Going Out

Closing Thought–06May20

State after state is opening up their economies again…..against most advice by the way……there is a few things that you need to think about before you dash out into the world again……

You should read this before doing so…..please take the time to read…….

As of the beginning of May 2020, you shouldn’t. Go out in public, that is. Some states are starting to relax their coronavirus lockdowns, whether that’s for religious gatherings or beaches or religious gatherings on beaches. Others remain cautious and stringent. Science is still telling us that the best way to fight the virus is to stay away from one another. Public health officials continue to warn that reopening public venues of any sort is an invitation to contagion. While statistics indicate some slowing of the virus, widespread socializing could easily cause a resurgence of infection. Dr. Lucy Wilson, professor of emergency health services and an infectious disease physician at the University of Maryland, told CNN, “I think it runs the risk of being premature and giving people false hope that we can quickly change into the next phases.”

And just as many civil authorities are implementing only gradual relaxation of the lockdown in careful stages, some scientists are also suggesting that personal reentry into public venues should be one step at a time. If you’re absolutely determined to visit those long-missed nonessential visits — think hair — do just one in a day, to limit contact with potential carriers of the virus. Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor at George Washington University Milken Institute of Public Health, told CNN that the more stores you visit on your “I’m free” list, the higher the odds of infection.

https://www.grunge.com/206771/read-this-before-you-start-going-out-in-public-again/

Please act wisely….be well….be safe……

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Cerignola?

What does that term “Cerignola” mean?

Nothing?

How about 28 April 1503?

Still nothing (without the use of Google)?

I always make many many notes and then turn them into posts for IST…..thanx to this pandemic this note lost in the news of the day….but eventually I find my notes and try to rectify my oversight…..this is one of those posts.

As a student of conflict this one stands out for one reason…even though it was not readily studied….it stands out for the use of small arms….guns.

On April 28, 1503, the armies of Spain and France fought in Southern Italy at a place called Cerignola (near Bari), a battle decided by the small arms fire of muskets and arquebuses, one of the first European battles where small arms fire from firearms decided the battle. Although hand held firearms using black powder had been around for nearly 200 years, such weapons had usually not been decisive in battles fought mainly with edged weapons and later with a combination of edged weapons and cannons.

Gunpowder is an invention normally credited to the Chinese in the 9th or 10th Century, at first a novelty used for entertainment and fireworks. Whether gunpowder technology reached Europe from China or gunpowder was later also invented in Europe, we know Europeans were familiar with gunpowder (also called black powder) by the 13th Century. Gunpowder may have reached Europe via the Mongol invasions of the 1200’s or via the Silk Road. Crude bamboo hand cannons were devised in China, likely as dangerous to the user as his intended victim! Other forms of gunpowder weapons included tipping spears with bamboo barreled firearms (called the “fire lance”) where the ignition could take place a safe distance from the person employing the weapon. Around the 13th Century Chinese armorers devised metal barreled hand held weapons (called “hand cannons”) using gunpowder, the first practical firearms. Proper artillery cannons appeared in Europe in the 15th Century. The first known reference to a gun in Europe dates from 1322, and the first known picture of a gun in Europe was in a manuscript by Walter de Milemete from 1326. Multi-barreled volley guns and arrow launching guns were also produced in Europe in the 14th Century while arms makers sought the most practical gunpowder weapons. An early European use of cannon was at the Battle of Crécy in 1346.

April 28, 1503: What Was the First Battle Won by Small Arms Fire?

You would think with our “romance” with all things war that this would be an important to be taught to our young.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Covid-19 And Hurricanes

Every year on the first of June I post on the upcoming hurricane season….it is important to me for I live in Hurricane Alley….I use to say when sites asked my location…”Just north of a hurricane”….

This season could be a bit different from all others in my life…..the devastation of a hurricane combined with the lethality of the Covid-19 virus…….does not bode well for the Gulf Coast….

I was pleased to see that someone has tackled this dilemma that is approaching…..at least giving it a bit of lip service…..

Pete Gaynor, who runs the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is drafting a document whose title sounds like the stuff of horror movies: “COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season.”

Driving the news: “We’re doing a lot of things that are not necessarily in any playbook that has existed,” Gaynor told me in an interview on Saturday. “In some cases, we write the playbook as we go.”

Behind the scenes: In preparing for the June 1 start of the Atlantic hurricane season, Gaynor must consider challenges beyond what predecessors have faced:

  • How do you evacuate people from hurricane zones while maintaining 6 feet of social distancing?
  • How much extra shelter space will be needed to house people who can no longer safely crowd into schools, auditoriums and community centers?
  • How do you protect the most vulnerable people such as the elderly and those with underlying conditions?
  • Resources already are strained — and so are tensions between many governors and the Trump administration.

The big picture: It’s the first time ever that every U.S. state and territory has simultaneously declared a major disaster.

  • “This pandemic, it is historic, it is unprecedented in many ways for FEMA,” Gaynor said.

https://www.axios.com/fema-coronavirus-hurricane-season-ef660cda-f4b3-4002-b8ac-71438c8edebd.html

Not a pretty picture being painted here.

