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Panel: SB Mask Debate Regresses to Gestapo, Stop & Frisk and Sticks-in-Spokes. Oy.


As every school child knows, Godwin’s Law of Hitler Analogies reckons that the longer an argument proceeds, the more likely it is that one party to it will buttress their position by invoking a reference to Nazis.

In popular cultural usage, a corollary of the digital-era Godwin's rule maintains that the first one to make a Third Reich reference loses the argument.

Alas, SB city council member Eric Friedman this week appeared blissfully unaware of either tenet of debate and discourse. During a lengthy, and at times absurd, council debate over whether and how to enforce the wearing of masks that help stem the spread of Covid-19 , Friedman incomprehensibly compared official enforcement of face coverings to the treatment of Jews in “1930s Germany.”

Can you say false equivalence?

To the relief of right-thinking people everywhere, council colleague Meagan Harmon promptly interjected a cool-headed objection to Friedman's analogy (which drew angry fire on social media) – not only for its thoughtless Holocaust allusion, but also for its claimed parallelism between local public officials trying to curb a viral pandemic and, you know, the Gestapo.

The Friedman-Harmon clash marks the point of disembarkation for this week’s Newsmaker TV panel, as Josh Molina, Delaney Smith and Jerry dig further into the daft City Hall mask debate, which also featured allegations about stop-and-frisk politics and the suggestion that youthful bicyclists, apparently determined to annoy elders by popping wheelies on State Street, be stopped by the application of sharp sticks through their spokes.


You could look it up.


In other news, the gang also discusses the latest from the housing beat, updates the school board race and back-to-school arrangements, analyzes Mayor Cathy's struggles with chairing a meeting, grieves the shuttering of a neighborhood coffee shop and weighs in on the Rose Garden Beer Pong Scandal.


It's all here, right now, on Newsmakers TV...and the podcast version is here.






That was the week that was in Santa Barbara local news.

Josh Molina and Delaney Smith join Jerry for a fast-paced discussion of how the debate over whether to enforce the wearing of masks amid a global pandemic somehow mushroomed into political clashes invoking Nazi Germany, stop-and-frisk and pushing sticks into the spokes of bikes being ridden by obnoxious kids – plus all the news coming out of the school board, the latest from the housing beat and a look at the mysterious packages of seeds arriving in Santa Barba

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Newsmakers With Jerry Roberts
329 S Salinas St,
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
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