Marching to the beat of the mainstream media’s drum, Joe Biden and Democratic presidential running mate, Kamala Harris, have called on the nation’s governors to order everyone in the United States to wear a mask while outdoors for the next three months “at a minimum.” It’s bad enough that such an order would violate basic liberty, but there is no good evidence that the wearing of such masks does the first thing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“Infectious viral respiratory diseases primarily spread via very fine aerosol particles that are in suspension in the air. Any mask that allows you to breathe therefore allows for transmission of aerosolized viruses.”
A number of studies have shown that even in the one place where one might think surgical masks must surely be efficacious, in the place that gives them their name, in operating rooms, they really don’t do any good in the prevention of the spread of disease. We do know for sure that they can do harm. “Schools in China are now prohibiting students from wearing masks while exercising. Why? Because it was killing them. It was depriving them of oxygen and it was killing them. At least three children died during Physical Education classes — two of them while running on their school’s track while wearing a mask. And a 26-year-old man suffered a collapsed lung after running two and a half miles while wearing a mask.”
As Fr. James Altman of Lacrosse, Wisconsin has said from the pulpit, reflecting well what those studies have told us, “There is no way to prevent the spread of Covid-19 short of putting us all in hazmat suits, locking us in our houses, and shooting anyone who comes within range.”
Hardly any more useful in preventing the dreaded virus spread is the constant scrubbing down of surfaces and the washing of hands. That’s because it is through those fine aerosol particles in the air that the virus typically spreads, not from contaminated surfaces. Even such a dependably mainstream liberal publication as The Atlantic has called this new cleanliness obsession nothing but “hygiene theater.”
“There is a historical echo here,” their reporter, Derek Thompson, writes, “After 9/11, physical security became a national obsession, especially in airports, where the Transportation Security Administration patted down the crotches of innumerable grandmothers for possible explosives. My colleague Jim Fallows repeatedly referred to this wasteful bonanza as “security theater.”
Notice, though, his use of the passive voice. It just “became a national obsession” somehow. Notice, as well, that he speaks in the past tense, as though this were just a period of temporary insanity that we passed through. The fact of the matter is that there has hardly been the slightest relaxation of the oppressive airport security measures in spite of the absence of any real threat. Ron Paul explained why in a recent article entitled, “Coronavirus is the New ‘Terrorism’.”
Politicians and bureaucrats cannot eliminate a virus any more than they can eliminate terrorism. What they can do is use terrorism, a virus, and other real, exaggerated, or manufactured crises to expand their power at the expense of our liberty.
Politicians will never resist the temptation to use crises as excuses to gain more power. Therefore, it is up to those of us who know the truth to spread the message of liberty and grow the liberty movement, A strong liberty movement is the only thing that can force the politicians to stop stealing our liberty while promising phantom security from terrorists and viruses.
By putting “terrorism” in quotes in his title, Dr. Paul hints at more than is contained in the article. Virtually none of the terrorism is real, in particular, the granddaddy of all the terrorist attacks, the impossible ones that occurred on September 11, 2001. Rather than review the copious literature on the subject, it is sufficient to repeat here a poem I published in April of 2003:
That Government of the People… The feds left us unprotected On that fateful September day. If we were a truly free And democratic nation Somebody up high would pay, And, to be sure, there would be A proper investigation, But wouldn’t you know, it is we Who get detained and inspected.
The purpose of this airport harassment is not just to keep us in a state of constant fear, but to continue to stamp on our minds the false narrative of 9/11, the idea that these 19 lightly armed and poorly trained young men from the Middle East were able to take over four commercial airliners and wreak frightful harm with three of them.
Modern fear theater was not born on 9/11/2001, though. We can set that date as April 19, 1995, the day of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. That bombing produced what has become an apparently permanent change in the landscape of our nation’s capital. I used a 12-line illustrated poem entitled simply, “Washington, DC,” to document a significant part of that change shortly after it took place, that is the closing of Pennsylvania Avenue in the front of the White House to vehicular traffic and the surrounding of Lafayette Park across the street with metal bollards, as though to impede the progress of a terrorist truck bomber. The version that one sees on my web site went up in June of 1998, but I produced it much earlier, before I was even online. The only possible mass outlet for it at the time seemed to be the now-defunct Media Bypass magazine, so I mailed it to them along with the photographs with marks on the poem to show where each of the photographs should go. I thought it would make a rather nice photographic essay of sorts. It’s a good thing that I didn’t get my hopes too high, because I never even received a response.
We can see pretty easily what’s going on here with this prominent—and very inconvenient for city traffic—street closing. My last two lines say it all, “The symbols of historic bravery here have been overwhelmed by the symbols of fear.” More specifically, the notion has been permanently reinforced that a terrorist with a truck bomb produced the destruction and the carnage that occurred in Oklahoma City in 1995 and another one might even do it to the residence of the nation’s president. The idea is an absurdity on its face. The White House is set well back from Pennsylvania Avenue. It would take a bomb of almost inconceivable size parked on Pennsylvania Avenue to do much damage to it. I don’t want to give anyone any ideas, but I can tell you that anyone bent on doing severe dramatic damage to the country with a truck bomb—even a far smaller one than the one that did some of the damage in Oklahoma City—could do it a lot more easily and effectively than from Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House. The street blocking there is 100% for show.
