Atlanta: The City Not Too Busy To Hate

When coming of age in the metro Atlanta area in the 1960’s the capital city of the Great State of Georgia was known as “the city too busy to hate.” This was reflected upon while reading an online article at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website. As often happens something was unintentionally found:

Four Things You Should Know about Atlanta

Andy Ambrose | Dec 1, 2006

“W.E.B. Du Bois once described Atlanta as “South of the North, yet North of the South.” As this observation suggests, Atlanta is not easily defined by regional characteristics. Geographically, it lies below the Mason-Dixon line and shares important historic, religious, and political ties with the rest of the South. Yet at times in its history the city’s orientation and behavior have been decidedly “unsouthern.”
https://www.historians.org/annual-meeting/past-meetings/supplement-to-the-121st-annual-meeting/four-things-you-should-know-about-atlanta

Inquiring minds want to know, for certain, who coined the term? The only name recalled who was constantly vilified at the time by my wrong-wing Republican relatives was Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen.

Creator: WSB-TV (Television station : Atlanta, Ga.)
Creator: HERBERT
Title: WSB-TV newsfilm clip of governor Ernest Vandiver and mayor William B. Hartsfield responding to the full-page advertisement “An Appeal for Human Rights” published in newspapers by a student civil rights group in Atlanta, Georgia, 1960 March 9
Date: 1960 Mar. 9
Description:

“In this WSB newsfilm clip from Atlanta, Georgia on March 9, 1960, Georgia governor Ernest Vandiver and Atlanta mayor William B. Hartsfield respond to “An Appeal for Human Rights,” a full-page advertisement published in each of the Atlanta daily newspapers by the All-University Student Leadership Group, a student-led civil rights organization. The clip’s audio breaks out at several points; comments by individuals may not be completely recorded. The clip begins with governor Ernest Vandiver’s critical response to “An Appeal for Human Rights.” Referring to the advertisement as a “left-wing statement,” Vandiver calls upon “those who would cause hatred, strife, and discord” in Atlanta and in Georgia to stop their actions which he believes will benefit no one. Next, Atlanta mayor William B. Hartsfield responds to the same document and calls Atlanta “a city too busy … to hate.”
http://crdl.usg.edu/export/html/ugabma/wsbn/crdl_ugabma_wsbn_42211.html?Welcome&Welcome

I thought it nice our city was thought of as “A city too busy to hate.” Unfortunately, there was still too much hate, no matter how busy was the city. Seems there is still too much hatred in Atlanta.

‘Wuhan Plague’ plaques found on Atlanta businesses, streets

https://www.ajc.com/rf/image_lowres/Pub/p11/AJC/2020/04/22/Images/wpsign.jpg_web.jpg

By Raisa Habersham, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hodgepodge Coffeehouse owner Krystle Rodriguez received a text from her employee about the sign: a round plaque glued to her Moreland Avenue building outside her restaurant depicting Winnie the Pooh eating a bat with chopsticks below the words “Wuhan Plague.”

The signs have been popping up around East Atlanta on a variety of buildings and fixtures. Atlanta Police Department’s Homeland Security Unit, which investigates bias-motivated crimes, has been notified about the signs but so far no arrests have been made.

“It’s doing nothing but reinforcing really awful stereotypes,” said Rodriguez, who posted a photo of the sign on her social media page to mixed reactions. “I have Asian American friends that said it’s allergy season and they’re afraid to sneeze in public because of all of the hate speech.”

Asian Americans have reported increased harassment around the globe since the novel coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China. Asians make up 4% of Atlanta’s population, according to U.S. Census data.

Advancing Justice-Atlanta, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the civil rights of Asian American communities in Georgia and the Southeast, called the signs “hateful and dangerous rhetoric (that) has consequences.”

“Chinese Americans and those perceived to be are now victims of violence,” the organization said in a statement. “These plaques are the latest incident to harass the Asian American community and it is important we all condemn it. Hate has no place here.

For the past week, Atlanta police have received calls about the signs, which appear to be small, bronze-colored plaques that are glued in place. According to three police reports, the first was seen April 13 on an electrical box in front of 188 Waverly Way in Inman Park. Another was found on April 16 on a city lamp post near the intersection of Wylie and Flat Shoals in Reynoldstown. A third was found on the Candler Park Market on April 18.

