A vernal pool on Figueroa Mountain. A male and female mallard were seen in the pool. March 27, 2020
I find it difficult to live in a society governed without reason.
My mind operates logically. I am irascible by nature. I am not submissive. I am free thinking and independent. I do not subscribe to dogma nor doxy. I’m off the reservation. I’m wild and free in spirit and mind. My vision is not blinkered. I am obnoxious and loud mouthed with my opinions and points of view and I do not hedge against this trait nor offer apologies. If confronted, I can be rather confrontational. I fire from the hip. My fuse is short. And, as a student of history, I am deeply suspicious of authority and organized power.
What I see transpiring in my hometown of Santa Barbara, the Gilded State within which I live, and these United States at large is a daily irritant that festers with each new headline.
On March 19, Governor Newsom declared a statewide lockdown order that compels by force citizens to remain home. Citizens are only legally allowed to leave home for “essential purposes” such as work, purchasing food or medicine or for healthcare purposes.
Newsom’s dictate is backed by the threat of a fine and jail time. This is a law with teeth, not merely a suggestive guideline.
People are now being arrested in other states for violating these statutory lockdown orders and for being outdoors.
The Chicago mayor stated this in no uncertain terms.
Lightfoot added that spending long periods of time outdoors, anywhere, is not allowed.
And neither is going into closed spaces, like playgrounds.
“You cannot go on long bike rides. Playgrounds are shut down. You must abide by the order. Outside, is for a brief respite, not for 5Ks.”
Chicago threatens fines, arrests for coronavirus crackdown violators
The ruling class tells us to stay home and socially distance and isolate ourselves to prevent our own infection and to prevent ourselves from infecting other people. To “bend the curve” and lessen the ballooning infection rate, they tells us.
Then the same officials threaten to incarcerate us and force us at gunpoint into closed and confined areas with other people, thereby violating their own distancing protocol at the same time prisons are releasing convicts to avoid such conditions for fear of an outbreak.
This is madness!
Coronavirus behind bars: Prisoners being freed to slow spread in ‘virus vectors’
The smooth weathered slopes of chaparral carpeted hills along Sunset Valley.
In Santa Barbara the ruling class has told us that the local recreational marijuana stores are “essential business.” And so they remain open catering to potheads. Because getting high in Santa Barbara is “essential.”
A MESSAGE REGARDING
At Coastal, we are vigilantly monitoring events related to the novel coronavirus outbreak COVID-19. At this time, Coastal will remain open for both medical and recreational customers for normal business hours. . .
These stores operate out of closed and confined spaces–buildings–where it is not possible to maintain the stated six foot “social distancing” protocol and where vectors of disease are set out for patrons to freely handle and set to their faces to smell.
I do not have a problem with adults being allowed to legally purchase weed from documented licensed vendors. I do not care if people want to smoke flowers or the derivatives there from.
But at the same time, the backcountry campgrounds like Davy Brown have been cordoned off and closed and are actively patrolled by goons from the abusive and overreaching moneygrubbing Parks Management Company, as I myself have recently witnessed.
This despite the fact that the campsites are well spaced and it is easy and possible with no extra effort to camp in each site and maintain a far greater distance than the six foot protocol.
Stoners are legally allowed to walk around inside a building and carry on transactions with clerks face to face, exchanging forms of payment and presenting identification and each touching what the other touched, and patrons breathing on and sniffing the same product containers at the display cases.
This is utterly senseless.
Yesterday, the family Elliott spent the afternoon on Figueroa Mountain in gross and flagrant violation of Governor Newsom’s stay at home lockdown dictate. And we were happy to do it.
To take our children to the mountains to play is now illegal and punishable with a $1000 fine and six months in jail, as per the Governor.
(EDIT 3-30-2020 8:08 AM. To clarify, I am taking a strict constructionist interpretation of the Governor’s order. Yes, indeed, the lockdown dictate permits limited outdoor recreation. But as per the Governor these activities are only allowed within your “local neighborhoods.” We have been instructed that “Californians can walk, run, hike and bike in their local neighborhoods as long as they continue to practice social distancing of 6 feet.” I do not interpret that to mean the entire county. https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/#top)
We’re all outlaws now. We will not submit to this madness!
Do not misunderstand. We take the novel coronavirus deadly seriously.
We are highly educated people. We are well read. We follow closely the minutiae of current events on the national and world stage. We have susceptible seniors and old folks in our family like most everybody else. We have family members on the front lines working in the hospitals right now. We do not take this threat lightly!
We removed our children from school before the government finally decided to close them down. We began to self isolate and stopped interacting with friends and family and the public at large before the government decided to issue the various dictates and protocols regarding “social distancing” and home lockdown. In our essential business, which remains open, we formulated specific protocols to limit interaction between employees and clients before any of our professional peers in the county, so far as we know.
In point of fact, we have as a family and as a business been ahead of the curve with respect to self isolation and distancing and proper protective measures.
Santa Barbara County is mostly rural. This is a demonstrable fact. Large swaths of the county are unpopulated if not unpeopled and much of the land here is designated National Forest and Wilderness. Within just a couple of minutes from my doorstep I enter the forest.
Santa Barbara County is not a densely populated metropolis. Yet, the same rigid one-size fits all lockdown dictate applies as much to citizens here as it does to those living in the middle of Los Angeles city proper.
This is senseless.
The Dude will not abide!
To paraphrase Kipling: If you can keep your head when all about you men are losing theirs and blaming it on you. If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too. Well then, you’ll be a man my son!
In Desert Solitaire, Edward Abbey wrote of the wilderness as a refuge from abusive government:
“The wilderness should be preserved for political reasons. We may need it someday not only as a refuge from excessive industrialism but also as a refuge from authoritarian government, from political oppression. Grand Canyon, Big Bend, Yellowstone and the High Sierra may be required to function as bases of guerrilla warfare against tyranny. What reason have we Americans to think our own society will necessarily escape the world-wide drift toward the totalitarian organization of men and institutions?”
UPDATE April 5, 2020: Please see my remarks in the comments for further information and opinion.