Gettysburg Address in 2020

May 23, 2020 by

Yesterday, I read the Gettysburg Address to myself here at home in the middle of 2020. Some days I wonder if these words still have much application to a large percentage of America’s elected “leaders,” and even to the people themselves.

Donald Claxton, the grammatic artist, ponders the value
of the Gettysburg Address in 2020.

Other days, I see many being equally aroused by another famous document, one that begins with, “We the people.” And then I wonder how close we are to repeating the events that caused the solemnity of the document attached. How people are coming to believe that Orwell might have been 36 years early, but right in the end.

And as orders to stay home, confusing announcements from government organizations (CDC for one) vary by the hour, one branch of government, (even branches within the branches are divided,) we all witness the angst among the citizens of these quite un-United States demanding government at all levels has done enough for now.

Or there are those who are frustrated with EOs by governors that many feel are preposterous Constitutional overreaches–limits on church attendance, restrictions on guns were big in several states, when 36 million Americans are now jobless, have few prospects for employment because even places such as Victoria’s Secret and Bed and Bath Works are closing their doors for good. Even JC Penny has joined ranks with Sears and filed for BK protection. Now HERTZ says it doesn’t have the money for to pay the leases on its cars from them sitting idle the past two months and they, too, have filed for BK.

My soul and my heart-of-hearts aches and wonders, will America once again enjoy a “new birth of Freedom?” The outcome of coronavirus is going to reshape the essence of America, no matter how you shake it. Facebook, I believe it is, has announced the past few days that they are permanently going to have a significant part of their workforce work from home from now on. That changes the demands for office space in big cities, creating a glut of office space with no one to rent, so then it’s harder to hold onto a big building, and things trickle down from there. Since fewer people are coming to work, the café isn’t serving as many for breakfast and lunch. The shoe shiner doesn’t have as many feet to engage. Hot dog stands get more expensive because tax revenues are down so cities up their taxes to stay in balance. Dems in Congress keep after a $15 dollar minimum wage, which causes the prices for consumers to go up, thereby reducing the impact of a mandatory wage hike to zero, which in turn causes more businesses to employ fewer people, and things roll further down hill from there.

Meanwhile “progressives,” I honestly don’t know how such a misnomer can be applied to idiots like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who thinks that the government should pay everyone $2,000 a month. In the past three months, the government has increased the federal debt by at least $6 TRILLION. The Morbidly Corrupt Nancy Pelosi rammed a bill she wrote with a cabal of lobbyists and partisans through the House recently and it’s going no where. But in it, the word cannabis is included three times as much as the word jobs, when there are now 36 million people out of work due to the virus shutdown.

But I was wondering about a “New birth of Freedom,” as Lincoln spoke in such a short speech–he was known for long ones–the official photographer didn’t even have time to get setup and the president was finishing. Or shall America fall upon the ash heap of Democracies that once were the beacons of freedom with their bicameral legislative bodies and the will of the people, but were eventually bludgeoned to death by dictators, Communism, or Socialism, where there is no longer a will of the people in any way shape or form, and “redistribution of wealth works well for everyone” except those in power, for they must have more than the rest … the logic for justification never makes sense. And just think, under that system, to express thoughts such as these openly, for discussion, would lead to penalty of death…..

I am an optimist deep inside. But after 30 years of dealing with politics on the inside at various levels, I’ve seen how sausage is made. I believe there is still good in America and that we have a fighting chance. But what some don’t realize yet, Freedom isn’t Free. Not even in a democracy like ours….

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I Can’t Keep Counting Coronavirus Numbers….

Mar 23, 2020 by

As I have been doing the past weeks, I can’t bring myself to post coronavirus numbers everyday. My psyche no longer has the will. I’m not giving up on the situation, but the situation is having its toll on me. A few nights ago before going to bed in Texas, I heard the news about California sheltering in place or “Stay At Home,” as they’re calling it. I shut off the TV after that. Drained.

