Diary

There are Times That I Wonder if Today's Democrats See George Orwell's 1984 Not as a Warning but a Model of Good Government

As we have previously noted, Governor Andy Beshear (D-KY) imposed a three week, possibly renewable, ban on indoor dining at restaurants. Los Angeles, Chicago and foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy Philadelphia have all banned indoor dining, and Philly imposed new restrictions on outside dining as well.

Well, LA has gone a step further. From the Los Angeles Times:

L.A. County suspends outdoor dining at restaurants as coronavirus surges

By Alex Wigglesworth, Matt Hamilton and Jenn Harris | November 22, 2020 | 3:29 PM PST | Updated: 9:19 PM PST

In a devastating blow to Los Angeles’ struggling restaurant and hospitality industry, L.A. County public health officials on Sunday announced they will suspend outdoor dining at restaurants amid a surge of new coronavirus cases.

Few segments of Southern California’s economy have been hit harder by the pandemic than the once-booming dining world, with many landmark establishments closing in recent months and many more on the brink. After they were forced to shut indoor dining rooms in the spring, many eateries got a lifeline when officials allowed them to serve outdoors, often in patio areas and makeshift dining halls set up in parking lots, sidewalks and streets.

The new rule takes effect at 10 p.m. Wednesday and restricts restaurants — along with breweries, wineries and bars — to takeout and delivery only for the first time since May. It will remain in place for at least three weeks, officials said. Wineries and breweries can continue retail operations.

Warm weather Los Angeles is a great place for outside dining, if you don’t mind the automobile fumes too much, anyway, much better than in the impending winter weather in most of the country. But, not to worry, now LA is going to suffer just as much as Philadelphia. Mayor Jim Kenney (D-Philadelphia) won’t have to completely shut down outdoor dining in the City of Brotherly Love; evening temperatures in the thirties and forties will do that for him.

Diner: Waiter, could I have another glass of water.

Waiter: Is your glass empty, sir?

Diner: No, it’s frozen.

But, if the ban on outdoor dining doesn’t run the Los Angeles restaurants out of business, the county is preparing to do more to them:

Officials have urged residents to stay home as much as possible for the next two to three weeks to curb the rising tide of infections and avoid overwhelming the healthcare system.

L.A. County could face even stricter rules to stem the spread of the virus if the average number of new daily coronavirus cases over a five-day period continues to rise and tops 4,500, or if hospitalizations grow to more than 2,000, officials said.

In that event, officials plan to impose a three-week stay-at-home order that would permit only essential workers and those procuring essential services to leave their homes.

“Essential workers,” huh? That means who work at jobs that other people find essential. The apparently quaint notion that working to put food on the table and a roof over their heads is essential to everybody who works doesn’t appear to penetrate the consciousness of the rulemakers.

Doug Rankin, chef at Bar Restaurant in Silver Lake, said that outdoor dining had helped the restaurant break even over the last few months, generating enough to carry it through the year and ensure staffers kept their jobs.

Rankin planned to pivot entirely to takeout. He said that the entire service staff had already been laid off and that kitchen staff would be scaled down immediately.

Mayor Eric Garcetti (D-Los Angeles), with a salary of $248,000 per year and a net worth of $3,000,000, doesn’t have to worry about the ever-increasing restrictions will put him out on the street, doesn’t have to be concerned with being able to put food on the table, so it’s just so easy for him to have put the “entire service staff” of the Bar Restaurant out of work. It’s for their own good, don’t you know, as though eventual homelessness won’t be any big thing.

Many in the hospitality industry shared the sense that their businesses were being scapegoated, and they worried that the closure of outdoor dining would push L.A. County residents to gather at homes, where adherence to safety measures would be inconsistent or absent.

Governors Kate Brown (D-OR) and Tim Walz (D-MN) have already asked neighbors to spy on neighbors are report any violations of COVID-19 regulations. If Mayor Garcetti or Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA), net worth $10 million, most recently famous for his attendance at a maskless dinner at the hoitiest and toitiest of restaurants, get too concerned about the people misbehaving at home, count on them wanting to send the Geheime Staatspolizei to people’s homes to stamp out that, too.

There are times that I wonder if today’s Democrats see George Orwell’s 1984 not as a warning but a model of good government.

Perhaps if I point out that many of the restaurant staff who will lose their jobs are illegal immigrants, Mr Garcetti will yield and let them go back to work, rather than force them to return south of the border . . . .
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