American Elephants


Household Hints from The Elephant’s Child by The Elephant's Child

To successfully manage the contents of your refrigerator, you need a collection of ZipLoc plastic containers with lids. You’ll need 8-10 in a standard square shape, and some larger ones into which the standard size should fit. You will inevitably find the need for some different sizes, but try to restrain yourself. A rubber band around the lids will help keep them tamed, but every time you reach for one they will all spill out all over the floor. (My grocery sells ZipLoc, but I am not recommending any brand). The reason for getting significant numbers is that when you have to replace them, the new ones will not fit, nor will the lids.

Seven containers should be enough for a week’s leftovers. That’s why stackable matters. By the time the stack gets too tall, it’s time to inspect the containers on the bottom, several of which should be covered in a colorful yellow, white and green mold. This may safely be discarded. You can put the remnants in your garbage disposal, but any fat left in the discarded leftovers will cause stuff to adhere to the walls of your plumbing pipes, which will eventually mean calling a plumber.

Never grind up artichoke leaves, it will mean the end of your disposal.

Garbage disposals are not really meant to grind up much of anything, you should put it all into those little green cornstarch bags to go to the recycling plant to be turned into humus. Unfortunately, any moisture in the stuff you put into the little green bags will eat big holes in the little green bags, probably spilling the contents all over your floor if you are not careful, and you will have to use another bag on top of the holey one.

Your refrigerator is there to comfortably preserve your leftovers until it’s time to throw them out. Garbage disposals are only slightly useful, and should be only lightly used, just ask your plumber. You should not use regular lightbulbs, because the industry has found they can make other types in China and save tons of money—while charging you several times as much for new types that don’t work as well, especially for reading.

When the bulbs burn out you will have to take them to a special place for recycling, the recyclers won’t take them. We currently have 3 cans: yard waste, garbage, and recycling, and long lists of what is not acceptable in each can. The non-acceptables can be taken to the city dump (landfill) for a fee, those things which are non-acceptables but should still be recycled go to a monthly recycling event held in a nearby church’s parking lot, or for special, special recyclables there are other events, and special places.

Seattle was going to send out garbage police to make sure you weren’t putting anything in your garbage that could be recycled, with large fines in mind, but I think someone filed suit.

Eat out as much as possible.

You’ve probably seen Penn and Teller’s commentary on recycling, but it remains funny. (Language! — It’s Penn & Teller)



Hate Speech, Protected Speech, Free Speech: Think About It. by The Elephant's Child

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The furor over Brexit continues to heat up, and polls waver back and forth. A telling article on the 14th of May pointed out a central issue of concern about the European Union. ‘The President of the unelected executive arm of the EU has vowed to block all right wing populists from power across the continent, shortly after acquiring the power to exert “far reaching sanctions” on elected governments.”

If this seems reminiscent of the Left’s current efforts to stamp out free speech, with the need for “safe spaces” on campus to avoid hearing any disagreeing speech; or the group of attorneys general who want to go after “climate deniers”  in the interest of shutting down those who do not worship at the altar of global warming, and getting a big windfall from suing Exxon Mobil; or the effort to simply shut down free speech or do away with the First Amendment, you’re absolutely correct.

Attorney General  Loretta Lynch announced that she would release a censored version of Omar Mateen’s 911 calls , omitting any mention of ISIS. She said she didn’t want to “further [Mateen’s] propaganda. (Obama-Clinton U.S l Resolution Against Negative Speech about Islam.) Broadly ridiculed, DOJ reversed course.

Most graduations are over, but the season had its usual numbers of graduation speakers who were protested, rejected, or insulted.  I find it hard to imagine that the snowflakes are so unmannerly that they refuse to hear someone who has ideas with which they are not familiar.

U.S. Internet giants Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc., Google and Microsoft Corp pledged to tackle online hate speech in less than 24 hours as part of a joint commitment with the European Union to combat the use of social media by terrorists.

Beyond national laws that criminalize hate speech, there is a need to ensure such activity by Internet users is “expeditiously reviewed by online intermediaries and social media platforms, upon receipt of a valid notification, in an appropriate time-frame,” the companies and the European Commission said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

We hear the term “Hate Speech” far more than “free speech.” “Hate speech” is just another Leftist weapon to attack anyone who offers a different opinion.  Only today, a student called in to Michael Medved’s talk radio show to speak about his professor who would not allow differing opinions in student papers. Unfortunately this is increasingly common. During the 1960s Liberals fought for the right for political demonstrations on campus in the fabled “Free Speech Movement.” Well, time moves on and minds change. Now the Left wants to put people behind bars for any speech that disagrees with standard Liberal talking points.

