American Elephants


The Elephant’s Guidelines for Today! by The Elephant's Child

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Looking at the news, listening to the radio. We are sequestered at home, avoiding going out in King County, Washington, ground zero for COVID-19. Confirmed cases have increased to 793 — 131 new cases today. That suggests that more testing  of those who have flu symptoms is catching more people in the early stages. This is a good thing. If you have no symptoms, you probably won’t get tested yet. You have been told over and over what precautions you should take. Do it.

There are people broadcasting who are anxiously demanding that “We need answers.” Well, there aren’t any. At this late date, pharmacists are still warning people to get their flu shots. Do you know how many people died from the flu this year? I don’t either, but it is apparently a significant number. We haven’t ever experienced anything like the current virus. It is related to previous corona viruses, which is why this is called COVID-19. There were, I assume, a previous 18. There are shortages of masks, gloves, ventilators, and whatever supplies the hospital staffs require. Companies are gearing up to produce larger quantities.  Some auto companies are reported to be gearing up to produce ventilators. Americans and American industry try to respond to the nation’s needs.

There is apparently plenty of toilet paper, and the stores are getting stocked up again, but there are complications. Truckers are finding closed rest stops, closed restaurants. Someone here had their car broken into to steal the toilet paper left in the back seat. Toilet paper companies are hard at work producing more.

President Trump has been aware that bad regulations can cause bigger problems, and is trying to lift those regulations that are not helpful in the current environment. Governors are not experts in contagious viruses and what is needed. A lot of businesses are being put out of business—dine in restaurants are hard hit. Those suddenly unemployed will find other industries hiring. Amazon is hiring large numbers, and there is a clear need for more delivery services for those sequestered at home, but needing food and medicine.

So if you are confined to your home, what do you do? Read those unread books on the shelf, learn a new language online. Do all those little jobs around the house that you have been putting off.  Do some research online and learn a new skill. It’s amazing what you can learn online if you try. Start writing that family history, or start researching it. Where did you come from and when, and what do you know about your family?

CNN staffers have admitted that their obsessive Anti-Trump coverage will not stop until Trump dies. Do read that link! Revealing! Just what we thought.

Hot Air reports that Red and Blue America aren’t experiencing the same pandemic. Democrats are expressing more concerns.  States with Republican governors have been slower or less likely to impose restrictions on their residents. So far, the greater clusters of the disease, and the most aggressive responses to it have been centered in a few large, Democrat-leaning metropolitan areas, including Seattle, New York, San Francisco and Boston.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper stated flatly that if China was more transparent, we could have contained the corona virus in China. It is common to communist countries that they are always frightened of overthrow, or allowing their subjects to doubt. Had they notified the world that they had a problem when they discovered they had a problem, they could have gotten help and the virus might have been contained in China. Instead, Italy, Iran, Spain and other countries are fighting off the disease. Iran  A lot of death could have been avoided.

Seattle is showing some signs of slowing down, but it is too early to be sure. Other Good News: The tax deadline has been extended to July 15.



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.



These Are Interesting Times Indeed! by The Elephant's Child

I think the ancient Chinese curse is “May you live in interesting times.” I may be mistaken because I didn’t look it up but depended on my memory. Well, they are interesting indeed. President Trump acted on an opportunity to get one the world’s worst terrorist leaders, and our national media erupted in horror, completely forgetting that our embassy in Iraq had been attacked, or ignoring this inconvenient bit. The information was correct, we were able to hit Quassam Soleimani and eliminate a terrorist dedicated to attempts to harm the United States and our military at every opportunity.

Democrats in Congress were incensed that they were not consulted for their formal consent and approval, neglecting to consider that in such situations the President does not need to consult Congress, nor does he need their approval. He is the Commander in Chief. He gets to protect our Embassy, it’s staff, our military.

The Embassy is sovereign American territory, which was attacked. Soleimani has been a formally designated terrorist and terrorist leader since 2007. That this comes in the midst of an attempt to impeach the President with a Democratic Party that is consumed with their desire to get rid of the terrible Trump, leaves the Democrats in a sticky position. They cannot approve of anything Trump does at the moment, yet taking the opposing position puts them on the wrong side as well.

Some have pointed out the example of Benghazi and our embassy there, and the failure of our State Department to provide them with the needed security to prevent the death of the Ambassador, his aide and two former Seals working as government contractors. It was inexcusable.

