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Jack is a graduate of Rutgers University where he majored in history. His career in the life and health insurance industry involved medical risk selection and brokerage management. Retired in Florida for over two decades after many years in NJ and NY, he occasionally writes, paints, plays poker, participates in play readings and is catching up on Shakespeare, Melville and Joyce, etc.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Gerson on Pandemic Control, Supreme Court Rulings, Frequency of Testing and News from the Butterfly Garden

Supreme Court Decisions

Two Supreme Court rulings this morning said that Trump’s financial records have to be made available to the Grand Jury investigating him in New York, but they do not have to be made available to the Congressional committees investigating him.  Availability of these financial records to the public may remain unresolved by the upcoming election.  But when they are, ex-President Trump (a certain loser in November) will be a private citizen and subject to civil and criminal litigation, just like you and me.   Michael Cohen, move over!  You may have a roommate next year!


Here is an excerpt from a recent column by Republican conservative columnist Michael Gerson, addressing the control of the Coronavirus. 

”The successful control of disease is ultimately a matter of individual behavior. To improve such behavior on a large scale requires a consistent message from all the commanding heights of a culture — the medical profession, the government, the church and the media.

But the government (see Trump), the church (see Trump’s evangelical enablers) and the media (see Fox News and talk radio) have encouraged broad skepticism about essential health measures. In the processthey have created a right-wing constituency for preventable death.

There are two options here. Either Americans will be rudely jerked toward sanity by the sight of rapidly filling graves, or leaders of determination and talent will rise above the self-destructive strife and make deliverance from illness and death a unifying national cause. The president has left this role vacant. It needs filling.” 

Michael Gerson is a columnist for The Washington Post and a former speechwriter and aide for President George W. Bush.

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Miami Marlins Seem to Know the Score Regarding Testing  - - - Do Our Schools?   Do You?

The Miami Marlins, scheduled to take part in an abbreviated 60 game schedule, want to make sure their players are not infected by the Coronavirus, and at risk of spreading it among other players.  With this in mind, they are testing their players for the virus EVERY OTHER DAY.  They know things can change rapidly.

Kids in School

If schools reopen next month, or whenever, we owe it to our children and the families they go home to each day to do as much, so that the presence of the virus among them can quickly be identified and the infected students isolated for the protection of all, including those with whom children associate after school hours.  Such frequent testing would be difficult and expensive, but if a baseball team's management deems it necessary, our School Boards should consider it..

And while on the subject of testing, as I recently pointed out, whether the Coronavirus Pandemic is spiking upwards, and if so to what extent, can only be determined if we know what percentage of the total number of individuals tested produced positive results.   If that percentage does not drop, or at least remain level, it means the spread of the infection continues unabated.

And even if the spread is controlled (social distancing and mask wearing can accomplish this), the number of those already testing positive unquestionably remains large, some of whom already have symptoms of Covid19, requiring medical care and/or hospitalization.  (Blame for this rests with those who promoted “opening up” before the virus was under control.  The imbeciles who did this, including the President and many Governors, are the cause and should be punished.) Most of those infected, fortunately, will remain symptomless.  Some, on the other hand, will not and some of them will die.  We must remember that all of them, with or without symptoms, tested or not, can pass on the virus.  That is the real danger.

·                     Wear a mask when out of your home.
·                     Wash you hands frequently.  
·                     Use disinfecting gels.
·                     If necessary to go outside of your home, observe social distancing.
·                     Ignore efforts to "reopen" businesses, bars, restaurants, etc. despite any governmental okay to do so.
·                     Pay no attention to anything Governor DeSantis or President Trump say on this subject.  They know nothing about this.  
·                     The best source of information is Dr. Fauci.

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News from the Butterfly Garden

Broadwing Zebra
Things are looking up in the Butterfly Garden, running along the entire south side of my home.  Take a look at it any warm sunny morning, preferably before noon, and you will see dozens of Broadwing Zebras, the State butterfly of Florida, a few Gulf Fritillaries (they are orange), and if you are lucky, a Polydamus Swallowtail (black with yellow trim along back wing tip.  If you see one, it is likely to be toward the back of the house) flitting around.

Even larger, and rarer, are the Giant Swallowtails, (black with yellow trim along both front and back wing tips), usually seen at northern corner of screened in patio.   Seeing one or two a month is par for the course.

Of the plants, the purple flowers on the maypop (passaflora incarnata) are beautiful and smell great.   There also are numerous caterpillars from which these butterflies evolve through a cocoon stage.  There even are Monarch caterpillars munching on the milkweed plants but seeing a Monarch butterfly (there had to have been some around for the caterpillars to be there) is a rarity.  Monarchs seem to be dying out throughout the country and my Butterfly Garden is no exception.

The large plant near the air conditioner compressor is a Senna.   It is there to attract Cloudless Sulphur butterflies.  I had seen one or two a few months ago, but thus far, there are no caterpillars on the plant.  The Broadwing Zebras love it, though.

Come take a look.  If you have time, try first googling the species I have printed in red and see what to look for in the Garden.

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