The Seal of the State of Arizona reads: “Ditat Deus” meaning in Latin: “Under God.”
This is hung in courtrooms, legislative chambers, and executive offices throughout the state.
The official motto of the State therefor implies that, when in times of doubt, Arizonans will trust the powers which cannot be seen, heard, touched, tasted, or smelled.
Meanwhile, the most basic principle of logic is enshrined in the doctrine, “Res Ipsa Locutor,” translated: “The rule shall be the thing speaks for itself.”
Until God speaks, we must use our senses to determine truth.
We are required to use our eyes, ears, noses, mouths, and bodies to do so.
The word “evidence” translates from Latin: “What can be seen.”
What Happened March 18, 2020:
The Phoenix City Council voted to meet in private March 18, 2020, and then to meet again Friday March 20 in private, to vote to restrict bars, restaurants, and impose other restrictions of civil rights on the general public.
The original decision to do so was done by Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego without consent of the Council march 17 (read fact investigation here.)
The vote to postpone until Friday was announced by the City Clerk 8-1.
Although a roll was called prior to the Executive Session, poor video and audio quality prevents certain confirmation the entire City Council was present, either in person or via phone.
11 persons can be seen inside the room, six at the Council Bar.
Sequence of Facts Outside City Council Chamber, March 18, 2020:
T.M.L. publisher (and trained journalist) Brian Mori personally observed (and documented) over 10 people enter and exit the Phoenix City Council Chambers at 200 W. Jefferson Street.
Most were in police uniforms, though several others wore suits.
Most of them wore government badges and I.D. cards.
This was at 2:00 P.M., the exact time the meeting was scheduled on the City’s website.
The City Council Chambers were locked – Mori tried the door – and several police filled the lobby.
Mori also tried to listen several times to the meeting online by calling the number listed on the City’s website.
A phone message said each time, “This is a locked meeting.”
Mori reported the situation to a human being over the phone at the City.
“No other person has reported a problem,” said a City Staff person who identified herself as “Betty.”
Mori confirmed with this person he had the correct phone number, telephone meeting number, and I.D. Number.
Mori did refuse to identify himself, however, which is the public’s right under Arizona law.
Betty did not say if the meeting had been rescheduled.
Mori asked a police officer and a city official who identified herself with the last name “Parker” if there was a public information officer available.
“Ms. Parker” entered the Chambers and returned twice before telling Mori there was not.
She then told Mori that a video conference was set up on the 10th floor of the Goode Municipal Building, directly behind the council Chambers.
Mori returned to his vehicle to upload the postings, then proceeded to the Goode Municipal building.
Mori was not allowed to enter that building.
Instead, two private security guards refused to let Mori enter the building unless Mori gave up his personal cell phone.
Mori offered several times to be body searched to prove he was not carrying a weapon, but was not allowed to enter.
When calling the police, one of the private security guards said that Mori refused to go through a metal detector.
Mori shouted into the radio that he did not refuse to go through the metal detector.
Police responded in seconds.
Mori videoed his offer to go through the metal detector and posted that online.
Mori then offered to the police to be body searched, and explained that he refused to give up his personal communication device.
The officer, whose name Mori could not see on his lapel, stated, “We have procedures.”
Mori asked, “Why do your procedures matter more than the facts? I’m willing to prove I don’t have a weapon.”
No explanation was given, but Mori was not allowed in the building.
Mori returned to his vehicle.
Eventually, Mori was able to gain access to the phone hearing, and was able to listen Mayor Kate Gallego’s voice say, “The City Council will meet Friday to discuss, in executive session, declaring a state of emergency.”
A link to the video from the meeting is available on the City of Phoenix website.
Not much more is discussed, The Council voted to go into Executive Session (which allows secrecy) and returned only to vote to meet again Friday at noon.
“I just want to make sure people understand we want to protect our healthcare system and our first responders,” Said District 2 Councilwoman Debra Stark via phone.
It is not clear from broken audio and video if District 6 Councilman Sal DiCiccio and District 8 Councilman Carlos Garcia were present, as well District 1 Thelda Williams.
Their voices and faces cannot be verified by the public link on the City’s website.
