By Sherman R. Frederick
Encouraging neighbors to rat out neighbors for violating coronavirus rules turns me off. There, I said it. I don’t like the idea. It makes a bad situation worse. And, yet, we’re going there.
I’m sad to report that San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa is leading the charge. He plans to introduce a proposal to fine people who refuse to wear masks. Marin and other Bay Area counties do it. Marin even has a Rat Line for citizens to drop an email (with pictures) on maskless scofflaws.
When we create task forces to run around scouting out unlawful gatherings like, say, the birthday parties for six-year-olds, prayer groups, funerals, etc, will public humiliation of stocks in town squares be far behind?
I find it all breathtakingly dystopian.
Will these Rat Patrols will also hunt down those little maskless skateboard urchins found everywhere in Pacifica and cite them, too? How about the homeless sleeping in doorways or living the life in boonie camps. They don’t wear masks. And for gawd’s sake let’s make sure we hammer those moms in Safeway who let their screaming kids pull their masks down under their noses.
It’s all a steaming pile of nonsense, solving nothing.
Gaspar de Portolá, above. Should his statue in Pacifica stay or go?
Please make sure you read two items in today’s Pacifica Tribune. The letter from the Pacifica Historical Society on Page One, adding context to the Portola statue controversy, and the My Turn by David Hirzel on this page on the same topic.
Both good reads.
I don’t know what will happen to Pacifica’s Portola statute, if anything. But, it is a worthy subject. Perhaps the city should organize a series of Zoom meetings in which experts are brought in to give us more historical context on the whole deal. Just an idea.
Postscript: Marin is going through a similar exercise with it’s statue in Larkspur of Sir Francis Drake. Last week, Larkspur town officials had the statue taken down in the dead of night for fear protestors were planning to rip it down the next day. I hope Pacifica can avoid that kind of response.
LOSING THE MIDDLE GROUND
ICYMI: Bay Area favorite son Elon Musk tweeted this last week — “The left is losing the middle.” If so, 2020 could be the biggest case in U.S. political history of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I think Musk makes a fair observation especially when Democratic leadership from Joe Biden on down behaves like the violence in places like Portland is nothing to be concerned about. The election is just around the corner and public safety is a hot-button issue.
YES, THERE ARE HEROES
This is an eerie note from a friend who had to go to the hospital in Las Vegas. I pass it along because it is worth remembering in this Age of Coronavirus.
“Your love and prayers brought me home from the hospital last night after an ordeal that logically should not have. So many first hand nursing accounts of young dead COVID patients in the ICU hall next door was sobering to say the very least. I was in bad shape but my mountains were rolling hills in comparison to the desperation only 300 feet away I could occasionally hear when those sealed double doors opened. Some called it ‘the tomb’ while others called codes on the dead and dying. There are indeed heroes inside those walls whose dedication to serve seemingly outpaces their own need to survive. Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Keep hope alive.”
OH, JOE, NOT AGAIN
Am I the only one who thinks Joe Biden should never, ever debate this campaign season. Look, Joe’s winning going away. Why risk a gaff like the one committed last week when he was in Keene, New Hampshire.
Joe said to the good people of New Hampshire:
“I’ve been here a number of times … I love this place. Look, what’s not to like about Vermont in terms of the beauty of it.”
Good, Lord, Joe. Sharpen up or stay out of public view.
ONE MORE THING
— It looks like a twig to me.
— “Dammit I’m mad” spelled backwards is “Dammit I’m mad.”
— Remember Darth Vader’s wife, Ella? So much more uplifting than Darth.
— If I had a nickel for every pun, I’d have a punpernickel.
Ugh, that was bad, even for my low standards. So, don’t bother getting up, I’ll let myself out. Until next week, please be safe, wear a mask, and avoid soreheads. Life is always better that way.
Sherman R. Frederick is the founder of Battle Born Media, publisher of intensely local community newspapers in Nevada and California, including the Novato Advance, the San Rafael News Pointer, the Mill Valley Herald, the Ross Valley Reporter, the Twin Cities Times, the Sausalito Marin Scope and the Pacifica Tribune. He may be reached at email@example.com.)