Updated: Jun 15
My Trip to Philadelphia During Their Most Recent Mask “Mandate”
Remember when Fonzie water skied over that shark tank? It was in that moment that we all knew that the Happy Days writers were desperately trying to come up with any reason to keep the long-running sitcom alive. But in so doing, the desperate writers unwittingly created a new phrase for pop culture: “jumping the shark.”
Jumping the shark has come to describe an over-the-top, desperate and doomed-to-fail last-ditch effort. And we learn, just as the Happy Days producers learned, there is no such thing as a successful shark jump.
Well, it looks like our betters, in their effort to instill constant fear to better solidify their control over a free citizenry has finally jumped the shark, and it happened just last week in Philadelphia with an out-of-nowhere renewal of an illegal mask mandate in all indoor settings within the city. Let me tell you about one Free Floridian’s account (mine) in our nation’s former capital.
Last week I had the ‘opportunity’ to reacquaint myself with the American Federal Empire’s version of tyranny after having lived for the last two years in Free Florida. As luck would have it, I needed to visit Philadelphia smack dab in the middle of their last (and likely last?) illegal mask mandate.
To be honest, I was dreading the trip. Not because of the long drive from Florida (14 hours and STILL better than flying on a commercial airliner), but instead because I had gotten so accustomed to NOT having to fight for my right to breath freely and go about my business without being accosted by tyrannical busybodies!
As my readers undoubtedly already know, constantly going toe to toe with petty coffeeshop tyrants in Portland, Oregon or anywhere, can be exhausting, no matter how righteous the cause.
Ironically, this was the primary reason that the BreathEasy app was developed in the first place; to know beforehand if customers would be hassled by business-owning slaves enforcing an illegal mandate. Would I face the same battles in Philadelphia also now that the mayor had re-instituted the illegal rule?
The thought of traveling to the northeast into that den of corrupt government and murderous intention was not an attractive idea. I suddenly empathized with our friend, Pilot Tom, who constantly flies his passengers all over the country and is forced to seek out friendly, liberty-respecting businesses in every new city he visits. How does he not fall into a pit of despair as he watches our great country slowly creep towards fascism?
So, drive I did to Philadelphia only a mere day after the dictator mayor re-instituted a mask mandate for the city. However, just as I had done in Portland (Keeping It Weird and Homeless!), I was determined to not wear a mask my entire trip there.
When I arrived at my hotel, I was greeted by the employees behind the front desk who all dutifully wore their slave muzzles. This is understandable. I mean, it’s not like they can just quit a job that insults your Liberty and find a new job that respects you in the midst of the strongest job market for jobseekers in recent memory. We all have choices to make, and these hotel employees made theirs. Who am I to judge, right?
I, on the other hand, as a Free Citizen, don’t even own a mask. So I strode up to the front desk, gave them my name and informed them that I was checking in. This was their moment of truth. Would they harangue me like the two 20-something females at the Tallahassee Hilton just two short years ago? Would they call the police on me because I refused to submit to insanity like Alice at the Mad Hatter’s table like South West Airlines did that same year?
To my happy surprise, they looked up from their computer monitors and said, “Good evening, sir. Welcome.” Friends, they didn’t even bat an eye at my beautiful, unmasked face. This was an example of subtle defiance of the mayor’s illegal ‘mandate.’ Yes, the employees were wearing masks, but they did not force their guests to wear them. This, my friends, is why the BreathEasy scoring system is on a 5-point scale and not a simply Good/Bad vote.
And, I am here to tell you that THIS was why the BreathEasy app was built! My experience at this hotel would merit an up-vote and thus allow me to inform the rest of the world that this hotel was a BreathEasy Hotel; It respects their customers’ God-given Freedoms and that they were not (completely) bending their knee to tyranny.
The next day, as I went about my business in the city, I had the opportunity to test several businesses in the downtown area. Yes, they very nearly all had signs in the window 'requiring' masks to enter, but did they really? Let's find out!
So while downtown, I went into several businesses without the tyranny-required mask to test their responses. Would they kick me out? Would the call the police? Or would they welcome my business and ignore the illegal mandates of their mayor?
This is a prime function of the BreathEasy app: it gives users the ability to test brick and mortar businesses on how well or poorly the business respects their customers’ Freedoms. These individual votes then aggregate and result in a BreathEasy score for the business.
Armed with this information, any BreathEasy user can decide to either patronize (BUYCOTT!) or wholesale ignore and avoid (BOYCOTT!) those businesses. Our power as a people is vast and strong. It’s time we start keeping score and exercising that power.
I can truthfully say that in every instance, even though all the employees I encountered were (half-heartedly) wearing their masks as their employers demanded, not once (not once!) was I ever hassled about my grinning, maskless face.
Now, what I really want to bring your attention to is the larger picture of this isolated experience. The people of Philadelphia absolutely knew that the latest tyrannical and fascist measure by their ignominious mayor was a farce and they summarily ignored it.
Yes, most businesses put on airs of compliance, but that was merely a façade. When faced with the choice of enforcing a meaningless and illegal rule or putting food on their family’s tables, the business owners of Philadelphia, together, said ‘no’ to their own mayor.
As a result, that mayor’s illegal mandate lasted a mere four days. FOUR DAYS!
The mayor KNEW they had followed Fonzie over that ski jump and Philadelphians throughout the entire city shrugged their shoulders, ignored their betters and continued on with their lives only mildly inconvenienced.
This is proof positive of a few things.
First and most importantly: the Philadelphia Experiments I conducted proved that We the People absolutely have all the power, all of it. We simply have to remember this fact.
When a tyrannical government becomes injurious to its citizens and shirks it first and only purpose, to secure the God-Given rights of its citizens, the citizenry can and must resist that tyranny. The easiest way to do this is to simply undercut the authority it pretends to have and ignore their illegal and meaningless rules. The BreathEasy app facilitates this tactic.
Secondly, my experience in Philadelphia last week reinforces the premise that ignoring these illegal diktats on an individual level absolutely scales to immense power when We the People act together. Simply stated, the people of Philadelphia in one voice said, ‘No!’ and four days later the ‘mandates’ were removed. There is no other way to characterize this as an unmitigated defeat against petty tyrants and a resounding victory for personal Liberty. We are winning, patriots.
And this second point is the absolute and primary reason for my creation of the BreathEasy app, which will be launching soon: In Portland, I realized that while I was able to individually carve out a little bit of freedom for myself by finding and patronizing only those businesses that weren’t bothered by my maskless face, it had little impact on the larger problem. But the Philadelphia experience from just last week proves beyond any doubt that when the citizenry acts as one, those individual choices add up to immense and unstoppable power.
How great is that?
Yours In The Fight,
R. Altomare, Founder of BreathEasy