American Elephants


What Do You Mean “Free” ? by The Elephant's Child

Americans put a lot of emphasis, when thinking about what being an American means, on being free. But what precisely they mean by “free” is not really all that clear. Socialism promises equality .If we just adopt Socialism we will all be “equal” which, of course is nonsense.  Whatever qualities you may possess, they are probably not the same as those the guy standing next to you possesses. So what is it we have in mind when we celebrate being “free”?

I think perhaps the important point is the freedom to rise. We can strive to become whatever it is that we want to be or become, and work towards that goal, with whatever effort and skill we can muster. There are no guarantees that we will make it, but we are free to keep trying, or to change goals, or even to give up.  If you consider what life was like for ordinary Englishmen in 1620, they had a lot of incentive to try for something better, and were willing to risk a lot to try for it. Rising out of their station in life may have been possible for the elites or the educated, but inventions, new ideas, growing, prospering, not so much.

If I asked you to sit down with a pencil and paper and list the Americans who have risen from obscurity to unbelievable wealth, you would be able to come up with quite a few names. It’s commonplace. That’s why I was so taken with the story of the young black man in Columbus Ohio, who had walked three miles every day to the public library that offered homework help. Some sneered at the “3 miles every day” but that extra effort got him acceptance from 22 different colleges and universities for admission. That story didn’t seem to get much attention, but given a few years he will either be heading a large corporation or performing surgery in a major hospital. Whatever he wants. That is the real meaning of being free. If you are a parent of school children, you might want to point that out.



Democrats Are Trying to Blame Trump for COVID-19 by The Elephant's Child

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Democrats keep trying to rid us of President Donald Trump, they tried impeachment, several times. They loathe Trump, but they just can’t figure out how to get rid of him and his systematic repeal of Obama’s progressive project. The problem is that the Democrats just want to be in control. Just what it is that they expect to accomplish when they manage to get control isn’t really clear, and there’s the rub.

The current best idea seems to be blaming him for the Corona Virus. If they can just manage to establish that he didn’t respond quickly enough, professionally enough, carefully enough or something like that, then they can blame him for all of the Covid-19 deaths. That would take care of him!

The first COVID-19 deaths in the United States happened a few miles north of my house when a visitor to a nursing home who had just returned from Wuhan, China infected the residents. President Trump quickly banned any and all flights from China. He referred to it as the China virus or the Wuhan virus. (Outcry. Racial prejudice, etc.) Got automobile companies making ventilators, everybody making masks, hospital ships in New York harbor and in California, Cruise ships anchored, military setting up emergency hospitals in tents in public parks and in parking garages. Experts called in to advise.

Of course they don’t mention that, they talk about results. Here are the five COVID-19 Charts Democrats are anxious to hide. Click on the link. Copy and save the link. Share it with family and friends!

This is from http://www.issues&insights.com, a fairly new website founded by the writers from Investors Business Daily, and is excellent. It has become one of my favorites. They even feature Michael Ramirez’s wonderful political cartoons.



Portland, The National Bad Example by The Elephant's Child

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Portland, Oregon mayor Ted Wheeler (D) just wrote an angry public letter to President Trump:

Dear President Trump:

Yet again, you said you offered to aid Portland by sending in federal law enforcement to our city.

On behalf of the City of Portland: No thanks.

We don’t need your politics of division and demagoguery. Portlanders are onto you. We have already seen your reckless disregard for human life in your bumbling response to the COVID pandemic. And we know you’ve reached the conclusion that images of violence or vandalism are your only ticket to reelection. …

In Portland, we are focused on coming together as a community to solve the serious challenges we face due to systemic racism, a global pandemic and an economic recession.

I forget the exact number of days Portland has been under a siege of rioting, something like 89 or 90 that Portland has been a national symbol of a city completely out of control, a case study in Antifa and Blac Bloc violence that the national news media has used as the shining example of worst possible outcomes, surpassing even Seattle in the really bad example category. When they were attacking the Federal Courthouse and attempting to set the building on fire, unconcerned about workers inside, that did set some kind of new standard.

Seattle’s “CHOP” on Capitol Hill finally ended when rioters discovered just where Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan lived. Now the protesters have discovered Mayor Wheeler’s condominium and presented themselves there, though a condo on an upper floor is not as vulnerable as an ordinary house.

Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf has declared that the Left-wing group Antifa “absolutely” meets the standard worthy of condemnation as a “domestic terrorist group.” Whether that precludes some tougher action remains to be seen. As does the presence of rioters in Mayor Wheeler’s building. Mayor Wheeler is running for reelection.

In the meantime, we have Kenosha, Wisconsin. I have not been able to discover why it was the city of Kenosha that was selected to go up in flames. President Trump is sending in Federal help to bring back order to that city. He’s not going to stand for cities out of control and endangering ordinary folks lives, which seems the correct thing to do.

There is more talk now about civil war,which should have been impossible. But there is so much going on that should have been impossible. Senator Rand Paul and his wife and another woman were accosted and threatened by a mob when they attempted to walk across the street from the White House to their hotel which was just on the other side. They weren’t sure they could make it, even with police protection and feared for their lives.

Democrats are beginning to realize they  made a major mistake in excusing and encouraging “systemic racism” and race riots over the death of George Floyd, and defunding the police. They are dimly beginning to realize that the American people don’t like riots. Who knew? We apparently need more policing, not less It has been confirmed that George Floyd died of a massive overdose of fentanyl, apparently a enough to have killed him twice over. Things are not always as they seem at first glance.

We will, as the Chinese proverb goes, apparently continue to “live in interesting times.”



Kenosha et al: “Fiery but Peaceful Protests” by The Elephant's Child

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The “Peaceful Protests” continue, rioting, burning, looting, murder, destruction of property, arson. The Portland riots continue and have done so for something like
88 days (if I remember what I read correctly) and Portland’s Mayor Wheeler (D) somehow just can’t manage to get it under control. Now it’s Kenosha, Wisconsin rioting with two dead, vast property damage. What can they possibly think that this accomplishes?

“Mostly Peaceful Protests,” what idiot wrote that headline? Oh, of course it’s CNN. Democrats are discovering, rather belatedly, that the riots are not popular with the vast American audience and may be even affecting the vote. Expect the peaceful protests to begin to die out, or perhaps even get back to actually being “peaceful.”

President Trump is sending in federal help to get Kenosha back under control. He’s not going to stand for terrorized cities out of control, and I think the American people agree with that. Did the Democrats really believe that people would actually favor this rioting and burning? Democrats are panicking a bit now, as they are realizing that the rioting could actually affect the vote.

Did you assume that “Black Lives Matter” was a plaintive shout meant to help the poor black people who were badly treated by nasty policemen? It is actually an organization founded by Marxist revolutionaries in 2013 to depict the United States as a nation awash in racism, sexism and homophobia established in response to the acquittal of the man who killed black Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. They formally depict white police as trigger-happy bigots who are intent on killing innocent, unarmed black males. Raised fists may make the fist’s owners feel good, but accomplish nothing at all. Try encouraging your local library to offer homework help, make a donation to historically black colleges, donate or volunteer at a local food bank. Lots of ways to actually help instead of grandstanding.

In Columbus, Ohio, a young black teenager was celebrated very briefly for walking 3 miles every day to the public library which offered help with homework. As a graduating senior in high school, he was accepted at some 22 colleges and universities, including the one he most hoped to attend. There was more clucking over the daily three miles than recognition of the rewards for his extra efforts and what it said about his character and ambition. Shortly after, a young black woman who became the valedictorian of her class, and had an outstanding record of perfect attendance received something like $40,000 worth of scholarship money. Beats raised fists any time.



Mindless, Purposeless Riots Just For Fun. Disgraceful. by The Elephant's Child

The Left has certainly dragged out their old-time-religion. Race, white supremacy, fascism, and apparently not the slightest interest in what is actually going on in our world today. Riots, not “peaceful protests” and if you have watched the videos, they are not really about much of anything but the fun of roaming down the streets with big groups of people, breaking stuff, breaking windows, damaging property, attacking cars and people. Mindless. They are out there for the fun of it.

