Closing Thought–16Apr20

Covid-19 and Food Pantries

We all have seen first hand the lack of food on shelves these days……but there are still some food to buy….but what it there is no money to actually buy these food stuffs?

The natural answer would be the local food pantries and food banks….

The death toll in the United States surpassed that of Spain on Friday, with more than 18,400 fatalities recorded. For the first time, the daily death toll exceeded 2,000. Over the past three weeks, 16.8 million Americans have filed for jobless claims in the largest and fastest wave of job cuts on record.

Workers who have been laid off or furloughed are facing the very real prospect of hunger. With supermarket shelves emptied of staples and cupboards increasingly bare, people are lining up in record numbers at food pantries across the country.

In San Antonio, Texas on Thursday, traffic stretched for over five miles as cars lined up for a food distribution organized by the San Antonio Food Bank at Traders Village. Six thousand converged for the giveaway, with some arriving over 12 hours early to make sure they received food.

And if things do not get better soon then these life savers will start to run out of food…..and then where will this lead?

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That Confederate Narrative

Let’s take some time out of all the doom and gloom around the Covid-19 crisis and do some history……

I grew up in the South and I had heard the narrative around the American Civil War…..most of the well worn narratives are myths that have been told to justify one thing or the other….slavery.

Myths like the war was not about slavery…..

Myth #1

The Civil War had nothing to do with slavery

Many Americans grow up learning that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery. Let us begin with the simple truth: Slavery had everything to do with the Civil War. Don’t take my word for it, take theirs. As the vice president of the Confederacy, Alexander Hamilton Stephens famously told a crowd in Savannah in March 1861, Confederates rejected Thomas Jefferson’s declaration that “All men are created equal” and the founder’s belief that slavery “was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically.” Instead, Stephens told the crowd slavery was a good thing, that “Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.” While uncomfortable to read now, in 1861 this was widely understood to be the cause of the war by anyone paying attention.

Mississippi’s secession declaration began its list of “the prominent reasons which have induced our course” with the statement, “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery.”

There are those that continue to spread lies…..

It always amazed me that Southerns could not move past the fact that they got their asses handed to them by the North….and in the same breath are proud of the loss.

For those that want to know about the myths that were false……let’s call them lies shall we?

The most widespread myth is also the most basic. Across America, 60 percent to 75 percent of high-school history teachers believe and teach that the South seceded for state’s rights, said Jim Loewen, author of “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong” (Touchstone, 1996) and co-editor of “The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The ‘Great Truth’ about the ‘Lost Cause'” (University Press of Mississippi, 2010).

“It’s complete B.S.,” Loewen told LiveScience. “And by B.S., I mean ‘bad scholarship.'”

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

IST Covid-19 News #2

There are stories then there are stories…..not all the news makes it to your evening news reports…..and that is why I am here….to keep my readers abreast of the stuff that may not be reported.

This should tell you everything you need to know about the GOP…..Congressman from Indiana thinks the economy is more important than lives…..

A GOP congressman said Tuesday that it’s better to let Americans die than deal with a tanking economy, and to do otherwise “is to insult” Americans. “Both of these decisions will lead to harm for individuals, whether that’s dramatic economic harm or whether it’s loss of life. But it’s always the American government’s position to say, in the choice between the loss of our way of life as Americans and the loss of life, of American lives, we have to always choose the latter,” Indiana Rep. Trey Hollingsworth told WIBC, per the Washington Post. “It is policymakers’ decision to put on our big boy and big girl pants and say it is the lesser of these two evils. It is not zero evil, but it is the lesser of these two evils and we intend to move forward that direction,” he continued. “That is our responsibility.”

“We’ve got to get Americans back to work, back to their schools, and back to their churches,” Hollingsworth went on, echoing President Trump, who in late March said “we can’t have the cure be worse than the problem.” Reached by CNN, Hollingsworth said it was “hyperbolic” to say that “no economy or widespread casualties” are the only options. “We can … enable as much of the economy to operate as possible while we work to minimize disease transmission.” Yet experts say social distancing will ultimately benefit the economy, while reversing the measure will lead to greater hardships. Per MIT Technology Review, economist Michael Greenstone estimates social distancing will save 1.7 million lives by October, which “translates into a benefit of around $8 trillion to the economy.”

I hope the Indiana Dems are talking notes to run against the spineless slug…..and he is not alone with wanting more American deaths…Sen. Kennedy from Louisiana……

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) authoritatively declared on Wednesday night that the American people understand that the economy needs to be reopened very soon and that when that happens, the deadly coronavirus is “gonna spread faster.”

Appearing on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, Kennedy—whose home state has been one of the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic—insisted that social-distancing restrictions need to be quickly reversed because “very soon, the can is going to run out of road.”

Hopefully there is a price to pay for wanting more Americans deaths.

Couple of religious stories that were not that important to the MSM…..

