Texas politics gets weirder. First a law makes it illegal to have an abortion in most cases after six weeks of pregnancy. Then, rather than enforce their own prohibition, the state assigns that task to civilian bounty hunters. This has resulted in one abortion doctor making public the fact that he performed an abortion later than the law allowed, just to draw civilian lawsuits to him, so he’d be in a position to sue the state.
He’s actually hoping many seeing his admission in the papers will try to claim their $10,000 bounty from him. Then he’ll sue the state for allowing that.
Meanwhile, civil politics got uncivil at a restaurant near Dallas. A couple with a 4-month-old immunocompromised baby got to go to the restaurant while a relative served as babysitter. They wore masks to the restaurant so as not to bring any virus back home to the baby later. Seems reasonable, right? Maybe they were being overly cautious, but hey, it’s their faces. It’s not like they were saying everyone should wear masks around them. They were just masking themselves.
After finding out they were there wearing masks, the manager of the restaurant had them kicked out. They even had to pay for the meal they ordered, which they were never able to eat.
You see, the manager hates everyone trying to make him wear a mask, so he hates mask-wearing itself and has declared mask-wearing off limits in his restaurant, because making him wear a mask infringes on his freedom.
This makes about as much sense as refusing to serve alcohol to someone because their ID shows they have more than three names. “This is America. We Americans have a first name, a middle initial and a last name. If you have more names than that, find a bar that caters to non-Americans. We don’t want your extra names around here.”
But actually, this couple wasn’t wearing masks to make the manager wear a mask, nor to take a pro-mask political stand. They were just wearing masks for their own reasons and their own purposes.
Since at the time there was no mask mandate for Texas restaurants, the restaurant couldn’t be in violation of a mandate. Since mask wearers aren’t a protected class, well, certainly not in Texas anyway, the couple couldn’t sue for discrimination. But they could make the story public so people might not give the restaurant business.
The parallel in the two stories is this: With Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court took away the freedom of Texans to prevent abortions. Yes, that’s the thinking behind the new law. The law is designed to restore the freedom of Texas residents to meddle in others’ personal affairs and prevent those people from getting abortions.
Because every time someone gets an abortion in Texas, it’s an assault upon the self-evident God-given freedom of every non-abortion-getting-Texan to prevent abortions. Just like mask-wearing assaults the freedom of the restaurant manager to keep on not wearing a mask, which he has been doing because his state doesn’t care. He’s free to not wear a mask. It’s Texas!
Texas residents can now interfere more with the rights of others than they’ve been able to since Juneteenth.
I was happy to see that the Inspiration4 space tourists got back to earth safely. They reported loving their three days in high orbit. The view from the toilet was fantastic. The only complaint was that the toilet didn’t have the proper amount of suction. Space toilets are supposed to suck your productions away from you and into a collector. They had their very own “Houston, we have a problem” moment. Elon Musk had to admit the Dragon toilet needs some upgrading.
The thing I like most about space tourism is what it shows about the law of supply and demand. How rare is being able to orbit the earth? It’s really, really, really hard to get to do it. So let’s charge megamillions per person to get to orbit the earth.
What would have happened if the couple wearing the masks in the anti-masker’s restaurant said, “Let us keep the masks on until the food arrives and we will pay an extra thousand dollars over the tab”? And they check their credit card and find they’re good for it?
I bet that would change the calculation of “rights.”
Dr. Wes is the Real Change Circulation Specialist, but, in addition to his skills with a spreadsheet, he writes this weekly column about whatever recent going-ons caught his attention. Dr. Wes has contributed to the paper since 1994. Curious about his process or have a response to one of his columns? Connect with him at email@example.com.
Read more of the Sept. 29 - Oct. 5, 2021 issue.