C. S. Lewis wrote in his 1948 book God in the Dock: Essays on Theology:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
Some of the worst crimes against humanity were committed by people who believed in Utilitarianism. They think we should act to produce the greatest possible balance of good over bad for everyone affected by their actions. Actions themselves are morally neutral. It depends on their consequences as to whether they’re good or bad. Apart from consideration of such implications, actions are neither blameworthy nor praiseworthy. In other words, utilitarian actions aren’t necessarily good or bad but are widely believed to have good or bad consequences.
The question is, how do we know precisely what “good” and “bad” consequences are? Whose opinion of what are “good” effects and what are “bad” results counts most?
There are few things more dangerous than a zealot. Millions were slaughtered and more left to starve or rot in poverty, chemically castrated, ostracized, jailed, or enslaved, all for “their own good.”
We’re often told that the reason to accept moral busybodies decide to be on the “right side of history.” If rules and guidance are written by government agencies, as long as it generates the greatest good for the greatest number, someone needs to explain how the following squares with that moral theory. Is Gavin Newsom’s restriction list on the right side of history?
Just in time to celebrate the holidays, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released new safety guidelines for Thanksgiving. No indoor gatherings are permitted, so don’t think about eating around the dining room table unless you drag your turkey out into your backyard, if you have that much space. I hope it’s not cold or raining that day.
Gavin Newsom’s new set of regulations bans gatherings of more than three households. Besides, the state also requires hosts to write down the names of all attendees for contact tracing. Yes, you read that right. For families who want to celebrate the holidays with both sets of in-laws, “participating in multiple gatherings with different households or groups is strongly discouraged.”
These new regulations require that “as much as possible, any food or beverages at outdoor gatherings must be in single-serve disposable containers.” No serving your own plate — if food can’t be served in single portions, someone wearing a face covering must be there to dole out servings.
The rules are so bizarre. I am going to list them all for you:
- Gatherings that include more than 3 households are prohibited. This includes everyone present, including hosts and guests. Remember, the smaller the number of people, the safer.
- Keep the households that you interact with stable over time. By spending time with the same people, risk of transmission is reduced. Participating in multiple gatherings with different households or groups is strongly discouraged.
- The host should collect names of all attendees and contact information in case contact tracing is needed later.
2. Gather Outdoors
- Gatherings that occur outdoors are significantly safer than indoor gatherings. All gatherings must be held outside. Attendees may go inside to use restrooms as long as the restrooms are frequently sanitized.
- Gatherings may occur in outdoor spaces that are covered by umbrellas, canopies, awnings, roofs, and other shade structures provided that at least three sides of the space (or 75%) are open to the outdoors.
- A gathering of no more than three households is permitted in a public park or other outdoor space, even if unrelated gatherings of other groups up to three households are also occurring in the same park or other outdoor space. If multiple such gatherings are occurring, mixing between group gatherings is not allowed. Additionally, multiple gatherings of three households cannot be jointly organized or coordinated to occur in the same public park or other outdoor space at the same time — this would constitute a gathering exceeding the permitted size.
3. Don’t Attend Gatherings If You Feel Sick or You Are in a High-Risk Group
- Anyone with any COVID-19-like symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, night sweats, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, muscle or body aches, headaches, confusion, or loss of sense of taste/smell), must stay home and not come into contact with anyone outside their household.
- Anyone who develops COVID-19 within 48 hours after attending a gathering should notify the other attendees as soon as possible regarding the potential exposure.
- People at higher risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 (such as older adults and people with chronic medical conditions) are strongly urged not to attend any gatherings.
4.Practice Physical Distancing and Hand Hygiene at Gatherings
- For any gatherings permitted under this guidance, the space must be large enough so that everyone at a gathering can maintain at least a 6-foot physical distance from others (not including their own household) at all times.
- Seating must provide at least 6 feet of distance (in all directions-front-to-back and side-to-side) between different households.
- Everyone at a gathering should frequently wash their hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. A place to wash hands or hand sanitizer must be available for participants to use.
