American Elephants


And Just What Will Actually Prevent Another Tragedy? by The Elephant's Child

Disgusting.  Prominent Lefties are preying on traumatized kids. What could be more useful than a crusade by the children who survived a massacre to see their friends shot down, to further the Leftist goal of gun control? George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfree (of course), Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg have each pledged  $500,000 to the student gun control “March for Our Lives.”

Two million dollars can certainly pay for a lot of school buses and hotel accommodations. It probably could have paid for a significant number of metal detectors, or a fund for school guards, but the emotional weight of traumatized kids is more valuable to push for “gun control.” And just what sort of personal protection do each of these fat cats have? Body guards? Guards for their residences? Electronic devices? Of course.

What lefties fail to understand is that ordinary Americans oppose gun control, not out of a passion for the NRA, but because gun control simply does not work. It has been tried over and over in many cities,and  many countries, and the shootings go on.  A new favorite weapon is a truck. You can mow down a lot of people with a truck. Google the Nice attack.

Most of our public buildings are protected.  The capitol in Washington D.C. is thoroughly guarded. Every Federal building is guarded. Our State houses have metal detectors and guards. Courthouses have metal detectors and guards. Schools often have Gun Free Zones.

CNN has been urging the kids on, putting them on camera as often as possible. That is not only not healthy for the children, it is exploitative.  What is that doing to these kids lives? These teenagers were from 14 to 18 years-old.  Two years ago the 14 year-old was 12. Six years ago the 18 year-old was 12. They are still children and can contribute nothing useful to the conversation. We know that what they have been through will have a life-changing effect. Exhibiting them is a typical Leftist response—they want to use the emotion for their own purposes without a single thought or care for the welfare of the kids. That is what exploitation is.

It takes some time to study up, to familiarize oneself with guns, to study the statistics and see what is really happening. Much easier to start blathering about “assault weapons” and “AK 47s” without having any idea what they are and what their uses are.

Chicago has the strictest gun control regulations in the country, and the highest rate of murders and gun violence.The Chicago Police Department released statistics in January that show the number of homicides fell from 771  in 2016 to 650 last year. The number of shootings dropped from 3,550 to 2,785 during the same period. Baltimore has blamed their record high (more than 300) murder rate on lower Police presence. Lower police presence? The media made a great deal of the high-profile cases of police brutality, and police consequently backed off in neighborhoods.

The Left has gone into “overdrive” as John Hinderaker said at Powerline, demanding gun control, any gun control, same old proposals, none new and none that would have prevented the Parkland murders. The potential reforms lie in the areas of law enforcement and mental health, not banning firearms.

Leah Libresco is a statistician and former newswriter at FiveThirtyEight, a data journalism site.  She was a gun-control advocate until she and her colleagues at FiveThirtyEight spent three months analyzing all 33,000 lives ended by guns each year.

We looked at what interventions might have saved those people, and the case for the policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence. The best ideas left standing were narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns.

The Washington Post Editorial Board, very left, is a proponent of gun control, but deserves some credit for considering both sides of the debate. The goal of the Left does not seem to be in saving lives, but in banning guns, eliminating the Second Amendment, banning the NRA which donates to the GOP. They want to decriminalize crimes and reduce the prison population. That’s supposed to appeal to blacks in high-crime areas who may have family members in prison. When crime statistics go down, it is usually because more criminals are incarcerated. Repeat offenders are not unusual. The Left does not do statistics, they do feelings. And that is a problem.

(Michael Rameriz cartoon is not this year, but pertinent)

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“Kill Chic” by Victor Davis Hanson by The Elephant's Child


Kalashnikov AK47

If you read anything today, read this outstanding piece by Victor Davis Hanson, and share it with friends.

In movies, novels, music, and art, progressives murder their enemies, including presidents, in myriad ways.

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom.

We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping flesh, as if it is some sort of macabre ballet. Rap music has institutionalized violence against women and the police — to the tune of billions in profits, largely as a way for suburban kids to find vicarious street authenticity. And this idea of metaphorically cutting, bleeding, or shooting those whom you don’t like without real consequences has seeped into the national political dialogue.

For example, why does popular culture wink and nod at the widespread metaphorical killing of Republican presidents? Liberals used to believe that words mattered and images had consequences; the casual glorification of carnage trivialized violence and only made it more acceptable — and likely.