For nearly all of my adult life, I’ve had positions where putting the best foot forward about a situation has been my job, and I have done it faithfully and honestly. I’ve driven from my home to the offices of the Alabama Capitol in blizzard conditions as far back as 1993 (and even further back) to get information to the news media that their governor at the time was doing what needed to be done. I’ve done this repeatedly for the Dallas ISD for snow storms in Dallas, Hurricane Katrina refugees from New Orleans arriving by the busload, to encouraging a portion of Dallas that after a middle school student was stabbed seven times after school one day and the killer still on the loose for much of the next day, that it was still safe for their parents to send their kids to school. Only seven missed school that day–and we knew where one of them was, sadly. I’ve fought back tears while talking to the press when first graders leaned on the front of a lunch portable counter and when it tipped over on top of them, the boiling hot water in the bin underneath to keep the food warm rushed out on top of them. At the time, I had two first grader twins myself, and I could only imagine, cos hanging on to the unhinged counter’s front tray rails to look over the glass to see what food choices they had, was something my girls would have done, too.

I’ve ridden through eight miles of the aftermath of an F-5 tornado in Birmingham, AL in 1998 and seen a husband and wife couple still lying next to each other on their mattress while the edge of the house has come down on their knees and the only thing visible of them is their lower legs and feet.

All those events, in their time were draining. But I was charged with keeping the stiff upper lip and being the cheerleader. The positive voice on TV, radio and on the pages of newspapers saying, “We are doing all we can to get everyone in the state/area/county/city/block/school you name it, the help they need. From shelters, electricity back on, dug out of the snow, roads reopened, flood waters down, droughts to end, hurricane shelters, beds in coliseums, to ensuring greater numbers of police will be patrolling schools,” I’ve done much of all those things.

These are some of the most beautiful times in life, too. Rewarding times to be a public servant, because of all the tabletop exercises, planning, gathering of materials skeptics said you’d never need, etc. all of that comes together, and people who have been political pains in the ass, are in just as much need, or are expending just as much genuine effort to do goodness, that it is enriching. Sure, there are always those who can’t get away from the chance to seek a political score, but in the end, their selfishness tends to get dealt with later.

Those were the times when a Democrat president called a Republican governor and the call was appreciated. Federal aid flowed to the state. “The VP is coming in a day or two. (You are a Republican after all.) But we have signed the papers freeing up funds that you need. If you need anything else, call us.” After another storm a few months later, Air Force One lands in Birmingham. It’s the Office of the President that’s landing. Not the man. And then it is the man, who expresses his concerns.

Former Alabama Gov. Fob James on the telephone with President Bill Clinton in April 1998 after having toured the damages of an 8-mile stretch from an F-5 tornado. Yes, that’s me with black hair.

Years later we are seeing this in America. Our healthcare professionals are doing their job, risking their lives, living up to the word of their oaths to be there to help those who are ill, those who may have contracted the illness, who are dying from it, who may have it passed on to them if they’re not careful, or just by chance. Democratic governors are praising the efforts from the White House. For the past few years that’s been verboten. For the time being, for the most part, the governors across the country seem to have dialed that down. (Sans Bill de Blasio.)

In Congress and the Senate, some of the partisan bickering remains. Yesterday Senate Majority Leader said that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi thinks she the Speaker of the Senate, too. That’s infuriating. But if Ilan Omar can come up with kind words for the president’s vigilance in this time, well, then that’s a good thing. That’s what is supposed to happen in times like these.

For the longest time, I wanted the press to get past the repeated use of the words Russians, the dossier, stole the election, illegitimate, resistance, James Comey, Bob Mueller, the Mueller Report, Impeachment, calling witnesses, not really a trial, acquitted, and forever impeached. Coronavirus has eaten them all up. Sucked them out of the vocabulary of the talking heads. If only it could have taken the hate with it because it is clear that has not happened.

