American Elephants

The Washington D.C. City Council wants to allow non-citizens to vote! by The Elephant's Child
January 24, 2023, 5:39 pm
Filed under: Politics

Things are getting weird out there! We are having people actually in government apparently unaware of the meaning of citizenship. Our borders are wide open to all comers because some people in government actually do not understand why nations have borders and what citizenship means.

Being “nice” trumps law, common sense, and what our citizens were supposed to have learned in elementary school, Democrats want Democrat voters, not citizens, and perhaps do not know the difference. Do you have to have lived in Washington D.C. for any specific length of time in order to vote, or are there just no rules? Does it matter if you list your place of residence in some other most congressional representatives do, do you get to be a resident or voter in D.C. as well? Or some other country?

Democrats seem eager to make, for example, refugees from Afghanistan citizens of the United States as quickly as possible, so they can vote for Democrats. Somehow that was not how it was supposed to work.

Questioning the Unknown by The Elephant's Child
January 20, 2023, 9:39 pm
Filed under: Politics

There are common sayings about folks who seem to get all hyped up about unimportant things for unknown reasons. For example, the climate of the Earth is controlled by the action of our sun. And the sun seems to be just fine up there, rising in the morning and sinking beneath the Western mountains at night. Sometimes folks get all excited about what seems to be normal and common for no reason whatsoever. Like the sun goes down one night and somebody starts wondering about what if it didn’t come up in the morning.Well, we wouldn’t last long, but why are you questioning that ? What if the air suddenly expelled all its oxygen and we all died from not being able to breathe? What if the sun decided to shut down, and just not shine any more. Well, clearly, we’re done and that’s the end of it all. Is there some reason you assume the sun might shut down?

It’s easy to catastrophise and decide that something really really terrible might happen, but I don’t know what good it does nor what we could do about it anyway. So we usually don’t worry about really major stuff like the sun turning off or the planet blowing up. or even about an invasion from another planet. If you chose to think up some big things to worry about, you could probably find some. Probably more worthwhile to worry about President Biden’s leaving classified documents in incorrect places or why he seems to be encouraging illegal immigration. We do have strong laws about how to come here and become an American citizen, and it’s not hard to follow them. Lots of people have come here according to law, applied for citizenship and become citizens. Takes a little longer to follow the rules, but it works. Why a President of the United States would want to encourage illegals to cross the border, is a good question. There seems to be a very long history of just how this world was created and populated, and how the world was populated from very small numbers of early humans.

There’s so much we don’t know. There are lots of other planets out there, do they have inhabitants? Are their inhabitants like us, what we call people? We have never contacted people on another planet. If you start thinking about what we do not know, we don’t even begin to understand what we mean by not knowing. Is Space just what we can see with our best telescopes or does it go on forever and ever.

Why are we here? Are we alone or just a speck in an enormous unending universe that we haven’t really even begun to understand? Are we the only speck of humanity and set here to discover the enormous universe, or do we really have all sorts of neighbors just out there a little further. I’m getting way too far into the unknown department.

Haircuts For Men! by The Elephant's Child
January 20, 2023, 6:06 pm
Filed under: Politics

I’ve been reading a biography of Oliver Cromwell, and the portrait on the cover of England’s famed “Proprietor” shows a gentleman with shoulder-length curly hair, which I assume was common in his day. So I started wondering just when short hair for men became fashionable, setting aside today’s wide-open fashion for anything goes. I assume that the “fashion” today is for pretty short hair with lots of exceptions for whatever.(with the full understanding that a walk down the block would probably show you a bit of everything.) Seems as if the fashion is pretty much straight old haircuts, with, um, variations.What we think of as pretty much a “standard hair cut” originated in the 1920s, encouraged by the crew cuts of a couple of world wars. Not sure where today’s “anything goes” came from. WWII was military crew cuts, and that’s been ordinary ever since. Haven’t seen any portraits of our soldiers with anything but a standard short cut ever since. I would assume that a standard short cut is much more comfortable than long hair, but I’m female. What do I know?

Sometimes the News is Just Funny! by The Elephant's Child
January 15, 2023, 5:25 pm
Filed under: Politics

Hunter Biden was, according to the news, paying $49,910.00 in rent payments monthly, to live in his father’s house. Think that one over! So there are many ways for the average person to get rich. Just rent your house out to your kids! Is this how it is done? Gosh, I didn’t even charge my three kids rent! And they had all pretty well moved out by age 18 anyway to go to college.

A monthly rent of $49,910 would add up to $598,920 a year. and I could have quit my job and relaxed on a sunny beach. This is probably one of those cases where you want to make a note of how it is done, for future use, or perhaps to keep a little evidence that might prove useful at some time, like the next election. We do like to know what our elected representatives are doing.

