Closing Thought–30Apr20–#2

This day means something to me as a veteran of the Vietnam War….

Flashback: The Fall of Saigon

(photo from NBC News)

On this day in 1975 Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese…..

The day after the North Vietnamese took Saigon, the city was woken by triumphal song. During the night the engineers of the victorious army had rigged up loudspeakers, and from about 5am the same tinny liberation melodies were incessantly played. It was 30 April 1975, and sharp early sunlight illuminated Saigon’s largely empty streets, at a time when the city’s frenetic traffic would normally have already begun to buzz. But hardly anybody knew what to do – whether to go to work or not, whether there would be anything to buy in the market, whether there would be petrol, or whether new fighting might break out. It was, of course, not just Saigon’s daily routine that had been utterly disrupted. Its established role as the capital of non-communist Vietnam had vanished overnight, its soldiers had disappeared, and many of its generals, politicians and civil servants were at that moment bobbing up and down on the decks of warships in the South China Sea, with US Navy blankets pulled round their shoulders.

CBS offers up photos of the day Saigon fell to the Advancing North Vietnamese…..

This is how the North viewed this day….

Forty years ago, on April 30, 1975, Nguyen Dang Phat experienced the happiest day of his life.

That morning, as communist troops swept into the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon and forced the U.S.-backed government to surrender, the North Vietnamese Army soldier marked the end of the war along with a crowd of people in Hanoi. The city was about to become the capital of a unified Vietnam. “All the roads were flooded by people holding flags,” Nguyen, now 65, told me recently. “There were no bombs or airplane sounds or screaming. The happy moment was indescribable.”

This happened 4 years after I returned to the US…I was working as a warehouse manager working nights.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–30Apr20

It appears that the people in South Mississippi have something in common with the people of the African country of Nigeria….they think they are immune to Covid-19…..

First of all, Nigeria where 3 in ten people think they are immune to this virus…..

Despite the daily rise in the number of infected persons, nearly three in every ten Nigerians believe they have some form of immunity to the coronavirus, a recent poll reveals.

The latest survey from NOIPolls Limited, a country-specific polling service, shows that poor knowledge and perception of the virus is still rife, even as fact-checkers and health officials work furiously to provide accurate information and save lives.

Nigeria has 442 infections as of Thursday night with 13 deaths but about 6 per cent of Nigerians in the survey consider the COVID-19 outbreak in the country to be fake.

They believe the outbreak “is real in other countries but not in Nigeria.” Some said it is propaganda and a means for the government to embezzle funds. Others said they have not seen anybody infected by the virus in their states, hence their disbelief.

Then there are those countries that are saying they have NO cases…..

Most of the world’s countries and territories have reported coronavirus cases—and 166 of them have reported deaths—but a few dozen locations are still virus-free, or claim to be. According to Reuters, all but 33 of the 247 countries and territories recognized by the United Nations have reported COVID-19 cases as of last week, though the list of 33 includes three secretive and authoritarian countries in Asia. North Korea’s claim not to have had a single case is widely considered about as believable as Kim Jong Il’s claim to have shot 11 holes in one on his first-ever round of golf, while authorities in Turkmenistan have reportedly been arresting people for even talking about the virus.

In Tajikistan, which also claims to have had no coronavirus cases, there has been a steep rise in reports of fatal pneumonia cases; some people are not being allowed to see the bodies of deceased relatives, Radio Free Europe reports. Apart from Lesotho in southern Africa, the other countries and territories with no reported cases are islands, most of them small, isolated ones in the Pacific. Only eight of the 29 countries and territories in Oceania have reported cases. Others, including Nauru, Niue, and Palau, have declared national emergencies and banned visitors. “Their best bet without a doubt is to keep the bloody thing out,” Colin Tukuitonga, a doctor from Niue living in New Zealand, tells the BBC . “Because if it gets in then you’re stuffed, really.”

