American Elephants


A Few Thoughts on the Coming Elections by The Elephant's Child

I wander around the internet to websites I consider to be reasonably responsible, but dang, it’s discouraging. Portland continues to be a major source of news and violence. It would seem that a responsible governor would have called out the national guard, cleaned up the protesters and put them away to cool off, and restored some sense of sanity to the city. Not happening. Across the country we seem to have vast numbers of people in positions of authority who do not understand what their jobs are and what they should be doing.

They seem to err on the idea of “peaceful protests”, but I haven’t seen a “peaceful protest” yet. All the ones I have seen, admittedly online, are resulting in shattered windows, looting, boarded-up businesses and lots of property damage. The peaceful protesters are not paying for the damage they have caused. Aside from that, it is extremely unclear just what they are “peacefully protesting” about. It’s clearly not George Floyd, it’s not racism in general. It may be the police, and the poor protesters will have to learn that there is a real reason for policing, and why most people depend on that protection. Across the country, unappreciated policemen are retiring in record numbers. Take that one to heart.

The Covid crisis has meant a societal shutdown, but the protesters are not out there with masks, but mask-less, and spreading the virus around, as is attested by a rise in cases wherever there are lots of protests.

The Civil War is being re-fought, with any evidence of the existence of anyone on the Confederate side (statues and names) to be obliterated, along with Christopher Columbus who had nothing to do with the Civil War. 1492 is a long way from 1860.

The remedy for a shutdown economy is assumed to be giving everybody a little extra cash, which it is assumed that they will rush out and spend to buy something they want but could not previously afford, and thus start the economic engine humming again. Since the overriding rule of the American Economy is “the federal government has no money of it’s own, every dime comes out of the taxpayer’s pockets” seems like some rather fuzzy economics. But that’s the way things work, or fail to work.

The simple fact that this is an election year makes every comment and every action more important as we try to sort what we are told by an irresponsible press out into real information, which is difficult. Reporters want readers. To attract readers, they act as press agents, using celebrities’ statements as enticements. Are you more apt to read an article about politics if the headline includes an outrageous statement by some Hollywood dummy? Apparently we are.

Eventually the vaccines will be developed and distributed. The Covid crisis will ebb, possibly to occur again next year. Schools will open, and the “peaceful protesters” will have something to do besides protesting.

Before we get to the elections this fall, consider the vast amounts of evidence we have on the capabilities of current office holders, and vote accordingly.



The Covid Virus is Testing Our Elected Officials by The Elephant's Child

Human beings are kind of a mess, but so far we seem to be the brightest of living creatures available. Unfortunately, that still leaves a great deal to be desired. Behold:

Students at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, DePaul University, Roosevelt University, Loyola University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Columbia College, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have formed a coalition called Solidarity Street that aims to abolish policing on campus.

The group (says) “Cops aren’t workers and the city needed to stop negotiating with them years ago. August 1st we’re demanding y’all cut ties and divest from this white supremacist cult sooner rather than later,” one Instagram caption reads.

In another post, the group argued that cops only exist to defend wealthy Americans. “Cops are not workers. A worker is someone that sells their labor to make ends meet. Cops do not do this,” the post reads. “They defend the interests and property of the wealthy. Cops do not need a pay raise. They need to be defunded. They are the armed wing of the American capitalist state.”

In a statement, Chicago Police Department Supt. David Brown said that they will continue their efforts to reduce violence in the area.

If you can read this without laughing, or conversely, shedding a few tears, these are the students that are the future of our beloved country. It seems that a surprising number of our citizens are going to have to learn about police and policing the hard way. When they are getting beaten to a pulp by someone who wants their smart phone and their money, or when someone is breaking into their house, and they are frantically trying to call 911 with no response, and no one comes to their rescue.

California, it is reported today, is releasing almost 18,000 prison inmates including a convicted murderer, because of the Covid virus.  Almost 8,000 inmates have been sickened by the virus, and eight have died. So let them out to spread it around?

There is way too much talk about “White Supremacy” today. There are significantly more white people in America than those of other races. The population of the U.S in 2000 was 393,745,538 at the time of the 2000 census. 196,817,552 or 63.7% were white.  37,685,848 or 12.2% were black. 14.465.164 or 3.6% were Asian. 50,477,694 or 12.5% were Hispanic, and 2,247,058 or 1.9% were American Indian or Alaska Native. Efforts to make sure that everybody is included have been continuous, with varying degrees of success. There are undoubtedly many people in charge of something or other who are white, and organizations that do not include a representative of a particular race.

