American Elephants


The President Has to Give Jim Acosta’s Press Pass Back! by The Elephant's Child

A  Trump-appointed judge has ruled that the President has to give Jim Acosta his White House press pass back, and based his ruling on an only partly-related due process precedent instead of plain common sense. That’s apparently a lawyer thing, to search for precedent first. I object, but I don’t count either. My precedent goes back to the First Amendment’s statement that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press. When the First Amendment was ratified in 1791, “the press” referred to the printing press. There were no reporters and there was certainly no press gaggle. In larger towns there was a town crier, and the amendment said that printers could print whatever they chose without government approval or interference. I am clearly not a lawyer, but the Constitution was devised to protect the people from an overbearing government, not the other way around.

There was no White House, the White house was built between 1792 and 1800. So I would contend that the term “the press” doesn’t include reporters at all. The first “press conference” occurred during Woodrow Wilson’s presidency by accident. He apparently said some things to reporters which were then printed, and he liked that and decided to do it again. “Press Conferences” have been different for different presidents since then, with each president deciding how to handle them. And different presidents had different relationships with the press as well– friendly, or not so much.

Huffington Post 3/04/15: “Obama Administration’s Relationship With The Press Among The Worst Ever, Report Shows”

Rolling  Stone 8/04/14: “The White House Distrusts the Media, Reporters Feel Persecuted – a former Obama Spokesman on the history of the toxic relationship” (The wonderful illustration by Victor Juhaz accompanied this article)

MSNBC 9/12/13: “Obama and the press: A relationship in the rough”

the hill 12/19/16:Obama’s legacy will be one of secrecy and hostility toward the press”

Washington Post 05/08/14  “The Obama White House has a terrible relationship with the Press Corps: whose fault is that?”

The President’s response was a mild “well, we will just publish rules of deportment for members of the press who clearly don’t know how to behave.” (not a direct quote.)

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Wildfire In The West by The Elephant's Child

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Those of you who are following the dreadful story of the California wildfires might be interested in Norman Maclean’s Young Men and Fire.  Norman Maclean (1902-1990) grew up in the Western Rocky Mountains of Montana. He worked for many years in logging camps and for the U.S. Forest Service before he began his academic career. He is the author of A River Runs Through It and Other Stories which he completed after his retirement from the University of Chicago in 1973.

On August 5, 1949, a crew of fifteen Smoke-jumpers, the U.S. Forest Service’s elite airborne firefighters, stepped into the sky above a remote forest fire in the Montana wilderness. Less than two hours after their jump, all but three of these men were dead or fatally burned. Exactly what happened in Mann Gulch that day has been obscured by years of grief and controversy.

Norman Maclean first saw the Mann Gulch fire as it still burned in mid August 1949, and even then he knew he would one day become part of its story. Maclean spent the last fourteen years of his life studying and reliving the fire.
Young Men and Fire is a story of Montana, of the ways of wildfires, firefighters and fire scientists, and especially of crew, young and proud, who”hadn’t learned to count the odds and to sense they might owe the universe a tragedy”. The story is also Maclean’s own, the story of a writer obsessed by a strange and human horror, unable to let the truth die with these young men.

The smokejumpers in Mann Gulch are trapped by a “blowup” a deadly explosion of flame and wind rarely encountered and little understood at the time.

A River Runs Through It is also very special. Maclean beginsIn our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing. We lived at the junction of great trout rivers in western Montana, and our father was a Presbyterian minister and a fly fisherman who tied his own flies and taught others. He told us about Christ’s disciples being fishermen, and we were left to assume, as my brother and I did, that all first-class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fishermen and that John, the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman.”



An Historic Timeline: Leaving Out Quite a Bit by The Elephant's Child

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I am fond of making timelines for my own information, to help me understand the order in which things happened, which it turns out, matters. Here’s one:

The Norman Invasion, Battle of Hastings 1066 : “William the Conqueror”
Magna Charta 1215
Black Death 1348-1350
The Renaissance 1350-1600
Hundred Years War  1337-1453 (France: Crecy, Portiers, Joan d’Arc)
War of the Roses  1455-1485  Lancaster v. York
First Watch invented  1502
Martin Luther 1517, Calvin 1532, John Knox 1541, – The Reformation
Spanish Conquest 1519-1535
Henry VIII 1534  Breaks Away from the Catholic Church
First Western Entry to Japan  1542
The Armada  1588
Elizabeth I Dies  1602
The English Civil War 1642-1660 Roundheads v. Cavaliers, Cromwell
American Revolution 1776-1781 (Yorktown)
Washington’s Farewell  1783
Napolean Bonaparte coup -proclaimed emperor 1799
Napoleonic Wars 1804-1815
Waterloo 1815
Crimean War 1853
Darwin Origin of Species  1859
American Civil War  1861 – 1865
Canada becomes Dominion  1867
Boer War 1899 – 1902
Russian Revolution  1903 – 1917
Irish Potato Famine  1846
Irish Free State (Dominion Status) 1922

………………………..Little Ice Age circa 1450 – 1850

……………Yes, It’s an odd quirk, and I obviously left out quite a bit.



From Milton Friedman: by The Elephant's Child

 

“I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.”



There Are Too Many Polar Bears In Nunavut! by The Elephant's Child

“There are strange things done in the midnight sun:” The Inuit are complaining that there are too many polar bears in Nunavut, and climate change hasn’t yet affected any of them, or so says a draft management plan from the Canadian territorial government that contradicts conventional scientific thinking.

