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Floundering

bristol bay

A floundering Bristol Bay gillneter/Alaska Department of Fish and Game photo

News analysis

For the Alaska fishing industry, the second largest employer in the 49th state, the coronavirus pandemic shutting down the country brings good news, bad news and hints of an even more difficult future than anyone could have imagined a year ago.

First, the good news.

Data from Nielsen, a retail-market tracking firm, shows sales of frozen, canned and pouched seafood up more than 50 percent through mid-March.  The surge is reported to be helping Alaska processors move backlogs of frozen, Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fillets that had been costing them money to keep stored in freezers.

Processors last year paid $1.35 per pound for 44.5 million sockeye, the second largest harvest in Bay history, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

It was a windfall for the Bay’s commercial fishermen who pocketed a record $304 million, But at the end of the season, processors found themselves sitting on 65 percent more salmon than they’d expected with some of the fish of less than prime quality because of unusually hot weather in July.

Some restaurant buyers went looking elsewhere for fish and chose either farmed salmon or Russian wild stocks. But then came the COVID-19 coronavirus to change everything.

Restaurants were ordered closed in many cities as pandemic panic began, and Americans launched a shelf-clearing assault on supermarkets to shore up food supplies for what many feared could be a long period of isolation.

Sales of frozen fish shot up while sales of fresh fish – preferred by many restaurants and picky shoppers – began to fall.

The bad news

With restaurants closed, the Norwegian Seafood Council is now reporting the falling sales of fresh salmon dropped another eight percent last week, but frozen salmon fillet exports went up 17 per cent from the same week a year earlier.

“The Norwegian seafood industry has proven itself agile and adaptable in the face of the current challenges and has turned their production towards more processed products,” the Council’s Paul T. Aandahl told Fish Farmer magazine.

A Norwegian shift into the frozen fish markets is not good for Alaska wild-salmon processors, although the Norwegians have been facing logistics problems in shipping frozen salmon to the U.S. because of cutbacks in air travel.

That should work to the advantage of domestic processors in the short term. But if there is a significant movement by farmers into the retail market for frozen salmon, it could spell problems for Alaska over the long term both in terms of lost market share and lower prices.

Farmed fish already dominate the market in general and set the base price for salmon. More than 75 percent of the salmon consumed around the world today is farmed.

And with the rise of recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) salmon farms on land, the percentage seems almost sure to rise. The RAS farms eliminate concerns about farm waste threatening coastal waterways and can guarantee consumers the fish were raised in clean, filtered water where all they ever ate was government-certified feed.

Alaska, Russia and Japan share the “wild-caught” segment of the slamon market, although almost all the Japanese fish originate from hatcheries and significant numbers of Alaskan and Russian fish are now spawned artificially as well.

If Alaska processors are unable to operate this summer because of COVID-19, or chose not to given the financial problems of some and the potential for financial assistance from the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed by President Donald Trump on Friday, they could lose an even bigger share of the frozen market to farmed salmon.

And regaining market share is never easy.

Will they fish?

Thus, the multi-million dollar question these days swirls around the twin totems of “can they” and “will they?”

About a quarter of the state’s 14,000 limited-entry permits are held by non-residents, according to the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission. And about 75 percent of the processing workers who come to Alaska to process fish in the summer are foreigners or from the Lower 48 states, according to the Alaska Department of Labor.

Some small communities want those people locked out as America shifts from a land of Sanctuary Cities to Fortress Villages. In Alaska, it seems, the smaller the town the more afraid the residents that any visitor could bring COVID-19 to cause chaos and death.

The state and a number of communities have been working with processors to try to devise a plan to house migrant workers, quarantine them for the now required 14 days, and then keep them isolated from the people in the communities where they are working.

There appear no simple and easy ways to do this. In Chile, salmon  processors and their employees’ union have come to agreement on safety standards that include:

  • Thorough sanitation of plants, bathrooms and dining rooms and strategic positioning of alcohol gel cleaning station.
  • Regular testing of workers for temperature and other signs of illness.
  • Changes in lunch schedule to minimize the density of workers in dining areas.
  • An hourly change of work clothes. 
  • And general protocols to try to keep distance between workers.

“Employees with a history of chronic diseases, older adults, pregnant women, and mothers with children under 2 years of age have been referred to their homes,” adds SalmonChile, the workers’ guild.

Those familiar with the slime line in Alaska say some of the Chilean health standards don’t seem practical in places where processing plants are less automated and people often work shoulder to shoulder.

