Washington D.C. riot

I have seen a couple of comments today of the form, “Now, at least, the Left is condemning riots.” I doubt the people who express this sentiment do so unironically.

I’m sure they are aware that while the opportunity to condemn BLAMTIFA looting, arson, and murder has been available for months; it elicited only condonation from Democrats. That violence is not suddenly on the table.

No, The Left sees a different opportunity – legislation. Some ill-advised people protesting election fraud have handed Pelosi and Schumer the keys to the Black Maria with “Do SOMETHiNG!” stenciled on the side.

The legislative response from our newly minted Big Left General Government will turn out worse than their CCP virus policies. Always looking for excuses to expand their takedown of the Constitution, the identity essentialists faction of State Control are aroused and enabled.

Fumble Delay Abet

This is scandalous.

Brian H. Shirts, M.D., is a molecular pathologist at the University of Washington. He writes: We’ll see more shortages of diagnostic tests if the FDA has its way

“February was a frustrating month for my laboratory. We wanted to make tests to detect the virus that causes Covid-19. My virology colleagues had great ideas and solid testing platforms. The Food and Drug Administration told us to stop. [That link is worth reading!]

Why? Because of a quirk in FDA regulations. Diagnostic tests are currently regulated in one of two ways, and there’s no clear rule to determine which one applies to coronavirus tests. This uncertainty is a big part of why test shortages have caused a national crisis.

This uncertainty is no accident. James Bovard, at Mises Institute:

“Dr. David Kessler, who became FDA commissioner in 1990, quickly sought to intimidate the companies that his agency regulates. A laudatory Washington Post article concluded, “What he cannot accomplish with ordinary regulation, Kessler hopes to accomplish with fear.” Kenneth Feather of the FDA’s drug advertising surveillance branch boasted: “We want to say to these companies that you don’t know when or how we’ll strike. We want to eliminate predictability.”

See the notes at the end of this post.

Now, back to Dr. Shirts:

“The VALID Act, introduced in Congress in early March, aims to address the confusion about who regulates diagnostic testing, but it would make the situation worse. If the VALID Act passes, we would see shortages in diagnostic tests for even more diseases than Covid-19, including cancers.

Under one system of regulation, laboratory directors are licensed by their states to develop tests through a set of rules called the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). When a CLIA-licensed lab creates a test and documents that it works, doctors can order that test.

Diagnostic testing, and interpreting those tests, is considered the practice of medicine. The FDA is not allowed to regulate the practice of medicine. Yet it is responsible for regulating medical devices. Diagnostic tests use machines, sample tubes, and other tools that are clearly medical devices.

Here’s where the second system comes in: The FDA approves devices — not the lab that produces it — on a case-by-case basis. So which diagnostic tests are devices regulated by the FDA and which are laboratory-developed tests regulated through CLIA?

The FDA gets to choose…

The VALID Act will give the FDA power to create more monopolies on diagnostic tests. CLIA-licensed labs will be shut out of producing new tests that perform as well as FDA-approved versions — or better than them. The result will be higher costs and periodic shortages…

The VALID Act was created because large pharmaceutical companies wanted to have monopolies on cancer tests…”

If you recall, the FDA granted a monopoly to the CDC for CCP virus test kits. The kits were quite late, few, and didn’t work.

With the VALID Act, the FDA is going to be able to create a public/pirate partnership – making private industry more like the CDC.

Notes. Thoughts on complex and uncertain ‘law’ in the hands of unaccountable bureaucrats.

“After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”
-Alexis de Tocqueville

“We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”
-Ayn Rand.

Federalism, not what it used to be

The President has tweeted:

“For the purpose of creating conflict and confusion, some in the Fake News Media are saying that it is the Governors decision to open up the states, not that of the President of the United States & the Federal Government. Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect. It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons. With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue. A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!”

In “It is a decision of the President,” he is unequivocally, Constitutionally wrong.

However, have you checked how SCOTUS interprets the Commerce Clause since FDR?

Or, does anybody remember how we came to have a national 55 MPH speed limit?

Oil crisis? Federal road funding? Gas saving and lives saved predictions that were totally wrong?

In other words, the much of Federalism was blown up long ago. In practical terms, therefore, the President has a point.

The same point Hillsdale makes in refusing all Federal funds.

Update 1:02PM
Comment seen at Instapundit, “Trump is showing himself as a political genius here. He has found a way to get the democrats to defend federalism.

Chekists

Well before some functionary, with career advancement too much on his mind, decided I could be held criminally negligent for my sons’ use of seat belts and the precise dimensions of their car seats when they were under a certain arbitrary height and weight…

“I don’t want you to forget, or think of it as optional, because then you won’t have done it when it might matter. I want you to get to the point where I trust you to follow the rule, and I won’t have to check to see if you’ve done it. My job is to get you there.”

That’s how I explained to my sons, then 8 and 10, why they had to fasten their seat belts when we were only driving a couple of miles. Their response, and the cause of the glitch, “Mom doesn’t make us do that!”

“Well,” I said, “Mom and I agreed before that you should always do it, and she’s wrong if she lets you off. I just told you why she’s wrong.”

After a couple of dozen seconds sitting silently in the unmoving car, they complied. I didn’t have to remind them again after that, and soon stopped checking.

