In yet another one of his embarrassing, overreaching, preachy, scolding, calmly tyrannical press briefings on Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy said, "hockey is in our crosshairs and we've got our eye on you" because of coronavirus spread he says has been linked to activities around hockey teams.

That was followed by the State Police superintendent almost boastfully announcing the "cracking down" on restaurants that dared in any small way defy the governor's orders. It should be shocking to all of us, but the public, so gripped by fear, take these authoritarian indignities in stride now.

Murphy began his briefing by telling people of the state that HE is limiting how many people they can have over their house, even on Thanksgiving. Then he decided to zero in on hockey players and their parents. He is clearly struggling to figure out how to stop a virus that is nowhere near as lethal as once thought. A virus that we've learned can be treated and remedied in the vast majority of those infected. His approach, he claims based on science and data, is purely authoritarian. Restrict free movement until this thing goes away, or the magic vaccine is forced on a suspicious population.

Does that strategy work? Well, it didn't make it go away in the spring and it certainly didn't work in Europe, where they really clamped down earlier this year and are doing so again now. A new study suggests that even if military-forced lockdowns were in place, it wouldn't stop the virus. But for the people who are scared out of their wits by this, and the people who are scaring them, they would probably be OK with that.

The fear and panic seem to be far more widespread and dangerous than the actual virus. We have suspended our representative form of government in the name of an emergency for nine months now and put total control into the hands of one man. Moving forward at some point, when people start to come to their senses, the New Jersey Legislature must pass laws to ensure that this never happens again. Every New Jersey citizen who has a third-grade level of understanding of our system of government should be outraged by the actions of ANY one authoritarian rule, be it Murphy or whoever comes after him. And they can't come soon enough for all of our sakes.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis' own.

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