Belligerent, Whiny Adolescents
I won't! I won't! I won't wear a mask! You can't make me! Why? Well, most of the argument boils down to this quote from the Spokesman article from Friday, July 17, ‘Masking is a satanic ritual’: Group protests outside Spokane health officer’s house over state mask mandate:
“Nobody has the authority over anybody else,” Whalen said.
Whalen said he couldn’t answer how mandates to wear a mask differ from mandates to wear a seat belt, but repeated that “nobody has authority.” He said whether it’s driving without a license, driving without a seat belt or shopping without a mask, people should have a personal choice.
These are the arguments of a belligerent, naysaying child, but they come from the mouth of a full-size person, part of group of about thirty sign-carriers and bullhorn wielders demonstrating outside the private home of Dr. Bob Lutz, chief medical officer of the Spokane Regional Health District, last Friday.
According to the Spokesman, "The group was organized by Casey Whalen of People’s Rights, a newly emerging organization based in Boise." It was Mr. Whalen quoted above. Visit Mr. Whalen's Facebook page . There you'll find a post from July 19 at 1:30PM where he is "with Joey Gibson and 2 others." The "2 others" are Matt Shea and Ammon Bundy. Birds of a feather.
Another protester pictured and named in Spokesman article was tattooed, bullhorn-wielding Joey Gibson, founder of "Patriot Prayer" a Portland-based group of maybe fifteen members that has instigated protests, some of which turned violent, as far south as San Francisco. This isn't Joey Gibson's first appearance as an agitator in Spokane, either. He was among those featured with Matt Shea at the May 1st Spokane demonstration against Governor Inslee's stay-at-home order instigated by Shea.
Why are radical right Christian Casey Whalen from Boise Idaho and Joey Gibson, Portland provocateur, gathering protesters in front of a private residence in Spokane? They have no business here. No State of Washington government mandates or regulations affect them. Whalen, Joey Gibson and his "Patriot Prayer" are in Spokane for two reasons: They have some like-minded prominent associates in our area, including Matt Shea, Caleb Collier, former City of Spokane Valley city councilman, and rest of the crew at the Covenant Church, the same folks who periodically raise their rabble for their "Church" at Planned Parenthood. Perhaps more importantly, and something the Spokesman article missed, Gibson is involved in a legal row in Oregon over an incident in 2019 in which he and his "Patriot Prayer" are accused of "inciting riot." Gibson and company descended on a Portland pub, donned weaponry and protective gear, and, among other things, beat a woman senseless. It seems that "Patriot Prayer" is more like "Brownshirts for Trump" than what their pious name is supposed to suggest.
These are all birds of a feather. They were parading around making noise and shouting inanities in front of the home of Dr. Lutz because that was the place they could get the most media attention. Thirty sign-carrying yahoos parading in a park would hardly attract attention. Moreover, with their small numbers, apparently they feel the need to travel to adjacent states to be inane and belligerent.
Let's give them attention. Study these overgrown adolescents. Learn with whom on the local scene these folk are associated. Pay attention to local candidates for office associated with these folk through Matt Shea (still the Representative from LD4, Spokane Valley north to Mt. Spokane), people like McCaslin Junior and Rob Chase currently running for office in LD4.
Keep to the high ground,
P.S. Casey Whalen's “Nobody has the authority over anybody else" is worthy of ridicule. I guarantee he and his ilk don't get the irony of 1) their support for the state overriding women's decision making around their own personal reproductive rights and 2) their support for Trump in his violent suppression of peaceful protesters.
P.P.S. Another favorite of mine from the Spokesman article: "Palmer, with her sign about satanic masking, said she and her friends at the protest believe the virus is serious but that mask-wearing puts healthy people at risk. She also said mask-wearing prevents human connection, spiritual connection to others and free speech, making it satanic." Does this mean she thinks surgeons and nurses are engaging in risky behavior wearing masks for hours in operating rooms all over the world. Perhaps she would prefer her medical practitioner not wear a mask for her surgery? Inane. And, where, pray tell, does she learn that mask wearing is "satanic"? Not from any Bible with which I'm acquainted.
P.P.P.S. As a researched this first I found a female Casey Whelan in Boise. Are all the Casey Whalens in Boise, male or female right wing extremists? Perhaps. You can see Ms. Whalen in action on the steps of the Boise Capital Building on June 23rd, egging on the far right Idaho legislators who had gathered there for what they wanted to call a "special session," but which was merely an official-looking opportunity to grandstand. In the video, easily recognizable standing to Ms. Whalen's right, is Heather Scott, acolyte of Matt Shea and radical Christian right Redoubter representing North Idaho in Boise.
P.P.P.P.S. It is hard to miss the irony of Gibson's Portland, Oregon, origins in view of Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich's concern over far left "antifa agitators" supposedly coming to Spokane from Portland to stir up trouble during the mostly peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrations.