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Newsom Chooses Our Rights

| Opinion | June 4, 2020

by Nicholas Dwork

This week, my pregnant wife and I visited Carmel beach to enjoy the sand and sunshine.  During our time there, we stayed far more than six feet away from anyone else.  Shortly after our arrival, a police officer approached us and commanded us to move.  We were permitted on the beach but only as long as we were moving; we were not allowed to sit.  This, of course, is exactly what Newsom decreed.

Newsom has banned church gatherings in California.  In Joaquin Valley, police posted a notice on a church stating that its use was nonessential.  Amazingly, in a vote of 5-4, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld this ban as constitutional.  How did they get around the freedoms of religion and assembly in the Bill of Rights?  In the majority opinion, Chief Justice Roberts wrote that, as long as the same restrictions are imposed on similar non-secular institutions, the decree is constitutional.  Note that there is no language of similarity in the first amendment; this artificial addition is a rationale made by the Supreme Court to justify totalitarian action.  If we take this argument to its extreme, as long as the government imposes tyranny equally, the actions are constitutional.  That simple thought experiment shows the absurdity of this horrendous opinion.  As the U.S. Department of Justice has written in support of lifting church restrictions, “There is no pandemic clause in the constitution that allows our rights to disappear.”

Nevertheless, here we are.  The Supreme Court has ruled, and gatherings of all kinds, including churches previously protected by the Bill of Rights, will be prohibited.  At least, that’s where we were until the constituents most likely to vote for Newsom began protesting.

On 5/25/2020, police officers killed George Floyd by pressing a knee on his neck for approximately nine minutes, three minutes of which was done after Floyd became unresponsive.  The response to this atrocious act has been enormous, spanning the entire country.

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On 5/29/2020, Newsom spoke about what this killing meant to him.  He spoke of “reflection” and “principles” and “empathy.”  He DID NOT discuss the health consequences of protesting, the lack of social distancing by the protestors, the dangers of shutting down a freeway (as protestors did), nor the innocent victim store owners who have had their livelihoods taken away from the mob.

I am very much in favor of a person’s right to protest peacefully, also enshrined in the Bill of Rights.  I detest the arbitrariness of how our rights, in California, are subject to the whims of our unprincipled governor.  In California, one can protest, riot, and loot and be forgiven as part of a hurting sensitive public.  However, if you go to work, worship in church, or sit on a beach, you are classified as a criminal and fined.  Such is the stupidity of the state that we live in, currently ruled by decree of the power-hungry Governor Newsom.

Nicholas Dwork was born and raised in Canyon Country. He received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with work specialized in medical technologies from Stanford University in 2019.

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3 Responses to “Newsom Chooses Our Rights”

  1. Steven Goldstein on June 4, 2020 @ 8:00 pm

    Newsom is in an untenable position here and you know it.

    He is responsible for the Public Health of Californians. He cannot ignore that. So in order to have succeeded in minimizing the infection in California (successfully mind you in comparison to New York) significantly he was forced to take this action. It was NOT his choice in the matter and you know it. Or at least you should.

    My father worked for the Harvard School of Public Health labs, and as a teenager, i worked there as well. We worked on many research projects, including infectious disease. Where there is no medical intervention of treatment or vaccine, the only way to control it is social control like quarantines and isolation.

    So your hypothesis that Newsom is simply trying to dictate rights for arbitrary or capricious purposes is simply not proven. The anti-thesis that the Medical Best Practices he was advised to do is the more provable theory. Al you are doing in this work is venting your frustration because we are ALL stuck with a SEVERE loss and grief due to COVID.

    It will work during your ANGER stage of grief and loss, but it really is not the stage WE ALL must achieve in the end that stage is ACCEPTANCE of REALITY. Don’t get me wrong I still will enter in that phase too. the 5 stages of grief and loss are not linear, we will traverse them throughout the impact of the event. When we finally have a treatment or vaccine and we can return to normal, we will eventually rest at Acceptance.

    You have a right to those feelings. In fact i really appreciate your feelings and want to let you know even though I disagree with you, i am with you as a fellow person and citizen.

    But lashing out and trying to stir u more pain at this time is not appropriate. I think with your posts on your blog, that is all your trying to do.

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