American Elephants


A Bit of History That You Probably Never Knew by The Elephant's Child

The photo is from Venezuela, a line of hungry people trying to get groceries, and scarce toilet paper. Here in the Seattle area we are having runs on toilet paper, people are desperately trying to stock up. Some stores are limiting how many packages of rolls one may buy. We have a delivery of groceries coming on Monday, and won’t know until then how much, if any, toilet paper will be included with the order. Thanks to Covid-19.

That leads those of us who read a lot to check into the history of toilet paper, and a lot of people are doing so. You may know that the “slang term” for the toilet is “the crapper.” This is not a bad word for the facility, but the name of the gentleman, Thomas Crapper, who patented his valve and siphon design in 1891. Philadelphia was the first city that switched entirely to cast iron pipes for their new system of water delivery.

Chicago was the first city in the country in 1885, to have a comprehensive sewer system. The Tremont Hotel in Boston was the first hotel of its kind to feature indoor plumbing for guests in 1829. Eight water closets were built by Isaiah Rogers. Until that time indoor water closets were commonly found in the homes of the rich and in luxury hotels.  Soon soap was introduced during bathing,(!) and it was adapted widely for hygiene purposes. Think about that one, with what you know of history in general. Before there were comprehensive sewer systems, there was often a town pump where you went with your bucket. We live in such an age of invention that it’s hard to think about previous generations as not having them. My mother bought her first television so she could see the first moon landing. But there was a time when someone in the family bought their first toilet, and someone first bought toilet paper. Before that the pages of the Sears and Roebuck catalog usually were used.

The first water pipes were discovered by archeologists in the Indus River in India, dating back to 4000-3000 B.C. Egyptian ruler Menes supported a thriving civilization by constructing canals, irrigation ditches, and basins.

This comes from a History of Plumbing Timeline: The Invention of Indoor Plumbing posted by John C. Flood of Virginia, apparently a plumbing company. Do take the time to visit it and learn a bit about our history that you probably never knew. Always good for starting a new conversation at a boring party.



President Trump Goes to India by The Elephant's Child

Of course, the obligatory visit to the Taj Mahal, a stunningly beautiful building built of white marble. It is a mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra.

It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan who reigned from 1628 to 1658, to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Muntaz Mahal, and also contains the tomb of Shah Jahan himself. It is the centerpiece of 42 acres that contains a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall. Muntaz Mahal died while giving birth to their 14th child in 1631. Her death left the emperor heartbroken, and his hair was said to have turned grey overnight. The construction began in 1632.

Here are the pictures from the President’s visit It’s fun to scroll through them. There’s a picture that’s my favorite of a man mounted on a camel, man and camel decorated lavishly with flowers. The camel seems to be smiling in a funny grin, and the gentleman riding him is carrying a Tuba, which he obviously plays at some point.

When you reach the end, do not click on the <2 or 3> which is just a repeat of what you already saw, unless, of course you want to see it all again.



Ian Plimer Explains Climate Change and Earth’s History by The Elephant's Child

Ian Plimer is a distinguished Australian scientist. He is a professor of Geology at the University of Adelaide, the author of 6 books and many scientific papers. Two of his books question the validity of man-made climate change. This is dangerous territory, for you will quickly be labeled a “Denier”, or guilty of “wrong think.”

There are huge amounts of money involved in the Climate Change battle. The climate, of course, has been changing for millions of years. There are dry years, long cold winters, and short winters with poor skiing and big losses for ski resorts. We have the strange example of Greta Thunberg who is now a foundation, AOC is plumping for the “Green New Deal”, a disastrously stupid idea, and she wants to abolish “fracking” which is responsible for lowering the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere more than any other country in the world, and allows us to use more clean natural gas in place of sooty coal for heating our homes and businesses.

When you start telling people that the climate will end life as we know it in just 10 or 12 years, people don’t know what to do and are frightened, and don’t know where to turn. Then the news is filled with images of what seems to be Australia burning up, (the fires are ‘contained’ and no longer a crisis) so you add in the hurricanes and tornadoes and start to believe that we must DO SOMETHING right now. Politicians who hope to be re-elected start promising electric cars and buses (I’ve read that  electric cars don’t work in the cold, but don’t know if it’s true) and building wind farms and vast solar arrays which don’t do much for our energy. Australia has regular problems with bush fires, hurricanes have nothing to do with climate, and the 2017 survey of polar bears proves once again that they are fine and multiplying nicely. What one needs to do is study up. Find out just who are the scientists who know and understand  what we do know and what we don’t. Ian Plimer is one of the good ones, as are William Happer, Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer , John Christie, and many others. Read Climate Depot, Watts Up With That, and Roy Spencer’s blog regularly and you will start becoming knowledgeable.

Ian Plimer will start you off nicely with a geologic history of the Earth.

