By Chuck Muth
Those who have been educated by the teachers’ union in a public school might not have a firm grasp on exactly what compelled our Founding Fathers to declare independence from England in advance of the Revolutionary War in 1776.
So here’s a little refresher before I get to what I’m referring to as Lyon County Commissioner Ken Gray’s proposed “Revolution Resolution” …
The Declaration of Independence authors, primarily Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, noted that throughout history it sometimes “becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another,” and when doing so they “should “declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
And yes, the Founders declared that people are endowed “with certain unalienable rights,” and that among them are the rights to “life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
“To secure these rights,” Tommy J and Johnny A wrote, “governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” adding that “whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it.”
“When a long train of abuses and usurpations” are perpetrated on the people which “reduce them under absolute despotism,” the Declaration continues, “it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.” OK, with me so far? Now let’s fast-forward to present day…
On March 12, 2020, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak declared a statewide “emergency” related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In exercising his self-bequeathed emergency powers, the governor has shredded a wide variety of inalienable rights and constitutional protections of “the governed” — you and me.
As established by the Founding Fathers, we don’t answer to the rulers; the rulers answer to us. But apparently Gov. Sisolak missed that memo.
For more than ten months now, the governor has issued wide-ranging “emergency” Directives, Soviet-style, without the consent of the
governed, or even with the consent of the people’s representatives in the Legislature.
Instead, with the stroke of a pen he’s made his Directives the law of the land. NOT cool.
For the last ten months, the governor has occasionally emerged from his Carson City bunker to advise his subjects what new, destructive
Directives we, the great unwashed, are compelled to follow…or else.
He reads prepared statements into a camera (badly) and then takes a few carefully selected softball questions from a fawning, generally
(“Thank you, oh, THANK YOU, Governor, for calling on me! Now… what’s your favorite color?”)
Over the last ten months, Gov. Sisolak has never subjected himself to open questioning by we, the people. No town halls. No open Zoom
meetings. No phone calls. No emails. No texts. No letters. No nothing. “Let them eat cake!”
Vladimir Putin must be so proud, if not envious.
So in the great American tradition of declaring independence from “absolute despotism,” Lyon County Commissioner Ken Gray intends to introduce a resolution this week, a draft of which I’ve obtained, declaring a state of “economic emergency” in Lyon County that will
“alter or abolish” Gov. Sisolak’s “emergency powers” as they relate to COVID-19.
In essence, the commissioner’s Revolution Resolution would effectively “dissolve the political bands” that connect Nevada’s governor to the people at the county level, throw off such state government overreach, and establish new, health AND economic safeguards for their future security while the China virus is still with us.
Also in the great American tradition, Commissioner Gray’s resolution details the “history of repeated injuries and usurpations” that have
led to “an absolute tyranny over” Nevada’s rural counties and “declares the causes which impel” Lyon County to seek separation from
the State of Nevada as it relates to Gov. Sisolak’s “emergency” power abuses.
The governor’s “COVID-19-related restrictions on businesses,” Commissioner Gray writes, “including forced reduced capacity, have put
restaurants, bars, casinos, brothels and other dining and entertainment industry businesses in danger of permanent closure.”
Gov. Sisolak, he continues, “has refused to work directly with rural Nevada to create policies tailored to rural Nevada and its low COVID-19 case count, instead mandating ‘one-size-fits-all’ policies created for more densely-populated counties.”
Those policies, Commissioner Gray argues — which are enforced by COVID-19 state inspectors and government agents — violate
constitutional prohibitions against “unlawful searches and seizures.”
The commissioner further notes that over the last ten months of Gov. Sisolak’s authoritarian reign, the Nevada Legislature has met in
special session with the “ability to pass laws and regulations addressing the COVID-19 pandemic” on behalf of their constituents.
Indeed, there’s no “emergency” justifying unlimited and unending dictatorial gubernatorial powers if the Legislature was able to meet,
not once, but TWICE over the summer.
But to their eternal shame, elected state legislators ignored their duty and opportunity to “support, protect and defend” the constitutional rights of their constituents against the abuse of “emergency” powers the governor hath conferred upon himself.
If they wanted to keep letting him run the show, they should have at least gone on record with a vote so the people would know exactly
who’s with them and who’s against them.
Back to the Revolution Resolution…
Since the governor continues to abuse his authority, and the Legislature has been complicit in letting him get away with it, Commissioner Gray’s resolution declares “an economic state of emergency” in Lyon County, which, if adopted, would…
—Encourage businesses to operate along the lines of the governor’s COVID Directives in good faith. However, they’d be free “to determine how and if to implement those directives relative to their business model.”
—Direct the Lyon County Sheriff to “use his discretion not to enforce or respond to complaints” related to violations of the governor’s
—Direct the Lyon County District Attorney “not to prosecute violations” of the governor’s “emergency directives.”
Now here’s the kicker…
In an effort to protect the citizens of Lyon County from “the additional risk of exposure to COVID-19 caused by” government
inspectors from outside Lyon County “visiting (allegedly) noncompliant businesses” inside Lyon County, all such officials and agents would be required “to quarantine for 14 days prior to conducting official business within businesses in Lyon County.”
Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
If the governor wants to send in an OSHA inspector to see if a Lyon County gym, hair salon, tattoo parlor or restaurant is in “compliance” with his authoritarian “emergency directives,” fine. But they’re gonna have to cool their heels in a Lyon County motel for two weeks before doing so.
And after coming out of quarantine, if the COVID cop decides to harass some business with an accusation of noncompliance, the Sheriff
probably won’t write a citation and the DA won’t prosecute.
So maybe Gov. Sisolak should just leave the people and businesses of Lyon County the hell alone and respect their God-given right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
So let it be written; so let it be done.
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Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views and blogs at MuthsTruths.com