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.



In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety Two, Columbus Sailed… by The Elephant's Child

Exactly how George Floyd’s unfortunate death led to the excesses of Black Lives Matter riots and marches and looting, is not especially clear. How things multiplied from that to attacks on statues all around the country is even less clear. They started with the generals on the losing side of the Civil War, and then included generals on both sides and Spanish Friars, founding fathers and their horses too.. Perfect frenzy of attacking bronze statues that couldn’t possibly fight back, but perhaps that was the point. They could demonstrate their rage while in attacking inanimate objects they had no opposition, and no risk.

But one statue led to another, and when they couldn’t find enough Robert E. Lee statues, they turned to Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and, of course, Columbus.  It is all simply theater. What was intended as a powerful political statement was thoroughly messed up by the historical ignorance of the perpetrators. There was some interest in destruction of the four presidents at Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota, encouraged slyly by the New York Times, which brought out Sioux Chieftains to remind everyone that the Black Hills were once sacred grounds for Native Americans.

I think the statue thing is probably over, except for Columbus. There are so many things around the country named for Columbus that it remains a tempting victim — Columbus, Ohio, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska and Texas, the Columbia River, Columbia University, and many ships and lots of wildlife and plants.

What is far more interesting is the “Columbian Exchange” — the plants and animals brought to the new world and from the new world to the old. Search for “The Columbian Exchange” and you will be astounded to find the list of species that were unknown prior to 1492, and how they changed lives. Diseases too. Horses and dogs and cats! Did residents of the new world have no pets until Columbus? And when did they decide that dogs were desirable pets?



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

 

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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.



Recommended Reading. Not Just Should Read, but You’ll Be Glad you Did. by The Elephant's Child

Photo Of Woman Reading Book

Here are some books I highly recommend. Your public library should have them, Amazon will, and they’ll have used books if you don’t want to spend much. If you have kids, you will want to have them around the house.

David McCullough’s 1776, a gripping narrative of the year of independence, tells the story of the men who marched with George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence. Won the Pulitzer Prize. Extensively researched not only in our own archives, but in British archives as well. It’s also the story of ordinary Americans in the ranks: farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, boys turned soldiers and the story of the Redcoats, disciplined soldiers who looked down on their rebellious foes with contempt and fought with valor.

McCullough also has a biography of John Adams, our second president, also a Pulitzer winner.

Paul Johnson’s A History of the American People by a distinguished British historian is particularly interesting in the light of the New York Times’ embarrassing “1619 Project” Johnson traces the origins of the first arrival of slaves in this country that correct the New York Times.

Two more: I particularly like John Steele Gordon’s An Empire of Wealth, which is an epic history of America’s economic power. A Free people able to experiment and innovate end up creating a country that dominates the world through its creation of wealth. It is a fascinating book,  that you would enjoy.

The other is Charles E. Mann’s 1491  or what the Americas were like the year before Columbus arrived. Take that, you nutcases who are tearing down statues of Columbus because you are ignorant. Fascinating to learn that our most deeply rooted ideas of the peopling of the Western Hemisphere and the kinds of societies that had developed there before the arrival of Europeans are just wrong. Mann has followed that up with 1493 which explains the result of his arrival.  I haven’t read this latter one yet.

Guaranteed good reading. Enjoy.



An Attack on Our History As a Nation, A Marxist Ploy. by The Elephant's Child

You may have noticed that I am more than annoyed with these attempts to use the death of George Floyd captured on film to assume that he was killed because of racism, which should naturally lead to attempts to alter and destroy the history of the United States of America by tearing down and defacing statues, eliminating anything and everything associated with the Confederacy, and anything that could lead one to value our country.

There have been cries to eliminate the Star Spangled Banner, and replace it with something better, like John Lennon’s nauseous “Imagine.”They have even succeeded in getting some members of Congress to believe that the names of long standing military bases Fort Benning and Fort Bragg must be changed because they were named for Confederate Generals.

Indeed they were, but so what? I challenge anyone to ask the next 50 to 100 people they encounter not only where these “forts” are located, but who they are named for. You might run into someone who actually knows where they are — a lot of people who have served in the military trained there, but the source of the names? Highly unlikely, and so what?

Government, aside from being necessary, is seldom popular. The folks elected might do a better job than the last bunch, but then they may do a lot worse too.

Countries have enemies. The United States of America is a big powerful. wealthy country that occupies an outsize position in the world, and is probably resented more than loved. Because of all our freedoms, our people are free to innovate, invent, and discover, which is how we became powerful and wealthy. That kind of freedom is hard for governments to give away. The people elected to government usually don’t have all that much respect for those who elected them. which is why governments rise and fall.

Our founding documents: the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are what must be discredited before anyone else can take over. There are still a lot of people who actually believe that Marxism is better because it makes everybody equal.

With just a little effort you can find pieces online written by American citizens who have escaped from Cuba or Venezuela warning that the current attacks on our freedom are what transformed Cuba and Venezuela into Communist prison states. The attacks on our history and our memories are not just because of George Floyd.

Our defense against Marxism and other political attacks is our own knowledge of our history and our understanding of the value of being an American. Our schools are clearly not doing a good job with the teaching of history, and many of our biggest nutcases seem to be ensconced in our institutions of higher learning.  The kids who are marching in the streets and tearing down statues learned it somewhere.



They Are Vacating the Autonomous Six Blocks of CHOP That Had Seceded From the Rest of the Country. by The Elephant's Child

This is all extremely weird. The national news is reporting that the occupiers of the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) are vacating, moving out. Their officials say that any protesters can stay as long as they went, but they seem to be tearing up the newly-planted vegetable garden and attempting to return it to ordinary park status, except that it has been all dug up.

Capitol Hill businesses have filed a major lawsuit against the City of Seattle. The merchants said in the suit that they have suffered economic ruin because the city allowed CHOP to happen. CHOP leader Naudia Miller confirmed reports that the area is being dissembled. She added “The burden of owning a business doesn’t compare to struggles of living in a nation that’s built on anti-black racism,” directed at businesses that are a party to the lawsuit.

A local investment firm closed it’s doors and announced that they were moving to Arizona. No local news purveyor managed to take pictures of the emptied streets, if they indeed are emptied. This is a screen capture from a hard-to-find video. Perhaps after the shootings, reporters and photographers decided to play it safe. This is the same view as in previous pictures that were decorated with barriers, signs, tents, debris and more signs. They talked about setting up at Seattle Center, by the Space Needle or elsewhere. The feckless Mayor of Seattle, Jenny Durkan, was perhaps right when she called it a “summer of love” thing.

The CHOP (formerly CHAZ) has been major news across not only the country, but the world, turning the city of Seattle into something of a laughingstock, and suddenly they’re seeming to pretend that it never happened. There was a murder there, and people hospitalized.

CHOP leaders insisted their efforts are far from over: “We need every one of us to step up in a way that’s in our capacity, because we are dealing with trauma,” Miller said, adding that the only difference going forward is that Capitol Hill will no longer be a staging ground for Black Lives Matter.

Miller also spoke about everything that’s happened at the East Precinct, saying protesters’ takeover of the building was fair game after police used tear gas to disperse CHOP attendees.

“The Seattle Police Department chose that location when they terrorized people on Pine Street, and when they tear gassed people in their homes,” she commented.

The city says that the East Precinct will be reoccupied by next week. Stories about the six-block CHOP are pretty much absent from the news here, where one would think it would be big and welcome headlines. I had to really hunt to find anything.

Did they all suddenly recognize that this mess was giving Seattle a major black eye?

Capitol Hill is distinctly uphill from downtown Seattle, which is on a slight gradual slope down to the west and the water of Puget Sound, where the ferries dock. Seattle was famously built on seven hills, and some were plowed down to make them more acceptable for stores and businesses. If you assume that the CHOP area was in downtown Seattle, that’s incorrect. Capitol Hill is home to Seattle University, hospitals, schools and businesses. It slopes down on the eastern side to Lake Washington, and expensive residential areas along the lake.

Protesters have been shutting down the freeways too, or trying to. The Police keep them under control. As far as I can recall, we haven’t much here in the way of statues, or Confederate anything. Some totem poles.



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

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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.



Just Another Normal Day in Seattle by The Elephant's Child

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I think I read that they changed the name of the Seattle Autonomous six blocks from CHAZ to CHOP, but I’m not sure of that one. It continues being autonomous. On Flag Day, yesterday, some stalwart individuals tried to march through with American Flags, perhaps reminding them just what country this is, but they took the flags away (violently).

This part of the country has a fairly long history of being a bit weird.  Postmaster General James A. Farley had a famous toast “to the forty-seven states and the soviet of Washington”. Seattle has a long reputation for radicalism. Recommended reading: Utopias on Puget Sound, 1885-1915. There was a smattering of that again in the sixties, I believe. Perhaps it’s something in the water. Breaks out now and then.

There was a Seattle General Strike in February 1919, and 350,000 shipyard workers in the Seattle shipyard stopped work after not getting their post WW1 pay increase. A big Wobblies Protest (Workers of the World Union) also known as the Everett Massacre (2 men were killed and 16-20 wounded). The Kent State Shootings in May of 1970, The WTO Protests in 1999 40,000 demonstrated in the city, much vandalism, Occupy Seattle: September/October 2011, a reform aimed at big banks, and questions about the legality of protesters sleeping in public spaces. So perhaps it really is something in the water.

Paul Joseph Watson did a most enjoyable video on “Cultural Revolution“, and the Autonomous Zone currently on Capitol Hill. For those unfamiliar with the Seattle area, it is a city famously built on seven hills, and they plowed some of them down to create space for a city. Do watch the video if you have some fascination with strange societal outbreaks. It might be helpful when one breaks out in your peaceful town.

We’re getting a lot of national attention as this is assumed to be just an extension of Black Lives Matter, but apparently it is just normal life here in the Northwest.  I grew up in the mountains of Idaho and find this strange and fascinating.

In Scotland, BLM protesters defaced the statue of Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn, Scotland’s legendary King. In Britain, as many statues were torn down or defaced, the Statue of Winston Churchill was put in a tall box to protect it.

The proper adjective to describe Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkin and Governor Jay Inslee, I decided, is feckless.



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

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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.



The Marxist Lie of White Privilege: Dr. Jordan B. Peterson by The Elephant's Child

Puzzling over the events of the day, some of my visitors found an old post of a video by Dr.Jordan Peterson, who thinks very clearly. It was posted last year, in August. I am a great Jordan Peterson admirer. The title is“The Marxist Lie of White Privilege” which seems somewhat applicable to today. It’s a long video, worth your time if you have the patience. Take notes!

 




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