Police Shoot Sleeping Teen on Couch (While Serving Warrant on Wrong Person)

Police Shoot Sleeping Teen on Couch (While Serving Warrant on Wrong Person)

If you were to read the local news sites in Las Vegas earlier this month, you would think that police—while saving the public from a dangerous murderer—were ambushed and two of them were shot, barely escaping with their lives. The “shooter’s” face, plastered on news sites, telling the public that he fired 18 shots at officers before they finally and heroically killed him. But Isaiah Tyree Williams wasn’t so much a shooter as he was a victim of police violence. Their badges do nothing to change this reality.

After police executed Williams in his own home, a report from a local CBS affiliate read as follows, “Police said the shooter, 19-year-old Isaiah Tyree Williams, opened fire when officers broke a window and entered the apartment near Nellis Boulevard and Vegas Valley Drive at about 5 a.m. on Monday.”

But the question is this: does defending your home from armed intruders make you a “shooter”?

Had Williams been accused or suspected of a crime, perhaps police may have been more justified in their actions. However, he was not. Williams was not the person police were looking for and thanks to their brutal incompetence, two cops are recovering from bullet wounds and a black teenager is dead.

On that early morning raid, police were looking for 23-year-old Wattsel Rembert who was not staying at that apartment. Rembert is accused of participating in a shooting at a casino back in November. Instead of simply arresting Rembert in a normal manner, police chose to dangerously show up in the middle of the night, bash in doors, throw flash bang grenades, and put everyone involved in danger.

During the raid, Williams, who was asleep on the sofa when armed intruders broke into his home, began firing after a flashbang grenade smashed through his window. Police answered back with their AR-15s and pistols, firing 23 shots into the teen’s body—executing him on the sofa. He was still under the blanket when he died.

Two of the armed intruders, Officer Kerry Kubla, 50, and Officer Brice Clements, 36 were injured in the shooting.

After the shooting, police held a press conference, during which they demonized Williams, rattling off all the charges Williams would have faced for defending himself in his own home against armed intruders who threw a grenade through his window as he slept.

“Had he survived,” police explained, “Williams would have been arrested on counts of attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon on a first responder; battery with a deadly weapon on a first responder, assault on a first responder and three counts of discharging a firearm into an occupied structure.”

For defending himself against armed intruders, clearly intent on doing him harm in his own home as he slept.

As you watch the video below, it is clear that police did yell, “police department, search warrant.” But they did so as they bashed in windows, set off a flash bang grenade and used a battering ram on the door.

The idea that a person—who had committed no crime—is supposed to wake up calmly as windows are breaking and grenades are exploding in their home is utterly asinine and speaks to the failed and ineffective nature of no-knock raids. Sadly, judging by the comments from Assistant Sheriff Andrew Walsh, police still think that early morning no-knock raids keep them safe.

“You have to take into consideration the danger to officers, the danger to the community if you’re ever in that area and in that neighborhood,” Walsh said. “In the early morning hours, it’s much safer for the officers and it’s much safer for the community for us to do it at that time because there are less people out.”

Had Williams not been executed and two officers shot during this raid, Walsh’s comments would be laughable. Unfortunately, however, they highlight the sheer disconnect between the reality of policing and playing warrior cop.

Exposing the entirely unnecessary nature of the raid is the fact that the actual person police were looking for, Wattsel Rembert, turned himself into police without incident.

This article was originally featured at The Free Thought Project and is republished with permission.

News Roundup 1/27/2022

News Roundup 1/27/2022

Covid

  • The Navy has now removed 45 sailors for failing to take the covid vaccine. [Link]
  • The US donates 900,000 Pfizer covid vaccine doses to Laos. [Link]
  • The US will send two million Pfizer covid vaccine doses to Kenya and Morocco. [Link]

US News

  • In the first half of 2021, Twitter received fewer requests from governments for information on users but complied with the requests more often. When US law enforcement made informal requests for information, Twitter gave the info 68% of the time. [Link]
  • The Pentagon wants to accelerate its development of hypersonic missiles. [Link]
  • The Army will begin testing anti-aircraft lasers on Strykers. [Link]

