of criminals. Want to defend yourself, give yourself a deep sense of personal protection that comes with gun ownership for many, as the Second Amendment safeguards? Well, no luck, according to too many of our governing overlords. A pandemic is here. Self-protection sacrificed. Constitution quarantined.

Fourth Amendment Quarantined?

(snip)

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#2 User is offline   ThePatriot 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 07:48 AM

Glad to know I'm not the only one who noticed...
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#3 User is offline   Rock N' Roll Right Winger 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 08:08 AM

View PostThePatriot, on 23 March 2020 - 07:48 AM, said:

Glad to know I'm not the only one who noticed...


:yeahthat:
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#4 User is offline   JesseR72 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 08:12 AM

I've been thinking much of the same. i'm all about trying to halt the spread of this virus, but we are definitely going overboard and I'm frightened by how easily the government is trampling our rights and most people are just rolling over and complying with it....... some even wanting to give the government more control to lock us down! It's really scary how far we've gone in just a week or two! I've also noticed that it is mostly Democrat-controlled states imposing these lockdowns. :/
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#5 User is offline   catpat 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 08:27 AM

View PostThePatriot, on 23 March 2020 - 07:48 AM, said:

Glad to know I'm not the only one who noticed...

Me, too, and I am ticked. I was explaining this to one of my sons and my sister-in-law a couple of days ago.
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#6 User is offline   ThePatriot 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 08:33 AM

View Postcatpat, on 23 March 2020 - 08:27 AM, said:

Me, too, and I am ticked. I was explaining this to one of my sons and my sister-in-law a couple of days ago.

I have to admit I'm shocked at how many here are good with all this.
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#7 User is offline   WillieChuck 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 09:01 AM

View PostJesseR72, on 23 March 2020 - 08:12 AM, said:

I've been thinking much of the same. i'm all about trying to halt the spread of this virus, but we are definitely going overboard and I'm frightened by how easily the government is trampling our rights and most people are just rolling over and complying with it....... some even wanting to give the government more control to lock us down! It's really scary how far we've gone in just a week or two! I've also noticed that it is mostly Democrat-controlled states imposing these lockdowns. :/

Concur completely. I am one of the guilty ones who is not adequately prepared for what could come, at least not to my satisfaction. Allot of hind-sight should have dones. Given the chance, I will remedy this. No one is laughing at the preppers now as they're prepared for just what is happening now. Last point, here in Illinois, you can be stopped and taken into custody for violating the shelter in place order if you are caught making "non-essential" travels or performing non-essential activities that the state has not approved. Scary.....
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#8 User is offline   CHANG 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 09:18 AM

My RN friends, a little story I think might be relevant before I get to my point...

Thirty years ago my grandfather passed away. A true gentleman who worked hard his whole life. That Christmas my mom was not in a celebratory mood and floated the idea of not putting up the tree. I told her, I know this Christmas is going to be incredibly hard without her father, but we should put the tree up. If we donít do it now, when emotions are still raw, itíll just get easier to not do it again. She agreed. The tree went up.

The slime that oozes within our government has drawn a line in the sand. They now know what the American people will tolerate in the interest of safety and public health. Once this passes, itíll be much easier for them to implement similar, and probably more aggressive measures, the next time an invisible enemy attacks. This shutdown is R&D. Somewhere people who were elected, and many who were not, are rubbing their hands together salivating as they fantasize about the control theyíll be able to exert on a paranoid public in the next big (manufactured) crisis.
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#9 User is offline   kestrel 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 09:23 AM

View PostThePatriot, on 23 March 2020 - 08:33 AM, said:

I have to admit I'm shocked at how many here are good with all this.

I'm not..slippery slope for sure.
Kestrel...

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#10 User is offline   Taggart Transcontinental 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 09:27 AM

There should be tons of lawsuits coming out of the back of this thing. A lot of politician's should be taken down for their willingness to violate our rights.
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#11 User is offline   Taggart Transcontinental 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 09:30 AM

View PostJesseR72, on 23 March 2020 - 08:12 AM, said:

I've been thinking much of the same. i'm all about trying to halt the spread of this virus, but we are definitely going overboard and I'm frightened by how easily the government is trampling our rights and most people are just rolling over and complying with it....... some even wanting to give the government more control to lock us down! It's really scary how far we've gone in just a week or two! I've also noticed that it is mostly Democrat-controlled states imposing these lockdowns. :/


The scary part is how willing people are to be compliant about it.
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#12 User is offline   ThePatriot 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 09:32 AM

View PostCHANG, on 23 March 2020 - 09:18 AM, said:

My RN friends, a little story I think might be relevant before I get to my point...

Thirty years ago my grandfather passed away. A true gentleman who worked hard his whole life. That Christmas my mom was not in a celebratory mood and floated the idea of not putting up the tree. I told her, I know this Christmas is going to be incredibly hard without her father, but we should put the tree up. If we donít do it now, when emotions are still raw, itíll just get easier to not do it again. She agreed. The tree went up.

The slime that oozes within our government has drawn a line in the sand. They now know what the American people will tolerate in the interest of safety and public health. Once this passes, itíll be much easier for them to implement similar, and probably more aggressive measures, the next time an invisible enemy attacks. This shutdown is R&D. Somewhere people who were elected, and many who were not, are rubbing their hands together salivating as they fantasize about the control theyíll be able to exert on a paranoid public in the next big (manufactured) crisis.

Exactly right
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#13 User is offline   catpat 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 09:33 AM

View PostThePatriot, on 23 March 2020 - 08:33 AM, said:

I have to admit I'm shocked at how many here are good with all this.

