American Elephants

Information and What’s True and What Isn’t. by The Elephant's Child
January 6, 2023, 11:54 pm
Filed under: Politics

We are all trying to get information about and understand what is going on in the world. In the past we have had wars suddenly dumped on us, and we were all unprepared. We learned some powerful lessons from Pearl Harbor in 1941, and we’re not up for that ever happening to us again. However, stuff goes on in the world and we don’t always understand what it means right off the bat.

What about the current war between Russia and the Ukraine? We keep a close eye on things like that, trying to see how it is developing and what the potential might be. That’s why we try to be very careful about just who we put in charge. Wars don’t usually start with sudden dramatic eruptions like Pearl Harbor. I think, and hope, that the world learned a lesson from that one. We are a big, prominent country, but we can be aroused. And you probably don’t want to mess with us when we are. We want someone in charge who knows what they are doing.

It is hard to understand what is going on, for example, in the Ukraine. Is it just local, or something far bigger? Ukraine is said to be “the breadbasket of Europe”, and does that talk represent a threat to the food supply for European countries or are they mostly self-sufficient? The talk has even spread to this country with some encouraging panic on our own food supply.

Always remember that journalists keep their jobs by encouraging readers, and a good panic usually works to increase readership. So read with a skeptical eye, but follow up if you see something that worries you.

Journalists work hard at getting factual information to you, but they want their pieces read as their salaries depend on it. So they may be prone to being a little more alarming than the information actually suggests. None of us know what is going to happen tomorrow. If the information comes accompanied with boob shots or other unnecessary stuff, they may be just trying too hard.

Education, and What We Know! by The Elephant's Child
January 6, 2023, 4:48 pm
Filed under: Politics

It’s almost 4:00 in the afternoon in this Seattle suburb. The sky is completely cloudy, with faint tinges that suggest that somewhere behind all the clouds there might actually be blue sky, but not likely today or any time soon. It will be dark fairly soon. Slight suggestions of smoke in the air, but not much. It’s an ordinary work day.We’ll have to get our gigantic fallen fir branch cut up in time for next week’s collection. Has to be cut in 3 foot lengths according to the Garbage company. Lots of sawing!

We did get some of the smaller stuff out. The weather forecast offers nothing pleasant. cloudy and occasional drizzle. It is definitely not Spring yet! Winter, however, seems to be over. We are dominated, of course, by the Pacific Ocean and Puget Sound. I have no idea how much people realize how extensively geologic features dominate their local weather. That’s not usually a feature of public education. Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.

There’s a remarkable lot that is not covered by those three words! I wonder how often the education establishment looks at the big picture — the citizens and what they know and don’t know, to evaluate their curriculum. Does anyone evaluate what American parents know and are able to teach their children? Of course not. Do we actually want subsequent generations to know more and be more educated that their parents? Are we constantly trying to improve the curriculum so that we end up with a smarter population? And who is in charge of that?

4:40 P.M. almost completely dark. We realize, of course, that days are shorter in the winter, but it’s hard to focus on how early it gets dark, that nights are longer in winter. I certainly prefer a little more daytime. As the world turns!

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