American Elephants


What Can You Do? by The Elephant's Child

Make the effort to thank those who are manning the community on your behalf, the police officers, grocery clerks, all the folks out there who are working while you are observing the quarantine.

They are scared of the virus as well, but doing their jobs in the meantime. They deserve our gratitude and more.



COVID-19: What We Know and What We Don’t Know by The Elephant's Child

Thursday March 26th: King County, Washington State, which includes Seattle, and an assortment of suburban communities. The population is 2.23 million. It is of particular interest because we got the first round of coronavirus or COVID-19. 31,712 people were tested, 92% negative, 2,530 or 7% were positive.

Washington state is the 13th largest state with a population of 7,797,095 (last Census). The total number of cases is 2,580 with 122 deaths.  Here is the Public Health Report for Seattle and King County for March 26, Thursday.   Lots of interesting data there, and a map that shows how it is spread. The blue in the middle of the orange map is Lake Washington, the surrounding light blue is Puget Sound. While we started it out in the country with the Kirkland nursing home, and way too many deaths, New York, bigger and denser is rapidly catching up.

The United States currently has the most cases of any country in the world. New York is rapidly surpassing Seattle in active cases, which is understandable as the city is so dense. There is so much that we just don’t know yet. Can you get the disease more than once, or do you develop an immunity? Are young people immune? Apparently not, but that information comes from only a very few cases. We will learn all these things in time, but we want it now.

What is even more interesting and positive is the way Americans are stepping up to contribute. Dyson, a company that makes vacuum cleaners and that sort of stuff, has designed new ventilators and will produce 15,000. Apple is turning out 10 million masks.  Bodman Industries does 3D computer printing. Their 60 printers will be printing 3,000 masks a day, and they are working with their suppliers to get others involved.

China announced this month of nearly a week of no new infections in Wuhan, the city where the pandemic originated, but nobody knows whether it can be believed or not. Chinese scientists have been transparent about what they have discovered so far, shared information on the genetics and sequences of the virus and details of autopsies, clinical care and outcomes and even shared fatality rates among different age groups. On the other hand, Chinese propaganda insists that the virus originated with the American military, which is absurd, but is filled with the Communist Party’s long history of propaganda and the necessity to bury the cover-up in a happy story of triumph over the virus. Communist governments do not like news that reflects badly on the Communist government. They included a photo of empty beds in a Wuhan hospital. A Taiwan network reported that one hospital as under pressure from the central government not to admit patients so it could report no new cases. So there you go.



COVID-19 Update by The Elephant's Child


Yes, the Corona virus is scary. Here in Washington state, we learn that we are the leader in the center of the virus in the U.S.  Governor Inslee has closed the schools starting Tuesday, for at least a month. Nationally, the media is still trying to blame it all on President Trump — who is handling the outbreak very, very well indeed. When that becomes fairly clear ( He declared a national emergency today, which frees up more government money and more government action) the media turn their attention to his calling the virus the “Wuhan virus” or the Chinese virus” as “racist” and “xenophobic”, ignoring the obvious point that it arose in Wuhan, China, and was spread from there.

Now there is constant talk about the “shortage” of testing kits, as the president is arranging for “drive by” testing at cooperative popular retailers who have drive by windows. Mostly left out of the conversation is the fact that you shouldn’t request a test unless you have some symptoms. If you seem perfectly healthy, you probably are. Stay home, wash your hands a lot, wipe down packages that are delivered with antiseptic, and try not to hoard and unnecessarily stock up as if for the duration of a war.

Here are some articles that you may find useful. The first is from Heather Mac Donald, who does correct math, and researches facts carefully. The second is from John Hinderaker on “The Politics of Coronavirus.” The third from Paul Mirengoff also from Powerline about “The Coronavirus in Iran.” Here’s David Harsanyi from National Review on “COVID-19:Scary Enough without the Scaremongering.” And from City Journal, Clark Whelton recalls the 1957 Asian Flu pandemic.  I was around then, but have no memory of that one. Obviously I didn’t get it or I would remember. All good articles, and good common sense as opposed to all the Media hype and hysteria. The American media has a lot to answer for these days. They are partisan and forgetting, shamefully, what journalism is all about, or what it is supposed to be.

King County WA cases: up slightly from Wednesday: 328 confirmed cases, 30 deaths. Washington state has 568 cases,most in adjacent counties.

Italy has had 1,266 deaths, and we are reminded that the population of Italy is the oldest in Europe. They are not even treating the oldest people, but saving resources for the younger. France has 3,661 cases and 70 deaths, Spain  4,209 cases and 120 dead. The UK has only 798 cases. Helps to be an Island.



The WHO Has Now Designated it as a Pandemic by The Elephant's Child

Democrats are beside themselves. Here is this dreadful virus arriving in the country and they want to blame President Trump for it, but so far it just isn’t working. They tried claiming that to blame the virus on China or to call it the “China virus” or the “Wuhan virus” was “racist”, but that was absurd.

The virus clearly emerged in China’s Wuhan province, apparently connected to a Chinese fondness for eating bats. (different strokes for different folks as they say), but the Chinese connection and Wuhan are just simple facts. Now they are trying to effectively strip President Trump of his authority to impose the travel bans that protect American citizens.  At least the Democrats are making clear just what their goals and interests really are.

The “No Ban Act,” introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) and co-sponsored by 219 House Democrats, would have prevented Trump from immediately implementing a travel ban on China once the outbreak of the coronavirus spread past its origins of Wuhan. That sounds helpful.

Instead, the No Ban Act would have allowed travelers from Wuhan to continue to arrive in the U.S. while the president received guidance from Congress.