I have read statements by many members of Congress, presidents of one organization or another, some of them fairly stupid, and many embarrassing. Should we test for IQ, historical knowledge, legal understanding, and basic common sense before allowing anyone to run for an important position? We’re stuck with ordinary human beings, fallible as they are, and we need to be generous or demand changes as the case may be.

Here in Seattle, it is apparently getting too expensive to “peacefully protest”. Protesters have, if I understand the radio correctly, filed a lawsuit to require the county to outfit them in protective gear to protect then from the depredations of the police in their protective gear so they can “peacefully protest” as is their constitutional right. (told you that was where this was going).

I have written previously about the Seattle City Council’s effort to defund the police and turn over the policing function to a “civilian-led department of community safety & violence prevention”.

Carmen Best is the first Black Woman Police Chief in the United States, and she has done a fabulous job, it is widely agreed. She dared to speak out about the City Council’s error in the civilian-led nonsense, and the City Council just decided to defund her. They reduced her salary by about $100,000. Don’t know how this will all play out, but Chief Best deserves far better.The Seattle City Council is an embarrassment.

People are out of work, cooped up at home, chafing at being confined, masks, shutdowns, and doing without the things they need. Elected officials are required to step up and do what needs to be done. A surprising number have demonstrated that they are not only not capable of doing so, but some of the most notable are making a mess of it all too.

ADDENDUM: I apparently messed up with my numbers here. The U.S. population in 2000 was 281,421,906. In 2010, it had increased to 309,349,689. I went to the U.S. Census Bureau for the numbers. And they reminded us that if you have not yet answered the census, do it now. You can do it online, only a few simple questions.  Thanks to reader Counter for catching my error.



Much Ado About Nothing, or Something Like That by The Elephant's Child

Carmen  Best, Seattle Chief of Police, has had protesters discover her home, and her neighbors turned out to shoo them away. Protests continue in Portland and Seattle, but it’s pretty clear that it is now about the fun of rioting and protesting, rather than actually having something to riot about.

Black Lives Matter doesn’t lead naturally to protesting at the Chief of Police’s house when the Chief is Black. I really believe that not very much of the rioting and protesting over the past weeks, the destruction of property and pulling down of statues has been far more about emotion and destruction than any actual principles. If there is some sort of goal behind all the hoopla, some urgent need for change, it is not at all apparent.

In Portland they burned Bibles and American flags in the street. Somewhere else, a statue of the Virgin Mary was burned, and even AOC, who thrives on media attention, made a fool of herself by attacking Father Damien, Hawaii’s Catholic martyr who gave his life to ministering to the leper colony on Molokai., and eventually died of the disease himself.

I’m not sure what the proper terminology is, “getting all worked-up” more or less covers it. Reaching an emotional state that demands action. Possession.  Common sense departs. Like little kids having a temper tantrum. A spanking and sent to bed without any supper usually cures that. When it is adults who should know better, it’s another matter.

The Seattle City Council has gone along with the police defunding to suggesting a “civilian-led police department,” personally I prefer one led by someone deeply knowledgeable about crime and punishment and keeping order, but apparently that is not fashionable today.

Over the weekend, the press reported the usual round of shootings in New York and Chicago and other trouble spots. No suggestions for improving the situation. So there you go.



If You Know History, Change Will Not Seem So Scary! by The Elephant's Child

I have the impression, which may be false, that American companies ordinarily went to great lengths to essentially stay out of politics. They might get involved when potential legislation negatively affected their company, or when their corporate knowledge suggested that something being considered was a very bad idea, that sort of thing. At that point corporate involvement would probably be requested anyway.

Today it is a different story. It has been reported that workers in a company may inform their management that they are opposed to something that is simply a political issue and has nothing to do with their company’s business. Last I heard, a company had an executive board and a president to decide corporate positions, and the workers were not invited to participate but only to vote in local and national elections like everybody else. And the discontented would probably get canned. But there was no corporate position anyway.

When I was a worker bee, I certainly had no illusion that I had a vote in corporate business nor did I have any expectation that my personal politics were anyone else’s concern, nor that it would be acceptable to announce who I was voting for or why. But then there was never an occasion when there were riots in the streets and company policies regarding race were up for discussion. I had a black boss, and associates came from a wide variety of national heritages, like life outside of work. Nobody wore campaign buttons or gave any idea of who they were planning to vote for. So it’s weird to see groups of workers attempting to inform their management  about what is acceptable and what is not.