Gunnar Knapp, the retired director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Alaska Anchorage and an expert on northern fisheries, said this week that Alaska fisheries face a lot of problems the farmers don’t, starting with the large volume of migrant labor.

Chilean, Norwegian and other fish farmers usually live in small communities near where they work. Farms are run by relatively small staff with a lot of room to spread out. Nearby processing plants are highly automated, which allows people to distance themselves from each other, and also staffed by people from the local area, which minimizes the problem of how to keep a highly infectious disease out of bunkhouses.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has declared commercial fishing an “essential industry” that will continue to run in the state despite an order that basically locks Alaskans down until April 11, possibly longer; another that requires a 14-day quarantine for anyone arriving in the state from Outside, and a  third that closes bars and restaurants.

As a practical matter, Knapp said, what is the skipper of a fishing boat with several crew coming in from Outside going to do? First he has to find a place to house them for 14 days while they serve out their quarantine and then figure out a way to feed them.

Conceivably that could be done on the boat, but that drives up cost and takes a bite out of the skippers work time or another bite out of his (or her) wallet, given the quarantined crew can’t go to the supermarket to buy food or, for that matter, run errands to get gear to get the boat prepped to go to sea.

Either the skipper, if has already completed his quarantine has do that, or he has to hire someone else to do it.

Hope

The dream of most fishermen is that these problems  will all go away by the time the commercial season opens off the mouth of the Copper River the third week in May and surely by the time other major salmon fisheries start to roll into action in late June.

But that is by no means a given.

Wuhan, China – where COVID-19 is believed to have first popped up – was in a lock down for three months before authorities began to relieve restrictions.

Alaska didn’t start restricting travel and social gatherings until after its first case appeared on March 12. A three-month restriction on gatherings – be they work or play – to try to slow the spread of COVID-19 would push the current lockdown into June.

The state’s tourism season looks to be already largely lost. Guides, lodge owners and others are all reporting large numbers of cancellations. The National Park Service has eliminated the climbing season on Mount Denali, the continent’s tallest peak. And Alaska Airlines, the major carrier into and out of Alaska and a major player in tourist transport, has eliminated about 70 percent of its flights.

“Alaska said it has seen bookings drop more than 80 percent, and said flight reductions will be ‘substantial’ for at least the next several months,” MarketWatch reported last week.

That “80 percent” might well be a harbinger of the size of the shrinkage to come for the Alaska tourism season in general.

Whether more of the commercial fishing season will survive the invisible threat now terrifying mankind only time will tell.

CLARIFICATION: This is a revised version of the earlier story that might have been read to suggest Alaska processors were making increased profits off the sale of last summer’s fish due to the pandemic. Demand for frozen salmon has risen since COVID-19 swept the globe, but prices appear to have held steady given a supply surplus.

 

 

 

 

50 replies »

    • and you’re a flatfish with two eyes on one side of your head, James. flounder – “to struggle to move or obtain footing : thrash about wildly” – was the best word for the industry at the moment, and a fun play on words.

      do you prefer a circle hook or J hook?

  1. Allowing the Bristol Bay fishery to proceed would be very risky. Workers in processing plants bunk very close to each other and in most cases social distancing is impossible in the work area. . These people as well as a majority of permit holders and crew come from all around the world. Effective Quarantining is likely impossible. Everyone connected with the fishery is exposed or exposing. And except for a very small hospital in Dillingham there are little to no medical facilities in the BB communities. An outbreak of the virus would be devastating.
    Yet the administration and UFA are plowing ahead with the claim that this is essential. I hope they reconsider. The administration’s decision seems politically motivated. UFA’s is based on pure greed. No one seems ready to grasp the potential for literally wiping out native communities.

  2. “… inverted totalitarianism as a system where corporations have corrupted and subverted democracy and where economics bests politics.
    Every natural resource and living being is commodified and exploited by large corporations to the point of collapse as excess consumerism and sensationalism lull and manipulate the citizenry into surrendering their liberties and their participation in government.”

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverted_totalitarianism

  3. Great Discussion all,
    At least it hasn’t devolved into the usual spectrum.We’re living on the edge so to speak.No bipedal mortal enemy, not even a giant asteroid, or killer volcano/earthquake.
    Just a perfectly sculpted bit of genetic code, not the first, not the last.
    but certainly as best we know the most pressing.

    thnx Craig

    • Along with the best President this country has seen in my life time. THANK YOU PRESIDENT TRUMP. I couldnt imagine a Democrat President kissing the arse of the Chinese right now..Bad enough they are pushing their Chinese masters propaganda at every turn. What? I am wrong? Sure I am..