But what happens when some functionary applies that principle to free adults?

The FDA happens. They never stop checking. Checking is what they get paid for. So they constantly find new things to check and more ways to check the old things.

Bureaucrats aren’t concerned about YOUR welfare, they’re concerned about their own. Uncertainty is their friend – because, unlike an actual parent, they aren’t interested in having nothing to enforce.

It’s Time to Track the FDA’s Death Toll Emphasis mine:

The Food and Drug Administration helped turn the coronavirus from a deadly peril into a national catastrophe. Long after foreign nations had been ravaged and many cases had been detected in America, the FDA continued blocking private testing. The FDA continued forcing the nation’s most innovative firms to submit to its command-and-control approach notwithstanding the pandemic…

Dr. David Kessler, who became FDA commissioner in 1990, quickly sought to intimidate the companies that his agency regulates. A laudatory Washington Post article concluded, “What he cannot accomplish with ordinary regulation, Kessler hopes to accomplish with fear.” Kenneth Feather of the FDA’s drug advertising surveillance branch boasted: “We want to say to these companies that you don’t know when or how we’ll strike. We want to eliminate predictability.”…

The FDA’s stonewalling of new medical devices was sometimes politically motivated. A 1994 report by the Medical Device Manufacturers Association noted, “It is not unusual for [FDA] reviewers to express the position that excessive requests [for additional information] are made because of a concern or fear about how a particular member or members of Congress will react” to the approval of a new device. Sacrificing lives was a small price to pay for bureaucrats to avoid bothersome interrogatories from Capitol Hill…

[I]n 1991 Dr. Kessler prohibited pharmaceutical companies from informing doctors of new uses for approved drugs. He announced that the FDA would enforce the ban with seizures, injunctions, and prosecutions. Though the agency never finalized its proposed regulations, it warned companies that they would face its wrath if they violated the draft proposals. Dr. Kessler, in a speech before the Drug Information Association, said: “I would urge all members of the pharmaceutical industry to take a long and hard look at their promotional practices. I do not expect companies to wait until this guidance becomes final to put their advertising and promotional houses in order.” The question of off-label treatments is becoming a key issue again as doctors search for effective treatments for the COVID-19 coronavirus…

Dr. Kessler declared in 1992: “If members of our society were empowered to make their own decisions…then the whole rationale for the [FDA] would cease to exist.” Kessler derided “freedom of choice” as an illusion unless people are presented only with government-approved choices. But the FDA “liberated” people by shielding them from information, devices, and drugs that could have saved their lives.

How far removed from Constitutionality and actual legislation is a DRAFT proposal from a government agency managed by mandarins and staffed with non-elected officials?

The FDA’s mission is to protect the power of the FDA. Not your ignorant, childish ass.

RTWT

Also:

The COVID-19 Crisis Is the Result of Decades of FDA Misrule

The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing how the US Food and Drug Administration puts Americans at increased risk of sickness and death. Decades of killing medical innovation and forcing industries offshore made this inevitable.

The real debate should be over how best to downsize or abolish the FDA, which contributed greatly to the vulnerable state in which America now finds itself…

[T]hanks largely to its treatment in the media, many Americans have never imagined how the country might benefit from doing away with the bureaucracy. That may change now.

Imagine there’s no bureau
It’s easy if you try
No hell in freedom
Above us, an ally
Imagine all the people living for themselves

Emperors undressed

The Rise of the Ungovernables

2019 marks the thirtieth anniversary of Francis Fukuyama’s seminal essay for the National Interest “The End of History?” Its central hypothesis was that we were witnessing “the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.” That looked plausible in 1989, particularly when the Berlin Wall fell just months after the essay’s release. Thirty years later—not so much.

To be fair to Fukuyama, he never suggested that the world had seen the end of geopolitical conflict or that democracies would experience no more of Macmillan’s “events.” Today, he continues to view liberal democracy as the best form of government, but he is less optimistic about its robustness. It’s hard to disagree with him. The Brexit chaos, the Trump presidency, the collapse of support for centrist parties across Europe, and the pervasive rise of populism and nationalism, all point to the growing fragility of liberal democracy.

Why is this happening now? The usual response is to blame it all on the politicians. Leaders like Orban and Trump are subverting the institutions at the heart of liberal democracy. Political parties like Alternative für Deutschland and the National Rally are promoting illiberal and xenophobic policies. If only we had better leaders, democracy would flourish—so goes the argument.

That last sentence is exactly the same excuse Socialists and Communists use for state failures in the Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela, Cambodia, North Korea, et. al.. A majority of voters in this country agree with it, even as they are split on policy.

That last sentence describes the danger of the Imperial Presidency – something that connects Obama and Trump (they’re hardly alone, but it became an art form under their tender care).

That last sentence describes voters’ aspirations.  It explains Bernie Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, and Donald Trump.  Not that they all share policy ideas, but that a sufficient number of voters see them as saviors.  This is a terrible way to think about public employees.

The Obamaists and the Trumpists both revere the Man, not the Law.  Their Emperor’s ideas are fully clothed in their own narcissism.

Read the whole article, it presents some good ideas about cultural changes contributing to the problem and the related role of social media.