American Elephants


‘An Unexpected Crisis Shows the True Measure of a Man by The Elephant's Child

I am so sick and tired of the press. President Trump announced a halt to immigration in order to protect the jobs of so many who have lost their jobs in the current Corona virus lockdown. Many small businesses have laid off workers in reaction to the sudden drop in business because people have been ordered to stay home. The businesses hurting the most have often been small restaurants or small shops that do not have the finances to keep running anyway nor to refocus to take out, or delivery. Not highly skilled jobs. And just the kind of jobs that many new immigrants would look for, and undercut the salaries that their predecessors were receiving. President Trump clearly cares about the American people.

For the press, it was clear that President Trump just doesn’t like immigrants and has an unreasoned prejudice against them. Look how he’s always talking about his wall. I believe that the benefits of citizenship should be bestowed on those who are citizens, and those who have applied legally to become citizens. There is a legal way to do this, and we welcome legal immigrants. Democrats want more immigrants, and try to get them to the states that will increase the Democrat numbers for the census, so they can control more seats in the House of Representatives. Any pretense that they care more about immigrants is just that, a pretense.

COVID-19 has done quite a job of exposing the governors and other office holders who are having to deal with a crisis, an ongoing crisis that is doing a job on killing people. We have body counts every day, and reports on how many people have been tested and how many have caught the virus, how many have died and how many have survived. It adds a special clarity to officials words and actions, in some cases not very favorably.

Grim new rules for New York City Paramedics — do not resuscitate cardiac arrests nor bring them to Emergency Rooms. Apparently an effort to keep from  overcrowding hospitals. Same day, Gov Cuomo tells the President that they don’t need the USS Comfort (the Military Hospital Ship) any more, and he can have it back. They have filled up the Javits Center with hospital beds, which is apparently still empty. (I’m on the West Coast, so if I get this wrong, let me know) I only know what I read in the press. But in next-door New Jersey, the military is putting up field hospitals.

Michigan Governor Whitmer has already had mass protests descending on the State Capitol, and Michigan residents are not happy. Going to be an interesting election this Fall.



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.



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.



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

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

Summary of counts since yesterday:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the Washington Post:

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

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



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.



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.




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