      • Says it all doesnt it?
        “Michigan, this week, requested hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine from the Strategic National Stockpile for physicians to use to help treat patients with COVID-19, after the Food and Drug Administration over the weekend granted an emergency use authorization for the anti-malarial drugs.

        But last week, Whitmer’s administration threatened physicians prescribing the drugs, saying they were subject to “administrative action” should they continue to use the medication.”

        “While coronavirus ravages New York – with officials desperately clamoring for life-saving supplies and federal assistance – attention has also turned to years of fiscal mismanagement and cost-cutting, despite it being one of the highest-taxed states in the country.”

  4. S.S,i mostly agree with u,but it can be argued that the restrictions are for the common good.
    Your right to go the store and caugh in my face impinges on my right to be fairly safe in same store.
    IF we want to get through this as quickly as possible,there will no doubt be limitations set on our technical liberties.
    And those rare and exceptional powers are set by precedents.
    (Just probably not in our lifetimes up till now).
    Even if Corona was over tomorrow,society has/will change.
    Outside of nuclear (nookler) war,i cant imagine a worse thing to happen to the state as a whole,at this precise time(for most its the economic drama unfolding).
    The only positive i see so far,is that we are relatively dispersed,just need more cooperation

    • Dave,
      Here is a good story that I found where Coloradans are discussing how it actually may be better for our health to open up businesses like ski areas and other areas that allow social distancing.
      “Marcia Griffin, an Australian woman who is on her 39th visit to Aspen, questioned if the state’s decision to close its ski areas will do more harm than good…
      When I was skiing yesterday, I kept thinking to myself, This is the healthiest, best place in the world I could be right now, Griffin said.
      I think leaders need to act out of logic, not panic, and feel the anxiety and stress this will cause may be just as dangerous as the virus.”

      “People are trying to balance a lot of competing factors and the economic factors could cause a tremendous amount of destruction for a lot of ordinary people…I don’t know what the balance point is.”

      https://www.aspentimes.com/news/surreal-sunday-aspen-skiing-co-staff-mountain-visitors-react-to-ski-area-closures/

  5. My bother was trying to get out of Ballard yesterday, probably up the Passage somewhere now. They plan 2 trips in 30 days, without leaving the boat, due to current restriction. Hoping to go ashore after later trips.

    Market trends don’t mean a lot to these guys. They remember lots of bad years, low prices, poor catch. Then they remember wallowing into port at high prices … it’s a seller’s market for anybody wanting to cash out quota.

    • Ted,
      Old time halibut trips used to be 20 days,if u can figure out the grub shopping without getting off boat,technically no reason to go ashore.
      Still need to take ice n bait,fuel,laundry.And of course unload the boat.But theres no need to leave the immediate dock,except to sign fish ticket

      • Dave,

        I think that’s the deal, making it an extended 20-dayer. Eat lots of bycatch. Walk on cases of canned goods in the passageways. A layer of short cans under the mattress. Produce in gunny bags in the hold.

        With a little bit of luck Chloroquine etc will kick in here PDQ, ‘4, 3, 2…’, the 14 day quarantine is lifted by mid-month or so … restaurant and Asian demand spikes, the price doubles, the fish jump into the hold and everybody is fat dumb & happy!

  6. United States citizens who graduate from college face more roadblocks than COVID 19:

    U.S.-based companies employ a population of roughly 1.5 million college-graduate visa workers in the United States.

    The FWD.us lobby group was formed by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and other West Coast investors to help push the “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill through Congress. The group was subsequently funded by a roster of investors and business chiefs, including top executives from Walmart, Google, and Microsoft. The investors strongly support mass immigration because it cuts companies’ labor costs and inflates consumer sales.

    Meanwhile, agency officials are moving ahead with plans to import 85,000 new H-1B workers in 2020. Breitbart News asked the Department of Homeland Security if the agency is considering curbs on the 2020 award of H-1B visas because of the coronavirus disaster. “No changes at this time,” a spokesman responded on March 19.

  7. We get lock down, the globalists are allowed to operate north slope and fisheries while thousands of out of state workers flood our homeland?
    Is endangering the population of your state grounds for recall?
    A woman who said her husband works on the slope claims there are currently 16 workers in quarantine at this time?
    Governor Dunleavy needs to follow our Constitution or this travel ban needs to quickly be challenged in the courts.
    Before there is no democracy left.
    Picking winners and losers has gone on for way too long in AK, but this time the stakes are the lives of everyone who chose to call Alaska “home”.

