KEEP CALM AND STAY HOME – RICH PASCHALL

Last year as England and the United States were suffering not just from COVID-19, but also a lack of leadership at the top, the Queen of England took to the airwaves to address the United Kingdom. This post originally appeared on SERENDIPITY (teepee12.com).

A Leader Addresses The Nation, by Rich Paschall

It is not often that Queen Elizabeth II makes an official address to the United Kingdom. If you do not count her annual Christmas message, which is nothing more than a Season’s Greeting, she has not taken to the airwaves for an official speech to the nation since 2012. That was the occasion of her 60th Anniversary as the monarch. Prior to that, it was 2002 when the very popular Queen Mother had passed away. In fact, her latest address was counted as the fifth time in 68 years that the queen has spoken to the kingdom in her official capacity.

Surely we do not have to tell you the reason everyone was invited into the palace electronically to hear what the queen had to say. COVID-19 has hit England very hard.  By Friday the number of deaths had reached almost 9,000. It is less than half the total of the US, but quite considerable when you consider the size of the population compared to the USA.

The nation had to be instructed. The nation had to be put at ease. The nation had to be assured they were going to get through this.

Eighty years earlier, as a young princess, Elizabeth spoke to the nation during another battle for survival. Children were being evacuated from their homes in London in 1940 during World War II, to keep them safe from the bombing raids on the city. The nation, and especially the children, needed to be put at ease.

“We know, every one of us, that in the end, all will be well; for God will care for us and give us victory and peace. And when peace comes, remember it will be for us, the children of today, to make the world of tomorrow a better and happier place.”

It has once again fallen to Elizabeth II to speak to the nation:

I’m speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time, a time of disruption in the life of our country, a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.”

She was not there to call attention to herself. She was placing no blame on those that were on the frontlines of the battle. She was there to praise their work and assure them they were appreciated:

“I want to thank everyone on the NHS frontline, as well as care workers and those carrying out essential roles who selflessly continue their day-to-day duties outside the home in support of us all. I’m sure the nation will join me in assuring you that what you do is appreciated, and every hour of your hard work brings us closer to a return to more normal times.”

She also wanted to call attention to those who serve their families and all the  nation by staying at home:

“I also want to thank those of you who are staying at home, thereby helping to protect the vulnerable, and sparing many families the pain already felt by those who have lost loved ones.”

She also did what a good leader would do in times of war. She assured the nation that they would be victorious:

“Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it. I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge.”

And while the 92-year-old Queen was instructing the nation and attempting to keep them calm, where was the bombastic conservative Prime Minister of England, Boris Johnson?  He was being admitted to the hospital with COVID-19. Subsequently, he was moved to an Intensive Care Unit. Karma had caught up with him as it has done with others who thought this was little more than the flu going around. He was the politician who made light of the pandemic and even claimed to be “shaking hands continuously” with people in the hospital. His jokes are not funny anymore.

It is important to have a leader who shows confidence and seeks to not only instruct the nation but also to reassure everyone that everything is being done to win the battle. We do not have that here. We have someone who does not praise those on the frontlines, instead, he scoffs at them, belittling their efforts, accusing them of stealing masks and other equipment.

He gives little or nothing to states needing life-saving equipment while giving others, Florida for example, everything they ask for.  If you praise him and live in a state likely to vote for him, he will take care of you.  Others can die. He is not just corrupt, hoping to profit from the misery of his own nation, he is also evil. Pure evil, but I digress.

Let’s end with a positive message. Let us be reassured that there is a brighter day ahead and we will get through this darkness and find the light.

“Using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal, we will succeed, and that success will belong to every one of us. We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return. We will be with our friends again. We will be with our families again. We will meet again. But for now, I send my thanks and warmest good wishes to you all.”  – HRH Queen Elizabeth II

Sources: “Queen Elizabeth says ‘better days will return’ in rare and historic coronavirus address,” by Hannah Yasharoff, USA Today, usatoday.com April 5, 2020.
Queen Elizabeth II Coronavirus Speech Transcript,” rev.com April 5, 2020.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth to make rare address to nation over coronavirus,” Reuters, cnbc.com April 3, 2020.
Coronavirus: 980 dead in UK hospitals in deadliest day of pandemic yet,” by Matthew Weaver, The Guardian, theguardian.com April 10, 2020.
Wartime broadcast, 1940,” Princess Elizabeth, royal.uk October 13, 1940.
Boris Johnson Kept Working, But the Virus Took Over,” by  , and , Bloomberg.com
Here’s Why Florida Got All the Emergency Medical Supplies It Requested While Other States Did Not,” by Lydia DePillisMike SpiesJoshua KaplanKyle Edwards, and Caroline Chen, propublica.org March 20, 2020.

ABSOLUTELY NO ABSOLUTE RIGHTS

What is right for all? Is it absolute freedom? As we hope to be finally seeing light at the end of the long Pandemic tunnel, we must still be reminded of the truth we started with. This commentary appeared last year on SERENDIPITY (teepee12.com).

