American Elephants


Democrats Are Trying to Blame Trump for COVID-19 by The Elephant's Child

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Democrats keep trying to rid us of President Donald Trump, they tried impeachment, several times. They loathe Trump, but they just can’t figure out how to get rid of him and his systematic repeal of Obama’s progressive project. The problem is that the Democrats just want to be in control. Just what it is that they expect to accomplish when they manage to get control isn’t really clear, and there’s the rub.

The current best idea seems to be blaming him for the Corona Virus. If they can just manage to establish that he didn’t respond quickly enough, professionally enough, carefully enough or something like that, then they can blame him for all of the Covid-19 deaths. That would take care of him!

The first COVID-19 deaths in the United States happened a few miles north of my house when a visitor to a nursing home who had just returned from Wuhan, China infected the residents. President Trump quickly banned any and all flights from China. He referred to it as the China virus or the Wuhan virus. (Outcry. Racial prejudice, etc.) Got automobile companies making ventilators, everybody making masks, hospital ships in New York harbor and in California, Cruise ships anchored, military setting up emergency hospitals in tents in public parks and in parking garages. Experts called in to advise.

Of course they don’t mention that, they talk about results. Here are the five COVID-19 Charts Democrats are anxious to hide. Click on the link. Copy and save the link. Share it with family and friends!

This is from http://www.issues&insights.com, a fairly new website founded by the writers from Investors Business Daily, and is excellent. It has become one of my favorites. They even feature Michael Ramirez’s wonderful political cartoons.



What To Do About Back to School? by The Elephant's Child

It is now August, and attention has turned to the back to school problem. Nobody seems to know what to do. So far online lessons have not been a rousing success. Some kids do them, some refuse, and some have not done any. Not every family has a computer. As the school year gets closer, the battle is heating up. Avik Roy writes in the Wall Street Journal: (There may be a subscription barrier.)

The second-largest teachers union, the American Federation of Teachers, is preparing for its members to go on strike if schools reopen without their assent. President Trump has expressed a desire to “cut off funding” for schools that don’t reopen. It doesn’t help that the debate is taking place during the 2020 presidential campaign and a late-summer rise in coronavirus-related cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Teachers contracts are mostly school district matters, and what happens and what they are supposed to do and whether or not they get paid for teaching or not teaching is supposedly in the contract. Some teachers, naturally, are terrified they will get the virus in the classroom. Small children don’t seem to transmit the disease. Governors don’t know what to do, kids really do need to be in school, many parents (both) work outside the home. Teachers are not trained or skilled in creating online classes, and who makes sure the kid does the lessons anyway? Kids do not joyfully tackle a new lesson, at least mine didn’t.

We do know that school closures cause significant damage to children, damage that videoconferences cannot repair. Boston reported that one in five public school children dropped out. Many children from poorer families depend on reduced-price or free meals at school. The social science journal SSRN reported that school closures led to a 27% decline in reports of child abuse, because teachers may be the first ones to notice signs of maltreatment.

Other industrialized countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Germany, Finland, Iceland and  France reopened schools in April and May, and their experience has largely been positive.  Timing varied. Denmark was careful, requiring children to stay 2 meters apart whenever possible. Children were grouped into “bubbles” of 12, and required to wash their hands every two hours but did not wear masks. Denmark concluded that according to data from the European CDC, you could not see any negative effects from the opening of schools.

Children do not seem to play a significant role in the transmission of the virus. France started with a social distancing of four square meters and reduced it to one linear meter and they made attendance mandatory for primary and middle schools.

It sounds as if the greater danger to teachers is other teachers and staff. More and better information can be found at the CDC, the think tanks like Hoover.org, AEI.org, CATO.org, Reason.org and others. Here is an article titled “Open the Schools–or Kiss the Economy Goodbye” by Allison Schrager from the Manhattan Institute.

President Trump wants to see the kids in school. Some Governors just don’t know what to do. Many doctors have said they see no problem with sending their own children to school. Keep in mind that it is small children that don’t seem to spread the virus. Older children are another matter. I don’t know what the cut-off age when you start to worry is.  My three kids are long grown, so I am not affected, but I understand the concern. More knowledge will help.