    • Steve,

      Which is it, do you think a travel ban is unconstitutional or do you think we should ban all travel from out of state? These are confusing times to be sure, but to swing from one extreme to the other isn’t normal, are you doing ok buddy?

      • Steve o , here’s the deal , constitution is top law . It explicitly says the freedoms stated ( outlined ) don’t limit the the freedoms held . Now if you read the federalist letters thouroughly you would see important architects / writers of the constitution feared outlining freedoms could cause confusion and make future folks argue that only the ones given were in effect. We live in an illegal society. Martial law is illegal. Our fbi raides hoarders but doesn’t compensate them for stealing / confiscation of personal property. That’s quite illegal. It’s a free market and those folks shouldn’t be punished for their foresight . Now as to travel . Where in constitution does feds have right to restrict travel ? No where . If you are free you are free . Now it could be argued the states have the right to restrict travel . There is some legitimate thought in that area but people’s rights come first . So imo states usurped that power but I understand the argument against it . Now you are right – my rights end where yours begin . That said it goes both ways. Let’s take an airplane for instance or store or whatever. If you shut it down you infringe on buisness owners rights and customers rights . I have the right to risk my own health. The person who doesn’t want to risk getting ill can stay at home . Tend their garden green house ect . Now I don’t have a right to go to their house and directly infect them . But shutting down buisness infringes on all people’s rights . The people who don’t want to get ill can stay at home . Or away . IMO it’s illegal for government to usurp personal choice . Personal choice is a right . I’m probably to unclear but if you follow my line of thought you will eventually see it’s constitutional based and correct. Now abortion is complicated because it involves a child who can’t represent themselves they are not strong or experienced enough yet but they still have a mind and and are defined as human / people . A child even unborn is a person and is represented by the constitution as we the people. Thus the heartbeat law or brainwave law should come into effect. Feel free to shorten my name to DPR should you choose to answer. Good day good man .

      • DPR,

        I appreciate your comment and fully understand the concept. To my knowledge as to date the Federal Government has not restricted free movement, if/when they decide to clearly it becomes a martial law has been instituted situation…not good. The states that have instituted quarantine periods are also not in violation of the constitution for a number of reasons, some that you pointed out already, but mainly because they haven’t restricted interstate travel. Unless I am missing it all Americans are free to travel inbetween any of the other states, they must follow the law in the state they enter and leave from by following the quarantine laws or they will be punished. In the overall picture of what is being done and how it is being done, this is no different constitutionally speaking than carrying say fruit, or alcohol, or a gun into another state that doesn’t allow it.

        The list of exemptions are hilarious that I’ve seen for all the states I know of that have shelter-in-place or hunker-down laws/mandates in effect. For all intents and purposes we are being asked to not spit in our neighbors face. Nothing more nothing less. Constitutionally speaking we are already asked not to do that.

      • DPR,

        To further that thought, the world I would like to see is much different than the one we find ourselves in. I would like to think that people would take personal responsibility seriously and that by simply asking our fellow citizens to take common sense (or what should be common sense) into account more frequently, we would have a free country where the exchange of goods and services aren’t restricted by government, where people were free to do as they want as long as it doesn’t impact others.

        Washing our hands, basic hygiene, staying home when you are sick, not spitting in each other’s faces would have gone a long way and should never have to be the duty of big brother government to tell to our fellow citizens. But reality is far, far different from what I would have it be. I just hope we don’t find ourselves under martial law, because that changes everything about our social compact.

      • Steve o, I guess it all depends on your tolerance to kow towing to a master and abdication of free will . Our nation was founded on liberty. ( its law ) We’ve allowed it to stray . It’s not really about wether this is the world you prefer it’s about what our country was meant to be . Quarantine laws – hmm I understand why they could be needed but it’s clearly state over reach to control a citizens movements without charges and conviction. Thus clearly illegal. So even if we would like quarantine it’s not our state right to restrict movement. Except for immigration reasons. ( show me in a law where we abdicated right to free movement) now there is some wordage in constitution above regulation of commerce but that’s not applicable to citizens private lives . Thus illegal over reach . Do we really need a master and domestication ? When a citizen as honorable as yourself argues for state control of free will, argues for the right of the state to trample on our constitution and operate as a tyrant illegally, the question must be asked , are we lost ? Can we recover ? Who will save this nation and fight like our founders ? Please be so kind as to outline how a state can operate as such and still be within constitutional law ? You are a man of facts and details. Show me the gold .

