American Elephants


Nancy Pelosi Is The Gift That Keeps On Giving by The Elephant's Child

Nancy Pelosi is a gift to the Republican Party. After she explained about how the “wrap-up smear” that they applied to Judge Brett Kavanaugh, works, she has now explained how the Democrats will calm the political rhetoric that is traumatizing the nation.  When Democrats win the House, it will all calm down.

Just like your two-year-old will stop the tantrum when he gets the cookie he wants! I mean, we knew this, but it is extra-delightful to have the House Minority Leader confirm it, in public, on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday evening. 

COLBERT: There’s been a lot of talk about lowering the temperature of political discourse. Have you seen evidence of that?

PELOSI: Well, I think when we win, you will see evidence of that. Because when we do win, we will have, as we open the new Congress, we will honor the vows of our founders. E Pluribus Unum.

PELOSI: We couldn’t imagine how many we would be or different we would be from each other, but they did know we have to strive for oneness. “It’s okay to disagree in the marketplace of ideas. That’s exciting. But it is also important to find solutions that unify and not divide. And that’s what makes a big difference between Democrats and what’s in the White House now.”

Do try to avoid giving them the House. She already told us that the first thing they would do when they get back in charge, would be to raise your taxes.

Absolutely brilliant!

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How to Prepare for Disaster by The Elephant's Child

This has been a sad week. First someone was sending pipe bombs to President Trump’s detractors. The Media was quite sure it was President Trump or someone on his behalf. The people weren’t quite so sure. President Trump spoke out emphatically, and set the FBI on the case. They promptly found a fingerprint on one of the bombs, found the nutcase, and put him in jail. Excellent work by the FBI. We still don’t know if any of the mailed bombs would actually have blown up.

Then in Philadelphia, an Anti-Semite conducted a mass shooting in a synagogue where a religious ceremony was taking place, killing eleven people and wounding six, and 3 policemen as well.  I simply cannot understand how in today’s world some people cannot seem to allow others to have differing or opposing views. And I just don’t understand Anti-Semitism, nor how anyone can hold such crackpot ideas.

PJ Media published a useful article in response: “Everything You Think You Know About an Active Shooter Situation is wrong.” No one ever expects to be caught in such a situation, but knowing what to do if you are – is valuable information. Print out the article, teach your family and your friends.  It’s called ALICE training. There’s a video of a lawyer being attacked by a deranged shooter, that helps to explain how he stayed alive.

There are good people and bad people out there, and a smattering of nutcases, we don’t have any idea how many. All kinds of emergency situations might arise. Take the trouble to prepare as best you can. And while you’re at it, get a flu shot.



The Democratic Party Is a Crazed, Howling Mob! by The Elephant's Child

I was just mulling over my first sentence, when John Hinderaker at the Powerline Blog wrote it for me. “The Democratic Party has turned into a crazed, howling mob. It is degrading our public life to a degree that has not been seen since they seceded in 1861.”

Front Page Magazine, David Horowitz’s website, wrote about how they had updated their “Discover the Networks” site, so to investigate, I went there and entered “Antifa” because of all the riots in Portland. The same bunch comes to Seattle when the possibility of a good riot seems imminent, probably adding on some locals.  Antifa is pronounced ón–tee–fah, emphasis on the ón.  It’s a shortened form of antifacist, but they’re more correctly identified as anarchist. They simply want to permanently wipe the United States off the face of the earth.

Thus those designed to protect and defend the nation’s civil society are illegitimate as well, so they’re against the police, ICE, federal state and local governments and want to make the United States “ungovernable” by engaging in mass insurrection, and mass resistance and all manner of physical violence against supporters of President Trump in order to advance social justice and crush “fascism.” Nice bunch.