Owners for One Moreland, the building where Hodgepodge is located, turned in a video of the sign to Atlanta police.

Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos said the department’s Homeland Security Unit has been notified about the plaques, but added they don’t appear to meet the criteria for a bias crime.

“If someone were to be identified as placing them, any charges would have to be looked at on a case-by-case basis, depending largely on whether any damage was done to the property to which the medallion is being affixed,” Campos said.

For the plaques to be considered a bias crime, there must be evidence the crime was committed based on the victim’s race, religion, sex, or another identifier. Because Georgia doesn’t have a hate crime statute, police would have to confer with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office before they could prosecute the case under federal hate crime laws.

Animator and muralist Rod Ben, 35, of Tucker, said the plaques overt Asian metaphors invite people to place blame for the coronavirus on those from Asian countries and Asian American residents.

“No one feels safe,” said Ben, who is Cambodian and Vietnamese. “I’m worried for my parents going to the grocery store. Even older people are being harassed and attack, and if you’re not going to leave old people alone, where is (the harassment) going to stop?”

Ben also took his daughter out of daycare because he was worried about the way people looked at her during the pandemic.

“Yes, we’re Asian, but we’re Asian Americans. I’ve never been to China,” he said. “To make these connections based on what someone looks like is crazy. It’s the first time some of us have considered buying a gun because we don’t feel safe.”

“People have gotten on me for not wearing a mask and some immediately see me and move, which is good because you should be social distancing,” Ben said. “But when I see other people walking past them and they don’t react that way, I can only come to the conclusion that they’re scared of me.”

While no arrests have been made in the incidents, Rodriquez and Ben both hope the culprits get more education about xenophobia and how it affects people.

“We need to have more of a nuanced conversation about what’s really going on,” Rodriquez said. “I think more than anything there needs to be a real conversation about how powerful words and ignorance can be.”
https://www.ajc.com/news/local/wuhan-plague-plaques-found-atlanta-businesses-streets/b9takSWmtKqfqai7wAk8iL/

Virus Hits Hard Across Georgia

By Alan Judd

Confirmed cases up 472%; Death rate climbing

Georgia is under a particularly brutal siege from the novel coronavirus, a situation unlikely to end for weeks or even longer
https://epaper.ajc.com/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=&pubid=8e0858ee-1443-484d-9e94-f8b8a1eaaaff

This can be found on the front page of the Friday, March 27, 2020 Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Unfortunately for Georgians this, too, can be found on the front page:

Governor says drastic measures not yet needed state wide

I cannot help but wonder what percentage the number of cases would have to increase for the thief who stole the election by suppressing the vote to enact “drastic measures.” It will come as no surprise to learn Brian Kemp is a Republican. Any sane person would see what is happening around the country and do everything in his power to PREPARE for what is coming, if not already here.

In addition, how many have wondered what would be happening if Stacey Abrams

https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2018/11/16/ap_18297031086595_wide-86dca0aea0b8747418527785a2921fcc29145ee9-s700-c85.jpg

https://www.npr.org/2018/11/16/668753230/democrat-stacey-abrams-ends-bid-for-georgia-governor-decrying-suppression

had become Governor of the Great State of Georgia? How many wonder how different things would be if Hillary Clinton

https://img.thedailybeast.com/image/upload/c_crop,d_placeholder_euli9k,h_1440,w_2560,x_0,y_64/dpr_2.0/c_limit,w_320/fl_lossy,q_auto/v1583473595/NUP_190326_0346_dko2bs

had not been cheated out of victory by Russian interference, and those traitorous scoundrels who welcomed, and used, assistance from the nefarious Russians?

