American Elephants


If You Know History, Change Will Not Seem So Scary! by The Elephant's Child

I have the impression, which may be false, that American companies ordinarily went to great lengths to essentially stay out of politics. They might get involved when potential legislation negatively affected their company, or when their corporate knowledge suggested that something being considered was a very bad idea, that sort of thing. At that point corporate involvement would probably be requested anyway.

Today it is a different story. It has been reported that workers in a company may inform their management that they are opposed to something that is simply a political issue and has nothing to do with their company’s business. Last I heard, a company had an executive board and a president to decide corporate positions, and the workers were not invited to participate but only to vote in local and national elections like everybody else. And the discontented would probably get canned. But there was no corporate position anyway.

When I was a worker bee, I certainly had no illusion that I had a vote in corporate business nor did I have any expectation that my personal politics were anyone else’s concern, nor that it would be acceptable to announce who I was voting for or why. But then there was never an occasion when there were riots in the streets and company policies regarding race were up for discussion. I had a black boss, and associates came from a wide variety of national heritages, like life outside of work. Nobody wore campaign buttons or gave any idea of who they were planning to vote for. So it’s weird to see groups of workers attempting to inform their management  about what is acceptable and what is not.

Are the mayors who have been so prominent in the media up for reelection? I live in a Seattle suburb not Seattle itself, but Seattle is pretty far left. They voted for Mayor Jenny Durkan at some point, and Portland once voted for Mayor Wheeler, and we now have a clear understanding of how they perform under stress. and the same is true across the country. Democrats have been trying to convince Americans that the Corona virus and all accompanying problems are Trump’s fault, but the facts would indicate that he’s done a pretty good job. Governors have been grateful for prompt supplies of needed materials like ventilators and masks, and companies nationwide have started producing them to meet the needs. The Seattle area had the first cases in the country, and travel from China was halted immediately.

I expect that there will be long term changes. The big cities will lose population as residents move to places where riots are unacceptable. Businesses will move. Will working from home become the norm? Some businesses have already announced that working from home will extend into 2021 or more. Not having to maintain corporate offices would save a lot of money if a good portion of the workforce could work from home. If “daytime pajamas” become the norm rather than tailored suits, there will be vast changes in the fashion industry. What precautions will become necessary for business to avoid disruption? Things change, but the impetus is not always clear. If you know history, change will not seem so scary.

Schooling seems to be on the brink of mass disruption. States are trying to decide if schools will be open or closed. Charter schools are an extremely beneficial change for black kids, but extremely unacceptable to teacher’s unions. The unions do not want to return to the classroom, but online education is not working, partly because teachers don’t know how to make their online classes interesting and compulsive as well as get the necessary learning into student heads. So far, a lot of kids just aren’t doing the online work. Some well-to-do families are getting together to hire tutors. I don’t know how much we know about kids’ home situations. Do most parents go out to work and leave the kids home alone? There’s a recipe for disaster. Homeschooling may rise in popularity, but some families don’t really have choices. Parents need to work. So expect big changes, not all of which will be acceptable.

I live in a Seattle suburb. The area has many international businesses, some of them famous, who hire many workers from abroad. My suburb is dotted with little storefront schools that teach English, and small storefront groceries that carry the foods from worker’s home countries. Does this go on all over the country? Are international companies just situated on the coasts or are they the norm everywhere? I have no idea. Immigrants from some countries populated different parts of the country because of climate or industry there. Washington and Idaho and Montana have lots of wheat growers and lumbering. Washington, Oregon, California and Alaska have major fishing industry, and so it goes across the country. Meatpacking ended up in the Midwest. Potatoes in Idaho and Maine.

Britain’s invention of machines to make thread out of cotton led to America’s slavery, but less than 5% of African slaves were brought to America. The majority went to the sugar islands and to South America. Early on, indentured servitude was popular in the Thirteen Colonies because of a large demand for labor, and more than half of immigrants to British colonies south of New England were white servants who came under indenture, because of the high cost of transatlantic transportation which was beyond the means of European workers. Between the 1630s and the Revolution one half to two thirds of the total white immigration came  under indenture.

The British Empire ended slavery in 1833, but did not prohibit the practice of indentured servitude until 1917. Somewhere between one half and two thirds of European immigrants to America came under indentures, usually as young men or women. Most went to the South where cash crops were common, for the North industrialized earlier. Remember that Australia was partly populated by prisoners who were transported. It’s all a fascinating history, probably not very familiar to today’s rioters. The movement of people and customs around the globe is not over, and will not end any time soon, and we are still making new history. We’ll have to wait a bit to see what the Space Force turns up.



