In the Land Where Misery Can Never End, a.k.a. the USA, a few days ago, the infernal transportation mandate was struck down by a federal judge. U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle struck down the mandate as “arbitrary and capricious” — the legal standard that must be met in order for a halt (as opposed to some kind of on-the-fly amendment) for federally imposed action. The “arbitrary and capricious” action is an especially high bar for anyone suing the government to meet. Why? Because the federal government and the first line of the court system operate on the principle of Sovereign Immunity — “the king can do no wrong” — and you can only sue the federal government basically with its consent. No federal official, for example, can be held responsible for damages caused by their decisions, nor are they accountable to the public.
But there are grounds (the federal consent thing) where you can sue. I know, because I’ve been part of teams of individuals who have done it, and won. I’m not so bad at legal strategy, but it’s still an eye-opener. Essentially, especially at the first level of the federal court system — District Court — the judge listens to you, then the agency experts, and if it’s Round One, bangs the gavel and sends you packing. Because, as we all know, federal officials never lie when on the stand, and if they say “no harm, no foul” well, it is.
This is crazy-making at its finest, but having done this numerous times in the mid- to late-90s over environmental law, well, let’s just say it’s not my first rodeo. But most people are surprised. If you really want to overturn a federal rule-making, odds are you’re going to have to go up at least to the Federal Appeals Court level, which will then not allow any new evidence added to the record, but at least will look at the evidence of whatever you packed the case file with. So, as you’re busy losing at Round One at the District Court level, you really have to be looking upward to picking yourself up off the floor, wiping your bloody nose, pondering your empty pocketbook (it costs at least $10K, likely more just to lose in Round One, and then there is all the work to apply to the Court of Appeals) and getting back on the bull.
If there’s anything to recommend it, at least the federal system is only partially packed with incompetents. You think the federal system is bad until you end up in state court. But I digress.
At any rate, Judge Mizelle, whom everyone is pointing out is not ABA certified (she’s basically too young and not enough experience — 12 years), and a Trump appointee, listened to the evidence and decided that the CDC had run a shitty rule making process (they had) and had arbitrarily excluded certain groups from masking (2 year olds and people with disabilities) and threw the whole thing out. I read the decision, but obviously didn’t go through the case file. Still, considering the nonsense of the whole masking debacle, I’m not surprised. I don’t know what the CDC might base a winning case on, because all of this is so crazy. Or rather, driven by the structural memetics, which you can read about here. We’re in the Matrix with this one.
The liberal media made much hullaballoo over the fact that Mizelle was a Trump appointee (a Tribal v-Meme play), and new on the bench. But the case wasn’t really particularly complex. It was a procedural decision (just FYI — when you beat the feds, it’s almost always on procedure because when it comes to the facts, they get their experts up there to lie) but that’s not that surprising. What IS more surprising that Mizelle didn’t take on face value the CDC’s testimony, and cancelled the masking order. That’s gutsy for Level One (see explanation above) but it also must mean that the case the CDC put on was especially rancid. Federal judges serve for life, but they ALL hate to be overturned by a higher court. Something about status in court-land.
And it constrains them. Memory fails me for the specifics, but I did get to witness Judge Edward Lodge, a long-time Boise Cascade supporter, actually rule in favor of some of our US Forest Service lawsuits. That’s how big a shit sandwich these judges view getting overturned is.
As I write this, the DOJ will appeal, but not ask for an injunction, though also, as I write this, the CDC is asking them to in order to preserve their authority. This argument is actually bullshit. What the CDC wants is the authority to stick people back in masks; not just maintain their general authority. That’s how bad they suck, and that’s also how strong the memetics are.
Masking on airplanes is driving hard on the concept of Elite Risk Minimization. It IS true that mask wearing has been lifted pretty much across the nation, and all but the socially phobic and OCD sufferers have given up on wearing them. Most of the students in the classroom building I teach in don’t wear them. Of course, a good hunk of the professors I see when I peer in the window ARE, which is a damning indictment of the university as anything resembling an enlightened place. But it’s also true that for the most part, people were already “empathy bubbled” up. And folks were only associating who they wanted to associate with. The only place really left with the unwashed masses, quite literally yearning to breathe free, was public transportation. Well, and university classrooms. Professors really do view students as the unwashed masses. Go to any faculty meeting — but I digress (again). (Just FYI — faculty meetings are the source of endless jokes once you leave them. Inside them is another matter.)
So you’ve got a memetic Double Whammy going on here. If you’re stuck on an airplane, odds are high they’re all strangers to you. And if you’re really unaware that you’re in the Matrix, and have already closed your identity inside your in-group as those in your out-group are unclean, well, you’re really screwed on an airplane. You’re going to join the Mile High Club, but not in a fun way. You actually have to site in close proximity to people you don’t know. And those people might be eating pretzels. Or nursing their Bloody Mary. With their mask off. Just FYI, I don’t even dangle mine around my ear.
The other part of that Double Whammy is that you’ve got an organization — the CDC– run by a bunch of empathy-disordered narcissists with OCD who can’t even countenance losing control. There’s a phenomenon that’s really poorly understood in play here called ‘narcissistic rage’. When someone with a personality disorder (you’d be amazed how many quiet people have something called Avoidant Personality Disorder) is actually challenged, if they’re not in an external system where those constraints are pre-defined, you’ll see Silent Sally totally go apeshit on you. You might have thought the best thing to do with these kinds of bullies is to stand up to them. And you may HAVE TO.
But the way they deal with that is to double down on the rage-driven crazy. It’s something to watch. And I have. But those stories will have to wait. The only thing that’s worse about calling one of them out to their face is to have them sue you. Uh, once again — that story will have to wait. But suffice it to say that they are very good at manipulating the judicial system. Because, well, they’re good at using positive mental models in the context of human shields for their psychopathy. Think weaponized empathy. You come in with a nuanced, sophisticated, but well-crafted argument. They come in and declare you Satan. It’s even odds if the judge believes you or them.
And hey — it’s really a Triple Whammy. The last part of the memetic v-Meme craziness is that minorities, memetically, are literally caught in the middle. Most minority communities are far more v-Meme Authoritarian than white communities, for a variety of reasons. Most are poorer, save Asians, which also have a cultural bias toward masks, though this is overstated by the white folks with OCD looking to grasp onto any straw that links to racial sublimation and that white folks suck. The others (Hispanics, African Americans) are uniformly poorer, and that stronger family structure has severe drawbacks if you’re attempting to navigate a hazy information environment. You listen to your mother, or you’ll get a whooping. Couple that with yet another double whammy of previous betrayal by white authority (think the Tuskegee experiments) and false dichotomies (mask and vaccine equivalence) and when you have to choose between protection, one from getting something injected in your body, and the other just putting a piece of cloth on your face, you’ll go for the cloth. It’s something that you can control.
So those are the three v-memetic tripwires in the whole transportation masking nightmare.
- Close proximity by elites with the Unclean.
- Demand for more power-and-control from the social-phobic CDC and academic epidemiologists.
- Fear from minority communities stuck between a rock and a hard place, belief-wise, between vaccines and masks.
The general public, however, continues to hate masks, regardless of the nonsense bullshit the media produces. I just read a story about a poll that said that 56% of Americans still want masking on planes. At the same time, something like 22% of the people polled (1085 samples) never flew. It just got more crazy from there. I have some sympathy for the pollsters. Cell phones have completely wrecked their random sampling methodologies, and I can’t believe that they’re not selling apples on the street yet. But Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump, after all the experts and pollsters lined up to declare Hillary the winner by a landslide, should give any reasonable person pause.
But who we’re up against is not a group of “reasonable people.” At this point in the game, it’s plain to see that the remaining real maskers are trauma victims of the liberal media, or a stack of people with phobias and personality disorders. And there is the grounding validity touchstone of all the videos inside airplanes showing what people did when they could take off their masks.
Virtually all of them sure as hell took them off, over and over. The flight attendants and the passengers literally screamed with joy. Yes, there were a couple of shrinking holdouts — of course there would be. But the rest of us are tired of the bully game. You want to wear a face diaper while you’re on a plane? Please. But, Bitch, please, stop holding yourself up as some virtuous idiot. You’re not preventing disease. And you’ve just lost your control on making the rest of us suffer for your paranoia.
One final note — it’s not the Republicans that need to forfeit polling and get off Twitter. It’s the Democrats. Any D that wants to believe that poll — a legacy media tool at best — and ignore the fact that the public really hates all the nonsense NPIs is really asking for the end of their party. And Twitter, where I spend far too much time whiling away the hours coming up with somewhat witty shitposts, is the worst government policy, self-reinforcing empathy bubble on the planet. Listen, D strategists — no one in the real world even knows who Rochelle Walensky is.
As a lifelong Democrat, I want the party to get back to what it used to support — working class people and environmental protection. But have it your way, New Wave D strategists. It’s just gonna be Armageddon in November. And then we’re gonna really be left with the nihilists.
Three pieces of supporting blog posts:
- How masks really work in The Matrix
- The endgame of all of this. It ain’t pretty, but some of us are catching on.
- How narcissists manipulate the game.
BTW — Hat tip to @annbauerwriter for some of the thoughts in this piece. You are awesome!
2 thoughts on “Airplane Masking, Empathy and Elite Risk Minimization”
You could speak just as strongly against bad mandates without having to ring the absolutist’s ‘masks don’t work’ bell every time (which is as provable today as ‘there is no god’). I know you’ve attempted to add nuance to this in a previous post but that’s just treading water. The resulting optics are having simply swapped one problematic tribal v-meme for another. Otherwise, good post, especially the analysis of the ruling and the narcissistic rage.
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You’re a Republican , you just don’t know it yet.