Nor can Mori report if the elected officials had guns pointed at their heads, or if they were otherwise under physical or emotional duress when they voted to suspend freedom.
Neither Mori, nor anyone from outside government was not allowed to watch.
Mori cannot state as fact that public video and audio of the meeting was not manipulated.
The meeting and video are only available in English.
There was no interpreter present, though there may be interpretations available on the City website.
So far, state government public speeches are being delivered in sign language and English, and not in Spanish.
Mori is fluent in Spanish.
(Complications with web hosting prevent upload of video at this time, but T.M.L. is working on it).
Why did numerous City officials meet in private?
Are City Officials immune to the disease?
Have they been given a vaccine that we don’t know about?
If some Officials are immune, are some members of the public immune too?
Are City Officials now immune from public observation?
Were those actually the voices of Councilmembers DiCicio and Williams?
Are officials now immune from the laws that existed prior to March 2020?
What have Phoenix bar and restaurant owners been promised in order to comply?
Have any business owners or city leaders been been threatened?
What crimes did the public commit to justify restrictions of their actions?
Does a person’s identity make them more at risk of infection?
Are all residents now de-facto employees of the City or State?
When will civil rights (the freedom to go where one pleases) be restored?
What communicates more distrust than secret meetings to restrict freedoms?
Interpretation of Facts and Law:
To be clear: Arizona law – the words – expressly prohibited the type of secret meetings the Phoenix City Council held on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
City Councils may only meet in secret “Executive Sessions” to discuss certain items, such as lawsuits and employment matters, none of which include pervasive limitation of public rights.
This is explained numerous times in the Arizona Revised Statutes, and repeated in the interpretation by the Arizona Attorney General Handbook for Open Meetings.
Furthermore, (prior to March 18) the City of Phoenix may not have had authority to close bars and restaurants, except when provable by fact evidence that an individual bar or restaurant has broken the law.
In doing so, the restaurant owner has a right to defend the allegation at a public hearing, and sue the City in a court of law if the decision is made unlawfully.
Even in such a case, the public has a right to be heard by a judge in a court of law.
In Arizona, Cities are not expressly allowed to issue pervasive bans on private businesses.
Governor Doug Ducey made a similar proclamation against bars and restaurants after Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, though it remains to be seen if either had a right to do so.
Observance of law is required by U.S. governments, or such proclamations cannot be legally enforced.
Nowhere is it expressed in Arizona law that the City may prohibit any number of persons from gathering peaceably to assemble on private property in ways that do not disturb peace or disrupt order.
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution expressly prohibits a restriction on the people’s right to peaceably assemble to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The historical, legal exceptions to these freedoms are rare, and have predominantly occurred during times of war or natural disaster, things the public can observe.
Of course, the courts have also been closed to the public, and the public has been provided no information on what happens to people who are arrested in this so called “time of Emergency.”
When considered together, the acts of major American corporations and government the last month are more than vaguely reminiscent of pre-war Nazi Germany, Bolshevik Russia, and the suspension of the Roman Republic.
…if anyone bothers to do their homework.
Each of those nations declared “States of Emergency” for various invisible threats to the public as well, before suspending democracy and civil rights.
Yet, as elections, weather forecasts, the stock market, the real-estate market, and the justice system proves time and again, predictions are never certain.
Violations of Logic:
“Fact,” comes from Latin.
The word itself was born as a way to distinguish between theory, prediction, and event.
Its several-thousand-year-old etymology boils down to “a thing that exists, existed in the past, or an action that has already occurred.”
The root of the word “fact” is “act.”
The root is shared by the words, “face, facilitate, faculty, factory, facetious,” and several others, each denoting physical expressions of the body, or those observable by the body.
This is why the five human senses (vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch) are called “faculty” senses.
(For context: D.N.A. and Corona Virus are observable through microscopes.)
Events that are predicted to occur in the future (death for example) are not facts until they actually occur.
That all humans must die is true, but no one human is dead until all organs stop functioning.
As of Wednesday, not even the government said anyone in Arizona had actually died.
If that was a fact, then civil liberties (going to restaurants, work, and public meetings) were suspended on the mere pretense that lives may be in danger, and not that any actually were in danger.
Arizona law allows municipal councils to meet in secret in an “actual emergency,” which, according to the rules of logic and the English language, would necessitate facts – events that already occurred – that threatened the safety of the Council or their ability to make decisions.
Prior to the common situation, such events that have warranted secret tribunals in the law were acts of war, riots, natural disasters, and terrorist attacks, each of which would, by their very nature, present destruction observable by all public.
Even in those situations, the Council would be required to prove that meeting in secret was required by fact, and that it would be impossible to hold such a meeting publicly.
(Context: New York City government met in private following the 9/11 attacks.)
Are we at war now?
Whatever the case, no public justification or explanation has occurred in Phoenix in March 2020 for government to suspend or otherwise violate civil rights.
Though it may be argued the government does not want to force people into large groups for fear of spreading disease, nothing in the law explicitly allows them to prevent such, in absence of actual death and destruction.
Whatever the Mayor and Council feared, it was based on projection, not actual fact.
If these restrictions are actually attempts to prevent the spread of the virus, they are still decisions that commit the logical error of “fallacy by numbers.”
(In short: that because something is believed commonly or popularly it must be true.)
Nothing in Arizona law allows the public to interrupt meetings, and any disruptive person may be legally removed from Council Chambers for disturbing official proceedings.
The Council could have handed out masks to prevent the spread of the disease.
Why didn’t they?
Opinion: “Beware the Ides of March”
So far, the City of Phoenix (and possibly others) have demonstrated that they are making up law as they go along, based solely on statistical projections.
What’s even more concerning is they have not provided any other information to the public other than numbers of people they claim have been infected in Arizona.
What are those victims’ names, photographs, and what is the chain of custody of their blood evidence?
Health privacy is trumped in the law by public safety.
If the City is going to jail the public (arrest them for leaving their homes or going to restaurants) then the law requires the City prove with facts – publicly – there is an actual threat to the public.
Otherwise, it is by definition, a dictatorship.
News media reports from other states and countries, and statistical projections by government scientists were not, by legal definition, facts per-se.
Diseases constantly change, and there is no way to predict with absolute certainty what will or will not happen in the future.
Just because other cities and states may declare emergency, is not a legal justification for Arizona cities to do so.
At least it wasn’t prior to March 2020.
Mathematical representations of facts that are predicted to occur, assuming the evidence used was actually fact, and the math was calculated correctly, still are not facts.
The public cannot weigh the truth if they are restricted from the same evidence the government is using to suspend their rights.
The public has a right to challenge the facts used to calculate the statistics, as well as the statistical calculations themselves, especially when their civil liberties are suspended.
The word “truth” derives from Norse meaning “what is right” or “the meaning of facts.”
There’s very little Mori, or anyone can do to understand the truth if the facts are withheld.
Unilateral speeches are not public examinations of fact.
There are those who believe the government may do whatever it wants in secret so long as they claim they are doing it in the public’s best interest.
Then there are those who have watched municipal government their entire adult lives.
The latter, though a minority, are undoubtedly shocked by this 180 degree turn from transparency by Phoenix City officials.
It seems we elected the wrong leaders.
Res Ipsa Locutor:
Those who pay attention (Mori grew up in Arizona) may remember this state survived two world wars, the Great Depression, Y2K hysteria, 9/11 Terror Attacks, The Great Recession, an assassination of a judge, and the attempted assassination of a congresswoman (Mori covered Giffords’ mass shooting) without suspending democracy.
…and these are only a few mass reported disruptions to normal life in Arizona.
Mori has observed public meetings, and monitored Arizona public information laws for fifteen years.
Nothing in Arizona law allowed any of this to happen the way it did, and Mori welcomes a public examination of the legal history of the Open Meetings and Open Record statutes.
(T.M.L. has filed several complaints with the City and State regarding the secret meetings.)
In conclusion, it is not a question of if the City government operated outside the law, it is a question of if the public will be allowed to judge the facts and truth for themselves.
If the government won’t trust the public, why should the public trust the government?
The City Council is reportedly due to meet again today in secret.
What happens next – facts – will speak for themselves.
Those who document the facts will protect the truth.