Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Sid Salter: Mask Requirements Are Not Tyranny or an Attack on Liberty

Erstwhile DeSoto County state legislator and failed GOP gubernatorial contender Robert Foster is certainly entitled to his opinions about government mask requirements. He is also free to apply whatever overwrought definitions to freedom, liberty, and tyranny that he chooses.

Likewise, I am free to point out that one of the great things about America is that here, your cheese can slide all the way off your cracker and there’s not much to be done about it.

Here’s some of Foster’s anti-face mask rants on Facebook: “So, this isn’t about a mask mandate, this is about control. This is about standing up to a governor that is acting like a dictator. When did the legislature vote on a law to mandate masks? I must have missed them taking up and debating this significant change in public policy. This is about government constantly pushing, more taxes, more restrictions, more licenses, more regulations, more fees, more fines, more loss of liberty, one little bit at a time.”

One wonders what sort of rhetoric Mr. Foster would generate were he afflicted with some actual tyranny? And let’s be honest, Foster’s social media musings about the supposed vast government and left-wing conspiracy to take away our freedom and liberty with cotton or nylon face coverings (some of the better homemade masks have Mr. Coffee filters in them, but I digress…) have been shared by congressmen, ministers, and occasionally by President Donald Trump, although Trump finally donned a mask in public over the weekend while visiting wounded troops at Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

The national political tempest in a teapot over government-mandated face coverings seem rooted in what Business Insider Editor-At-Large David Plotz summed up in this recent writing: “Some on the right have become enthralled with a highly selfish conception of liberty that equates freedom with being able to do what you want. Historically, conservatism has embraced a more expansive idea of liberty that emphasizes balancing your own desires with your obligations to protect and serve others. This selfish libertarianism spread on social media and into conservative media and influenced the president.”

Whatever one thinks of Tate Reeves’ service as governor, the suggestion that his administration’s COVID-19 policies have been either tyrannical or out-of-step with the best advice of federal and state medical experts is simply just not true. And Foster’s disrespectful dismissal of the work of Drs. Thomas Dobbs and Anthony Fauci is contemptible.

The notion that the advice of public health experts should be ignored contradicts a great deal of American history. There are more than a few easy examples of science changing how we live.

When I was a kid, people could smoke whenever and wherever they chose to light up. In restaurants, on airplanes, on buses, in taxis, you name it, you had ‘em, you smoked ‘em. I remember in the 1960s seeing people smoke in doctor’s offices and in hospital beds.

In that day, cigarettes were cheap and if you could see over the counter, you could buy them at any store that sold them. Now, laws, customs, and a broader knowledge of carcinogens changed that behavior.

And don’t get me started on seat belts. During my childhood, there were no car seats or seat belts. I remember when Dad bought a 1966 two-tone tan Chevy Bel-Air that had two features I’d never seen in our family car – lap-level seats belts and air conditioning.

Food packaging years ago didn’t bother with those pesky freshness dates – not even milk. Canned goods were seemingly good for eternity. Two things would withstand nuclear winter – Twinkies and SPAM.

Governments regulate. Sometimes well, sometimes not so well, but government regulation is a long way from tyranny.

Thumbing one’s nose at a governor for mask mandates makes good political theater for those seeking media attention (which coming from the “My Pickup, My Rules” Guy certainly appears to be all this is…), but in the middle of a global pandemic that’s killing his fellow citizens, it’s just self-serving gibberish on social media. Nothing more.

Annoy Robert Foster. Wear a mask.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at


Anonymous said...

It's amazing how much Sid Salter will go after anyone not in power but won't touch anyone with power.

If Foster was governor, we'd be reading Salter talking about how on the money he is about the masks.

Some people are just partisan hacks- Republican good, Democrat bad, or vice versa.

Salter is an insider hack- those with power good, those without bad.

Anonymous said...

I think stop signs and speed limits are a government tyranny too. If you're afraid of my point of view and my small esteem for the lives of others, then STAY HOME AND STAY OFF THE ROAD!!! Don't try to impose your mandates on me!

Anonymous said...

No idiots at the Madison Walmart, Lowe's or Post Office, everyone including kiddos had on mask.

Anonymous said...

Wal-Mart just announced everybody must wear a mask in all their stores. Was in there on Tuesday and they were not allowing unmasked in store.

Anonymous said...

From the WHO's June 5, 2020, interim guidance: "At
present, there is no direct evidence (from studies on COVID19 and in healthy people in the community) on the
effectiveness of universal masking of healthy people in the
community to prevent infection with respiratory viruses,
including COVID-19."

So if there is no proven medical basis for universal masking, on what are those so-called "medical experts" basing their recommendations? Or is it the other way around: is politics dictating the medical recommendations?

Anonymous said...

8:28 am Your accusations are ridiculous and baseless.
Sid has always been up front about being a conservative Republican, but I challenge you to give examples of him defended indefensible behaviors of any politician.
I don't always agree with Sid on issues, but unlike you, he can present facts to support his position. I may not think they are the most compelling facts or definitive examples, but his doesn't engage in paranoid or magical thinking and isn't so unethical or immature as to hurl baseless charges.