      • DPR,

        There’s plenty of quarantine law out there, there isn’t an overwhelming amount but enough that even an uneducated person like myself can wade through it and understand not only the need but the past precedent. Typhoid Mary spent the last few decades of her life in isolated quarantine because she was immune to typhoid and through no fault of her own directly infected and caused the deaths of others.

        Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not arguing for as you say “state control of free will” I’m not arguing “for the right of the state to trample on our constitution and operate as a tyrant illegally” if anything I am asking what we should be doing withing the law and how we should be doing it. I think people shouldn’t be idiots, first and foremost we should do as our founding fathers would and look out for our fellow man and woman. You have a right to travel, you want to go to Hawaii right now, go…Washington DC, go…Florida, go. You are free to travel to any state you want, there is no Federal mandate saying you can’t. We are a nation of laws made up of states with laws, you can freely break those laws but you will suffer the consequences if you do. Unless of course you are talking about being a sovereign citizen, that conversation has nothing to do with laws and if that is the case I wish you well on your travels, good luck with that.

        As far as your questions of are we lost, can we recover, and who will save this nation and fight like our founders. Once again we are a nation of laws, our laws have evolved over the decades and centuries since we became a country and we are where we at now due to that. I would prefer we were in a different space than we are, but alas we aren’t. I’m not going to make my stand over a virus that kills most likely well less than 1% of the people who are infected, that would just be stupid. It would be especially stupid when we have allowed actual freedom and actual liberties to be taken from us for generation upon generation and when the current living generations simply hand over everything that could ever be known about them including their DNA just so they can access some stupid app, or even pay so they can find out what percentage of Irish or Zimbabwean they have in their blood.

        I appreciate the conversation, but I can’t entertain the sovereign citizen viewpoint (not saying that is your viewpoint and maybe I just jumped to an incorrect conclusion). My brother is one and I’ve gone down that rabbit hole one too many times, and I have yet to see it lead to anything constructive.

      • Steve O,
        Yes, in the example of Typhoid Mary “quarantine” laws of the known sick are precedence in America but we have never seen quarantine / shelter in place laws on healthy (undiagnosed) Americans.
        Please tell me one time in history that we told the majority of our country to “shelter in place”?Completely unprecedented in the U.S. and may have very severe repercussions for our society for years to come.
        As one writer Katz described it today in the NYT:
        “…long lasting and calamitous, possibly graver than the direct toll of the virus itself.”

      • Steve,

        For the most part I do not disagree with what you just said. This is completely unprecedented, I disagree with you that it may have very severe repercussions for our society for years to come, it will absolutely have very severe repercussions for our society for years to come.

        But it is completely irresponsible and hypocritical for you to claim that travel bans are unconstitutional but then call for them to protect yourself and/or your ideology.

      • Steve o, hadn’t thought of sovereign citizen, though that could apply to someone on a boat in the ocean and i believe there are discussions and people attempting it . No that’s not my point unless I try to claim I’m not a citizen.( I’m definitely a citizen) My point is regardless of mistaken court judgements and past usurping of power it doesn’t make current trampling of constitutional law acceptable. It’s our responsibility in this generation at some point to start drawing the line and reverse it . I get your point you are not arguing for corrosive actions that further undermine our freedoms. ( yet perhaps you don’t realize what your opinion promotes). ( in an awkward sense we are sovereign citizens as we basically allow ourselves to be governed if constitution contract is followed by our government and as long as contract is followed we temporarily absolve our sovereign rights . The moment our government oversteps those boundaries our sovereign citizen rights are reinstated as per declaration and constitution allude to by showing why we threw off reign of king George but I’m not referring to any of that nor any form of insurrection ect . We can still work within the format we have ) (And by fight like our founders I meant not war but formation of our government and political fights and lawful fights for concensus and knowledgeable logic that formed our constitution and thus our government- fight using our brain . The work and thought our founders applied was mind blowing. Their drawing of past and current knowledgeable almost inconceivable. ) in this case I’m saying there is no constitutional allowance for impingeing on people’s right to support themselves financially and freedom of movement. Once a government does that without a conviction it’s no different than chains ( albeit longer chains ) which is extreme violation of constitutional law be it by feds or state . That said I’m definitely not arguing against common sense . If we are to stupid to self govern and use common sense then all is lost . Especially the work of our founders and we need to start over . I still say if in constitution you see where impinging on movement is lawful, please show me . Otherwise I respectfully request you dive into your statements and consider their ramifications.