The other nations in the Anglosphere have vestiges of free speech, but not so much. It is, to be completely accurate, a very hard idea for people to understand. People are all for free speech until someone says something to which they take exception, then it’s hate speech, or they shouldn’t be allowed to say that, or just demand that they shut up. We used to have Polish jokes, and French jokes, and Norwegian jokes, but now it’s all “diversity” and “racism”and  “gender identity.”

We all have to think through what is meant by free speech. It is expressed in the First Amendment  as forbidding Congress from making any law that abridges freedom of speech, and adds freedom of the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

You can’t shout FIRE in a crowded theater. You can still punch someone who insults your mother in the nose, but you may get hauled in for battery. If you are paying attention, you will find an example of why it is so important—every single day. Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn disagreed publicly with Stalin and spent eleven years in the Gulag Archipelago as a result. He was one of the lucky ones.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the Bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”     Ronald Reagan



Who Are You Going To Believe? And Why? by The Elephant's Child

196725_5_Via American Thinker.



Focusing on the Anger of the People! by The Elephant's Child

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The temper out there is quite remarkable, remarkably nasty to be precise. Our current election campaign is quite the nastiest I can ever remember, and anger seethes through the comments of even the most staid columns.

Britain is in the same spot with the battle over BREXIT —Britain’s upcoming vote over whether to exit the European Union or stay in.  Only Britain has a scheduled vote, but there is plenty of rumbling in other European nations who are not happy with the influx of migrants, and the response of their governments. The future is uncertain and the people know it and are not pleased with the preparedness.

It’s hard for most Americans to imagine that they would choose to stay in. We’re not much on unelected government passing down laws to regulate our lives, and having no ability to even say ‘Hey Wait a minute! You can’t do that.’ Well, they can and do.

Bureaucrats are the same all over the world. They discover power and that, pushed for, there is no end to the power they can accrue to themselves. They start out intending to do right by the people, and end up establishing a dictatorship, and enriching themselves and their friends and relatives. When people start out promising hope and change, you’d better inquire a bit more deeply into exactly what they mean by the pretty slogans.

We were lucky to be founded by men brought up under English Common Law and the Magna Charta. and all too familiar with the Wars of Religion, but they were soon busy with trying to survive and build communities and deal with wild animals and the native people. A number of the earliest settlers returned to England to fight in the English Civil War with Oliver Cromwell.

In a world run mostly by the divine right of Kings, or Caliphs, or Sultans, or Czars — Democracy and Liberty were an enormous shock to the system, and few expected it to last. The French tried with their bloody Revolution, and ended up with the Napoleonic Wars.

It is particularly interesting then, that the Left, the radical Left, is so determined on eliminating democracy in the name of complete control. It is fairly clear when they want to send “deniers” to prison on RICO charges for disagreeing with their idea that global warming is a huge crisis, when they want to do away with the Second Amendment, as well as the rest of the Constitution, reject patriotism and its traditions — like the Pledge of Allegiance, support open borders and reject our immigration laws.

I have been startled at the way the leftist media speaks the same leftist ‘talking points’ all at once, in the same words with the same exact punctuation, but I never realized what I was seeing and hearing until I posted the video below about “It’s Just What ISIL Wants.” They do it all the time, and we don’t really notice. But that is a very different kind of journalism than we expect in a free country! You can think of dozens of different subjects in which they have tried to set the agenda by repetition of precisely the same words. That is not thought, nor is it journalism — who hands our the talking points? Think Progress?

We have a generation or two of ambitious youngsters who have signed on, not to accurately report events, but to put a label on things before the ordinary person has time to think it through — in the goal of changing the world. I can remember it being reported that the journalism schools were producing young reporters ambitious to change the world. I should have paid more attention. That is really the problem, isn’t it? We are just not paying close enough attention.



Obama’s Ill Conceived Overtime Rule Gives Workers a Teeny Raise. Costs Companies Billions. by The Elephant's Child

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Government data released last Wednesday showed the number of private- sector job opening was at an all time high in April. But the companies doing the hiring took on the smallest number of people on a seasonally adjusted basis in nine months.  What?

The JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey) data the government released showed there were 5,2809,000 private-sector job openings  in April — 114,000 more than in March. The government report also showed that private-sector hires declined by 169,000 compared to March. Well no wonder eyes glaze over when reading government press releases.

With the private companies advertising so many job openings, why aren’t they filling the openings? The federal government has imposed vastly higher costs for employing people. It is not only more expensive, but it is more complicated as well.