 

 

12-Year-Old Atlanta Girl Fighting For Her Life

12-year-old girl with coronavirus is on a ventilator and fighting for her life

CNN Expansion, Mel Alonso

By Amara Walker, Alta Spells and Melissa Alonso, CNN

Updated 11:35 AM ET, Sun March 22, 2020

(CNN ) Emma, a 12-year-old girl, is “fighting for her life” in an Atlanta hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus, according to her cousin.
Justin Anthony told CNN that Emma was diagnosed with pneumonia on March 15 and tested positive for coronavirus on Friday night. As of Saturday, she was on a ventilator and is currently in stable condition, Anthony said.
Emma had no pre-existing conditions. She has not traveled recently and it’s unknown how she contracted the virus, according to Anthony.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta-Scottish Rite Hospital confirmed that a current patient tested positive for Covid-19, though it declined to go into details.

“The patient remains in isolation, and we have consistently used appropriate precautions. Additional details will not be released due to patient privacy laws,” said hospital spokeswoman Jessica Pope.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/22/us/georgia-coronavirus-girl-hospitalized/index.html

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Children’s Healthcare confirmed the hospital has one COVID-19 patient in isolation but declined to provide any details citing federal privacy laws. The AJC is not identifying the child’s last name and limiting identifying details to protect the family’s privacy.

https://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt–politics/coronavirus-hits-young-girl-police-officer-prison-inmates/wpKuDMioCGARgyqXw6Ow4L/

Waffle House Persona Non Grata

I was born in the back seat of a 1949 Ford convertible on the way to Emory Hospital. By the time we arrived my Mother and I were “we”. I am a Southerner from the Great State of Georgia. I am from Georgia in the same way General Robert E. Lee

https://www.battlefields.org/sites/default/files/styles/scale_crop_380x370/public/thumbnails/image/Robert%20E.%20Lee.jpg?itok=E4pGZMk_

was from Virginia. When push came to shove, General Lee went with his state because at that time the states may have been “United” but the state was still paramount. This changed after the War of Northern Aggression. The states became “united.” In order for US to become united the northern people came south, devastating the Southern region, laying waste to any and everything in their path, while perpetuating war crimes against Southern civilians.

(https://www.amazon.com/War-Crimes-Against-Southern-Civilians/dp/158980466X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3SSVK3Y3IZ3P6&keywords=war+crimes+against+southern+civilians&qid=1584900345&s=books&sprefix=war+crimes%2Caps%2C162&sr=1-1)

I am proud to hail from the South. An article years ago detailed a survey which found that out of all the regions of the United States, people from the South most identified with their region. The survey made no distinction between the skin color. Some years ago I was waiting for an order at Captain D’s. It was Senior day and the music playing was from the era of my youth. The tunes happened to be  Motown music. Before rock & roll we listened to the sounds emanating from Motown. I noticed an older gentleman with dark skin, also waiting for his order, tapping his feet. Thing is, I, too, was tapping my feet. The song was:

I said something to the man about the song just as this song, which means more than a little to me, because Otis Redding

is from Macon, Georgia, which we discussed. It was also the song playing in the car as I “made out” for the first time,with the daughter of the Band leader at our high school. Since we were about the same age there was much to discuss, so we sat together and ate our lunch while conversing. We talked about the things we had in common, such as listening to the same music and eating the same food, etc. When finished he said, “Sir, you have made my day.” The reply was, “Back at ‘cha!”

Waffle House is one of the restaurants founded in Georgia. The original Waffle House museum is within a short drive from where I sit. Another restaurant originating in Georgia is Chik-Fil-A. I came of age within a short drive from the original Dwarf House,

located in Hapeville, the home of Delta Air Lines. It would be impossible to count the number of times I ate at that particular restaurant. Favorites were the Steak Plate and the Hot Brown.

https://thechickenwire.chick-fil-a.com/inside-chick-fil-a/dwarf-house-serving-the-soul-for-70-years

At one time or another I have been seated at each and every one of those seats.