      • DPR,

        When you say “If we are to stupid to self govern and use common sense then all is lost . Especially the work of our founders and we need to start over .”

        We might not have a choice but to start over when this is all said and done, or this might just be the beginning of the starting over.

        As far as travel bans, there aren’t and federal bans in place. If you want to call the quarantines in place a travel ban that’s fine, it similar to a curfew. There are laws for both, as to their constitutionality that would take me more time that I have to dig in to right now. I don’t think we should need either the quarantines or the laws for them because we as a supposedly free people should be smart enough and responsible enough to protect ourselves and our fellow citizens. Look at the morons that are trapped on cruiseships right now, who would have gotten on a cruise ship in the last 2-3 months? Back to the “If we are to stupid to self govern and use common sense then all is lost” these people are to stupid to self govern and clearly have no common sense.

      • Steve o , yep pretty much agree . Though I put a lot of emphasis on constitutional law versus lower laws which may or may not stand up so I think it’s worth the time to dig into constitutional law and intent as that’s the foundational plan of our government and society . I thought we were on a different page but I guess our minds were traveling more similar than I thought. May the sun forever shine on your path and your boat have smooth waters with a full sail. Good day .

    • Steve,u may want to google up martial law.
      We’re nowhere’s even close to that.
      But desperate times may call for desperate measures.
      I doubt very much it will come to that,but I do expect the screws to get turned tighter,unfortunately it probably will be in response rather than anticipation.
      Nothing illegal about forcing careless idiots to think of the greater good-imho

      • Dave,
        Here is an excerpt from “militarytimes.com” addressing the subject of martial law.
        “Though there is no precise definition of martial law, the precedent in the United States holds that under it, “certain civil liberties may be suspended, such as the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, freedom of association, and freedom of movement.”
        I would say anytime our “freedom of movement” is limited we are well into martial law.
        Make no mistake, I see the health concerns…but limiting the movement of locals in a very rural state while thousands of out of state workers fly up makes no sense to me.
        It would be better to hand out masks and practice social distancing because this bug is going to be around for quite some time into our future in AK.

        https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2020/03/17/will-coronavirus-lead-to-martial-law/

      • Steve,

        It’s mostly about the suspension of Habeas Corpus. Article 1 Section 9 Clause 2 says “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” Basically suspending civil courts and putting the military in charge of any and everything. We don’t want to go down that road at all, but we aren’t there yet.

      • Steve o , the concept of rebellion and invasion refers to items other than germs . Basically internal or foreign human invasion or take over . It cannot apply to germs ever unless they are purposely released for nefarious attack and then it’s debatable. The reasoning and logic behind this statement is that deadly germs are ever present and that would allow government to nullify habeus corpus any time they wanted thus negating the purpose of such protections . Also disease was never mentioned as a reason to nullify freedom and there was plenty / way more disease when our nation was founded. therefore habeas corpus suspension cannot legally be suspended in this case period .

      • DPR,

        I wasn’t suggesting that Article 1 Section 9 Clause 2 be used to fight a viral war, I was simply informing Steve S as to what martial law is. I think you might be reading more into what I am writing than what it is I am putting into the words.

      • Steve o , thank you . I don’t believe I’m reading more into your words . I was simply making sure that wasn’t a potential line of thought on our prior discussion above because an uncareful observer might of considered it a potential argument for government justification of their current state and national actions. I’m referring to our prior conversation above . Also I still haven’t seen the constitutional justification for your prior stand allowing government to impinge movement or self financial support. Or really even impinging commerce in any form in this case. Though I could think of some . Even government forcing a company to stop operation is stretch as it effects individuals thus stepping on individuals rights . Such as an airline. ( I’m sure there must be some justification for that and would like to hear it ) now if a government claimed imanent domain and equitably compensated the owners for confiscation that might stand up in a court . ( a fair Supreme Court – anything can stand up in a local/lower court as most of them make unbalanced decisions) even Supreme courts can be faulty when they are politically loaded . There should be no parties as that’s just bait to destroy and unbalance our national courts and government. Supreme Court shouldn’t have conservative and liberal judges. Shouldn’t be picked by a republican or Democrat. We are in a destructive era .

      • Steve O,
        Like I referenced above: “… there is no precise definition of martial law”
        Habeas Corpus is not the delineation into the vestibule of martial law.
        We are already seeing the judicial branch bow to Governors during this “emergency”.
        “Judge Matthews recognized that government power regarding how to address the COVID-19 pandemic, while continuing to maintain essential state services, is entrusted to the Governor and not the judiciary,” Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson said in a written statement”
        As the National Guard is deploying around the country and govenors are limiting our freedom to travel within our state, I firmly believe we are seeing martial law today and anyone who thinks social engineering of our Democracy is OK, does not see the grave and impending dangers ahead.

