The real lesson from Juno

There are numerous articles and countless comments out there on the web in the aftermath of the blizzard that failed to live up to its billings in New York.  True, Juno did produce snowfall more in accordance with predictions in New England, but in the Big Apple, it was the big storm that wasn't.  And while the topic of the perceived overreaction of both state and city governments in New York has drawn much criticism, much of it is simply Monday-morning quarterbacking that we wouldn't be reading had the storm performed as predicted.

In the articles and comments I've read about the media hysteria, as well as about the gubernatorial and mayoral overreaction, there has been solid complaint about the nanny-state governance that presumes to know when to tell its citizens to come in out of the cold.  Both Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio essentially suspended the civil rights of millions of New Yorkers to an unprecedented extent, based on the prediction of a weather event that, even had it been accurate, still would not have been unprecedented in the history of that region.  In fact, in Massachusetts, where Juno did deliver its expected snow load, things are returning to normal, and no direct storm deaths have been reported to my knowledge.  No surprise there; Yankees can handle blizzards.

Both politicians, now under fire for their overreactions and their unprecedented expansions of civil authority for an over-hyped weather event, are raising the shield of "Better safe than sorry."  They defiantly feel justified ordering ordinary citizens out of their workplaces, off the streets, and into confinement in their homes under penalty of arrest and prosecution, all under the guise of public safety.  It is surely too bad that apparently no citizen was arrested and charged under this questionable application of authority, for it would certainly make an interesting test case to determine to what extent a governor, or especially a mayor, may deprive a citizen of his civil rights in order to protect that citizen's well-being.  With the way elected officials and civil authorities are expanding their so-far uncontested powers in dealing with natural and man-made (Boston Marathon lockdown) disasters, a challenge is bound to arise, which will likely make its way through the appellate process to the ultimate court in Washington, D.C.

There probably aren't too many among us ordinary folks who would begrudge our civil officials the right to shut down certain roadways and close vulnerable neighborhoods in anticipation of unusual weather events and even to issue strongly worded warnings to stay in our homes.  Most of us probably wouldn't object to the closings of affected neighborhoods or even our governors issuing shoot-on-sight orders to National Guard troops to suppress looting following a disaster.  The law-abiding citizenry understands that a true need exists for our civic leaders to have that kind of emergency authority.

But closing all the streets and all the means of transport in an entire city of millions of inhabitants and ordering all the citizens off the streets under penalty of arrest?  I lived through a few hurricanes in Northwest Florida, and my experience is that sheriff's deputies will bang on your door and warn you to evacuate, but they don't arrest you if you don't.  Of course, that's the conservative Old South, where you have the right to be a stubborn fool, and even to die like one.  It is your life, after all.  By the way, this fool, young and risk-oriented back then, sat out that first one but evacuated during all the rest after that intense initial learning experience.  But the choice was mine, and my governor, a conservative Republican, nor even his conservative Democrat successor, didn't usurp my basic civil rights to save me from my own foolishness.

And therein is the striking difference; both Cuomo and de Blasio are northeastern liberals and adherents to a belief system that there is no such thing as government too big, with too much control over every aspect of the lives of the citizenry.  We have just witnessed a demonstration of what they believe are the limits of their civil authority, which are pretty much summed up as none, zip, nada.

Finally, we come to the most ominous lesson to be learned from Juno.  These ultra-liberal Democrats ordered the citizenry off the streets and into their homes under penalty of arrest and prosecution for a coming weather event – not a civil insurrection or lethal epidemic or pending attack.  And they did this to a constitutionally armed public, one armed in spite of the fervent desire and best efforts of these same two politicians and their Democrat party to disarm it.  Please do not think that I am proposing that there should have been any sort of resistance to their overreach of authority.  What I am trying to make you ponder is what, if any, limitations such big-government nanny-state politicians might see on their emergency powers if their party should ever be successful in disarming the public.  And the worrisome truth is that those two bedrock principles of socialist governance, officious control of your life and government control of all guns, reside side by side in that fevered swamp that is the liberal Democrat brain.  

To me, that is the real lesson we should be taking from Juno.

