Last week New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio (D/da) issued yet another edict setting up check points to force people arriving from certain suspect states to either turn back or quarantine in place for fourteen days. The laughable part of this is that he claims that it is being done to protect New York City’s lower infection rate. After having served as the epicenter of the China virus, after having caused the deaths of thousands of elderly citizens by forcing nursing homes to accept people already identified as infected and contagious, after having panicked and demanded excessive amounts of facilities, services and manpower at taxpayer expenses that were never used, the mayor has once again stepped over the line of rationality and issued a press release that gives him all the attention he graves with precious little intent to enforce. Yes, the D/da referenced above does, in fact, stand for Democrat/dumba**.
But, quite frankly, if it’s good enough for New York, it’s good enough for Oregon. I don’t mean that Oregon should set up check points at the state’s borders to keep out unwanted foreigners, I mean that Central and Southern Oregon should set up check points to keep unwanted Portlanders out. With the advent of good weather the tourist season has picked up in Central and Southern Oregon albeit at a rate significantly slower than pre-COVID-19 days. Much of that traffic comes from the Portland-Salem Axis (Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas and Marion Counties) where the well-to-do have second homes at Black Butte, Sunriver, and a host of golf/course resorts and the middle class has a plethora of rentals available.
It wouldn’t be that difficult to establish such checkpoints. The first one would be on eastbound I-84 at Hood River and could divert Portland traffic to White Salmon while allowing other traffic to continue east bound. The second one would be for eastbound traffic on Highway 26 just west of its intersection with Highway 216. The third on Highway 22 at Santiam Pass. The fourth on South bound I-5 just north of Albany. I recognize that the four check points do not prevent leakage into Central and Southern Oregon but they would cut off the major portion. Roving checkpoints for other smaller state and county roads would effectively deter much of those who would violate such an order.
Now the good point of all this is that it does not require the approval of Gov. Kate Brown and the nitwits who run the local governments that comprise the Portland/Salem Axis. Because of home rule, the local governments of the counties outside the Portland/Salem Axis can lawfully impose those travel restrictions. They cannot bar travel but they can require travelers from identified trouble spots to register and shelter in place for a set period of time – much like New York, Connecticut and others are doing. I would probably add to that indignity by requiring those traveling from the Portland/Salem Axis to identify themselves both personally and by vehicle so that unsuspecting locals know with whom and what they are dealing.
There is no question that Portland is the center of all of the problems and that the local officials have not only failed to contain the contagion but in fact have inflamed it by their own actions and words. The hospitals are filled with the victims and more are added each morning. The mayor refuses to do anything to halt the spread and, in fact, has encouraged mass gatherings. The Portland City Council is a joke and the Multnomah county officials have done less than zero. Absent some showing of leadership on the part of these local officials this contagion will certainly grow and will spread its filth and damage throughout the state.
Limiting travel from this deeply infected area is the most efficient and effective means of ensuring containment. It will not defeat the virus but it will limit those exposed. It cannot cure those already infected but it can keep those infected from infecting others.
We need to stop right here and make sure we are all on the same page. I suspect that some of you are thinking that this is a pretty drastic measure to slow the spread of the coronavirus and I would tend to agree but that is not what this is about. This is about a much more virulent contagion. This is about politicus naivetus virus, otherwise known as the “stupid virus.” It attacks the frontal lobe of the brain and renders rational and logical thought virtually impossible. It’s difficult to explain from a neurological standpoint but it is more easily identifiable by reference to someone like. . . say, Mayor Ted Wheeler (D-Portland).
Mr. Wheeler is a highly educated man in his late 50’s. He holds a degree in economics from Stanford, an MBA from Columbia, and masters from Harvard. Unlike most Democrat politicians he worked in the private sector in banking and investment. He has served in local and state political offices since 2006 and it is safe to assume that he has eyes on the governor’s office.
During Mr. Wheeler’s tenure in state and local offices, Portland has repeatedly suffered sustained bouts of rioting, arson and injury to persons and places. They have occurred before and during Mr. Wheeler’s tenure as mayor of Portland albeit not at the sustained level as witnessed this summer (day seventy-one as of August 10, 2020). And during these protests and riots Mr. Wheeler has given ground as crowds morph into mobs and burn and destroy buildings and vehicles, attack the police, injure citizens and supplant lawful authority with mob violence.
So then, how is it that a well educated, seemingly intelligent man can blame the troubles in his own streets, his failure to control mob violence and the destruction on one man – the president of the United States. Mr. Wheeler condemned the actions of law enforcement – a bureau under his direct control – and federal authorities. He claimed that it was a provocation engineered by President Donald Trump. And when Mr. Trump withdrew federal officers protecting the federal courthouse at Mr. Wheeler’s request, rioting, burning, looting and mayhem continued unabated. In response, instead of accepting responsibility, Mr. Wheeler now claims that the mobs are puppets for the Trump administration and that pictures of their actions will become campaign fodder for Mr. Trump’s re-election. Now Mr. Wheeler can freely condemn the rioters, call them criminals, threaten criminal arrest and prosecution (that’s never going to happen) because – in his mind – Mr. Trump is still responsible. The virus has taken Mr. Wheeler’s frontal lobe and he is no longer capable of logic or reasoning.
This is emblematic of the “stupid virus.” When someone rests the blame of everything that is wrong in America as being resident in one person – the President of the United States – that person is a moron. It doesn’t make any difference if the blamed president is Mr. Trump, Barack Obama, George Bush, or Bill Clinton. The virus has attacked and rendered others equally incapable of logic or reasoning. Among those are Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), most of the news readers on CNN, NBC and MSNBC and a host of others. But these are just the people who exhibit the tertiary stages of the virus. They are people who demonstrate the effects of the virus but they are not the people who are principally responsible for its spread.
That responsibility falls on those who having brought these politicians to power now flee the results of those decisions. They are tired of the crime, corruption, homelessness, drug infused indolence, and general danger of being in public – particularly after dark. (Think New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and even Portland.) And so they flee. They are generally wealthy and, because one of the first attributes of wealth is mobility, they can flee. But they flee without recognizing that they were responsible for bringing about these politicians. By active funding and support, by passive acceptance and echoing of their ideas, and by cowardice in the face of criticism by fellow travelers. And so, as they migrate to other places, they bring the virus with them in the form of the same attitudes, passiveness and cowardice. And they poison the next community.
The coronavirus is dangerous. It is visible, detectable, and hopefully curable in the near term. The stupid virus is slower, more invidious and even more deadly. We are rotting in our major cities and those that allowed that to happen are fleeing to the heartland and smaller communities. It can only be stopped by the current residents of the communities that they seek to invade.
And a roadblock and quarantine is a good place to begin. It would be better to simply turn them away and force them to live in that which they are responsible for creating.