American Elephants


Pity the Poor Portlanders! It’s Going to Be a Long Hot Summer! by The Elephant's Child

Portland’s Mayor Ted Wheeler has moved out of his condominium for now, relieving his neighbors of the crowds of Antifa and protesters besieging his condo and the building. Mayor Wheeler has a number of other residences, so it’s not a big deal for him. Includes one at the beach, and one in the San Juan Islands up in Washington, and a few others. The riots and fires and attacks continued through the weekend.

One wonders how Mr. Wheeler will fare in the upcoming elections, but apparently his opponent approves of Antifa, though I’m not sure if she is a member or just aligned with their goals. Aside from their street theater, Portland has a significant number of “homeless” perhaps surpassing even Seattle. I put the word in quotation marks, because in most cases they are not there because they lack a home, but because of some addiction problem, and trying to find residences or a better place for their encampment is a less troublesome matter than actually trying to solve the addiction problem and return them to productive life.

California is not only engulfed with brush and forest fires, but in the midst of a real heat wave with temperatures ranging far above the comfort level, and under vast power outages, so the air conditioners don’t work. Oregon is likely to see a wave of more homeless trying to find more comfortable streets.

Some ambitious person who might actually want to improve something, might start a campaign as a last-minute write-in alternative candidate. Portlanders prospects don’t look as if they are going to improve any time soon, and the rest of the state is not at all sympathetic.

ADDENDUM: The Portland Police Bureau has spent (so far) $6.9 million on overtime in June and July alone. This represents a 200% increase in overtime spending compared to the same time period last year, when the police spent only $2.3 million as a result of the nightly riots in the city. This is according to Portland’s KATU News. Any sign that considering the consequences, the troubled and annoyed are going to change their behavior?



There Are Always Consequences! by The Elephant's Child

What happens to a city that is consumed with riots and protests, damage to shops and businesses, looting, police attacked, cars and other vehicles damaged or destroyed? We have answers from many businesses, who say they are moving out. Some to other safer cities or safer states, some to different areas  of a city. Some just giving up. Do lots of new businesses move in to replace them? That will be a long time coming.

Portland is coming up on 100 days of riots and protests in the streets. The mayor impolitely said “no thanks” to the President’s offer of federal help to quell the violence. Portland has become nationally known as a home to Antifa.

When we have had big celebrations or parades in Seattle, it is not unusual for Portland Antifa to come up and try to start trouble. Curious about what Antifa is? Or other questionable groups? Visit www.discoverthenetworks.org to learn about the organizations attempting to tear America down.

So people will want to risk starting up a business in downtown Portland? Or Portland at all? People who were thinking about moving to a new city are going to move to Portland? If a city gets a bad reputation, how long does it take to get rid of it, and prove that the bad reputation was not justified. And how many people just decide to move elsewhere. There are always ramifications. And that goes for Minneapolis, and Kenosha as well.

How did we get here? Who decided that rioting and protesting were the way to go? Not really all that surprising.

We know the Democrats are desperate to be in control, but American elections should not descend to this level.

ADDENDUM: Here’s another take on The Economic Scars of Rioting  from National Review. Democrats need to be held accountable for what they have done with their Trump Derangement Syndrome. What makes it even more pathetic is that he is doing a remarkably good job. The unemployment rate has dropped to 8.4% as August has seen 1.4 million new jobs. The fourth straight month of added jobs in the economy. Back in April unemployment was 14.7%. Looks like we may have a Corona Virus vaccine later this fall. If you look hard there is lots of other good news, and big accomplishments.



History is What Happened in the Past. by The Elephant's Child

Former Vice President Joe Biden has clarified matters. Donald Trump caused the Corona virus, didn’t act on it promptly enough, didn’t do the right things when he finally did act, and thus caused all the deaths and misery and unemployment that have resulted. He has also caused all the riots and protests, is a thoroughly bad man and must be replaced as soon as possible by the aforesaid Joe Biden.