Latin America

  • One body was found and 38 people are missing after a migrant boat capsized off the Florida coast. [Link]
  • The Coast Guard intercepted nearly 200 Haitians attempting to sail to the US. [Link]
  • Cuba asks the US to restaff its embassy after a CIA report on ‘Havana Syndrome’ found no diplomats were attacked by a foreign power. [Link]

Russia

  • Some large US companies lobby the Biden administration and Congress for waivers to continue business in Russia if more sanctions are imposed. [Link]
  • Germany offers Ukraine 5,000 military helmets. Some Ukrainian politicians felt insulted by the German aid. [Link]
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken says Americans should strongly consider leaving Ukraine. [Link]
  • Ukraine says the number of Russian troops near its border is insufficient for a large-scale invasion. [Link]
  • Ukraine and Russia agreed to uphold the ceasefire in the Donbas during ‘Normandy format’ talks that included Germany and France. [Link] 
  • State Department Spokesperson Ned Price says Nord Stream 2 will not move forward if Russia invades Ukraine. [Link]
  • The US delivers its written response to Russia’s security proposal. [Link]

China

  • China says it is dissatisfied that the US is allowing embassy staff to leave China because of strict lockdowns. [Link]

Korea

  • North Korea test-fires two short-range ballistic missiles. [Link]

Middle East

  • Jeff Flake became the US Ambassador to Turkey. [Link]
  • US special forces continue to have an active role in the fight against IS. [Link]
  • The SDF claims to have regained control of a prison that holds alleged IS members and 700 children after IS captured the facility six days ago. At least 70 were killed in the fighting. [Link]
  • The Houthi threaten to attack The Dubai Expo. [Link]

Africa

  • France leads a group of 15 countries demanding Mali allow Danish troops to remain in Mali. [Link]
  • At least 20 Congolese soldiers were killed in an attack by M-23. [Link]
Reinhard Heydrich: Nazi Hero, Moral Monster

Reinhard Heydrich: Nazi Hero, Moral Monster

Martyr of the State

Known as “The Butcher of Prague,” Reinhard Heydrich was for the government of Nazi Germany an accomplished senior figure. He had the preferred look that many racialists enjoyed, clean cut and Germanic. A man that Adolf Hitler had described as having an “Iron Heart.” For many of the monumental events in the history of the Nazi government, Heydrich had helped organize or participated in them. From the 1936 Berlin Olympics to the Kristallnacht persecutions, he was a crucial element of the prewar government and its growth. Heydrich was an excellent administrator and would be an ideal asset for most any government; obedient, a stickler for bureaucraucy and administrative detail and void of compassion. A man of action. The particular ideology of the Nazi regime seemed to suit his talents and principles best. It was one of those perfect historical matches, where the outcome was terrible.

Heydrich became instrumental in establishing the task forces that rounded up Jewish people and placed them into ghettos. Some estimates claim that one million innocent people were murdered during the process of this bureaucratic implementation. Heydrich’s planning and attention to detail ensured that no child was left behind or no family was spared. No exceptions were made, it was the law. By 1941, Heydrich’s reputation was such that he was appointed as Deputy Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, what was formerly known as Czechoslovakia. Executions, arrests, and slavery ensued. For the history that was being written for the Nazi State, he was a great man. Which is why he was one of the key figures at the Wannsee Conference, the ninety minute meeting that would write the laws allowing for the mass extermination of those determined to be of Jewish descent. Genocide was to become official government policy.

The cruelty of Heydrich’s administration in Czechoslovakia was brutal. He was an efficient government director, calculating and obedient to the ambitions of the state. He was the viceroy of an already industrial and productive sector pre-occupation, and he milked and bled the people under his rule to gain profit for the state. The nation was at war and men like Heydrich were crucial in protecting the state from defeat from its many enemies. In 1942 Heydrich was killed by British military-trained Czechoslovakian operatives. For the Nazi state, a hero had been slain by foreign backed terrorists. The reprisal was horrible.