7:30 on a January Evening! by The Elephant's Child
January 14, 2023, 8:08 pm
Filed under: Politics

Pitch dark outside. One house on the lane below my hillside window has lights strung around their roof. The rest of the world is apparently unlighted, asleep, out for dinner, who knows? This Seattle suburb is a fair-sized city with lots of other suburbs to the North, South and East, but you wouldn’t know it from the dark world out there. Odd.

There is a main East-West drag four blocks below my window, and the only life visible in my world is that one house just below. Males me feel like I accidentally got up in the middle of the night. Very odd.

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish kid who sailed to America to warn us all of the upcoming climate catastrophe, is still out trying to convince the rest of the world that she’s right and the scientists are all wrong. Joe Biden is having major problems with classified documents, they keep turning up in places where they should not be, like his summer house, his car, anywhere but in federal hands.

We are being told that the federal government is coming for our gas stoves, apparently to save on natural gas. I thought they were trying to switch everybody to gas stoves to save on electricity just a short while ago. Are you beginning to get the feeling that the federal government doesn’t know what it is doing? Perhaps we should be electing a different crew to run the place? Lets just say that my confidence level is reaching new lows pretty regularly.

Too Dark! by The Elephant's Child
January 14, 2023, 5:58 pm
Filed under: Politics

It is Saturday, January 14, at 5:30 in the afternoon and pitch black outside, and has been for some time. That seems like it is carrying things a bit too far! Halfway through January and no daylight at all. Has it always gotten dark so early in the day in January? Probably, I’m perhaps just more sensitive to it this year for some unknown reason. One house on the lane just below my house has white lights around their roof, but there is no sign of any other light in the entire universe. Perhaps everybody has just gone to a movie, is there something particularly good at theaters just now? Lots of parties now, belatedly celebrating the new year? No idea. Oddly, very very dark out. Can’t even see lights on the ‘main drag’ four blocks down the hill, and I know there is traffic there. I always hate this time of year when days are so short!

Spokesman? by The Elephant's Child
January 10, 2023, 9:41 pm
Filed under: Politics

Americans are obliged to help bring more foreigners into their American society“, White House spokesman John Kirby told reporters in a briefing ahead of President Joe Biden’s meeting with Mexico’s president on Monday and Tuesday. The White House apparently needs a new “spokesman”. Americans are not obliged to do any such thing. Americans can shut down the borders completely, should they choose to do so. Don’t know who John Kirby is, but he needs to study up a bit. How can anyone supposedly representing the White House say such a dumb thing?

“You can’t forget that … we do, as a nation of immigrants, have an obligation to provide better tools and pathways for them to come in,” Kirby told reporters in the White House. The “Nation of Immigrants” narrative was invented in the 1950s by advocates for more migration. Biden and his deputies are pushing that claim to justify their importation of more illegal migrants above the limits set by Congress. Kirby also said Biden is trying to “balance” the additional immigrant inflow with actions that merely “curb” but not stop — the illegal migration that is strongly opposed by most Americans.

Excuse me. I think the “Nation of Immigrants” bit has outlived its usefulness. We can set our immigration levels wherever we, as a nation, decide they should be. We have laws about immigration, and laws that define just how one becomes an American citizen. We’re mostly pretty friendly about that. But it does not include people from other countries just sneaking across the border to take advantage of what we have to offer. There are clear rules about how to become an immigrant, and it’s not hard to learn what they are and how to follow the rules, and be welcomed.

The Border, The Border, The Border! by The Elephant's Child
January 10, 2023, 7:11 pm
Filed under: Politics

A group of U.S. Senators went down to the border today to make a public appearance to show how in control of things they are, and apparently learned nothing at all. You are not, I’m sure, surprised. There’s a lot of that going around.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez thanked President Joe Biden for halting the construction of a border wall between our two countries. Wonder how President Lopez would react if the traffic were in the other direction We probably all know.

I have studied Spanish in American classes at both high school and college levels, and unsurprisingly, am extremely far from fluent. I don’t know if it is a common experience, but I certainly get the impression that we are really lousy at teaching other languages. Maybe it’s different in border states, or perhaps I just got teachers who were in the “really lousy” category. Or perhaps you just need immersion where you are forced to learn.

Admittedly, I currently live close to the Canadian border, where there is no language barrier whatsoever, but I’ve lived close to the Southern border as well, where there is. Down there there is a lot more infiltration of Spanish in American cities, and more kids learn Spanish in school.