Moe’s Southwest Grill originated here, too. The original location on Peachtree Street in Buckhead

Photo of Moe's Southwest Grill - Atlanta, GA, United States

was within a very short walk from an apartment shared with the love of my life. There is a Moe’s within walking distance of the apartment in which I currently reside. At the end of Ken Burns

https://img.thedailybeast.com/image/upload/c_crop,d_placeholder_euli9k,h_2459,w_4372,x_0,y_0/dpr_1.5/c_limit,w_1600/fl_lossy,q_auto/v1584842042/200322-hitt-ken-burns-hero_pr5o6u

https://www.thedailybeast.com/ken-burns-on-how-the-coronavirus-pandemic-is-not-history-repeating-itself?ref=home

series, The Civil War, for PBS, the author Shelby Foote

https://gardenandgun.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/GG0211_Books_01-869x1100.jpg

Shelby Foote’s War Story

mentions something a young invading soldier asked a boy far too young to be fighting, holding a piece of wood cut in the shape of a rifle, a question. “Why are you fighting?” The reply was, ’cause ya’ll down he’ar.” I am writing this because I’m “down he’ar.”

The article which follows is being printed in it’s entirety, without comment, so you will understand why I will never, ever, set foot in a Waffle House. The ‘thinking’ demonstrated by Joe Rogers Jr., the 73-year-old sole board member of the nearly 2,000 restaurant chain is the reason our United States will be devastated in the days to come. I am willing to wager my life that this Fool In Power is a Republican.

Waffle House chairman criticizes coronavirus limits on businesses

https://www.ajc.com/rf/image_lowres/Pub/p11/AJC/2020/03/19/Images/newsEngin.25485256_081818-Waffle-House-introTAH_1387.jpg

The chairman of Waffle House, a chain known for getting its restaurants back up and running after natural disasters, is worried that many political leaders are headed down the wrong path as they battle the coronavirus outbreak.

Recent mandates, such as banning in-restaurant dining and closing some businesses, are “totally out of proportion,” said Joe Rogers Jr., the 73-year-old sole board member of the nearly 2,000 restaurant chain based in Norcross.

“American leaders have to lead people through ruinous times, but leaders don’t lead people to ruin,” he said later, warning that many large and small businesses might not survive.

Rogers has urged elected officials in Georgia to not adopt tough restrictions similar to those imposed on businesses in other states. His remarks came before a Thursday announcement by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms

https://www.atlantaga.gov/Home/ShowPublishedImage/8314/636506862088230000

 Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms

60th Mayor of the City of Atlanta

that she had signed an executive order temporarily barring in-restaurant dining and closing down nightclubs, gyms, movie theaters, live music venues and bowling alleys in the city.

In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Rogers also bemoaned “doom and gloom” talk from the White House. “Any leader in the world that was dealt this hand might not have played it any better,” Rogers said of the president, “but we have to play it better going forward.”

Federal, state and local political leaders “are trying to do the right thing,” he said.

The Waffle House chairman said Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has shown appropriate restraint.

The governor has asked people to remain home as much as possible and avoid public gatherings. But Kemp hasn’t ordered statewide shutdowns of businesses and events, saying in an interview with radio station Q99.7, “I don’t know that our citizens would buy into that.”

Waffle House, which operates in 25 states, saw sales drop 25% last week, Rogers said. Now, as more states limit restaurants to drive through or to-go business, sales in some areas have fallen 60%. He said the chain will survive, though “we are going to lose money like crazy in this.”

The important thing, he said, is to remain open and keep pay flowing to the chain’s 40,000 workers, most of whom are hourly employees. If Waffle Houses are forced to close across broad areas, the company wouldn’t continue to pay employees who don’t work, Rogers said.

The company has increased sanitization efforts. It also is encouraging social distancing though “we haven’t taken out a tape measure,” he said. “We have let everybody eyeball their own reality.”

Waffle House doesn’t have the flexibility of some other chains, particularly fast food restaurants, such as Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A. Some of those already generate most of their sales via drive throughs. Waffle House has just one drive-through, near Stone Mountain.

https://www.ajc.com/news/national/waffle-house-chairman-criticizes-coronavirus-limits-businesses/Ze5Ee4EZOvoO2OFX8quloJ/

My father worked at the AJC before moving to the much more conservative, ill-fated Atlanta Times. I delivered the AJC before moving to the Times. Delivering the Sunday paper was a bitch.

Lock Kelly Loeffler Up!