Immoral Revenge of the Law

The German government’s instinctive proposal was to kill 10,000 random Czechoslovakians, but after some consideration the plan was dropped. The region was an important industrial sector for the war effort, so such random mass murder could interfere with production. Over 13,000 people were arrested, most tortured. Approximately 5,000 were then executed. German military intelligence falsely linked the village of Lidice to the assassination. Everyone in Lidice was punished. On the spot 199 males were murdered. 195 women and 95 children were taken into custody and ended up in concentration camps. Rape and torture ensued; eventually the women were gassed to death along with 81 children. The village of Lidice and neighboring Lezaky were destroyed. The full power of the state and control over human life was on display as the spirit of vengeance took hold.

A thorough manhunt followed; the German government threatened to murder more innocent people if information relating to the culprits did not reach them by the end of a deadline. A bounty was also set for information leading to the capture of the killers of Heydrich. One of the culprits, Karel Caruda, gave himself up and shared the location of his contacts. For his confession he was paid one million Reich-marks. When the Nazi agents raided a safe house, a 17-year-old boy was tortured, forced to get drunk, and then shown his mother’s severed head that had been placed in a fish tank by the authorities, all attempts to get him to talk. He was told that if he did not give up information, his father would be next. He ended up revealing what he knew to save his father. He was later executed with his father, his fiance, and her family. The state rarely keeps its promises.

Others were arrested and a siege occurred at the Karel Boromejsky church. The defenders fought back with determination against a larger German paramilitary force. The defenders were armed with pistols and the German government, besides using conventional weapons of war, also deployed tear gas and had the local fire fighters flood the church. The defenders were eventually killed and identified. The bishop and senior church leaders were tortured and then murdered by the Nazis. The mathematics is always simple: the death of one government official is worth the blood of thousands of innocent civilians to the state.

An Exceptional Man and Collective Responsibility

Heydrich was mourned as a hero. Two large funeral ceremonies were held in his honor. A great leader of the Nazi Party had been assassinated by terrorists and the reprisal was a punishment to those associated by any collective identity to have been linked to the killing. It is the mindset that all governments impose when they embrace policies of vengeance. It may be the carpet bombing of cities, the targeted attacks on infrastructure, embargoes, or the destruction of Czechoslovakian villages. Because of his position in the German government Heydrich was an important human being. He is above others; in some ways such an individual is sacred and in death the government will sanctify such a man and justice will be absolute to any who would dare defy.

The collective responsibility of punishment utilized by the German government was not unique to the Nazi regime. It is in essence common among all governments. It is found inside of prohibitions and censorship and each regulation. The assumption that all are to be held responsible because of the imagined potential actions of a few or because in the past a minority had in some way been linked to that which is now being banned or controlled. The collective belongs to the state, to be ruled and regulated by the government. Regardless of the ideology of the government the outcome always is that the state is more important than individuals. The state is absolute but the elites that fill its key positions or hold influence are examples of unique human beings that transcend the rest of the citizenry. The more egalitarian the policies of the state, the more it collectivizes and the more the planners, experts, and policy makers of importance become exceptional and above all others.

Because the Nazi regime was defeated, men like Heydrich are no longer seen as heroes (except from among the ranks of a perverse few). Heydrich is seen as a criminal though he acted lawfully according to his own government. He was cruel and savage, though in victory he would have been justified. People like Heydrich are called monsters, though they were human beings. They left a path of pain and death for millions of innocent civilians. Any neutral moral observer would judge a person for such outcomes and that is all that should matter. No context needs to be considered other than the contribution to so many innocent deaths and countless tortures. We however do not live in a moral and neutral world; context and perspective seems to reign and steer many minds. For those inside Nazi Germany proper, Heydrich was a hero. His victims were necessary eggs to be broken in order to improve the omelette of the state, or so it is often said well beyond the bloody history of Nazi Germany.

COI #222: Cold War Served Hot, Hawks Cry For Russian Blood

COI #222: Cold War Served Hot, Hawks Cry For Russian Blood

On COI #222, Kyle Anzalone and Connor Freeman cover the hawks advocating the killing of Russians, the ongoing Cold War with China, and recent violence in Syria.

Connor reviews his latest column discussing the Washington imperial elite’s calls for Russian blood during the Ukraine crisis. The Biden administration, the CIA, Senators from both parties, and NATO officials have been promoting policies that will lead to war. Military aid to Kiev is skyrocketing. U.S. lawmakers seek to tie Biden’s hands and only continue increasing tensions with Moscow.

