Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)

All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first].

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I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

So far, the Trump Administration has put ideology ahead of common sense

Dear Friend,
20 million Americans have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak. And nearly half of them have also lost the health insurance they got through their employer, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

The middle of a deadly pandemic is NOT the time to be without health insurance and access to affordable medical care.

An easy solution is staring us in the face. The Trump Administration can open up the federal marketplace, which 38 states belong to, and REQUIRE that ALL state Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces reopen now, so people can sign-up for the health insurance they need.

So far, the Trump Administration has put ideology ahead of common sense and refused to open the exchanges. 11 states and the District of Columbia did it on their own, allowing people to apply for coverage right away. But that leaves millions with no coverage -- and no access to affordable coverage.

Please sign today.

Thank you for all you do.


Richard Fiesta
Executive Director
Alliance for Retired Americans

Sign the petition: EVERY ACA exchange must reopen ACA enrollment to ensure everyone has access to healthcare amid the coronavirus pandemic

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

False Comparisons Promote Apathy and Complacency

Several attempts have been made to downplay and poo-poo the seriousness of the COVID-19 virus from the President's claim that it would be no worse than the flu to Dr. Phil comparing it to the number of annual drownings:
"So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu…" Trump March 9, 2020
“360,000 (deaths) a year from swimming pools. But we don’t shut the country down for that.”  Dr. Phil April 20, 2020
Dr. Phil misstated the number of deaths from drowning in pools by over 10 times the number of drownings. The actual number of deaths from drowning is about 3700 people and this is not limited to pool drownings. It includes lakes, rivers, suicides, boating accidents, and floods.
  • The first problem with these comparisons is that it is not even the end of April and COVID-19 has already surpassed the number of deaths annually from the flu and drownings in the US.
  • The second problem is that we go to great lengths to keep those numbers down research, awareness campaigns, education, etc., and in the case of the common flu vaccines, but we have nothing in place for COVID-19. The common flu comparison shouldn't be to today's death rates but to the 1957 (70,000 deaths) and 1918 (675,000 deaths) flu epidemics because the major contributing factor back then was, like today, the lack of a vaccine
  • The third problem is false comparisons. Comparing a contagious disease to drownings, suicides and traffic accidents, shark and bear attack deaths is ridiculous. Drowning isn't contagious. But for the record, COVID-19 has already passed those numbers too. The country is shut down because COVID-19 is contagious and we have no vaccine, tracking, or widespread testing.
    We have also surpassed the annual number for  The 1921-1925 Diphtheria epidemic, the 1906 Typhoid fever epidemic, and at this rate, COVID-19 will also surpass Kidney Disease and Diabetes annual deaths.

These comparisons are as counter-productive as the apathy, scapegoating, self-promotion,  and indecisiveness displayed by our presidential leadership. Our response at the national level is woefully lacking in comparison to the rest of the world.

Only 4 months passed and we are already at 45,000 deaths.
by GlennDL

To review weekly FactCheck updates on the COVID-19 virus see the "COVID-19 FACTCHECK ARCHIVE FEED" at the top of the left-hand column on this page.


Sunday, April 19, 2020

Some States Still Putting Seniors at Risk by Failing to Issue Stay-at-Home Orders

The current patchwork of state social distancing policies continues to threaten vulnerable populations, including older Americans. States that were late or continue to avoid enacting social distancing policies are more likely to be home to populations older than the national average, according to public health experts.
The idea of risking the health of older people and those working on the front lines to boost the overall economy has been endorsed by several conservative elected officials, including Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and this week, Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (IN).
“Besides the moral issues, this idea is dangerous,” said Joseph Peters, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “More infections and casualties will again grind the economy to a halt.”
Americans over the age of 50 years and older account for 40% of U.S. gross domestic product despite being 35% of the population.

U.S. Postal Service Threatened by Coronavirus Pandemic

Millions of Americans, especially retirees, rely on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for daily home delivery of mail, medicines and important goods and services no matter where they live. Like many institutions, the coronavirus pandemic has hit the Postal Service hard as business activity has slowed.