It’s a Most Unusual Time! by The Elephant's Child

Every time you assume that things couldn’t get any weirder, they do. Yesterday, Hillary announced that she would have done a much better job with the Corona virus than Trump. Uh huh. Her record does not so indicate. Today, she questioned that if Trump lost the election — would he leave office peacefully? Needing attention are we?

The Sioux bellyached about Trump coming to Mt. Rushmore because the monument was on their sacred lands, but the monument was built when the “sacred lands” belonged to the Cheyenne, not the Sioux. And sacredness seems to be related to fireworks and American heroes, though native Americans are citizens too and entitled to all the protections of the Declaration. Many Native Americans have served in the military and are proud of their service. I’m not convinced that all native Americans are possessive of Mt. Rushmore and resent it being used for a 4th of July Celebration, but I simply don’t know.

There were complaints from the usual suspects that Trump was having a White Supremacy Celebration, and so on, and on, every bit of news is to be accompanied by an attack on Trump. Democrats are worried about Joe Biden. They are worried about his mental confusion too. They are trying to cooperate with his desire to have a woman vice president, preferably black. Silicon Valley seems enthralled with Elizabeth Warren, but the party prefers Kamala Harris. Or Susan Rice. This could get interesting.

They simply cannot stop expressing their hatred for this president, and it is embarrassing for them when he had the economy booming, until the pandemic hit. Now with the excellent job creation in June, it certainly looks like it will soon be booming again. President Trump, as a successful businessman, has a pretty good understanding of just how much over regulation affects the economy, and the Democrats’ demand for absolute control leads them to over-regulate every time. They can’t help themselves.

There has been an uptick in Covid infections, whether from the protests or from people getting together in groups (do I repeat myself?) is an unknown. The American people are sick of shutdowns and masks and distancing and the whole thing. They will wear masks when it’s clear that it is necessary and a good idea, but they are also very, very fed up.

A peer-reviewed study from the Henry Ford Health System concluded that hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug touted by Trump as a potential good treatment for coronavirus, successfully lowered mortality rates for hospitalized coronavirus patients. Results were published Thursday in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Infectious Diseases. There were no adverse effects on the heart. Positive news, hope it pans out. The press does not want any positive Trump stories.

The “potential” part should not be ignored, but neither should it be ignored just because Trump thought it sounded like a possible potential. There’s another potential vaccine that looks promising too. These small encouraging developments should not be ignored just because Trump favored them.

President Trump gave a splendid patriotic speech at Mt. Rushmore, and assorted Democrats called it dark, and the New York Times could not find enough dismal words to apply. A Seth Abramson, a columnist for Newsweek, was completely flummoxed by the passages in the presidential speech where Mr. Trump was mentioning the statues and monuments we have all witnessed being torn down, burnt or destroyed across the country. Abramson could not understand why he was claiming that people were tearing down statues. As a noted journalist, he has apparently missed the whole thing. It is a confusing time, is it not?

It would be nice if we were all on the same page, but there is an election coming up in November, and that seems to be more important than ordinary things like riots and protests, statue-toppling and virtue-signaling. Way too much virtue-signaling.

ADDENDUM: Here’s a good example of weird. Emory & Henry College in Virginia is considering discarding the wasp as it’s mascot. The bug, probably for it’s sting. They are concerned about the connection to WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) and possibly not being sensitive enough to matters of race.



The Western World Has Gone Stark Raving Mad. by The Elephant's Child

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Here’s the box they built around the statue of Winston Churchill in Britain. Police also protected the cenotaph, and protesters bravely threw some statues into the River Thames.