Kyle details military and political escalations with Beijing. In a move sure to anger the Chinese, Taipei’s Vice President is visiting the U.S. soon.  The Seventh Fleet is carrying out war drills with dual aircraft carrier strike groups in the South China Sea and the Philippine Sea. An F-35 recently crash-landed on the USS Carl Vinson’s deck during the provocative South China Sea exercise.  In response to a U.S. destroyer’s recent FONOP in the region, China’s military is demanding an end to these frequent hostile maneuvers.

Kyle updates the chaotic situation in Syria. An Islamic State attack on a prison in Kurdish territory reportedly holding ISIS suspects, including child detainees, has left scores dead and thousands displaced. The prison break in Hasakah began with two car bombs. Daesh prisoners overpowered prison guards, killing them and taking their weapons. Backing the Kurds, the U.S. has been committing airstrikes. On top of this, U.S. lawmakers are attempting to put a stop to Arab states’ efforts to normalize relations with Damascus.

  • Odysee
  • Rumble 
  • Donate LBRY Credits
    • bTTEiLoteVdMbLS7YqDVSZyjEY1eMgW7CP
  • Donate Bitcoin
    • 36PP4kT28jjUZcL44dXDonFwrVVDHntsrk
  • Donate Bitcoin Cash
    • Qp6gznu4xm97cj7j9vqepqxcfuctq2exvvqu7aamz6
  • Patreon

Support Our Sponsor

 

1/21/22 Annelle Sheline on Why Yemen Matters

Scott is joined by Annelle Sheline of the Quincy Institute to discuss Yemen. Sheline wrote an article recently about the shifting balance of the war. One year after Biden announced an end to U.S. support for offensive Saudi operations, the bombing campaign remains as brutal as ever. Sheline argues that, while all sides have committed atrocities, the scale of the Saudi coalition’s brutality has outshone all others. Further, the war can only happen with continued U.S. support, which puts it on Americans themselves to stop this tragedy.  

Discussed on the show:

Annelle Sheline is a Research Fellow in the Middle East program at the Quincy Institute and an expert on religious and political authority in the Middle East and North Africa. Follow her on Twitter @AnnelleSheline.

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: The War State and Why The Vietnam War?, by Mike Swanson; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; EasyShip; Free Range Feeder; Thc Hemp Spot; Green Mill Supercritical; Bug-A-Salt and Listen and Think Audio.

Shop Libertarian Institute merch or donate to the show through Patreon, PayPal or Bitcoin: 1DZBZNJrxUhQhEzgDh7k8JXHXRjYu5tZiG.

Pardoned w/Drew (The Clean Libertarian)

Pardoned w/Drew (The Clean Libertarian)

Drew, The Clean Libertarian, joins me again. This time Drew has received a pardon and is working on legislation at the state level, so I wanted to catch up and have a more positive episode for y’all.

Drew Twitter

The Clean Libertarian

Discord

Libertarian Institute

19 Skills Pdf

Autonomy Course

Critical Thinking Course

Donate

Patreon

RyanBunting.com

500 Criminal Cases Could Be Dropped After NYPD Officer Caught Framing People for Drug Crimes

500 Criminal Cases Could Be Dropped After NYPD Officer Caught Framing People for Drug Crimes

Charges against the now-disgraced NYPD detective Joseph Franco are being welcomed by the families of more than 130 more New Yorkers as it is leading to the dismissal of their family members’ charges. Franco was reportedly caught framing innocent individuals last year and this is the second wave of case dismissals tied to his corruption..

Last April, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez’s Conviction Review Unit asked for the dismissal of 27 felony convictions and 63 misdemeanor convictions based on Franco’s corrupt policing. Now, that number has grown as Bronx Supreme Court Justice David Lewis granted the motion to drop the felony cases against 133 defendants who were indicted between 2011 and 2015.

“We did not want to dismiss or vacate out of hand all cases he was involved in; we investigated those that hinged on his testimony and sworn statements,” Bronx County District Attorney Darcel Clark said in a statement.

“[Franco’s] compromised credibility suggests a lack of due process in the prosecution of these defendants, and we cannot stand behind these convictions.”

An addition 250 cases are under review and a total of 500 cases could be dropped.

