American Elephants


Best Monthly Jobs Numbers in History! by The Elephant's Child

Fabulous jobs numbers for June — 4.8 million jobs added for the best monthly employment numbers in history.

That is so encouraging when so many small businesses had to shut down in the Covid epidemic, as small businesses couldn’t cope with the shutdowns. But the country is slowly opening up.  People are getting accustomed to wearing masks when necessary. We are learning how to deal with a pandemic, working from home, avoiding large groups, and the numbers of deaths are declining, with a bump up from the protests.

President Trump is working hard at getting rid of unnecessary regulation, which can be a real boon for business. It is always tempting for those in charge to want to control things, but it is a very bad idea. Control what is essential, not everything. And whether you are in government or among the employers, large and small, remember always that the government has no money of its own. None. Every cent comes out of the pocketbooks of the taxpayers. When those in control get too controlling, everything shuts down. The more control, the less innovation. The less innovation —and that’s how it goes. Free markets, free people.



A Small Lesson In How To Get Action from Officials by The Elephant's Child

See the source image

Seattle’s CHOP is over, done. Seattle’s feckless Mayor Jenny Durkan, suddenly became very interested in closing it down when the protesters discovered her own house where she lives. That produced some action. No concern for the people who actually live in the six block area that seceded from the United States, or the businesses there. A little direct action on the mayor’s doorstep did it nicely. Seattle’s Chief of police, also a woman, cleared out the area promptly, once allowed to do so.

It seems to be harder for Democrat-run cities to learn from what has transpired. New York’s feckless Mayor Bill DeBlasio is planning to cut $1 billion from the city’s police budget, which should be another of New York’s more interesting experiments. They now have a “City Hall Autonomous Zone” which has been established to protect the New York Police Department and in support of “Black Lives Matter” near City Hall in lower Manhattan. “Another $354 million of police funding will be transferred to other city agencies, most prominently in the mayor’s agreeing to shift oversight of school safety officers from the NYPD to the Department of Education. Some cities in other parts of the country are having celebrations of their police departments, to show public appreciation for the hard and dangerous work the police do.

The council said.” Governor Cuomo is quarantining several more states, in requiring anyone coming from those states to self-quarantine for 14 days before wandering around the city.  I hope there is some official record of American governors and mayors response to  the COVID-19 and how their actions worked out. We need those records too, for  understanding how we are screwing up today and what not to do tomorrow.



A Day Like All Days Altering and Illuminating the Affairs of Men. by The Elephant's Child

 

See the source image

There are times when you look out upon the passing scene — and think if you could just give them all a spanking and send them to bed without any dinner, it might settle them down a bit.  These attacks on our national history and the statues there to remind us, are so ignorant and mindlessly destructive that it is thoroughly disgusting.

There has been a drive-by shooting at the CHOP site on Capitol Hill in Seattle, one 16 year old young man dead, a 14 year old hospitalized. Essentially though, most have moved out. The East Precinct police station is due to be reoccupied next week. The CHOP protesters got some national attention, but not the kind they were hoping for, and when it gets violent with people killed, it isn’t just fun and games any more. Seattle’s feckless Mayor Jenny Durkan had protesters appear at her own house, and she takes it a bit more seriously now.

Seattle’s communist City Council member Kshama Sawant cheerfully blamed “Capitalism’s Brutality” for the murders in CHOP’s autonomous state that Seattle’s government allowed to exist contrary to the law.  Sawant and other council members were expected to vote Tuesday on whether or not to repeal a tax on companies like Amazon and Starbucks that the council intended to combat a growing homelessness crisis.

Seattle does have a statue, a 16 foot tall bronze statue of Vladimir Lenin, but he is privately owned, and rests on private property, so he will continue to inspire the residents of Fremont.  The statue was created by Bulgarian sculptor Emil Venkov. It was completed and put on display in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in 1988, the year before the Velvet Revolution of 1989.

In 1993 the statue was bought by an American who found it lying in a scrapyard, and brought it home to Washington state, but died before he could carry out his plans for displaying the Soviet era memento. Since 1995, the statue has been held in trust waiting for a buyer for the last 25 years on a prominent street corner in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, unwanted and unloved?

Senator Mitch McConnell weighed in on the civil unrest in the country today, pointing out that “a large statue of Vladimir Lenin remains untouched while protesters topple memorials to Thomas Jefferson” and George Washington.  Does look, though, in some of the pictures, as if someone has painted Lenin’s hands suitably red.