There are numerous articles and countless comments out there on the web in the aftermath of the blizzard that failed to live up to its billings in New York.  True, Juno did produce snowfall more in accordance with predictions in New England, but in the Big Apple, it was the big storm that wasn't.  And while the topic of the perceived overreaction of both state and city governments in New York has drawn much criticism, much of it is simply Monday-morning quarterbacking that we wouldn't be reading had the storm performed as predicted.

In the articles and comments I've read about the media hysteria, as well as about the gubernatorial and mayoral overreaction, there has been solid complaint about the nanny-state governance that presumes to know when to tell its citizens to come in out of the cold.  Both Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio essentially suspended the civil rights of millions of New Yorkers to an unprecedented extent, based on the prediction of a weather event that, even had it been accurate, still would not have been unprecedented in the history of that region.  In fact, in Massachusetts, where Juno did deliver its expected snow load, things are returning to normal, and no direct storm deaths have been reported to my knowledge.  No surprise there; Yankees can handle blizzards.

Both politicians, now under fire for their overreactions and their unprecedented expansions of civil authority for an over-hyped weather event, are raising the shield of "Better safe than sorry."  They defiantly feel justified ordering ordinary citizens out of their workplaces, off the streets, and into confinement in their homes under penalty of arrest and prosecution, all under the guise of public safety.  It is surely too bad that apparently no citizen was arrested and charged under this questionable application of authority, for it would certainly make an interesting test case to determine to what extent a governor, or especially a mayor, may deprive a citizen of his civil rights in order to protect that citizen's well-being.  With the way elected officials and civil authorities are expanding their so-far uncontested powers in dealing with natural and man-made (Boston Marathon lockdown) disasters, a challenge is bound to arise, which will likely make its way through the appellate process to the ultimate court in Washington, D.C.

There probably aren't too many among us ordinary folks who would begrudge our civil officials the right to shut down certain roadways and close vulnerable neighborhoods in anticipation of unusual weather events and even to issue strongly worded warnings to stay in our homes.  Most of us probably wouldn't object to the closings of affected neighborhoods or even our governors issuing shoot-on-sight orders to National Guard troops to suppress looting following a disaster.  The law-abiding citizenry understands that a true need exists for our civic leaders to have that kind of emergency authority.

But closing all the streets and all the means of transport in an entire city of millions of inhabitants and ordering all the citizens off the streets under penalty of arrest?  I lived through a few hurricanes in Northwest Florida, and my experience is that sheriff's deputies will bang on your door and warn you to evacuate, but they don't arrest you if you don't.  Of course, that's the conservative Old South, where you have the right to be a stubborn fool, and even to die like one.  It is your life, after all.  By the way, this fool, young and risk-oriented back then, sat out that first one but evacuated during all the rest after that intense initial learning experience.  But the choice was mine, and my governor, a conservative Republican, nor even his conservative Democrat successor, didn't usurp my basic civil rights to save me from my own foolishness.

And therein is the striking difference; both Cuomo and de Blasio are northeastern liberals and adherents to a belief system that there is no such thing as government too big, with too much control over every aspect of the lives of the citizenry.  We have just witnessed a demonstration of what they believe are the limits of their civil authority, which are pretty much summed up as none, zip, nada.

Finally, we come to the most ominous lesson to be learned from Juno.  These ultra-liberal Democrats ordered the citizenry off the streets and into their homes under penalty of arrest and prosecution for a coming weather event – not a civil insurrection or lethal epidemic or pending attack.  And they did this to a constitutionally armed public, one armed in spite of the fervent desire and best efforts of these same two politicians and their Democrat party to disarm it.  Please do not think that I am proposing that there should have been any sort of resistance to their overreach of authority.  What I am trying to make you ponder is what, if any, limitations such big-government nanny-state politicians might see on their emergency powers if their party should ever be successful in disarming the public.  And the worrisome truth is that those two bedrock principles of socialist governance, officious control of your life and government control of all guns, reside side by side in that fevered swamp that is the liberal Democrat brain.  

To me, that is the real lesson we should be taking from Juno.