I am not. When I first discovered RightNation, it was the amount of knowledgeable and measured people here that impressed me. Many do not post anymore, but many of my most favorite do. I come here to read what they have to say. They help me stay informed and calm and reinforce what I thought what I thought is not off-base.

I will be sharing this article with my whole family.
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#14 User is offline   ThePatriot 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 09:33 AM

View PostTaggart Transcontinental, on 23 March 2020 - 09:27 AM, said:

There should be tons of lawsuits coming out of the back of this thing. A lot of politician's should be taken down for their willingness to violate our rights.


I certainly hope so, but I'm not holding my breath.
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#15 User is offline   zurg 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 10:28 AM

Iím not for government intrusion, BUT Iím also not in the camp that says individual rights overrule everything even at the cost of a large number of lives lost. Thereís a line.

Instead of making blanket statements that say ďrights are being trampledĒ, you have the SERIOUS responsibility to put it in context and explain where your lines are drawn.

If COVID-19 is like a regular flu, then this is a serious violation of rights. If itís 10 times more lethal and 10 times more infectious? Still the same conclusion? Is there ANY level where there is a ďcommon goodĒ that overrules any individual rights?

You have the responsibility to answer those questions. Thatís what this debate is about. Iím trying to figure it out, and hyperbolic statements arenít helping.
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#16 User is offline   Tikk 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 10:40 AM

These are State and local governments putting restrictions in place, not the Federal Government. New York State's response is not the same as Wyoming.


Keep in mind. The lower range of mortality for this disease is 0.4%.

That means at minimum, if unchecked, a death toll of more than 1.4 million people in the United States.

The actual range has been 2-3% based upon South Korea and China. That's over 6-9 million people dead in the USA.

For perspective influenza kills between 11,000 to 61,000 per year.
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#17 User is offline   Rock N' Roll Right Winger 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 10:44 AM

View Postzurg, on 23 March 2020 - 10:28 AM, said:

Iím not for government intrusion, BUT Iím also not in the camp that says individual rights overrule everything even at the cost of a large number of lives lost. Thereís a line.

Instead of making blanket statements that say ďrights are being trampledĒ, you have the SERIOUS responsibility to put it in context and explain where your lines are drawn.

If COVID-19 is like a regular flu, then this is a serious violation of rights. If itís 10 times more lethal and 10 times more infectious? Still the same conclusion? Is there ANY level where there is a ďcommon goodĒ that overrules any individual rights?

You have the responsibility to answer those questions. Thatís what this debate is about. Iím trying to figure it out, and hyperbolic statements arenít helping.


There are a lot of "ifs" that are being used as an excuse to suspend people's rights. I don't see any actual real numbers that justify what many states and cities are doing. My state is not being quite as ridiculous as many others are about it though. The burden of proof should fall upon the government and a lot of their numbers appear to be dubious as compared to what I am seeing here and being told by many people that I know who work for several hospitals in my area.

I just don't trust anything being said by the news people or the government anymore. They lie. It doesn't add up with all of the hype.

This post has been edited by Rock N' Roll Right Winger: 23 March 2020 - 10:45 AM

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#18 User is offline   ThePatriot 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 10:47 AM

View Postzurg, on 23 March 2020 - 10:28 AM, said:

Iím not for government intrusion, BUT Iím also not in the camp that says individual rights overrule everything even at the cost of a large number of lives lost. Thereís a line.

Instead of making blanket statements that say ďrights are being trampledĒ, you have the SERIOUS responsibility to put it in context and explain where your lines are drawn.

If COVID-19 is like a regular flu, then this is a serious violation of rights. If itís 10 times more lethal and 10 times more infectious? Still the same conclusion? Is there ANY level where there is a ďcommon goodĒ that overrules any individual rights?

You have the responsibility to answer those questions. Thatís what this debate is about. Iím trying to figure it out, and hyperbolic statements arenít helping.

Unlike many, I don't believe for a moment that we need the heavy hand of govt telling us what to do.

I find people in govt to be no more intelligent, knowledgeable or trustworthy than anyone else - in fact, I find them less so.

So why on earth would I put my trust in them?

No thanks.

As far as I'm concerned, the govt has no right to suspend constitutional rights in the current environment.
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#19 User is offline   zurg 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 11:26 AM

View PostThePatriot, on 23 March 2020 - 10:47 AM, said:

Unlike many, I don't believe for a moment that we need the heavy hand of govt telling us what to do.

I find people in govt to be no more intelligent, knowledgeable or trustworthy than anyone else - in fact, I find them less so.

So why on earth would I put my trust in them?

No thanks.

As far as I'm concerned, the govt has no right to suspend constitutional rights in the current environment.

I agree with that in principle but how does the private leadership work in practice? How would more serious outbreaks be managed?

Because I donít see private sector structures in place to do that, it seems to me that times like this are the only times when government intrusion is okay. I acknowledge the danger though: going too far while the crap is hitting the fan, AND not rolling everything back quickly after the crap has passed.

Iím asking questions because I donít have solutions.
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#20 User is offline   USMCforever60 

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 11:58 AM

I would rather err on side of caution than relive what both my grandparents survived in 1917-1918 (Spanish Flu) and parents in 1950's (polio).
Unfortunately, we have multiple generations that have not lived thru anything to compare to that pandemic and epidemic.
Surrendering a right or rights for the sake of public safety for a short time is sometime necessary for the survival of the US.
Sidebar on Spanish Flu, asked my grandfather about what it was like during the flu, he stated at first, they tried to be compassionate and help each other but when it got bad (ie death took every age group and victims had a reddish purple cast to their skin cause they could not breath just before death) it became every person for themselves. He had 3 brothers and 4 sisters, when it was over, only he and is older brother survived.
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