What is disheartening is the response of the media who can’t put aside their partisan outlook long enough to report events as if they are journalists rather than just partisan Democrats.



The Immediacy of The Latest News of the Day by The Elephant's Child

Got up a little late today, and perusing all my usual websites in search of what is news in the wake of the elimination of top Iranian terrorist Quassem Soleimani, the Democrats impeachment debacle, and what Hollywood celebrities had to say about Trump, what appeared at the top of the front page of almost every website was “If You Have Toenail Fungus, Do This Immediately!”

Some days are just like that!



And a Happy New Year to You All ! by The Elephant's Child

I am not an enthusiast for New Years celebrations, nor do I really think of a new year being a big deal. Don’t like all the efforts to predict what the new year will bring, but the efforts to sum up what transpired during the past year can be useful.

The impeachment thing drags on, but is going nowhere. Abuse of Power is silly, there was no crime whatsoever, and Obstruction of Congress is way beyond silly. The President’s job is to keep the reins on Congress and keep them from doing stupid things. That’s why the founders gave him veto power, and Congress the right to override a veto if they can. The founders were well aware of the failings of the human race, and thought long and hard about writing a Constitution.

The Wall Street Journal was having fits about the “trade war” Trump was initiating with China, but as Joseph Sternberg said today:

A new year brings new optimism that the U.S.-China trade war might not blow up the global economy after all. The two sides are on track to sign a “phase one” deal within weeks. Oddly, no one has stopped to ask if America is ready for what will happen if President Trump “wins” the trade war. …

China’s current-account surplus—the amount by which its exports of goods and services and income from overseas investments exceeds imports—has shrunk for years. It’s likely to tip into a deficit early this decade, meaning China will import more goods and services (and receive less profit from overseas) than it exports.

The scale of this potential deficit, likely under 1% of gross domestic product to start, pales in comparison with the enormous current-account surpluses of nearly 10% of GDP each year China racked up in the first decade of the century. And the deficits will be here to stay.

He adds that their population is aging, the much vaunted Belt and Road deal is mostly pouring money into corrupt public-works, and China’s overseas investments tend to be bad ones. And the U.S. tends to be the world’s premier destination for investment capital. China’s Communism has used industrial policy to suppress domestic demand.

It seems that despite the skeptics, Capitalism seems to work quite nicely. Unemployment is at record lows, the stock market at record highs.

In Baghdad, the crowd that attacked the U.S. Embassy in Iraq seems to have been more pro-Iran militia than unhappy citizens. A  country’s embassy is considered a part of their own territory and attacking it is a big deal. The president promptly sent in the Marines to reinforce and protect, and demonstrate that attacks were not acceptable. The Washington Post, of course, tried to score points against President Trump. The top Iranian Commander, Quassem Soleimani, leader of Iran’s Quds Force, was apparently killed Friday in airstrikes on Baghdad International Airport. The Pentagon confirmed that President Donald Trump ordered the airstrike. Iran’s Quds Force has been designated as a terrorist organization for some time.

Seems to me that President Trump is letting our friends and enemies know that he has no intention of being a pushover, in case they were under some misapprehension.

Other than that, the media seemed fascinated with the leftover theme from the 1920’s – trying to stick on “the Roaring Twenties” in some way, I guess because that’s all they could think of.  Didn’t work.

Hollywood has-beens keep trying to come up with insults to the President that will get them some media notice, for you cannot remain a celebrity if you cannot get the attention of the press, Nobody seems to have noticed that a lot of Americans are finding other ways to amuse themselves, and movies aren’t doing all that well.



The Democrat Debate. Sad. by The Elephant's Child

I watched and listened to the Democrats’ debate for a while, and couldn’t take any more. Perhaps after a bit of a rest, I can stand a little more without getting too annoyed.

What is wrong with today’s world, the enormous troubles of the world, all that is wrong anywhere — is Trump. The horrors of the border, the American health care situation, drug addiction, the American economy, the rest of the world which now hates us because of Trump, He has turned all of our allies into enemies. They’re not going to call them “concentration camps” at the border, (that didn’t go over too well) But the children at the border, the poor pitiful little children must be saved, not clear exactly how, but everybody gets to make their application for amnesty because they are escaping from countries that we have to turn our attention and wealth to fixing, so they can stay home once we have fixed their home countries for them.

