Your COVID Papers, Please!
People are justifiably worried that the government is going to impose a COVID passport as a requirement for travel and for maskless participation in public events.
Of course it is going to happen for some good reasons and for far more bad. The only question is how to deal with the government. Do you directly challenge their right to jail, torture, fine, and imprison you over such all-important questions as giving your Social Security number to the library or going maskless into a federal office building, or do you simply accept these petty tyrannies as facts of life, like driving on the right side of the road?
When I was younger and more foolish, I frequently acted on the temptation to prod the beast, but I won nothing but a little smug satisfaction that is bad for one's character. I shouldn't dream of telling anyone which battles to pick, but I would advise people to pick carefully.
Right now, the IRS is dunning a friend for over $3000. From what he can gather from the mainstream press and financial advisors, the tax boys are entirely wrong. He is consulting with his tax accountant, but I have advised him that it is far better to pay the extortion money than waste time going to a tax court. People have much better things to do with their time, such as learning Greek, reading cheap novels, and getting a good night's sleep.
Tacitus was a republican at heart wh was merciless in his criticism of even the best of the early Roman "emperors"--a false and misleading title--but he blamed the Stoic republicans in the Senate for deliberately provoking the even-tempered Vespasian into persecuting them. They accomplished nothing but the ruin of their families, and by the time of Claudius--as we might say by the time of Garfield--restoration of the republic was an impossibility.