I will post my traditional post on the coming hurricane season on 01 June….look for it….

On yet another weather related front….people need to think about the devastation of Katrina and the chaos of Covid-19 and it makes for a horrific scenario that will be worse than a nightmare.

In the next 50 years the outlook is not so rosy…..

According to a new climate model, a fifth of the entire Earth could be as hot as the Sahara Desert by the year 2070.

That would force about three billion people to either flee their homes or try survive in hellish temperatures, Earther reports. It’s a particularly dire outlook for humanity — especially because it would render farmland incapable of growing the staple crops on which we rely.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/50-years-billions-people-face-sahara-heat

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Covid-19 And Meat

There have been announcements of a coming meat shortage because of the pandemic and that prompted Donald the Orange to issue an EO keeping meat packers open and functioning…..https://lobotero.com/2020/05/01/meat-of-the-subject/

Well because of the virus beef production is down…..

American beef output is down a lot more than plant closures would have you believe — a sign that slowdowns at facilities will continue to keep meat supplies tight even when some production lines reopen.

Cattle slaughter dropped 37% this week from a year ago, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. That far outstrips the 10% to 15% in capacity that’s been halted with meat plants closed after coronavirus outbreaks among employees. Hog slaughter was down 35%, also topping the shutdown figure of 25% to 30%.

While many plants have stayed open, they’ve still been forced to slow output as producers combat a loss of labor. Social-distancing measures will also likely keep output trailing normal levels even as facilities reopen under President Donald Trump’s executive order.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-01/u-s-beef-output-is-down-way-more-than-shutdowns-suggest

There is my answer to the question I posed in my previous post…..about the lack of product to pack.

Another effect of keeping the plants open and operating….the spread of the sickness…..

President Donald Trump signed an executive order this week declaring meat processing plants “critical infrastructure” that should stay open wherever possible. Invoking the Defense Production Act, Trump said that plant closures “threaten the continued functioning of the national meat and poultry supply chain.”

Yet keeping the plants open threatens workers’ lives. Facilities across the US have become hot spots for Covid-19 outbreaks: More than 3,000 workers have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 17 have died.

Some plants have been forced to close due to high rates of infection. At a Tyson plant in Waterloo, Iowa, more than 180 employees got sick. At a Smithfield plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, it was more than 640 workers.

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/5/1/21243300/meat-supply-coronavirus-plant-shortage-food-chain

All this to try and rehabilitate Trump’s numbers for re-election……once again as always it is about him and not the safety of the nation.

While he does this there are 373 cases within a meat package facility…..

A pork processing plant in Missouri has confirmed 373 new coronavirus cases among its employees, underscoring the threat meat processing plants pose to their staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

Toward the end of April, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) partnered with the City of St. Joseph Health Department, Northwest Health Services and Mosaic Life Care to offer COVID-19 testing to employees at the Triumph Foods plant in St. Joseph.

https://thehill.com/changing-america/well-being/prevention-cures/495946-pork-processing-plant-in-missouri-confirms-373

Burger joints are starting to feel the meat pinch……

Despite President Trump’s executive order dictating that meat processing plants stay open, the specter of meat shortages is being felt across the US—and customers of at least one fast-food chain are taking notice. Bloomberg notes that Wendy’s has long advertised itself as offering hamburgers made from fresh beef, not frozen, a practice that’s now made the chain vulnerable to a shortfall as the fresh stuff has become harder to come by. Some Wendy’s restaurants have even taken their signature offering, hamburgers, off the menu. “Is this the part where I say…’Where’s the beef?'” one drive-thru customer lamented. Coverage:

  • Store shelves. Customers may soon find it even harder to track down meat in supermarkets and warehouse stores—and even when they do, they could be limited in what they’re able to bring home. Fox Business reports Costco, Kroger, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and other chains are rationing their meat products, with an undesirable side effect: It means people will have to go out shopping more often.
  • Bad news on the pork front. Even with Trump’s executive order aimed at reducing shortages, pork production is down 50%, industry giant Tyson Foods said Monday. Three of its six main processing sites remain closed, and the other three are working at reduced capacity. An agricultural economist tells the Washington Post he thinks the numbers may be even worse than Tyson’s estimates.
  • Bad news on the pork front, continued. Modern Farmer reports that hog farmers across the nation are faced with a pig glut that may force them to euthanize their livestock. “Producers have never faced such a gut-wrenching decision,” one farmer says. One factor: Pigs must be sent to slaughter before they get too heavy for the processing equipment, and they pack on weight quickly.
  • Feeding the hungry. Food banks are already seeing the effects of the shortage, but in Wisconsin, they’re coming up with creative ways to work around it, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Distributing alternative forms of protein is one tactic.
  • Taking matters into their own hands. Some people aren’t waiting for the supply chain to be back in full force—they’re taking up hunting instead. Fox News reports on an increase in hunting licenses and permit applications in multiple states, including for first-timers. “People are starting to consider self-reliance and where their food comes from,” a Quality Deer Management Association spokesman says.
  • How worried should we be? USA Today tackles that big question. “Experts believe meat won’t likely follow the path of toilet paper, with totally empty shelves and consumers clamoring to find it,” explains the story. “Shoppers might find local shortages instead.”
    A shopping guide. From what to expect on pricing to timing your market trip just right (i.e., when the shelves are newly stocked with fresh meat), Time has the scoop.