The federal government has approved hundreds of billions of dollars to help individuals, small businesses and big corporations. The House of Representatives sought to include relief for the Postal Service but it was not included in any of the stimulus bills passed so far. In March, the president personally rejected Postal Service funding and his administration even suggested it would block the Congressional stimulus package if it included help for the USPS, according to the Washington Post.

The Postal Service was given a loan, but it won’t be enough. Without more funding, the Postmaster General told Congress it will run out of money in September, just before a vote by mail and absentee voting for the 2020 presidential election gets underway.
“Our Postal Service is a vital American institution that has served our nation for more than
200 years,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance. “Congress can’t let it
White House rejects bailout for U.S. Postal Service battered by coronavirus


Friday, April 10, 2020

Payroll Tax Cut Scheme is a Severe Threat to Social Security

On Wednesday President Trump said he supported a permanent cut in the payroll tax which funds Social Security and Medicare, stating that even without the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis he would call for this cut. Senate Republicans have also suggested a payroll tax cut be part of any future economic stimulus package.

With record levels of unemployment, cutting Social Security and Medicare’s funding would extend the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic on these vital social insurance programs for decades.

“Advocating for a payroll tax is the latest evidence that the president has no intention of keeping his 2016 campaign promise of 'no cuts' to Social Security and Medicare,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance, in a statement. “The pandemic has disrupted all our lives and put the health of millions at risk. We will fight tooth and nail any attempt to use this crisis as a way to dismantle the retirement security of our earned benefits.”
                                                                                          source: Alliance for Retired Americans
Social Security Advisory Board Urges Action Amid Pandemic
On Monday, the Social Security Advisory Board sent a letter to Andrew Saul, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA), urging the agency to make sure Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries receive their stimulus payments quickly and automatically, rather than having to fill out special forms.

The Board’s mission is to provide the President, Congress, and the Commissioner with bipartisan guidance on how these programs can best provide economic security.

The Board is also asking the Commissioner to continue new representative payee reviews and other operational capabilities. Representative payees are appointed when a beneficiary cannot manage his or her benefits. SSA has decided to suspend these reviews, even though they are required by law.

“The Social Security Advisory Board is looking out for the millions of Americans who receive SSI benefits, to ensure they do not have to jump through unnecessary hoops to collect the money they need to survive,” said President Roach. “The SSA should follow its recommendations to help as many people as possible as quickly as possible.”

source: Alliance for Retired Americans

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Even a Broken Clock Is Right Twice a Day

Claims that Trump stands to profit from the promotion of the malaria/lupus drug Hydroxychloroquine as treatment of COVID-19 are mostly false.
The problem, in this case, isn't that he is motivated by potential profit but that his motivation is his Ego. He is desperate for a talking point victory that gives him the high ground on the COVID-19 issue that he has continually mishandled. His Ego has him grasping for anything that promotes his powerful intelligence and his incredibly perceptive level of commonsense. His need for attention and affirmation is compounded by his lack of focus and concentration. This leads him to obsess on the first thing that 'might' be a winner for him. Instead of becoming more informed and embracing the data and facts, he seeks out a tidbit that if correct, would distinguish him from the experts, thus making him the smartest person all along.
He is gambling on his gut feeling, wishful thinking, and the confidence that he is such a good liar that can turn a lie into the truth just by repeating it enough. It has worked for him in the past as a businessman and President. After all, he has misspoken so often and when questioned on it ten minutes later blatantly denied it, then doubled down with another lie, and another lie, and so on and so on…
Eventually, he gets something right, by chance more than anything, and thus he will emerge with that one truth, or half-truth that he and his supporters will grasp, enshrine, and promote as prophetic wisdom.

from PolitiFact:
"...randomized tests — the gold standard of medical evidence — have not been completed, and lack of rigorous testing of the drug as a treatment against coronavirus has led many medical experts to be more cautious than the president. Chloroquine has significant side effects, including damage to the heart and nervous system and suicidal thoughts.
• Already, an Arizona man died and his wife was hospitalized after self-administering a variant of chloroquine, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to send out a warning.
• Some people have health conditions that mean they shouldn’t take chloroquine because of potential side effects.
• A run on chloroquine could harm patients who are prescribed the drug to treat lupus and other diseases.
• Putting too much focus on one specific treatment could make Americans lax about following social distancing guidelines."