Bellevue Police Have Arrested 23 Looters So Far. by The Elephant's Child

https://img.particlenews.com/img/id/23hQ5d_0PQj5XPc00?type=thumbnail_1024x576

The world is changing around us, and we often don’t notice until we are suddenly confronted with the evidence. In this case, I think I mentioned that BLM protesters turned up in downtown Bellevue, doing their protesty thing, fists raised to indicate how serious they were.

The presence of Bellevue Square, the most affluent mall in the Seattle area, brought potential looters up from South Seattle. And they promptly found looting far more interesting than just plain old protesting. The Square had been closed and locked down for Covid-19, but they knew the stores were all there with luxury goods inside.

We could see, online, bystanders watching while looters came out of the square carrying wastebaskets and garbage cans piled high with loot. Today, however, everybody has a camera. And as the looters came out, bystanders were taking their pictures.

Bellevue police have arrested 23 looters identified so far, from the photos taken by bystanders. They have recovered tens of thousands of dollars of merchandise, as well as alcohol, tobacco, weapons and drugs. Gosh, who knew that while you were getting the clothes for the new school year for free, someone was taking your picture. And the Police Chief even spoke to the crowd to express his sympathy for the George Floyd protest. Didn’t impress the protesters at all. Of course the protesters were far more interested in the looting than in the protesting. Do follow the link above for the King 5 coverage.

I’m appalled that it was allowed to go on so much. If you want some kind of change, act like a grownup, express your objective clearly with evidence, to the people who can make the legal changes which you advocate. Running around with fists raised shouting vulgarities is more plain childish than effective. And looting is simply theft and will be punished by law. Hope you all get significant terms in jail.



A World Shifting and Changing As We Try to Grasp What is Happening. by The Elephant's Child

Has the magazine industry died entirely while I wasn’t looking? Magazines are still plentiful in waiting rooms of doctors, hairdressers and barbers, and in bookstores. But do ordinary people still subscribe? I get a few specialized publications. But I grew up with Time, Life, Fortune, the Saturday Evening Post, Readers’ Digest, and Smithsonian. Times changed, and we all got computers. There used to be stories and cartoons, and interesting ads.

Now many people pay significant sums to avoid having to see any ads at all. I don’t remember ads being so objectionable as they are now. I am a reader, and I don’t want my reading interrupted, especially with something that moves and has sound. Google regularly tells me, as I delete yet another ad, that they base the advertising I see on my interests as determined by the websites I visit. They are clearly very bad at determining my interests. I have never responded to a Google ad, except to delete it. I’m still in the deleting phase rather than paying a hundred dollars to be free of ads. How about you?

The world is shifting and changing. We are occupied with the current protests and statue eradication, and not really noticing that shopping malls are disappearing, going broke, being transformed into apartments.

Post-pandemic, will our world return to pre-pandemic or has it all shifted? There is certainly more talk about more people working from home. Meetings can be held online. Offices are expensive. Here in Seattle businesses are moving out. What has driven them out is official failure to deal with protests and CHOP and consequent lack of public services and police protection. Protesters are occupying the freeways too.

If you are looking you will see frequent reports of whole populations moving, People leaving the large coastal cities and heading for safer territory. Even Chicago had 100 people shot on Father’s Day. The weekend before set a record, I believe, for fatalities.

Daniel Boorstin, the late Librarian of Congress, once wrote: “In our world of callused ears and overtaxed eyes, there are many symptoms of the desperate need of people to make somebody listen, to be sure somehow that somebody is hearing. More and more people are willing to pay fees they cannot afford, to medically trained psychiatric listeners who listen, nod, and take notes. A few desperate people especially young people with great energy who find that they cannot get people to listen when they say something, decide instead to throw something.” Is that what is going on?



History is a Record of What Happened. You Cannot Fix it! by The Elephant's Child

File:Emancipation Proclamation - LOC 04067 - restoration1.jpg

Democrats are apparently terrified that Donald Trump might win re-election this fall and subject them to another four years of terror. Their immediate focus concerns the vote of Black Americans. They have already shown that they will kneel in abject humility on the floor of the United States Congress, draped in what they consider to be African apparel to show their plaintive agreement that “Black Lives Matter,”and encourage Blacks to vote for them.

Not enough. Nancy Pelosi is now attempting to demonstrate that Republicans are the “white supremacy” party and Democrats deeply oppose the side of the South in the Civil War of 1861, by removing four portraits of former Speakers of the House who once served in the Confederacy.

Well, it’s a little difficult to blame it all on Republicans when one recalls that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.  He issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, which became effective on January 1, 1863. The reproduction shown above was from 1864 and is in the Library of Congress.

History is a record of what happened.  Sometimes new evidence is discovered that alters our understanding, but in general we’re stuck with the evidence of what really happened. Human nature is not all sweetness and light. We are human beings, some good, some bad and some really dreadful. No saints.  Do remember that most families have trouble getting along,

Most of us don’t know enough history. Our public schools are clearly doing a lousy job, and if we have kids, we need to help them to get interested.  The general knowledge of history, American history and world history is lacking. Knowing how we screwed up in the past sometimes helps us to avoid doing it again, but we cannot remake the past. What happened, happened.

Slavery was at one time common. Muslims ruled the slave trade in Africa, and marched captured Africans north, and to the Atlantic coast to ship to the Americas. Most of the slave trade went to the sugar islands and South America rather than to the Southern States. American Indians kept slaves. When they warred with another tribe, those captured were kept around to do the scut work, rather than killed when the fight was over. That may be the origin of much of slavery. Britain stamped out the slave trade. They set the Royal Navy to eliminating the Atlantic slave traffic, which they did.

Look at all the changes in society that have made slavery unnecessary, aside from being disgusting, of course.  Most of the slave trade in the South was because of the cotton crop which the British needed for their fabric mills, and the South needed for income.  Farm work today has become heavily mechanized, though there are some things that still must be picked by hand. Farm equipment is truly astonishing these days, and the elaborate machines are something to behold. And we are just at the beginning of the age of robots and computer printing and there are plenty of enthusiastic applicants for the Space Force. The more we know about our own history, the better it will help us to avoid bad mistakes in the future.



Politics Does Not Belong in the Workplace. by The Elephant's Child

Just saw, online, another of those annoying claims that profess to know every public figure’s IQ. They do not. They claim to know the IQ of Presidents going way back, which they do not. The IQ test was not devised until 1904. They’re making it up.

NBC claims that Google has blacklisted Zero Hedge and the Federalist. Google says not so. My immediate response is that the Big Tech companies are too new to the American Business community to grasp that it is unwise for corporations and smaller businesses to publicly profess political leanings.

The other party may well be in control of the government, and be annoyed. Companies of any size have lots of employees, who, despite resident loudmouths, probably vote quite differently. Yes, I know, it’s tempting, if unwise, to assume that everyone thinks the same way as you do, because it’s so obviously the “right way.” Do read the Constitution again, including the Bill of Rights, and remember that the first thing a Socialist government would do is to remove all those silly protections.

Yes, I know that Socialism promises to make everybody equal. That’s bunk. Those who assume that Socialism is a good thing need to look a little closer at socialist governments, beginning with Venezuela and Cuba. Those pushing for Socialism are not pushing for equality, but simply pushing to be in charge.  They want to run things.

Keep politics out of the Workplace, and protect workers’ personal freedom.



Tear Them Down, Civil War Generals and Columbus Too! by The Elephant's Child

https://americanelephant.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/084d4-00066339.jpg

Now we seem to have reached the stage of tearing down statues and destroying monuments, for what purpose is not entirely clear. History has become a bad thing, to be ignored or changed to suit more contemporary minds. Since our schools have been doing a lousy job with history anyway, our people don’t seem to know much history. The center of the current rioting is, of course, the American Civil War, fought between the North and the South, and at the heart of things was slavery. The South lost. The Slaves were freed, and slavery became against the law. So why do they seem to be fighting it all over again 169 years later? Statues of Civil War Generals must be torn down, defaced, destroyed. Places named for Civil War generals need to have their names changed, and Nancy Pelosi wants large numbers of the statues in Statuary Hall (I’ve never been there) removed, although they were put there by the states themselves.

Place names: Fort Bragg, and Fort Benning. Quick, can anybody tell me who is honored with these names of military posts, and cities? Does the name Braxton Bragg ring any bells? Thought not. How about Henry L. Benning? How can these be names that must be removed because of their terrible associations if nobody knows who they are and Forts Bragg and Benning are just names, like Sally or Bill? that serve only to distinguish the bearers from Susan and Sam?

