American Elephants


Keeping Up With COVID-19 and the Lockdown by The Elephant's Child

Scott W. Atlas, MD, is a Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, and the former Chief of Neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center.  Here he writes on “How to Re-Open Society Using Evidence, Medical Science, and Logic.”

I like the title: and the qualifications for his advice, especially ‘logic’. Do read the whole thing. We need to be a little more informed in the wake of the media efforts to stir up something, anything, to keep Trump from winning re-election. It’s getting heated-up out there as accusations are flying and clarity is in short supply. Here is a link to Dr. Atlas’ biography.

Also from the Hoover Institution: Peter Robinson interviews Dr. Jay Bhattacharya on his new MLB COVID-19 study and the problems of the Lockdown for Major League Baseball.



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.



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.”



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.”



Businesses Beware! You Are Not There to Teach Us How to Think! by The Elephant's Child

One of the most disturbing trends at present it the urge to be “woke”— currently defined as “alert to injustice in society, especially racism. “we need to stay angry, and stay woke”, or “I was sleeping, but now I’m woke.” from a dialect called AAVE. The Urban Dictionary defines it as “a person who pretends to be of greater intelligence than he or she in fact is.”

From the Witherspoon Institute’s Public Discourse: “How Woke Capitalism Corrupts Business”

One of the more disturbing trends to emerge throughout the business world is “woke capitalism.” Whether it is Nike recalling Betsy Ross flag-emblazoned shoes because it was counseled by activist advisors that the flag represents slavery, or almost 200 CEOs of major firms signing a full-page New York Times advertisement describing laws restricting abortion as “bad for business,” corporate America is rapidly aligning itself with progressive causes.

The reasons for this are manifold. Those active in commerce or who teach in business schools inhabit the same sentimental humanitarian milieu as the rest of us. There’s no reason why they should be less susceptible to this culture than anyone else. No one should be surprised that many business leaders consequently believe that their companies should aggressively promote the progressive agenda, ranging from gender ideology to radical curtailments of religious freedom.

For others, it’s just easier to go along to get along. Why risk your Wall Street job by telling the human resources manager that the firm’s commitment to “diversity” doesn’t appear to include a pluralism of political views? In some instances, corporate wokeness is all about placating militant progressives. But if CEOs think that liberals can be appeased, then they don’t know much about the contemporary left.

There is evidence that some businesses are responding to some consumers’ desires that their purchasing choices align with their political stances, as well as to pressures from institutional investors who have embraced liberal causes. But as companies such as Gillette and Dicks Sporting Goods have discovered, that often produces financial losses as a consequence of backlashes from consumers who hold different view.

Well, of course politicizing everything is such a splendid idea. Or rephrased, Progressives understand that herding American entrepreneurs and businesses into the pursuit of liberal concerns is an excellent pursuit. Many business leaders consider it the way of the future. We must critique woke capitalism clearly and strongly, remembering that a business exists to realize the particular economic ends that constitute its common good. They are not there to teach us how to think. Wave your Betsy Ross flag, if you have one. They couldn’t even get that one right. Tell a business when they get out of line, and take your trade elsewhere. Do read the whole thing. This is a trend that must be stamped out!



The Hottest July on Record? Not So Fast! by The Elephant's Child

When President Trump complained about “Fake News” the media, en masse, had a hissy-fit. How Dare He!! In the interest of the “Climate Crisis” the media has been touting “The Hottest July on Record.” File that one along with the Amazon Rainforest burning up.

When climate happens to you, it seems like the worst one ever. If you sweltered in New York this July, I’m sure it felt like the hottest ever, but the statistics don’t support your feelings. There’s some pretty impressive graph work here. And graphs are another one of those things that seem to get too complicated for us poor mortals. You have to spend a little time to really absorb what they are saying.  The hottest was way back in 1936. 2019 wasn’t even in the running. Fake news indeed!




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