American Elephants


If Banning Guns Won’t Work, What Should We Do? by The Elephant's Child

To reach a point where people can begin to talk sensibly about the problem of violence in our schools, you have to wait a while. Probably longer than this. All the people who have never held a gun, nor fired one, have time to insist that banning all guns is the answer. Unfortunately, it’s often the less they know, the more they sound off.

There are no reliable statistics that I could find on gun shootings in schools. Everytown for Gun Safety is an activist gun-banning group, and has listed every incidence when a gun has been discharged in or near a school in their statistics, including on school property when schools are not in session, which includes a suicide in his own car, that sort of thing, which has contaminated most lists.

There are some few sensible suggestions emerging. Most courthouses and state buildings have  metal detectors at their doors, and a guard inside to do something if a metal detector sounds off.  Interesting that government officials are ready to insure protection for themselves, but not for vulnerable students. So the first need is for some proper statistics enumerating the people who have attempted to attack school children as the most vulnerable and precious victims. This is not as easy as it should be. The United States is a big open country with all sorts of news outlets, some of them even reliable. Our news is reported as headlines in most other countries. Because we let it all hang out, so to speak, countries that are more sparing in what they tell the public are shocked by us.

Banning guns is everyone’s first choice, but will not change anything. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. The kid who was turned in by his grandmother this week because she read his journal, was not only talking about guns, but about making bombs at home.  If metal detectors at every entrance to a school are a good idea, then it detects as someone enters—and who responds to that and what do they do? Is it an armed guard? For every door? Or are all other doors but the main door locked, and checked to make sure they are locked? It gets complicated right off the bat, and needs to be thought through carefully.

The grandmother who called 911 after reading her grandson’s journal here in Snohomish County (Everett) just had to trust that the responders from 911 would know what to do. It would seem that adults in such a situation would be more apt to take action if they knew what and who to reach, and what would result.

It’s agreed that the FBI fouled up very badly by not following up on warnings they received about Nikolas Cruz. They had a definite warning call from someone who knew him and took his threats seriously. His father had died earlier, and his mother had died suddenly and recently from pneumonia. He was expelled from school. Police were reportedly called to the home some 39 times. That’s a remarkable number of red flags and call for help, to FBI and city police, but nothing happened, no one took him in for help. That suggests missing training in when red flags should go up, and in what avenues to follow. Is a jail cell the only answer? Taxpayers are supporting a vast array of agencies that are supposedly trained to deal with situations like these. School shootings are not as common as the gun-control advocates assume, but there have been others. Some of the attacks have been by adults which are a different situation.

Junior high and high school are difficult times for kids. They are dealing with  puberty, and sex education, that currently seems to tell them they they can be any sex they choose, when they are trying to figure out how to be popular like some other kids seem to be, having crushes, wanting to be good at sports or acting or singing or anything like other kids seem to be. Everybody remembers traumatic things from their own high school career. It’s a very emotional time, taking the first steps toward adulthood.

It has been widely, if quietly, reported that teachers are being attacked in their own classrooms, in many cases by unruly students. School districts do not want that to be reported so it is not frequently mentioned, but it happens, perhaps more frequently where there is gang activity. What is being done about that?

When a kid has acted up enough to be expelled from school, had the police called to his home 39 times, and  just lost his mother, that would seem to be a powerful call for help. You would have one very angry kid. What all of this suggests is that all those administrators that the taxpayers are supporting besides the teachers in the classroom, should be planning and working with other agencies to think through the possibilities and come up  with plans so people know what to do and who to call.

What about the kid who uses the internet to learn how to build a bomb? Or learns how to make Molotov cocktails?  Do we still have reform schools? There are a lot of quiet agencies who take on troubled kids in rural settings to straighten them out and set them on a better path. Very expensive. Military schools. Also very expensive. Can states and communities learn from them and put new programs for troubled kids in place? Some used to be encouraged to enlist in the military, and drill sergeants know a thing or two.

Banning assault weapons (aren’t those the scary looking guns with scopes and a military profile) and AK-47s sounds important, and accomplishes nothing at all. Countries that have really gone for banning guns have learned that it does not work. Our cities with the most restrictive gun laws are some of the most violent.

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Delusions of Leftist Activism: Jordan Peterson by The Elephant's Child

The delusions of leftist activism, and trying to explain it to one of the deluded. Global warming, and the poor soul is sure that New York City will be under water all too soon, and he wants to go out and protest and make somebody do something. And he does not grasp that is just what Jordan Peterson was talking about. It is all quite symbolic of just what is going on in our culture today. Everybody wants to be an activist. It’s fun to carry signs and shout with all your friends, and with your activism you can change the world. No you can’t. Changing something starts with learning the facts, and doing actual steps that alleviate some part of it. Shouting and waving signs means you want someone else to fix it. But who, and when and how? Jordan Peterson is, as always, delightful.



Visit Steven Hayward’s Week in Pictures. You Deserve a Good Laugh! by The Elephant's Child

Every week at Powerline, Steven Hayward does a roundup of “The Week In Pictures.” This week we seem to have been even funnier than usual.  It has indeed been an interesting week, and American cartoonists had a rousing good time.



Tucker Carlson Interviews Adam Schiff’s Sidekick, Eric Swalwell by The Elephant's Child

We expected the Democrats to push back on the release of the memos, because the memos basically look very bad for the Democrats. This, is something much larger and more insidious. Tucker Carlson interviews Eric Swalwell who is Adam Schiff’s sidekick. They are terrified, and losing control.  Attack, attack, attack. No matter that it makes no sense to attack when you are seemingly guilty as hell, so they must be even more terrified at what they know is coming.  Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Watch the beginning of this video again and listen to Nancy Pelosi. It’s like they got caught with their hands in the piggy bank, and they are sure we are going to find out that they’ve been taking all our savings out of the bank, and working to condemn our house for their own use. The thing about watching someone get defensive when they know they’re wrong, is that they re so clumsy about it. Tucker is “damaging national security, hurting the country, and refusing to acknowledge that the rule of law has been run over.”



Here is the Memo, as Published by The Elephant's Child

There are six pages, in Scribed, and you can enlarge or print it out.  It begins with the Presidential permission to post what were classified records for Congress. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has voted on party lines to make it public.

https://www.scribd.com/document/370599126/fisa-memo#from_embed



Who Owns These Memos? It’s Not Who You Have Been Told. by The Elephant's Child

I’ll try to get into the Intelligence Committee’s memo released today, but  I thought I’d start with this post from The Hill, by Sharyl Attkison, to put you in the correct frame of mind.

There’s an important but little-noticed subtext in the revelations about alleged FBI misconduct in the investigations into Hillary Clinton’s email practices and Donald Trump’s Russia associations.

It’s the light they shine on what has come to be routine obstruction of public records laws by federal officials.

The records that federal agencies generate while in our employ aren’t owned by faceless bureaucrats or political officials who can choose to withhold or disclose at their discretion and convenience. The records are owned by us: the public.

That includes the text messages.



A Panicky Pelosi Claims Conspiracy and Distortion. by The Elephant's Child


We await the release of the Memo from the House Intelligence Committee. It is a four page document supposedly referring to the use of the Fusion GPS misinformation to obtain FISA Court permission to surveil and/or wiretap the Trump Campaign, and/or to unmask names. In other words nobody really seems to have a clue.  But—Democrats are having a near nervous breakdown attempting to prevent the release, or make sure that everyone understands that it is inaccurate, false, misleading or something like that, which would seem to indicate that they are scared to death of the reaction.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote to Speaker Paul Ryan demanding that he remove Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) as chairman of the Intelligence Committee for releasing the “bogus memo that has taken the GOP ‘s cover-up campaign to a new, completely unacceptable extreme.”

Both the DOJ and FBI oppose releasing the Nunes memo. As the Department of Justice warned, the public release of the memo would be an “unprecedented action” and “extraordinarily reckless.” The FBI also expressed that the agency has “grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”

It has now come to our attention that Congressman Nunes deliberately and materially altered the contents of the memo since it was voted on by the House Republicans. This action is not only dangerous, it is illegitimate, and violates House rules.

The committee says they cleaned up the punctuation and some spelling, or something like that. Democrats attempt to discredit Chairman Nunes in advance of the release does seem to be a little bit much. An MSNBC analyst asked two Democrat lawmakers if Chairman Nunes was “compromised by the Russians” or a “Russian agent.”

Here’s Andrew McCarthy’s post today, in which he says the FBI and Democrats don’t have good reasons for wanting to prevent it’s disclosure to the public.Andy, as a former Federal Prosecutor, has been clear and informative on this whole process.

Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent, I believe, suggests that the Obama administration was wiretapping and investigating illegally, the Trump Campaign, which they thought was safe because Hillary would win, and now they are having to go back and do a cover-up after the fact, a kind of interference in an election that would be one of the worst scandals in American history.

All rumor, innuendo, guesswork and suspicion, but it’s getting really interesting. Nancy Pelosi is doing a great job of stirring up interest with her panicky accusation of conspiracy theories and attacks on Committee members.

Picture is a screen shot from Weasel Zippers




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