I wish I could be parachuted into an operation right now that’s working to save lives and making a difference doing it. I miss being able to do that in crisis situations. That was when I felt like I was doing my best work for the people of Alabama, and then the Dallas school district, and then hundreds of high-risk teenagers around the country. I finally know what the general in the movie White Christmas must have felt like when he received his rejection letter after asking the Pentagon to let him return to active duty.

But alas, my back and other health conditions won’t ever allow that kind of activity again. So each day I’m trying to find a new way to make an impact. Hence the frequent posts of the Johns Hopkins numbers. People are saying the straight-forward analysis is very helpful. That helps to hear. Thank you to those who have said so. I hope it continues to be beneficial for you to see the numbers often and see how they’re changing. They sure have opened my eyes.

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Coronavirus 10-day Update – March 18, 2020

Mar 18, 2020 by

A little more than 10 days ago, I began a daily tracking of the numbers from the Johns Hopkins website, largely to track growth and see what has been happening from day-to-day. Today’s post includes a coronavirus 10-day update, as well as a comparison to yesterday. I don’t know how often I’ll do these, but it seems like multiples of 10 should be the goal.

What is staggering is that worldwide on the morning of March 8, 2020, the total of confirmed cases was at 107,758. Today, March 18, that number has almost doubled to 211,853. There are 96,506 new cases confirmed within the last 10 days, but 21,727 of them happened since yesterday.

The number of deaths worldwide on the eighth of March had reached 3,658. Today the number of dead worldwide is 8,724–a difference of 4,586 people. That number has increased 1,207 since yesterday alone.

And then there the number of total recoveries–60,660 as of March 8, and 82,107 as of this morning. That’s a change of 21,447–1,459 of them overnight.

China’s total cases has only changed by 433 people since the eighth–from 81,058 to today’s 81,102.

Italy, by more than double, has run away with the dubious lead, over its closest trailer, Iran. Ten days ago, Italy had 5,883 cases and today the total blew past 31,506. That’s a 25,623 difference. Their number of deaths increased as well from 233 on March 8, to 2,503 yesterday–a difference of 2,270 people. Since yesterday alone, 345 more people perished.

In Iran, 17,361 people have been confirmed with the virus as of today, an increase of 10,795 from March 8, when the total was 6,565 people. Deaths have reached 1,135 there–up 941 from 194 on March 8, 2020.

Spain presently has more than 13,910 cases confirmed, but 10 days ago only had 613. That’s a difference of 13, 297 people. Looking at the number of deaths, 17 had died on March 8, today that number jumped past 623–up by at lease 606 people.

Germany had 951 confirmed cases on March 8, and has jumped to 10,082 as of today–an increase of 9,131 people. The death rate in Germany has reached 26 people as of today, 10 days ago it was 0. Three new deaths occurred since yesterday.

South Korea has fallen from just below China 10 days ago. As of today they have 8,413 cases and 10 days ago the number was 7,314. The number of confirmed cases has risen by 1,099 people. Deaths on the eighth totally 50 people. Today the number is 84. That’s an increase of 34 in 10 days–3 of them coming overnight.

France has 7,896 confirmed cases as of today, that’s opposed to the 949 cases they had on March 8. The have seen a rise of 6,717 cases during the measured time period. Their number of deaths has reached 148, up from the 11 it had recorded 10 days ago; a difference of 137 people.

In the United States, on March 8, 2020, there were 466 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the country. That number has increased to 6,519 as of today; an increase of 6,055 cases in 10 days. The US deaths related to the coronavirus have risen from 25 on the eighth, to 114 today, a difference of 89 people. Just since yesterday, the number of deaths in America 20 people.

Ten days ago I was not yet tracking the UK’s numbers because they were not drawing anyone’s attentions. Today, however, they have 2,626 cases of the disease, up from 1,960 yesterday, an increase of devilish proportions–666 people. They have had 71 deaths so far, 15 of them overnight, from 56.