Now for the statement I just made about the people in South Mississippi……

When we go out to the market these days less than half the people are wearing masks and good percentage are unaware of the 6 foot rule until I remind them to back the f*ck up.

A group came around the neighborhood looking for tree trimming jobs and out of the 5 man team not one was wearing a mask and going door to door asking for work…..

Apparently the people in South Mississippi are listening to the bullshit the president is spreading as news…..and think they are immune…all this bad news is for others they do not need to adhere to it.

If anyone comes to the door without a mask I let my MoMo greet them with snarls, teeth and barking.


…….and she watches…….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

2020–Amash For President

Our presidential future for the last couple of months have been Trump or Biden…..we now have a new candidate to give us voters an alternate to dumb or dumber…..

His name is Justin Amash…..

Justin Amash, an independent congressman from Michigan, announced Tuesday that he is forming an exploratory committee for president as a Libertarian Party candidate.

Amash’s prospects, though dim, could nevertheless be significant in a close election between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Third-party candidates who gain even a fraction of the vote in swing states can affect the outcome in a close race.

As with everything our president, Donald the Orange, has something to say about an Amash candidacy…..

Rep. Justin Amash on Tuesday took a step toward launching his own third-party bid for the presidency—and President Trump essentially told him to go for it on Wednesday. In what the Hill terms a “mocking” tweet, Trump wrote, “I think Amash would make a wonderful candidate, especially since he is way behind in his district and has no chance of maintaining his Congressional seat.” Politico frames Trump as “egging on” the Michigan independent in a tweet that concluded with, “He almost always votes for the Do Nothing Dems anyway. I like him even more than Jill Stein!”

The latter was a reference to the 2016 Green Party nominee. Politico notes that some people claimed Stein siphoned votes from Hillary Clinton, helping to hand Trump the White House. Trump’s tweet was paired with a Washington Post op-ed by former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh, who argued that should Amash secure the Libertarian nomination, the same thing could play out this election cycle. But a CNN analysis by Harry Enten argues that the limited polling data on Amash doesn’t place his meager support with any one demographic. Enten believes any impact Amash might have would be nominal, though he does acknowledge that it’s possible Amash could have a greater impact in Michigan, where Biden currently leads Trump by 8 points.

That should people something to think about when they try to decide which person to give their vote to in November.

Leran Stuff!


I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Covid-19 And Unemployment

We all know that this country is in the grips of a devastating disease and it is causing all sorts of problems…..but the biggest is that people are losing their jobs and having to try for that embarrassing unemployment check.

So far about 30 million Americans are out of work and that does not include those that gave up looking for work…..30 million looking for that weekly check to help them try and make ends meet…..and yet it is not easy to get the help one needs….

Appears that the elected officials are making life miserable for the very people that put them in office… this how it is suppose to work?

26 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits as of April 23 as a result of the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. And many of them are discovering what plenty of people already knew: our system is dysfunctional.

Although unemployment programs are run by the states, which means the quality varies from place to place, across the country, the broader social welfare system in this country is generally hard to access: riddled with red tape, and plagued by pointless burdens.

In Florida, for example, the previous Republican governor, Rick Scott, created a congested unemployment system that was nearly impossible to use so that the unemployment numbers would remain artificially low. Other states try to run an efficient system but simply lack the capacity to do so.

It just does not need to be this difficult…..maybe now the voters will start to pay attention to the spineless fools they elect to represent them…..I did say “maybe”……

The post pandemic economy will look different than it did…..

We have a lot of economist type people telling us how awful the economy will be once we get through our near-term shutdown period. At the risk of being accused of unwarranted optimism, I am not sure I buy the pessimists’ story.

Before saying anything about the economy, we have to outline where we think our containment efforts are headed. I will throw out my story, which people here who know what they are talking about can correct.

Let’s assume that after two months we have the coronavirus reasonably well-contained. People are still getting sick, but the numbers are much more manageable so that our hospitals are no longer overflowing and health care personal are no longer being worked to exhaustion and beyond.

