American Elephants

“Twitter” Once Again Demonstrates its’ Unfamiliarity With The U.S. Constitution.
May 20, 2022, 5:05 pm
Filed under: Politics

Wonderful post at Breitbart: “The Latest & Greatest in Censorship: Twitter Will Hide Tweets Sharing “False Info” During a “Crisis”. This assumes blithely that Twitter would have any idea whatsoever is true or false, which is laughable, stating that “tweets containing what it considers false information during an active crisis will be hidden on the platform.”


Amendment One:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble , and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Sorry, Twitter. You are prohibited by the U. S. Constitution from abridging the freedom of speech. I know you are all puffed up with the popularity of Twitter, but you are going too far. You do not get to make such decisions. And certainly, you probably should hire some people who are familiar with the Constitution and it’s restrains. You should know better. Did anyone there go to school?

We seem to have a fairly large group of people who, recognizing some of the possibilities of the widespread adoption of the computer, and thereof making a bundle of money, assume that to indicate their general brilliance. They need to study up a bit more. There are some more important rules that top their supposed brilliance. Shame on them.

The Idea of “Trails” is Far More Romantic Than the Real Thing.
May 16, 2022, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Politics

I am fascinated with trails. Where I grew up in Idaho, there was a busy railroad that went by our resort. In the early days when we had a hotel and dining room, the railroad added a siding at our place, I presume so that the railroad bosses, who made regular trips up the branch line could get lunch at our dining room, though I don’t know that to be true, But they parked on the siding and had lunch. And my mother’s dining room was called by a young man who went around the state reviewing restaurants during the Depression for the local newspapers, rated ours as the best restaurant in the state. His name was Duncan Heinz, yes, that one.

The railroad served the logging industry, and there was a large mill in the closest town. The mill superintendent lived in our hotel . The railroad also supported the cattle industry and carloads of cattle went off to be transformed into steaks and roasts. That railroad has been shut down and transformed into a very long trail. Here in a Seattle suburb, the railroad that went from the area north of Seattle down to the south end of the lake, has also been shut down and transformed into a trail. From what I can tell, people like the idea of “trails” much more than the actually care to walk on them.

There were also real trails leading from our place to the Snake River, or to “Lost Lake” a pretty resivour 20 miles away, through pretty National Forest.

We’ve had, in the past few years sine dramatic stories in the media about murders on trails, people lost on trails, that sort of thing. From what I can tell, people really really like the idea of trails, but actually hiking or even walking on them is something quite different. Even for enthusiastic exercisers a lengthy former railroad trail is far longer than a comfortable walk in the park, and something intended to be walked on sometime in the future. Which, of course is not surprising, or shouldn’t be. Good intentions often go a’glimmering.

However, we should probably cast a bit of a critical eye on a proposal to transform a railroad branch into a trail. If the “trail” does not represent some useful necessity or desirable daily stroll, forget it and use the land in some more useful way. Just don’t get misled by the romantic notion of a “trail.”

Availability of Abortion, Here and There…
May 16, 2022, 2:49 pm
Filed under: Politics

The BIG Issue of the Day Has been Abortion
May 15, 2022, 9:20 pm
Filed under: Politics

Apparently, not that most women want to have an abortion, but they want the possibility there in case they make a mistake. A Safety Net Granted. Having a baby is a fairly long-term commitment. Say 18 years, or 21 until they are fully grow, and on their own. So the circumstances of the sex act are especially important. Unfortunate dalliance, or intended, finding oneself pregnant, unprepared for permanence is a very big deal indeed. And certainly there are a significant amount of sex acts outside of marriage going on out there. Parents urge their children to refrain until they are safely married, have worked for a while that sort of thing, which of course falls on a significant number of deaf ears.

The uproar has been about the leaked Supreme Court conversation about revisiting Roe v. Wade. The reaction from large numbers of women is “Keep your hands and your laws off my body”. Women do not want to be forced by law to carry a child to full term when they didn’t want a child in the first place.

