American Elephants


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.”



Politics Does Not Belong in the Workplace. by The Elephant's Child

Just saw, online, another of those annoying claims that profess to know every public figure’s IQ. They do not. They claim to know the IQ of Presidents going way back, which they do not. The IQ test was not devised until 1904. They’re making it up.

NBC claims that Google has blacklisted Zero Hedge and the Federalist. Google says not so. My immediate response is that the Big Tech companies are too new to the American Business community to grasp that it is unwise for corporations and smaller businesses to publicly profess political leanings.

The other party may well be in control of the government, and be annoyed. Companies of any size have lots of employees, who, despite resident loudmouths, probably vote quite differently. Yes, I know, it’s tempting, if unwise, to assume that everyone thinks the same way as you do, because it’s so obviously the “right way.” Do read the Constitution again, including the Bill of Rights, and remember that the first thing a Socialist government would do is to remove all those silly protections.

Yes, I know that Socialism promises to make everybody equal. That’s bunk. Those who assume that Socialism is a good thing need to look a little closer at socialist governments, beginning with Venezuela and Cuba. Those pushing for Socialism are not pushing for equality, but simply pushing to be in charge.  They want to run things.

Keep politics out of the Workplace, and protect workers’ personal freedom.



The Independent State of CHAZ on Capitol Hill by The Elephant's Child

There is today, unsurprisingly, a remarkable amount of conversation in the press about race. The protests have spilled out internationally to England, to the European continent and to Australia and South America, and maybe other locations. Lots of tearing down statues and fiery speeches.

I live in a Seattle suburb, so the construction on an “independent state” which has seceded from the rest of the country, is of particular interest to the press who are always breathtakingly waiting for a happening, and usually have to settle for what some so-called celebrity has to say, and about which nobody cares at all.

Our Governor, Jay Inslee, having extremely unsuccessfully run for the presidency, was surprised to be questioned about the new autonomous state in the largest city in his state. He seemed entirely unaware of its existence, which is a little embarrassing when the press in the rest of the country is more informed than he is.

The Antifa people displaced a bunch of homeless who were occupying the sidewalks in the six block area they had claimed as their state, so they invited them in. But quickly complained when the homeless had eaten all their food, so they had to appeal to their friends on the outside to buy them some food, preferably vegan with meat substitutes. It’s the little details that make this all so fascinating.

There are around 500 people who live in the area, and the city has provided a fire truck in case things get out of hand. They are trying to charge the businesses in their new state rent, (they have to find a way to pay for the food) but that is actually a crime like entrapment or something. Lots of demands, but they have already invaded City Hall, so there’s not much left to invade, and nobody is paying any attention to their demands.



D-Day, June 6, 1944: 76 Years Ago! by The Elephant's Child

Every year, the remembrance of D-Day grows a little weaker, as it fades into history. A young man of 18 on June 6, 1944 would now be 94. There are not many left, and now it is only those who were children then who remember events as they were happening. I always post something about the anniversary, but many years it is just a re-post of what I wrote a previous year. You can access them all by entering “D-Day” in the blank over Bob Hope’s head in the sidebar.  Last year’s post of a book review of “D-Day Through German Eyes” is interesting and the links still work.

They All Hate Us, Right?” was a post in 2008 about the French reenacters. I don’t know if they are still doing it, but it’s interesting simply because it points out that it isn’t just the current media who don’t know what they are writing about, it’s been going on for a long time. Piper Millin’s story is a good one as well.

One of my favorite stories I don’t know if I ever wrote about, but it is some real evidence of our common humanity. It concerns the photo which all of us have probably seen many times of the GI in the water on D-Day, huddled behind a beach obstacle, trying to avoid the rifle fire, and looking terrified, but determined. There are hundreds of men all across the United States who claim to have been that guy. Don’t give me any of your “toxic masculinity” nonsense. Men are useful far, far beyond their ability to open jars and eliminate scary spiders.