According to ABC 7, Franco was indicted in Manhattan for perjury, official misconduct and other charges in connection with four incidents whereby he allegedly framed numerous individuals for making narcotics transactions.

According to the Conviction Review Unit, the dozens of cases are being dismissed because Franco’s crimes have discredited his witness testimonies.

“Criminal convictions largely based on the work of corrupt former or active NYPD officers who engaged in misconduct while executing their duties flies in the face of the oaths officers take to protect and serve New Yorkers,” said Elizabeth Felber, director of the Wrongful Conviction Unit at The Legal Aid Society, in a statement, according to the NY Post.

After Gonzalez moved to dismiss cases under his office, Judge Matthew D’Emic moved to dismiss dozens of similar drug convictions tied to the corrupt cop. Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge Keisha Espinal followed suit vacating more than 50 drug convictions.

As for Franco, he is currently awaiting trial on dozens of counts of first degree perjury and other related charges. Despite facing over a dozen charges in April 2019, and again in July 2019, Franco was not fired from the department until a year later in May of 2020.

“It shows you the unbelievable ripple effect that one individual who wears a shield can have on lives of hundreds, if not thousands,” said Aida Leisenring, a criminal defense attorney with Barket Epstein. “Overturning a wrongful conviction is not a substitute for justice, because the damage has already been done. Filing a lawsuit against the NYPD and receiving financial reparations for that, that’s a step towards justice.”

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of police officers like detective Franco. Here at the Free Thought Project, we report on cops who frame people frequently. One such cop, whose actions were similar to the actions of Franco was Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy Zachary Wester.

Wester was arrested in 2019 after video surfaced of this drug enforcement cop planting meth on an innocent grandmother. After the release of that video, other videos surfaced, showing the officer planting drugs on other folks as well.

While it is no question that folks will claim that drugs found on them or in their possession “aren’t theirs” and “they don’t know how that got there,” nearly all of Wester’s cases had this characteristic. The videos showed that people were utterly shocked when Wester claimed to have found drugs in their vehicles. While a single person may have been lying, when everyone reacts the exact same way, something is up.

This characteristic led to assistant state attorney at the 14th Judicial Circuit, Christina Pumphrey, investigating the corrupt cop, and she discovered he’d been conducting this framing scheme for some time.

As a result of Pumphrey’s actions which led to Wester’s arrest, 119 people were exonerated and freed from jail.

This article was originally featured at The Free Thought Project and is republished with permission.

News Roundup 1/27/2022

News Roundup 1/25/2022

US News

  • The Massachusetts Department of Health reports that about half of people hospitalized with covid have incidental covid infections. [Link]
  • The US donated 150,000 doses of the Pfizer covid vaccine to Kyrgyzstan through Covax. [Link]
  • Seven sailors were injured during a landing accident on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson. [Link]
  • The US deploys two aircraft carrier strike groups to the South China Sea, including the USS Vinson. [Link] 

Russia

  • Cyber Partisans – a ‘pro-democracy’ hacker group – claims to have carried out a ransomware attack on Belarus’ rail system to prevent the transportation of Russian weapons. [Link]
  • Ukrainian separatists warn the government is planning to invade the breakaway Donbas region. [Link]
  • Ukraine is unhappy with the US withdrawing staff from its Kyiv embassy. [Link]
  • The Department of Homeland Security warns Russia could launch a cyberattack. [Link]
  • Without providing details, NATO announced it was moving additional aircraft and warships to Eastern Europe. [Link]
  • The US places 8,500 troops on heightened preparedness to deploy. [Link]

Iran

  • Iran rules out any preconditions – including releasing American prisoners –  for returning to compliance with the JCPOA. The US recently suggested Iran would have to release American prisoners to return to the nuclear deal. [Link]
  • Iran says it is willing to engage in direct talks with the US. [Link]
  • The Deputy Iran Envoy, Richard Nephew, leaves the nuclear deal negotiation team. [Link]

Middle East

  • Airstrikes in Iraq killed ten militants, and three soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb. [Link]
  • The US carried out airstrikes on a prison in northeastern Syria. The prison is run by the US-backed SDF but was taken over by IS. Fighting for control of the prison continues. [Link]
  • CENTCOM reports it used Patriot missile interceptors to defend the UAE. [Link]
  • The UAE-backed Giants Brigades say they have halted their offensive in Marib. [Link]