Anonymous said...

Sid Salter's long winded articles too boring for me to actually read. But I know for a fact that the Attack on the Liberty has been accepted as an accident and apologized for. And since I use my right to open carry, nobody will try to force me to wear a face diaper.

Anonymous said...

@10:59, you don’t have to wear a diaper, but you should wear a face mask. Don’t be such a diva.

Anonymous said...

10:52 Nice quote from a month-and-a-half ago. WHO does currently recommend wearing masks as part of a comprehensive plan to control the spread of COVID-19. They are not a substitute for maintaining social distancing and general cleanliness, but in areas where social distancing either can't or won't be maintained masks are encouraged to be recommended by local authorities.

You don't need a controlled, double-blind study to make the informed decision that masks that work on other substantially similar infectious respiratory diseases would also be expected to work on COVID-19.

It is fine to advocate for further studies, but to outright reject a simple measure that any medical expert would think is highly likely to help based on past experiences until absolute proof is obtained is insane.

Anonymous said...

Boy they ripping on ole Sid worst than Navarro jumped on Fauci.

Anonymous said...

Navarro is an uninformed idiot. So are people who don’t wear masks because it infringes in their “rights.” Masks will not prevent all infections, but they will reduce them. Seems like a small price to pay.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

My body, my choice!

Anonymous said...

1052 no controlled studies on parachutes either but it makes since they would work.

Anonymous said...

This mandatory mask order is stupid. Respiratory PPE is tested against particles that are 3/10ths of a micron in size for their appropriate rating (N95, etc).The COVID-19 particles are much smaller, 6/100ths to 16/100ths in size.

A homemade mask doesn't even come close to an N95 rating. The efficiency of cotton material falls below 20 microns. Wearing a mask may make you feel good, but it doesn't protect you from the COVID-19, they have even said so.

The COVID-19 number are being way over blown. Think about it, they keep giving us the TOTAL numbers of people who have been infected and the TOTAL numbers of people who have died. When was the last time they told us how many people have recovered? They don't, once you know how many have recovered they know we can subtract that number and the number of dead from the total number they keep giving us and discover how many ACTIVE cases there are.

The number of dead is being exaggerated as well. No matter how you die, if you tested positive for COVID-19 it is listed as a COVID-19 death. Doctors and hospitals are being paid a lot of money to deal with COVID-19 patients, follow the money. Don't take anyone'e word for it, research the information.

Anonymous said...

If the CDC insisted that people wipe their arse and wash their hands after defecating these anti-maskers would self righteously refuse to do so to prove their manhood.

Anonymous said...

1:02 What masks do is stop the large droplets expelled from an infected person's mouth and nose from spreading through the air. A decent cloth mask will significantly cut down on the amount and distance of infectious droplets.

As you noted, once the droplets become airborne in a viral cloud surrounding the unmasked plague carrier then a mask worn by a person who is trying to keep from being infected does little good. That is why universal mask usage is so important. It helps control the spread of the disease from people who may not have any idea they are sick or who go out anyway when they aren't feeling good.

Anonymous said...

@1:02 The unreasonable confidence of the ignorant shouldn't keep surprising me, but it does. I don't mean to use ignorant pejoratively. I simply mean that the people that know the least about what they are talking about always seem to be the most confident in their opinions. You do know that they list the number of presumed recovered on the MSDH website right? For all your insistence that we "research" the information, you show yourself to be unaware of basic information. For what it is worth, the net active cases are in fact rising. I think you trying to make some "see there!" statement on that point. There really is no way for us to "research" the source data on this since we don't have access to first hand information. I don't think you'll like this position, but we really do have to rely on what others report to us. I don't think you or I have the best information on this, so I am going to listen to those who do have that information and try to take their advice.,0,420.html

Anonymous said...

The only way this junk stops is if we quit feeding it with comments - a zero at the bottom.

Anonymous said...

Are you paid to shill for the deep state? Or do you just do it for free?

Anonymous said...

@1:02, prove your claims.

Anonymous said...

New scientific study out: Mask wearing behavior correlates with working memory capacity.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if these anti common sense folks have purchased them some GOYA Black Beans.

Anonymous said...

If a mask doesn't seal, it doesn't work, beards and improper wear will prevent a proper seal.

Anonymous said...

Hey 3:01, GOYA Black Beans are pretty good . . . especially with a little extra garlic powder.

But . . . I will wear a mask when I enter kroger to buy a few cans.

Anonymous said...

The examples that Salter gives were all laws passed through the state legislative process. Not great examples when the mask mandate did not go through the legislative process. Although laws that did pass through the process years ago granted OneTerm Tate that authority.
I too wanted to be pissed at him mandating something regarding my respiratory health that I am more than capable of managing without the government mandating it with the threat of punitive action. I get Fosters frustration, Tate ain't my daddy, but I also did the reading to also try to see if it was enforceable only to find that I voted for folks that granted the office that authority years before OneTermTate was in there.
Look up the codes referenced in the order.
I still don't like the mandate.
I have no issue with folks wearing a mask.
I think its wrong to threaten to punish businesses and put the enforcement of patrons wearing a mask on the employees and also wrong to threaten citizens with punitive action for not wearing a mask.
- Fear of death hs been the greatest ally of tyranny past and present - Sidney Hook
Fear driven politics suck.