In Whittier, California, BLM protesters defaced a statue of John Greenleaf. Who is he?  He was a prominent Quaker abolitionist, known for his anti-slavery writings.  A picture shows the usual graffiti. Sometimes, it seems, we get a little over-excited about attacking statues. Of course, unlike attacking real people, statues just sit there and behave like the inanimate objects they are, and there’s no fuss unless the police catch you at it, and even then it depends on what the local rules are about attacking statues. It is entirely about the symbolism, and attacking a king symbolically ranks a little higher than a symbolic mere member of Parliament, for example.

Of course in America we went for bigger targets than mere statues (which were attacked as well) but that can’t compare to HBO blacklisting Gone With the Wind. Good Grief! Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler. Hattie McDaniels, who is black, won the first Oscar ever given to a person of another race. It was well deserved, but there’s the rub. She played the role of Mammy, a slave.

Well, never mind Oscars, the outrage was furious. Banning Gone With the Wind!  America’s favorite movie of all time. What happened immediately was that everybody went out and bought a copy for their own, and just think through the economics of that little stunt, and how it would reverberate down through the years. I can even quote you the opening lines of the book: “Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm, as the Tarelton twins were.”

HBO decided that unbanning Gone With the Wind was probably the better idea, but because of George Floyd and all, they hired  Black scholar and TCM host Jacqueline Stewart. She is a professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago.  Cinema and Media Studies is a major at the University of Chicago? It has not been yet announced just when GWTW and Scarlett and Brett will return to streaming services. Jacqueline Stewart will provide an introduction to the movie, so you understand the correct viewpoint. This is a very odd time, we can’t seem to decide whether we can allow history to remain unchanged, or if we have to have a do-over that we like better. Historically, we do recognize that the Civil War began on April 12, 1861, when Southern forces fired on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, and on April 15, President Lincoln issued a public declaration than an insurrection existed and called for 75,000 militia to stop the rebellion.  It ended on April 9, 1865 when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S, Grant at the Appomattox Court House, with a remarkable lot of history in between those two dates. If you are unfamiliar with the Civil War, study up! You’ll be glad you did. Here’s a guide to books on the war.

You might want to look up the Emancipation Proclamation.

Race has come up as a major subject in the international outrage over the death of George Floyd. Statues are being destroyed in this country, in Britain, Australia, Scotland–Robert the Bruce, the Scottish King who freed Scotland from England’s clutches, and who knows where else, which accomplishes nothing at all, but expresses varying degrees of outrage over varying subjects. The Civil War in general, any generals who fought for the South,  anything named for a general who fought for the South, that sort of thing.  Fort Bragg and Fort Benning are especially mentioned as needing to be renamed immediately to appease the anger about race.  Quick, can you tell me where Fort Bragg is, and who it is named for? Didn’t think so. How about Fort Benning — location, named for? If we are going to be outraged and change names, shouldn’t we know what we are talking about, and how it relates to, for example, “CHAZ” or “CHOP” as it is now, on six blocks of Capitol Hill in Seattle? And what does that have to do with putting a box around the statue of Winston Churchill in Britain?

What seemed to happen to George Floyd was clearly an outrage, but what actually happened was not as it seemed. The call to police about Floyd was that he was trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. We never learned if it was counterfeit or not. There must have been some kind of resisting arrest going on for him to end up on the ground with an officer holding him down with his knee.

Floyd was a very large man who worked as security in a night club, a “bouncer” as they are called, as did the police officer, and they apparently worked at the same establishment. The cause of death is unclear. Yes, he was saying “I can’t breathe” but before the choke hold as well. He was apparently high on fentanyl. The autopsies (there were two) also mentioned a heart attack, and another fatal condition. The officer has been charged with murder, but in the middle of international outrage. I have no idea. It just sounds like it is a lot more complicated than we were led to believe. The outrage over what was seen on film was huge. The emotion stirred up was huge and has led to all the rest.