Six O’Clock on a Sunday Evening in January! by The Elephant's Child
January 8, 2023, 7:34 pm
Filed under: Politics

Pitch black outside, and has been for nearly an hour! I have never become acclimated to the short days in the middle of winter. I know all about it intellectually, but emotionally I hate it! I guess that’s why people trot off to South America for a winter vacation. President Biden just got back.

Of course, around the United States we have a lot of climate variation, which is why so many head for Florida or the gulf coast to leave winter behind. In Seattle, you get the complete downside: Short days, no snow to play in, rainy and miserable.

One can head for the mountain passes to ski or sled or just throw snowballs, but skiing has become hugely expensive. Lift tickets are outrageous. I grew up in the country at 4000 feet altitude, and winter offered all sorts of sports unavailable at any other time of the year. Good skiing, sledding, snow forts and statues to build, and in my case, a hot springs pool to swim and soak in. I really miss it. Perhaps the solution would be a big motor home to follow the best parts of each season around the country. Unlikely.

President Biden is apparently heading for El Paso, Texas “to finally get a look at the border”. Looking at the border will accomplish nothing, nothing at all, except to get one’s picture taken in the proper place at the proper time. Meaningless. Politicians do a lot of that. My favorite was A.O.C. clinging to a chain-link fence in Texas, I think it was, peering out at an empty parking lot. You can probably find that one if you search.

Are Murders Becoming Fashionable? by The Elephant's Child
January 8, 2023, 6:40 pm
Filed under: Politics

I continue to be troubled by the current fashion for murders. A nice mass murder gets the perpetrator right at the top of the daily news, understandably. but that is not a good thing, and is what the mass murderer seems to be seeking — being at the top of the daily news.

As far as we can tell from the press reports, the reasons for the mass murders remain unknown. Not personal animus, not retaliation for anything, we simply do not know why they are doing this. Killing another person is a terrible act, everybody knows that deeply. So what impels someone to kill and not just kill one person, but a whole group of people? It’s a truly bizarre act, the killer has to be aware of the societal rejection of such an act.

It’s easy to just slough it off as something not understandable and leave it to the criminal justice system to deal with. It would clearly help if we knew what allows a person to slip over into such a bizarre state. I guess that’s what the whole criminal justice system is all about. Trying desperately to find ways to prevent such acts. Is it somehow simply a plea for societal attention? No idea.

City Sounds! by The Elephant's Child
January 8, 2023, 3:02 pm
Filed under: Politics

Looking out my second story window, straight ahead is currently a too-tall hedge between our house and a lane just below. Getting it trimmed down is currently on the to-do list. To the south, however, I can see a long ways, probably 15 or 20 blocks at least. Smoky, undoubtedly on a dismal rainy day, people have cheery fires in their fireplaces if they are at home. Not the kind of day when folks want to go shopping or even out if they can help it. Thus smoky skies.

This, oddly, seems to be a period when murders are a regular, major, news item. Does the frequent reporting of news stories about murders somehow make murders more common, more usual or more acceptable? I have no idea, but it seems that if they are common news stories, they are somehow no longer shocking, which would seem to be a very bad thing. I would want murders to be extremely rare and extremely shocking. A lot follows from public attitudes and if the public is shocked and disturbed, action gets a little more pressure. These are not just matters of one individual being murdered, but but mass murders, where whole groups of people are murdered by some deranged person. That is, indeed a very big deal.

I live on the side of a hill, and some six blocks or so to the north is a main east-west drag in our community. You hear when the police stop someone for speeding, or when they are off in pursuit of an important event somewhere else. Those normal city sounds that tell you quite a bit if you are paying attention.

Murder at the University of Idaho: by The Elephant's Child
January 7, 2023, 5:02 pm
Filed under: Politics

Cloudy here today, not a sign of blue sky. Looking off to the South, there’s a lot of smoke in the air. Presumably, because everyone has a fire in their fireplace for warmth and good cheer. Needed. It’s that kind of day. Very gloomy, or possibly that’s just me.

They have closed in on the killer at the University of Idaho. He is in custody and the details are gradually being exposed. His DNA is all over the place. He was apparently a grad student in criminology at Washington State University just across the border from Moscow, which certainly makes the crime even more puzzling.

I keep wondering if there is some sort of enticement in the reporting about murders. Does being a successful murderer become some kind of goal for a deranged mind?

So far, from what I have read, there doesn’t seem to be any specific animus behind the murders. No broken romance, nothing of that sort. No indication that I have heard that he was an individual well known to the occupants of the house. All will gradually be exposed. The suggestion is that it was not anything personal, the victims were not known to the killer. I don’t know if this is true. I do hope that murders are not becoming fashionable, nor an achievement. One of the reasons why there is a death penalty is to make it clear that there are real consequences. Vast societal contempt is also a help.

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