American Elephants


Blame It All On Global Warming, That Lets You Off the Hook! by The Elephant's Child

Washington State is still smoky, some local fires, mostly I believe, smoke drifted north from California. Visibility is not normal, ( Rain forecast for Friday) but we’re told in Eastern Washington, across the mountains, visibility is about the length of a football field, at least considerably worse than here.

Our incompetent Democrat governor, Jay Inslee, follows in the steps of California’s incompetent governor Gavin Newsom, to proclaim the wildfires are because of global warming, and we just have to give up our cars, or at least switch to electric cars, and be kinder to Mother Earth so she doesn’t punish us for our fossil fuels. Which is all nonsense.

Sorry. Carbon Dioxide is not the control switch for the climate of the earth. The Sun is.

We had Ice Ages and Heat Waves long before we had  gasoline powered cars, or even discovered fossil fuels.  Native Americans did controlled burning, thinned out brush, and even cut down trees to keep their lands safe from fire.  California is on fire because the governor has not funded the necessary cleanup, as is Washington State.

Lots more expensive when you have to pay lots of firefighters coming for high pay to fight the fires in our forests in our forests, but you can’t be blamed if it is the result of a global pandemic.  Our respective governors, having never bothered to study up even slightly, accept as gospel the party line. Trump bad, Paris Climate Accord essential to save the Earth. Trouble is the scientists started making “models”to help them decide what to do, but they were too arrogant to grasp that they didn’t know enough to make viable models, because there is so much we don’t yet understand about the Sun and the Earth and the galaxy and the interactions between them.

The debate is over around climate change. Just come to the state of California, observe it with your own eyes a grinning Newsom told reporters while touring the fire-ravaged North Complex near Oroville. It’s not an intellectual debate, it’s not even debatable. The debate is over around climate change. Just come to the state of California, observe it with your own eyes,a grinning Newsom told reporters while touring the fire-ravaged North Complex near Oroville. It’s not an intellectual debate, it’s not even debatable.

Breitbart reported this morning:

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Thursday that the August Complex Fire has burned 471,185 acres in the Elk Creek and Stonyford area, surpassing the 2018 Mendocino Complex Fire, which burned 459,123 acres.

Six of the largest fires in California’s history have taken place in 2020. Cal Fire said 29 major wildfires are active and more than 3.1 million acres have burned in the state since the beginning of the season.

The National Interagency Fire Center said 102 large fires have burned a combined 4.4 million acres in 12 states in the western United States, resulting in some two dozen deaths in California, Oregon, and Washington.

In California, five people were killed in the LNU Lightning Complex, 10 were killed in the North Complex, and one each was killed in the CZU August Lightning Complex, August Lightning Complex, Tatham Fire, and Hills Fires.

So there you go, 19 people killed so far, but just blame it all on global warming. I grew up on 400 acres bordered by National Forest at about 4,000′. Many of our closest friends were Forest Service people, and others were loggers or ran lumber mills.

Bernie Sanders is using the current wildfires to push for a Green New Deal, of course blaming Trump who he says “rejects science and calls climate change a hoax.” Christiana Figueres, who was the General Secretary of the IPCC said at a news conference that the idea of Climate Change was the best weapon they had for destroying Capitalism.

You can natter on all you want about Global Warming, but if you had thinned the forests, rid them of dry brush, we would not have the forest fires of three states poisoning our air and blanketing us with smoke.



There Are Always Consequences! by The Elephant's Child

What happens to a city that is consumed with riots and protests, damage to shops and businesses, looting, police attacked, cars and other vehicles damaged or destroyed? We have answers from many businesses, who say they are moving out. Some to other safer cities or safer states, some to different areas  of a city. Some just giving up. Do lots of new businesses move in to replace them? That will be a long time coming.

Portland is coming up on 100 days of riots and protests in the streets. The mayor impolitely said “no thanks” to the President’s offer of federal help to quell the violence. Portland has become nationally known as a home to Antifa.

