American Elephants


Here’s What the World Health Organization Has to Say: by The Elephant's Child

I am trying to keep up with worldwide reports, especially after learning of the dreadful case of Italy who lost so many elderly people, so I checked in with the World Health Organization (WHO), and thought that probably many of you had not, and were depending on the American media, who have become (as Hillary called anyone who dared to support President Trump) — the”Deplorables.” And you can’t trust the media any more. They are trying to blame the entire coronavirus on Donald Trump. Nevermind that he seems to be doing exactly the right things, effectively, and a pretty good job of protecting American citizens.

So here is the website for the WHO and what they are reporting for each country. Again, this is what has been reported to them. Africa is experiencing it only very lightly, as is the Russian Federation. Is that really few cases or lax reporting? Only 304 cases in Canada, and not too much is South America. They have a list for each country, besides a dandy map that gives a visual idea. We are told that the death toll from the flu is high, but I haven’t seen reports of how many Americans died from the flu, nor how it affected other countries. The flu was devastating following World War I, and killed thousands. Have heard constantly from pharmacies to be sure to get your flu shots, so apparently many people don’t or they wouldn’t nag.

China has 81,077 cases, Italy 24,747 cases.  I don’t know. Do you hunger for more statistics so you feel more prepared, calmer? Or are you sick of the whole subject? I always line up with “studying up” — the more you know, the less the chance that you can be a victim.



This Too Shall Pass.* by The Elephant's Child

What’s new, you might ask, in the center of the CoronaVirus in the country? Unfortunately the “stocking-up” goes on apace. Grocery store shelves are empty, deliveries take far longer than was usual. That’s what is reported. We have not left the house. That which we have ordered delivered will be here next Monday (a week away, not tomorrow) And as these things go, the more bare shelves there are, or the more anxiety that is expressed, the more people try to stock up. We used to call it just plain hoarding. But that word has gone out of style.

It’s a growth thing. The more it’s talked about, the more empty shelves, the more people panic, and their actions inflict another bunch.

Two brothers from Tennessee who tried to capitalize on the outbreak of coronavirus bought up nearly 18,000 bottles of hand sanitizer which they were selling for between $8 and $70 each. Much higher than any in the local stores. Amazon and other online sellers cracked down on sellers who were found to be price gouging. Now they are stuck with a huge supply and nowhere to sell it. To which the American people are undoubtedly saying “Good! Serves ’em right.”

In New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announced that the CoronaVirus is a case for “Nationalization of crucial factories and Industries that could produce the medical supplies needed” Brilliant! He added that “every factory that can make hand sanitizer should be on 24/7 shifts and the distribution should be going to the places that need it most.” President Trump has just asked companies for their help and offered federal help to them in a time of crisis, and they are going to work.

Some people go to work, others pontificate. Bit of a test of character. The Israelis have a vaccine ready for testing. We have vaccines close to being ready. You have to conduct testing with real people to find out if it really works as hoped for., and that all takes time. Stay calm, study up, and wash your hands a lot.

*“This too shall pass” is a Persian adage translated and used in multiple languages. It reflects on the temporary nature, or ephemerality, of the human condition. The general sentiment is often expressed in wisdom literature throughout history and across cultures, although the specific phrase seems to have originated in the writings of the medieval Persian Sufi poets such as Rumi.



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.



Brexit Day Has Arrived and Britain Leaves the European Union by The Elephant's Child

Well, Happy Brexit Day to our British friends across the pond. It’s a thing that seems to be going around. People aren’t too happy with  giant bureaucracies trying to control their prized freedoms with ever more regulations and laws and nit-picking.

Whether government is elected or assigned, human nature intrudes, and once in power bureaucracies want to fix their subjects, make them behave better, become whatever they think will or might be an improvement. The people don’t mind some moderate regulation, but the regulators always go too far. Americans started off with a bit of that when the British initiated the Stamp Act and the taxes started interfering with daily life. America became it’s own nation with a unpleasant Revolutionary War just  to make things clear. So we fully understand what the Brits are up to with Brexit. The Bureaucrats of the European Union went too far, and it wasn’t just regulating the proper size and curvature of bananas and cucumbers, but food regulations went so far by 2008 that shops were refusing to stock up to 20% of food and vegetables because it didn’t meet EU regulations. And it’s not just food, but illegal immigrants, refugees, who is or isn’t, and what to do about it. The EU has become a busybody and the fear, of course, is that other nations might follow Britain out.

If the complexities of regulation interest you at all, you might enjoy Matt Ridley’s speech to the House of Lords about Genome Editing. OK that sounds unbearably boring, but the speech is short and demonstrates just how the future can be fouled up with bad regulation. It really is interesting.



