American Elephants

There Are Real Reasons Behind Our Public Schools! by The Elephant's Child
October 28, 2022, 7:29 pm
Filed under: Politics

There’s a reason why we start sending out children to school around when they turn six years old. They are old enough to learn the fundamentals of reading, and theoretically able to sit at a desk in a classroom for a reasonable length of time. The ability to learn to read is of monumental importance. The wisdom of the world has been printed in books that can be read, considered, learned and hopefully become a search for knowledge from people all over the world who don’t live in your neighborhood.

Don’t know if you have ever met someone who has no education. We had a neighbor who had only a third grade education, and was then sent out to care for the sheep.

He cut back a lot of small branches along the river, left them lying there where the high water of Spring washed them downriver to come to rest against a railroad bridge upriver from us. Made an effective dam and the water deepened and backed up until the force of the dammed-up water broke the railroad bridge and a flood descended on us. Took out five buildings, and our power plant. You can’t exactly sue someone who does not have anything. We had lots of kerosene lamps for light, and a well-filled woodshed for warmth. It was a difficult time, but Idaho Power built in their lines fairly soon, and we restored our own power plant. It was, however, a permanent lesson in what the absence of education can mean.

We do have, from time to time, some evidence of people with little or no education, and it can be painful. In our modern society, they seldom are in a position to have major effect, and when they do, they are apt to end up incarcerated. I’ve never seen any statistics on the results of the actions of non-educated people, though there’s plenty of evidence of the results in society of people who don’t know anything useful. Do go to your school board meetings, check up on your schools. An educated society is invaluable.

It’s Getting A Little Weird Out There! by The Elephant's Child
October 28, 2022, 1:08 am
Filed under: Politics

The latest thing with the weirdos is a MILK POUR. You enter a high class grocery shop like Harrods in London, take the milk out of the coolers and pour it all over the floor.

It is somehow about climate because cows, who eat grass and give milk, which is put into bottles to sell to feed babies and small children, are somehow destroying the planet of the Earth because of their evil actions of producing milk or something like that.

This happened in England, but we are having problems in this country with what our young people are presumably learning in school. Sounds like we need a lot more parents going to school board meetings and checking up on what their kids are learning. We have been having our own problems with school shooters and such. We cannot just assume that all is going smoothly until some unbelievable crisis erupts.

Rain and Rivers, And Wet Days Ahead by The Elephant's Child
October 24, 2022, 1:47 pm
Filed under: Politics

Another rainy day in Seattle. The opposite hill on the other side of the golf course has disappeared in the rain. Leaves outside my window shiver as a raindrop lands. As I have said, if you don’t like rain, do not move to Seattle. We get a lot of it here. Goes for Portland as well.

Seattle is an inland city, on a very large arm of the Pacific Ocean called Puget Sound. which, for those unfamiliar with Seattle, even has islands and bridges. Portland is on the Columbia River where it comes together with the Multinomah River and flows on into the Pacific. Portland is divided by the river and dependent on lots of bridges. I grew up on the Weiser River, which flows into the Snake River, which flows into the Columbia, which flows into the Pacific Ocean.

Rivers are very interesting. The Mississippi is presently low, and exposing some of its secrets, according to what I read, but that is causing problems for its usual traffic. The Weiser River is now being celebrated as one of the last free-flowing rivers in America. Not a big river, but home to lots of rainbow trout. And I know the best fishing spots, which I will not share.

The major rivers had an important role in the westward expansion of the United States. Until bridges were built, they were mostly stopping expansion, and of course human ingeneuity promptly built boats where necessary, and bridges. When studying American history, don’t forget to consider the roles of the rivers.

January 6 and the “Attack” on the Capitol! by The Elephant's Child
October 23, 2022, 6:57 pm
Filed under: Politics

Democrats are trying desperately to turn the events of January 6 into a “riot” and an “attack on the capitol”. It was no such thing. I was watching events online as they unfolded. Donald Trump had invited his supporters to come to Washington D.C. and march up Pennsylvania Avenue to protest what he believed to be an unfair election. There was lots of talk about cheating and illegal voting, none of it very clear about what was permissible and what was not. My favorite was the confirmed voter who happened to be born in 1824. So there were certainly some legitimate concerns about illegal votes.

Some of the protesters were assembled in a patio just outside the Capitol building. The Capitol Police, for whatever reason, threw open the doors and essentially invited the protesters in. The “protesters” walked peacefully through the Capitol, looking at the paintings on the walls. and the sculptures. No touching, just looking, respectively. The only “violence” was the guy in the fancy costume, but he was apparently a long-time “protester” or demonstrater at political events in his home state, always costumed. There was no riot, no violence, no touching even.

The idea that it was “a riot” was much more useful to the journalism profession, for sexier stories, but that’s not what I saw! But, of course, I was just watching online in far-away Washington State, so what do I know? A bit of a shift in my opinions of the journalism profession, and a bit more caution in my thoughts about what I am reading online.

Just How Do You Feel About Rain? by The Elephant's Child
October 22, 2022, 6:28 pm
Filed under: Politics

Our cloudy day with occasional drizzle keeps me thinking about rain, and attitudes toward it. On one side is the “Oh hell” it’s spoiling my fun, there’s being caught in a sudden downpour, unprepared (no raincoat, no umbrella) where you have to decide whether to run to get back to your car, duck into a fast food place to wait it out, hold a newspaper or shopping bag over your head, that sort of thing.

There’s having to get drenched because time constraints don’t allow you to avoid getting soaked, that sort of thing. Some days it’s obvious. It’s going to rain, you’re going to wear a raincoat and take an umbrella, and probably be late for your appointment. Traffic may be fouled up.

Much of our attitudes are governed by our basic feelings about rain. Welcome? Plans spoiler? “Singing in the Rain”? Good for the garden? Annoyance? Lovely soothing sound on the roof? You could come up with more, but probably never gave a thought to such a thing as how you feel about rain. Outdoors there are increasing patches of blue sky, so perhaps it’s all over anyway.

A Rainy Day in Seattle, Hardly Unusual. by The Elephant's Child
October 22, 2022, 2:33 pm
Filed under: Politics

Had a little mild rain last night, and the air has cleared remarkably. I don’t know if it was enough to put out the forest fires in the Cascades, but it’s really nice not to look out the window at smoky skies and a nasty haze in the air. Here in the Seattle area, one doesn’t usually have to wait too long for a little rain. If you don’t like rainy days, don’t move here.

It’s two in the afternoon, with cloudy skies, but it is raining only very lightly. You can see leaves on the nearby trees bounce when hit by a raindrop. The skies are that nothing color of a rainy day — neither gray nor anything else much. Just rainy-day blah. Birds still out and complaining, probably because the bugs are not out either.

Are You Attracted by “Boob Shots”? by The Elephant's Child
October 20, 2022, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Politics

You must have noticed the popularity of “boob shots”, camera attention to women with large attractive breasts. Photographers know they sell well. Writers know they draw attention to what they have written, some women know they will enhance their careers, or at least get the attention they are looking for. Editors know that they help attract attention to their pieces, so we are stuck with them, I guess. Dunno what other women think about them, I’ve actually never asked. Being female, I find it annoying, but simply the way the world works.

I don’t get any extra charge from pictures of male “body builders”, and am more interested in what goes on in their heads (or not). I don’t think I’ve ever heard any of my female friends express any interest in male “body builders” but apparently the men think it will help. Never fallen for a male because of his physical attractiveness, nor have any of my friends expressed any particular interest. I’m tall, and my sons are tall, my father was tall. I suspect that most tall women look for tall men, and short men look for women shorter than themselves, but I don’t know if that’s true.

I must confess though that I am annoyed by the ubiquity of “boob shots” and avoid the articles thusly enhanced, assuming that they needed the extra push in order to get published. The world works in strange ways, perhaps not “mysterious” but strange.

This Picture Was Posted 9 Years ago! by The Elephant's Child
October 20, 2022, 8:35 pm
Filed under: Politics

Readers continue to be attracted to a nine year old post about crumbling wind turbines rusting away. The turbines were left rotting away because they were no longer of any use whatsoever and left to rust instead of being removed. They were at the bottom point of the chain of Hawaiian Islands, and since any attempt to care for them was over, left to rust. I may still take down the post because it seems to be misleading people. They turned out to be not of much use in study of the climate, and left to rot.

The climate of the Earth is controlled by the action of our Sun, and the sun is just fine. There is NO CLIMATE CRISIS. There are activists who dearly want a climate crisis for their own ends, but out in the real world, it is simply not occurring. Go to the list on my main page under “Science and Technology” for a lengthy list of reliable websites., especially Climate Depot, Watts Up With That, and Roy Spencer PhD. Follow the links they list, and the scientists they quote.

You may have noticed that since the suggestion appeared that “we might have a food shortage”, all sorts of ads for long term food supplies, have started appearing. I explained this in an earlier post. I spent quite a few years in the advertising industry, and there’s nothing like a good scare to create a lot of “free advertising”. As soon as notions of shortages started appearing, so do offers. The only response to the scares that appear are to diligently get informed, not be reading one article, but by learning what is good information and what is plain bunk. Who are the most reliable sources of information? Who can you trust? That’s when computers become truly useful. You can learn who are authorities, who can be trusted.