The Mood is Changing by The Elephant's Child

I had read that the Democrats were planning to attack Trump for being late with his recognition of the dangers of the Corona virus. Now he is being criticized for his briefings. I suspect that he believes that it is his duty to report on progress to the American people. The media are usually baiting and hostile, and the president is seldom of a mind to let them get away with it. Lots of criticism for Dr. Blix and Dr. Fauci for not giving the answers the press wanted.

”The Wall Street Journal reported that according to a “premier Biology Journal”  the Wuhan virus can’t be tied to China.  Odd, since the presence of the virus in America came from an American returning home to a relative in a nursing home in Kirkland, a mile or so north of us, directly from Wuhan, China, and passing the virus on to all of the residents, most of whom died. Also infected some of the staff, and nearby Evergreen Hospital where the patients were treated.

We seem to have passed on from the phase when people wanted to find out about the disease, how to treat it and what to expect, to a new phase where they want answers right now. When will this be over? Some doctors are saying that it’s no worse than the flu, If you had  it and recovered, can you get it again? When will we have a vaccine? and will it be mass produced? Doubt about the “models”. It’s getting belligerent out there. Possibly it has sunk in that the kids are going to be out of school until next fall, and have to be home schooled, entertained, and cared for. Saw a cartoon recently that showed two small children, a boy and a girl, taped to the hardwood floor at home, apparently while the beleaguered parents take a break.

I think this is the way we usually set in to an unpleasant period. First you’re eager for more information, then you get a bit angry at not receiving the answers desired, and then you gradually settle in to just endure.



COVID-19: What We Know and What We Don’t Know by The Elephant's Child

Thursday March 26th: King County, Washington State, which includes Seattle, and an assortment of suburban communities. The population is 2.23 million. It is of particular interest because we got the first round of coronavirus or COVID-19. 31,712 people were tested, 92% negative, 2,530 or 7% were positive.

Washington state is the 13th largest state with a population of 7,797,095 (last Census). The total number of cases is 2,580 with 122 deaths.  Here is the Public Health Report for Seattle and King County for March 26, Thursday.   Lots of interesting data there, and a map that shows how it is spread. The blue in the middle of the orange map is Lake Washington, the surrounding light blue is Puget Sound. While we started it out in the country with the Kirkland nursing home, and way too many deaths, New York, bigger and denser is rapidly catching up.

The United States currently has the most cases of any country in the world. New York is rapidly surpassing Seattle in active cases, which is understandable as the city is so dense. There is so much that we just don’t know yet. Can you get the disease more than once, or do you develop an immunity? Are young people immune? Apparently not, but that information comes from only a very few cases. We will learn all these things in time, but we want it now.

What is even more interesting and positive is the way Americans are stepping up to contribute. Dyson, a company that makes vacuum cleaners and that sort of stuff, has designed new ventilators and will produce 15,000. Apple is turning out 10 million masks.  Bodman Industries does 3D computer printing. Their 60 printers will be printing 3,000 masks a day, and they are working with their suppliers to get others involved.

China announced this month of nearly a week of no new infections in Wuhan, the city where the pandemic originated, but nobody knows whether it can be believed or not. Chinese scientists have been transparent about what they have discovered so far, shared information on the genetics and sequences of the virus and details of autopsies, clinical care and outcomes and even shared fatality rates among different age groups. On the other hand, Chinese propaganda insists that the virus originated with the American military, which is absurd, but is filled with the Communist Party’s long history of propaganda and the necessity to bury the cover-up in a happy story of triumph over the virus. Communist governments do not like news that reflects badly on the Communist government. They included a photo of empty beds in a Wuhan hospital. A Taiwan network reported that one hospital as under pressure from the central government not to admit patients so it could report no new cases. So there you go.



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

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

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

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

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

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



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.



Corona virus Update by The Elephant's Child

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

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

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

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



COVID-19 Update by The Elephant's Child


Yes, the Corona virus is scary. Here in Washington state, we learn that we are the leader in the center of the virus in the U.S.  Governor Inslee has closed the schools starting Tuesday, for at least a month. Nationally, the media is still trying to blame it all on President Trump — who is handling the outbreak very, very well indeed. When that becomes fairly clear ( He declared a national emergency today, which frees up more government money and more government action) the media turn their attention to his calling the virus the “Wuhan virus” or the Chinese virus” as “racist” and “xenophobic”, ignoring the obvious point that it arose in Wuhan, China, and was spread from there.