Of course Christopher Columbus has been torn down in the last few days as well. I can guarantee that he had nothing to do with the Civil War, so why? I think it’s the vague thought that he was mean to the native Indians, ignoring the wonders of the Columbian Exchange, and the childhood rhyme “In 14 hundred and ninety two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” That latter verse may be what most kids learned about history in grade school.

Victor Davis Hanson took up the same subject in National Review’s Corner: “On Name Changing and Statue Toppling” . The removal of anything Columbus has been going on longer, but I have no idea what they have in mind. The Nation of Columbia, the Columbia River, Columbia University, and several hundred other things come to mind. Take a moment and look up “The Columbian Exchange” if you are unfamiliar with it.

As I have said, and so many other have said, history is the record of what happened. And for that matter a record of the order in which things happened. If tractors and plows had been developed much earlier, the South would have had no need for slaves to produce their cotton crops for British mills. Remember, it was the British that really started the elimination of slavery when they banned the Atlantic slave trade, and set the Royal Navy to work to stop it..

It’s clear that what must change is a little more attention to the curriculum in our schools. They are doing a lousy job with history, and the historical ignorance out there is having a major effect on politics and our understanding of the world. Hillsdale College offers some free online classes in history, especially American history. If we don’t understand where we have been, and how we have progressed and why, we’re going to make a mess of the future.

I don’t believe that tearing down statues, changing the names of military bases, or re-fighting the Civil War, the War Between the States, will improve the lives of our Black citizens in  the slightest. We have created many programs, opened many doors and clearly, more is needed. Charter schools seem to be doing a good job, but I guess it’s teachers’ unions who fight against them. Perhaps the most important example was the young black kid in Columbus Ohio, who was written up recently for walking 3 miles every day to the public library that offered homework help. He has been offered admission to 12 different colleges, including the one he most wants to attend.



Other Voices About Race And Policing by The Elephant's Child

Aside from the goofiness on Seattle’s Capitol Hill, the discussions about Race and Police are serious and deserve serious thought and discussion.

Heather Mac Donald is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research who has written extensively on criminal justice. She has several important books out and here are her comments submitted to the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives in response to the Oversight Hearing on Policing Practices. It is truly important to get the views of someone who is an expert in the field and knowledgeable about the criminal justice and policing. Do read the whole thing if you can make the time. You’ll be glad you did.

Here is Columbia University linguist John McWhorter on “How Anti Racism Hurts Black People.”

And PowerLine included this tweet from Doctor Tyrone Wilson:

Dr. Tyrone Wilson @DrTyroneWilson1

In 8 years of residency and attending as a trauma surgeon, I’ve had 67 young black men end up on my operating table from gunshot wounds.

I CAN’T MAKE THIS CLEAR ENOUGH

NONE OF THEM ENDED UP THERE AT THE HANDS OF POLICE OR A WHITE PERSON.

NONE OF THEM….ZERO#BLMisLiberalBS

Serious subjects, and many of us are inclined to respond to emotion rather than taking the time to study up. The death of George Floyd was surely a terrible act. Suggestions that it was intentional are clearly premature, as the autopsy’s suggest , but such an emotional thing to see his death online, that the whole world was troubled.

Black lives of course matter, and more people than many blacks can conceive want them to succeed and prosper.



Shelby Steele, Longtime Civil Rights Leader, Says “Blacks Have Never Been Less Oppressed” by The Elephant's Child

Shelby Steele had a long interview with Mark Levin last night. He has long been a champion of black civil rights, was a veteran of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, and a bestselling author. He doesn’t think much of the riots and looting that have been dominating the news. Blacks, he says, have never been less oppressed in American society. Blacks, he said flatly, have never faced less oppression, and they simply have to take responsibility for their position at the bottom of any socioeconomic measures.

Steele is a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and an author of many books on race relations. Some are White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era, and Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country.

This article about the Mark Levin show, includes a video from the show, and much more of the conversation with Steele. I don’t think that the things that are holding blacks back are things that have to be given to them. Demand Charter Schools, they seem to really work well. Demand that public libraries offer homework help. Wait till after you are married to have babies. It mostly helps to have a father in the home. Public libraries have free storytimes, when a librarian reads to the kids, and they get to discover what wonders can be found in a book. Large numbers of companies are anxious to hire black workers, and not just for the scut work. It enhances their reputations to be welcoming to people of many races.