(More)



Here’s Why You Should Object To “Presidents’ Day” by The Elephant's Child

Today is officially President’s Day, in lieu of having to celebrate a birthday for each of the presidents, which is just silly. The people were delighted to have another 3-day weekend, and the unions could offer that to the people from whom they demand dues as a gift from them, or something like that. I’m an anti-President’s Day crank, and firmly believe that we should celebrate only Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays, unless someone turns out to be spectacular in some way, which is unlikely.

We’ve had a few very good presidents, and a lot of mediocre ones and a few really unfortunate ones. Presidents are merely normal human beings with ordinary human failings, who somewhere along the line got the bug to run for the presidency. Some, once infected, never get over it, like Harold Stassen and Hillary.

Today, as a few have reminded us, is a day that should live in infamy. It’s the seventy-sixth anniversary of the day Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066  in February, 1942, which rounded up about 120,000 American immigrants and American citizens of Japanese ancestry and sent them off to internment camps.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, people were afraid of an attack on the West Coast. Many regarded the Japanese-American population of California as a threat. They were forcibly removed to ten “internment” camps. Most lost their homes and businesses. Immigration from Japan had been banned since 1924, and all Japanese immigrants were ineligible for citizenship.

Some people of German or Italian ancestry were also detained or interred, but most were already American citizens. Some were removed from coastal security areas, but authorities soon decided that Italians were not a problem. President Reagan made a public apology with the signing of the Civil Liberties Act of 1998 which spoke to Japanese Americans and members of the Aleut community. President George H.W. Bush pledg   es to “take a clear stand for justice and recognize that injustices were done to Japanese Americans during World War II.

Some people writing about this today have attempted to make a parallel with President Trump’s exclusion of refugees from Islamic states where terrorism is supported with the Japanese American internment, which is silly, by not surprising in the current atmosphere. The Left is currently in favor of open borders because new immigrants are inclined to vote for Democrats, because they favor more government assistance.  The Left’s  only interest is in power, more voters and a larger body-count for the next census in 2020 so they can dispose of the Electoral College.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt is usually judged by academic historians to be one of our greatest presidents, presumably because he was president during World War II, and we won. He made a mess of the Depression with constant tinkering and it was far longer and more damaging than it would have been otherwise. And then there was Yalta.



Gov. Inslee Wants to Save Us From Global Warming With a New Carbon Tax! by The Elephant's Child

While everyone’s attention was consumed with the Parkland, Florida shooting, we apparently had a visit from former Secretary of State John Kerry to advocate for our Washington governor Jay Inslee’s bright idea of a carbon tax.  Stupid tax, and extremely bad timing. The vote on the school levy here in King County was on Tuesday, the 13th. Don’t know how that has turned out yet, but it is close. They wanted lots of money to build new schools and give all the kids their own laptops. The following day, the new property tax bills arrived. Don’t try to tell anyone that those dates were an innocent accident. Adding another huge tax may seem like a good idea to the Democrats who always like higher taxes, but there are limits. The beautiful state of Washington is following California down the drain.

At the request of Gov. Jay Inslee, former US. Secretary of State John Kerry visited the state Capitol on Tuesday Feb. 13, to advocate for the governor’s proposed carbon tax.

Flanked by Inslee and several prominent Democratic lawmakers outside of the Capitol Legislative Building, Kerry Argued that, in the absence of action on climate change from President Donald Trump, states such as Washington need to independently pursue carbon-pricing  systems and investments in sustainable energy. “Washington has an opportunity to lead here and I can tell you that, as a former Secretary of State of our country, that the world is looking to the United States, the world believes in us and in what we’re trying to do” Kerry said.

The climate of the Earth has been changing for millennia. We have had warm periods and ice ages. The only place where there is dangerous carbon buildup making the climate warm alarmingly is in the computer programs of the climate ‘scientists’ who got new labs and assistants from government grants as a result of their computer results.

Unfortunately, we still can’t predict the future, and the Earth seems to be cooling slightly at present. Please pause and watch this video from Dr. William Happer, one of our most distinguished climate scientists.

Carbon dioxide, which we exhale, has increased slightly and caused a great greening of the earth. Better crops, forest growth, fewer starving people, fewer dying children. The polar bears are just fine and multiplying nicely. Consult Dr. Susan Crockford, expert on all things polar bear, excluding the goofy costumes worn by lefties at climate get-togethers.

Governors have been assisted over the years since 2008 or 09 by the guidance of the Center for Climate Strategies. I copied this bit down back in 2009:

You ration energy use and coerce the public into major lifestyle modification and we’ll help you to inflate your reputation with media attention and praise as a pragmatist.