This is a very long video, but invaluable. I cannot urge you strongly enough to make the time to watch the whole thing. You will learn about the entire history of climate, about the deplorable current climate panic, that is basically a political ploy, not science.Professor Plimer is an excellent explainer.

Christiana Figures, who was general secretary of the IPCC  (the International Panel on Climate Change) announced at a news conference back in early February of 2015, that the object of the “climate crisis” was not to save the Earth from the degradation of a climate disaster, but to eliminate Capitalism. Much of the world hates our wealth and booming economy, the wealth of goods produced, and the way we go around the world trying to “help” other countries, tell them what to do, or just disapprove of them. They might learn that the source of our wealth and thriving economy is capitalism, and they too could share in it’s blessings. But that, in turn, might mean unpleasant things like freedom and elections and the rule of law.



The Wonderful Moment When The Dems Are Attacked by Their Own Words by The Elephant's Child

Scott Johnson posted this at Powerline blog. Those wonderful moments when the enemy’s words come back to attack them right where it hurts! Scott said:

If there is anything in the sordid impeachment saga that is laugh out loud funny, the video compiled for White House Counsel Pat Cippolone’s closing argument on behalf of President Trump in the Senate this afternoon might be it . In the video somebody seems to have opened the door of the Dem clown car — the car carrying the once and future Dem clowns — and sent them out to perform. On Twitter Mollie Hemingway notes: “The laughter at the end is from Senators…”

Quotable quote (Chuck Schumer): “I expect history will show we’ve lowered the bar on impeachment…My fear is that when a Republican wins the White House, Democrats will demand payback.”



What We have Been Reading and Mulling Over: by The Elephant's Child

At Commentary:  John Steele Gordon asks: “Has the American Economy ever been in better shape than it is today? The answer, frankly, is no.”

The American economy continues its robust growth. Two hundred sixty-six thousand new jobs were added in November, well above expectations, while the unemployment rate dropped back to September’s and October’s jobs numbers adjusted upwards, job growth has averaged 208,000 jobs for the last three months.

At Powerline blog: By Scott Johnson “BARR IS ON THE CASE”

Attorney General William Barr sat for an extended interview with NBC’s Pete Williams to discuss the findings in the Department of Justice Inspector General report released yesterday afternoon. NBC has cut the thing up in a couple of stories, but it has also posted the whole thing on YouTube (24-minute video below).

If you can find the time, do watch the video. Attorney General William Barr will make you feel like there are still some grownups here.

Scott followed that up with BARR IS ON THE Case 2

At National Review: “The Articles of Impeachment are Very Weak” by Andy McCarthy:

The charges range from insignificant to implausible to inane.

Democrats rolled out two articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday, alleging abuse of power and obstruction.

As noted over the weekend, I had to correct myself when writing that the impeachment inquiry that led to this point was a “rush to judgment.” The judgment was made long ago. The president has been Impeached Man Walking for “The Resistance” since before he took the oath of office. The House proceedings have been a matter of rushing the process until it catches up to a judgment of three years’ standing.

The Democrats have oversold the impeachment idea. How could they help it? Their Crazies are loudly proclaiming how horrible Trump is daily and demanding his removal from office. They have gone too far, and their arguments are falling apart. The FBI is in deep trouble. Much is yet to come, including the other investigation.

 



Democrats Got Caught Trying To Find a “Bombshell” by The Elephant's Child

Devin Nunes is now the Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, superseded by current Chair Adam Schiff. Congressman Nunes has been invaluable in the current miasma in that committee, and in Congress. Mr. Schiff continues to be an embarrassment as he strives ever more valiantly to find something, anything, for which to impeach President Trump. It provides daily entertainment for those with strong stomachs. Or at least it would if you could tolerate it. Do watch the whole thing, It’s not Long. Devin Nunes is very good!

From Scott Johnson at the powerline blog:  Quotable quote: “They got caught trying to obtain nude photos of President Trump from Russian pranksters pretending to be Ukrainians….That is the Democrats’ pitiful legacy in recent years: they got caught.”



AAAARGH!!! by The Elephant's Child

Forgive me, but I want to rant a bit! I HATE PASSWORDS! I did business with this outfit two or three years ago, wrote down the password in my little password notebook, but it seems that is not actually my password, because (???) it doesn’t work. Well, then, they have my special verification clues, which apparently is the name of my best man or matron of honor at my wedding a couple hundred years ago. But that doesn’t work, and which one did they want — male or female, They don’t accept either one. So we start all over with sending codes and emails and new passwords. Supposedly I gave then the name of my “favorite author” as a verification back in the distant past. Favorite author? I was an English major, I do not now or ever have favorite authors. It depends on what I just read and whether I liked it or not, and I read all the time. And all this was for a very unimportant $10.00 purchase.

Does anyone else have this difficulty with passwords and verification? Or is it a universal complaint? Didn’t some federal person just become a laughingstock recently because his password was “password”? Oh do, please, tell me your horror stories so I won’t feel so alone in my rage.




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