      • Steve,

        There are a lot of very precise definitions of martial law, here is one from the urban dictionary.

        The day Martial Law is declared, is the day you wake up and realize that your Constution/bill of Rights/Charter of Rites and Freedoms/etc. is really just about as valuable as that Kleenex you just spunked in… because rites are just privileges, and privileges can be revoked. Your government will do whatever it takes to stay in power, and they got the gunz…

        The definition goes on and is worth the read if you have the time.

        https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Martial%20law

      • Here is another very precise definition of martial law

        martial law
        n. a system of complete control by a country’s military over all activities, including civilian, in a theoretical or actual war zone, or during a period of emergency caused by a disaster such as an earthquake or flood, with the military commander having dictatorial powers. In the United States martial law must be ordered by the President as commander-in-chief and must be limited to the duration of the warfare or emergency. It cannot result in a long-term denial of constitutional rights, such as habeas corpus, the right to a trial, and to free press.

        https://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=1219

        Shall I go on?

      • Why not, here’s one more precise definition of martial law

        Definition of martial law
        1: the law applied in occupied territory by the military authority of the occupying power
        2: the law administered by military forces that is invoked by a government in an emergency when the civilian law enforcement agencies are unable to maintain public order and safety

        https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/martial%20law

      • Steve,

        We aren’t under martial law, by any definition…and thankfully so.

        If you want to talk about how we could be headed towards martial law and how the authorization and enactment of the Defense Production Act gets us a step closer, or how the recall of the ready reserve moves us a step closer, or how the mobilization of the National Guard could be a tip of the cap then fine let’s do that…but we are not under martial law.

        Here is a good read about the Constitution and martial law https://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_mlaw.html

      • DPR,

        In an effort to not confuse the casual observer on the subjects being discussed, I won’t respond at length to your comment here. But I will say that your asking me to justify something that our government is doing is barking up the wrong tree. Please remember that the previous discussion started with Steve S calling these travel bans unconstitutional all while calling for more travel bans.

      • DPR,

        You are absolutely correct we can’t have it both ways. The usconstitution . net article I linked to above one part stands out and that was when the Supreme Court ruled in ex parte Milligan they said “Martial law … destroys every guarantee of the Constitution.” That’s quite definitive and not something most of us want to be a part of.

      • I am pretty sure Trump, of all the presidents we have had in my lifetime will/would not declare Martial Law. Now a Communist leaning Democrat I am not so sure about given their troubled past.
        Now states can can declare a State of Emergency if their police deparments fall ill in great numbers and call up tje national guard. But, I don’t see Martial Law in our future..
        Because, on a federal level, only the president has the power to impose martial law. In each state, the governor has the right to impose martial law within the borders of the state. … In United States law, martial law is limited by several court decisions that were handed down between the American Civil War and World War II.

      • Steve o,
        We are totally having it both ways right now.
        There is a travel ban in state, yet the airlines are open for inter state travel?
        Most private sector businesses must close yet large corporations like Walmart see record sales?
        Small businesses are offered loans while blue chips on wall$treet tap into the bailout for good old ca$h?
        It seems like there are two distinct different rules right now in America for those who are considered “essential” vs us “non essential” types?
        Last time I checked there was no great divide in the Constitution for two different sets of class?
        Allowing citizens to make informed decisions is way different from police enforced mandates.
        Our government was founded to protect us from infringement on our personal liberties, not the other way around.
        A bunch of bureaucrats is no panacea for this disease.
        Luckily, Saudi and Russia backed off the oil war before our economy fully collapsed.

      • Steve,

        Even if all of what you just said were true, and I won’t even try getting in to how much and what you said isn’t true, that still isn’t martial law. It’s just not martial law, at all. Do I see there being a way that martial law could be declared, sure I absolutely see that could happen, the way things are going the possibilities are endless. I do not think it will happen and we certainly are not having it both ways right now, by definition you cannot have martial law and civil law concurrently.