They came from the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, offering software and training for quantification. tool kits, online resources, case studies, fact books, policy and practice manuals and guides on approaches. They added access to a professional network of peers list serves, newsletters, conferences, workshops and training workshops for staff and elected officials to implement long term emission reduction strategies and notice of grant opportunities.

The cities got CCP—Cities for Climate Protection, advocating a 20¢ tax on paper and plastic shopping bags (failed) to generate $10 million for the city to take effect 1/1/09.

I don’t know if they are still around and advising the governor and the City of Seattle, but they were in 2009. I have seen no signs that anyone in governance in our state is out there studying up on climate science, nor anyone even vaguely interested in just why President Trump would dare to ban our participation in the revered Paris Climate Accords. The answer is quite simple. At the end of the next 100 years the change in climate due to the Paris Climate Accords would be completely negligible.  But they were never intended to make a difference to the climate, only to transfer money from the rich nations to the poor, and promote world government.

You have probably noticed that those who advocate controlled borders and effective immigration laws are now referred to as “Nativists” and “Nationalists” and even more derogatory epithets. They seem to have declared war on us. At some point we should probably wake up and take notice.



If Banning Guns Won’t Work, What Should We Do? by The Elephant's Child

To reach a point where people can begin to talk sensibly about the problem of violence in our schools, you have to wait a while. Probably longer than this. All the people who have never held a gun, nor fired one, have time to insist that banning all guns is the answer. Unfortunately, it’s often the less they know, the more they sound off.

There are no reliable statistics that I could find on gun shootings in schools. Everytown for Gun Safety is an activist gun-banning group, and has listed every incidence when a gun has been discharged in or near a school in their statistics, including on school property when schools are not in session, which includes a suicide in his own car, that sort of thing, which has contaminated most lists.

There are some few sensible suggestions emerging. Most courthouses and state buildings have  metal detectors at their doors, and a guard inside to do something if a metal detector sounds off.  Interesting that government officials are ready to insure protection for themselves, but not for vulnerable students. So the first need is for some proper statistics enumerating the people who have attempted to attack school children as the most vulnerable and precious victims. This is not as easy as it should be. The United States is a big open country with all sorts of news outlets, some of them even reliable. Our news is reported as headlines in most other countries. Because we let it all hang out, so to speak, countries that are more sparing in what they tell the public are shocked by us.

Banning guns is everyone’s first choice, but will not change anything. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. The kid who was turned in by his grandmother this week because she read his journal, was not only talking about guns, but about making bombs at home.  If metal detectors at every entrance to a school are a good idea, then it detects as someone enters—and who responds to that and what do they do? Is it an armed guard? For every door? Or are all other doors but the main door locked, and checked to make sure they are locked? It gets complicated right off the bat, and needs to be thought through carefully.

The grandmother who called 911 after reading her grandson’s journal here in Snohomish County (Everett) just had to trust that the responders from 911 would know what to do. It would seem that adults in such a situation would be more apt to take action if they knew what and who to reach, and what would result.

It’s agreed that the FBI fouled up very badly by not following up on warnings they received about Nikolas Cruz. They had a definite warning call from someone who knew him and took his threats seriously. His father had died earlier, and his mother had died suddenly and recently from pneumonia. He was expelled from school. Police were reportedly called to the home some 39 times. That’s a remarkable number of red flags and call for help, to FBI and city police, but nothing happened, no one took him in for help. That suggests missing training in when red flags should go up, and in what avenues to follow. Is a jail cell the only answer? Taxpayers are supporting a vast array of agencies that are supposedly trained to deal with situations like these. School shootings are not as common as the gun-control advocates assume, but there have been others. Some of the attacks have been by adults which are a different situation.

Junior high and high school are difficult times for kids. They are dealing with  puberty, and sex education, that currently seems to tell them they they can be any sex they choose, when they are trying to figure out how to be popular like some other kids seem to be, having crushes, wanting to be good at sports or acting or singing or anything like other kids seem to be. Everybody remembers traumatic things from their own high school career. It’s a very emotional time, taking the first steps toward adulthood.

It has been widely, if quietly, reported that teachers are being attacked in their own classrooms, in many cases by unruly students. School districts do not want that to be reported so it is not frequently mentioned, but it happens, perhaps more frequently where there is gang activity. What is being done about that?

When a kid has acted up enough to be expelled from school, had the police called to his home 39 times, and  just lost his mother, that would seem to be a powerful call for help. You would have one very angry kid. What all of this suggests is that all those administrators that the taxpayers are supporting besides the teachers in the classroom, should be planning and working with other agencies to think through the possibilities and come up  with plans so people know what to do and who to call.

