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Men of integrity, by their very existence, rekindle the belief that as a people we can live above the level of moral squalor.  We need that belief; a cynical community is a corrupt community.
  —  John W. Gardner
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On This Day In:
2019 Is It Dark And Quiet For You?
2018 Undeniable Requirement
2017 Orange Corrosion
2016 Both Particle And Wave
2015 Deep In Debt
2014 The Difference
2013 My Heart Is Described
2012 Keen To Be Alone
2011 The Ideal Business…
2010 55

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Below are two charts representing Corona Virus (COVID-19) fatalities in Italy and then the United States (below that).  The line on the Italy graph represent where the United States is now (between 500-700 deaths).  It also represents the projection of where we can expect to be in two weeks.
When looking at these charts please recall the Italian government called a national shutdown which is now going into the third week.  Notice the plateau at the far right of the Italy chart.  This shows the number of citizens who died is not zero, but the rate of deaths is no longer increasing.  We (the U.S.) have yet to impose a national shutdown.  In fact, if we do not maintain (increase) the shutdown we are almost guaranteeing we maximize the number of deaths from the virus.
The two following graphs show the COVID-19 death rate by age and then a comparison with the “standard” flu.  If you are young, you might be saying: “Well, it’s mostly old people dying.”  Yes, it is significantly more deadly if you are older.  BUT, before you say who cares, observe that COVID-19 is 10 to 20 times more lethal at every age group.
Finally, a chart showing the rate of deaths for the U.S. versus all significant occurrences world wide.  We are tracking almost parallel to Spain.  The problem is Spain has less than 50 million population and the U.S. has over 330 million population.
My suggestion is that you make NO plans to attend Easter services this year…
If we are VERY lucky, we will have herd immunity by the end of September.
We have a choice.  We can self-isolate…  Look after each other – family, friends and neighbors – while keeping a safe distance.  We are all in this together.  Stay well.
Chart sources are:  CDC (U.S.), CDC (China), Business Insider and MSNBC.
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On This Day In:
2019 Indian Myth
Did He Even Have The Courage To Ask?
2018 Nothing
2017 Approval First
2016 In Search Of Words
Day 2 – Blending
2015 At What Price?
2014 Intricate And Subtle Order
2013 Attention To Detail
2012 Aequanimitas!
2011 Consider This

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Democracy remains the form of government most likely to create lasting security and prosperity.  A few oil-producing nations aside, the world’s wealthiest countries are democracies, and democracies are also less likely to go to war with one another.
The findings from these countries suggest that while democracy remains a popular aspiration around the world, “attraction” will prove more effective than “promotion” as a way to help democracy expand.
The report argues that the U.S. has made four main mistakes in fostering democracy abroad.  U.S. policy­makers have focused on the laws and institutions of other countries but not their political cultures.  They’ve assumed that people will forgo near-term security and stability for the chance to vote.  They’ve used military intervention to promote democratic values without accounting for the problems this approach creates.  And they’ve ignored the values and interests of those they hope to persuade.
The survey also finds that allowing foreign-born people to study and live in the U.S. can help to promote democracy: support for American ideas of democracy is driven largely by immigration and direct connections to diaspora communities.  People who report having had family members or close friends who have lived in America in the past five years are significantly more likely to have positive views.
That’s one reason U.S. policy­makers would be more successful if they found the modesty to promote democracy around the world without the explicit American packaging and with the humility to acknowledge that the U.S. has often failed to live up to democracy’s highest ideals. Democracy’s appeal comes in the power it gives individuals to set their own course.  America should accept that each country will need to find its own path to adopt democracy.
  —  Ian Bremmer
Editorial:  “Selling Democracy
In Time Magazine, dtd: 27 May 2019
The article appears online at:  https://time.com/5590236/what-defines-worldwide-democracy/
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On This Day In:
2019 Soul Before Will
2018 Small Things
2017 Clear And Warm To Me
2016 Ripple
2015 Amazing Or Full Of Wonder?
2014 Are You Confused?
2013 But The Odds Are Against It
2012 Far Better Off With Books
2011 Timid And Fainthearted

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Some people strengthen the society just by being the kind of people they are.
  —  John W. Gardner
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On This Day In:
2019 Morning Mirror
2018 Wondering About #45
2017 A Prayer For London
2016 Don’t Default
2015 Her Pilgrim Soul
2014 Three Observations
2013 Robbed Again
2012 Good Hearts
2011 Interesting Reading
What Are You Lookin’ At?

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In order to slow down climate change, we must solve four seemingly unsolvable problems.  We must eliminate poverty.  We must change the unsustainable lifestyles of so many of us.  We must abolish corruption.  And we must think about our growing human population.  There are 7.7 billion of us today, and by 2050, the UN predicts there will be 9.7 billion.  It is no wonder people have despaired.  But I believe we have a window of time to have an impact.
  —  Jane Goodall
From her opinion / article: “The devastation of climate change is real.  But there are reasons to be hopeful
The article appears in: “Time Magazine“,  dtd:  September 23, 2019
The article is online at:  https://time.com/5669043/jane-goodall-climate-change/
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On This Day In:
2019 No Escape
2018 Except When It Is From The Oval Office
2017 Bad Karma
2016 Poor Management Choices
2015 Is It Still Dark Out?
2014 Rule One
2013 Spelling God’s Name
2012 Love Your Life And Sing
Feeling Under the Weather?
2011 Cheers, Friend!

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Whoever fixes his eyes upon himself gives no light.
  —  St. Thomas Aquinas
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On This Day In:
2019 Tonight I Am All Blacks
In All Its Messy Complexity
2018 Danger = Opportunity
2017 True And Great
Sand At The Beach
2016 There Is A Difference Between Dangerous And Frightening
2015 Always A Goal
2014 Standing Strong
2013 Shaken And Stirred
The Bird With The Broken Wing
2012 Friends In High Places
2011 Objective Independence

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Chronology:
2016:  In the 2016 California primary I supported (and voted for) Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton.  After almost 30-plus years of poisonous lies, I just didn’t believe Hillary (a conservative and imminently qualified Democrat) could defeat a Republican.  And, in all honesty, I also felt there would be a large anti-“female for President” vote.  I was surprised to see Hilary win the popular vote outright, but I knew she would not be President when she lost Florida (6:00pm PST).  The bottom line was Hillary would simply not have sufficient votes in the Electoral College to win.  This meant the election would go to the House of Representatives, which (at that time) was controlled by the Republicans.  This meant (to me) House Speaker (Paul Ryan) who was the Vice-Presidential Republican candidate in the 2012 election, would be elected president.  As it turned out, the “Rust Belt” Democrat fire-wall collapsed and Trump won the electoral count outright and became President despite losing the popular vote by over 3 million votes.  I thought, and still believe, Hillary was the better candidate, but Bernie had the policies I was more aligned with.  So I bought the t-shirt and voted for him.  When Hillary eventually became the candidate, I bought the t-shirt and supported / voted for her.
April 2019:  I hear Mayor Pete get interviewed.  While I still agree with all of Bernie’s policies, I continue to feel he is not electable and more importantly – he is NOT a Democrat.  The lesson of 2008 to 2010, is if you take the eye off the ball, the party will lose local and state elections and the country’s progress will slow (or stop).  The bottom line is (was) while I agree with almost all of Bernie’s policies, I don’t like him as a “Democrat” candidate.  So, I bought the t-shirt and have supported him with small donations when possible.  I told my daughter who objects I can’t support him because Pete is un-electable.  I asked why and she replied, “because he’s openly gay!”  I had to search my soul, but in the end I decided that didn’t matter to me.
Saturday: 29 February 2020:  former Vice-President Joe Biden rode overwhelming African-American support to a dominant win in South Carolina.
Sunday: 1 March 2020:  I go on the ActBlue website to donate to Senator Warren and Mayor Pete’s campaigns.  Pete because I intend to vote for him in the primary and Warren, because she more closely aligns with my personal policies.  I STILL don’t believe Bernie or Biden can carry the country.  I don’t want to out vote Trump and have him win the Electoral College again.
Monday:  2 March 2020:  My favored candidate (“Mayor Pete”) did badly in South Carolina and then he flies to Texas to throw his support behind Biden.  Amy Klobuchar, who also did badly in South Carolina, drops out of the race and throws her support behind Biden.
Tuesday: 3 March 2020:  I vote for Warren.  Maybe she can slow the Bernie train…  Bernie is NOT a Democrat and South Carolina is a blip – until it isn’t.  And then, it isn’t.  Joe steamrolls Bernie!
Wednesday:  4 March 2020:  I am thrilled Bernie has been stopped, but Warren has policies which are closer to my own, so I go to ActBlue and make another (small) donation to the Warren campaign.
Thursday:  5 March 2020:  Senator Warren throws in the towel.
I know I’m being a bit repetitive:  I am still more closely aligned with Bernie’s policies, but (again) I’m still not supporting Bernie…  I will be supporting Joe AND I will be buying a t-shirt AND voting in November!
The Future:
And now, my hope is that Biden can wrap the nomination process up quickly and we can get on with defeating Trump, holding on to the House and flipping the Senate.  Then, we will finally be able to make some progress in improving the United States for the working class and the middle class  —  and not just for the 1%.
My prediction is that the Democrats will win the Presidency and keep the House.  The Senate is a long shot, but possible.  I also predict which ever candidate we put forward, it will only be a one term Presidency.  This is due to the age of both of the Democratic finalists.  Which in turn means Joe (or Bernie) REALLY needs to select a woman to fill out the ticket.  For my 2 cents:  I would propose either Governor Gretchen Whitmer or Representative Katie Porter.  Of the two, Whitmer is the safest because we desperately need to flip Michigan back to blue in November.  (Remember the Electoral College…)  Porter is less “significant” for political reasons, but my casual observations of her have been her absolute brilliance in her job in the House.  The down side for Porter (of course) is that she would have to give up her position as the incumbent in her district and put her seat at risk.  I do not feel other Democratic Senators should be considered for the same reason as Porter – we can’t afford to lose them from their current positions (or they are too old to head the ticket in 2024).  Frankly, I am not impressed by either of the two most likely candidates:  Klobuchar or Harris.  I’m just not a fan of Klobuchar and I don’t think four years as VP will make Harris ready for the big chair – and, yes, I did vote for Harris for the Senate.
So, that’s where I stand for now…  Go Joe!!!
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On This Day In:
2019 But Yours
2018 And Smile More Often
2017 He’s Keeping The Light On For Us
2016 The Results Of Trying Too Hard
2015 Make Me Look
2014 Fresh Drink
2013 Good Business
2012 Unsure Spirit
2011 A Lost Valuable

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