When most of us think of a State of Emergency, we think of isolated natural disasters like hurricanes, winter storms or a flood that passes through. In those cases it’s quite obvious when the emergency is over. But what if an emergency is declared for something that hasn’t happened yet? How will we know when it’s over?
Both Pennsylvania and Connecticut governors recently declared a State of Emergency, not because a disaster is taking place at this moment, but because bad things may happen in the future. This is an incredible development that citizens should be concerned about.
You should know that during a state of emergency your rights are suspended along with Constitutional restraints on government.
According to Wiki, a state of emergency “means that the government can suspend and/or change some functions of the executive, the legislative and or the judiciary during this period of time,” and it “can also be used as a rationale for suspending rights and freedoms, even if those rights and freedoms are guaranteed under the Constitution.”
It is the legal equivalent to living under a dictatorship who can change and ignore existing laws while at the same time citizens lose their rights. This power should be viewed as an absolute last resort in times of genuine crisis; but lately it’s declared merely over fear of something potentially happening in the future, instead of an actual emergency — which, by definition, is an immediate crisis.
Pennsylvania is currently operating under a state of emergency due to a manhunt for a single individual suspected of shooting two policemen. Police found an unusual orgy of evidence in the case, like finding the suspect’s journal detailing all of his alleged crimes. Any detective will tell you that this level of “evidence” almost always indicates a frame job, but I digress.
The state government also hastily passed “temporary” legislation allowing out-of-state law officers to make arrests within state borders.
According to PennLive:
As alleged cop killer Eric Matthew Frein continues to elude police, legislation is heading to Gov. Tom Corbett might make it possible for even out-of-state law enforcement to arrest him should they find him.
The Senate voted 48-0 on Thursday to approve House-passed legislation that would extend arrest powers to out-of-state officers when the governor has declared an emergency and it would remain in effect until the disaster emergency declaration is terminated.
Pennsylvania State Police information officer Adam Reed told PennLive, “It’s (the legislation) very important because in any large-scale incident like this, we need to rely on out-of-state agencies. They need to have some method in place … to grant them arrest powers in extreme cases.”
A random fugitive is considered a “large scale incident”? Something smells rotten here. Apparently the emergency is ongoing until this specific individual is detained. What about the next fugitive?
The logic behind the state of emergency in Connecticut is even more ridiculous. The state has not had a single resident or even a passing traveler with Ebola and yet Governor Malloy recently declared an emergency due to the potential threat from Ebola.
From Gov. Malloy’s office:
Governor Dannel P. Malloy today signed an order that gives the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health (DPH) the ability to effectively quarantine an individual or a group of individuals who may have been exposed to or infected with the Ebola virus.
The order is not being executed because a specific case has been identified, but rather as a precautionary and preparatory measure in the event that the state has either a confirmed infection or has confirmed that someone at risk of developing the infection is residing in the state.
They even admit there is no actual emergency, but Connecticut officials can now force you into isolation, quarantine you, and medicate you by decree. This is otherwise known as indefinite detention without a right to defense, and it only needs to be based on some bureaucrat’s suspicions about your health, not criminal acts. Are you beginning to see how dangerous this is?
And don’t we already pay the CDC, HHS, FEMA, and other agencies to prepare and take precautions for potential outbreaks? Why does Connecticut need to declare an emergency to prepare for something that is already being prepared for? It seems ludicrous.
America, at the federal level, has been operating in a perpetual State of Emergency since the attacks of September 11th. That is why executive orders are technically legal, as well as warrantless spying, TSA groping, indefinite detention, military patrolling neighborhoods, wars without Congress, and the rest of the seemingly lawless behavior by the government.
These unconstitutional provisions were meant to be temporary due to the “emergency” of 9/11. That’s why the PATRIOT Act had annual sunset clauses until Obama auto-signed a four-year extension in 2011. This happened around the time Osama was allegedly killed and Al Qaeda was said to number less than 50. Still, the national emergency and war on terror persists.
Isn’t it interesting how all these new terror groups and hyped pandemics are gaining momentum in the months leading up to the PATRIOT Act’s latest sunset in 2015?
The PATRIOT Act aside, it seems like the government at all levels is either pathetically easy to frighten, or they’re looking for any excuse to harness the extra authority that comes during a state of emergency. We have become the land of cowards, but I bet on the latter.
If you care about your rights, you might want to make some noise about these state emergencies that aren’t actually emergencies, because they’re setting dangerous precedents to justify tyranny.
More by Eric Blair