Hopefully, enough information will eventually come out to clarify the whole thing. Why it has led to the destruction of Columbus statues, names of anything connected to the South in the Civil War, remains unknown. Aunt Jemima syrup has changed its name and picture. Kellogg’s Rice Crispies has been attacked for Snap, Crackle and Pop who seem to be three white boys. The same white boys are on the Cocoa Crispies box, although the cereal is brown.  In other words, a big section of America has become certifiable. A City Councilman in Charlotte, SC has declared that it is time to proclaim that racism is a public health crisis. The worst reaction is the call to defund the police. which is beyond stupid. Unfortunately it has all been exacerbated by the CORONA-19 turmoil and societal shutdown and all the chaos that has caused. Emotions were already stirred up by people locked down.

This too shall pass.  From the Federalist: “Why White People Will Always Be Racists: Whites are continually put into the position of forever having to prove the negative, that they’re not racists. This is impossible. And that’s the point.”



Keeping Up With COVID-19 and the Lockdown by The Elephant's Child

Scott W. Atlas, MD, is a Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, and the former Chief of Neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center.  Here he writes on “How to Re-Open Society Using Evidence, Medical Science, and Logic.”

I like the title: and the qualifications for his advice, especially ‘logic’. Do read the whole thing. We need to be a little more informed in the wake of the media efforts to stir up something, anything, to keep Trump from winning re-election. It’s getting heated-up out there as accusations are flying and clarity is in short supply. Here is a link to Dr. Atlas’ biography.

Also from the Hoover Institution: Peter Robinson interviews Dr. Jay Bhattacharya on his new MLB COVID-19 study and the problems of the Lockdown for Major League Baseball.



In a Disordered Society, A Little Food for Thought by The Elephant's Child

Constitution

In the current situation, I have dragged out some old, but favorite books: Angelo M. Codevilla’s The Ruling Class, and Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom. I suspect a great many of us are sick of being confined, bossed around, and lied to. I think of government as a management group chosen to take care of the details that we cannot individually cope with. I vaguely hope that those we have chosen are up to the job, but don’t expect all that much. and I usually turn out to be more or less correct. In his Foreword. Professor Codevilla says:

It is about the fact that America now divides ever more sharply into two classes, the smaller of which holds the commanding heights of government, from which it disposes in ever greater detail of America’s economic energies, from which it ordains new ways of living as if it had the right to do so, and from which it asserts that that right is based on the majority class’s stupidity, racism, and violent tendencies.

A little later, in another chapter, he adds:

Our Ruling Class’ agenda is power for itself. It seeks and exercises that power through unremarkable patronage and promises thereof, as well as by courting supporters and denigrating opponents. These ordinary means, however, are having remarkable effects on America’s body politic, because their practice is wrapped up in our Ruling Class’ peculiar intellectual and moral pretenses. Chief among these is an ideological belief that it has an exclusive, Gnostic grip on modern science’s secrets. Nevertheless, as we look at how our Ruling Class is making our economic livelihood ever more dependent on itself, at how it is running a system of representation and a legal system quite opposite to those bequeathed to us by our founders, as well as at how it is disaggregating our families and dispiriting our souls, let us keep in mind that this agenda is driven primarily by mundane personal interest. This agenda proceeds from claims that our Ruling Class knows formulae for spreading economic wealth, for engineering social happiness, and for legal and constitutional fairness. It claims as well to be more resistant than the rest of us to the temptation to profit personally from power. In short, it  proceeds from the premise of human inequality and leads to even greater inequality. But, pretenses notwithstanding, our Ruling Class was no more present at the creation of our nation than the rest of us, nor are they any less self interested. Its members too put on their pants one leg at a time.

Does that sound a bit familiar, as if it is touching on the world of today? We Americans like to think that we are the freest people on earth, that the rest of the world envies us as they cope with their difficult governments. We find AOC fascinating because of her absolute ignorance of American history and American beliefs. Today she was back with the idea that we kept illegal immigrant children in cages, to boost her support for Biden, completely unaware that it was the Obama administration which did that.