- Shared items should not be used during a gathering. As much as possible, any food or beverages at outdoor gatherings must be in single-serve disposable containers. If providing single-serve containers is not possible, food and beverages must be served by a person who washes or sanitizes their hands frequently, and wears a face covering. Self-serve items from communal containers should not be used.
5. Wear a Face Covering to Keep COVID-19 from Spreading
- When gathering, face coverings must be worn in accordance with the CDPH Guidance on the Use of Face Coverings (PDF), unless an exemption is applicable.
- People at gatherings may remove their face coverings briefly to eat or drink as long as they stay at least 6 feet away from everyone outside their own household, and put their face covering back on as soon as they are done with the activity.
- Face coverings can also be removed to meet urgent medical needs (for example, to use an asthma inhaler, take medication, or if feeling light-headed).
6. Keep it short 7. Rules for Singing, Chanting, and Shouting at Outdoor Gatherings
- Singing, chanting, shouting, and physical exertion significantly increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission because these activities increase the release of respiratory droplets and fine aerosols into the air. Because of this, singing, chanting, and shouting are strongly discouraged, but if they occur, the following rules and recommendations apply:
- All people who are singing or chanting should wear a face covering at all times while singing or chanting, including anyone who is leading a song or chant. Because these activities pose a very high risk of COVID-19 transmission, face coverings are essential to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets and fine aerosols;
- People who are singing, shouting, chanting, or exercising are strongly encouraged to maintain physical distancing beyond 6 feet to further reduce risk.
- People who are singing or chanting are strongly encouraged to do so quietly (at or below the volume of a normal speaking voice).
- Instrumental music is allowed as long as the musicians maintain at least 6-foot physical distancing. Musicians must be from one of the three households. Playing of wind instruments (any instrument played by the mouth, such as a trumpet or clarinet) is strongly discouraged.
Thanksgiving is now akin to a visit to the ER. Your family must be treated as a disease risk at all times. California citizens live under a governor who is now commanding who you can see and how many minutes you can be in their presence. How do ordinary, intelligent, so-called rational people not see this for the heinous, slippery slope of mind-control that it is?
How is any of this to be enforced? Are neighbors going to be encouraged to snitch on each other — as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tried way back in April? Is this reality or just a political stunt with no real teeth?
These rules might be better served as recommendations or suggestions, and it even may be prudent for individual families with at-risk members to follow common-sense precautions this year. Shouldn’t this be a decision left to families and not mandated by the state?
Gavin Newsom needs to live-stream his Thanksgiving dinner to show he’s following all of these unrealistic and burdensome rules.
The Babylon Bee’s take on this is great:
SACRAMENTO, CA-Gavin Newsom has announced a plan to go undercover as a turkey to catch families who are celebrating Thanksgiving this year. Newsom will dress in a large turkey costume and infiltrate family gatherings, checking to make sure families aren’t violating any of his orders. The governor participated in a trial run of his plan, infiltrating a mock Thanksgiving dinner at the governor’s sprawling mansion estate. “Gobble gobble,” Newsom said as he casually slipped in through the door. “Gobble? Gobble!” He tried to blend in with the Thanksgiving decorations set throughout the room as he monitored guests to make sure they were social distancing, logging into the family’s Thanksgiving dinner sign-in sheet, and not sharing any food. Unfortunately, Newsom broke character when he saw someone double-dip a chip, screaming, “YOU’RE OFFENDING SCIENCE!!!” and the plot was foiled.
The Tales From The Tour Bus series was great. I got a chance to hear stories of some of my all-time favorite groups. The Time was one of them:
Clayton Craddock is an independent thinker, father of two beautiful children in New York City. He is the drummer of the hit broadway musical Ain’t Too Proud. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Howard University’s School of Business and is a 28 year veteran of the fast-paced New York City music scene. He has played drums in several hit broadway and off-broadway musicals, including “Tick, tick…BOOM!, Altar Boyz, Memphis The Musical, and Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar and Grill. Also, Clayton has worked on: Footloose, Motown, The Color Purple, Rent, Little Shop of Horrors, Evita, Cats, and Avenue Q.
Originally published at https://claytoncraddock.substack.com.