The Post-Pandemic Economy

The indicators are there…..the change that so many have been looking for for so long is within grasp….all we Americans need to do is reach out and embrace the change that is needed…..not some spineless reform but actual change.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Covid News #5

Just a short round-up of news stories that are popping up around the pandemic we all are fighting……some in the news and others not so much…..just a little FYI for my readers.

The number of confirmed cases in the US has gone over 1 million…..and just a note from the “Can’t Fix Stupid” file……

An administrator for an anti-quarantine Facebook group in North Carolina, a local woman named Audrey Whitlock, confirmed that she tested positive for COVID-19, local news station ABC11 reports.

Whitlock, fortunately, says that she self-quarantined for the recommended 14 days after the positive test results.

Would that be “karma”?

Now  we go to Russia…the pandemic expert….has accidentally fallen out a 5 story window (??????)…..

A senior doctor in Russia plunged 50 ft from her office window during a conference call when she was told her hospital would be forced to take in coronavirus patients, say reports.

Dr Yelena Nepomnyashchaya, 47, a mother of two, had objected to the move because of an ‘acute shortage’ of personal protection equipment for doctors and nurses, it is claimed.

She is now fighting for her life in intensive care after the fifth floor fall but medics are ‘refusing to talk’ about her chances of survival, according to TVK Krasnoyarsk.

FEMA that organization that we depend on in cases of emergency……they stole 5 million PPE……earmarked for veterans…..

Five million face masks ordered by the Veterans Health Administration to protect staff at the department’s hospitals and clinics were taken by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the Strategic National Stockpile, a top official told The Washington Post.

“I had 5 million masks incoming that disappeared,” said Dr. Richard Stone, the executive in charge of managing the nation’s largest health care system with 1,255 facilities that serve more than 9 million veterans. He told the Post that FEMA instructed vendors with protective equipment ordered by the Veterans Administration to send the shipments instead to the stockpile.

Tyson Foods has stated that a major disruption in our food supply…..

Smithfield Foods and JBS have closed meat-processing sites, while Tyson Foods shut down pork plants in Iowa and Indiana last week after they were found to be hot spots for coronavirus outbreaks. Now Tyson is issuing a dire warning on the state of the industry as a result of the pandemic. It made its proclamation via a full-page ads Sunday in the Washington Post, New York Times, and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, with John Tyson, the chair of the company’s board, delivering the news. “The food supply chain is breaking,” he said in the public notice, per Time. “As pork, beef, and chicken plants are being forced to close, even for short periods of time, millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain.” This, in turn, will lead to a ripple effect of farmers having too much livestock on their hands, he added: “Millions of animals—chickens, pigs and cattle—will be depopulated.”

Some of these closed-down plants had been criticized for not setting up safety measures and offering adequate protective gear. “I want my job, but I want a safe job,” an employee at Tyson’s shuttered plant in Waterloo, Iowa, tells CNN. “I got family and grandkids that I love, and I’m not going to risk their lives to cut some damn hogs up.” In the Sunday ad, John Tyson said the company now will mandate face masks, take workers’ temps, and implement other measures to protect workers at its sites, per CNN Business. Meanwhile, Politico reports the USDA has been “woefully slow” in addressing the virus and its effect on farmers, claiming the agency has “let millions of pounds of food rot.” A USDA rep, however, insists all is under control, noting in a statement to Time it will work with the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC to “ensure the food supply chain remains safe and secure.”

Not to worry….Donald the Orange has  a plan for this coming crisis…..

President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to order meatpacking plants to remain open, classifying the plants as critical infrastructure as a way to combat the strain coronavirus is placing on the food supply chain.

The executive order, released Tuesday evening, said the closure of just one large beef-processing plant could result in 10 million fewer individual servings of beef in a day.