Ireland is another country whose numbers I was not tracking, but since they were included with the travel ban this past week with the UK, hey have been added. I do not have information from 10 days ago. I apologize for the oversight. As of today there are 292 cases in Ireland, up 69 overnight from 223.

Russia has a total of 147 cases as of today and increased them by 33 since yesterday. They had a total of 15 confirmed coronavirus cases just 10 days ago. There still are zero deaths recorded in that country.

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Coronavirus Update – St. Patrick’s Day 2020

Mar 17, 2020 by

St. Patrick’s Day 2020 — a day when the coronavirus update from around the world is leaving more people blue than green on such a historic day. Total cases now of confirmed coronavirus has topped 190-thousand worldwide– up 15,340 overnight to 190,126. The number of deaths worldwide rose 812 people in the past 24 hours to 7,517, while the number of those recovered reached 80,648, up 2,991.

The case increases reported from China remain nominal, with 81,058 reported, and an increase of 26 people overnight.

By far, Italy remains the hotspot of the world with 3,238 new cases from yesterday, brining their total confirmed cases to 27,980. Their death toll has risen to 2,158, up 349 people in just one day. The recoveries have reached 2749, up 414 people. Italy is one fourth of the total in China, and near double the number of cases from the next closest country, Iran.

Iran has logged 16,169 cases, up 1,178 cases from yesterday. Their number of deaths are at 988, up 135, but almost half that of Italy. The recoveries in Iran have reached 5,389, up 799 from yesterday.

The second highest rate of growth in Europe is taking place in Spain, now solidly the fourth highest ranking number of cases at 11,309 with 1,902 overnight. A total of 509 people have died, up 174 overnight. The number of recoveries reach 1,028, up 498 over yesterday.

Germany has 8,604 cases, up 1932 from yesterday. The death tally jumped by 9 to 23. To date, 66 have recovered, up 8 from the day before.

France Has a total of 6,664 cases, up 1,284 from yesterday, while their death tally climbed to 148–up 21 people. Their recovery number held at 12 people.

In the United States the number of total cases rose to 5,702, up 1,889. Total deaths reached 94, jumping 25 people in one day. There have been 17 recoveries reported, up 5 from yesterday.

In the United Kingdom, where the new travel ban to the US went into effect at midnight Monday, the total number of cases reach 1,960, up 417 cases overnight. The death toll reached 56, almost doubling at 21 people. The number of recoveries reached 53, up 33 from Tuesday.

Ireland, where St. Patrick’s Day festivities also have been stunted, 223 people have been confirmed with the disease, up 54 people from yesterday. The death toll remains at 2 and recovery rose to 5 from zero.

In Russia, 114 cases have been confirmed, up 24. Their first two deaths happed in the past 24 hours.

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Coronavirus Update – Just the Facts – March 16, 2020

Mar 16, 2020 by

Per the 0953 Johns Hopkins Website map update of coronavirus cases around the world, an increase of 18,386 occurred overnight, bringing the world total so far to at least 174,786. The death total jumped upward by another 872 people, reaching 6,705, while the number of recoveries trailed behind at 77,657, a difference of 3,959 over Sunday’s numbers.

As far as the country with the most cases, China continued to see a rise in the number of cases, but in the grand scheme of things, the rise was almost minimal–37 new cases–bringing the “official” total there to 81,032.

Italy, however, faired far worse in the past 24 hours. A total of 3,585 people tested positive for the COVID-19 disease, bringing that nation’s total to 24,742. The coronavirus deaths there increased by 368, bringing the European country’s body count to 1,809. Of the almost 25 thousand who have been confirm ill, 2,335 have recovered, leaving 20,603 with active cases. The number of recoveries overnight amounted to 369 people.