On March 22, Bishop Gerald O. Glenn held a packed church service at Virginia’s New Deliverance Evangelistic despite Gov. Ralph Northam urging residents to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people amid the coronavirus pandemic. By April 11, Glenn was dead of COVID-19, People reports. The 66-year-old pastor and founder of the church made headlines with the completely full service, the last in-person one held by the church, and even said during his sermon, “I got way more than 10 people here.” He said he considered himself “essential,” and chided the government for “making moral decisions for church members.” The Washington Post describes him as a “prominent” evangelical leader in the area.

The day after the service, March 23, Northam officially banned gatherings of more than 10, and shuttered non-essential businesses. Glenn started feeling ill March 25. On April 3, his daughter said on Facebook Live that her dad was in “pretty critical condition” in the hospital, and by the following day she had confirmed both he and her mother had tested positive for the virus. Three of their children and a son-in-law also tested positive, WRIC reports. “It is with an exceedingly sorrowful and heavy heart that I come to you this morning, and regret to inform you that on last night, April the 11th at 9pm, our father Bishop Gerald Glenn transitioned from labor to reward,” a church official said during the church’s Easter livestream service.

Was that the reckoning that some were preaching?

Next is a religious school trying to profit off the pandemic…..

A new lawsuit accuses Liberty University of profiting off the coronavirus pandemic by offering reduced services while refusing to refund student fees. The class-action suit—filed Monday by “Student A,” who opted for anonymity “out of fear of retaliation and harassment”—claims Liberty allowed students to return to campus in Lynchburg, Va., even as classes and religious services moved online, so as to justify holding onto student fees which, excluding the cost of tuition, range from $9,200 to $16,000 for the academic year, per CNN. The evangelical school has said it welcomed back students with no safer place to go. Some 1,900 had returned as of March 24, with up to 5,000, or roughly a third of the student population, expected. But the campus “did not reopen” and “looks like a ghost town,” President Jerry Falwell Jr. said in late March.

Student activities are canceled, recreation centers are closed, and food service offers take-out only. Liberty said “certain students who have opted to move from the residence halls” would receive a credit of $1,000 toward the fall semester. But it doesn’t apply to non-returning students, excluding graduates, and students had to opt-in by March 28, the suit claims. “When Liberty has shut down the majority of student services for the rest of the semester … it should not be allowed to keep the fees paid by students to run those operations,” a lawyer for the plaintiff tells WSET. Liberty now accuses counsel of trying to “profit from a public health crisis.” Changes in operations have been “required by governmental officials,” which “leaves the plaintiffs without a legal case,” it says. Similar lawsuits have been filed against Drexel University and the University of Miami

Some of the religious types are money hungry and are allowed to get away with it because it is some sort of religion.

Some of the models for this pandemic lay out a dire prediction…..

If a coronavirus vaccine fails to become available quickly, social distancing might be here until 2022. That’s according to new research published in the journal Science on Tuesday. Researchers from Harvard took what is known about COVID-19 and other coronaviruses and used computer models to simulate various scenarios for how the pandemic could play out, CNN and Bloomberg report. The key line: In order to contain the virus, “Intermittent distancing may be required into 2022 unless critical care capacity is increased substantially or a treatment or vaccine becomes available.” And even then, if the virus appears to have been eliminated, “surveillance should be maintained since a resurgence in contagion could be possible as late as 2024.” Researchers warn that if social distancing is practiced intermittently, outbreaks could occur quickly each time restrictions are lifted.

That’s why, they say, widespread testing would need to be carried out so it quickly becomes clear when a certain threshold has been passed and restrictions need to be reinstated, per ScienceAlert. This intermittent approach will work better than keeping things locked down indefinitely—one model showed that it’s possible for social distancing to be “so effective that virtually no population immunity is built,” leading to an eventual peak as bad as letting the virus spread uncontrolled. A lot remains unknown, but Forbes reports researchers believe resurgences are likely each winter similar to the flu or the common cold—which is often caused by less severe coronaviruses. Not happy about the idea of social distancing through 2022? The researchers say “new therapeutics, vaccines, or other interventions such as aggressive contact tracing and quarantine” could all help with controlling the virus and lessening the need for distancing measures.

One final note…this one is just for our Fearless Leader The Donald the Orange……

Around 90% of those dead could have been saved…..

As it currently stands, the U.S. is predicting that COVID-19 will kill about 60,000 Americans over the next four months. But if the government had acted and urged everyone to physically distance themselves just two weeks sooner than it did, that number could have been slashed by 90 percent.

That’s according to epidemiologists Britta Jewell of Imperial College London and Nicholas Jewell of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who wrote in a Tuesday New York Times op-ed that just two additional weeks of stay-at-home orders and other self-isolation recommendations could have saved tens of thousands of lives.

That is about 3000 dead instead of 30,000….now that is a savings we all could live with, right?

News that should be the star of the evening news…..

