American Elephants


In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety Two, Columbus Sailed… by The Elephant's Child

Exactly how George Floyd’s unfortunate death led to the excesses of Black Lives Matter riots and marches and looting, is not especially clear. How things multiplied from that to attacks on statues all around the country is even less clear. They started with the generals on the losing side of the Civil War, and then included generals on both sides and Spanish Friars, founding fathers and their horses too.. Perfect frenzy of attacking bronze statues that couldn’t possibly fight back, but perhaps that was the point. They could demonstrate their rage while in attacking inanimate objects they had no opposition, and no risk.

But one statue led to another, and when they couldn’t find enough Robert E. Lee statues, they turned to Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and, of course, Columbus.  It is all simply theater. What was intended as a powerful political statement was thoroughly messed up by the historical ignorance of the perpetrators. There was some interest in destruction of the four presidents at Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota, encouraged slyly by the New York Times, which brought out Sioux Chieftains to remind everyone that the Black Hills were once sacred grounds for Native Americans.

I think the statue thing is probably over, except for Columbus. There are so many things around the country named for Columbus that it remains a tempting victim — Columbus, Ohio, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska and Texas, the Columbia River, Columbia University, and many ships and lots of wildlife and plants.

What is far more interesting is the “Columbian Exchange” — the plants and animals brought to the new world and from the new world to the old. Search for “The Columbian Exchange” and you will be astounded to find the list of species that were unknown prior to 1492, and how they changed lives. Diseases too. Horses and dogs and cats! Did residents of the new world have no pets until Columbus? And when did they decide that dogs were desirable pets?



As The World Turns and Other Stories of the Moment by The Elephant's Child

          RECENT EARTH CLIMATE HISTORY

600 – 200 B.C.: An Unnamed Cold Period
200 BC to about AD 600: The Roman Warming
600 to 900: The Dark Ages Cold Period
900 to 1300: Medieval Warming
1300 to 1850: The Little Ice Age (two stages)

MODERN CLIMATE HISTORY

1850 – 1940: Especially between 1920-1940: Warming
1940 to 1975: Cooling Trend
1976-1978: Sudden Warming Spurt
1979 to 1998: +1º
1998 to 2011: +1º

The Medieval Warming period led to the Renaissance  which began approximately in 1300 and ended approximately in 1700. A bountiful time, wine grapes grew in England, food was plentiful and there was a flowering of learning and art. Think Michelangelo, Raphael, and Copernicus among others. What I’m getting at here, is the idea that if we are facing climate doom, the world is going to die in 10 or 12 years if we don’t save it by stopping “fracking,” using oil and gasoline, and eliminating plastic bags. That’s what you get for listening to “celebrities” instead of studying up on the science.

I was an English Major, which meant that I learned how to read hard stuff, and read a lot. That does not mean that I’m always right, but I do like to think so. Christiana Figueres was quite sure that the object of “climate change” was as a tool to get rid of Capitalism. Leftists do not like capitalism, which seems a bit strange, but economics is not their strong point. Capitalists are business CEOs and owners, and the “Rich:”. The Left is simply entitled to be in charge because they are morally superior.

Conservatives have long sneered at the Left because they were the Southern slave owners in the Civil War, but the Left has ended that accusation by electing the first black president, who served for two terms, which puts them back in the morally superior category. Global Warming, plastic bags, ending fracking, and giving taxpayer money to illegal aliens adds to their superiority.

America is a nation of immigrants, as you know, which leads them to believe that immigrants are special, and just because they can’t be bothered to enter the country the legal way, shouldn’t keep them from sharing in the bounty of America. So Leftists care about illegal immigrants, which means hating I.C.E. (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and making sure that illegal immigrants get stimulus money. It is that mindset that makes them believe that if little immigrant children were kept in cages, it was obviously done by conservatives, contrary to the actual actions of the Obama administration. Once you get the “entitled to be in charge because they are morally superior” theme firmly in mind, it makes understanding all the other stuff simple. Or at least it helps.

Then there’s this: From Climate Realism and Climate Depot:

Among the top articles in a May 19 Google News search for “climate change” were a slew of articles claiming climate change causes cancer. CNBC and several other major news outlets published the claims, citing American Cancer Society (ACS) activists making the assertion. The line of reasoning is preposterous. And even if the ACS line of reasoning were sound, the line of reasoning would indicate that climate change is reducing cancer incidence and mortality.

The CNBC article is titled “Climate change is fueling extreme weather that lowers cancer survival rate and threatens prevention.” The article points out ACS line of reasoning as “[1] Climate change has triggered more frequent weather disasters like hurricanes and wildfires that [2] release deadly carcinogens into communities and [3] delay access to cancer treatment.” Each of the three prongs of the argument is ridiculous, and the three in combination give new meaning to the term “far-fetched.”

That’s a pretty good indication into how the news gets so weird, and wrong ideas seem to prevail. The fact that it is an election year means that politics rears its ugly head, and before you know it, all is confusion.  Fight back.



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.



Nancy Pelosi’s Big Ideas Turned Out to Be a Big Flop! by The Elephant's Child

pelosi-angry-glare-impeachment-vote-getty-420x315

The Democrats had a big idea. Big coronavirus crisis, Nation in a state of crisis, good time to get some of our ideas that we haven’t been able to get done passed. Republicans can’t turn us down because they need the coronavirus money. So they just stuffed all their ideas right into a modest 1,400 page bill. Headlines were not complimentary: “Politicians Standing in the Way of Emergency Relief”,”Cynical Power Play on Coronavirus Bill Shows Dems’ Far-Left Stripes,” “Tom Cotton Slams Democrats”, “Nancy Pelosi Coronavirus Bill Creates MultiBillion Slush Fund for Elite Liberal Causes.” “Pelosi Coronavirus Bill Creates Multibillion Slush Fund for Elite Liberal Causes,” Pelosi’s Bill  Contains Return of Obama Phones”, “Pelosi’s Bill Imposes Nationwide Ballot Harvesting,”

The list goes on and on, Diversity forced on Corporate Boards, or just read Tom Cotton’ s MUST READ  thread on what she has included in the bill. Wasn’t such a good idea, the outrage was prompt in arriving. Now and then the Democrats reveal just how far left they are, and the American people aren’t. The American people are justifiably frightened by this virus, we don’t know how deadly it will be. The reports from other countries like Iran and Italy are devastating, We don’t know how many Chinese have died from the Wuhan virus, nor do we know if what the Chinese claim can be trusted. Communist governments are not usually forthcoming with anything that reflects badly on them.

Even President Trump’s advisors don’t know how long the virus will last, how many people it is likely to infect, whether it will die off as warm weather comes on, it’s all guesswork. We have had corona viruses before, but each has its own schedule and invasive qualities. Many states have been only very lightly affected. People compare it to the national deaths from the flu, from traffic accidents, but that doesn’t mean much of anything. I’ll bet when the pharmacies start telling us next year to get our flu shots, more of us will pay attention.

President Trump said in his press conference today that he hopes they can relax the control of groups and meetings by Easter so people can go to church on Easter Sunday, but we don’t know. The media, of course, wanted to excoriate him for even suggesting that it would be over by Easter, but if he hadn’t they would be excoriating him for not, or for something else. The Democrat Media has exhibited an irresponsibility that is rather startling in its extent. They don’t like President Trump, and make that clear at every opportunity. No wonder he calls them Fake News.

Since we in the Seattle Area were the first ones hit in this country, perhaps our results will be the first to show when and if it is tapering off. We’ll see. In the meantime, try being a good neighbor. Help out if you can. Give blood. Try not to “stock up” to such a extent that you are leaving your neighbors without. And take care of yourselves.



The President’s Wednesday Press Conference by The Elephant's Child

Today, Wednesday 18th, Presidential Press Conference. Long, but very informative. Worth your time. Here’s what they are doing, why, and how, and what they expect to result from their actions. Democrat talking point that calling it the “Chinese virus” is somehow “racist” appears. Embarrassing.  Everybody in the entire world knows it originated in Wuhan, China. It is customary to call viruses by the name of the locale where it first appeared to specify exactly which virus it is. You may have heard of the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. That’s not racist either.



The Day Before St. Patrick’s Update by The Elephant's Child

The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “CoronaVirus Disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

“On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC). On January 31, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a Public Health Emergency (PHE) for the United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19. This declaration freed up funding and regulations to aid in efforts until Congress had a chance to act. President Trump also halted all travel from China, other affected areas, and put Americans returning from China into quarantine. On March 11, WHO publicly  characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. On March 13, the President of the United States declared the COVID-19 outbreak. a National Emergency

That’s the official language and dates from the CDC. Washington State and New York State each have 501 to 1,000 cases. King County has reported  today, March 16, that they have 420 confirmed cases and one more death. Snohomish County,  reports 176 confirmed cases and 4 deaths, Pierce County 29 confirmed cases and Island County had 6. Which indicates that a lot more testing has been done. Scientists here in King County have produced a vaccine, which has just begun human testing.

I am currently re-reading John McPhee’s Table of Contents. In an essay about scientists at Princeton, he quotes Freeman Dyson as saying: “The first rule of technology is that no one can tell in advance whether a piece of technology is any good. It will hang on things that are unforeseeable. In groping around, one wants to try out things that are quick and cheap and find out what doesn’t work.” which applies to our current situation rather nicely.

ADDENDUM: Late day, checking in with King County virus updates: Confirmed cases have reached 488. This demonstrates that testing is increasing, and identifying those who have been infected. This is a good thing. As testing increases, you should expect numbers to rise–not because infections are increasing necessarily, but because existing infections are being identified. Sadly, 43 deaths in total, most from the nursing home in Kirkland.



Corona virus Update by The Elephant's Child

King County, Washington reports 388 confirmed cases, 35 deaths. 3 more deaths have been reported since this morning.  Snohomish County, just to our north, has reported 154 confirmed cases. There is a smattering of single cases throughout the state.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) reports 1,629 total cases in the country, and 41 total deaths. As you can see, most of them are obviously from here. They report that slightly more than half, nationwide,  are travel related. That includes people returning from Wuhan, China, from Italy, and 46 from the Diamond Princess Cruise ship.

If you go to the CDC website, and look for the COVID-19 in the U.S. there’s a dandy map if you scroll down that gives the numbers for the whole country. Page is updated at noon, Monday through Fridays. 46 states are reporting and the District of Columbia. Not sure who is missing, Alaska and Hawaii I would guess, and…?

Here in King County, there’s a lot of hoarding going on. Grocery stores are being raided as people think of themselves as “stocking up” just in case. Unfortunately grocery shelves are stripped and anyone who did not grasp the greed of their fellow citizens is out of luck. Nice going, neighbors.



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.



In Case You Missed It, Here is President Trump’s Address to the Nation About the Coronavirus. by The Elephant's Child

Democrats try to attack, but it is an excellent speech, concerned with the fears of the American people. Democrats, of course, hate it. It has been very well received. He’s doing a very good job with a very difficult pandemic.



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.



Corona Update by The Elephant's Child

•Update for March 11, Wednesday:

•Confirmed cases 234,  26 deaths. Social gatherings ban on large gatherings of over 250 people. The additional deaths are all among previously reported cases of people in Life Care Center or Redmond Care and Rehab, hospitalized at Evergreen Hospital.

King County in Washington State remains the hot spot in the country, though California and New York are catching up with the Corona virus. Confirmed cases in King County: 190 –that’s people who have been tested and have the disease.  In the state there are 267 cases, and 22 deaths. The largest number attributed to the nursing home in Kirkland.

California has 135 cases, New York — 142. President Trump is doing an excellent job, Democrat Governors have praised the prompt response to requests, needed testing supplies and information readily available. Physicians have noted that he is doing exactly the right things — closing the border, parking cruise ships offshore until passengers can be tested, quarantining those who are arriving from areas where the virus is rampant. The Democrat media is trying desperately to make the whole thing somehow Trump’s fault, but it just won’t work. Vice President Pence is doing an excellent job as are the federal agencies and manufacturers who are ramping up production of  test kits and supplies. There are 36 jurisdictions (including the District of Columbia) which are reporting cases. The CDC website has a dandy map that shows the prevalence of the COVID-19, but suggest that data reported by the states will be the most up to date.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV.  All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir.

Early on, many of the patients at the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. Later, a growing number of patients reportedly did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread. Person-to-person spread was subsequently reported outside Hubei and in countries outside China, including in the United States. Some international destinations now have apparent community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19, as do some parts of the United States. Community spread means some people have been infected and it is not known how or where they became exposed. Learn what is known about the spread of this newly emerged coronaviruses.  They’re not formally calling this a “pandemic” as yet, but may, depending on how it goes.



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.”




%d bloggers like this: