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Bill Straub: Dear, dear Abby, is it really OK to lie just because you want to? Thomas Massie says it is

Dear Abby sadly departed this mortal coil some years back now and no one has stepped up to provide our often-bewildered public with the sort of advice that could guide them through rough times.

Until now.

Enter Rep. Thomas Massie, R-SomewhereorotherLewisCounty, who has stepped forward to fill the void, providing wise counsel to those of us who would rather swallow a horse de-wormer than line-up for a simple, Federal Drug Administration approved vaccination to help ward off the horror of COVID-19, which has taken more than 700,000 American lives.

Massie’s sage advice is so simple, really, that it’s a wonder no one has thought of it before – commit fraud.

In other words, cheat. And, by God, it would be an ethical way of getting around any nasty, old vaccination requirement.

The NKyTribune’s Washington columnist Bill Straub served 11 years as the Frankfort Bureau chief for The Kentucky Post. He also is the former White House/political correspondent for Scripps Howard News Service. A member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame, he currently resides in Silver Spring, Maryland, and writes frequently about the federal government and politics. Email him at williamgstraub@gmail.com

Massie, our very own Wonder Boy, that wily so-and-so. What would we ever do without him?

Here’s what our boy recommended to the army of anti-vaxxers out there willing to forfeit their livelihood and potentially endanger others just to avoid a shot in the arm. Via Twitter on Oct. 15:

“hypothetically: I believe if a person were to find a vaccine provider who would fake the administration of the vaccine, this would be an ethical form of non-compliance for both the provider and the receiver, legality notwithstanding. It would also be hard to prove this happened.

“You’d have to be a fool to think this isn’t happening, hasn’t already happened thousands of times already, and won’t happen with increased frequency as the mandates affect more people.”

So, what we have here ladies and gentlemen, is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, supposedly a believer in the rule of law, essentially recommending that those true Americans – and they are the only true Americans – revolt against any vaccination mandate by committing fraud against the public.

Lincoln wept. Even ol’ Tricky Dick, disgraced former President Richard Milhouse Nixon, might stomp the brakes on this one.

It’s been noted before that, in many ways, Rep. Thomas Massie, the Whiz Kid emerging from a rural area in Northeastern Kentucky, is a brilliant man, with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, something that venerable outfit doesn’t hand out like Halloween candy. He’s won numerous technological prizes and holds a warehouse full of patents.

He’s also a nutjob of the first order, as his eight years in Congress have fully demonstrated. For the most part his, well, let’s call them eccentricities, have centered around guns and his desire to arm every man, woman and child with the semi-automatic killing machine of their greatest desire – he’s at war with the National Rifle Association because he views it as soft on the Second Amendment.

Now Wonder Boy is working to get people to lie. While it’s not unusual to find a politician willing to tell whoppers til the cows come home, it’s rare for a member of Congress to prevail upon his constituents to join in on the fun – at least it was until Donald Trump entered the picture.

Make no mistake – falsifying a medical record is against the law almost everywhere in the U.S. Medical records are legal documents that may not be falsified or altered in any way. In fact, the COVID-19 Vaccination Card provided to those who get their shots are issued by the Centers for Disease Control, a federal agency based in Atlanta.

According to the website legalbeagle.com, “In some states, tampering with medical records is a criminal offense in its own right. In others, fabricating medical entries is a forgery crime, covered by both state and federal laws. Misdemeanor tampering charges typically will result in fines and jail time up to around a year.”

All of which raises an interesting legal question – if someone follows through, gains possession of a fraudulent vaccination card, is arrested and claims to have accepted it at Massie’s recommendation, can the Northern Kentucky congressman he be charged with aiding and abetting in a crime?

Just asking.

Regardless, to maintain that lying, cheating and committing a fraud is somehow within the bounds of “ethical non-compliance” is stretching the meaning and intent of the word ethics beyond all possible recognition. Up is down and east is west.

In his ongoing diatribe, Massie attacks the idea of vaccine mandates, maintaining in one tweet that, “Congress NEVER voted for vaccine mandates. These are NOT LAWS. These are edicts, issued without constitutional or legal authority.”

He goes one step further, introducing legislation intended to prevent members of the Armed Forces from being forced to take the COVID-19 vaccine, thus seeking to upend the military’s mass inoculation practice to protect those living in close quarters dating back to the Revolutionary War.

No government at the federal, state or local level has mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for the population at large, although it is playing around the edges. Let’s call it a strong recommendation.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has developed a rule, now under consideration in the White House, that would require workers for companies employing 100 or more people to either get the vaccine or get tested for the virus on a weekly basis.

Meanwhile, the number of state and local governments requiring their workers to get vaccinated is growing. City workers in New York are facing a mandate and Los Angeles is requiring everyone 12 and over to be fully vaccinated before entering public indoor places, starting on Nov. 4.

Any number of companies from sea to shining sea have already told its employees to get the shot or hit the road. It’s good for business.
And it all appears to be according to Hoyle. In 1905, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a case titled Jacobson v. Massachusetts, ruled 7-2 that a state had the authority to enforce laws on mandatory vaccination. The great Justice John Marshall Harlan, a son of the Bluegrass, noted in his opinion that the defendant claimed “the execution of such a law against one who objects to vaccination, no matter for what reason, is nothing short of an assault upon his person.”

But, Harlan wrote, “the liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States to every person within its jurisdiction does not import an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint. There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good.”

The current Supreme Court has thus far refused to consider three efforts to overturn COVID-19 mandates.

So the constitutional question holds no water, leaving the Wonder Boy, as usual, howling at the moon.

But here’s the bottom line: At last count, almost 725,000 people have died because of this dreaded virus. No one has died as a result of the vaccine. Studies up and down establish conclusively that those getting the shots are substantially less likely to end up in the hospital or die than those who refuse.

There’s no point to be proven by anti-vaxxers. There are still too many people listening to false prophets like Massie who continue to plant the seed of distrust for the federal government in their minds for whatever nefarious purpose. And people are still dying.

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  1. Marv Dunn says:

    Please, please, somebody primary this guy that supposedly “represents” us Northern Kentuckians.

  2. Richard says:

    I assume you have had the vaccine. If you are still afraid of going outside, then bath yourself in hand sanitizer and add a third mask, but you are likely protected from getting Covid. So live and let live.

Reply to Marv Dunn Cancel Reply