  • Even a Broken Clock Is Right Twice a Day
    Meaning: A person who is considered to be unreliable can still be right about something every once in a while, even if it is by accident. This phrase is also said as ‘even a stopped clock is right twice a day.’ (The word ‘broken’ is sometimes substituted for the word ‘stopped.’)
    From   /even-a-broken-clock-is-right-twice> 
  • "Trump’s financial stake in these companies is virtually negligible — contained indirectly via mutual funds — and administered through three family trusts he does not control. As a generic drug, hydroxychloroquine is unlikely to provide any one company with significant profits compared to other proprietary drugs."

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Trumps inability to focus, analyze and delegate has cost us dearly in regards to COVID-19.

FactCheck update/correction in blue/yellow (4-26-2020) GDL
The Trump administration* sent 18 tons of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to China In February 2020.
It is the nature of our national character for our country to reach out and help poorer countries when they are in a crisis and need help. That is why we would send PPE's at the outbreak of that crisis... and no one is actually criticizing the Trump administration for what our nation did in the face of this crisis in China.
The criticism is for what Trump did in the face of a crisis in America. He downplayed the coming crisis for weeks while poo-pooing the coming dangers. As the crisis worsened he deflected blame to everyone else and constantly contradicted, misled, and lied about the situation.

  1. South Korea had its first case of Covid19 on the same day as the United States. 
  2. By February South Korea had more cases than the US. 
  3. But South Korea managed to flatten its curve by March. 
  4. As of March 28th, the number of cases skyrocketed in the US but not South Korea. 

The total number of cases is relative to the size of the population and other factors but the size of a population does not affect the shape of the curve.
The South Koreans moved swiftly with decisive measures but the Trump administration did not.

Today, after all his blustering and self-congratulations, he is now grandstanding with claims that he really knew all along and didn't say the things he did say, and was acting behind the scenes as he tried to give a positive spin for the sake of morale. All evidence to the contrary his grandstanding has become an embarrassment.
The PPE shipment is more evidence that he didn't take the coming crisis seriously... if he or Secretary of State Pompeo were taking the threat seriously back in January, or February 1, why would they ship these PPEs on February 7? This would have been a valid time for "America First". This would have been the time to start getting PPEs to the states, not China, instead of saying the states are on their own, he should have been supplying them.
What he's being criticized for is his early casual attitude, his downplaying the potential crisis, his attacks on other's who saw it as a real crisis saying they made it up, fake news, political hoax, his constant self-congratulation in a crisis, and his flip-flopping from one minute to the next.
The fact is if he had any clue, was reading his daily briefings instead of twittering, or truly realized the coming nightmare he would have been criticizing the impeachment hearings for distracting from the crisis THEN, not now. He would have been criticizing the Dems for still campaigning, NOT still going out on the campaign trail himself. He would have stopped that shipment then, NOT letting it go through.
 It's Nero fiddling while Rome burned all over again'

"Like many other populist leaders around the world—including Donald Trump in
the The United States, Jair Bolsanaro in Brazil, and Imran Khan in Pakistan—Mexican 
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has mostly taken a dangerously
dismissive and outright irresponsible attitude toward the coronavirus…" ***

*by the Trump administration we mean Trump. Correction. While the State Department did facilitate the delivery of the 17 tons it was not 'our' supplies that were being sent. These were donated supplies. This added distinction does not take away or negate the point of this article.

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