Once again I want to urge you, if you have an interest in history or maybe more if you don’t, to buy and read Victor Davis Hanson’s The Second World Wars. Europe does seem, at present, to be slowly committing suicide. They are realizing that a good many of their migrants have no intention of assimilating and some of the countries are considering ways to block more migrants and if they can, to remove some who are already there. Here are a couple of brief excerpts:

The D-Day invasion of Normandy (Operation Overlord) was the largest combined land and sea operation conducted since the invasion of Greece by King Xerxes of Persia in spring 480 B.C. It dwarfed all of history’s star-crossed beach landings from Marathon to Gallipoli (April 1915). Normandy would serve as a model for large subsequent America seaborne operations from Iwo Jima (February 1945) and Okinawa (April 1945) to Inchon (September 1950). It made all prior iconic cross-Channel invasions in either direction—Caesar’s (55 BC), William the Conqueror’s (1066), Henry V’s (1415), or the 1809 British landing in Flanders—seem minor amphibious operations in comparison.  …

Over 150,000 Allied troops landed the first day on five British, Canadian, and American  assigned beaches, along with over twenty-five thousand airborne soldiers dropped behind German lines. Unlike possible spots in the Cotentin Peninsula or at Calais, the Allies believed that landings in Normandy would pose far more of a surprise, given the somewhat greater distance from Britain. More important, the expansive geography of the Normandy beaches would not box in the invading Allied armies on a confined peninsula or allow the  Germans to focus on a narrow front. Unlike the prior landings in Sicily and Italy, Operation Overlord had been carefully planned for over a year, drawing on the lessons from the Allies past amphibious problems at Dieppe, Sicily, Salerno and Anzio. New inventions and weapons were crafted for the invasion, from portable “Mulberry ” harbors to PLUTO (“pipelines under the ocean”) fuel lines laid under the English Channel and to Sherman and Churchill tanks modified  to uncover mines, cut barbed wire, provide pathways over the soft beaches, and bridge obstacles.

At this point I always have a flashback to the Robin Hood movie with Russell Crowe, when history deficient Hollywood had Robin headed for the beaches to prevent the landing of Henry V, and Henry’s troops were landing in Higgins Boats made out of driftwood, with the iconic front panel that drops down to allow the troops to run (or swim) for the beach. There were Higgins boats in the Lord of the Rings trilogy as well, but fortunately not so obvious. Andrew Jackson Higgins’ little plywood landing crafts played a big part in winning the war.

The youngest recruit in 1944 would have been 18 years old, 94 this year if he is still alive. I have posted this annually, but it gradually becomes something familiar only to history buffs. If you enter June 6, 1944 or D-Day in the blank space over Bob Hope’s head in the sidebar, you will find other stories. I like the one about Piper Millin.



Being Prepared for Disaster, But What and How? by The Elephant's Child

The lockdown has become a story of its own. This kind of decision has to be done, I understand, by governors, who are doing so with too little information. Northern California has reported an increase in suicide. There are apparently large numbers of people who don’t have a financial cushion should they suddenly be out of work. The need for food banks is way up.

I don’t, offhand, recall seeing much in the way of what one might call good housekeeping, by which I mean being prepared for  unemployment, disaster, power outage, earthquake and such. I’ve been through flood, lightning strike, being snowed in, and (in California, of course) earthquake, several times. My first earthquake occurred when I was just putting dishes away, and they came flying out of the cupboards as fast as I tried to put them in. Scary! Some quakes were fairly large, like the Northridge quake in Southern California. You can tell they are bigger when they get a name. (Like viruses)

I just looked up dam collapses, and they have occurred all over the world, usually from improper monitoring. 230,000 died in a the collapse of the Bangiao Dam in China in 1976 that the Chinese kept secret for years. We just had a bad dam collapse in Michigan, apparently improper maintenance or regulation of maintenance.

As you get older, you are more aware of these disasters, and at least begin to recognize that bad stuff can happen, and you have to be somewhat prepared. Parents usually don’t recognize what their children do not know, and the next generation grows up unprepared. Young people don’t know what questions to ask.

This year’s college graduates face a troubled climate. Municipal and State lockdowns, high unemployment, particularly among the low-paying, high turnover jobs usually available for those starting out.

What do you tell your kids? Save like crazy until you have $1,000. tucked away in an emergency fund? Is that enough? Don’t live directly below a dam? Or do you just instruct them to pay attention to the news and know what is going on around you? I still have a little lamp on a dresser that was once a lovely long-necked vase, neck removed in an earthquake shortly after my parents were married, as a reminder.

I notice that in the article about the collapse of the Eden dam in Michigan’s Midland county, the article says “the dam collapsed, in a failure experts are attributing to shoddy maintenance and climate change. 

Sorry, it has nothing to do with climate change. The climate has been changing constantly for millions of years, and will go on peacefully doing so, probably for several more millions. You can believe the Swedish kid and AOC if you choose, but they do not know what they are talking about.

(The picture is of a hailstorm somewhere south of the border, several years ago. I do not remember how far south, but I was astounded that it was hail, and at the quantity, but neglected to keep a note of where and when.)

Question? Do other countries or other cultures do a better job of preparing for disasters? Obviously China does not, but that is the Communist way. They do not want any publicity that does not reflect well on Communism. That is common to all communist countries.



Everything You Wanted to Know About Covid-19 by The Elephant's Child

As the lockdown fades away into masks or no masks, open society, or partly open, or don’t even think about it, or growing revolt, it becomes ever more confusing. At this late date, Kamala Harris has introduced a resolution that says calling Covid-19 the “China Virus” is “hate speech.” So helpful.

It is important, however, to recognize that Democrats are incapable of “hate speech” because they are nice people. And nevermind that viruses are usually called by their place of origin, to distinguish them from other viruses arising elsewhere. West-Nile virus, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, for example. The latter you got from ticks if you wandered around in the sagebrush, which I did a lot as a kid. Got lots of ticks, but no spotted fever.

The authorities, whoever they may be, cannot seem to make up their minds about masks. Some say useless and others say mandatory. We are told that you get the virus by being in range when someone with the disease sneezes or coughs, and the virus may linger in the air, or you will get the virus from touching something that someone with the disease has touched, to the mandatory washing your hands thoroughly as you have been taught.

Other than that, all is perfectly clear. The authorities are changing their minds from taking their information from models to adding up actual statistics, but then you have to consider what actions each country took and how they are different and who did what right.

If you want clear information, visit the think-tanks. Hoover.org, AEI.org, Cato.org, Reason.org, Heritage.org. A vast improvement over today’s media, who keep decorating their posts with terms like “blockbuster”,”bombshell”, and other words especially chosen to rouse interest rather than inform.

It appears from the quantity of masks advertised online that everyone has jumped into a new business of selling masks with funny mouths or monster mouths, or well designed to go with your clothing, or just appealing patterns. They are now, I am told, selling tri-kinis. That’s a bikini with a matching mask.  If, as they are now saying, masks are useless, we have another bunch of businesses going broke.

So there you are, wandering in a mysterious changing world where we mostly don’t have a clue.  But then nobody else seems to have a clue either. We are learning that models don’t work. But, for the most part, Americans are fortunately blessed with a great sense of humor. If you can still laugh, we’ll be alright.



Innovation and Inspiration: Matt Ridley and “How Innovation Works” by The Elephant's Child

I wrote that screed below because I was annoyed, and went to the Hoover Institution website to see what they had had to say. Where I promptly ran into an interview with British Journalist Matt Ridley on Peter Robinson’s Uncommon Knowledge.

Matt Ridley has a new book out: How Innovation Works and the wide-ranging interview starts there and gets more and more fascinating. It is long, so you need to allow plenty of time, but do make the time if you can. There is so much there! I’m going to have to order the book.  Matt Ridley’s How Innovation Works.  Don’t miss it, and set aside time to enjoy the video.



The Perilous Quest for Just the Right Candidate by The Elephant's Child

Democrats are, as they say, up the river without a paddle. We had the interminable Democrat debates which resolved to a great lack of enthusiasm, and they finally, maybe, might have, settled on former Vice President Joe Biden. Mr. Biden has been accused of sexual abuse in his senate career at some point, by someone who had timely evidence in having told others at the time, but there are a lot of accusations of sexual abuse out there, and the “believe all women” thingy seems to have fallen by the wayside.

Of more concern is that Mr. Biden seems to be showing some signs of confusion and forgetfulness, his age is a worry (as President he would be 82), and there are questions about his son Hunter Biden’s business activity, The Democrats were alarmed by the popularity of socialist Bernie Sanders, and casting around for a better candidate. Enthusiasm for Michelle Obama. I don’t know that being married to a President is a qualification, but a wife may have learned something in the White House. Elizabeth Warren has been touted, but she has a fairly vast bunch of detractors. The idea of a woman of color seems particularly popular as it checks off the female button and the race button at the same time, and Democrats pay a lot of attention to checking off diversity buttons. That proves that they are not racist, and are indeed nice.

It seems that the Democrat convention, whenever it turns out to be, will be fairly entertaining. A former presidential advisor has suggested Hillary as the candidate with Obama as VP, but that is prohibited by the 12th amendment. A President may not serve more than two terms, and anyone ineligible to be president is also ineligible for the Vice Presidency. Republicans are inclined to choose someone who has clear ideas about what he (or she) wants to accomplish for the United States of America. Democrats want to check off diversity buttons, to prove once again that they are nice, and not racist.

Democrats are trying desperately to prove that President Trump has somehow messed up with his Covid-19 efforts, but Democrat Governors are clearly not doing well with their decisions, and the locked-down people are getting more than restless. People want and need to go back to work. Too many people simply do not have a financial cushion to carry them over, and are facing going to food banks that are unprepared for that kind of rush.

President Trump seems to have done a quite remarkable job, especially in shutting down immigration from China early on, fulfilling the needs of Governors around the country, and coming up with supplies where they were needed. The Democrat Media is working hard at trying to discredit his every move, which leads to President Trump’s need to extol his accomplishments, which in turn is demonized by the Democrat Media.

If you have not found the new website https://justthenews.com. I urge you to add it to your list. Founded by John Solomon, excellent journalist long with Investors Business Daily. Another excellent website is https://amgreatness.com.



Man The Barricades, The People Are Getting Angry! by The Elephant's Child

Independence is a tradition in America, The people don’t really like being ordered around, and a number of governors are getting more than a little officious. The people understand the pandemic, and the need for care and avoidance, and wearing masks, but we are seeing examples of whole cities being shut down, with no one allowed to enter or leave and that goes way too far.

Since our officials are elected from the general population, their skill at good management is not always in evidence when they are elected and is sometimes utterly missing. President Trump correctly turned the management of the states over to the governors of their own state, and some have done all right, most have gone too far, fearful of not doing enough. The most urgent problem is that many Americans have lost their jobs, and are finding it difficult to cope. And many of those who might be employed have had their workplace closed. Food bank use is way up.

Protests are breaking out, sometimes spontaneous, often organized, and it may get worse. People want to go back to work. Our governor here in Washington State has just extended his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order through May 31. He may allow  some retail curbside purchases, car washes, (Swell, and I really, really need my hair cut) but I will be allowed to wash the car. More details to come. Pet grooming may be allowed, but not for people. can you tell that I am getting a little testy?

California’s governor Gavin Newsom has been very busy closing beaches, and as the weather is getting warmer, that’s not going over well. Orange County is bitterly protesting the closure of their beaches. They have had a very low death rate, with a higher population in the county than that of many states. Most of the people who live in Orange County live there because of the beaches.

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has shut down the schools for the rest of the year. There will undoubtedly be no summer camps available. Parents will have to find new amusement or tasks for their kids.

New York was fearful of running out of hospital space, and the President sent the Hospital Ship Comfort , but it never was needed at all, though the arrival was prompt and spectacular. They also, I believe. built a military hospital tent in a park, which was also never used. Better to have unused supplies, than sick people needing unavailable beds.

The nation’s governors have no experience of pandemics, nor of preparing for them, or administering them. Next time around, we will be better prepared. Are they not telling us that there will be a second round this next winter? There is so much that we do not know, but we are learning fast. I hope they are keeping good records of our successes as well as our failures.



The Covid-19 Crisis and The Climate Crisis, Entwined! by The Elephant's Child

Confined at home, I have been wandering in the world of  opinion which is varied, ranging from vast ignorance to possible but not probable information.

Consider that the first printing press in America arrived in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1638. This was an age when there were still town criers, and news was carried from one town to another on horseback. 1844: the first telegraph message was sent from Washington DC to Baltimore.  The Pony Express carried messages from the East to the West Coast from April 3, 1860  to October 24, 1861. Exciting dodging Indians, but a failed enterprise meant to challenge messages having to be carried around the horn by sailing ship.

The first transcontinental telegraph was completed on October 24, 1861 (So much for the Pony Express). By 1866, a telegraph line had been laid across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe. Then there was the transcontinental railroad, roads, highways and freeways, now blissfully manageable with everyone confined at home. And think of the increases in the flow of information: telegraph, telephone, radio, television, computers, cell phones, mobil phones and when will we get our implants?

There was a time when mere opinion was considered to be unreliable and not worth much, or even a little embarrassing. What started all this is the conflation of Covid-19 with the Climate Crisis. Huh? Al Gore came up with that one, I don’t know that he was the first, but the general idea seems to be that the Covid-19 Crisis is interfering with our more proper concern with the Climate Crisis, or something like that. The general approach can be summed up in this article from the Santa Barbara Independent. Do read it, it’s short, and remember that Santa Barbara was going to paint a line across the city streets to show how much of the city was going to be underwater from the rise of the oceans.

So possibly there is a connection. If the freeways everywhere are seeing less traffic…oh never mind.  If you start prowling around in this area, you run into Greta’s demand for more climate concern, and how the Swedes are dealing with the corona virus.

Then there is the territory of models. Do computer models tell us anything real about climate change? Or the spread of the corona virus for that matter? When big government grants became available for those professors in science departments who thought they could write a good grant proposal for studying the science of possible climate change, and get some new equipment and maybe even an assistant — they borrowed the programs investment houses were using to predict what the stock market would do, and put in what they knew about the climate and the ocean, and temperatures, and what they thought might be true and a bunch of guesses for the stuff they didn’t know and then came up with things like the infamous “hockey stick”.

I recommend a used copy of Democracy and Irs Discontents by Daniel J. Boorstin, the former Librarian of Congress. A new paperback will cost you around $60. Worth every penny, but good used copies at Amazon  can be had for closer to $3.00 or borrow it from your friendly public library. He has a lovely and lively discussion of Opinion and its discontents which you would enjoy. Anything by Dr. Boorstin is very worth reading.

In the meantime, Democrats are hunting for something in the Covid-19 crisis for which they can impeach President Trump, perhaps because it is making him ignore the climate crisis which they expected to be more useful in their political maccinations. So there you go. I think I have been cooped up in the house a little too long.



An Idea Worth Pursuing, With Changes. by The Elephant's Child

I have seen suggestions online for a CoronaVirus Museum. Presumably, what is meant is a formally designated and funded repository for everything we have learned so far about this virus, how it should be treated and what has worked in practice and what has not, rather than a formal memorial to those who lost their lives to the virus.

I think most people who are inclined to “study up”, (my designation for those who try to find more information as opposed to those who don’t like to read and get their information from headlines and what is said by other people), would recognize the need for an ongoing centralized repository for pandemic information.

The underlying suggestion, however is important. For example, I thought from what I read that the Corona Virus belonged in the flu family, and we were told to treat it like the flu, the models seemed to be based on the flu, but according to Dr. Birx, that is not so, it is based on the common cold virus. We still do not know the origin beyond the fact that it came from Wuhan, China. We don’t know if it came from the “wet food” market where they eat cats, dogs and bats and such, or if it came from the Communist Chinese laboratories there, or the University there. And the Communist Chinese government has not been forthcoming with information. Communists don’t like anything that reflects poorly on Communists. We have learned that we should not be purchasing any of our medications from other countries, but making our own. China has undercut our market prices for anything they want to sell to the world, and we Capitalists always go for saving money.

The Federal Government has turned over the management of virus response to the States, and we are beginning to learn what has worked and what has not. Some governors actions made things worse. After all the howling for more hospital space, some of the military hospital installations have never seen a single patient. After all the outcry about the need for ventilators, we have way more than was needed. We need to know what we need to have in storage awaiting another pandemic. And we need to have all the information we have gathered in one or two designated locations, probably something like the University of Washington’s virus model on which everyone is depending, or the University of Pittsburgh’s Medical School which seems to be authoritarian. But we need our best knowledge funded and saved and sorted and available on short notice.

A lot of countries will be rethinking their supply chains. Italy, for example, was heavily dependent on China for everything from food to fashion, and paid a heavy price. An Israeli doctor working in Italy said that they had just decided to deny hospitalization to anyone over 70, and Italy had the oldest population in Europe.

My congressman has sent weekly e-mails on how to react to the virus. I will be writing to suggest legislation establishing formal repositories for what we have learned from this pandemic and funding the gathering and availability of that knowledge. Please consider contacting your own congressman for the same purpose. At present Nancy Pelosi and her Democrats are intent on funding the winning of the next election, rather than anything helpful.



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.




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