There are a remarkable fourteen ways of preventing pregnancy from a sex act, not including just “The Pill”. Requires some straightforward actions on the part of the woman to make sure that she will not become pregnant. Apparently most women do not want to trust their own actions, but to have it all made easy for them. The Bad Guys in this situation are anyone trying to keep them from getting an abortion or making abortion illegal. Women assume that abortions are more readily available elsewhere. but this is not the case. Europe is much more restrictive, and in many places unavailable. Canada’s laws are similar to our own, though I don’t know just how similar, nor what their restrictions are. Much of Central America is Catholic, as is much of South America. The United States is actually one of the easiest places in the world in which to get an abortion, and in many countries, you’re just out of luck.

Kamala Harris Makes No Sense Whatsoever…..
May 15, 2022, 6:45 pm
Filed under: Politics

But somehow we will all work together? And this is the Vice President of the United States who will take over when or if President Joe Biden should become incapacitated? Well, there you go……

It’s Friday the Thirteenth! Is That Important?
May 13, 2022, 2:03 pm
Filed under: Politics

I looked up “Friday the 13th” because I have no idea why the 13th of any month falling on a Friday is supposed to be an unlucky deal. Is it just the number 13? Is that just an American thing, or do other countries worry about the 13th day of the month too? Are some families far more superstitious than others, and is that something one learns in childhood? I do not come from a superstitious family, but there are others who believe it all from black cats on down. I have never seen any investigation into superstitions, are they regional? Tomorrow will be the 14th and no one will have to worry until the next unlucky combination of the number 13 and the 6th day of a week come along. I guess it was the Gregorian Calendar that divided our time up into seven day periods, and on the seventh day you shall rest? I’ll have to look up the Gregorian Calendar.

There are so many things that we don’t know about our fellow human beings. For example, today is Friday the 13th, for some reason supposed to be an “unlucky day.” Where did that come from and why? Would it be different if it were Tuesday the 13th? or Sunday? Or is it just the combination of Friday and the 13th day on the calendar? Does the month make no difference? Does anybody believe that Friday the 13th is a big deal? And why Friday anyway?

How many people have combined the “unlucky day” with the apparent shortage of baby formula? Don’t most people who have babies dependent on canned formula keep a stock on hand? Or in other words, is this a real problem or one made up by a news media looking for attention? With the ubiquity of computers, we can easily look up just about anything, but is that a good thing or a major waste of time?

The Gregorian calendar was introduced in October 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a modification and replacement for the Julian calendar It is now used by most of the world. Look up “Gregorian Calendar” You can regale your friends with that bit of esoteric information and impress them with your knowledge.

The far more important issue today is baby formula. Some stores have run out and new parents are panicking. Is there hoarding? Is it distribution? Are baby formula plants in trouble? No idea what has caused the problem. President Biden has been sending large amounts of baby formula to the southern border for families crossing the border with babies. Is that the source of the problem? I have no idea.

ADDENDUM: The fascinating clock in the picture is in Prague, Czechoslovakia, (or the Czech Republic as it is now known) in case you wondered.

Creating the “News”
May 9, 2022, 7:16 pm
Filed under: Politics

On “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Former Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder called fir former President Donald Trump to “be held accountable:” for the “January 6, 2021 riot “ at the U.S. Capitol. They are really trying hard, but the facts intrude. There was no “riot” on January 6 at the U.S. Capitol. A group of protesters in a plaza outside the Capitol were invited into the Capitol building by Capitol Police. There is film of the whole thing.

There was NO violence. Curious citizens, invited in by the Capitol Police, wandered through the building looking at the pictures on the walls. The only violence was when a Capitol Policeman shot and killed a young woman named Ashley Babbit for no known reason.

The protesters walked peacefully through the building, observing and obeying the red velvet ropes and looking at the pictures on the walls. Democrats are trying desperately to sell the whole thing as a “riot”, and will probably succeed to some extent, if they keep repeating it long enough. Disgusting.

They are, of course, deeply concerned because they recognize how unpopular the Biden Administration currently is, and they are worried about the next election coming up. The price of gas affects every pocketbook.Americans have experienced inflation and they don’t like it. Look up the definition of the word “riot”, every definition will include “violence” in some form. There was NO violence. Curious citizens, invited in by the Capitol Police, wandered through the building looking at the pictures on the walls. The only violence was when a Capitol Policeman shot and killed a young woman named Ashley Babbit for no known reason.

