Lunatic fringe: ReOpenNC brings out the worst in our society

Jordan Green of Triad City Beat was on location:

“If you saw your father or your son breathing their last breath — we’re the ones there holding their hands,” Cynthia J. said. “If you had a family member who was sick with COVID-19, you’d think more about how your actions affected the whole.” Across the street, Stephen Wagner called out sarcastically: “Appreciate you nurses coming out to support us,” throwing in a caustic aside about financial challenges hospitals have faced by as they’ve canceled elective surgeries to free up beds and protective gear for COVID-19 patients.

“Too many people died for our freedoms for us to give them up for germs and lack of toilet paper,” he said. He had another pithy declaration: “It’s normal for humans to get sick. Of the sick ones, the weak ones die. That’s just life.”

Not surprised this idiot doesn't know the difference between a germ and a virus, just as I'm not surprised he fails to grasp the irony of his backhand reference to evolution. But he was (by far) not the only idiot in attendance, Dan Bishop was there too:

The rally attracted a host of far-right politicians, including US Rep. Dan Bishop, a Republican whose district includes a portion of suburban Charlotte, and Mark Robinson, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor.

“I knew that I had to come here to lend my voice in support of Reopen NC to remind the governor that our rights don’t exist because of his benevolence,” said Bishop, who sponsored the anti-transgender HB 2 law as a state legislator in 2016, and invested in Gab, a social-media platform that has been a haven for white supremacists, in 2017. “The First Amendment is not under a stay-home order, and it secures to these people who are protesting today, and in fact to all of us — it secures to us, the right to gather and petition government.”

The Carolina Journal immediately interviewed him (not going to link to that nonsense) after the demonstration, and Dan Bishop made the asinine observation that "everybody is essential." As if the Governor was somehow only choosing his friends to continue to earn a paycheck during this crisis. He also questions the very nature of government determining who is and is not essential during a pandemic, and that reveals his basic incompetency as an elected official. Not unlike Thom Tillis' idiotic observation that government shouldn't require food service people to wash their hands after going to the bathroom, it's a complete abdication of responsibility.

Back to the other idiots. It won't surprise you to find out they are not completely opposed to government regulations, especially when it comes to exercising the right to vote:

Reopen NC activists have also jumped into the fight over access to the polls, at the same time as they’re mobilizing supporters to oppose the state stay-at-home order. On Monday, the state Board of Election held a hearing to receive input on a rule change giving the executive director more flexibility to accommodate voters under pandemic conditions.

The rule change gives the state Board of Elections the latitude to avoid a situation such as what occurred during Wisconsin’s April 7 primary, when the Republican-controlled legislature forced voters to risk exposure to COVID-19 by voting in person.

Audrey Whitlock, one of three administrators of the private Reopen NC Facebook page, reported on Monday that members called in to the state Board of Elections meeting to voice disapproval of the proposed rule change, celebrating that “approx. 37 freedom fighters called in opposing the government’s attempt to take away in-person voting and #reopennc was mentioned 3 times,” compared to “only 13 [people who] called in to support mail-in ballots.”

Nobody is trying to "take away in-person voting." And I'm sure they know that. They just want to stop what their idol Donald Trump has called a "very bad thing."

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On the one hand I hate

giving these idiots any exposure at all, but on the other hand, it's important to show just how crazy and out-of-step with society they are.

Let the market go to work?

I wrote this about NASCAR, but it could apply to the whole "reopen" mess.

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I'm thinking I might be in favor of re-opening NASCAR, as soon as we can get one tiny little detail locked down.

The state of North Carolina must require NASCAR to guarantee that employees and their families are covered for any COVID-19 (C19) related costs or losses. If a NASCAR security guard gets hospitalized with C19, the owners must pay the full cost of any and all care, with a 300% premium added to cover the cost of hazardous duty and lost wages. If a mechanic on a pit crew dies because of complications arising from C19, his family will get the going rate for the life of a human being, probably something in the $2 million range.

NASCAR would have to find insurers willing to make such agreements for health and life coverage before it could operate.

A contractual agreement is needed to account for all the elements of reward and risk. Citizens of North Carolina should not be in the business of subsidizing NASCAR profits by absorbing the C19 risks associated with their operations. They want to "re-open?" Let them pay the real costs of their decision.

The part I haven't thought through involves employee coercion. NASCAR no doubt has sub-contractors and temporary employees who wouldn't fit easily into this framework.