Africa

  • Mali calls on Denmark to withdraw its special forces. [Link]
  • Burkina Faso soldiers claim they have captured the country’s president. [Link]
  • Three protesters were killed by security forces in Sudan. [Link]
COI #221: Biden Must Make Concessions to Defuse the Ukraine Crisis

COI #221: Biden Must Make Concessions to Defuse the Ukraine Crisis

On COI #221, Kyle Anzalone discusses the Ukraine crisis. Biden has overextended American commitments and now must make concessions to defuse the crisis. Even if it leads to war, the Blob will demand that Biden hold firm against Putin. While the US continues to take aggressive positions against Russia, behind-the-scenes talks could be working towards a deal to prevent such a war. 

Kyle talks about the U.K. High Court’s ruling that Assange can appeal his extradition to the U.K. Supreme Court. The decision is key in the Wikileaks founder’s fight for freedom. However, Assange will remain entangled in the UK justice system for months. 

Kyle updates Saudi’s brutal war in Yemen. Following a Houthi drone strike on the UAE, the U.S./Saudi air war on the people of northern Yemen accelerated. After knocking out the internet, Riyadh dropped American-made bombs on a youth soccer game and a migrant detention center.

Kyle looks at the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Since the Taliban took control of the country in August, the U.S. levied a brutal economic war on the Afghans, sending millions to the brink of starvation. The U.S. is talking with the Taliban this week. The Taliban, as well as the UN, are pushing the U.S. to unfreeze Afghan government accounts. 

Kyle breaks down the career paths of former Trump defense officials. Many are joining smaller tech firms’ boards. The smaller firms give more control to the former officials to direct the companies.

  • Odysee
  • Rumble 
  • Donate LBRY Credits
    • bTTEiLoteVdMbLS7YqDVSZyjEY1eMgW7CP
  • Donate Bitcoin
    • 36PP4kT28jjUZcL44dXDonFwrVVDHntsrk
  • Donate Bitcoin Cash
    • Qp6gznu4xm97cj7j9vqepqxcfuctq2exvvqu7aamz6
  • Patreon

Support Our Sponsor

 

The Hidden Origin Of The Escalating Ukraine-Russia Conflict

2022 01 24 07 55

euromaidan before massacre 800 535 90

Various evidence presented in studies I have authored, which has been echoed by many other Western scholars who research these issues, show that both of these narratives are inaccurate. Indeed, the question of which side carried out the “snipers’ massacre” is central to understanding one of the “bloodiest and most controversial hours of European conflict since the end of the Cold War,” and the main tipping point in the escalating conflict between the West and Russia over Ukraine. According to testimonies by over 100 wounded protesters, several dozen prosecution witnesses, and forensic ballistic and medical examinations by government experts, the massacre of the absolute majority of protesters and police at the Maidan (central square) in Kyiv on February 20, 2014 was perpetrated principally by members of the Maidan opposition, specifically its far-right elements. This event precipitated the violent removal of the corrupt and oligarchic but democratically elected government in Ukraine, touching off a conflict which has since killed more than 13,000 people. Western governments were at least aware of, or de facto backed, the overthrow.

More here

H/T Aaron Mate

 

 

Unmask America

Unmask America

Enough is enough. It is time to stop wearing masks, or at the very least to eliminate mask mandates in all settings.

This is especially urgent for children in schools and universities, who suffer the effects of masks for long hours each day despite being at exceedingly low risk for death or serious illness from COVID.

We have a responsibility, once and for all, to reject the ludicrous, ever-shifting narratives underpinning masks as effective impediments to the spread of COVID infections.

Seriously people—STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus

—former US Surgeon General Jerome Adams in February 2020.

The story changed from “masks don’t work,” to “masks may work,” to “masks work and you must wear one.” Now the narrative switches yet again: “cloth masks don’t work, so you should wear a surgical or ‘well-fitted’ mask,” or even wear two!

Note that even as COVID evolves into a less dangerous omicron variant, we are supposed to increase the hysteria level by wearing masks intended for surgeons maintaining a sterile environment over open wounds. We are told this by the same political, medical, and media figures who have been “frequently wrong but never in doubt” about all things COVID over the past two long years. And they spoke with just as much bogus certainty then as they do now.