“This bill imposes limitations on the President’s authority to suspend or restrict aliens from entering the United States and terminates certain presidential actions implementing such restrictions,” a summary of the legislation reads.

The legislation would mandate Trump “only issue a restriction when required to address a compelling government interest,” though that interest is not defined. Before imposing a travel ban, Trump would have to “consult with Congress,” the legislation dictates.

Oh please. Trump has expanded a travel ban on some legal immigration from Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyztan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Sudan, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. It is not a permanent ban, but until the virus pandemic passes, we would not like it extended to America more than it already has been.

The number of coronavirus cases has hit 1,107 nationwide including 32 deaths, so Democrats want to end America’s ability to restrict travel?  Bernie Sanders (I-VT) explicitly said this week that he would not close American borders to protect Americans from the pandemic. Would you put Bernie in charge of protecting the country? Or Biden for that matter? Trump is doing a very good job with it, according to the scientists most familiar with pandemics.

Doctors say he has saved a lot of people from getting sick with his prompt border closings, refusing to let cruise ships disembark their passengers until they can be tested, and getting help from manufacturers and businessmen in getting needed supplies to the spots where they are needed on time.

The Coronavirus has hit Italy hard. There are 7,350 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the death toll is rising. The majority were in the south of the Lombardy region, but it is spreading. Public schools and offices have been closed in the affected regions.

Health systems and state governments are working in a much more coordinated effort. The handling of infected patients is getting incredibly better. Vaccine production is being analyzed, and labs are making breakthroughs.

Too much of the medical supply chain has relied on China, and President Trump has signed an executive order to end the reliance on foreign-made medical supplies.  We will diversify our supply chain in pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.

It is a nasty disease, and we are taking every step we can to keep our people safe.



A Bit of History That You Probably Never Knew by The Elephant's Child

The photo is from Venezuela, a line of hungry people trying to get groceries, and scarce toilet paper. Here in the Seattle area we are having runs on toilet paper, people are desperately trying to stock up. Some stores are limiting how many packages of rolls one may buy. We have a delivery of groceries coming on Monday, and won’t know until then how much, if any, toilet paper will be included with the order. Thanks to Covid-19.

That leads those of us who read a lot to check into the history of toilet paper, and a lot of people are doing so. You may know that the “slang term” for the toilet is “the crapper.” This is not a bad word for the facility, but the name of the gentleman, Thomas Crapper, who patented his valve and siphon design in 1891. Philadelphia was the first city that switched entirely to cast iron pipes for their new system of water delivery.

Chicago was the first city in the country in 1885, to have a comprehensive sewer system. The Tremont Hotel in Boston was the first hotel of its kind to feature indoor plumbing for guests in 1829. Eight water closets were built by Isaiah Rogers. Until that time indoor water closets were commonly found in the homes of the rich and in luxury hotels.  Soon soap was introduced during bathing,(!) and it was adapted widely for hygiene purposes. Think about that one, with what you know of history in general. Before there were comprehensive sewer systems, there was often a town pump where you went with your bucket. We live in such an age of invention that it’s hard to think about previous generations as not having them. My mother bought her first television so she could see the first moon landing. But there was a time when someone in the family bought their first toilet, and someone first bought toilet paper. Before that the pages of the Sears and Roebuck catalog usually were used.

The first water pipes were discovered by archeologists in the Indus River in India, dating back to 4000-3000 B.C. Egyptian ruler Menes supported a thriving civilization by constructing canals, irrigation ditches, and basins.

This comes from a History of Plumbing Timeline: The Invention of Indoor Plumbing posted by John C. Flood of Virginia, apparently a plumbing company. Do take the time to visit it and learn a bit about our history that you probably never knew. Always good for starting a new conversation at a boring party.



What’s the Real Difference between Democrats and Republicans? by The Elephant's Child

You see it again in the current political campaign. Democrats want to buy your votes, with, say, “Medicare for All”, or “The Green New Deal.” The basic problem with this is not just that such programs would be absurdly costly. The problem is that the federal government has no money of it’s own, and can only “give” you these wonderful benefits by raising your taxes. Of course they say — not yours, just the taxes on the very wealthy, Big Business, rich people. Part of the problem is that Big Business and those who run those big businesses are those who create and fill good jobs.

Republicans want to cut taxes, not just on the rich as Democrats pretend, but on everybody, because that allows businesses to grow and expand, offer new products, and gives those who want to start businesses a little extra to do it with. And that is a very good thing. It allows people, the unemployed, to rise. The February Jobs report showed the economy’s payrolls soaring by 273,000 new jobs. And many more want to hire. Congress is talking about adding more visas for temporary workers. If the unemployed want jobs, they can probably get one. Average hourly earnings increased by 0.3%. Looks like a good climate for graduating seniors.

I think that because Democrats see themselves as morally superior, and the Republicans as lesser beings, giving stuff is seen as the way to garner votes. I think that people would rather have a good job than be given stuff, they want to provide for their families themselves, and they want to work hard and advance. And the gifts Democrats want to give people end up costing far more than was planned and everybody has to pay.



The Case for Trump, a Year Ago by The Elephant's Child

This interview from the Hoover Institution was recorded on April  1, 2019. when Victor Davis Hanson’s book The Case for Trump came out. It holds up remarkably well. I’m a great admirer of Dr. Hanson. How did blue collar voters connect with a millionaire builder from Queens? Possibly because, contrary to Democrat shrieks, Donald Trump is authentic, exactly who he says he is. The people like that.

The February Jobs Report: Payrolls soared by 273,000. Might have something to do with current approval.

Maggie’s Farm blog called my attention to this post.

Matt Margolis at pjmedia points out that “We Can Thank Trump for the United States Having Such a Low Per Capita Infection Rate of Coronavirus.”




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