Iran still holds the number three spot in number of cases, they rose to 14,991 (up 2,262 overnight), but fourth-place Spain, with its 9,407 confirmed cases, swept past Iran in the number of newly confirmed cases overnight with 3,016. A total of 139 people died in Spain in the past 24 hours, while the number in Iran remained higher at 242. Iran now has lost 853 people and Spain a total of 335 people.

South Korea, once the hotspot and second to only China a few weeks ago, now has 8,236 cases, up 150 since yesterday. Three additional people died since yesterday, bringing their total to 75, with 1,137 recoveries, 627 of them coming in the last 24 hours,

Germany, with its 6,672 cases, rose to the fourth highest number of reported and confirmed cases in the past 24 hours with 2,087 cases. They are now up to 14 deaths, 5 of them in the past 24 hours.

France was next on the list with 5,380 cases, up 1,713 cases, and a total of 127 deaths, 48 of them in the last 24 hours. They remain at 12 recoveries nationwide.

In the United States, the number of cases confirmed has reached 3,813 with 403 new in the past 24 hours. There have been 69 reported deaths, 15 of them since Sunday’s count. The US also only lists a total of 12 recoveries.

Switzerland’s numbers have continued a rapid escalation, now confirming a total of 2,200 cases, which are up 841 overnight. They have had 14 death in the country, and increase of 1 in the past 24-hour period.

The United Kingdom, now up to 1,543 cases, has seen a rise of 403 cases, and 35 deaths, up 14 since the day before.

Across from the UK in Ireland, the Irish have had a total of 169 cases, 40 new ones in the past 24 hours, and a total of 2 deaths.

The Russian government reports a total of 90 cases, up 31 overnight, 0 deaths, 8 recoveries, and 82 active cases, a rise of 31 in the past day.

As one can see from the chart furnished by Johns Hopkins, the numbers of confirmed cases continue to outpace the recovery rates, but this does not take into the account the number of places coming online with new testing equipment.

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Coronavirus Update – The Ides of March 2020

Mar 15, 2020 by

The coronavirus data map kept by Johns Hopkins has not updated since 0233 this morning and has been updating around 0600, 0730, and 0930 daily. As of 1116 hours, Central, US time, the site still is reporting information from 0233. With that on the table, I feel “iffy” at best about today’s Ides of March report. But after all, William Shakespeare all properly warned us long ago to beware of betrayals come March 15. I just don’t think this is what he had in mind when he wrote Julius Caesar.

The total cases confirmed still show the level of cases worldwide increasing. According to the site, there now are 156,400 cases, up 7,167 from yesterday. The death total was up 224 over the previous 24 hours, now reaching 5,833. Total recoveries now are at 73,968 worldwide– that’s 1,962 overnight.

China’s total reported cases reached 80,995. That’s an increase of only 19 people in the last 24 hours.

Italy, by far, remains the world’s hotspot with its 21,729 cases, 17,750 of them active. A total of 3,497 cropped up new overnight. Nationwide a total of 1,441 people have died–175 of them in the last 24 hours. The good news is that 1,966 Italians have recovered, 527 of them alone in the last 24-hours.

Iran and South Korea have held steady with no additional cases reported during the last 24 hours, 12,729 and 8,086 respectively. The same applies to deaths, holding at 611 and 510, respectively.

The total number of cases in Spain has shot up to 6,391, up by 368 since yesterday.They now have had 196 deaths, 5 of them in the last 24 hours. A total of 517 nationwide have recovered so far–7 of them in the past day.

Germany and France’s caseload, 4,585 and 4,469 respectively–have increased by 632 and 802 people. The number of dead in Germany increased by 1 to 9, and 12 to 91 in France. They remained at 46 and 12 recovered, with no growth in that category in either country.

In the United States there are 2,952 confirmed cases, and 51 deaths.

The UK and Ireland, which were added the the US travel ban this weekend, have seen shifts in their numbers. Over the past 24 hours, the number of cases in the UK dropped by 3, and the death count held steady at 21, with 18 recovering. In Ireland, however, they have a total of 129 cases–an increased of 39 cases since yesterday. The number of deaths has doubled to 2. No one has yet to recover from a case in their country.

Meanwhile in Russia, that had 4 cases nine days ago, now has 59 cases, 0 deaths, 0 recoveries, and 51 active cases.

At last word, Vice President Mike Pence is slated to make a series of announcements regarding corona virus today at 5 p.m. Eastern US time.

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Coronavirus Update-Pi Day

Mar 14, 2020 by

The coronavirus, COVID-19, update for March 14, 2020, unofficially referred to as “Pi Day,” since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of π, is as follows. Worldwide, we now have reached a total of 149,293 cases, up 11,837 since yesterday. The virus is now in 146 countries–up from 114 Friday. The number of deaths has risen to 5,609, an increase of 535, and the total number of recoveries is at 72,042–a difference of 2,399 from the day before.

In the past 24 hours, the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, has actively led two news events from the White House to update the American people on the administration’s efforts to enlist the assistance of the public sector, and to announce the freeing up of federal dollars that will help state and local governments across the country gain access to funding they badly need at this time.

Today the president also announced that he is expanding the European travel ban to include the United Kingdom and Ireland, beginning Monday. The UK’s numbers today have reached 1,143 cases, 21 deaths, and 18 recoveries, leaving 1,101 active cases. Ireland’s number of cases has multiplied from 6 last weekend to 90 this week, and also includes their first death, 0 recoveries, and 89 active cases.

These numbers are based from the 10:33 reading on the Johns Hopkins website as of 10:33 Central time, USA, 03/14/20.

China’s cases are up to 80,976, up 177 cases from the day before.

Italy still maintains the most dramatic increase per day with 17,660 cases total, up 2,547 since yesterday, a total number of 1,266 deaths, which is up 250 over the day before, and 1,439 recoveries, an increase of 394.

Spain has the next highest daily growth rate–6,023 coronavirus cases–an increase of 1,950 overnight. A total of 191 died in the last 24 hours, an increase of 99, with 517 recovering, an increase of 328 overnight.

Iran has had a total of 12,729 cases–up 1,385 since Friday, and 611 deaths, a rise of 97. In the past 24 hours, the number of recoveries has remained at 2,959. As a matter of fact, through this reporting system with Johns Hopkins, the number of recoveries has not altered since Thursday, March 12.

South Korea has had 8,806 cases, an increase of 107 overnight, with a total of 72 deaths recorded, 6 overnight. Their recovery number, which is now 510, has not changed since Thursday, March 12, when it reached 333.

Germany has seen 3,953 cases, up 894, while France has had 3,667, and increased of 778. The German death toll now is 8, up by 2, while France is more accelerated at 79 with 18 of them happening in the last 24 hours. Neither company has noted any additional recoveries with 46 recoveries in Germany and 12 in France since Friday, March 13.

In the United States, the total number of coronavirus cases now is at 2,177, a 476-case increase overnight. The US is up to 54 deaths, 16 new overnight. (As the number of new testing kits are spread around the country, numbers are sure to spike considerably in the next few days simply because more people will be tested than previously.)

Switzerland had 501 new cases overnight, bringing their total to 1,359. There now have been 13 deaths in the country, 5 new overnight. Recoveries are listed at 4, with no change in the day before.

The UK has increased above a thousand with 1,143 cases, 21 deaths, and 18 recoveries.

Russia’s caseload now has risen to 47, an increase of 13. They still have not announced any deaths, but have 3 recoveries and 44 active cases, an increase of 13.

As noted above, Ireland and the UK are being added to the European travel ban to America. Ireland now has had 90 cases, 1 death, 0 recoveries, leaving 89 active cases.

Vice President Mike Pence announced today he will be making a new series of coronavirus announcements at 5 p.m. Eastern Sunday, March 15, 2020.

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