So naturally, the news today was entirely about Nancy Pelosi getting her hair done, cut and color, I presume. Partly it seemed to be about whether or not she wore a mask, (She didn’t). which was required. The salon didn’t open their doors, for they have been shut down by local laws. When Nancy became the object of the day’s news, she blamed it all on the salon which played some kind of dirty trick on her. She said she takes responsibility for allowing herself to be “set up” by the salon. I suspect she’s going to have to find a new salon after all this.They were not allowed to be open and opened just for her. Her haircut even trumped the news that the Stock Market today his the highest point ever. Go figure.

The Portland mayor, has been chased out of his home by rioters who broke into his condominium, but he has a number of other homes, so it is apparently not a big deal. Joe Biden, having demonized Donald Trump for going to Kenosha, is now going to go to Kenosha himself, but he will commiserate with the parents of the dead and be compassionate and kind and that will make all the difference.

Looks like we may have a covid vaccine this fall, by October or November. Dr. Scott Atlas, Presidential advisor has sharply dissented with media accusations that it is being rushed because of the election, and said the development is carefully following all the protocols. It is just going well.

The Covid crisis is just another weapon they want to use against President Trump. He’s done pretty well with a disease that we didn’t know anything about when it arrived. Trump shut down all air traffic from China immediately and acted quickly to get ventilators, masks, and all the supplies hospitals across the country might need. Even Democrat governors were praising him for his quick response to their needs.

Expect more. More riots, more shootings, more statue attackers. More demands for reparations. Some have even demanded that the Mayor of Washington D.C. tear down the Washington Monument because George Washington once owned slaves. If you have ever seen it, it is a rather large object.

History is what happened in the past. Changing names, altering buildings, tearing down statues does not change a thing. What happened in the past — happened. We can learn from the past, but we cannot change it. You might remind others of that simple fact.



What Do You Mean “Free” ? by The Elephant's Child

Americans put a lot of emphasis, when thinking about what being an American means, on being free. But what precisely they mean by “free” is not really all that clear. Socialism promises equality .If we just adopt Socialism we will all be “equal” which, of course is nonsense.  Whatever qualities you may possess, they are probably not the same as those the guy standing next to you possesses. So what is it we have in mind when we celebrate being “free”?

I think perhaps the important point is the freedom to rise. We can strive to become whatever it is that we want to be or become, and work towards that goal, with whatever effort and skill we can muster. There are no guarantees that we will make it, but we are free to keep trying, or to change goals, or even to give up.  If you consider what life was like for ordinary Englishmen in 1620, they had a lot of incentive to try for something better, and were willing to risk a lot to try for it. Rising out of their station in life may have been possible for the elites or the educated, but inventions, new ideas, growing, prospering, not so much.

If I asked you to sit down with a pencil and paper and list the Americans who have risen from obscurity to unbelievable wealth, you would be able to come up with quite a few names. It’s commonplace. That’s why I was so taken with the story of the young black man in Columbus Ohio, who had walked three miles every day to the public library that offered homework help. Some sneered at the “3 miles every day” but that extra effort got him acceptance from 22 different colleges and universities for admission. That story didn’t seem to get much attention, but given a few years he will either be heading a large corporation or performing surgery in a major hospital. Whatever he wants. That is the real meaning of being free. If you are a parent of school children, you might want to point that out.



Portland, The National Bad Example by The Elephant's Child

See the source image

Portland, Oregon mayor Ted Wheeler (D) just wrote an angry public letter to President Trump:

Dear President Trump:

Yet again, you said you offered to aid Portland by sending in federal law enforcement to our city.

On behalf of the City of Portland: No thanks.

We don’t need your politics of division and demagoguery. Portlanders are onto you. We have already seen your reckless disregard for human life in your bumbling response to the COVID pandemic. And we know you’ve reached the conclusion that images of violence or vandalism are your only ticket to reelection. …

In Portland, we are focused on coming together as a community to solve the serious challenges we face due to systemic racism, a global pandemic and an economic recession.