They need to be hauled off promptly to jail. Democrat Mayors are terrified of even the possibility of doing anything about it. In Seattle, the feckless Mayor Jenny Durkan pulled herself together a bit and vetoed the feckless Seattle City Council’s attempt to defund the police. And I think I read that the National Guard has been called out for Portland, that would have to be the governor I think, Mayors can’t. But the fun in the streets has spread to Denver,  Minneapolis of course,    Fort Wayne Indiana, Green Bay Wisconsin, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Olympia WA and that is far from a complete list.

“Black Lives Matter” has nothing to do with this mess. There’s a lot of violence and drugs in poor black neighborhoods, and they want and depend on police protection.

Attacking statues has lost some of its fury. What becomes completely clear is that there is a very deep ignorance of American History. “Fascist” is a popular word: Here’s Wikipedia’s definition, but I’d be willing to bet that few if any of the street mobs could define it. Mindless.

Fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.

Look up Benito Mussolini in Italy, who “popularized” the idea. But the problem is authoritarianism. The urge to control. Well, Mussolini made a mess of it, but if you are interested in this “new” authoritarianism I recommend borrowing The Black Book of Communism from your friendly public library. Amazon has it, but it’s quite expensive, even used. Or buy Communism: a Brief History by Richard Pipes, one of our greatest historians. Or read about the Soviet forced labor system in The Gulag Archipelago by Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn. Lana Peters, Stalin’s daughter became an American citizen, and died at 85, not too long ago.



They Think the American Voters are Stupid by The Elephant's Child

Well, the Democrats certainly demonstrated their lack of respect for the American voter.The Postal scam was an attempt to make voters think that the evil Trump was trying to prevent their vote from being counted by hiding the mailboxes or something like that. No. It’s been pretty well proven that mail-in voting is a major source of vote fraud. And we do want honest elections.

You may have noticed that Democrats are especially eager to abolish the Electoral College, mandated by the founders in the Constitution to prevent the smaller states from being overlooked or uncounted by the larger, more powerful states.

Since Hillary won in the general election, but lost when the votes from the small rural states were counted according to the Constitutionally mandated Electoral College they have been determined to abolish the Electoral College because they cannot dependably win if all the states votes are counted.

That’s also why they want more illegal immigrants except from Cuba, where people escape the Communist regime in little boats trying to reach freedom. Or for that matter, Venezuela, or even the Vietnamese Boat People. Being opposed to Communism makes it unlikely they would vote Democrat, therefore, do not let them in. And abolish ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Don’t want any illegals deported, they want them to vote.

The other thing that showed even more their lack of respect for the minds of the voters was their crass attempt to claim that the reason there is a covid pandemic is because President Trump didn’t do anything to prevent it. The fact that he shut down any and all immigration from China in earliest January when we first learned about the virus. You may remember the outcry. How dare he close the borders, Xenophobia! Racial Prejudice!

New York Mayor Bill De Blasio made a major mistake when the virus hit New York. He had the elderly who came down with the virus put in New York Nursing Homes which were already filled with vulnerable elderly, where he thought they should be cared for. Of course the vulnerable elderly residents promptly got the virus and died. He could not bring himself to say that he made a horrible mistake, but has kept trying to blame somebody or something else. And so it goes. Biden is claiming that he would just shut everything down.

When the virus first hit us just a couple miles north of my house, it hit a nursing home, because of a visitor from Wuhan, China. Do your remember how Trump was attacked for calling it a Chinese virus? Xenophobia again. Racism.  Reminders that viruses were often called for the place that they came from made no difference. Trump brought in the greatest experts he could find, got automobile companies to make ventilators. Sent the hospital ships to the heaviest-hit areas. The military erected hospital tents in city parks and garages in case they would be needed. They weren’t.

We didn’t know much of anything about the Wuhan virus when it appeared, and labs all over the country have been trying to learn about it and learn what will effect a cure. The big Pharmaceutical companies are struggling to find a vaccine to prevent it. To suggest that Trump is just trying to “enrich his friends” is beyond crass. A lot of families have lost members to this dreadful pandemic. Don’t insult them and play on their grief.



When the Convention is Online, You Can Just Turn It Off by The Elephant's Child

Is this day three or day four?  I’m losing track. I must admit I read about it, I don’t watch the hate Trump fest. They can’t really seem to make up their minds anyway. They were off on a big Post Office thingy which seemed completely unrelated to reality. But that has sort of faded, so they are back to blaming Trump for all coronavirus death. (Lets De Blasio off the hook as well).