Charles Schumer spoke up to say that the Democrats would present us with a “Rooseveltian” world, as if that was something to yearn for. They still believe in FDR’s Administration, unaware that his efforts with the Great Depression made it last seven years longer than it should have. Two economists from UCLA, Lee Ohanian and Harold Cole proved that conclusively. Don’t need to do that again. We should have learned what a failure FDR was, but it’s hard to give up your heroes.  Michael Moore has a new movie out admitting that wind farms and solar arrays do not work. How this will sit with the Democrats remains to be seen. They are very open to the “Green New Deal,” unfortunately.

Milton Friedman’s book is an essential for every library. He asks on the second page:

How can we benefit from the promise of government while avoiding the threat to freedom? Two broad principles embodied in our Constitution give an answer that has preserved our freedom so far, though they have been violated repeatedly in practice while proclaimed as precept.

First. the scope of government must be limited. Its major function must be to protect our freedom both from the enemies outside our gates and from our fellow citizens: to preserve law and order, to enforce private contracts, to foster competitive markets. Beyond this major function, government may enable us at times to accomplish jointly what we would find it more difficult or expensive to accomplish severally. However, any such use of government is fraught with danger. We should not and cannot avoid using government in this way. But there should be a clear and large balance of advantages before we do.  By relying privately on voluntary co-operation and private enterprise, in both economic and other activities, we can insure that the private sector is a check on the powers of the governmental sector and an effective protection of freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought.

The second broad principle is that government power must be dispersed. If government is to exercise power, better in the country than in the state, better in the state than in Washington. If I do not like what my local community does, be it in sewage disposal, or zoning, or schools, I can move to another local community, and though few may take this step, the mere possibility acts as a check. If I do not like what my state does, I can move to another. If I do not like what Washington imposes, I have few alternatives in this world of jealous nations.

You see, we are not alone in our discontent. It has been recognized by some of our most celebrated minds. If that gives you some comfort in your locked-down situation. They tell us that meat should be more plentiful in the grocery stores very shortly, but that is dependent on getting everybody in the meat-packing plants in masks and protective gear, I think. The government recognizes the problem and is working on it. Nobody has explained why I could not get any eggs!

The books are available from Amazon, and used copies are really cheap.

 

 



Another Earth Day, And The Planet Prospers by The Elephant's Child

globalwarming-ed01

Another Earth Day comes quietly this year. All the excitement about “saving the planet” to the extent that there was any, went back to Sweden with Greta Thunberg, who is back to working on special Fridays for skipping school to protest the lack of action on a changing climate.. San Francisco painted her picture on the side of a building, which I assume is still there. Our concern is with staying “locked down.”

Climate activists see the COVID-19 lockdowns as a dress rehearsal for “Climate Emergency.”

We have an “incredible responsibility” to “actually converge the solutions — at least the financial solutions — to coronavirus to the financial solutions for climate. Because what we cannot afford to do is to jump out of the frying pan of COVID and into the raging fire of climate change.”

Well, what more could you ask? Businesses shut down, vast unemployment as restaurants, deprived of customers cannot stay open. People forced to stay home — means no shoppers, no groups of people, means no parties, no events. Air traffic is shut down, just think of all the nasty carbon removed from the atmosphere! But the environment is in more jeopardy than ever, right? Well, no. America at the end of World War II was much dirtier than America is today in 2020.  Air pollution has declined dramatically. Drinking water is clean and safe. Since pre-industrial times there has been approximately 1.1 degrees Celsius of warming, and almost 50% more CO2 in the atmosphere, which, since carbon dioxide is a natural fertilizer for plants, means the earth is getting greener. Plants and trees are growing, more hungry people are being fed. There are no more toxic waste sites that threaten the planet’s health.

So who is all excited about the COVID-19 lockdown and what it portends for America? Well, Tom Steyer, who is a loon. John Kerry, ditto, and of course Christiana Figueres. Who? Christiana Figueres was at one time the general secretary of the UN’s IPCC, and one of the  people behind the infamous Paris Agreement, which President Trump firmly got us out of in 2017, which was a very good thing.