Are the mayors who have been so prominent in the media up for reelection? I live in a Seattle suburb not Seattle itself, but Seattle is pretty far left. They voted for Mayor Jenny Durkan at some point, and Portland once voted for Mayor Wheeler, and we now have a clear understanding of how they perform under stress. and the same is true across the country. Democrats have been trying to convince Americans that the Corona virus and all accompanying problems are Trump’s fault, but the facts would indicate that he’s done a pretty good job. Governors have been grateful for prompt supplies of needed materials like ventilators and masks, and companies nationwide have started producing them to meet the needs. The Seattle area had the first cases in the country, and travel from China was halted immediately.

I expect that there will be long term changes. The big cities will lose population as residents move to places where riots are unacceptable. Businesses will move. Will working from home become the norm? Some businesses have already announced that working from home will extend into 2021 or more. Not having to maintain corporate offices would save a lot of money if a good portion of the workforce could work from home. If “daytime pajamas” become the norm rather than tailored suits, there will be vast changes in the fashion industry. What precautions will become necessary for business to avoid disruption? Things change, but the impetus is not always clear. If you know history, change will not seem so scary.

Schooling seems to be on the brink of mass disruption. States are trying to decide if schools will be open or closed. Charter schools are an extremely beneficial change for black kids, but extremely unacceptable to teacher’s unions. The unions do not want to return to the classroom, but online education is not working, partly because teachers don’t know how to make their online classes interesting and compulsive as well as get the necessary learning into student heads. So far, a lot of kids just aren’t doing the online work. Some well-to-do families are getting together to hire tutors. I don’t know how much we know about kids’ home situations. Do most parents go out to work and leave the kids home alone? There’s a recipe for disaster. Homeschooling may rise in popularity, but some families don’t really have choices. Parents need to work. So expect big changes, not all of which will be acceptable.

I live in a Seattle suburb. The area has many international businesses, some of them famous, who hire many workers from abroad. My suburb is dotted with little storefront schools that teach English, and small storefront groceries that carry the foods from worker’s home countries. Does this go on all over the country? Are international companies just situated on the coasts or are they the norm everywhere? I have no idea. Immigrants from some countries populated different parts of the country because of climate or industry there. Washington and Idaho and Montana have lots of wheat growers and lumbering. Washington, Oregon, California and Alaska have major fishing industry, and so it goes across the country. Meatpacking ended up in the Midwest. Potatoes in Idaho and Maine.

Britain’s invention of machines to make thread out of cotton led to America’s slavery, but less than 5% of African slaves were brought to America. The majority went to the sugar islands and to South America. Early on, indentured servitude was popular in the Thirteen Colonies because of a large demand for labor, and more than half of immigrants to British colonies south of New England were white servants who came under indenture, because of the high cost of transatlantic transportation which was beyond the means of European workers. Between the 1630s and the Revolution one half to two thirds of the total white immigration came  under indenture.

The British Empire ended slavery in 1833, but did not prohibit the practice of indentured servitude until 1917. Somewhere between one half and two thirds of European immigrants to America came under indentures, usually as young men or women. Most went to the South where cash crops were common, for the North industrialized earlier. Remember that Australia was partly populated by prisoners who were transported. It’s all a fascinating history, probably not very familiar to today’s rioters. The movement of people and customs around the globe is not over, and will not end any time soon, and we are still making new history. We’ll have to wait a bit to see what the Space Force turns up.



Is This What all the Furor in Portland Was Leading Up To? by The Elephant's Child

Improbable headline: but it is all too real. Seattle City Council Moves to Defund Police and Create ‘Civilian Led Department”

The Seattle City Council, which has been mulling a proposal to defund the Seattle Police Department, drafted a resolution which would both defund the police and create a “civilian led department of community safety & violence prevention.”

“A civilian led department of community safety & violence prevention”  Have you ever encountered a more brain dead sentence? There’s a long list of requirements before one can even apply to become a police officer, and then lengthy training in all aspects of policing as well as in the law. Oh well, never mind. Let’s just turn it over to a bunch of civilians who wouldn’t have the slightest idea of how to handle a difficult encounter. Armed, unarmed? Or is it just the chief who is supposed to be a civilian? It’s really hard to imagine what they could possibly have been thinking. Seattle is a Leftist enclave, and the city council is very far left, but this goes far beyond common sense.