“Such closures threaten the continued functioning of the national meat and poultry supply chain, undermining critical infrastructure during the national emergency,” the order said.

Good idea!  Keep them open with NO product to pack.  Good Idea!

Our AG has made it hard for governors and mayors to do what is needed to protect the people they govern…..

Attorney General William Barr has instructed federal prosecutors to pursue cases against governors and local officials who infringe liberties with unlawful pandemic restrictions.

Barr on Monday sent out a memo to all U.S. attorneys instructing them to “be on the lookout for state and local directives that could be violating the constitutional rights and civil liberties of individual citizens.”

Those officials that will not kiss Donald the Orange’s ass…..that is…..

The sad news is that a Nobel prize winning economist has said that we are looking at an approaching depression because of the pandemic…..

Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University, said America’s existing inequities and fragmented social safety net made it far more difficult for the nation to respond quickly and effectively to the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected more than 800,000 people in the U.S.

“The inequality in the U.S. is so large,” said Stiglitz. “This disease has targeted those with the poorest health. In the advanced world, the U.S. is one of the countries with the poorest health overall and the greatest health inequality… The safety net is not adequate and is propagating the disease.”

Finally the upbeat news…..New Zealand looks like it has effectively beaten Covid-19…..

Five weeks after launching an aggressive nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic—coupled with one of the most robust economic relief packages of any country—New Zealand’s government on Monday announced that the new coronavirus is currently “eliminated” in the nation.

The country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday that while cases are not at zero, new cases have been in the single digits for the past several days—an “incredible” statistic, said Ardern, as other countries face thousands of new cases per day. 

“We have done what very few countries have been able to do,” Ardern said last week as the country was preparing to move from a Level 4 restrictions to Level 3, allowing some businesses to reopen. “We have stopped a wave of devastation.”

That is my short news round-up……stories that may not be important to the MSM while Donald the Orange beats his gums and they listen….


I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Stop The Insanity!

More on Afghanistan……

I admit it I have not always been kind to Trump….I have agreed with him on occasion but I am really looking forward to seeing if he makes good on the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Afghan veterans have said that they want ALL American troops out of Afghanistan…..

Nearly three-quarters of veterans surveyed and almost 70 percent of troops’ family members support a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, according to a new poll from a conservative activist group

The results are an increase from identical questions in last year’s poll by Concerned Veterans for America, which has close ties to the conservative Koch network and the Trump administration. For much of the last year, the group has been leading public efforts to convince lawmakers and the White House to severely curtail overseas military operations.

“I think this shows the fatigue of almost two decades of war,” said Nate Anderson, executive director of the group. “And I think there is increased awareness among the American public about how long we have been fighting.”

The nationwide survey, conducted April 7 to 10, includes responses from about 700 military veterans and about 800 military family members. All were chosen randomly.

As an antiwar person I totally agree with the proposal to get all troops (American) out of Afghanistan after 19 years of war…..even as I have stated also wants Americans out of the country…..

With a peace deal in place in Afghanistan, at some point US troops would be expected to leave the country. Amid concerns of a coronavirus buildup, President Trump is thinking it is best to get those troops out of the country sooner, rather than later.

Officials say Trump complains about the troops not being out of Afghanistan yet almost daily, but that his advisers continue to stall and try to talk him out of it, arguing that if the virus is a reason to leave, US troops should also withdraw from Italy.

That argument seems a continuation of the strategy for getting out of Trump’s calls for drawdowns, which is to confuse the question and hope that Trump gets fixated on something else before they have to actually do anything.

Afghan officials have been emphasizing the risk of a pandemic, and how widespread it could be. While the US already has plenty of opportunity to leave Afghanistan now, this is just another opportunity on top of that, but whether Trump’s impulse to leave will actually pan out this time depends heavily on how he reacts to the ever-present resistance of officials


He has my support on this proposal……he needs to work on getting my attention on other proposals….

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“lego ergo scribo”