In early February of 2015, Christiana Figueres revealed at a news conference, that the object of the climate crisis was in reality not to save the Earth from degradation from a climate disaster, but to eliminate Capitalism. They truly hate the economic system that has made us free and wealthy and successful in every way. Certainly there is a lot of envy for the booming American economy, the rich, the wealth of goods produced, and undoubtedly the way we go around the world trying to help out, disapproving of other governments who don’t consider freedom as a worthy value, when what they want is more control. You would think they might consider trying a little capitalism just to see if it would work, but rage and envy are all they have. Even our very own Democrats don’t get it.

So Happy Earth Day, 2020. Mark Perry at AEI called up the video from stand-up comedian George Carlin who shared his thoughts in 2007 on the whole saving the planet bit. Great fun, even if you’ve seen it before.



The People Are Getting Restless! by The Elephant's Child

Americans don’t like being bossed around. The corona virus shutdown has gone on too long and people want to get back to normal. They want to go back to work, a good percentage of those who were working from home would just as soon head back to the office. Life has been so disrupted that they just want it to stop. The advisories about the disease have been challenged so much that they don’t know what’s really necessary anymore. Is it really important to stay six feet away from everyone? Different medical experts don’t agree with each other, and nobody knows who is right or wrong.

Protests are breaking out, people are trying to organize bigger protests, Facebook and Twitter are not going to allow their free speech, because they want to control what people may or may not say on their venues, without understanding that their efforts at control are also offensive. President Trump clearly recognizes the need of the public to get back to work, yet COVID-19 is far more infectious than was originally assumed, and he doesn’t want more Americans to die. How much is needed protection of the American people and how much can be ignored because it is too much control?

Democrats are desperately anxious to prevent Donald Trump from winning a second term. Are they still enraged that Hillary won the popular vote, but not, as the Constitution allows, the Electoral College? They intend to get rid of the Electoral College as quickly as possible, so that will not happen again. Does anyone stop to think about where we would be if Hillary had been elected? We would still have the corona virus emergency. When Hillary was Secretary of State in the Obama Administration, one of her Ambassadors in a country under threat from terrorists, had been begging for weeks for more security. Hillary ignored the pleas, and in consequence killed not only her Ambassador, but his aide and two valiant former Navy Seals who were all lost in an attack on the Embassy.  And she would have protected a nation from a poorly understood virus?

On the other hand, Communism and Socialism appeal to some because they offer more control of the people. America exists because earliest settlers objected to British efforts to control and tax her American citizens. The impulse to control the actions and thoughts of other people is buried deep in human nature. People who are quite sure they are right simply want everybody else to do it their way. You see Communism at work in China, with everyone monitored all the time. Correct and obedient behavior will earn you privileges like being able to take a trip on a train or bus.

So here we are. Feisty Americans are sick of the shutdown, and they want it ended now. How will this one play out? The people of other countries react a little differently. Is it just Americans too used to freedom, and having won wars to defend their freedom  to whom it really matters?



How to Survive the Current Covid-19 Crisis and the Economic Crisis As Well. by The Elephant's Child

The situation here with grocery stores pretty much sums up the situation nationally. Our grocery stores manage to serve our city population of 122,363 efficiently and without shortages or any particular problems. We have a wide variety of grocery chains, some smaller local stores, significant numbers of ethnic specialty stores ranging from the huge Uwajimaya to some catering to Russians, a variety of Eastern Europeans and a number of Mexican Taco trucks. The larger chains have added ethnic foods to their regular stock to appeal to the latest groups added to the workforce at Microsoft, Amazon, or the smaller businesses that depend on the giant employers. No empty shelves, and if something is missing you hardly notice.

Now, everyone is ordering their groceries to be delivered. You start with a delivery time which will probably be 5 to 6 days hence, and try to figure out what you will need by then as well as what you are out of now. I am currently OUT of coffee, and getting testy.`One chain tells you as you go along what they are out of now, the other doesn’t tell you what they are out of until you submit your order, and then you have to start over. And was it a matter of brand or language, or are they out of the whole category? The whole experience suggests that people are really “stocking-up” (hoarding) in case they have trouble finding that product next time. The more you find that they are out of something makes you want to stock-up as well — and so it goes.

