I'm not saying that we abandon good health practices...we even should be doing pretty much as our government leaders are asking of us. The difference came here in Harris County, Texas when they went from asking to demanding under penalty of punishment. Not being a "hot spot" by any reading of the numbers...that change from asking to demanding crossed the line into unreasonable and arbitrary tyranny.
TYRANNY is defined by Oxford* as:
Cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary use of power or control.
The use of power to, under penalty in Harris County, Texas of $1000 fine and 180 days in jail, do what the government has done is both arbitrary and unreasonable given the CDC's numbers:
For COVID-19: "Cases in U.S." (Opens in a new page.)
And, for the Flu (estimated 38-54 million cases and 24-62,000 dead so far this year, 80,000 dead last year):
CDC: "2019-2020 U.S. Flu Season: Preliminary Burden Estimates" (Opens in a new page.)
Their COVID-19 numbers are updated Monday-Friday at noon. The totals are for the entire US — keep that in mind and consider that New York City and New Orleans are current "hot spots". Look at the state-by-state map for YOUR state...and see whether YOU think your local officials are acting "reasonably" and not "arbitrarily".
|Date||Total Cases||%Increase||Dead||Mort Rate %||Comments|
|2020-03-23||33404||19.489||400||1.197||Over A Weekend|
|2020-03-30||140904||65.078||2405||1.707||Over A Weekend|
Notice that the rate of increase ("%Increase") in day-to-day "Total Cases" has almost steadily dropped since I started tracking the numbers. Keep in mind that a Monday total includes cases from the preceeding Saturday and Sunday...thus the higher increases. And... yes...the mortality rate does appear to be rising even as the overall infection rate is dropping.
"Texas Monthly" magazine writes:
State senator Paul Bettencourt quoted Dwight Eisenhower in a letter lambasting Houston and Harris County officials for ordering Houstonians to stay at home, rather than asking for voluntary compliance with public health suggestions “in the spirit of American liberty and Texas friendship.” Congressman Kevin Brady told MSNBC yesterday that America shouldn’t “lock down the entire economy” in pursuit of the virus.Bettencourt got it right: ordering, rather than asking. To almost quote former President Clinton, "It's not about the economy, stupid." It's about freedom!
The Discourse, in its infinite wisdom, is solidifying around a debate over a choice: should we take strong steps to contain the virus and save lives, or keep the economy going? Many liberals have portrayed Patrick and Roy and Bettencourt as willing to kill grandma to keep the stock market alive...
The problem of choosing between the virus and the economy isn’t that one choice is wrong. It’s that there isn’t a choice. It’s a false binary and a distraction. The only way to get the economy going again is to contain the virus. The only way to contain the virus is to pause the economy, and in order to do that as briefly as possible, the economic timeout has to be thorough.
Click here for the whole article.
One of our Founding Fathers, Ben Franklin, said, to paraphrase, "Those who value security over freedom neither deserve nor will have either." "But, it's not that much...we can still come and go pretty much as we please...and it's just until this is over." Maybe so...but another maxim is that "power corrupts". Once a control measure is put in place...it's very hard to get it totally rescinded. 1964 Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater stated, "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." Extreme vigilance is required if we are to remain a free people. Any "necessary" measures we allow to curtail our freedoms to achieve a short-term goal MUST be monitored by We The People to ensure that the curtailment is completely off the books when WE decide that they're no longer needed—not when the government tells us that such measures are no longer needed. We The People MUST remember that our government works for us at our pleasure...and NEVER the other way around.
I had a lady who works in the local Walmart the other day show me her paper to be presented to Law Enforcement to show that showed that she's going to/from work, if they should stop her in transit. Does "Your papers, please..." sound familiar to anyone? I am 61 and have no kids...thus making my personal stake in generations to come to be zero...nil...ziltch. Statistics and my own feelings tell me that I probably do not have ten years left on this Earth. I do what I do out of the goodness of my own heart. BUT...most of you out there do (or will) have kids and grand-kids. What kind of a United States Of America do YOU want for them? Do you care? Do you care enough to do something about it?
Let me say it again...I'm not saying that we abandon good health practices...we even should be doing pretty much as our government leaders are asking of us. The difference came here in Harris County, Texas when they went from asking to demanding under penalty of punishment. Not being a "hot spot" by any reading of the numbers...that change from asking to demanding crossed the line into unreasonable and arbitrary tyranny.
There are other voices raising an alarm for Freedom's sake:
It appears that some among us still think that majority opinion makes right — that anything "needed" to "get" this thing is OK This according to a Pew Research Center study cited in this "'Resist' COVID-19 Orders? Politically (And Literally) Hazardous" Click Here Colorado Pols article. Seems they never heard of Ben Franklin or Barry Goldwater. There was a time when I, a White man, could go buy me a slave — and all the polls AND The Law would've been on my side. Likewise...there was a time when I could literally beat my wife if I wanted to do so — and all the polls AND The Law would've been on my side. Thankfully...even though I've never had a desire to to either...all those polls AND The Law were WRONG! The Law was fixed.
Some local (to me) actions besides the $1000/180-days promulgated by Harris County when their good suggestions became tyrannical demands...
We know that COVID-19 is a SARS-2 COV...that it has as part of its structure a lipid (fat) layer, which makes it vulnerable to plain old soap and alcohol. So...as they've been saying...wash your hands often! Given that...residents of Montgomery County, the next county north of Harris where I live, should be asking their County officials WHY tonight has a 12P-6A tyrannical CURFEW that goes into effect! I call it tyrannical because I fail to see how keeping zombies off the streets will do much to stop the spread of COVID-19 within that area?
Although the original March 23rd Harris County "Stay Home, Work Safe" order did allow for online meetings and for one-on-one pastoral counseling, it nonetheless did not list religious activity as an "Essential Activity" under section 2(a). After being contacted about the omission by myself and various "high profile" people, County Judge (head commissioner) Hidalgo issued an update to the order to list, by reference to The Texas AG's briefing on the matter, religious activity as "essential" and to allow in-person services (within "social distancing" guidelines) if online meetings were not available to a house of worship. Being a constitutionally defined and protected activity, the practicing of one's religion is most certainly an "essential" activity. We The people of Harris County, Texas both praise and thank Judge Hidalgo for correcting these deficiencies in the original orders.
Some other examples of tyranny from across this nation...
Various news outlets have reported that NYC Mayor De Blasio has threatenned to permantently close down religious eatablishesments for holding sevices. One example story is from The Resurgent: Click Here to read. De Blasio is quoted as saying:
"A small number of religious communities, specific churches and specific synagogues, are unfortunately not paying attention to this guidance even though it’s so widespread. I want to say to all those who are preparing for the potential of religious services this weekend: If you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services.” He then said that law enforcement had been instructed “if they see worship services going on they will go to the officials of that congregation and they will inform them that they need to stop the services and disperse. If that does not happen, they will take additional action up to the point of fines and potentially closing the building permanently.”Ahhh...no, Mr. Mayor...we have a Constitution. It may indeed be stupid for churches and synagogues to meet for services—but it is NEVER unconstitutional.
And when they do listen...be sure that you let them know that you saw that they "did right". And...tell your friends and associates to thank the officials, too! I didn't flood my three church-related email lists with law and talking points...I figured they could seek redress on their own if they were concerned. But, as soon as I heard that Judge Hidalgo had corrected the order to benefit all we church-goers...I told everyone on those lists that they ought to also email the Judge for rendering a decision that we all would find to be good.