One final thought on TP shortage……


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Is The GOP Done? Or The DNC?

Let’s take a break from the pandemic bad news just for a moment or two…..

This pandemic has shown just how out of touch the GOP is with the rest of America……it was bad enough that idiots in the GOP like Nunes, Meadows, Gantz and Trump have turned the GOP into the biggest joke in political humor circles.

And now the GOP is leading the charge for the worse responses to this pandemic on record……

I wrote back in 2017 that I thought the GOP was on the downhill slide……

I have seen nothing since that post to make me alter my opinion of the GOP… fact they have gotten worse and more out of touch since my post.

In that world, conservatism could survive failures, ranging from moral to political to strategic, because as a movement it had a standing superior to and somewhat independent of any of particular actor.

No longer. It’s Trump, all the way down.

We have now reached the terminus of craven loyalty and pathetic apologetics. I don’t see how either the political institution of the Republican party or the intellectual movement of conservatism recovers from what we have seen over the last three years—but especially the last three months.

And so we will need to think anew, and to act anew.

Trump Has Broken the Republican Party—and Conservatism—for Good

Even staunch GOPers from the Tea Party no longer see a future for the GOP without some change and the growth of a spine……

former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) predicted that the Republican Party will collapse after the 2020 presidential election — whether President Donald Trump wins or loses.

Walsh, a conservative congressman originally elected during the 2010 tea party wave, has been one of the president’s most vocal critics from the right. After mounting an ill-fated primary challenge to attempt to deny Trump the nomination for a second term, he has abandoned the GOP.

(Raw Story)

Walsh on Twitter…….
Joe Walsh
If Donald Trump wins in November, another political party will be born in December. If Donald Trump loses in November, another political party will be born in December. The Republican Party is done. It’s over. It’s breaking up. No matter what. And that’s a good thing.
Let’s not be too hasty on the death of the GOP….the DNC is hanging on for dear life as well in my opinion…..the rift that has been growing between the progressives and the centrist is slowly ending the DNC’s grip on democratic politics.
Bernie has called for a coming together to fix the party and win elections…..does that mean to abandon principles for a quick and easy win?
I believe this interview with Cornell West says it all…..
In the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory over Hillary Clinton, some progressives are now pushing a shake-up of the Democratic Party’s leadership in efforts to reform the party. But Cornel West says he doubts the Democratic Party can be reformed. During the Democratic primary, West endorsed Bernie Sanders. Sanders later picked him to serve on the Democratic platform committee. After Hillary Clinton won the nomination, West made headlines when he endorsed Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. For more, we speak with West about the Democratic Party and what organizing looks like in the wake of the election.
I cannot see me ever supporting what the Democratic Party has become… must learn the art of politics for it sucks at it nowadays.
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“lego ergo scribo”

Thinking Of Albania

I have at least one visitor from Albania and this person is a regular so keeping with my tradition I want to post on the country of Albania… help others understand.

First for those not sure where Albania is located……

Map of some south eastern countries in Europe | Arnavutluk, Haritalar
A little about the nation from the World Book…..

Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, but was conquered by Italy in 1939 and occupied by Germany in 1943. Communist partisans took over the country in 1944. Albania allied itself first with the USSR (until 1960), and then with China (to 1978). In the early 1990s, Albania ended 46 years of isolated communist rule and established a multiparty democracy.

Albania has made progress in its democratic development since it first held multiparty elections in 1991, but deficiencies remain. Most of Albania’s post-communist elections were marred by claims of electoral fraud; however, international observers judged elections to be largely free and fair since the restoration of political stability following the collapse of pyramid schemes in 1997. Albania joined NATO in April 2009 and in June 2014 became an EU candidate. Albania in April 2017 received a European Commission recommendation to open EU accession negotiations following the passage of historic EU-mandated justice reforms in 2016. Although Albania’s economy continues to grow, it has slowed, and the country is still one of the poorest in Europe. A large informal economy and a weak energy and transportation infrastructure remain obstacles.

Now that I have introduced my readers to this Balkan nation I would like to do what I do best…..revert to the history of the region and of ancient Albania…..

Albania is located at the crossroads of the eastern Adriatic and was known as Illyria and Epirus throughout the Classical era. It played a strategic role in ancient times and was a point of contact between Illyrian, Greek, and Roman civilizations. Even though Albania is off the mainstream tourist trail, the country is now emerging as one of the most enchanting corners of Europe.

Dubbed the “Pearl of the Balkans”, Albania offers a captivating journey through time, with 3,000 years of untouched archaeological heritage.

Archaeological sites such as Apollonia, Antigoneia, and Byllis hide a wealth of historic value, while the Butrint National Park, famed for its ruins and beauty, was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1992 CE. If you happen to travel to the lands of Southern Illyria and Northern Epirus, read on for some unmissable destinations.—exploring-ancient-albania/

A fascinating look into the history of Albania…..

And thank you for your visits.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”