Now the scary thought of the meat shortage……gun idiots wandering around the country side hunting meat for the table…..

David Elliot first thought of shooting an elk to help feed family and friends back in January when the United States reported its first novel coronavirus case.

Elliot, emergency manager at Holy Cross Hospital in Taos, New Mexico, had always wanted to go big-game hunting and, with the pandemic spreading, there seemed no better time to try to fill his freezer with free-range, super-lean meat.

So for the first time in his life, despite not owning a rifle or ever having hunted large animals, he put his name in for New Mexico’s annual elk permit draw.

With some U.S. meat processors halting operations as workers fall ill, companies warning of shortages, and people having more time on their hands and possibly less money due to shutdowns and layoffs, he is among a growing number of Americans turning to hunting for food, according to state data and hunting groups.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-hunting/americans-turn-to-hunting-for-food-renewal-during-pandemic-idUSKBN22F0G4

Think about those unwashed slugs appearing at the state capitals wandering the woods with their assault weapons looking for Bambi to kill……Just think about that.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

On The Arabian Peninsula

So much is happening these days while the pandemic has our attention diverted to national stuff….the peninsula in the Middle East is heating up…..

Let’s begin with the UAE……they recently co-signed a demand against Qatar and they demanded that Qatar end all ties with terrorist organizations….

Numbers 3 and 4 are of interest…….

3) Sever ties to all “terrorist, sectarian and ideological organisations,” specifically the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIL, al-Qaeda, Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as the Nusra Front) and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Formally declare these entities as terror groups as per the list announced by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt, and concur with all future updates of this list.

4) Stop all means of funding for individuals, groups or organisations that have been designated as terrorists by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, US and other countries.

I bring up this because of the news I read…..after their demand for Qatar…..

The United Arab Emirates will be placed under a year-long observation by a global finance watchdog for failing to stem money laundering and terrorist financing. Abu Dhabi, says the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), is not doing enough and has been urged to take extra measures to avoid being included on an international watchlist.

“Generally, fundamental and major improvements are needed across the UAE in order to demonstrate that the system cannot be used for money laundering and terrorist financing,” said FATF in a report compiled after a 14-month investigation.

UAE failing to stem money laundering and terrorist financing, says watchdog 

Again Saudi Arabia forcing their neighbors to fall in-line with their desires……

Speaking of KSA…..mismanagement is driving the Kingdom to the point of bankruptcy….even with all the oil they are blowing it big time……and it all comes down to oil prices…..

On 6 March, the OPEC+ cartel failed to agree on a cut in oil production in the light of reduced demand due to the coronavirus pandemic affecting almost every country in the world. All of this came in the middle of a global financial crisis. Saudi Arabia proposed the cut, and OPEC members accepted it, but Russia, which is OPEC’s “+”, spearheaded the call to reject it.

“We have made this decision because no consensus has been found of how all the 24 countries should simultaneously react to the current situation,” Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters after the OPEC+ meeting in Vienna. “So as from April 1, we are starting to work without minding the quotas or reductions which were in place earlier, but this does not mean that each country would not monitor and analyse market developments.” Hours later, oil prices plummeted.

Mismanagement is driving Saudi Arabia towards bankruptcy

Speaking on oil prices……

Trump has told KSA that they need to cut their oil supply or lose  US funds….

In an April 2 phone call, Trump told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that unless the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) started cutting oil production, he would be powerless to stop lawmakers from passing legislation to withdraw U.S. troops from the kingdom, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The threat to upend a 75-year strategic alliance, which has not been previously reported, was central to the U.S. pressure campaign that led to a landmark global deal to slash oil supply as demand collapsed in the coronavirus pandemic – scoring a diplomatic victory for the White House.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/special-report-trump-told-saudis-cut-oil-supply-or-lose-us-military-support-sources/ar-BB13pCYe

What about this pandemic?

The world is on the cusp of a geopolitical reset. The global pandemic could well undermine international institutions, reinforce nationalism and spur de-globalization. But far-sighted leadership could also rekindle cooperation, glimmers of which appeared in the G-20’s offer of debt relief for some of the world’s poorest countries, a joint plea from more than 200 former national leaders for a more coordinated pandemic response and an unprecedented multinational pact to arrest the crash in oil markets.

The remarkable effort to address the turmoil in the oil markets will be critical to oil’s eventual balance — although the past two weeks have shown that its promised production cuts were too slow and insufficient in the face of oil demand’s plunge. The challenges and opportunities that the collapse in the oil market is pushing to the fore are perhaps just the first taste of Covid-19 induced geopolitical crises that world leaders and policy makers will need to grapple with in the coming months and years.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-04-29/covid-19-oil-collapse-is-geopolitical-reset-in-disguise

So much is happening on the Peninsula…..and so much is being overlooked by the MSM…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”