The proposed plan says that growing bear numbers are increasingly jeopardizing public safety, and it’s high time that Inuit knowledge drove management policy instead of the other way around. We have the bureaucracy problem down here too. Bureaucrats safe in comfortable offices far away from the specifics they are regulating don’t respect local knowledge. Rather like Hillary, referring to a majority of the people in the center of the country as “deplorables”—bureaucrats are apt to think they have more degrees and are thus smarter than the locals they are regulating. Polar bears killed two Inuit last summer.

The plan leans heavily on Inuit knowledge, which yields population estimates higher than those suggested by western science for almost all of the 13 included bear populations.

Scientists say only one population of bears is growing; Inuit say there are nine. Environment Canada says four populations are shrinking; Inuit say none are.

The proposed plan downplays one of the scientific community’s main concerns.

“Although there is growing scientific evidence linking the impacts of climate change to reduced body condition of bears and projections of population declines, no declines have currently been attributed to climate change,” it says. “(Inuit knowledge) acknowledges that polar bears are exposed to the effects of climate change, but suggests that they are adaptable.”

Susan Crockford is the wildlife biologist who is expert on polar bears and issues an annual report. Her 2017 report is here.

The environmental activists who run around in polar bear suits at venues where they can expect press attention can’t be bothered to study up on the polar bear situation, nor can the mainstream media. Nor, apparently does Tom Steyer, billionaire climate activist and true believer who is running around the country trying to convince people about the “need to impeach” President Trump for denying imminent global warming. It has been a warm year in Central Europe so far this year, but it is not due to global warming, the globe has been cooling off, or at least not warming at all. This is the third year in a row that the globe has cooled off from it’s El Nino high in 2015. Arctic ice has stabilized over the past 10 years and this year the Northwest Passage was closed the entire year. The Hudson Bay freeze up has come earlier than average. They even had snow in Texas. There are currently fewer sunspots on the sun.

A Max Planck Institute Climate Modeler has said that we have a 10 year reprieve, earlier climate models were too sensitive. And so it goes. Panic and reprieve. Facts are so troublesome.

Mark Morano of Climate Depot has a Facebook video about his recent book debunking the climate alarmists like Al Gore and Tom Steyer.



CNN Sues To Get Jim Acosta’s Press Pass Back by The Elephant's Child

CNN is suing President Trump or the White House or something because they took away poor Jim Acosta’s press pass. The grounds seem to be the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The First Ten Amendments were ratified on December 15, 1791. I would suggest that when they spoke of “the press” in 1791, they were talking about the printing press and what could be printed. There was, at that time, no gaggle of reporters shouting questions at the President of the United States. More likely there was a town crier who disseminated the news, such as it was. But then I am not a lawyer.

At the Federalist, Mollie Hemingway takes on Mr. Acosta, suggesting that the conventional story is wrong, and under the headline “Jim Acosta Bears Most of the Blame” says:

Precisely no one actually thinks that Acosta is a good news journalist. He might be good entertainment, for some, but he doesn’t break news or accurately report it. He’s a pundit who loves to offer his opinions all day, every day.

Even among his colleagues he’s known as a preener rather than a reporter. He doesn’t break stories or dig into facts. He preens on camera and does it in a way that makes it harder for legitimate press corps members to hold the administration accountable .

Every second that Acosta uses to preen and whine at a press conference is a second that a real journalist can’t use to ask questions or elicit information the American people need to know about. His behavior doesn’t just damage his own reputation, it hurts CNN’s and the entire journalism profession.

His behavior last week crossed a line when he physically refused a young female intern attempting to provide the White House microphone to another reporter. He then doubled down and falsely claimed without evidence that he didn’t touch her. In fact, video evidence showing he did touch her is incontrovertible.

Ouch! Then at Commentary, John Steele Gordon takes on another Acosta display of ignorance. Jim Acosta did not approve of the President’s new immigration proposal.



How Will Trump Deal With The Migrant Caravans? by The Elephant's Child

With three or more “caravans” of migrants from Central America heading up the west coast of Mexico towards our southern border, there are lots of questions about immigration. President Trump wants to eliminate birthright citizenship for those who are not born to citizens.

A few years back, more than five but I can’t remember how many, a Russian oligarch arrived in New York harbor in his gigantic yacht, anchored and shortly rushed to a New York hospital so his mistress could have an American citizen baby. Somehow that just didn’t seem right.

This election has made it clear just why the Left is so determined to favor any and all illegal aliens who arrive, and want them to become citizens. The issue of vote fraud has been very clear in California, Florida and quite a few other states, with non-citizens illegally voting. For the current crop of Democrats, being in control is all important, and they are willing to go to any lengths to make sure they are.

Migrant family apprehensions in October are up 378 percent over last year. That’s before any caravan has reached the border. The Left has insisted on portraying the caravans as peaceful migrants, but a hundred migrants have disappeared from the march. Someone rolled a truck up, told the migrants they could get a free ride, and no one has seen them since. The kids can become a “family unit” for traffickers, the women cn go to a brothel and the men may end up as drug mules or in mass graves. Massive numbers do not necessarily promote safety.

So President Trump has sent troops to the border, wants to end “birthright citizenship”, wants to build a wall to make it harder for illegals to get in. What can he do? What are his legal powers? Dan Cadman at the Center For Immigration Studies has spelled out the President’s powers: The Background, The Use of the Military, the Enforcement Powers, The Use of Force, and Border Agent Force Multipliers and other Executive Powers of the President. He can close the border.  This is a very useful view of the President’s Executive Power. Do read the whole thing. It will serve you well, as Democrats start trying to eliminate ICE, (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) the border police, and change the nation’s laws because they want to assure their own power. This is a very troubling period.




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