The same thing is going on nationally, and not just about groceries. People and pundits are attacking the president and all of his advisors. The experts he consults are criticized, because the critic would have consulted someone else instead, and doesn’t like what the expert had to say. Governors issue lots of orders, many of them misguided, whine about supplies they are not receiving, do not  appreciate what some of those still working are going through on their behalf. The truckers who are trying to deliver the needed goods cannot find food or restrooms along the highway. Which is a valid symptom of what everyone is faced with in one way or another.

Take a deep breath. Most of these people are trying to avoid any and all unnecessary deaths, and to protect the living from contagion — as their first and most compelling task. That is going to mean a lot of discomfort for others who are worried about lesser problems. Read that book you set aside a while back. Go the Hillsdale College website and take an online free course in history or government or economics for that matter. Start researching and writing down your family history.  Write your own assessment of the current world situation for your children or grandchildren or the local newspaper. Learn to knit or draw. Plan a summer vegetable garden in pots or planter boxes. Type in “All About Birds” in the search bar of your computer, which will lead you to Cornell University’s website which offers just that, and plan a bird feeder or hummingbird feeder for your yard or window. Learn how to play Cribbage. Look into the history of sailing ships or early aircraft. Or just write down a list of 20 things you would like to learn about or learn how to do, and — start.

Or perhaps, write a critique of today’s mass media, and the current job of reportage. Do you think they still have journalism schools? And what are they neglecting to teach their students? Are you utterly fascinated with what the latest celebrity has to say? And why not? That should keep you busy for a while.



Staying At Home And Looking for Some Sunshine by The Elephant's Child

Our “stay at home” order here in Washington State has been extended to May 4.  We have increased the number of tests (2,656) since yesterday by +175. There have been 11 more deaths since yesterday.

The Boston Globe Editorial Board Claims that Trump Has “Blood on His Hands.” They relied on a combination of Left-wing talking points and Chinese propaganda in the Boston Globe, as Matt Margolis reported  at PJ Media. The Globe claimed that the number of confirmed cases surpassed that of any other nation, without mentioning that the United States is a larger country with a larger population.

The number of known deaths from the virus, so far the only reliable data, says that a fatality rate of 7 – 8 is one of the lowest in the world among larger nations.

It’s pretty clear that China is not accurately reporting the number of cases, nor the number of deaths, according to the U.S. intelligence community. The number of urns being delivered to Chinese funeral homes is far, far larger than the number of deaths reported. Communist governments are disinclined to report statistics that do not reflect favorably on the government, so we just don’t know how many deaths they have had, nor the extent of their testing, nor much of anything else.

Democrats are disinclined to report anything favorable to the Trump administration, but really! On CNN on Sunday, Pelosi charged that President Trump’s management of the coronavirus pandemic is costing American lives, and talking up an eventual congressional probe.

You surely will not be surprised to learn that Adam Shiff is eager to turn his Intelligence Committee to investigating President Trump’s response to the coronavirus. Of course he will.

And Nancy Pelosi compared Trump to Nero, the corrupt first century emperor who allowed Rome to burn – if he didn’t actually instigate the fire – then blamed Christians: “As the president fiddles, people are dying,” she charged.

So, shortly after orchestrating a failed, entirely partisan attempt to remove this president from office, Washington’s highest-ranking Democrat is once again speaking the language of impeachment. Except for dyed-in-the-wool grassroots party loyalists and, to their left, full-on Trump haters, this is sure to be received as the crassest brand of political opportunism.

Nice going, Nancy. While you are playing partisan politics, a lot of Americans are dying, or huddled down at home, fearful of running out of food. People are noticing. The New York Post plaintively asked in a headline “Does Nancy Pelosi know about the coronavirus outbreak?” and added “someone ought to tell House Speaker Nancy Pelosi…because her laser focus on pushing her political agenda suggests she’s unaware of it. The latest evidence: She wants to “retroactively” roll back Congress’ 2017 cap on tax deductions for state and local taxes (SALT), the New York Times reports. ”

She claims lifting the cap would address the economic fallout of COVID-19. She wants her “fix” to be part of Congress’ next rescue plan.