Going Just a Little Too Far! by The Elephant's Child

The Democrats in the House of Representatives of the United States of America, confronted with “Black Lives Matter” mobs on television, promptly took what action seemed most appropriate to them to retain black voters for the upcoming election. They donned Kente Cloth scarves, especially purchased for the demonstration, and knelt in humble supplication before the mobs they saw on television, and expressed their best intentions. Nancy Pelosi, who has passed her 80th birthday, needed help to get back up, but she was truly sincere in not wanting to lose any black votes.

I had a sort of old idea stuck in my head that one of the reasons we fought a Revolutionary War, was that we were not going to kneel before tyrants like Britain’s King George the Third any more. We were free people and knelt only before our God.

Employees at a number of major corporations have demanded proper obeisance before the Black Lives Matter protests, and even  Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos scolded a customer who suggested that “All Lives Mattered.” HBO has blacklisted “Gone With the Wind”, so if you want to see that old film, you’d better buy a copy. Hattie McDaniels was the first black person to win an Oscar, for that film, and the first racial minority to be nominated.

Oddly enough, riots have broken out in Britain and in Europe as well. Britain, of course, has the whole British Empire to answer for, but some other countries joined in too. I guess the influx of migrants from Africa? Not sure. Maybe rioting just looked like fun and everybody decided to jump in. The British nave been tearing down statues like crazy, particularly of anyone who ever might have been connected with slavery like their South African colony. Tearing down a statue does not change history, just deprives today;s people of an historical representation. Doesn’t really accomplish anything at all.

Human nature is just not all peaches and cream and sunshine. We’re a quarrelsome lot, and we have trouble getting along with our own families, let alone all those other unrelated people. That’s why we learn manners, and think education is useful, and learning history is especially needed. Yes, the Confederate flag should not be flown over statehouses, but the Civil War is long over. The South lost.  I lost two great uncles on each side of the war which meant that I have a lot fewer cousins than I might have had, but I might not have liked them anyway.

There is no magic wand that will make everybody agreeable and kind and helpful. Disbanding the police is perhaps the dumbest idea that anyone has come up with. Chicago just had 18 murders in 24 hours in the most violent day in 60 years. And disbanding the police seems like a good idea?



And What Does “the Science” Really Tell Us? by The Elephant's Child

They have apparently been lying to us about the effects of COVID-19. It is a subtle virus that attacks the brain and makes its victims unable to think clearly, or even to think at all. John Tierney addresses the question in City Journal.

How would our leaders get through this pandemic without “the science”?

It’s never been obvious just what “the science” is, or why anyone would speak of science as a single truth, but the role it plays is quite clear. It’s the modern equivalent of the Oracle of Delphi, that mysterious font of guidance that Greek leaders consulted during wars and other crises. However foolish or sensible the advice may be, the oracle gives leaders an excuse to duck responsibility for decisions—and their consequences.

Why, for instance, was the upstate New York economy shut down for more than two months, despite the small number of cases of Covid-19 in rural counties? Why, as some offices and barber shops and other upstate businesses were finally about to reopen at the end of May, did Governor Andrew Cuomo infuriate local officials by suddenly announcing that this decision could not be made by them—or even by himself?

Victor Davis Hanson addresses it directly in 10 Rules For Postmodern Rioting. Directly. All is not as it seems. Posturing,  The media too. they advise the rioters to avoid over-burning or torching too many buildings. Are the torched shops and stolen property designed to show us that we need more gun control?

Systemic racism goes on and on in spite of the generations of Democrat control of Minneapolis. Is it fair for Democrats to claim that Republicans or Conservatives are racist or racially insensitive without taking any blame for their share of the problem? In Chicago there were 18 murders in 24 hours in the most violent day in 60 years. 900 murders per year were common in the early 1990s, but this weekend was something special. In Minneapolis, the City Council President suggested that if you call the cops when your garage is broken into, you are a White Supremacist. It’s clear that there is a deluge of worms in the brain, must be Covid. Can no one think clearly anymore?

Here’s another: Nicole Hannah-Jones who created the infamous “1619 Project” for the New York Times, that creates a new and laughable history of the nation’s founding as a slave nation. If slavery is central to the founding of the nation, there is no hope, no hope at all. Senator Tom Cotton was invited to submit an op-ed, which he did to suggest that sending in the National Guard to protect American citizens with federal authority when local law enforcement needs support.

Worm in the brain, or just a kind of rot affecting the critical faculties? And what do we do to help the people recover?

 




%d bloggers like this: