American Elephants


The Final Bill For the Standing Rock Protests is About $43 Million by The Elephant's Child

021517-debris-1-1170x775The protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline ended back at the end of February, with 240 rollout dumpsters to carry away the mess the protesters left behind. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers planned on spending more than $1 million just to clean up. At the end of September North Dakota’s Department of Emergency Services announced that taxpayers will have to pay about $43 million in expenses accrued as the state struggled to respond to the 233 days of protesters.

The Standing Rock protesters claimed that they were “peaceful and prayerful,” but rioters “threw stones, feces and Molotov cocktails at cops, obstructed roads, set fires, and even rode on horseback behind a herd of bison, attempting to stampede them towards law enforcement.” 8,000 to 10,000 people camped out to protest the pipeline. Local authorities had to ask for help from law enforcement in 11 states to cope. More than 750 protesters were arrested and at least 107 of those charged have pleaded guilty or been found guilty, some on multiple counts. Most of the costs will be paid by North Dakotans, but the Department of Justice provided the state with a $10 million grant which make taxpayers nationwide responsible for the Leftist’s criminal antics.

The protests, of course were not about tribal rights or cultural resources. The pipeline does not cross any land owned or controlled by the Standing Rock Sioux, the land in question belongs to the federal government or private owners.

The tribe was consulted, more than 50 tribes were consulted, and resulted in 140 adjustments to the route. It was not about the water, the drinking water intake is about 70 miles downriver from where the pipeline was slated to cross the Missouri River, and runs 100 feet below the river. It was not about the climate. The oil has already been produced and transporting it by train or truck is far more susceptible to accidents and spills.

The protests ended pretty much when winter set in. Camping out is not nearly so much fun when it gets really cold. And once the oil was flowing as intended, the protests were moot.

piepline-protest

 

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It’s Come to This: It’s Time to Ban Trucks! by The Elephant's Child

Gun Control seems to remain as a feature of the conversation. Conservatives keep explaining (and explaining ) that guns are inanimate objects, and it is the shooter who is the problem, but they will have none of that. It’s the guns they want to control. (Since they seem to think Conservatives live in the backwoods of Southern states and are uneducated hicks, possibly they are afraid we will break out of our hideaways and attack them with our guns?)

I was reminded that a large truck, driven by a Muslim immigrant, plowed into a crowd of people in the southern French city of Nice, killed at least 83 people and left 18 in critical condition. It wounded 458.

The scene in Nice was one of devastation, with the heavy-duty white truck stalled amid the bloodshed on the street, its windows smashed and riddled with bullets from police gunfire.

“I saw bodies flying like bowling pins along its route. Heard noises, cries that I will never forget,” he wrote.

Well, clearly, we should ban trucks. Same mindset.



Gun Laws Clearly Do Not Work, But That Fact Seems Not to Matter by The Elephant's Child

Are Democrats really sure than banning guns would mean no more killing? Or are they just told to respond to a mass killing with a push for a gun ban. We, of course, have come to expect that. Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, but a very high murder rate, rivaled only by Baltimore. It was over 400 before the month of July was over. The pictures that accompany the article show pictures almost entirely of young black men, which suggests gang killings. Other cities like St. Louis, Detroit and New Orleans have even higher death rates, but I don’t know what their gun laws are.

Britain has really tough gun laws, even the police cannot carry guns, but a very high rate of shootings. The recent one at Manchester was very bad. Now the British are considering knife laws. ISIS has been urging their adherents to stab people, and it seems to be catching on, particularly in Israel.

In Switzerland, all young men are required to join the militia, where they learn all about firearms and are required to keep a gun to be ready if they are called upon. Switzerland has the lowest rate of gun crimes in the civilized world. Their firearms legislation is comparatively liberal and similar to the United States. The reason is a long tradition of shooting and hunting.

In the West, and where I grew up, many if not most, families counted on killing a deer or elk to fill the freezer for the winter. Here, near the coast, they add a salmon or two.

The current push is to ban bump-stocks, the accessory that allows machine gun like rapid fire from a rifle. Some Republicans in Congress agree that they should be banned, to the anger of others who believe that it is wrong to give in to the Democrats irrationalism because that would encourage their efforts for total gun control, which would get lots more people killed. Thinking logically is not one of the Lefts strong points.



The Radical Left, Exposed by The Elephant's Child
October 4, 2017, 6:27 am
Filed under: Crime, Law, Media Bias, News, Police, Politics, Progressives, Terrorism | Tags: , ,

Whenever there is a tragic shooting, the Left is ready with their talking points because they have hauled out the gun control theme so often that it is well developed. Gun control has enormous appeal to the Left as its message, because they believe deeply in the efficacy of control.

Much of the Left’s basic program is about control in its many forms, and since Republicans are known as major supporters of gun rights, the Second Amendment (which needs to be repealed) and the NRA. Republicans are low-class rednecks from the deep South, and former members of the military who may have PTSD. They are known to possess dangerous weapons like machine guns, and pose a significant danger to the gentle, peaceful, highly educated people on the Left.

I’m coming to believe that the prompt appearance of talking points, the right words to use, and easy ways to attack Trump, means that those on the Left gratefully don’t have to bother with a lot of reading. With the themes all developed for them, they don’t have to pay much attention to what the other side says. They know they are correct, because they are highly educated, compassionate, empathetic, good people, and those racist, sexist, nasty homophobes are not.

This leaves Leftists in an awkward position because they are not prepared for logical response or probing questions from Conservatives who actually have studied up, searched for the latest statistics, and comments from well informed people. But by then, time will have passed, new talking points will appear and attention will move to other subjects.

Republicans, in general, have not caught on to the focus-group tested vocabulary. They are usually more concerned with central ideas, and will not notice that they are using some focus-group-tested words. An example is calling the illegal alien ‘children’— “Dreamers” who were brought here “against their will”, and they are always described as “children,” though the cut-off age was under 31. They are never described as ‘illegal’ but instead as “undocumented.” ABC in a careless moment called them “undocumented citizens.” That sums up the language problem.

Border agents say that probably 40% to 50 % are fraudulent, but that is not an official statistic. Many lied about their age. Current border crossers have children with them, but they are, so far, not included in the DACA group. Most moms who have raised children know that saying “Well, just this once” is  recipe for disaster.

Any amnesty is an insult to those who have applied legally, following the rules, and are waiting patiently for their turn to be admitted. There is a limit for the number of immigrants who can be admitted in any one year. There are around 4.4 million people on the wait list.



There has Been a Mass Shooting in Las Vegas by The Elephant's Child

Two confirmed dead, many seriously wounded by a shooter on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Hotel, where there was a country music concert across the street from the hotel. The shooter had a fully automatic weapon with which he sprayed the crowd. You can’t buy those at your neighborhood gun store.

The shooter is dead, unidentified, but local. More than 100 are wounded, many seriously. Prompt police attention, careful statements. Too soon to know very much. More will become clear as the day rolls on. Evil people seem to like large concerts.

UPDATE: 59 dead. 527 to Hospital. Shooter killed himself, is local from Mesquite, high stakes gambler, 64 years old, no known connection to terrorism, although ISIS tried to claim credit. Worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Naturally all the left emerged to demand gun control, oblivious to the fact that it was the people operating the weapon who did the killing.

A gun is an inanimate object. Most of Europe has total gun control, and lots of mass shootings. For those who can’t get their hands on guns, knives are becoming popular to the extent that Britain is considering knife control laws. Will chefs then have to be licensed?  In Switzerland, I believe, every able-bodied young man has to be trained in the militia, including weapons training, and are expected to keep their weapons at home. Many hunt, as well.

Chicago, has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and a lot of good that does them. They usually top the list of most killings any weekend.



Where Did These Violent Protests Come From? by The Elephant's Child

How did we get here? Democrats have lost elections before, and engaged in some mild excess, but now they seem completely deranged. We had a brief hiatus from the dramatic evidence of the failure of our schools and universities to acquaint our students with the Constitution and the meaning of free speech, let alone manners and deportment. Faculty have exhibited themselves as instigators and the administrators have established that they are not only not the adults in the situation, but it didn’t occur to them to mete out punishment for wretched excess.

In my day, which admittedly was a while ago, miscreants were promptly sent home, and I do mean promptly. And good luck about returning.

So — How did we get here? Is this stuff contagious? In a way, it is.

Democrats have lost power in a very big way, and seeking power is at their very essence. They’re old. Their ideas are not only stale, but they don’t work. Their former president, who did massive damage to the country, is not retiring graciously to let the next president have his turn, but actively and admittedly trying to destroy his successor.

Each loudmouth, and there are many in Hollywood and on TV, oddly enough many are “comics”— seeking the limelight and an audience — readily available in the form of our very partisan media, ready to celebrate every and any disturbing word. Surely you have noticed that if you removed the “he said”, and “she said” from the news, there wouldn’t be much of anything left.

Comics get brownie points for saying something rude, which gives permission to the next person at the microphone to top that, which in turn gives more permissions and so on, and so on. So you have Kathy Griffin holding up a bloody facsimile head of the President of the United States supposedly chopped off as ISIS might do, and the poor thing doesn’t even understand that she has committed an unforgivable faux pas that will be talked about and reviled for years to come. She’s back in today’s news congratulating Kaepernick for “his activism.” They never learn.

It’s Can You Top This time. Permission has been given. Black Lives Matter, a Marxist bunch, attempts to make The Racism, Sexism, theme the top priority, and Antifa goes for violence. Even speech that disagrees with you is not “hate speech.” Invited Conservative speakers are shouted down and attacked because it is too much for tender ears to hear “hate speech” which is defined as anything conservative, because Conservatives are known to be racist, sexist, homophobes etc, etc.

The media are demonstrating their partisanship or general ignorance, I’m not sure which. Remember Ben Rhodes description of his regular contacts with the media for the Obama administration:

“Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

It is catching. Each excess gives permission to do the same only better, bigger, more excessive. So now we have corporate CEOs talking their political views as the top official of their company. Not smart. Why a business would want to offend at least half of their customers is a mystery, Stock down. Sales down. CEOs gone.Half the American people no longer interested in the business or their products. Some business reporters could not understand why any CEO would be willing to serve on an advisory council with the hated President of the United States. (Probably because President Trump was interested in cutting taxes for business and removing troublesome regulations?)

Sports teams managed to offend a large percentage of the American people. Unnecessary if they had done their homework. Real damage to their sport. In fact most of these excesses arise because of the ignorance of the people committing the error.

The remedy? Courses in the United States Constitution. Nobody seems to be familiar with the document. A familiarity with the Declaration would be in order too, after Chuck Todd proved on Meet the Press, for all to see, that he was completely unfamiliar with the “all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator” line.

College administrators need to grow backbone, and administrate. That’s what the big salaries and honorifics and outrageous tuitions are all about. Sports millionaires will quickly learn about their mistakes, as many endorsements depart. Professors who are urging the miscreants on—just stop it. Try to prepare students to be decent citizens.



Mindless Protests Have Cost Universities Dearly, Now It’s Football’s Turn. by The Elephant's Child


The news today seems to be entirely about professional sports teams protesting the national anthem because—well, that’s where it gets a little confusing.  I’m not a professional sports fan, and usually pay no attention, so forgive me if I get some of this wrong. Apparently it all began with Colin Kaepernick,  formerly a quarterback with the SF 49’rs, who took to “taking a knee” (two knees is religious and bad, but one knee is a protest?) to protest the National Anthem, because of the oppression of blacks?  That didn’t go over very well, but his winning streak for the 49’rs didn’t last and he’s now a “free agent” which seems to be pro-sports speak for out of a job.

