During my years as an attorney, I had a series of cases venued in Camden, New Jersey. I could describe Camden at some length. Briefly, this never-affluent city had, by the late 1990s, been depopulating and crumbling for decades. Much of the city’s dominant building type: tiny, two-story row houses, were either abandoned or flattened into piles of bricks and left that way for years. While Camden had smaller dwellings than the largely six-story, burned out South Bronx had during the late 1970s-early 1980s, Camden remained apocalyptic for years after the Bronx was rebuilt. Until recently, Camden’s poverty, murder and crime rates rivaled those anywhere in the US.
By the early 2000s, Camden had gotten bad enough that governments were spending money there to improve Camden’s Rutgers University satellite campus, build a big hospital and add street-scanning security cameras. Additionally, the widow of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc funded a big, shiny recreation center there. Nonetheless, Camden’s downtown still had almost no businesses, other than a few independent convenience or dollar stores, a Rite Aid, and a few takeout food places, whose cashiers hid behind plexiglass even before it became 2020s fashionable.
The state transit authority had also built a light rail system connecting Camden to Trenton. The system included a station across from the state courthouse where I had cases that sometimes entailed morning courtroom time. I took the light rail to these appearances.
One sunny morning, I finished my presentation by noon, left the courthouse and walked a block to the rail station, which is at ground level. Camden being Camden, there was very light foot traffic, even at mid-day. The trains at that hour ran at half-hour intervals. On that downtown part of the route, the trains didn’t exceed 10 mph. From a transit standpoint, it was a very chill setting; not remotely hazardous.
As I waited for my train, no other train was visible for 100 yards on either horizon. A mid-sized, t-shirted, long pants-wearing Black man in his twenties walked from the other side of the tracks toward where I stood waiting. As he did, he took a very slight shortcut and veered in an arc a few feet out of the marked crosswalk.
A tall, hoary, stationary, why-is-he-not-retired, White cop standing 20 feet from both me and the crosswalk scofflaw grunted, “Hey,” pointed to the crosswalk lines and signaled with the back of his hand that the jaywalker should stay within the lines. Presumably, stepping a few feet outside the lines compromised public safety.
The transgressor stopped, looked at me, put his lips together, shook his head, made a “Can you believe that (stuff)?” face, pointed to the cop and rhetorically asked, loudly enough for me and the cop to hear, “Do you think he’s gonna be here tonight at 8 when…” I forget the jaywalker’s exact rhetorical-question-finishing words; he used some slang for “when things start to get rough.”
I shook my head and chuckled at the scofflaw’s exasperation. The truest comments are the funniest.
During the past three years, our public health bureaucrats and governors and mayors have resembled that daytime Camden policeman. They’ve been full of self-importance but devoid of actual importance. While the Covid enforcers were paid much better than the cop was, both sets of public employees pretended that they were protecting people by enforcing a set of ridiculous rules and mandates. While politicians and bureaucrats liked bossing people around, they’ve been plainly unhelpful. At least the creaky cop was merely annoying and didn’t wreck a society. He wasn’t taken seriously.
During Coronamania, instead of trying to terrorize everyone, why didn’t the “experts” continually point out that reasonably healthy people under 70 were at near zero risk? Throughout the Corona scare, there remained a wide array of safety and health threats about which, like that Camden cop, public health bureaucrats said nothing. Why not remind heavy, diabetic people that this was a good time to cut the sweets and shed some weight? Why not exhort everyone to get outside to get some Vitamin D and to be active? Why not promote inexpensive, immune-boosting nutrients and therapeutics, instead of pretending that the public’s survival depended on top-down “mitigation” measures like lockdowns, school closures, mask mandates, tests and hospitalizations? These interventions were not only ineffective but bad for public health, including mental health. They’ve often been fatal.
It’s unfortunate that many Americans believed, during Coronamania, that a government title or medical/academic credential conferred or connoted knowledge, capacity or motivation for constructive intervention. People and the media bowed down to dishonest, agenda-driven, power-hungry bureaucrats and a bunch of scientifically-illiterate, opportunistic governors and mayors. Instead of obedience, these bureaucrats and pols, like the Camden cop, deserved disdain and ridicule.
As H.L. Mencken said, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
After three years of foolish rules and abject failure, the Coronamania cruise directors won’t admit that they’ve been wrong about anything, when they’ve been wrong about everything. This misplaced arrogance continues. They continue to push injections that have not only failed to stop viral infection and spread—as they had assured—but are temporally linked to tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries. The pols, the experts and the media are covering this up. They’re bought by the Medical Industrial Complex.
Tellingly, instead of having “experts” appear on camera, the last few months of NYC/NJ Metro Area (where I live) TV vaxx ads now depict only cartoons. The medical bureaucrats who used to appear in these ads seem to have become ashamed of their prior advocacy for the shots and no longer want their faces connected to the vaxx hype. Besides, their MDs, job titles nor faces no longer suggest credibility. As the vaxx news worsens, will vaxx shills like Dave Chokshi, Torian Easterling and Mary Bassett go underground as do those in witness protection programs? I’ll remember their names and faces, as well as those of the many pro-lockdown/pro-vaxx politicians and celebrities. I hope others also will. Their Scamdemic conduct should cast a shadow over them for the rest of their lives and, after they die, over their legacies. A long-term shadow should be cast over governments, the media, Pharma and medicine, generally.
Like the ticky-tacky crosswalk cop, people should have tuned out the Covid “experts” and politicians from the beginning and instead trusted their own observations and common sense. Instead of heavy-handed, top-down, theatrical top-down mitigation measures, society would have been far better off if people had been allowed to live normally. The experts’ advice and government mitigation measures were—and are— nagging, nugatory and negative.
For a few years I shared my driveway with the van of an older couple who were 'van-a-bonds', had lived in the van (really an old plumbers truck) for about 15 years. They had learned that no matter where they parked (always 'illegally' but all over Portland Oregon, in fields, odd locations) they could stay for 3 weeks, and always in the 4th week they would have moved on already, avoiding a complaint. I learned a lot from this couple. One story the woman, named Kate, told me was a time when her mother was looking for a new job. The only job available was for the power company, to be the person that went and disconnected the power if the bill was not paid. What Kate said stays with me; she said to her mother, you don't want to be THAT PERSON. She added, 'never feel so desperate that you are willing to be the cop, the enforcer, for someone else's agenda.' I am lucky to have been around that couple, and I think often of what Kate said.
Great analogy Mark! I do think at least 35 percent of us did walk outside the bounds of the crosswalk. And, in fact, may never EVER again walk within the crosswalk.