Anonymous said...

@10:52 - appreciate your providing the WHO opinion of June 5th.

Now, since you are so informed, why don't you go get the opinion of WHO of late June. Its totally different.

But I understand, you want to give us their old guidance rather than their current opinion because the old one matches yours and the new one is against yours.

Appreciate it - and by the way, remember that WHO was who gave us Wuhan information. In the meantime, I'll look at the many other medical folks who's opinion is opposite of your quote. Thanks though.

Anonymous said...

1:02, to answer your question, they give us the total number of recovered every day. So the last time they told us (which was your question) was yesterday.


Anonymous said...

Patrick Henry would hang Robert Foster from the nearest tree.

Anonymous said...

We have heard so much bullshit about masks that we have no idea if they help or hurt. We need an honest person to give us some idea about the masks.
Please make it something believable. Evidentially people do not know there is a difference in a mask and a bandana.
The people deserve to have an answer on the mask questions.
Either give some information or forget about the whole mask thing.

Anonymous said...

Went to Sam’s in Madison today l, the only person I saw who wasn’t wearing a mask was the Madison Police officer standing security by the exit door. I guess they don’t have to follow the same rules as us common folks. Also saw a Madison City Hall worker that I know at Lowe’s Monday afternoon that didn’t have a mask on either.

Anonymous said...

What masks really do:

Video link of a mask wearer exhaling after vaping

Anonymous said...

5:31 PM wrote:

"We have heard so much bullshit about masks that we have no idea if they help or hurt. We need an honest person to give us some idea about the masks.
Please make it something believable. Evidentially people do not know there is a difference in a mask and a bandana.
The people deserve to have an answer on the mask questions.
Either give some information or forget about the whole mask thing."

While there was some misinformation out there early on (and for a variety of reasons), that has significantly changed. There is now lots of cohesive information from knowledgeable sources that masks reduce transmission and therefore the spread of this virus and illness. However, if common sense doesn't basically tell anyone what they really need to know about masks, all that knowledgeable information certainly won't convince them. Does anyone really need scientific evidence that coats keep them warm in the winter or that a breeze is cooling in the summer heat? If masks and (K)N95-type respirators were unnecessary, made the wearer more likely to get infected, etc., healthcare workers and especially, trained viral researchers researching this very virus, would not be so adamant about wearing them. The guy who invented the N95, Pete Tsai, has been in the news lately for obvious reasons - I'd suggest folks Google and read about him.

I would ask this: how in the hell does anyone manage to compare wearing a mask with an attempt by "the government" to establish some dictatorship or make the US a communist country? Let's assume for argument's sake that masks don't actually do anything at all as far as transmission and infection. How could getting people to wear that ineffective piece of material on their faces - and only when in public - somehow bring about such a fundamental change in US society? I would suggest that, at worst, wearing a mask simply won't matter, but if the information is correct and it does help slow transmission and infection, then it is a "no-lose" situation. On the other hand, if one staunchly opposes masks, like Robert Foster, it is akin to admitting that he or she so impressionable and so unsure of their views that they can be turned into a socialist or communist (or worse, a liberal) simply by wearing a mask. What a scared weak-minded little idiot Foster must be.

Anonymous said...

The WHO is clearly just an instrument of the Chinese government and can’t be trusted. Early on the said the Wuhan virus couldn’t be spread from person to person and just about anything else China wanted them to say. Now they recommend masks for everyone. Guess where all these masks are made? CHINA! The WHO clearly can’t be trusted.

And there’s still no good reason a person who hasn’t been sick and doesn’t even know a single person who has been sick, let alone been around any, should need to wear a mask except that it makes all the snowflakes feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. And don’t give me any BS about how I might be sick and not know it. Even if I had it and was asymptomatic, there’s evidence that it’s very hard for asymptomatic people to spread the Wuhan virus to others.

It’s also funny how if liberals want something, it’s always “common sense”, or “doing the right thing”, and if you don’t agree then you’re a racist and a bad person.

Anonymous said...

1225 am -
So you say that 'there's evidence that...'

Great tactic. I'm sure to some people that there is evidence that Santa Claus doesn't exist. But somehow those presents still show up under the tree every year.

To some there is evidence that man didn't land on the moon - you are probably one of those. All you have to say is - there's evidence to support my stupid opinion - so there!

Thanks for telling us that you are sure that you are correct. Screw the trained professionals.

Vote to sleep. You need it

Anonymous said...

@8:05 AM

Even your beloved WHO said that asymptomatic transmission is "very rare".

Of course they walked it back the next day once the liberals and the Chineese got a hold of them.

Keep wearing your silly mask Sheep.

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