This young man is worth some $22 million, and had a salary of  $10,400,000. which doesn’t sound too oppressed.  So he is obviously concerned about other black people.

We just had a black president and first lady,  for two terms. We have had black Supreme Court justices for years beginning with Thurgood Marshall.  Currently Clarence Thomas serves, but he is a conservative, so he doesn’t count. He is regularly called an “Uncle Tom” and not included in the Smithsonian Black American History Museum. The Congressional Black Caucus currently has 45 members, is described by Wikipedia as a”racial organization,” and you have to be black to belong. There are 6 black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and one of them is a woman.  Blacks are very active in the movie industry, and Morgan Freeman not only appears in every movie, but is right there whenever a deep voice is needed.

There are black professors in most universities, black novelists appear on the bestseller lists, black historians, black chefs (I’ve recently been getting Stubbs slow-cooker sauce, and recommend it), black fashion designers, black artists, and our music world would be poverty stricken indeed were it not for the contributions of black musicians. Black economists have added immeasurably to our understanding of how economies work — Tom Sowell has a particular genius for explaining things in an uncomplicated way, without jargon, that quickly makes sense, and Walter Williams brings a libertarian approach, but both are called Uncle Toms. Easier to insult than to emulate.

Some believe the Black Lives Matter claims, but their Marxist propaganda does not stand up to actual statistics. Cops shoot far more white men than black. More blacks are incarcerated because they commit more crimes. In general the police are trying to keep the peace and stop criminals from harming others, at great risk to themselves. There are some bad cops, some unjust court cases, and some wrong people blamed for a crime they did not commit. That is not the norm.

Now if you want to count comparable numbers, maybe it is unfair, I haven’t counted. It seems that there is no field that is not wide open to those who strive. On the other hand, our schools are not doing so well. Some schools that serve black neighborhoods are failing the kids, despite, in many cases, spending much more than other schools per pupil. That’s what Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education is trying to fix by promoting charter schools, school choice, and insisting that schools are responsive to the needs of students and the expectations of parents. Reports from our universities reveal that the kids cannot write coherent sentences and whole papers are beyond them. But that is not black kids but all kids. The schools apparently decided that in an era of keyboards, it was no longer necessary to teach writing—in the case of cursive writing, and in the case of putting words together in a way to actually make sense. The demise of cursive writing is unfortunate, for one of the best tricks for remembering something is writing it down, and writing it down at length is important so that you can go back and look at it later and see where you have been stupid.

Former president Obama clearly made race a feature of his administration. He vowed to make trouble for his successor, remaining in Washington to supervise the efforts of his OFA, which seems to be behind much of the attacks on President Trump. The New York Post explains how Obama is funding the anti-Trump resistance, with some funny business with the mortgage crisis settlements, and an improper, maybe unconstitutional, slush fund. He certainly managed to make race a much more prominent problem during his administration.

I don’t think knowledge, or skills, or education, or ability, or ambition has anything to do with the color of anyone’s skin. To the astonishment of most university students today, America was not the only nation that once had slavery. Slavery was common all over the world since long before recorded history. “Native American” nations were warring with and enslaving one another long before Europeans arrived. In the South there were blacks who owned slaves. Slavers from the Mediterranean raided the British isles to capture slaves. The African slave trade mostly went to the sugar islands and South America. America remains unusual in having fought a civil war to end slavery and in making successive laws to stamp out the remnants. Look to the Islamic countries where slavery is still common.

Sunday was a day for sports team protest. They claimed to be protesting President Trump for suggesting that they should be fired for protesting the National Anthem, when so many have fought and died for our country. It was the anthem they insulted, and the country, and the veterans. Owners and coaches may not realize the animosity that our people feel when their country and their flag is insulted. There’s a reason why the Emmys had the fewest viewers ever. There’s a reason why some stadiums are half empty. How about you? Are you boycotting anyone?




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