I don’t know to what extent reporters are rewarded for the numbers of readers who are attracted to their pieces, or for that matter if anybody keeps track, or can keep track. Recommendations on well-trafficked websites are undoubtedly noticed, but there are huge numbers of websites that do little commentary of their own, but direct readers to articles they find interesting. Journalism has changed a lot in the computer age.

News photographers are clearly always on the lookout for a good boob shot, which will top any ordinary news photography anytime. And apparently attract more interest.

The subject of the day, however is abortion A leak from some Supreme Court flunky suggests that the Court may revisit Roe v.Wade, which ignited a firestorm. Apparently a large percentage of American women regard legal abortion as their guaranteed safety net. Outraged, they immediately suggested that American women would promptly move to Europe, oblivious to the fact that the United States has probably been the world’s easiest place to obtain an abortion in the world. Abortions are not widely available in Europe, and much more restrictive where available. And in a large part of the world, quite illegal.

There are some 14 different ways to have sex and avoid becoming pregnant, according to my count. But taking responsibility for oneself is a little more complicated.

New Name for the Republican Party!
May 4, 2022, 9:47 pm
Filed under: Politics

President Joe Biden went on a rant today about “the MAGA Crowd” as “The Most Extreme Political Organization in History”. MAGA apparently refers to Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” theme, but I didn’t know it was a “political organization”.

He added the leak that the Supreme Court may be overturning Roe v. Wade, outlawing abortion and warned that “Republicans might pass a law preventing “LGTBQ children from attending public school with other children” Oh please! I guess he is recognizing that his approval ratings are in the tank, and the upcoming election doesn’t look good for him. But really!I If you are going to accuse your opponents of something, try to make sense.

There are, I counted up, fourteen different ways to have sex and not get pregnant, without including abortion. Seems as if that might cover the options without requiring a federal law.

Democrats are clearly worried about the upcoming election, and noticing that President Biden’s approval ratings are, shall we say, lacking enthusiasm. The American people, in general, aren’t very enthusiastic about inflation, nor outrageous prices for gas for their cars. There is talk about electric cars, but I surely haven’t noticed any great swell of enthusiasm. Come to that, haven’t seen a lot of electric cars on the street either. The parking garage for out major shopping center has a spot for electric cars to plug in while they shop, but it’s usually empty.

“Disinformation”: the New Name for Lies!
May 2, 2022, 6:31 pm
Filed under: Politics

Well. actually, it’s not the new name for lies, it’s an attempt to get rid of speech you don’t like or agree with by giving it a more formal cutesy name “disinformation” indeed! You are not supposed to disapprove publicly with what your government thinks is, at the moment, a good idea, and they want you to stop it immediately…You are not supposed to disapprove! At least not publicly where others might get the idea. Alejandro Mayorkas, the Cuban-American Secretary of Homeland Security really, really doesn’t want anyone to think that his “Disinformation Board” set up to control American speech and thought might possibly infringe on free speech or monitor Americans. Perish the thought!

You will find it under Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America:

Amendment One

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That’s why I recommend that you have a little copy of the Constitution in your desk drawer. Just because they got appointed to a federal office doesn’t clearly indicate that they have even read it of are in the least familiar with its provisions. No, Secretary Mayorkas, you don’t get to have a “Disinformation Board” intended specifically to infringe on free speech and monitor Americans. Nor someone in charge of “Disinformation”. Not just a profoundly dumb idea, but quite unconstitutional. You should know better.

The News of the Day on a Monday Morning…
May 2, 2022, 4:22 pm
Filed under: Politics

Always interesting to turn on the computer to get my first take on the news of the day. I start with Breitbart, because I like them, and because they are alphabetically at the top of my list of websites to visit. Headline: Joe Biden’s Approval Underwater. 68% Disapprove of Handling of Inflation. Hardly surprising, Inflation really hurts American pocketbooks, usually starting at the grocery store where you notice it immediately at the cash register. 50% of Americans now disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of inflation. His approval rating is in the toilet, as 52 percent of Americans disapprove. The disapproval rate will probably increase as more people go to the grocery store. 68 percent disapprove of his handling of inflation. I’m not sure that the president understands the relationship of the presidency and inflation.