Two United States Senators, Richard Burr, from North Carolina, and Kelly Loeffler, from Georgia, both Republicans, have been caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. Excerpts from an article written by The Editorial Board of the New York Times follow, with a focus on Senator Loeffler. Loeffler was appointed to the seat vacated by Johnny Isakson by the Republican Governor, Brian Kemp. Kemp obtained office by thwarting eligible voters from voting, even when called on to resign his position as Georgia’s Secretary Of State. It is the Secretary of State who controls voting, proving it’s not just who votes, but who counts the vote. (https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/11/02/its-not-just-who-votes-its-who-counts-the-votes/)
In Georgia, as in much of the South, this has just been ‘business as usual’. The woman has no background in government. Her only qualification is MONEY! I cannot help but wonder what it cost the woman to become US Senator? When the COVID-19 virus runs its course this will change because the volcano is rumbling as I write.

Kelly Loeffler should have already resigned the office of US Senator. Since she has not resigned, the woman should resign IMMEDIATELY! Read on and you will understand why…

https://www.ajc.com/rf/image_lowres/Pub/p10/AJC/2019/12/04/Images/120519%20loeffler_AP9.JPG

Kemp taps Kelly Loeffler, financial exec, to US Senate seat (https://www.ajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/breaking-kemp-taps-kelly-loeffler-financial-exec-senate-seat/cKraGpntwpFivAz0kYPFkL/)

Did Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler Profit From the Pandemic?

At least two senators engaged in suspiciously timed stock sales. All stock trades by members of Congress should be barred.

By The Editorial Board

March 20, 2020

Crisis often brings out the best in a people. As the coronavirus spreads its devastation, countless Americans are stepping up to perform acts of heroism and compassion, both great and small, to aid their neighbors and their nation.

Then there are certain not-so-inspiring members of the United States Senate.

Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, and Kelly Loeffler, Republican of Georgia, are in the hot seat this week, facing questions about whether they misused their positions to shield their personal finances from the economic fallout of the pandemic, even as they misled the public about the severity of the crisis. According to analyses of their disclosure reports filed with the Senate, the lawmakers each unloaded major stock holdings during the same period they were receiving closed-door briefings about the looming pandemic.

These briefings were occurring when much of the public still had a poor grasp of the virus, in part because President Trump and many Republican officials were still publicly playing down the threat. Instead of raising their voices to prepare Americans for what was to come, Mr. Burr and Ms. Loeffler prioritized their stock portfolios, in a rank betrayal of the public trust — and possibly in violation of the law.

It is unclear precisely what information about the pandemic either Mr. Burr or Ms. Loeffler received in the briefings before their stock sales. But any use of nonpublic information in guiding such dealings would have been not only unethical but almost certainly illegal. Lawmakers and their aides are explicitly barred from using nonpublic information for trades by the STOCK Act of 2012 (the acronym stands for Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge). Mr. Burr of all people should know this, since he was one of only three senators to vote against the bill.

As chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Mr. Burr is privy to classified information about threats to America’s security. In February, his committee was receiving regular briefings about the coronavirus. He is also a member of the Health Committee, which, on Jan. 24, co-sponsored a private coronavirus briefing by top administration officials for all senators.

Ms. Loeffler, who also sits on the Health Committee, is in a similarly sticky situation. On the very day of the committee’s coronavirus briefing, she began her own stock sell-off, as originally reported by The Daily Beast. Over the next three weeks, she shed between $1,275,000 and $3.1 million worth of stock, much of it jointly owned with her husband, who is the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. Of Ms. Loeffler’s 29 transactions, 27 were sales. One of her two purchases was of a technology company that provides teleworking software. That stock has appreciated in recent weeks, as so many companies have ordered employees to work from home.

Early Friday, Ms. Loeffler issued a statement asserting that neither she nor her husband is involved in managing her portfolio.

Even as she was shedding shares, Ms. Loeffler was talking down the threat of the coronavirus. “Democrats have dangerously and intentionally misled the American people on Coronavirus readiness,” she tweeted on Feb. 28, assuring the public that the president and his team “are doing a great job working to keep Americans healthy & safe.”

As anxiety spread, she talked up the economy. “Concerned about the #coronavirus?” she tweeted on March 10. “Remember this: The consumer is strong, the economy is strong & jobs are growing, which puts us in the best economic position to tackle #COVID19 & keep Americans safe.”

Faced with calls for his resignation from across the political spectrum, Mr. Burr on Friday issued a statement insisting that his stock sales had been based solely on public information and that he had asked the Senate Ethics Committee to “open a complete review of the matter with full transparency.”

There is pressure for Ms. Loeffler to step down as well, and the recent stock dealings of other senators are now being dissected — as well they should be.

One might have expected lawmakers to be more circumspect about even the appearance of self-dealing after what happened to the Republican Chris Collins, the former congressman from New York, who was sentenced to 26 months in prison earlier this year after pleading guilty to insider trading charges. While at a White House picnic in June 2017, Mr. Collins repeatedly called to alert his son that a small pharmaceutical company in which the family was deeply invested had failed a critical drug trial. Based on the not-yet-public information, Mr. Collins’s son unloaded his holdings in the company, avoiding hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.

“What I’ve done has marked me for life,” Mr. Collins said tearfully at his sentencing hearing in January.

Apparently, more needs to be done to protect lawmakers from themselves. Last May, two Democratic senators, Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, introduced legislation requiring members to place personal investments in a blind trust, or hold off on making any trades, during their time in office. They would also be prohibited from serving on corporate boards.

There may, of course, be perfectly reasonable explanations for what, initially, appears to be illegal — and morally reprehensible — behavior. Mr. Burr and Ms. Loeffler deserve the opportunity to provide those explanations. The Senate should initiate an ethics investigation of all accusations, and, if warranted, refer relevant findings for criminal prosecution

That said, explicit criminality aside, the real scandal here is the way in which these public servants misled an already anxious and confused public. In times of crisis, the American people need leaders who will rise to the occasion, not sink to their own mercenary interests.

Jimmy Carter Calls For Georgia Secretary Of State’s Resignation In Personal Plea

https://www.npr.org/2018/10/29/661727605/jimmy-carter-calls-for-georgia-secretary-of-states-resignation-in-personal-plea

Sen. Kelly Loeffler denies allegations of insider trading

https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/sen-kelly-loeffler-denies-allegations-of-insider-trading

Potential conflicts of interest pose test for Kelly Loeffler, new Georgia senator

https://www.ajc.com/news/national-govt–politics/super-swampy-kelly-loeffler-faces-tricky-ethical-dilemma-senator/kigrORhkXTkRNkNmESAIKL/

Sen. Kelly Loeffler Dumped Millions in Stock After Coronavirus Briefing

https://www.thedailybeast.com/sen-kelly-loeffler-dumped-millions-in-stock-after-coronavirus-briefing

 

We Need Time to Absorb All This

Everyone is thinking through the reality of the coronavirus pandemic and how to rise to the occasion.

By Peggy Noonan
March 19, 2020 7:41 pm ET

https://images.wsj.net/im-166903?width=1260&size=1.5

 

Times Square in New York, March 19.

Photo: lucas jackson/Reuters

 

This is a quick piece that touches on where we are, where we may be going, and an attitude for the journey.

The screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan once said the films of Akira Kurosawa were distinguished by this dynamic: The villain has arrived while the hero is evolving. That’s what made his films great, the sense of an implacable bad guy encountering a good guy who is alive, capable of changing, who is in fact changing because of and in order to beat back the bad guy and make things safe again.

The villain is here in the form of an illness. A lot of the heroes of this story are evolving every day into something we’ll look back on months and years hence and say, “Wow, LOOK what she did.” “What guts that guy showed.” People are going to pull from themselves things they didn’t know were there.

But now, at this stage in the drama, most of the heroes are also busy absorbing. We are all of us every day trying to absorb the new reality, give it time to settle into us.

It’s all so big. We are discovering the illness as we experience it. We don’t know its secrets, how long it lasts, how long its incubation, whether you can be reinfected.

As for the economics: As the month began we had functional full employment. By the time it ends we will not, not at all. In the past week layoffs and let-gos have left state unemployment claim websites crashing. This is not “normal job disruption”; it is a cascade. The Treasury secretary reportedly said unemployment could hit 20%.

The market gains of the Trump era have been all but wiped out. Investors are selling gold. From this paper’s editorial Thursday: “American commerce is shutting down right before our eyes with no end in sight.” Flights are empty, hotel occupancy plummeting.

Where we are is a hard, bad place, stupid to deny it. Where we’re going looks to be difficult.

It’s a cliché to say we haven’t ever had a moment like this (a plague, a crash), but it’s true. As for New York, twice in 20 years we’ve been ground zero, epicenter of a national tragedy. Will we get through it? Of course. But it will change things, and change us, as 9/11 did.

The governmental instinct is right: stabilize things while everyone’s absorbing. Whatever is done will probably be an unholy mess. Do it anyway and see where we are. In the long term the best plan—the only plan—is one that attempts to keep people in their jobs. Meaning look to European models on how to help businesses hold on to their people.

There are a million warnings out there on a million serious things. We add one: Everything works—and will continue to work—as long as we have electricity. It’s what keeps the lights on, the oxygen flowing, the information going. Everything is the grid, the grid, the grid.

A general attitude for difficult times? Trust in God first and always. Talk to him.

Every time America’s in trouble I remember Adam Smith’s words. He wrote there’s “a great deal of ruin in a nation.” Especially a very great and prosperous one with a brilliant system and a creative citizenry.

And see this: We are surrounded by nobility.

Mike Luckovich

had a cartoon this week of the Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima. Only it wasn’t Marines—it was a doctor, a scientist, a nurse and a first responder anchoring Old Glory in this rocky soil.

https://www.ajc.com/rf/image_large/Pub/p11/AJC/2020/03/18/Images/mike0319_20200318182719.jpg

It was hokey and beautiful and true. In the next few weeks and months they’ll get us through and we should thank them every way possible. That includes everyone who can’t work at home, the cops and firefighters, the garbagemen and truckers, the people who stock the shelves and man the counters. A nurse told me Thursday that hospital workers all see themselves as sitting ducks for infection, but no one’s calling in sick. A journalist friend said maybe this will reorder things and we’ll start to pay people according to their real importance to society.

A personal note. As this is written I have been sick for two weeks. It started when I was finishing a column on Rep. Jim Clyburn—I got a chill and noticed the notepad on my knee was warm. The next night more chills, took my temperature: 101.

It may be a poorly timed ordinary virus, one of the dozen floating out there in America on any given day, or it may be the more interesting one.

But everything you’ve heard about the difficulty of getting a test is true. “There are none,” said my doctor. If he sent me to the emergency room, I wouldn’t meet their criteria. You can have every symptom, but if you answer no to two questions, you won’t be tested. The questions are: Have you traveled internationally? Have you recently been in contact with someone who tested positive?

My doctor instructed me to go home, self-quarantine, rest, report back. A week in, the fever spiked up, the headaches were joined by a cough and sore throat, and I called the local government number, where they couldn’t connect me to anyone who could help.

Everyone I dealt with was compassionate and overwhelmed. On day 12 my doctor got word of testing available at an urgent-care storefront on First Avenue. When I called I was connected to a woman in Long Island. She asked for my symptoms. Then: Have you traveled internationally? Have you had recent contact with anyone who’s infected? No and no. She said, “It’s OK, I’m sure they’ll accept you.” I could hear her click “send.” She paused and said, “I’m so sorry, you don’t meet the criteria.” By now we had made friends, and she was disappointed for me.

I said, “Let’s think together. Twelve days sick, almost all the symptoms, part of an endangered demographic.” Silence. Then a brainstorm. At this point I have known a person who’s tested positive; I saw him a while back; no one has defined “recently” because no one knows the incubation period.

I said: Can we do the interview again? She said, “Let’s go.”

She went down the list of questions, and when she said, “Have you recently had contact . . .,” I said, “I believe I can say yes.”

She said, “All right.” Silence as I listened to her tap the keys. “You meet the criteria,” she said, with the sweetest excitement.

And so Tuesday night I made my way (mask, gloves) to the urgent-care storefront, where I was tested by a garrulous physician’s assistant who said his office, or New York health authorities, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will get back to me with results in three to seven days. (Yikes.)