Since they are also being defunded, do we assume that the new police department doesn’t get paid? They just volunteer to get shot out of the goodness of their hearts and purity of their ideas.

The Left has a hard time grasping not only cause and effect, but basic economics as well. City gets unruly, what happens? People pick up and move somewhere where they feel safer. Businesses move. If they are apt to be attacked or burned out or looted, they’ll do better somewhere else, and unrest or a lack of safety will effect the bottom line. It is an election year. Will Seattle dump their City Council? Probably not. Some of the loonier ones have been around for a long time.

Seattle has some very well known businesses: Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, Whole Foods. There are lots of other cities that would be delighted to offer such businesses all sorts of amenities to move to their town. When Their Workers Do Not Feel Safe. Do click on the links. The virtue-signaling is remarkably nauseous, and the ignorance is on full display.



The Endless Pursuit of Justice, Whatever That Is by The Elephant's Child

Seattle’s Mayor, the feckless Jenny Durkan (D) took to CNN on Monday to blame President Trump for the riot in Seattle on Sunday. She said Trump’s actions “were responsible for what happened this weekend” in Seattle and “we are seeing the dry run for martial law.” She claimed that those who came to the “protest” came “because of what happened in Portland” but I think she meant the federal officers in Portland trying to end the attacks on the federal building and the people who work there, who obviously deserve to be protested for trying to set the federal building on fire while federal workers were working inside. Just peacefully trying to burn people alive. She seemed to think that people wanted to act out against the president and his administration so that’s why they were protesting in the streets?

If you want to protest against the president, clearly, destroying a Starbucks and setting a construction site for a juvenile detention facility on fire, and throwing explosive devices at Seattle police officers seems a rather odd way to protest Donald Trump. I guess carrying carefully constructed signs is just way too old fashioned, and ordinary people don’t know how to call their representatives in Congress to complain. Hard to come up with a good catchy chant: “No Justice, No Peace” is already old and tired. She told the reporter that “He’s using law enforcement as a political tool”, well, yes, everything any president does is a political tool.

If the mayor of a major city cannot keep order, and vast damage is being done to the city and the people who live there, who is going to take charge?

She further stated that “the number one thing we can do to bring peace to the streets in Seattle and across America is to bring more justice to the systems.” Like shutting down riots, seeing that those committing legal offenses are brought to justice, that sort of thing? Or just what justice did you have in mind?



Another Weekend of Mayhem in Democrat Run Cities by The Elephant's Child

Our cities are in trouble. Mayors, who were accustomed to dealing with problems like traffic, utilities and minor problems like shoplifting and illegal parking suddenly have massive demonstrations, attacks on buildings, major looting and sudden waves of murder. Quick, find someone else to blame it on. Guess who?

Headlines: DeBlasio’s New York City: 34 people shot, 10 killed over weekend. Lightfoot’s Chicago: 30 shot, 3 dead. Violent Seattle Protest: 59 Police Officers Injured, 45 arrested after explosives thrown at officers. So far in 2020 there have been more shootings in Minneapolis already than the whole of last year, 275 so far.The Washington Post reported at the end of June that out of the top 20 cities for violent crime –17 have Democrat mayors. Democrats have their people demanding that police departments be defunded, or abolished. So now we are going to have major lessons in just why we have police departments, and why we depend on their skills to protect us from the people who are doing all those shootings.

President Trump is sending more federal agents to Portland, as his Constitutional duties require. Mayors are screeching and trying to blame Federal agents for the demonstrations and violence, getting it all completely backwards. The Seattle City Council decided, in its wisdom or lack thereof, to eliminate the nasty tools the police were using for crowd and riot control, like tear gas, and pepper spray and whatever else are usual police tools.

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best politely informed Seattle businesses that the police probably couldn’t protect them in the event of riots or protests. A District Judge informed the City Council that they were out of line, and Downtown Seattle had a riot last night, with, to repeat, 59 police officers injured.

There are bad actors out there. Theoretically we elect public officials to deal with them promptly and efficiently. Elections are coming up, sounds like we need to be a little better informed about those who are running for public office than usual.

Also reported, Hollywood “celebrities” are renewing their calls to defund police departments around the country, urging local politicians to slash police spending and increase funding for “community programs”. They join in solidarity with the “freedom fighters in Minneapolis, Louisville and across the United States and call for the end to “Police Terror”. “Celebrities” listed include Natalie Portman, Joaquin Phoenix, John Legend, Jane Fonda, Kendrick Sampson, and Debra Messing who can claim some responsibility for the mayhem listed above.



