It’s been an eventful week, so I figured an extra post today running down the posts from the past few days would be worthwhile. Also, I’m a slave to the WordPress daily streak counter, and when I scheduled this morning’s post on Wednesday, WordPress for some reason immediately e-mailed a preview; ergo, I want to make sure I get the daily post streak. Gotta keep the streak alive!
“The Last Day of Freedom?” (Tuesday, 19 January 2021) – Some musings on life under the (then-pending) Biden administration. Contra one anonymous commentator’s claims that I was lying and fearful, a closer reading of this long post indicates that I am optimistic, not about the national government, but about local government and community-building.
The day has arrived—the briefly delayed third term of Obama’s presidency. In the years since Obama left office, the progressive Left has become even more insane. After a four-year reprieve under Trump, the radical progressives aren’t going to let another opportunity pass to transform the country completely.
Here we are, 19 January 2021—the last day of basking in liberty before Biden the Usurper assumes the throne. For all his personal foibles and occasional missed opportunities (while acknowledging, of course, his many achievements), President Trump at least fought to ensure that Americans could enjoy freedom and opportunity. Under progressive rule, no such guarantees exist.
But rather than look about gloomily at what is to come, I’d like to offer some words of exhortation. Times will not be easy for conservatives and Christians over the next four years, but I’m trying to embrace this new progressive era with some cautious, small-scale optimism.
Well, the results from yesterday’s election are in—and I won! At some point (soon, I hope) I’ll be sworn in as a member of Lamar Town Council.
I don’t have photographs of the final print-out, so I don’t the breakdown by precinct, but I hope to obtain that information soon. I got the results from the election workers as they pulled the receipt from the voting machine shortly after 7 PM EST last night: 121 for Cook, 69 write-in.
Well, here it is—my second special election run for Lamar Town Council. Polls open at 7 AM and close at 7 PM at Lamar Town Hall.
This election is a special election to fill a vacancy, the result of another resignation from Town Council. Lang Howell, the Mayor Pro Tempore, stepped down, triggering the special election today. I paid my $17.50 filing fee back in November, and am the only declared candidate on the ballot.
I know, I know—everyone wants to read and talk about the storming of our metaphorical Bastille. I’m going to cover that in-depth in this weekend’s SubscribeStar Saturday post, not because I know it is the event of the decade—and will therefore crassly milk it for subscribers—but because my own observations are so tantalizingly spicy, I have to hide them behind a paywall. Believe it or not, $1 is apparently a major hurdle.
Instead, I’m going to focus on a bit local draconianism that I will hopefully soon be able to address head-on: my small town of Lamar has adopted a mask ordinance. Given our current Town Council, I’m surprised it took this long.
The ordinance, dated 14 December 2020 and effective 4 January 2021—but only received in water bills on 7 January 2021—is entitled “REQUIRING INDIVIDUALS TO WEAR FACE COVERINGS IN RETAIL AND FOODSERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS, AND MATTERS RELATED THERETO.” It features a number of “WHEREAS” justifications, mostly the “recommendations of public health experts.” It then lists the “Use of Face Coverings” in Section 1, detailing that face coverings must be worn indoors at stores and restaurants, etc., with plenty of opportunities to not wear a mask listed in Section 2, “Exemptions”—religious reasons, dental cleanings, etc.
The penalties for infractions—detailed in Sections 3 and 4—are $25 for individuals and $100 for businesses that fail to require employees to wear masks. Section 3 seems laughably unenforceable in a town that has maybe three police officers—and just a recipe for another unpleasant interaction between otherwise law-abiding citizens and police. Section 4 is particularly onerous, though, as it forces private companies to force their employees to wear masks, or face daily $100 fines.
Granted, most business establishments have already bent the knee and have bought into the mask hysteria. In my mind, though, that makes the mask mandate even more unnecessary: if Dollar General is making me wear a mask to buy a $1.26 loaf of bread-based loaf product anyway, why does the Town Council need to ladle an extra dollop of self-righteous scolding?
Well, the glory of Christmas Break has come to an end, and it’s back to the grind this morning. Due to concerns about The Virus, we’re online for at least this week, and I’ve received word that teachers will be allowed to teach from home for the remainder of the week. That will make the transition back to full-time teaching a tad more endurable, as waking up and rolling over to the computer is much easier than engaging in the hasty rituals of the morning.
Regardless, I’m scrambling a bit this morning, so today’s post will be brief and belated. I’ll cover my trip to Mississippi tomorrow; today, I thought I’d give some general updates as we head into the first fiscal week of 2021:
The American experiment in self-government is at perhaps its lowest ebb since the 1850s, a decade whose division and partisan rancor rival our own. That decade’s statesmen’s failures to address sectional tensions—and, ultimately, to reconcile two fundamentally incompatible views of the world—resulted in the secession of eleven States that no longer believed the national government was acting in accordance with the Constitution.
It brings me no joy to make such a grim assessment, nor to contemplate what comes next as a result, but it is a necessary task. My sincerest wish is that our great Union remain intact, and that we see some restoration of constitutionalism. An increase in States’ rights and federalism—greater sovereignty at the State level and less power at the federal level—would go a very long way in resolving at least some of our national issues.
As I noted a few weeks back, I’m back in the arena, making my second run for Lamar Town Council. With the election five weeks away, I’m trying to get out there to meet more folks. I’m not sure if anyone else filed, but last time I lost to a write-in candidate, so even if I’m running unopposed, I’m not taking any chances.
Because it’s a special election—the date is 12 January 2020—part of the campaign is simply letting people know there is an election. Like the last special election (which was rescheduled from May to July due to The Virus), I expect turnout will be low, simply because it’s at such an unusual time of year, and because most people won’t realize there’s even an election in the first place. Of course, this election won’t be a week after the July Fourth, so I anticipate slightly higher turnout.
So I hit the campaign trail by heading down to Lamar’s “Christmas on Main” event, and sticking around for the Christmas Parade. Here’s a brief update of what it was like.