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No amount of money, effort or liberty-stealing laws can end war, even on coronavirus: Ed O'Connor

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Hello, fellow prisoners. How is the situation with the Chinese Communist Wuhan flu in your little slice of Pennsylvania? Enjoying your taste of socialism?

Socialism: The government gets to do whatever it wants and you get to do whatever the government decrees you can do and say.

I guess it is pointless telling you what is happening here since it appears to be universal, but I will briefly describe, then you can compare.

The international airport, borders, restaurants, bars, discos, churches, businesses, schools, universities, concerts, performances, sporting events and all outdoor markets are closed until May 15.

Only grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations will remain open. Thank goodness! I certainly did not want to be trapped without vodka, wine and chocolate. Man does not live by bread alone.

Public transportation is still functioning, but no more than 15 people are permitted on the trolley bus at one time. Taxis are operating.

We have not seen as much panic as other places, but the media are doing their very best to scare people.

With elections here in October, the politicians are trying to make hay of the situation. Aren’t they just wonderful people? They are working so hard, risking life and limb to protect us.

The “state of emergency” declared until May 15 includes a “ban on holding meetings, demonstrations and other mass actions; an order, if necessary, to ration the consumption of food and other essential products.”

Do I smell de facto martial law in the air? I feel SO much better now that the government is in charge.

We had planned to do some traveling in the spring, but that was put on hold until we see what happens.

Again, before “the lockdown,” we attended some tremendous concerts. The biggest was the Martisor (first day of spring) concert at the National Palace Theater. Including intermission, it lasted four hours.

It not only celebrated spring, but also the 70th anniversary of the National Orchestra, the 50th anniversary of the orchestra having the same conductor and the 83rd birthday of Moldova’s Eugen Doga, considered one of the most influential composers of the 20th century.

Upon entering the theater, we were scanned. I was carrying my 8-inch switchblade knife and pepper spray. Oops. Didn’t know that the president would be in attendance. Both were returned after the concert.

Another thought on the Wuhan flu: If you read this headline or heard the top story on every media outlet as “90 die every day with no end in sight” with comments such as “we expect the death toll to be over 36,000 and forecast as many as 3 million sick.” Would the media and the public be going berserk? Would there be panic in the streets? Would citizens be clamoring for government intervention and control?

Consider 36,560 dead (with about 90 dying every day) and more than 3 million injured.

These are U.S. auto-related deaths and injuries in 2018. But I guess this is just “business as usual.”

Here are some musings on all the various “U.S. government-declared wars” — i.e., on drugs, poverty, terror, virus, etc.

The “War on Drugs” started in 1971 and continues to the present. The estimated expenditure is about $1 trillion, close to $51 billion annually by the states and feds. Money well spent?

Has it worked? If spending tax dollars, creating more crime, and increasing the size of law enforcement and government was the intended outcome, then the answer is a resounding yes. But has it really done anything worthwhile?

Did the War on Alcohol (Prohibition) do anything but create organized crime and more crime? I’ll let you and the mafia answer that one.

And like all government “Wars on Something” (whether drugs, poverty, terror or virus), no amount of money, no amount of effort and no amount of liberty-stealing new laws in support of them are ever enough to bring these wars to a successful conclusion.

Tell me, which “war” has been successful? Here are the staggering costs: War on Poverty? $22 trillion. Yes, with a “t.” War on Drugs? $1 trillion. War on Terror? $6 trillion. War on the Chinese Virus? $2 trillion?

The totals so far — $31 trillion. That’s $31,000,000,000,000 spent. The current U.S. debt is $22 trillion. Does that give you an idea where your hard-earned tax money goes?

Let’s use “time” to put that number into perspective. One trillion seconds equals 31,688 years; 31 trillion seconds equals 982,238 years. Beginning to get the picture?

Reflect upon that when paying your taxes.

Other notes

See, Little Ralphie, I told you that higher education was a good investment. “The arrest of five Penn State Harrisburg students charged with illegally using other people’s credit card information to buy Amtrak train tickets could lead to an investigation far beyond Middletown, police say.” We are Penn State. Go Nittany Lions.

And Ralphie, oh, no! The mini-stadium is being put on mini-hold? When completed, why not invite Mini-Mike Bloomberg to come and dedicate the new mini-stadium before a mini-crowd. Just be sure to get a mini-box on which he can stand.

Famous quotes

Which of the current or former Democratic presidential candidates said the following?

“To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.”

“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”

“Let me control the textbooks, and I will control the state.”

“What luck, for governments, that the people are stupid!”

“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”

“We have to put a stop to the idea that it is a part of everybody’s civil rights to say whatever he pleases.”

“It is not truth that matters, but victory.”

“I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few.”

It was a trick question. All quotes are from Adolf Hitler.

Remember: When life hands you lemons, make whisky sours — W.C. Fields.

Your devoted detainee ... Eddy O

Ed O’Connor, a former resident of Middletown and Lower Swatara Township, is an expatriate living in Chisinau, Moldova.