Poor Old Columbus, To Blame for It All! by The Elephant's Child

See the source image

With all the statues being torn down or defaced, the most popular one to be tackled seems to be Columbus. I’m not sure just what it is about poor old Columbus that creates such ire, but he seems to be especially enticing for the statue-destruction bunch. Chicago just had some pretty violent demonstrations in an attempt to pull the poor old fellow down, and Mayor Lightfoot had it taken down with a crane in the middle of the night.

Columbus haters seem to think that his discovery of the Americas was some sort of predecessor to the slave trade, although the Americas weren’t exactly a pristine paradise before his arrival. I looked up pictures of Columbus statues to see what was so offensive, but he is mostly engaged in pointing!. Land Ho! I assume.

Charles Mann’s book 1491 takes on what the Americas were like before the fated arrival. In 1491 there were probably more people living in the Americas than in Europe. Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capitol had more population than any European capitol of the period. That city had running water, beautiful botanical gardens and immaculately clean streets. Europeans arrived in a hemisphere already massively “landscaped” by human beings. And if you want to talk civilizations, you have to start by defining just what is meant by “civilization”.

I have the impression that Columbus statues were being attacked long before George Floyd was killed, but I have never really understood than animus against Columbus. Italian Americans regard Columbus as one of their heroes, and are apt to turn out to try to protect the statues.



A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury… by The Elephant's Child

Is there some kind of cause here? The media has lots of stirring film of demonstrations and protests in Portland and Seattle to tuck away for the next appropriate moment. Does it mean anything? The police officer who had his knee on George Floyd’s neck has been charged with murder, and will face the courts.

This has all evolved into an extended accusation that America is the most racist nation in the world, and according to some should be completely transformed into something more appropriate. The protesters have accomplished nothing much other than tearing down or destroying some statues, damaging a lot of businesses and buildings, racking up millions of dollars in damage, attempting to refight the Civil War, and abolish anything reminiscent of the Confederacy. They seem to have had a good time breaking windows, looting, and trying to set buildings on fire.

Has it all accomplished anything at all? Certainly individuals, businesses and governmental entities are rushing to prove how opposed to racism they are and to make gestures of one sort or another to demonstrate their sincerity. Have we gone through some noble kind of societal transformation with all the rioting and shouting and attempts to demonstrate what? President Trump indicated that he believed it was the business of the federal government to maintain some kind of order in such circumstances. The Secretary of Homeland Security acknowledged that to be the task of his department, and sent in federal officers to restore order, since the mayors and governors could not manage to do anything useful whatsoever.

Democrats erupted in outrage, talking about Trump’s “Storm Troopers”, and tried to portray it as authoritarian and tyrannical, and the worst thing any president has ever done. There is an election coming up this fall, and Democrats are getting desperate. Their candidate keeps forgetting what he is trying to say and having senior moments.

What has been accomplished? Statues of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Christopher Columbus, J.E.B. Stuart, Robert E. Lee, an Elk,  the Virgin Mary, and Jesus have all been torn down, attacked or damaged. Military bases named after Confederate Generals long ago will apparently have their names changed, confusing all the military veterans who trained there.

Colleges have removed their statues and are changing names where appropriate. Sports teams across the country are changing their names and logos, stadium names, and uniforms, with particular reference to those names referring to Native Americans, although our Native Americans didn’t seem to be demanding any change. Millions of dollars in damages. Many small businesses destroyed, Some woman who has always wanted, apparently, to expose herself in public stripped and sat on the pavement in front of the approaching police forces, spread legs and all, but what she accomplished or what happened to her has not as far as I know, been reported.

I don’t see that all this smoke and fury has accomplished much of anything at all. We should perhaps start charging would-be protesters a hefty fee to be allowed to demonstrate. It might help to pay for all the damage they have done. I’m sure it seems as if it will be exciting to tear down statues, break windows and set things on fire. Do they assume that in future years they will tell their kids or grandkids about what they did back in 2020?

 



Long Beyond Demonstrations, But Why? by The Elephant's Child

Antifa is out rioting again in downtown Seattle. There must be something both enticing and in some way rewarding, or fun in rioting. At least it seems to be popular, and the young people keep doing it. I say young people, because in the videos of rioting I see, I don’t see any real adults, except the policemen.