Add to that, talk in the media about “food shortages” will undoubtedly have many people stocking up. Then there’s the talk about artificial beef, that sort of thing. Will we get into hoarding? The press should be aware that careless headlines can lead to a frightened populace, and frightened people don’t always act rationally.

I have no idea what ordinary people do about the food on hand in their kitchens. Do they have a pantry with supplies for several weeks, or just food for tomorrow? I do have a pantry, but many live in one-room apartments, with no room for major food supplies. Growing up in the mountains, there was always the risk of a landslide or other inability to get out to a store, so we were prepared for that, and to some extent that habit has carried over with me, even in a city with grocery stores only a few blocks away. Some people grow some of their own food, even in a city. (Usually tomatoes). I don’t think we know much about even our friends and neighbors habits in that sector of life. There are regional habits too. In some areas, everybody does a lot of canning, elsewhere, not at all. Do people who grew up in the country where a trip to the grocery was more of an expedition keep bigger stores on hand in their city apartments? Funny, we really don’t know much about how even our friends and neighbors live.

For that matter, how interested are you when you arise, in the news of the day? Is it a big deal to see what’s going on, or a sooner or later you’ll get around to it thing? I suspect that this is a vastly differing thing for most people.

Freedom of Speech and What it Means
May 1, 2022, 7:14 pm
Filed under: Politics

Did you know that former president Barack Obama has a $400,000 speaking fee? It has been clear that the former president does not like to be out of the public eye. Many former presidents sort of establish their presidential library and except on rare occasions essentially vanish from the public eye.

Former President Obama clearly enjoys the attention or interest of the public, but a $400.000 speaking fee does seem a little excessive. I have no information at all about “speaking fees”. I assume that people expect to be paid for traveling to some location, writing and giving a speech, but I had no idea that ti was so expensive. Always learning a little more about the way things work, and it is often surprising.

The average salary in the United States, my computer tells me, is $47,520.00. If you make more, you can be smug. If you make less, you have a goal. Do you have anything important to say to the public and would they pay you for it? There are in some jobs nice extras that you get instead of more salary. You can find the average salary by State, if you look. If you would rather not know, don’t look. If you are considering moving, you can look up the average salary in your chosen destination. Computers are sometimes handy.

We Believe In Freedom of Speech!
May 1, 2022, 4:32 pm
Filed under: Politics

We believe, firmly in our freedom of speech, but when it comes to someone else’s nutty ideas…and as Shakespeare once said “There’s the rub!” And that is clearly what the whole thing is about. The Biden administration is currently busily installing a Ministry of Disinformation to tackle just that sort of problem, that is, nasty people saying things they don’t like. OK, it’s a “Disinformation Governance Board”, not formally a “Ministry”. Nevertheless, it would seem to be something clearly quite unconstitutional, but that will have to work its way through a lot of questions, and undoubtedly a lot of courts.

It seems fairly unbelievable, but freedom of speech is actually being attacked by the President of the United States. Of course, he does not recognize that to be what he is doing, but he should. Perhaps we need some federal guidebooks, bound in shiny something or other, gold?, so they will look essential and important on the presidential desk, so important that it would be inconceivable if they were not read.

Note: This is why I urge you to have an inexpensive copy of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America in your desk drawer. You can, of course quickly look it up on your computer, but that and a dictionary are the most basic books you must have. Aside from the books of your religion. of course..

Disinformation Governance Board”, indeed!

“Disinformation” is just the current cute way of saying “LIES” referring to what somebody said that you don’t like, but in general you get to just deny that it is a lie, though it’s more advantageous if you have the press with you. Consider how much of our current thought and argument is controlled or fostered by “the media”. That’s why most articles have a “comments” section and why there are websites like “Twitter.”Have you ever commented on an article? Do someone else’s comments infuriate you? Do you read the comments on an occasional article? Always? Never? Ever stop to think how remarkable it is to have an immediate place to add your thoughts? This is all a developing and changing situation. Keep that in mind as you scroll around the internet. Do most people recognize that this is a freedom that could be denied at any moment and must be fiercely defended?

What is Freedom of Speech? What does it mean to a citizenry and to a country? To what extent do other countries offer freedom of speech? What can be said?, what should be said? What should be prevented from being said? If anything?

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