Their loathing for Trump is enormous, and he is to blame for everything. What I have found really interesting is Democrats’ lack of interest in Hillary. They are most furious about being out of power, about losing the election and every detail of what caused them to lose (electoral college), Constitution, white supremacy etc. etc.

They are all signing on to “Medicare for All” which will clearly be a major campaign issue. That and some form of children in cages being mistreated at the border. Make voters care with an appeal to stop Trump from mistreating innocent little children. Little children dying in evil Border Patrol custody will be big. Evil pharmaceutical companies to blame for drug addiction, the cost of health care, and just the usual Democrat focus on big business as evil. You don’t even need to watch any of this to know what is being said and urged. You’ve heard it all before.

Time to insert Thomas Sowell quotation:
“There are no solutions, only trade-offs”

America has the best health care in the world because kids who like science work their tails off to get good grades so they can get into good medical schools so they can become doctors, save lives, become prosperous and live good lives themselves. One of the Democrat debaters (I didn’t recognize him) said he asked  several hospital management people what they would do if everybody was on Medicare. The answer was uniformly – close down. Did you ever ask how much one of those complicated hospital beds costs? Let alone the big scanners and the complex new drugs that are saving lives. That’s why in the big cities the hospitals have auxiliaries and society balls for their supporters where it is important to be seen. Trade-offs. Democrats don’t like Tom Sowell. They call him an “Uncle Tom.”



The State of the Union Speech by The Elephant's Child

Oh excellent, excellent and most excellent. President Trump gave his best speech yet. Democrats were all prepared to go on and on about his lying and bragging. Not going to work. He explained his accomplishments for the country, why they needed to be done, and how they are working. He explained his hopes for the country and for the world, and asked for their help in getting it done.

I saw Nancy Pelosi all in white, but it took a while to realize that all the Democrat women were in white, symbolizing something or other. I apparently missed the explanation. I thought they were imitating Cuba’s Women in White, with their usual lack of comprehension of Communism, but I understand that they were thinking of themselves as “suffragettes” who nobody remembers and have nothing to do with white clothes as far as I can remember. I’m female, but definitely not a feminist, and find them  embarrassing. They seemed to have lot of trouble figuring out when to stand and when to sit, when to smile and when to scowl. Speaker Pelosi seemed to have big chunk of lemon in her cheek which she bit down on in the more stressful moments. (The cheering, the shouts of USA, USA!)

Chuck Schumer said that Stacey Abrams was a wonderful speaker, so I was interested but completely unfamiliar with her. I guess nobody checked on what she was going to say. Yea Unions! Boo depriving the people of their votes? Huh? Nice family stories, but utterly ill-informed about what is happening in the United States, except for Democrat propaganda. Little children in cages and all that. Seems like a nice lady. She tried to make a big deal out of the government shutdown, which was an inconvenience, but ruined no one’s life. I’m afraid that she was chosen as the first African-American woman to give the response to a State of the Union speech. Democrats think like that. The actuality of what is said isn’t that important.

Really funny to listen to the media’s comments pre-speech. Senator Schumer’s anticipatory comments were an absolute disgrace. He should be ashamed. There is really no place for that. Schumer has been in Congress since 1981. The venom of the Left knows no bounds.



A Study Reveals That 72 Terrorists Came From the Countries In Trump’s Travel Ban by The Elephant's Child

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On January 27, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order 13769 which banned travel from seven countries, largely Muslim in population, that supported terrorism. Well! Huge Liberal outcry. He Can’t Do That! Lawsuits,! Liberal judges said no. Trump accused of racism, cruelty, etc., etc. Ninth Circuit judges said there is no evidence showing a risk to the United States in allowing aliens from these seven terror-associated countries to come in. Case went to Supreme Court.  June 26, Supreme Court upholds ban. You probably remember all of this. It was very noisy. But eventually we find out what it was all about.

Jessica Vaughn from the Center for Immigration Studies (cis.org) reported on a review of information compiled by a Senate committee in 2016 reveals that 72 individuals from the seven countries covered in President Trump’s vetting order have been convicted in terror cases since the 9/11 attacks. These facts stand is stark contrast to the assertions by the Ninth circuit judges who blocked the president’s order on the basis that there was no evidence.

In June 2016 the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, then chaired by now Attorney General Jeff Sessions, released a report on individuals convicted in terror cases since 9/11. The Obama administration refused to provide government records, so this came from open sources. The report found that 380 our of 500 people convicted in terror cases were foreign born.