I forget the exact number of days Portland has been under a siege of rioting, something like 89 or 90 that Portland has been a national symbol of a city completely out of control, a case study in Antifa and Blac Bloc violence that the national news media has used as the shining example of worst possible outcomes, surpassing even Seattle in the really bad example category. When they were attacking the Federal Courthouse and attempting to set the building on fire, unconcerned about workers inside, that did set some kind of new standard.

Seattle’s “CHOP” on Capitol Hill finally ended when rioters discovered just where Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan lived. Now the protesters have discovered Mayor Wheeler’s condominium and presented themselves there, though a condo on an upper floor is not as vulnerable as an ordinary house.

Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf has declared that the Left-wing group Antifa “absolutely” meets the standard worthy of condemnation as a “domestic terrorist group.” Whether that precludes some tougher action remains to be seen. As does the presence of rioters in Mayor Wheeler’s building. Mayor Wheeler is running for reelection.

In the meantime, we have Kenosha, Wisconsin. I have not been able to discover why it was the city of Kenosha that was selected to go up in flames. President Trump is sending in Federal help to bring back order to that city. He’s not going to stand for cities out of control and endangering ordinary folks lives, which seems the correct thing to do.

There is more talk now about civil war,which should have been impossible. But there is so much going on that should have been impossible. Senator Rand Paul and his wife and another woman were accosted and threatened by a mob when they attempted to walk across the street from the White House to their hotel which was just on the other side. They weren’t sure they could make it, even with police protection and feared for their lives.

Democrats are beginning to realize they  made a major mistake in excusing and encouraging “systemic racism” and race riots over the death of George Floyd, and defunding the police. They are dimly beginning to realize that the American people don’t like riots. Who knew? We apparently need more policing, not less It has been confirmed that George Floyd died of a massive overdose of fentanyl, apparently a enough to have killed him twice over. Things are not always as they seem at first glance.

We will, as the Chinese proverb goes, apparently continue to “live in interesting times.”



Mindless, Purposeless Riots Just For Fun. Disgraceful. by The Elephant's Child

The Left has certainly dragged out their old-time-religion. Race, white supremacy, fascism, and apparently not the slightest interest in what is actually going on in our world today. Riots, not “peaceful protests” and if you have watched the videos, they are not really about much of anything but the fun of roaming down the streets with big groups of people, breaking stuff, breaking windows, damaging property, attacking cars and people. Mindless. They are out there for the fun of it.

They need to be hauled off promptly to jail. Democrat Mayors are terrified of even the possibility of doing anything about it. In Seattle, the feckless Mayor Jenny Durkan pulled herself together a bit and vetoed the feckless Seattle City Council’s attempt to defund the police. And I think I read that the National Guard has been called out for Portland, that would have to be the governor I think, Mayors can’t. But the fun in the streets has spread to Denver,  Minneapolis of course,    Fort Wayne Indiana, Green Bay Wisconsin, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Olympia WA and that is far from a complete list.

“Black Lives Matter” has nothing to do with this mess. There’s a lot of violence and drugs in poor black neighborhoods, and they want and depend on police protection.

Attacking statues has lost some of its fury. What becomes completely clear is that there is a very deep ignorance of American History. “Fascist” is a popular word: Here’s Wikipedia’s definition, but I’d be willing to bet that few if any of the street mobs could define it. Mindless.

Fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.

Look up Benito Mussolini in Italy, who “popularized” the idea. But the problem is authoritarianism. The urge to control. Well, Mussolini made a mess of it, but if you are interested in this “new” authoritarianism I recommend borrowing The Black Book of Communism from your friendly public library. Amazon has it, but it’s quite expensive, even used. Or buy Communism: a Brief History by Richard Pipes, one of our greatest historians. Or read about the Soviet forced labor system in The Gulag Archipelago by Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn. Lana Peters, Stalin’s daughter became an American citizen, and died at 85, not too long ago.



When the Convention is Online, You Can Just Turn It Off by The Elephant's Child

Is this day three or day four?  I’m losing track. I must admit I read about it, I don’t watch the hate Trump fest. They can’t really seem to make up their minds anyway. They were off on a big Post Office thingy which seemed completely unrelated to reality. But that has sort of faded, so they are back to blaming Trump for all coronavirus death. (Lets De Blasio off the hook as well).

The odd thing is that at the Democrat online convention, there has been no mention at all of the violence in Portland and Seattle, or the defunding of police, in hot spots around the nation, which  commands the news. The convention is not interested. No interest in weekend killings. No interest in statue desecration, nor even in attempts to burn people alive in Portland’s federal building. But of course it is Democrat run cities and states that have the problems, so it’s awkward to mention them.

Climate has been mentioned. AOC’s “Green New Deal” assures us that we only have 12 years left. Odd. The climate has been changing for millions of years, some hot years, and some unusually cold ones. We even had a major ice age, and some little ice ages. The polar bears are just fine and multiplying nicely. Susan Crockford is the wildlife biologist who is expert on polar bears. The Left seems to prefer that polar bears be endangered.

At the convention, some Democrats were furious that they only gave AOC one minute to speak. She is very outspoken, but very ignorant. I don’t suggest that she is dumb, she is not. She just doesn’t have familiarity with a lot of rather useful facts.

If you are confused by things climate, visit Dr. Roy Spencer’s site, linked in the sidebar. He explains global warming and what we know and what we don’t know. Dr. Spencer runs the satellites that measure world temperatures for NASA at Huntsville Ala. with Dr. John Christy who measures world temperatures with weather balloons. Lots of other good sites in the sidebar, and when you arrive at any one of them, there are extensive lists of scientists at work, and their blogs, deeply informative.

California is now going through power outages and wildfires because people can’t get it through their heads that wind turbines and solar panels cannot provide the power that a modern society requires. Joe Biden is quite sure that banning fracking, banning drilling, and shutting down anything that runs on petroleum will save us from the doomsday in 12 years. That certainty should worry us all a lot.

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish child who did the world tour, did not have any science, only religion of a sort. It’s brought in all sorts of money for her and for her parents, for the world was inspired by a child attempting to save the earth.

And do not forget Christiana Figueres. She was at one time the Executive Secretary of the IPCC, and at a news conference in Brussels in early February of 2015 admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological catastrophe, but to destroy capitalism.

 



Good Ad. We Don’t See Very Many of Those! by The Elephant's Child



Are You Questioning Your Sanity a Little? by The Elephant's Child

Some days I just can’t decide whether it is the world around me that has gone crazy, or only me that has slipped a cog or two. The Democrats are having an online convention, and we don’t seem to be living in the same country. At least the one they describe is unfamiliar to me.

Donald Trump is daily committing terrible crimes, and must be stopped. Nancy Pelosi says we have to save the Post Office from the President Now.

“It is, to use the word volcanic. It has been explosive in terms of the response that members, Democratic and Republican, all over the country have received to this assault on this connection that they have, Americans have with each other. This matter of how we have access to health care. 1.2 billion prescriptions were sent through the mail in 2019 even before the coronavirus, that is. And way overwhelmingly, 82% or higher of VA drugs are sent to our veterans through the mail. So that’s just two examples of meeting the health needs of the American people. And when those medicines come a week, six days late— we keep hearing examples of how late that medication is coming. That’s just one connection. It’s about the health of the American people. It’s also about the health of our democracy as they do this to make an assault on the mail in terms of absentee balloting and the rest.”

What? Yesterday, we got some of the mail for our neighbors in the next block. Today we received some mail for the folks across the street. Sloppy postman, but no big deal. What the hell has she been drinking? There is no assault on the Post Office. They have declining revenues for several reasons, one of them is that people are apt to communicate more by email. Another is simply the pandemic. A lot of businesses are shut down, and people are stuck at home.  Joel Pollack wrote about their hysteria with the “Busted Mailbox Conspiracy Theory” yesterday.

What becomes immediately clear is that the Democrats believe the population of the United States is extremely unintelligent and will believe most anything they are told. I found a text version of Michelle Obama’s convention speech, which I will link to here, and you can scroll through to see the statements you find a little odd. She returns to the fact that people must have thought their votes didn’t matter, so they sent someone to the Oval Office who lost the national popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. ( yes, there’s that old electoral college they keep trying to get rid of.) She even has Trump putting children in cages. Trump?

They really want to make everything Trump has done criminal. He is the one who killed all the people with his pandemic because he so mismanaged it. You know, the one he kept demonstrating his racial prejudice with by calling it the Chinese virus. They have no shame. They choose the words and accusations carefully to influence those who are most likely to know nothing about what they are voting for anyway. It would be nice to have a tiny bit of honesty, but that is asking too much, I guess. It’s hard to solve problems when nobody will tell the truth about them. It isn’t this bad every four years, is it?



Consequences Are How We Learn by The Elephant's Child

Rioters who do property damage need to be arrested, prosecuted, and to have a police record that follows them around and makes it hard to find employment. Consequences work both ways. If you do bad things and there are no real consequences, you’re quite apt to go out and do it again, because it’s fun to do real damage and get away with it. It is simply human nature, and the founders, when they were struggling for independence from England, thought long and hard about human nature and how it works.

If you struggle and work hard and are well rewarded for your efforts, the consequences are that you want to do it again, and maybe those who saw your success will struggle as well.

Yes, I know, some people firmly believe that we put people in prison simply because of the color of their skin, which is nonsense.

Democrats loathe the Electoral College and intend to abolish it at the first opportunity. Yet the founders carefully established it to protect the smaller, less populous states, so that every state would have an equal voice in the union. Democrats just want to be in charge permanently, and don’t really care who they have to step on to get there.

Human nature is kind of a mess. People are selfish, generous, mean, cruel, thoughtful — a mix of all the possible qualities out there. We always remain hopeful that the better nature will win out, but hope remains eternal.

Through all the “Black Lives Matter” protests and demands for reparations and payback, there were some plaintive voices out there that didn’t get enough attention. Jason Riley, who is black, and writes for the Wall Street Journal, has a book out with the rather intriguing title “Please Stop Helping Us.”

Oddly, a few months back a young black high school senior was written up in the national news for walking 3 miles every day to a public library that offered homework help. His efforts earned him letters of acceptance from over 20 colleges and universities, including the one he most hoped to attend. No further notice, no celebration.

Shortly after that, a young black woman who was valedictorian of her class with perfect attendance got a brief article in the media, because she was awarded something like $450,000 in scholarship money. Nobody bothered to report that’s the way the world works. You work hard and put your soul in it, and you are often rewarded by accomplishing your goals.

Neither of the stories got any particular attention as far as I know, but there’s a real lesson there.



Chicago, Chicago, That Toddlin’ Town by The Elephant's Child

One gets used to noting the death toll in Chicago over the weekend. Which is pretty disgusting as a matter of fact. An article at Fox News caught my eye. The Chicago Chamber of Commerce president called for a “serious response” to looting. As well he should. He was urging former president Barack Obama to come back to Chicago and use his influence to help, instead of gamboling on Martha’s Vineyard when his home town that made him, needs him.

Here are the shocking numbers: “So far this year in Chicago a total of 2,058 people have been shot and wounded, and 435 have been shot and killed.

America — indeed Chicago — spawned the success that became Obama. Now with ill winds blowing, Chicago needs him more than ever. If anyone should abhor the blood in his old ’hood, it should be Barack. The senseless killing is as surreal as Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq” and as bone-chilling as the damp winds that blow off Lake Michigan every winter. And yet there is deafening silence from the 44th president.

Chicago’s adopted son has a debt to pay. He owes America a bit more than a feel-good legacy of being “first” or shimmering cameos at marquee events, however cool his gait. He should leave behind more than a league of loyalists who profited from his presidency in lieu of legions who are the least of these.

Interesting. I don’t know why Obama’s presence would help, but I didn’t believe that he was a very good president. Apparently the Cook County State’s Attorney is accused of being soft on criminals and failing to do her job, so crime soars as a consequence. It’s sad to see cities fall. And there will be consequences. People will move and business will move. Will the crime move with them, or stay on in a declining Chicago. You get the feeling that there is going to be a massive realignment in the country. Does anyone learn the lessons so vividly on display? The media which is still prattling about “peaceful protesters” have clearly not learned anything at all, nor do they understand how consequences are and will be playing out.

For example: The Post Office is in trouble. Revenue down, volume of mail down. Locking mailbox sales way up, mail theft vastly increased. That is a consequence of several things. Our public schools are not managing to teach kids to write easily and well, nor teaching kids the history of their country. Somebody’s out there being “peaceful protesters,” and they seem to be of the appropriate age. People aren’t writing letters, but sending emails or tweeting or facebooking.’

I email family, but write some long business letters. Computers are not just changing our lives, but changing us. Think how astonished our great-grandparents and great-great grandparents would be were they to reappear in our midst today. And what would they have to say!

 



The Coming Battles of the Election Season by The Elephant's Child

This is going to be an unusually interesting election season. Joe Biden, who has been selected as the Democrat nominee, seems to have some problems with early stage dementia. He does seem unable to remember the proper word to use, or how to adequately express himself at times, and people are concerned, although perhaps incorrectly.

Democrats are inclined to dislike Republicans, and vice versa. That’s simply the way it is, and the problems lie in the amount of dislike and the efforts to do something about it. Now that Mr. Biden has chosen Kamala Harris as his Vice Presidential partner, the campaign has instantly become about sexism.

The usual Hollywood “celebrities” (someone whose name may be recognizable and thereby attract readers) have immediately called up Hillary as an example of someone who lost an election because of sexism. Which is an error. Hillary lost because she is a compulsive liar, had performed poorly as Secretary of State, and is roundly disliked. Nothing to do with her sex. She did notify the campaign that she was anxious to help out in any way she can.

I don’t think much of Kamala Harris as a candidate, and with Joe Biden’s age and possible dementia we have to assume that Ms. Harris could very likely become president. Articles I’ve seen: “Former Obama speechwriter mocks mainstream media’s “hilarious” push to call Kamala Harris “moderate” and Tensions linger between Biden and Obama Carried throughout 2020 primary campaign:  Not sure what’s going on here, the Obama group doesn’t like the Biden group?

The Biden, Harris team are going for some very radical (and ignorant) ideas about the climate, which is just fine, and cooling slightly. They are all for AOC’s “Green New Deal.” Joe Biden wants to ban fracking and the advances that have given us plentiful and cheap energy to run America’s manufacturers and cities, Kamala wants to ban plastic straws and limit access to red meat, altering the food pyramid. Harris wants to reenter us in the Paris Climate accords so “we would be carbon neutral by 2030.” Sorry. Carbon dioxide is not the control knob for the climate. The climate of the earth is determined by the actions of the sun, which is currently in a slightly cooling phase.

Why can’t people study up a little on subjects they know they don’t understand very well? You don’t have to become an expert, just learn enough to be an informed voter and an intelligent conversationalist. Dr.Roy Spencer, who measures the temperatures of the earth–running the satellites for NASA, has a short helpful explanation of “global warming” at his website, and if you look at his blog, there’s an amazing video of a lightning strike.

Growing up in the mountains of Idaho, we once had a lightning strike about 200 yards from the house. It made a remarkably loud noise, and stripped the bark in a circular pattern down the trunk of a Ponderosa Pine. It’s a Big Deal up close.

I am convinced that the Democrats depend on people’s reluctance to study up and depend on their lack of information to accuse their opposition candidates of absurd things. Democrats have tried hard for four years or more to stick President Trump with some sort of collaboration with Russia or Vladimir Putin. None there, but they just would not give up on it, and are back at it.

The other big drive is to blame President Trump for all the deaths from the Covid virus. Good grief, he not only slammed the gates shut to any flights from China immediately, but has not only dealt well the virus and medical equipment needed in this country, but helped other countries as he could as well.




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