Shakespeare’s Hamlet’s New Inquiry

I imagine if Shakespeare were writing today. He certainly would not have Hamlet saying the words “to be or not to be.” There are better words today that he could use to express the same thoughts. An example  would be “to mask or not to mask” or “to vaccinate or not to vaccinate.”

As most know those are choices that for some will determine if they live or die. Worse, they are choices that do not just affect the person making the choice but others around him or her. Where Hamlet’s decision relative to living was going to only affect him.

Those who refuse to mask or vaccinate are much more prevalent in the Republican Red states than in the Blue states. It is in states that voted for Trump and have politicians abetting the idea there is something wrong – not American – in refusing to protect themselves and others.From best I can tell they shout out that by not doing so they are exercising their American freedom.

In America’s history we have seen that the freedom people complain about losing does not really exist. The government has forced people to do things they really do not want to do. One is that folks with Ebola or another easily transmittable disease are not allowed to wander free to infect others. Why then do we allow folks with Covid to do so.

As for restricting freedom what greater example of that is when people are forced to join the military and put themselves in harm’s way. For many years we had the draft which scooped up young men and threw them at our enemy. How does requiring masks compare to that?

I suggest we are handling this pandemic pretty poorly. From Trump’s head in the sand approach including the idea of “herd immunity” (which recent research questions) to Biden’s pusillanimous way of dealing with it, we have lacked the leadership to bring this wild and spreading pandemic under control.

Really the time has come to stop pussy footing around. If we as a nation can draft people and put them in the front lines then we can require people be vaccinated and masked. It is not for them but to protect the nation in the same way the draft was justified.

I do not expect Biden to take those steps. He wants to appear to voters only as a good guy. He wants to be a candy man handing out money and benefits and gaining in popularity by being ‘Good  Old Joe.’

He seems to have mixed up the words of JFK who asked: “Don’t ask what the country can do for you but what you can do for the country!” It would be nice if someone reminded him of them.

Hopefully Biden can become a leader not the follower he appears to be. Throwing the Afghan people to the wolves, not stopping the Russian pipeline, and other things do not show leadership. Biden should ask himself whether to be a leader or not. Leaders demand things from folks that are hard to do. They don’t try to bribe them



5 replies on “Shakespeare’s Hamlet’s New Inquiry”

  1. I commend Biden for his stand that enough is enough. You characterize this hanging the Afghan people out to dry. Clearly the Afghan people had 20 years to get their act together and just as clearly they had no intent to lift a finger in their own defense.

    Biden knew no matter what he did, chaos and criticism would follow (perhaps not so quickly) and he went ahead. Good for him.

    (The “bribery” you talk about used to be called “checkbook diplomacy” and I was all for it–given the alternatives.)

  2. It’s a good day for Vietnam analogies
    Welcome to the Tet Offensive phase of The War on Covid

    Alex Berenson
    Aug 16

    Yesterday Naftali Bennett, the prime minister of Israel, issued an stark (if unintentionally) revealing warning to his country about the failure of the mRNA vaccines.

    As you know if you are a regular reader, Israel is the canary in the world’s coalmine for Covid and the vaccines. It vaccinated more of its citizens with the Pfizer shot more quickly than almost anywhere else.

    This spring, Israel’s experience seemed to validate the success of the vaccines. Now it’s a cautionary tale, as I explained in a Substack almost two weeks ago (time flies when nations are falling).

    Unfortunately, since then the data has gotten much worse.


    1. Matt
      I prefer the Gestalt Prayer

      In other Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune…

      On Painting Daniel Hale: His Exquisite Burden

      Submitted by editor on 10 August 2021

      Also see

      What’s the Deal With: “Gain-of-Function” Research
      T.J. FORD

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