It’s a long and thorough article, and very interesting. Lots of druggies among them, and perhaps even more people who get a high or rush from physical violence. I came away with the feeling that it’s all the high from physical violence, for their understanding of politics, political systems, social justice, or fascism is severely lacking. Made me think that we desperately need to imbue our educational system from the very start with a deep understanding of what it means to be human. Any vision of a serene society where we all just get along and we all help each other and share our stuff, and food, and shelter, is simply bonkers. There is no such thing as “social justice.” Socialism is not a system for sharing and equality, but a system for coercive control by greedy leaders. Doesn’t work, cannot work, has never worked, as would-be socialists assume.

Our “social media,” supposedly designed to bring people together, does no such thing. Families don’t get along. Siblings fight or detest each other. You lose friends. Some people are deeply ignorant. Some are mean. Some get a high from violence. We are each solitary individuals in a complicated world in which we have to learn how to make our way. And our journey will be filled with hope and misery. We will lose friends and family, we will be fired from jobs, get into accidents and be cheated. So revel in the good days and appreciate them as a triumph over adversity which is always waiting just around the corner. Add Discover the Networks to your list of useful websites. They explain just who the organizations are, and who the players are, and what they are all up to.

How extremely odd this is when we are just discovering again what a blessing we enjoy to live in one of the freest societies in the world, with a free economy that is growing and prospering.  And the opposing party can only demand that we shut all the prosperity down. A strange world indeed.



Global Warming for the Two Cultures: Richard Lindzen by The Elephant's Child

The Global Warming Policy Foundation

The 2018 Annual GWPF Lecture
Global Warming for the Two Cultures”
8 October 2018
Richard Lindzen

…..Over half a century ago, C.P. Snow (a novelist and English physical chemist) who also served in several important positions in the British Civil Service and briefly in the UK government famously examined the implications of “two cultures:”
…..A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold’ it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which id the scientific equivalent of :Have you read a work of Shakespeare’s?
…..I now believe that if I had asked an even simpler question –such as. What do you mean by mass, or acceleration, which is the scientific equivalent of saying Can you read? – not more than one in ten of the highly educated would have felt that I was speaking the same language. So the great edifice of modern physics goes up, and the majority of the cleverest people in the western world have about as much insight into it as their Neolithic ancestors would have had.
…..I fear that little has changed since Snow’s assessment 60 years ago. While some might maintain that ignorance of physics does not impact political ability, it most certainly  impacts the ability of non-scientists to deal with nominally science-based issues. The gap in understanding is also an invitation to malicious exploitation. Given the democratic necessity for non-scientists to take positions on scientific problems, belief and faith inevitably replace understanding, though trivially oversimplified false narratives serve to reassure the non-scientists that they are not totally without scientific ‘understanding.’ The issue of global warming offers numerous examples of all of this.
…..I would like to begin this lecture with an attempt to force the scientists in the audience to come to grips with the actual nature of the climate system, and to help the motivated non-scientists in this audience who may be in Snow’s ‘one in ten’ to move beyond the trivial oversimplifications.
The climate system
The rest of Dr. Lindzen’s lecture is here:
It’s roughly 7 pages, admittedly a little long, but you will understand a lot more of the controversy and reality of the whole global warming issue. Unfortunately there are a lot of people in charge of states who don’t have a clue.

 



Joe Biden Explains FBI Investigations by The Elephant's Child

Here’s Joe Biden, a bit younger back in 1991, during the Clarence Thomas hearings, explaining that FBI investigations, such as the one demanded today of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, do not reach conclusions. That’s not their job, nor how they do things. Embarrassing to Democrats to have us dredge up ancient evidence, but there it is. The FBI investigates, but they do not reach conclusions.

Democrats really hate it when we do this. They have no concern about consistency, and hate it when we make fun of them.



Going Wild — The Knepp Wildland by The Elephant's Child

Do watch this short video. It will enrich your day.

Eighteen years ago, Isabella Tree and Charlie Burrell turned their 3,500-acre farm in West Sussex, England, into a massive outdoor laboratory. They decided to cede control of their land to nature and watched it slowly grow wild again. Now, at what they call Knepp Wildland, herds of fallow deer, Exmoor ponies, and longhorn cows do battle with scrubland and tree branches, while Tamworth pigs rustle in the hedgerows and strengthen mycorrhizal networks in the soil. The result of this experiment is burgeoning biodiversity and resilience, as endangered species like turtledoves, nightingales, and rare butterflies inhabit a landscape unseen in England since the Middle Ages. Isabella Tree appears in this video to talk about what life is like in a wild world, and how Knepp has ignited a reckoning with traditional methods of land stewardship and conservation.