At this point I suppose it’s academic. If it’s positive, they’ll tell me to continue what I’m doing. But if hospitalized it would save time—presumably I wouldn’t have to be tested again. Also it would be nice to think I wasn’t just home sick, I was home developing fighting Irish antibodies spoiling for a fight.

I just want to get out and help in some way. Isn’t that what you feel? We all just want to pitch in.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/we-need-time-to-absorb-all-this-11584661302

 

Rudy
Supertramp
Produced by Supertramp & Ken Scott
Album Crime of the Century

[Verse 1: Rick Davies]
Rudy’s on a train to nowhere;
Halfway down the line
He don’t wanna get there
But he needs time

He ain’t sophisticated
Or well-educated
After all the hours he wasted-
Still he needs time

He needs time
He needs time for livin’
He needs time-
For someone just to see him

He ain’t had no lovin’
For no reason or rhyme
And the whole world’s above him

Well, it’s not as though he’s fat
Nah, there’s more to it than that
See he tried to play it cool;
Wouldn’t be nobody’s fool

Rudy thought
That all good things
Comes to those that wait
But recently
He could see
That it may come but too late

[Verse 2: Rick Davies & Roger Hodgson]
All through your life
All through the years
Nobody loved
Nobody cared
So dim the light
Dark are your fears
Try as I might
I can’t hold back the tears
How can you live?
Without love, it’s not fair
Someone said give
But I just didn’t dare
What good advice
Are you waiting to hear?
Hearing’s alright
For them that’s all there
Hearing’s alright

[Verse 3: Rick Davies & Roger Hodgson]
You’d better-
You’d better gain control now
You’d better show’em all now
You’d better make or break now
You’d better give and take now
You’ll have to push and shove now
You’ll have to find some love now
You’d better gain control now

[Outro: Roger Hodgson]

Now he’s just come out the movie-
Numb of all the pain
Sad, but in a while he’ll soon be
Back on his train
https://genius.com/Supertramp-rudy-lyrics

 

A Sign of the Times

Coping with Crisis

In the first half, occult historian Mitch Horowitz

(https://mitchhorowitz.com/) discussed how to remain focused, positive, and effective during the world crisis and pandemic. As we face the coronavirus situation, we have to be careful not to give in to panic, he cautioned, as this is something that can create a “psychological pandemic” of its own. By hoarding or overbuying groceries and supplies, we may be taking away items from people in need, and sending the wrong lessons to our kids, he remarked. We should be practicing solidarity with our neighbors, and grace under pressure, he continued, as well as showing gratitude for those who are assisting others and keeping things running.
https://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2020/03/12

Shopper wheeled out on stretcher after fight at metro Atlanta Sam’s Club

A fight at a metro Atlanta Sam’s Club on Thursday evening that triggered a multiagency police response is also the subject of a viral video circulating on social media.

According to Paulding County authorities, sheriff’s deputies and Hiram police officers responded to a fight call at the warehouse store on Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway about 7:30 p.m. after at least one customer was injured.

A cellphone video taken inside the store appears to show several people tussling on the floor of the wine aisle as an employee in a green vest tries to break them apart. Some kind of liquid is spilled on the floor.

BREAKING: A man was stabbed with a wine bottle over a pack of water at a Sam’s Club in Hiram. 😳😳😳😳pic.twitter.com/KV5X7MiKpO
— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) March 13, 2020

Onlookers gather as the scene grows chaotic, and many can be heard screaming and voicing their disbelief.

In another video, a man is shown being wheeled out of the store on a stretcher while a deputy asks shoppers to move out of the way.

The videos have since been shared on Twitter via Everything Georgia, an aggregated news and original video sharing account with more than 1.5 million followers.

Investigators believe the fight started when two customers bumped shopping carts, Hiram police spokesman Sgt. Edwin Ivey told AJC.com. It “eventually escalated into them hitting one another with wine bottles,” he said in an email.

https://www.ajc.com/news/breaking-news/shopper-wheeled-out-stretcher-after-fight-metro-atlanta-sam-club/EX3gLqM9TL5ySHgtPoALsJ/