Later, I would produce a series of poems for my web site as similar security measures began to blossom all over Capitol Hill. In my poem, “Protection Racket,” I dubbed it all “fear-mongering pageantry.” In “Washington Green Zone,” I concluded that all of it was for show because you don’t see any of it protecting a major Department of Homeland Security building in the city. That poem has one embedded photograph of bollards ostensibly protecting one of the Senate Office Buildings, but, for opposite reasons, they are clearly just as useless for the purpose as the blocking of Pennsylvania Avenue to traffic. They are much too close to the building to serve any protective purpose at all. Driving the point home once and for all, we produced a photo essay in 2013 entitled “Homeland Insecurity,” which shows that on every weekday around the lunch hour, the curb right in front of that DHS building has become a favorite parking place for a number of food trucks, most of which, I dare say, are owned by immigrants. Neither the federal proprietor of the building nor the droves of people who patronize the food trucks act as though they are in any danger at all. The important thing to recognize is that the location is just off the main tourist track, so there is no need for the fear theater.
It is also important to point out that, like the airport fear theater, the Washington, DC, fear theater is done to reinforce a completely false narrative. If you have any doubt about that, you really need to watch the recently published long series of interviews with the dissident grand jury witness in the Oklahoma City bombing case, Hoppy Heidelberg.
As Hugh Turley has explained, the grand jury has become corrupted through the years, with the power of the grand jurors having been largely usurped by government prosecutors. The grand jurors still have more power, though, than the typical judge will ever tell them that they do, and Heidelberg was one of the rare brave and conscientious grand jurors who studied up on the matter and took his responsibilities seriously. This is from Turley:
Private citizens can no longer bring criminal activity to the attention of a grand jury for investigation. However, members of a grand jury do have the power to issue subpoenas and investigate criminal activity that they know about.
Following the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, the grand jury brought indictments against Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols. Although witnesses saw several other men, “John Does,” with McVeigh, these witnesses were never called to testify before the grand jury. Prosecutors were not interested in the identity of the men seen with McVeigh. Grand jurors were likely unaware that they could follow these leads. Only one grand juror, a horse breeder named Hoppy Heidelberg, tried to pursue the identity of the other men seen with Timothy McVeigh. The prosecutor succeeded in having the judge dismiss Mr. Heidelberg from the grand jury.
As you will see in his interviews, Heidelberg raised troublesome questions about a great deal more than McVeigh’s never-identified accomplices. Much of his focus was upon the damage to the building that could not possibly have resulted from a truck bomb explosion in the street in front of the Murrah Building. We bring that point home graphically in our 2005 essay, “Lying about Bombing,” in which we contrast the damage to the Murrah Building to that caused by a truck bomb the week before our essay in Beirut and by the terrorist truck bomb that killed 19 U.S. servicemen at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996.
A good idea of how seriously Heidelberg took his responsibilities is to be found in this written list of questions that he directed to Judge David Russell. Later, Russell dismissed him from the grand jury, using the excuse that he had given an interview anonymously to a reporter from Media Bypass magazine, in violation of grand jury rules. My own later experience with that magazine reinforced my suspicion that the interview had been a form of entrapment, designed to get Heidelberg expelled from the grand jury so that the cover-up could continue more or less smoothly without the Heidelberg burr under the government and media saddle.
What you might learn from the resources I have provided here, as well as from my essay, “Upton Sinclair and Timothy McVeigh,” stands in very stark contrast to the officially approved and thoroughly false version of the bombing on Wikipedia. Similarly, one might contrast the web page of the dissident grand jury witness, Patrick Knowlton, in the matter of the death of Deputy White House Counsel Vincent W. Foster, Jr., and what Wikipedia has to say about it. It’s really quite an unsettling experience for anyone still inclined to place his trust in our government and our news media, or in Wikipedia, for that matter.
Best Fear Prop Ever
But for the terrorism fear theater to have any effect, one has to engage in air travel or visit a major tourist site in Washington, DC. They don’t begin to compare to the coronavirus fear theater. People either cajoled or coerced into wearing masks are almost everywhere. So effective is it in conveying the fear message, the big wonder is that our manipulators were so slow in recognizing the possibilities. Recall that initially the Center for Disease Control played it straight and simply passed on what medical science had determined, that is, that the masks don’t do any good in preventing the spread of a virus. Then, just as we were getting past the worst of it, the value of the masks for public control rather than for public health came to the realization of someone in a very high position. As a prop for fear theater, it is better than anything that anyone has yet to come up with. Since Pennsylvania Avenue remains blocked off and the airport pat-downs continue into the foreseeable future, I fear that these hideous lower face coverings will be with us for a very long time as we continually move the goalposts for what constitutes victory over the illness. They are much too convenient for what Fr. Altman calls, not the pandemic, but the “feardemic.”