The odd thing is that at the Democrat online convention, there has been no mention at all of the violence in Portland and Seattle, or the defunding of police, in hot spots around the nation, which  commands the news. The convention is not interested. No interest in weekend killings. No interest in statue desecration, nor even in attempts to burn people alive in Portland’s federal building. But of course it is Democrat run cities and states that have the problems, so it’s awkward to mention them.

Climate has been mentioned. AOC’s “Green New Deal” assures us that we only have 12 years left. Odd. The climate has been changing for millions of years, some hot years, and some unusually cold ones. We even had a major ice age, and some little ice ages. The polar bears are just fine and multiplying nicely. Susan Crockford is the wildlife biologist who is expert on polar bears. The Left seems to prefer that polar bears be endangered.

At the convention, some Democrats were furious that they only gave AOC one minute to speak. She is very outspoken, but very ignorant. I don’t suggest that she is dumb, she is not. She just doesn’t have familiarity with a lot of rather useful facts.

If you are confused by things climate, visit Dr. Roy Spencer’s site, linked in the sidebar. He explains global warming and what we know and what we don’t know. Dr. Spencer runs the satellites that measure world temperatures for NASA at Huntsville Ala. with Dr. John Christy who measures world temperatures with weather balloons. Lots of other good sites in the sidebar, and when you arrive at any one of them, there are extensive lists of scientists at work, and their blogs, deeply informative.

California is now going through power outages and wildfires because people can’t get it through their heads that wind turbines and solar panels cannot provide the power that a modern society requires. Joe Biden is quite sure that banning fracking, banning drilling, and shutting down anything that runs on petroleum will save us from the doomsday in 12 years. That certainty should worry us all a lot.

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish child who did the world tour, did not have any science, only religion of a sort. It’s brought in all sorts of money for her and for her parents, for the world was inspired by a child attempting to save the earth.

And do not forget Christiana Figueres. She was at one time the Executive Secretary of the IPCC, and at a news conference in Brussels in early February of 2015 admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological catastrophe, but to destroy capitalism.

 



Good Ad. We Don’t See Very Many of Those! by The Elephant's Child



Are You Questioning Your Sanity a Little? by The Elephant's Child

Some days I just can’t decide whether it is the world around me that has gone crazy, or only me that has slipped a cog or two. The Democrats are having an online convention, and we don’t seem to be living in the same country. At least the one they describe is unfamiliar to me.

Donald Trump is daily committing terrible crimes, and must be stopped. Nancy Pelosi says we have to save the Post Office from the President Now.

“It is, to use the word volcanic. It has been explosive in terms of the response that members, Democratic and Republican, all over the country have received to this assault on this connection that they have, Americans have with each other. This matter of how we have access to health care. 1.2 billion prescriptions were sent through the mail in 2019 even before the coronavirus, that is. And way overwhelmingly, 82% or higher of VA drugs are sent to our veterans through the mail. So that’s just two examples of meeting the health needs of the American people. And when those medicines come a week, six days late— we keep hearing examples of how late that medication is coming. That’s just one connection. It’s about the health of the American people. It’s also about the health of our democracy as they do this to make an assault on the mail in terms of absentee balloting and the rest.”

What? Yesterday, we got some of the mail for our neighbors in the next block. Today we received some mail for the folks across the street. Sloppy postman, but no big deal. What the hell has she been drinking? There is no assault on the Post Office. They have declining revenues for several reasons, one of them is that people are apt to communicate more by email. Another is simply the pandemic. A lot of businesses are shut down, and people are stuck at home.  Joel Pollack wrote about their hysteria with the “Busted Mailbox Conspiracy Theory” yesterday.

What becomes immediately clear is that the Democrats believe the population of the United States is extremely unintelligent and will believe most anything they are told. I found a text version of Michelle Obama’s convention speech, which I will link to here, and you can scroll through to see the statements you find a little odd. She returns to the fact that people must have thought their votes didn’t matter, so they sent someone to the Oval Office who lost the national popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. ( yes, there’s that old electoral college they keep trying to get rid of.) She even has Trump putting children in cages. Trump?

They really want to make everything Trump has done criminal. He is the one who killed all the people with his pandemic because he so mismanaged it. You know, the one he kept demonstrating his racial prejudice with by calling it the Chinese virus. They have no shame. They choose the words and accusations carefully to influence those who are most likely to know nothing about what they are voting for anyway. It would be nice to have a tiny bit of honesty, but that is asking too much, I guess. It’s hard to solve problems when nobody will tell the truth about them. It isn’t this bad every four years, is it?



It Isn’t Really About Mail-In Ballots, But Your Right to Vote by The Elephant's Child

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Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer have made a big fuss about President Trump’s objections to a national vote by mail idea. They are even demanding that the United States Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy come testify to Congress immediately! The usual suspects, the New York Times, Washington Post, etc, have erupted with their usual horror to the idea that anyone could possibly object, and so on and so forth. Vote by Mail sounds good, until you look at the data.

According to the Gatestone Institute, the federal election assistance commission keeps tabs. Their data shows that 28 million ballots mailed since 2012 just vanished. Counted? forgotten? discarded? nobody knows. Hundreds of thousands did come back, but had defects that prevented them from being counted, and the voters who sent them have no idea that their ballots were not counted.

Democrats believe firmly that they are meant to be in charge. They were certain that Hillary, former First Lady, former Secretary of State, First Woman, would win the election against the TV celebrity and New York builder. They didn’t really consider any alternative. The fact that Hillary was soundly disliked, a compulsive liar, at State had killed her ambassador, his assistant and two Special Forces guys with her negligence escaped their notice. The unthinkable happened, and they have been trying to get rid of him ever since, something to impeach him for, Russian influence, anything, with the full cooperation of the media. It is hardly surprising that President Trump feels as if he is under constant attack — he is.

Mail-in voting is the current lightning rod, with some justification. Many different networks have accused President Trump of disrupting USPS operations for political gain, even going so far as to claim that he is carrying on a political crusade against the postal service in an effort to rewrite history. Nancy Pelosi announced that “The President has explicitly stated his intention to manipulate the Postal Service to deny eligible voters access to the ballot in pursuit of his own re-election. Alarmingly, the Postmaster General – a Trump mega-donor – has acted as an accomplice in the President’s campaign to cheat in the election, as he launches sweeping new operational changes that degrade delivery standards and delay the mail,” according to a press release from Ms. Pelosi.

The Postal Service is not required by the Constitution, USPS was created to be a financially independent and sustainable agency, responsible for gaining and maintaining it’s own revenue. Postmaster Louis DeJoy was not simply appointed for his Republican ties, but he has also made a fortune in shipping and logistics and had a company that was a contractor of the Postal Service for many years. He was unanimously chosen in May by the USPS Board of Governors who are “appointed by the president with advice and consent of the senate.” They have the capacity to adjust their nationwide processing and delivery network to meet projected Election and Political Mail volume.

There are many examples of recent voter fraud in the United States. In one local special election in Paterson, New Jersey, the “Postal Inspection Service found hundreds of ballots in one mailbox” as well as ballots that were “stolen (completed and empty) and filled out fraudulently, or were otherwise altered.”

People have confused the Postal Service’s picking up mailboxes with a truck and taking them away with some misdeeds, when they do it regularly to clean and repair mailboxes. Once you have decided on a conspiracy, everything looks like a conspirator.

Most countries ban mail-in ballots because they have seen massive vote fraud problems. Democrats may be to blame for the cuts at the Postal Service that are threatening their vote-by-mail scheme. The covid-lockdown has meant an induced reduction in overall mail volume.  USPS 3rd quarter results show First-Class mail revenue decreased by 6.4%. There is an enormous amount of vote fraud. Many people maintain more than one home, and vote in both places. Democrats are engaged in vote harvesting, when they go around and collect ballots from people who really can’t be bothered to vote.

As imperfect as it is, voting is one of our most important benefits or duties. Let’s fight to keep the process honest. Rejecting mail-in voting seems to be one of the questionable parts. We have mail-in voting here in Washington State, and Oregon does too. I am not at all convinced that it is working honestly. but then not much seems to be working correctly these days.