There is NO climate crisis. We will have the normal amount of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, maybe some that are far worse than usual, but there is NO indication whatsoever that our sun is failing us, that the weather is changing drastically, that storms are uniformly worse. We just had Hurricane Ian in Florida, did a lot of damage and Floridians are busy with cleanup and repair. Some tornadoes will cause more damage than others, floods and droughts, big freezes, welcome to the real world. Move out of tornado alley, move to a warmer climate, or vice versa. People are doing that all the time, and finding sometimes that they moved to a place with a high crime rate, or poor police coverage, or dust storms, or bad governance. We’re only humans and an imperfect race.

Alert to the World Around You? by The Elephant's Child
October 18, 2022, 9:31 pm
Filed under: Politics

Obviously the choices are different depending on where you live. I have lived in California, Oregon, and been to the redwoods, the beaches, Yosemite, Death Valley, Tahoe. In Arizona, it was the Grand Canyon, and the Cliff Dwellings, New Mexico, Texas, and very little bits of anything in the eastern U.S. except for Washington D.C.

Looking out my second story window to the South today, here in Bellevue, Washington, the air is smoky, indicating forest fires in the Cascade range of mountains. I assume that most people don’t pay any attention unless the air quality where they are is noticeably bad, and perhaps not even then.

Growing up in the mountains of Idaho, where you needed to keep track of such things, sets one on a different pattern for life. If it is really noticeable, I check in with the U.S. Forest Service to see what is burning and where. I wonder if anyone else is even interested? I suppose when they are planning a camping trip or even a picnic they will check in to see what is going on in the area they intend to visit. I don’t know if anyone checks in with the Forest Service, or visits lookouts. Do the people you know go camping or picnicking?

Do you have friends or neighbors who do? I have no idea if any if the people I know do. My kids (3) all went to summer camp when they were out of school. And we have always gone on picnics and gone hiking, wherever we lived. Mostly mountains. Others I know head for beaches, or lakes or National Monuments or National Parks.

Consider the Price of Gas at the Pump! by The Elephant's Child
October 18, 2022, 7:33 pm
Filed under: Politics

Looks like the price of gas is going to play a major role in the 2024 election. The current high price of gas at the pump can be laid directly at the feet of President Biden, and he knows it. President Biden is releasing gas from the national reserve, and trying everything he, his advisors, or his supporters can come up with to try to bring the pump price down. It is a major attack on the family budget. Officials are attacking gas stations and suggesting that they should just charge less! Always helps to understand the grasp officials have on how things work.

Everything that has to be transported, which is pretty much everything, now costs more because the price of gas has increased so much. Everybody who took a summer vacation had the cost of their vacation increase sharply because of the price of gas. Your groceries will cost more because the cost of getting them to the store has increased. And everybody who drives to work…. That will play a major role in the upcoming election, and deservedly so.

Addendum: The current high price of gasoline is due directly to President Biden’s own actions. He is the one who cancelled the XL Pipeline in the illusion that there is some upcoming climate crisis that can be avoided by not moving oil from Canadian oil fields down to Southern Ports to be exported to other countries who want to buy the oil.

The climate of the Earth is controlled by the actions of our sun, and the sun seems to be just fine, shining steadily up there.

Symbols! by The Elephant's Child
October 17, 2022, 3:09 pm
Filed under: Politics

I seem to remember when President Biden was first running for president, he appeared in a photograph with an ice cream cone, and there was a public enthusiasm on what a splendid image it was. His campaign picked right up on that and you have seldom seen a planned picture of him without an ice cream cone in his hand.

I am not criticizing his eagerness to be photographed with an ice cream cone in his hand. I just think it’s funny. Politics is a strange business.

What Has Hurricane Ian Demonstrated for Us All? And What Do We Need To Learn? by The Elephant's Child
October 16, 2022, 7:02 pm
Filed under: Politics

If you are interested in the plight of Floridians after the devastation of Hurricane Ian, there are plenty of pictures available, Just search for photos of damage of Hurricane Ian and you will get all the pictures you might want to see. One post today pointed out that this will pretty much end the home insurance business in Florida, which I suppose is true. I don’t know what happens in cases like this. Does the government help? For some home insurance companies this might mean that every customer needs the payment for the damages they incurred, and were promised. The insurance companies will not have the money.

How the people. the businesses, the local governments, and the state respond will be interesting (as I can say blandly, living in the opposite corner of the country and completely uninvolved). We don’t know very much about how the United States responds to disaster. Watching carefully as this develops is probably an important lesson for all of us in what we can expect if we face something so unexpected and untoward. Here’s one link:

We try to prepare, buy insurance, and something like this comes along! Life is truly uncertain, isn’t it?

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