I can sort of understand looting, the idea that since nobody is paying real attention and guarding stuff, it’s free to grab something and make off with it. That was pretty much disproven here in Bellevue when looters broke into the biggest regional shopping center to loot the expensive stores. A lot of people were standing around outside and filming the excitement, and got pictures of the looters emerging from the Square with wastebaskets and garbage cans full of their loot.

The Bellevue Police Department took advantage of the films, and have tracked down a large percentage of the looters, and charged them–23 was the last number I saw, but I’m sure it’s much greater now.

What mystifies me is that people across the country and in Europe decided that looked like a fun thing to do and started rioting and tearing down statues in their countries. Is there no sense in the back of youthful brains that these are bad things to do, probably against the law, and potentially will get one in trouble? Is there a latent hunger there to do something really bad if one does not expect to get caught?

Or does “the abolition of the United States as we know it” sound appealing to the ignorant and unwashed? What do I know? I’m merely an ordinary law-abiding citizen to whom all of this is something of a mystery. Strange times, and I don’t pretend to understand. That “abolition” part is worrying.



Portland Erupts in Fury, Nancy Pelosi Erupts. by The Elephant's Child

Well, well, Portland has erupted in fury. How dare the President of the United States send in DHS agents to protect the federal buildings being attacked by Antifa protesters? For over 50 nights Antifa anarchists have been attempting to destroy government buildings and the Mayor of Portland, who could have allowed his police force to do their jobs. is blaming Donald Trump for restoring order.  The rioting has been going on for almost six weeks.

Mayor Wheeler tried to claim that the rioting had come close to fizzling out until Trump escalated the violence. What kind of idiot blames law enforcement for enforcing the law instead those doing the rioting? Ted Wheeler, Mayor of Portland. Even the journalists were having none of that.

One Black Lives Matter leader Lilith Sinclair says she’s “organizing for the abolition of not just the militarized police state but also the United States as we know it.”

 “The abolition of the United States as we know it.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blames Trump for “kidnapping Protesters.” Describes violent Antifa as “First Amendment Speech.” Well, well. So that’s what the Democrats have in mind. Siding with terrorists, attacking police officers, trying to burn down the federal courthouse — all just peaceful First Amendment Speech. I suspect the Portland police would not agree with Ms. Pelosi. Millions of dollars of damage, wounded policemen, looted businesses. The “unidentified” agents had POLICE  prominently labeled across their chests and DHS patches on their arms.  Met with explosives, hammers, knives sledgehammers, slingshots with ball-bearings, pipe bombs. Just peaceful First Amendment protesters? She also called them “Trump’s Secret Police.”  I think that perhaps this time, Ms. Pelosi has gone just a little too far.



Statues Cannot Defend Themselves, Perhaps That’s the Attraction by The Elephant's Child

All this attacking our history by removing any evidence of past heroes on the wrong side of the Civil War, led me to some imaginary conversations, which were interesting. I tried to imagine a conversation with someone who was attempting to destroy or damage a statue of George Washington. Naturally, I asked “why?” The interesting part was trying to imagine what their answer could be.

Probing the depths of their lack of information or misguided information, or general unfamiliarity with American history. That sort of thing. The statue attackers gradually moved on from Confederate statues to anybody statues. I thought attacking the elk in Portland was the epitome, but apparently the Virgin Mary has also been attacked and damaged.

We know that a great many people who can read perfectly well, just don’t want to read anything long. Long may be defined as anything over 2 paragraphs, if they’re short. There are even some websites that attach a brief reading time to their posts. I was an English major, partly because I have always been a reader, and was not troubled by the massive reading requirements.

But I know there are lots of people out there who are reluctant readers. But what do they do with an exciting thriller? Or have they just never read one anyway? Reading is not something they do for pleasure? One takes pleasure in a movie, but not in reading? It remains a chore, rather than a pleasure?

It seems to me that if the schools were successfully teaching reading, they should be offering the young people versions of thrillers — page turners–where you really wanted to find out what happens next.  Instead they are still working on the same old classics, Mark Twain, etc. that we all had. How do we manage to turn out so many reluctant readers? That’s just not right. History can be pretty interesting reading, if you know enough to understand why it is important.

At the present moment, to be called a racist is the very worst thing possible, and the term is being used far and wide. The fear of being labelled as a racist is huge, for that can effect your career, your income and your prospects for the future. Strange times indeed. George Washington did have some slaves, one that traveled with him throughout the war, if I remember correctly. Do they know that he had a few other accomplishments like winning our independence from the British? Do try an imaginary conversation. It can clarify your own mind.




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