The Death of Europe: A Special Conversation by The Elephant's Child

This is one of Peter Robinson’s Uncommon Knowledge videos from the Hoover Institution, a particularly fascinating and essential one: a conversation with Douglas Murray about his book The Death of Europe and his coming new book The Madness of Crowds.  This is deep insight into the state of the world today, and why it is so.

Understanding Britain and America and the oncoming problems, and why people are the way they are. Absolutely brilliant. It’s very long, and worth every minute. No time now, come back and watch it later, or make your own copy from You Tube. You will be rewarded and your understanding deepened.



Politics, Politics and More Politics, Ours & Theirs. by The Elephant's Child

Politics. Many of our friendly nations are currently embroiled in politics. Our Democrats are trying for a do-over of the previous election, because they simply cannot get over the fact that they lost the 2016 election to the hated Trump.  Just why they hate President Trump so much remains a mystery, because he is doing a remarkable job of getting the economy back on track, which is what we elected him to do.

Canada is not entirely happy with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but he is going to keep his job and form a minority government. His Liberals are again the largest party, but have lost their parliamentary majority.

The British have a Prime Minister in Boris Johnson, but are embroiled in Brexit. From what I can tell, the people want out of the European Union, but the Parliament does not. The battle goes on, and on. Back in 2007, Valery Giscard d’Estaing was writing a Constitution for the European Union, and briefly looked at the American Constitution, but couldn’t handle all those freedoms, and rejected it outright as an example. Unfortunate.

The Israelis are having a crisis of sorts because Prime Minister Netanyahu could not form a government because of the (weird to Americans) way the Israeli government is formed. The Prime Minister gets elected, I think, and then has to create a government by getting all the other parties to agree to what he comes up with, or something like that. We all get accustomed to our own form of government and do not understand any other countries’ politics, which usually is just as complex as ours, and often more so.

South America is a mess, but since we don’t speak their languages, we don’t pay all that much attention. Odd, but I don’t know how many Americans could name the countries of South America on an unlabeled map. And of course, we always call ourselves “Americans” which undoubtedly annoys the citizens of Central and South, who are just as much “Americans” as we are.

Hong Kong and China are getting bloody. China is Communist, which works only for those at the top, and until they are overthrown. We have enough world history about what works and what does not to teach us all – how to go about doing government. The most passionate are always the least-informed, and sure that they have a better idea.

Apparently our colleges and universities are graduating a new class, sure that the answer to the problem of the rich is Socialism or Communism. They are, of course,  tutored by professors who discover that there are successful entrepreneurs who without the qualification of a PhD in something or other receive enormous salaries and benefits for keeping a corporation healthy and thriving. No Fair! If you wondered why a college education costs so much today, there you go.

President Trump is beginning to move governmental agencies out of the “swamp” and closer to the people they are supposed to be serving. Thus the Farm Bureau is moving to farming country which is excellent, but those who are being moved from cosmopolitan D.C. to farm country are not happy.  I think it’s a great idea.



Dr. Roy Spencer on Chaotic Climate Change and the IPCC by The Elephant's Child

1695 Winter Landscape: Snowfall near Antwerp by Lucas van Valckanborch

An interesting article by Dr. Roy Spencer reposted at Watts Up With That? Dr. Spencer is wondering if there is a preferred average state for the climate, and the variations gather around the average. That idea seems to guide the IPCC scientists who write the reports which guide international energy policy on fossil fuel use. They construct their climate models so that the models do not produce any warming or cooling unless they are forced to through increasing anthropogenic greenhouse gases, aerosols or volcanic eruptions.

What I’d like to discuss here is NOT whether there are other ‘external’ forcing agents of climate change, such as the sun. That is a valuable discussion, but not what I’m going to address. I’d like to address the question of whether there really is an average state that the climate system is constantly re-adjusting itself toward, even if it is constantly nudged in different directions by the sun.

If there is such a preferred average state, then the forcing-feedback paradigm of climate change is valid. In that system of thought, any departure of the global average temperature from the Nature-preferred state is resisted by radiative “feedback”, that is, changes in the radiative energy balance of the Earth in response to the too-warm or too-cool conditions. Those radiative changes would constantly be pushing the system back to its preferred temperature state.

If you have an interest in things climate, it’s an interesting read. Also, keep in mind that President Trump just got us out of the Paris Peace Accords, which would have done nothing at all to remedy anything about the climate, but would have shipped a lot of American funds off to the world’s poorer states.

Dr. Spencer adds:

It is clear that the UN IPCC, by its very charter, is primarily focused on human-caused climate change. As a result of political influence (related to the desire of governmental regulation over the private sector) it will never seriously address the possibility that long-term climate change might be part of nature. Only those scientists who are supportive of this anthropocentric climate view are allowed to play in the IPCC sandbox.

It’s an interesting read, and exposes some of the uncertainties under which our climate scientists operate. The comments following are interesting as well, as the Watts Up With That? readers are interested and have their own opinions.




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