Now there is constant talk about the “shortage” of testing kits, as the president is arranging for “drive by” testing at cooperative popular retailers who have drive by windows. Mostly left out of the conversation is the fact that you shouldn’t request a test unless you have some symptoms. If you seem perfectly healthy, you probably are. Stay home, wash your hands a lot, wipe down packages that are delivered with antiseptic, and try not to hoard and unnecessarily stock up as if for the duration of a war.

Here are some articles that you may find useful. The first is from Heather Mac Donald, who does correct math, and researches facts carefully. The second is from John Hinderaker on “The Politics of Coronavirus.” The third from Paul Mirengoff also from Powerline about “The Coronavirus in Iran.” Here’s David Harsanyi from National Review on “COVID-19:Scary Enough without the Scaremongering.” And from City Journal, Clark Whelton recalls the 1957 Asian Flu pandemic.  I was around then, but have no memory of that one. Obviously I didn’t get it or I would remember. All good articles, and good common sense as opposed to all the Media hype and hysteria. The American media has a lot to answer for these days. They are partisan and forgetting, shamefully, what journalism is all about, or what it is supposed to be.

King County WA cases: up slightly from Wednesday: 328 confirmed cases, 30 deaths. Washington state has 568 cases,most in adjacent counties.

Italy has had 1,266 deaths, and we are reminded that the population of Italy is the oldest in Europe. They are not even treating the oldest people, but saving resources for the younger. France has 3,661 cases and 70 deaths, Spain  4,209 cases and 120 dead. The UK has only 798 cases. Helps to be an Island.



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

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



Officials Warn Not To Touch Your Face – And Then They Do! by The Elephant's Child
March 8, 2020, 9:49 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , ,

We may need a government, but we don’t have to like it. A good example.



Keep Calm and Get On With Your Normal Life! by The Elephant's Child
March 1, 2020, 10:18 pm
Filed under: Bureaucracy, China, Health Care, Immigration, National Security, Politics | Tags:

The news gets more interesting. The United States has had one death (as of this writing) from Corona virus Covid-19, here in Washington State in the suburb just to the north. It was a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions.

Tom Steyer has ended his campaign, as has Pete Buttigieg. Good! Steyer was spending all sorts of money and fully subscribed to Global Warming panic. Buttigieg was running on his success as a mayor of small South Bend, Indiana but the people of South Bend did not support his bid and he’s pretty radical. Elizabeth Warren hasn’t dropped out yet, but she is not doing well. South Carolina saved Joe Biden, and he’s back in the running.

Democrats are still trying to find a way to blame President Trump for the Corona virus, though Mr. Trump seems to have learned from Obama’s mistakes last time around, and is taking every action he can to protect the American people. The West Coast is, of course, on the Pacific Ocean, and thus more directly open to trade and travel from Asia. There are a number of cases of Corona virus in Mexican border states, and Democrats seem to think that not opening the border to them all is “racist,” rather than recognizing that each country is obligated to protect their own people. We have had large groups of Chinese illegals crossing the Southern border in the past, as well as ISIS and would-be immigrants from all over the world, not just Mexicans. Democrats want lots of illegals to be counted in the upcoming Census, which will give them lots more representation in Congress than they should otherwise have.

The State Department and CDC advise people not to travel to China or to South Korea, Iran or Italy, where the highest number of cases have been diagnosed. Travel warnings are changing, so checking before you go is essential. People who have no underlying health problems may experience the virus as similar to the flu or a cold, but for some, even the flu can be fatal.

The Elephant made a run to the grocery store late yesterday, and checkers were complaining about being exhausted because so many people seemed to be stocking up. That could become a problem if people get panicky.

The Wall Street Journal updates regularly, as does the CDC. Here, again is the website for the CDC.  Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said: “The risk is low. We need to get on with our normal lives.”

It is probably unfortunate that all this is coming in the middle of a presidential campaign. As I have mentioned, Democrats believe that they are entitled to be in charge because they are morally superior. That “trumps” a lot of ordinary scruples. Keep Calm and Carry On.




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