But her idea has nothing to do with boosting the economy and everything to do with helping Dems in blue states, like California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois. More than half the benefits of a repeal would go to folks making more than $1 million. Don’t Dems oppose tax breaks for the rich?

No, here’s Pelosi’s real problem: Heavily liberal states, with Democratic leaders, generally impose the highest local levies. The SALT deduction let high-income taxpayers recoup part of those high costs by paying less federal tax.

President Trump is doing a remarkable job in the face of all the unknowns and unknowables. A cruise ship stuck off the coast of Florida for 12 days with a number of critically ill Coronavirus patients with no ports willing to let it dock, has pulled into Fort Lauderdale to the cheers of port workers. Four people had died onboard as the ship had been turned away from 11 countries. President Trump indicated in his press conference that the Canadian and British people on board would be evacuated to their home countries immediately, and that we really had to help the people on board. A little intervention got things moving.

Doctors at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center say they have developed a vaccine against developing COVID-19 and they want federal permission for human trials. They based the vaccine on work previously done at UPMC that  sought to create vaccines against SARS and MERS, which they said are similar to the new coronavirus. They also say the vaccine is easily deliverable in large quantities.

Some bright rays of sunshine in a long dreary spell of rain.



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.



A COVID-19 Update for March 28, 2020 by The Elephant's Child

COVID-19 update from King County and Seattle WA Public Health:
Updated 3/28/2020 3:13 PM

Summary of counts since yesterday:

2,077 positive test results (13.2% of all results) an increase of 249

Deaths due to COVID-19: 136 (6.5% of positive results) an increase of 11

Greater  Seattle King County reported its first case of COVID-19 on January 21st

COVID-19, as we have quickly learned, is a tricky disease. Some people display prominent symptoms. Others, barely any at all. As a result, it’s hard to estimate the total number of cases or track how it’s moving through the community.

But King County is fortunate in at least one key respect: we have leading researchers based right here, already working on better ways to track the spread of respiratory diseases.

Originating as a small pilot program in 2018, the Seattle Flu Study had not anticipated the need to track COVID-19. The disease was completely unknown until this past December, when it was recognized in China. But once the first case in the U.S. was confirmed in Snohomish County, researchers realized they could adapt their existing study to help learn about this new virus.Seattle

Seattle had researchers already at work on a Flu Study. They have now partnered with Public Health and King County to launch the greater Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN for short) to allow Public Health  to see how the virus is spreading through the community, By conducting focused, representative testing from a sample of people across the area they will gain information that allows them to better respond to the epidemic.

You can play an important role in SCAN. We’re asking people—whether they show symptoms or not—to visit scanpublichealth.org and sign up. You’ll answer a few questions, starting with your zip code. We’ll send swab kits to those we can, focusing on the people needed to get the most representative picture possible of what’s happening in our region.

The article from which I extracted this information is much longer, and can be accessed at the previous link.

From the Washington Post:

At Evergreen Health Medical Center, two miles from the shuttered Lifecare nursing home where 35 patient deaths were linked to the virus, officials say their rate of new covid-19 cases has remained steady for two weeks, leveling off at a trickle. On some days, doctors here see just one new case and haven’t seen more than four in a single day since mid-March. Few need admission to the intensive care unit, which is now half full, two weeks after overflow necessitated transfers to nearby hospitals.
“We don’t know if this last two weeks has been a calm before the storm or if the social distancing and all those things that are being practiced are working,” said Evergreen Health CEO Jeff Tomlin, whose hospital has handled 40 of Washington state’s more than 130 virus-related deaths.

From Red State.com
Long before New York City became the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., a 35-year-old man who had recently returned from visiting family in Wuhan, China, walked into an urgent care clinic in Snohomish County, WA on January 19. He presented with a four-day cough history. The next day, this man would become the first person in America to test positive for COVID-19.




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