Caldwell and COVID

COVID has offered a clear conclusion to our discussion of Caldwell’s book The Age of Entitlement.

Caldwell’s argument was that the moment you decide that it’s ok to disregard the Constitution just this once for a very good reason…

… and one more time for a really great reason…

… and a couple more times to make people feel good…

… and a bunch more times to make somebody feel safe …

… you can just forget the whole thing altogether.

And now we have people arrested for protesting against the government, people fined for assembling or practicing their religion, etc. It looks likely that this will go on for as long as at least some folks feel “unsafe.” And since somebody always feels unsafe, we are stuck without our constitutional rights. And nobody seems to mind because we have long accepted that these rights were conditional.

10 thoughts on “Caldwell and COVID”


    Is the IHME projection for FL. They’ve moved the projected peak of our outbreak from April 21 to May 8 (over two weeks!), even though doubling time on our death rates has already slowed a lot, our actual death numbers have been consistently lower than the projection (couple of days spiked a little above, everything else has been either lower, or MUCH lower), and even with a lot more testing going on, we are not seeing an exponential growth in cases. Bastards want to keep us locked up forever. Here’s FL’s historical data:


    1. Posted without third link! FL Department of Health has a neat bar graph of new-cases-per-day, which is declining in spite of increased testing efforts:

      So… in Italy, the cases-per-day peaked on March 21, and deaths-per-day peaked six days later on the 27th. In Spain it was March 26 and April 3: 8 days. Florida’s new-cases-per-day peaked April 3. 12 days ago. Yesterday is our current record day for deaths, at 72, but at the same time, it’s a very noisy statistic. Previous high was 60, back on the 7th. If Italy and Spain are anything to go by, we’ve peaked already. That’s where we’re at now. And it’s not that bad. Why are they pushing that out to May 8? What are they looking at that I’m not seeing?


      1. I think if they let us out in the first week of May, it will be a miracle. Not because the numbers warrant it but “to be on the safe side.” Our only hope is that the President isn’t as easily terrified as the governors.


        1. I’ve had a lot of time to work on my garden, and if this goes on long enough, I will have a dog-proof enclosure finished, and I will be getting rabbits and chickens. Nice for me, but this has already gone on long enough! Are we going to keep everybody locked up all summer, so that a whole bunch of people will get newly-exposed right as we march into winter, and they’re suddenly more likely to die from it? I don’t understand what the plan is, at all. Our county has had a grand total of 6 hospitalizations and 2 deaths from this. More people are dying right now from delaying necessary surgeries and avoiding doctors’ offices than from COVID. My husband needs a hernia surgery, and we are worried about not being able to schedule it until it becomes a life-threatening emergency.


  2. “The Age of Entitlement”

    Haven’t read the book but it strikes me that what is often called ‘entitlement’ is simply a lack of discipline. Maintaining constitutional rights requires discipline from both the government and citizenry and just about every single social movement since some time in the 1960s has been about the rejection of any kind of discipline (beyond meaningless ideological fashions like pronouns now).
    To be sure, I’m no exception I’m not anywhere near as disciplined as I’d like (or used to be). And maybe it’s not all bad, the lack of discipline is maybe the only think preventing some kind of neo-civil war (or mass disruptions and public violence as the US economy implodes).


  3. Main problem with government is the masses of bureaucrats who create laws and policy without the checks and balances similar to the Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Since LBJ’s Great Society we are under many of these burdens that chip at our freedom.


  4. This is ultimately an eternal question – are some freedoms absolute or do they end where the freedom of others begin? I do not pretend to know the answer, but i am going to play Devil’s advocate anyway. Just because people on this blog seem to agree on almost everything 🙂

    Suppose I give you an AK47 and three mags, 30 cartridges each. One out of 90 will kill you (and not instantly, but relatively painfully), three more will mess you up but will not kill you and the rest are completely harmless. Would you agree to play Russian roulette with it? If you do not feel safe enough to play this game, does it make you a whiny snowflake, or is your feeling unsafe legitimate?

    Suppose we change the rules of the game, and now instead of shooting yourself, you are supposed to shoot a random person in the street. Is it OK for that person to feel unsafe, or is he just manipulatively invoking feeling unsafe in order to limit your freedoms?

    Suppose you want to make an argument that 1/90 is not the correct number for coronavirus. OK, fine. What is the “correct number” when the one being shot at is allowed to feel unsafe? Isn’t it also the right of that person to decide which odds are too much for them? Is any determination of the “correct number” limiting somebody’s freedoms?


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