      • Steve O,
        I get you feel this is not martial law.
        I disagree.
        Looking at “military control” and loss of Habeas corpus as the delineation does not add up in modern times.
        Did you remember how Trump lifted the ban on Military Equipment to local police forces?
        “Obama had curtailed the equipment transfer program after law enforcement officers using military-style armored vehicles and guns confronted protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014 following the fatal police shooting of a black teenager…
        After a review, Obama barred the military from transferring certain types of equipment to police or sheriff’s departments, including tracked armored vehicles, armed aircraft or vehicles of any kind, .50-caliber firearms and ammunition, grenade launchers, bayonets and camouflage uniforms.”
        I would say police with armored vehicles and 50 cal machine guns are more efficient than the “military” ever was when Martial law was conceived?
        If you are waiting for Habeas Corpus to save your butt in America, then things are way too late.
        As soon as your liberty, freedom and job have been taken away by government mandates, I would say martial law is your new way of life.
        Alaska has not activated the National Guard yet, but many states have and police are out blaring sirens for residents to comply.
        We are still in the “vestibule” up here in AK, but as 20 to 50,000 jobs are lost…I expect things will get worse before they get better.

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-police-equipment-idUSKCN1B81TI

      • Steve,

        I don’t “feel” anything about what martial law is, I know what it is. I have defined it for you, I have spelled it out for you and yet you fail to understand the simple fact that we aren’t under martial law. What you’ve just described again is not martial law, it’s a lot of things but it is decidedly not martial law. You can disagree with definitions, with the constitution, with the laws themselves it really doesn’t matter what you disagree with because martial is what it is and you are wrong in calling something martial law that is demonstrably not martial law. It lessens your point to call everything martial law, especially when it is so clearly and obviously not martial law.

        Probably the best way for you to measure if you are actually under martial law is if you are still allowed to post your nonsense on the internet, under martial law you wouldn’t even be able to access the internet. Then again if we were under martial law you, no doubt, would be saying we weren’t.

      • Steve O,
        Your “martial law” blinder is missing the larger picture accross this country right now.
        Back when the concept of martial law was conceived of in this country, we had not even seen a “police officer” yet.
        Let alone police forces as capable as what we have today.
        When the country went into martial law back in 1861 at the beginning of the civil war, the military was needed to gain control since the land owners had long rifles.
        The first real police force was around 1865.
        “The Coal and Iron Police was a private police force in the US state of Pennsylvania that existed between 1865 and 1931.
        It was established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly but employed and paid by the various coal companies.”
        ( Wikipedia)
        Today, the state and local police are quasi military trained (and equipped).
        My point is the military are not needed today in America like they were in 1861.
        What we are seeing is more social engineering than anything else.
        “…the use of centralized planning in an attempt to manage social change and regulate the future development and behavior of a society.”
        ( Wikipedia)
        Activities are deemed ok or not on many beaches and parks currently across the U.S.
        Here is an example of personal mandates in Hawaii due to the virus.
        “However, when a person is on the sand, he or she must be actively moving, meaning they must be engaging in an activity like walking or running…
        People cannot station themselves at the beach, meaning a person cannot set up a towel or chair, read a book at the beach, or sit on the beach to watch the sunset.”
        Now why can’t someone sit on a beach, but they can run or jog there instead?
        I was told once that all benches were removed or covered up since no sitting was allowed publicly in China?
        I am reminded of a revolutionary war hero from the east coast.
        “General John Stark in a letter he wrote in 1809 to a group of veterans commemorating the Battle of Bennington.
        “Live free or die; death is not the worst of evils.”
        Think about that as more mandates & curfews are implemented accross the U.S.

        https://www.khon2.com/top-stories/police-statewide-are-starting-to-crack-down-on-mandate/

      • Not quite Martial Law but some BS none-the-less..

        A Southern California paddleboarder was arrested Thursday for allegedly violating the statewide “safer at home” coronavirus order, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

        Lifeguards near the Malibu Pier flagged down county deputies from the Lost Hills station after they said the unidentified man ignored their orders to get out of the water, the department wrote on Facebook.
        The man stayed in the water off Malibu Pier for another 30 to 40 minutes until deputies sent out a patrol boat.

        He swam ashore and was arrested for allegedly disobeying lifeguards and ignoring the stay-at-home order, both misdemeanor charges.

        He was booked into the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station and released.

        He could face up to six months in jail or a $1,000 fine, KTLA-TV reported.

      • Steve,

        What you describe is still not martial law. It might be tyranny, or panicked public servants thinking they know best, or a police state, or ham-handed government overreach, or some other form of totalitarianism. But it’s still not martial law, martial law has a very clear and precise definition.

        I wasn’t aware that chicken little syndrome was a symptom of covid, but it appears you caught it Steve.

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