The CIS center has obtained a copy of the information compiled by the Senate subcommittee. The report contains names of offenders, dates of conviction, terror group affiliation, federal criminal charges, sentence imposed, state of residence and immigration history.  72 of the individuals named in the Senate report, country of origin was one of the seven countries included in the vetting order.
• Somalia: 20  • Yemen: 18  • Iraq: 19  • Syria: 7 • Iran: 4  • Libya: 2  • Sudan 1

•Total 72

These immigrant terrorists lived in at least 16 different states, with the largest number from the terror-associated countries living in New York (10), Minnesota (8), California (8), and Michigan (6). Ironically, Minnesota was one of the states suing to block Trump’s order to pause entries from the terror-associated countries, claiming it harmed the state. At least two of the terrorists were living in Washington, which joined with Minnesota in the lawsuit to block the order.

Thirty-three of the 72 individuals from the seven terror-associated countries were convicted of very serious terror-related crimes, and were sentenced to at least three years imprisonment. The crimes included use of a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit a terror act, material support of a terrorist or terror group, international money laundering conspiracy, possession of explosives or missiles, and unlawful possession of a machine gun.

It’s the usual story. Big outcry from the Left. Liberals don’t know what they are talking about, they just object. When they are proven wrong, or make big mistakes, it just all vanishes down the memory hole.



Victor Davis Hanson on Our Leverage with North Korea by The Elephant's Child

There has been a lot of misinformation about both getting out of the so-called Iran deal and getting into a new North Korean agreement. The two situations may be connected, but not in the way we are usually told.

Getting out of the Iran deal did not destroy trust in the U.S. government. Our departure from the deal does not mean that North Korea cannot reliably negotiate with America.

In 2015, the Iran deal was not approved as either a Senate-ratified treaty or a joint congressional resolution. Had the deal been a treaty, President Donald Trump could not have walked away from it so easily and with so little downside.

Former President Obama knew that he did not have majority congressional support for his initiative. Therefore, he desperately sought ways to circumvent the constitutionally directed authority of the Senate and redefine a treaty as a mere executive order

The rest of the article is here



The Soap Opera of the Century! by The Elephant's Child

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This Mueller investigation has become the soap opera of the century. Some new twist every day. The inspector general’s report on the activities of the FBI is due out soon. It is said to be devastating to the most executive floor of the FBI. The House Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed the founding document of the entire investigation and the FBI is refusing to turn it over.

We flip over and back to questions of law and constitution and who can do what to whom. A special counsel’s investigation is supposed to start with a crime to be investigated, but this one just started with the hope that they would find a crime in the process.  They indicted Paul Manafort for things unrelated to the Russia thing, but although investigating collusion with the Russians to influence the election was the supposed reason for the whole mess, Paul Manafort was supposed to have done something illegal about something entirely different, at a different time.

Andy McCarthy who is invaluable for explaining matters of law in this kind of thing, said “The president’s job is more critical to the nation than Robert Mueller’s investigation.”  And added:

That does not mean Mueller’s investigation is insignificant; it is crucial that we fully uncover Russia’s interference in the 2016 election (the aim of the counterintelligence investigation Mueller was assigned to conduct) so that we can thwart the Kremlin in the future. But it does mean that Mueller’s desire for investigative secrecy and the ability to interview every witness who might have relevant evidence has to give way to other priorities.

President Trump apparently feels that he has done nothing whatsoever wrong, and would like to answer Mueller’s questions to get this thing over with, and his advisors tell him no, that it’s just a trap for the Democrats hope for impeachment. But yes, he could fire Mueller, but it would be bad politics, and so it goes. As I said, the soap opera of the century. We cannot ignore the whole thing, because there might be developments, but… on the other hand we can’t sit around waiting for something that will clarify the entire mess. Ive been around for quite a few administrations, but I have never seen anything like this.

While our attention is fixed on Mueller, North Korea has released their American citizen hostages to the Secretary of State, and the President and First Lady went out to welcome them home at 3:00 clock in the morning. The Iran Deal has been fortuitously dumped, John Kerry is running around trying to get the other partners to the “deal” to do something, but it was never a signed treaty anyway. The Paris Climate Deal has also been fortuitously dumped, and the Left is having vapors over that, but it would do nothing whatsoever for the climate except transfer a lot of advanced countries’ money to the poor countries, which was the idea in the first place. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s show which will undoubtedly have some development that won’t clarify anything.

 




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