President Obama’s new overtime rule was meant to help workers. Unfortunately too many government people have never worked in the private sector. The government’s new rule effectively turns millions of salaried workers into hourly employees. It won’t increase their earnings, but it will reduce their control over their schedules. Salaried employees get paid to do a job. Hourly workers must be paid overtime for working over 40 hours a week. What happens in real life is that in order to avoid lawsuits to overtime-eligible workers, many employers deny flexible work schedules to them, because it is a big legal risk. Hourly workers are more unlikely to move up to salaried positions. On Wednesday the government raised the overtime “threshold” test for salaried employees to $47,500 a year.  All salaried employees making less than that, no matter how advanced their job duties, now qualify for overtime. The Feds just thought they would give workers more pay by making more of them overtime eligible.

When Leftists are in charge of the economy, they usually make a mess of it. They assume that being “the best and the brightest”, their ideas are better but often they are simply transplants from academe who are entirely unfamiliar with business and how it operates. They have spent years envying the captains of industry who make unbelievable amounts of money, and they don’t even have PhD’s. What leftist academics fail to recognize is that the average term of a CEO is only 6 or 7 years, and they got there on the record of lots of successes. A CEO of a major corporation may oversee 20 divisions of 2o,ooo people each, and he has to report to the shareholders  every quarter. Silly academics can’t even tell protesting kids to knock it off.



Monumental Carelessness at the Highest Levels of Government by The Elephant's Child

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Those unimportant emails, that were just for Hillary’s convenience, show that she picked a grossly unqualified donor to the Clinton Foundation to a very sensitive State Department advisory board that handled top-secret national security information — the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) that deals with matters like nuclear disarmament and arms control. It’s a kind of carelessness that can get people killed.

After inquiries from ABC News, Clinton’s staff tried to “protect the name” of the Secretary of State, “stall” the ABC News reporter, but as soon as the donor, Rajiv Fernando, a Chicago securities trader who specialized in electronic investing, learned that the media was questioning the appointment, he resigned, saying he needed to devote more time to his business.

Fernando was a longtime and prolific donor to the Clintons, dating back to 2003. He was an early supporter of Hillary  Clinton’s 2008 bid for president giving maximum contributions to her campaign and to HillPAC in 2007 and 2008. He was a fundraising bundler for Hillary collecting more than $100,000 from others. Prior to the State Department appointment Fernando had given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the William J. Clinton Foundation and another $30,000 to a political advocacy group that indirectly helped Hillary retire her 2008 campaign debts by renting her campaign email list.

The ISAB is not a normal, or suitable, place to put a big donor. He was a “securities” trader, but not the same kind of “security” as those on the ISAB board. His associates on the board would have been David Kay, the former head of the Iraq Survey Group and UN Chief Weapons Inspector; Lt. Gen Brent Scowcroft, a former National Security Advisor to two presidents; two former congressmen; and Former Senator Chuck Robb. William Perry, the former Secretary of Defense, chaired the panel. The appointment would have qualified Fernando for one of the highest levels of top secret access.

Even more astounding is that Hillary could have believed such an appointment acceptable.  Hillary has long demonstrated a carelessness that is entirely out of line with the seriousness of the office to which she was appointed by President Obama. But then Obama’s appointment of Hillary wasn’t all that serious either.



“Why is the World So Dangerous?” by The Elephant's Child

“Herbert  E. Meyer (Herb) served as vice chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council under President Reagan. He was one of the few people in the 1980’s to perceive that the U.S. and its allies might have turned the corner and were on the way to winning the Cold War.”

You may not have noticed, but the media seldom talks about facts. It’s almost all opinion. Herb Meyer talks facts, and gives you the evidence on which the facts are based.  That original paper: “Why Is The World So Dangerous?” from 1983 has long since been declassified, and is available to be downloaded here. Most of his speeches are different versions of “Why is the World So Dangerous”— because that’s what we need to hear. This one was delivered to the Northwest Business Club on March 9th this year. He gives us his version of history, and explains what we need to know to cope. The address is a little over an hour and worth every minute, so try for some time this weekend. You’ll be glad you did, and you’ll think a little differently about the world today. He is a great speaker, funny, charming, and utterly fascinating.

ADDENDUM: If you go to You Tube, there are lots of Herb Meyer’s speeches, many with the same name. I picked this one as one of the most recent. and they are similar because Mr. Meyer has to put you in the right historical frame of mind to grasp the changing nature of the trends. His basic argument does not change, because, well, he’s clearly right, and a little repetition merely reinforces the point.




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