Consequences Are How We Learn by The Elephant's Child

Rioters who do property damage need to be arrested, prosecuted, and to have a police record that follows them around and makes it hard to find employment. Consequences work both ways. If you do bad things and there are no real consequences, you’re quite apt to go out and do it again, because it’s fun to do real damage and get away with it. It is simply human nature, and the founders, when they were struggling for independence from England, thought long and hard about human nature and how it works.

If you struggle and work hard and are well rewarded for your efforts, the consequences are that you want to do it again, and maybe those who saw your success will struggle as well.

Yes, I know, some people firmly believe that we put people in prison simply because of the color of their skin, which is nonsense.

Democrats loathe the Electoral College and intend to abolish it at the first opportunity. Yet the founders carefully established it to protect the smaller, less populous states, so that every state would have an equal voice in the union. Democrats just want to be in charge permanently, and don’t really care who they have to step on to get there.

Human nature is kind of a mess. People are selfish, generous, mean, cruel, thoughtful — a mix of all the possible qualities out there. We always remain hopeful that the better nature will win out, but hope remains eternal.

Through all the “Black Lives Matter” protests and demands for reparations and payback, there were some plaintive voices out there that didn’t get enough attention. Jason Riley, who is black, and writes for the Wall Street Journal, has a book out with the rather intriguing title “Please Stop Helping Us.”

Oddly, a few months back a young black high school senior was written up in the national news for walking 3 miles every day to a public library that offered homework help. His efforts earned him letters of acceptance from over 20 colleges and universities, including the one he most hoped to attend. No further notice, no celebration.

Shortly after that, a young black woman who was valedictorian of her class with perfect attendance got a brief article in the media, because she was awarded something like $450,000 in scholarship money. Nobody bothered to report that’s the way the world works. You work hard and put your soul in it, and you are often rewarded by accomplishing your goals.

Neither of the stories got any particular attention as far as I know, but there’s a real lesson there.



Chicago, Chicago, That Toddlin’ Town by The Elephant's Child

One gets used to noting the death toll in Chicago over the weekend. Which is pretty disgusting as a matter of fact. An article at Fox News caught my eye. The Chicago Chamber of Commerce president called for a “serious response” to looting. As well he should. He was urging former president Barack Obama to come back to Chicago and use his influence to help, instead of gamboling on Martha’s Vineyard when his home town that made him, needs him.

Here are the shocking numbers: “So far this year in Chicago a total of 2,058 people have been shot and wounded, and 435 have been shot and killed.

America — indeed Chicago — spawned the success that became Obama. Now with ill winds blowing, Chicago needs him more than ever. If anyone should abhor the blood in his old ’hood, it should be Barack. The senseless killing is as surreal as Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq” and as bone-chilling as the damp winds that blow off Lake Michigan every winter. And yet there is deafening silence from the 44th president.

Chicago’s adopted son has a debt to pay. He owes America a bit more than a feel-good legacy of being “first” or shimmering cameos at marquee events, however cool his gait. He should leave behind more than a league of loyalists who profited from his presidency in lieu of legions who are the least of these.

Interesting. I don’t know why Obama’s presence would help, but I didn’t believe that he was a very good president. Apparently the Cook County State’s Attorney is accused of being soft on criminals and failing to do her job, so crime soars as a consequence. It’s sad to see cities fall. And there will be consequences. People will move and business will move. Will the crime move with them, or stay on in a declining Chicago. You get the feeling that there is going to be a massive realignment in the country. Does anyone learn the lessons so vividly on display? The media which is still prattling about “peaceful protesters” have clearly not learned anything at all, nor do they understand how consequences are and will be playing out.

For example: The Post Office is in trouble. Revenue down, volume of mail down. Locking mailbox sales way up, mail theft vastly increased. That is a consequence of several things. Our public schools are not managing to teach kids to write easily and well, nor teaching kids the history of their country. Somebody’s out there being “peaceful protesters,” and they seem to be of the appropriate age. People aren’t writing letters, but sending emails or tweeting or facebooking.’

I email family, but write some long business letters. Computers are not just changing our lives, but changing us. Think how astonished our great-grandparents and great-great grandparents would be were they to reappear in our midst today. And what would they have to say!

 




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