From The American Scholar: The Scholar Connection
scholarsconnection@theamericanscholar.org



Wars Are To Be Won, They are Not Playing Fields For Theorists by The Elephant's Child

Japanese Surrender

It was seventy three years ago today. There are few left who remember at first hand, and even new recruits who were 20 then would be 93 today. Victor Davis Hanson remarked a while ago, that history is about wars. Do we gradually become inured to war as it grows more distant? Are those most bellicose in the present the ones who are historically the most ignorant? How much of our present attitudes are related to how much, and how accurate is our knowledge of history?

This original post was written in 2009, with references to President Obama’s current words and actions about the Middle East and Afghanistan. I left that part our and reprinted the history. The first link below is to pictures of the Missouri. This one is to the history of the Last Battleship

The Emperor Hirohito, of course, did not come down to the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay for the surrender ceremonies.  To misunderstand that demonstrates a lack of understanding of the Pacific War and the relationship of the Emperor to the Japanese people. In their 2000 year history, the Japanese had never surrendered to anyone.  Japan was determined to fight on, even after Okinawa was lost.  The Japanese navy had effectively ceased to exist, but an all-out defense of the homeland beachhead was planned.  Rebellious army officers planned a palace coup which was put down.  On August 14, 1945, the Emperor recorded a speech which was broadcast to the nation at noon on the following day, August 15.

The Japanese people were stunned.  They had never before heard the Emperor’s voice.  The formal surrender ceremony took place aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945. The Japanese representatives on board the Missouri were Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu (wearing top hat) and General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff.  Behind them are three representatives each of the Foreign Ministry, the Army and the Navy.

Japanese Surrender2

Worth noting is an article from The New York Times that quoted  Toshikazu Kase, a 100-year-old veteran of the Imperial Japanese government. (Second from right in middle row in the top hat).  He would write in his memoirs about the surrender to MacArthur on the deck of the Missouri:

Here is the victor announcing the verdict to the prostrate enemy.  He can impose a humiliating penalty if he so desires.  And yet he pleads for freedom, tolerance and justice.  For me, who expected the worst humiliation, this was a complete surprise.  I was thrilled beyond words, spellbound, thunderstruck.

Understanding the history of our relations with Japan is crucial to understanding our relationship and friendship with Japan today. Understanding the history of Israel and Palestine helps to keep from making mistakes about who our friends are and why.  Understanding the history of Latin America keeps a president from siding with some of the region’s worst dictators, and confusing our Constitution and laws with the constitution and laws of Honduras.

These things matter, and if a President does not have the background, it should be included in briefings. If his speechwriters don’t have the background, they should look it up.  And if the State Department doesn’t have the background, God help us .

(the headline comes from a quotation from Ralph Peters)

I ran onto this piece today, a pictorial of the Japanese memorial service in honor of those who died in World War II, with a picture of Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.That reminded me of a book I’ve had for years, an autobiography by Elizabeth Gray Vining, which I recommend highly. She became a member of the Society of Friends after her young husband was killed in an auto accident in which she survived. When the Japanese Emperor Hirohito decided to employ an American Quaker woman as a tutor for his son and the future Emperor, they turned to Elizabeth Vining. Her first book is
Windows for the Crown Prince followed by the autobiography Quiet Pilgrimage in which she tells about the appointment.She wrote:

“In the fall of 1946 a quiet Philadelphia woman was suddenly picked up, transported halfway around the globe and dropped down again in the middle of the oldest, the most formal, the most mysterious court in the world, the court of Japan. I was that woman.”

In her autobiography she includes much of what didn’t appear in the earlier book. I found the whole thing absolutely fascinating.




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