Stay at Home, Save Lives, by Rich Paschall

While we accept the precept of “freedom of speech,” we also understand that it does not apply to everything in all situations. As you probably have heard often, we are not allowed to shout “Fire” in a crowded theater when there is none. This could cause a stampede for the exits and put some people at risk of being hurt or killed in the panic.

Similarly, you can not shout out in a crowd that you see a gun when there is none. Due to the types of mass shootings, we have seen in recent years, we know that there could be a panic that could cause harm.

You are also forbidden to engage in the type of speech that would incite a riot. Hate speech in gatherings could, in turn, result in attacks either at a rally, let say, or following in the days to come. There may be a politician or two who have gotten away with this, but that’s another matter.

There are laws against slander and libel as the defamation they bring may cause harm to groups or individuals. While we see misinformation spread often on social media, doing so as a respected news source could bring danger to others. A well-known News network is being sued by a Washington State group for issuing false news in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Yes, the Constitution promised you freedom of speech, but that does not mean you can say whatever you like. Where there are dangerous consequences to what you say, you can be held liable for your remarks. Don’t you wish that also applied to Orange politicians, but I digress?

There is also “the right of the people peaceably to assemble,” but it doesn’t mean you can gather a large group wherever you want. Try to form a parade down State Street (that great street) without a permit and see how far you get.  You can not take over a baseball diamond in a public park if another group holds a permit. You can not have the pavilion at the local forest preserve if another group holds a permit. In fact, we have many regulations regarding the assembly of large crowds. It is not uncommon to post limits of assembly, many by fire codes that are enforced by the local government.

It’s a free country, or is it?

You have probably heard of people who do not want to shelter at home during the COVID-19 outbreak. They insist it is a free country and they can do what they like. The government is not going to tell them what to do. They have their constitutional rights. But do they have such rights?

The Constitutionality of the restrictions we have described above has been tested in courts and upheld. Local and national governments not only have the right to impose such restrictions on the public, but they also have a duty to do so.

Scientific evidence has told us that the only way to “flatten the curve,” in other words lessen the spread of the virus, is to keep a “social distance.” This has caused many at the state and local levels to impose restrictions. Some do not want to abide.

You can find plenty of examples of people who did not want to social distance and observe the restrictions, who have died of the virus. They not only put themselves at risk, but they also put others at risk as well.  They do not have that right.

Social Contract

Many of the authors of The Constitution were certainly well aware of the philosophical writings of John Locke (The Second Treatise of Government), Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Du Contrat social). These works would have greatly influenced their thinking about forming a new national government. They knew that members of society must agree to give up certain rights for the good of society as a whole. It is a “contract” we have as a member of society, to act in a way that benefits all. It is the greatest good for the greatest number.

“That a man be willing, when others are so too (as farre-forth, as for Peace, and defense of himself he shall think it necessary, to lay down this right to all things; and be contented with so much liberty against other men, as he would allow other men against himself.” – Thomas Hobbes

In other words, we must do what is right for all. Those who think they can assemble as they please, including at religious services, are misinformed and violating the laws of nature, science, and the social contract. No one has the right to go out and spread the virus. They are not immune. They are not free to do as they like. Governors (Republicans all) who refuse to issue stay-at-home orders, or allow large exemptions (think Easter services), are not acting in the interest of the greatest good for the greatest number.

Let’s put it in a way that may drive the point home. There is a post going around social media that may illustrate the problem of some states practicing social distancing, and others ignoring the advice.  We must “ lay down this right to all things; and be contented” because it is the only reasonable course of action.

Sources: “Leviathan,” Thomas Hobbes, sparknotes.com
Washington State Group Is 1st to Sue Fox News for Calling Coronavirus a ‘Hoax’,” by ken Stone, timesofsandiego.com April 2, 2020.
The Social Contract,” Jean-Jacques Rousseau, coursehero.com
Social Contract,” en.wikipedia.org

ONE THING I DID NOT WANT TO BE – Rich Paschall

One thing I certainly did not want was 2020, a year in quarantine. It certainly was not how I envisioned a life for the future. Another thing I did not envision is also here. Be sure to click on “View original post” at the bottom to head over to SERENDIPITY for the rest of these thoughts.

BACKFIRE: THE BIG MISCALCULATION

We have now reached 4 and a half million known infections and over 155,000 dead from COVID-19 in the United States. In case you missed it last week on SERENDIPITY, here are the beginnings of the epic failure in leadership. Be sure to click on “View original post” at the bottom to head over to teepee12.com for the rest of this article.

REPORTS OF MY DEATH

To update the article below we should report that Karen Lewis is still alive and, well,…still active. She has stepped down from her post with the Chicago Teacher’s Union for health reasons. The release of her obituary in error made us think about the things that may be written or said about any of us when we are gone. Click on “View original post” below to follow over to SERENDIPITY for the rest of the article.