American Elephants


Planned Protests, Anarchists, Baseball Bats and Hammers by The Elephant's Child

berkeley_riot-1486069721-1414The Riots at the University of California at Berkeley were also not spontaneous. The “Black Bloc” arrived well equipped with metal baseball bats, hammers and clubs, The Black Bloc is not a group, but a tactic adopted by anti-capitalists and anarchists. According to Discover the Networks, they view capitalism as an “intrinsically violent and repressive” system that “cannot be reformed or mitigated.” Who’s intrinsically violent and repressive? The damage is estimated at $100,000 and rumors indicate that the police were told to stand down. Whether campus police or town police, or if true, I don’t know. Clearly the anarchists were there.

Black Bloc is not an organization, but rather a protest tactic employed by anti-capitalists and anarchists. Clad in black helmets, black ski masks, and black garments to conceal their faces and whatever distinctive clothing they may be wearing underneath their dark coverings, Black Bloc radicals make their presence felt by participating in all manner of left-wing demonstrations against free-market capitalism and Western culture; they generally are far outnumbered by fellow protesters who, while like minded, are more traditionally attired. Because the Black Blockers hide their identities, they are often able to engage in criminal behavior—most notably property destruction—with impunity. In instances where they are pursued by police—whom they contemptuously regard as nothing more than “guard dogs for the rich”—fleeing Black Bloc protesters typically shed their dark coverings and blend quietly into the surrounding crowd. When they are not protesting, these activists organize and communicate with one another mainly through Internet chat groups and websites.

The animating core belief of Black Block, as explained in the Green Mountain Anarchist Collective’s Black Bloc Papers, is that “private property—and capitalism, by extension—is intrinsically violent and repressive and cannot be reformed or mitigated.” Lamenting “all the violence committed in the name of private property rights,” this document charges that “corporate private property” in particular “is itself infinitely more violent than any action taken against it.” By this logic, the destruction of a storefront window can be redefined and justified as the laudable creation of “a vent to let some fresh air into the oppressive atmosphere of a retail outlet.”

We had around 300 of them here at the 1999 WTO protests, smashing windows and destroying property of multinational corporations, and helped force the meeting to collapse. They turn up whenever there’s a chance of a good riot,May Day, the Occupy riots.  Seem remarkably ill-informed but really like to uselessly smash things up. Do read the whole thing.

The riots at Berkeley trying to prevent Milo Yiannopoulus from speaking at the event to which he was invited, managed to make his message available to millions on the internet, and promote sales of his book. Nice work! But those weren’t spontaneous either, and Black bloc anarchists smashed up the campus and the streets of Berkeley, and of course banks (capitalists).

The Democrat establishment, the Left, has been gobsmacked. They have been firmly removed from power. They were expecting another, perhaps, eight years of the commanding heights, and they are no longer in control of much of anything. They have no bench, no heroes, and they don’t know what to do. Maxine Waters is a perfect example. She wants President Trump impeached right now. Never mind “the high crimes and misdemeanors bit.” She wants him out. They’re old. They have no new ideas. They don’t know what to do, and their predicament is just beginning to sink in.

I suspect they are doing an outstanding job of discarding all of those Obama voters who, fed up, voted for Trump. Democrats keep whining about the “popular vote.” But it is the popular vote individually in the states that matters, and Trump won those. If California manages to secede, which some of us are devoutly hoping for, Republicans will run the country for years and years to come.



The Spontaneous Demonstrations at Our Airports Were Carefully Planned. by The Elephant's Child

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Those “Spontaneous Anti-Trump Airport protests weren’t Spontaneous at all,” reports Investors Business Daily. They were carefully planned by hard-core left-wing activist groups. Professional organizers have been waiting for, and planning for Trump’s orders on deportations, bans and detentions. Trump made it clear early that he planned ‘on day one’ to issue a temporary ban on visas and refugees from countries where terrorism was rampant. All these groups had to do was be ready when he made good on his campaign promise.

The news media was astonished, and rushed to report every last sign, shout, shouter, bullhorn and count the crowds. Yet the groups planning the “spontaneous” protests had been eager to share , and claimed to be in “constant contact with lawyers’ associations, lawmakers and reporters.” So how much was fact and how much was made up or wildly exaggerated? How many times did you hear that it was a “Muslim Ban?” It was not. There was no Muslim Ban.

The protests are absurd. Trump’s orders are clearly within his executive powers. The Washington State judge who granted a federal stay suggesting that the executive orders were unconstitutional was out of line, and his suggestions that the orders were harming the people of Washington, silly.

The executive order instituted a 90 day suspension (not ban) of immigrants from countries listed by the Obama administration as having a significant presence of foreign terrorist organizations. It also suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days to give Homeland Security and the DNI time to determine how to make sure that terrorists weren’t slipping in as refugees—something ISIS has said they are doing. It also sets a slightly lower cap on refugees this year  than has been the norm for the past decade.

The countries concerned were listed by the Obama administration, not by Trump. President Obama barred large groups of immigrants at least six times out of national security concerns. But then his most recent executive order was to ban any refugees from Cuba—sending them back to the Castros’ communist Cuba.

Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda of Irbil in Iraq plaintively asked:

“Where were all those protesters when ISIS came to kill Christians and Yazidis and other minority groups? They were not protesting when the tens of thousands of displaced Christians my archdiocese has cared for since 2014 received no financial assistance from the U.S. government or the U.N. There were no protests when Syrian Christians were only let in at a rate that was 20 times less than the percentage of their population in Syria.

I do not understand why some Americans are now upset that the many minority communities that faced a horrible genocide will finally get a degree of priority in some manner.

The Center for Immigration Studies suggests that we can help far more refugees if we help to settle them close to home, where they can more easily return home when the current danger passes. Most refugees don’t really want to move to a new country and an unknown new life. but would rather remain at home where everyone speaks their language and their relatives live, if it was safe.



Did You See The Image of the Lava Jet Stream from Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano? by The Elephant's Child

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Here it is, pouring into the ocean in a spectacular stream.and here is a report from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory showing the collapse of the cliff at Kamokuna in all of its stages. Fascinating. Probably more than you ever wanted to know about a a Hawaiian volcano that you may never see. Beautiful but scary pictures and a clear explanation of what has happened. A great geology lesson.



The Summing-Up: At Some Point Reality Appears by The Elephant's Child

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People generally liked Barack Obama. He was handsome, stylish, clearly a good family man and cared deeply about his daughters. I’m not sure if he liked his dogs, but he put up with them for his daughters’ sake.

When it came to the economy, it gradually became clear that he didn’t know what he was doing, nor did his advisors. It’s not clear to what extent he listened to advisors. He remarked more than once that he knew more about speeches than his speechwriters, and more about most any subject than the experts he picked. There is a suspicion that he really meant that.

So what we ended the Obama presidency with was a fairly high approval rating because people liked him, and a very terrible approval rating on the right direction/wrong direction part. He will return from his post-inauguration vacation soon, and we can expect him to have forgotten completely George W. Bush’s polite silence to give the new guy a chance to do his best.

Progressives can’t help themselves. They want to control, to regulate, and to fix ordinary human nature, unfortunately they want to do it with other people’s money. To fix things and make themselves feel good about what they are doing, they want to do lots of welfare, but they can’t manage to take away enough of the money of the well-off to make the not well-off equal, which was their goal.  It never works, but the lure of socialism seems eternal.

Venezuela, out of toilet paper and most anything usually found on store shelves, can’t afford to deliver the oil which they have in abundance to anyone who might pay them for it. They are dead broke. Another lesson in why socialism never, never works, but the enthusiasts won’t learn it this time either.




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