Perversely, the Biden administration recently ordered 400 million surgical N95 masks for distribution across the country. Since N95 masks are considered disposable, and meant to be worn at most perhaps 40 hours, it is unclear what happens in a week or two when 330 million Americans run out of their “free” personal protective equipment.

The UK has sensibly ended its mask mandates, both in public places (offices and other workplaces, bars, restaurants, sporting events, theaters) and thankfully schools. One young university student broke down in tears at the news, lamenting the inhumanity of her experience over the past two years. As British Health secretary Savid Javid stated, “We must learn to live with COVID in the same way we live with flu.”

Amen.

The arguments against masks are straightforward.

  • Masks don’t work. Or at least cloth masks don’t.

Even the CDC now admits what Dr. Anthony Fauci told the world in February 2020: cloth masks don’t work and there is no reason to wear one:

“The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through material. It might, however, provide some slight benefit in keep out gross droplets if someone coughs or sneezes on you.”

I do not recommend that you wear a mask, particularly since you are going to a very low risk location.

CNN’s dubious medical expert Dr. Lena Wen, previously an uber-masker, now tells us cloth masks are “little more than facial decorations.” And heroic skeptic Dr. Jay Bhattacharya cites both a Danish study and a Bangladeshi study which found cloth masks show little efficacy in preventing COVID.

Are we seriously prepared to wear tight and uncomfortable surgical masks all day to evade omicron?

  • Masks are filthy.

Humans lungs and our respiratory system are designed to inhale nitrogen and oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is literally a waste product, removed from the blood via our lungs. Masks may not trap injurious levels of carbon dioxide against our nose and mouth, but they certainly get filthy very quickly unless changed constantly. They also encourage mouth breathing, which can cause “mask mouth” symptoms including acne, bad breath, tender gums, and lip irritation.

Why would we ever interfere with natural breathing unless we felt sick, displayed symptoms, and were worried about infecting others? And in that case, why not just stay home?

  • Masks are dehumanizing.

Humans communicate verbally and nonverbally, and masks impede both forms. Masks muffle and distort our words. Our facial expressions are important cues to everyone around us; without those cues communication and understanding suffer. Infants and toddlers may be most affected, as a lack of facial engagement with parents and loved ones impedes the human connections and attachments formed during childhood.

Perhaps most disturbing, however, are the symbolic effects when millions of Americans dutifully wear masks based on flimsy evidence provided by deeply unimpressive people. Facelessness—the lack of individual identity, personality, and looks—is inherently dehumanizing and dystopian. Like prison or military uniforms, masks reduce our personal characteristics. Mask are muzzles, symbols of rote acquiescence to an ugly new normal nobody asked for or voted for.

  • Risk is inevitable.

Risk is omnipresent, and heavily subjective (e.g., COVID risk varies enormously with age and comorbidities). Nobody has a right to force interventions like masks onto others, just as nobody has a right to a hypothetical germ-free landscape. Exhalation is not aggression, short of purposefully attempting to sicken others. People wearing masks arguably shed slightly fewer COVID virus particles than those not, but this does not justify banning the latter from public life. As always, the overwhelming burden of justification for any intervention—including mask mandates—must rest on those proposing it, not those opposing it.

In sum, Americans are not children. Tradeoffs are part of every policy, whether government officials admit this or not. We know how to coexist with flu, just as we live with countless bacteria and viruses in our environment. We will similarly coexist with COVID. The goal is not to eliminate germs, and zero COVID is an absurdity. A healthy immune system, built up through diet, exercise, and sunlight will always be the best frontline defense against communicable disease. But diet, exercise, and sunlight cannot be outsourced to health officials or mandated by politicians.

Whatever slight benefits masks may provide are a matter for individuals to decide for themselves. People who feel sick with symptoms should stay home. We can all wash our hands frequently and thoroughly. Otherwise it is time for Americans to assert themselves against the dubious claims and non-existent legality of government COVID measures.

It is time to get back to normal life, and that starts with visible human faces.

This article was originally featured at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and is republished with permission.

Pin It on Pinterest