What about the kid who uses the internet to learn how to build a bomb? Or learns how to make Molotov cocktails?  Do we still have reform schools? There are a lot of quiet agencies who take on troubled kids in rural settings to straighten them out and set them on a better path. Very expensive. Military schools. Also very expensive. Can states and communities learn from them and put new programs for troubled kids in place? Some used to be encouraged to enlist in the military, and drill sergeants know a thing or two.

Banning assault weapons (aren’t those the scary looking guns with scopes and a military profile) and AK-47s sounds important, and accomplishes nothing at all. Countries that have really gone for banning guns have learned that it does not work. Our cities with the most restrictive gun laws are some of the most violent.



I Goofed. by The Elephant's Child

I see that I have once again been mistaken. President’s Day is this coming Monday, and I thought it was connected to Lincoln’s birthday rather than Washington’s. My tradition has been to recall the birthdays of the two rather than to celebrate the federal day off.  I apologize.



Some Premature Remarks on A Dreadful Tragedy by The Elephant's Child

Since it is way too early for any solid or real commentary on the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, naturally all the Lefties are running off at the mouth. Guns must be banned, of course, and the NRA banished forever. I finally realized why they are so frantic about the National Rifle Association. The NRA donates to Republicans.

Judd Apatow accused Trump of being “too much of a coward” to buck the NRA. Who is Judd Apatow? Is he some sort of celebrity? Chelsea Handler, whoever she is, said we must elect candidates who are not funded by the NRA who allow kids to go to school and get shot. Patricia Arquette, (the name is vaguely familiar), said that “If people can blame drug dealers for the drug problem then we can blame the NRA for the shooting problem.”  Utterly brilliant commentary. But typical.

I can’t forget our legislators, who are never shy about speaking out. Nancy Pelosi said “We have to be bold. We have to go forward. We cannot let the National Rifle Association—however they get their money and that’s another subject—to decide what the character of America is.” One would assume that the head of the NRA, whoever he is, did the shooting all by himself because he hates American children. Dianne Finestein reminded that she has a bill banning assault weapons.

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) made a speech on the floor of the Senate, apparently in the midst of the shooting. He said that Congress ‘ “inaction” is “responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else.”

As we speak, there is a horrific scene playing out at a high school in south Florida. Turn on your television right now, you’re going to see scenes of children running for their lives, what looks to be the 19th school shooting in this country, and we have not even hit March. I’m coming to the floor to talk about something else, but let me just note, once again for my colleagues, that this happens nowhere else, other than the United States of America. This epidemic of mass slaughter, this scourge of school shooting after school shooting. It only happens here, not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. We are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else.

That was too much for even the left-leaning Washington Post, which explained “No, there haven’t been 18 school shootings in 2018. That number is flat wrong.”

Guns are inanimate objects. Guns do not shoot people. People shoot people. America is a big open country, and we publicize all our faults as well as our triumphs. Guns have probably saved a lot more lives than were ever lost to gun violence.

Israel and Europe have had recent bunch of stabbings. Knives are also inanimate objects, useful in the kitchen and elsewhere, but deadly in the hands of someone intent on killing.

In Nice, France, a terror attack with a large white truck killed 84 people and injured many more on Bastille Day. A truck attack in London left 8 dead, but more than 40 injured, including children. There was a deadly truck attack in Jerusalem. A car was the lethal weapon in Melbourne, Australia. There was an attack with a vehicle in Manhattan on October 31st. And a truck attack in Barcelona, Spain, left 14 dead and 100 injured. So we should immediately ban trucks, cars, and the American Automobile Association.

The 18 year-old shooter is in custody, clearly a troubled kid. The FBI was warned about him last year.

Steve Scalise (R-LA), still recovering from being shot by an enraged  Democrat supporter of Bernie Sanders, said “don’t try to promote your agenda in the middle of a tragedy. One  magic law won’t stop shootings.”

Here in Washington State, authorities arrested an 18 year-old whose grandmother discovered his journal with detailed plans to shoot his high school classmates, and detonate homemade bombs at school, and she called 911.  This happened in Snohomish County on Tuesday.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that recognizing ‘signals and signs’ could prevent shootings, and he’s right.  I have never seen much discussion of the fact that the high school years are difficult and troubling for many kids. I don’t think I know anyone who has not been deeply affected by their years in high school. Making friends, falling in love, trying out for things and failing, finding the world increasingly difficult and confusing, and they are still very young and don’t know anything at all.

John Hinderraker has excellent premature observations.




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