When we have had big celebrations or parades in Seattle, it is not unusual for Portland Antifa to come up and try to start trouble. Curious about what Antifa is? Or other questionable groups? Visit www.discoverthenetworks.org to learn about the organizations attempting to tear America down.

So people will want to risk starting up a business in downtown Portland? Or Portland at all? People who were thinking about moving to a new city are going to move to Portland? If a city gets a bad reputation, how long does it take to get rid of it, and prove that the bad reputation was not justified. And how many people just decide to move elsewhere. There are always ramifications. And that goes for Minneapolis, and Kenosha as well.

How did we get here? Who decided that rioting and protesting were the way to go? Not really all that surprising.

We know the Democrats are desperate to be in control, but American elections should not descend to this level.

ADDENDUM: Here’s another take on The Economic Scars of Rioting  from National Review. Democrats need to be held accountable for what they have done with their Trump Derangement Syndrome. What makes it even more pathetic is that he is doing a remarkably good job. The unemployment rate has dropped to 8.4% as August has seen 1.4 million new jobs. The fourth straight month of added jobs in the economy. Back in April unemployment was 14.7%. Looks like we may have a Corona Virus vaccine later this fall. If you look hard there is lots of other good news, and big accomplishments.



Portland, The National Bad Example by The Elephant's Child

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Portland, Oregon mayor Ted Wheeler (D) just wrote an angry public letter to President Trump:

Dear President Trump:

Yet again, you said you offered to aid Portland by sending in federal law enforcement to our city.

On behalf of the City of Portland: No thanks.

We don’t need your politics of division and demagoguery. Portlanders are onto you. We have already seen your reckless disregard for human life in your bumbling response to the COVID pandemic. And we know you’ve reached the conclusion that images of violence or vandalism are your only ticket to reelection. …

In Portland, we are focused on coming together as a community to solve the serious challenges we face due to systemic racism, a global pandemic and an economic recession.

I forget the exact number of days Portland has been under a siege of rioting, something like 89 or 90 that Portland has been a national symbol of a city completely out of control, a case study in Antifa and Blac Bloc violence that the national news media has used as the shining example of worst possible outcomes, surpassing even Seattle in the really bad example category. When they were attacking the Federal Courthouse and attempting to set the building on fire, unconcerned about workers inside, that did set some kind of new standard.

Seattle’s “CHOP” on Capitol Hill finally ended when rioters discovered just where Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan lived. Now the protesters have discovered Mayor Wheeler’s condominium and presented themselves there, though a condo on an upper floor is not as vulnerable as an ordinary house.

Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf has declared that the Left-wing group Antifa “absolutely” meets the standard worthy of condemnation as a “domestic terrorist group.” Whether that precludes some tougher action remains to be seen. As does the presence of rioters in Mayor Wheeler’s building. Mayor Wheeler is running for reelection.

In the meantime, we have Kenosha, Wisconsin. I have not been able to discover why it was the city of Kenosha that was selected to go up in flames. President Trump is sending in Federal help to bring back order to that city. He’s not going to stand for cities out of control and endangering ordinary folks lives, which seems the correct thing to do.

There is more talk now about civil war,which should have been impossible. But there is so much going on that should have been impossible. Senator Rand Paul and his wife and another woman were accosted and threatened by a mob when they attempted to walk across the street from the White House to their hotel which was just on the other side. They weren’t sure they could make it, even with police protection and feared for their lives.

Democrats are beginning to realize they  made a major mistake in excusing and encouraging “systemic racism” and race riots over the death of George Floyd, and defunding the police. They are dimly beginning to realize that the American people don’t like riots. Who knew? We apparently need more policing, not less It has been confirmed that George Floyd died of a massive overdose of fentanyl, apparently a enough to have killed him twice over. Things are not always as they seem at first glance.

We will, as the Chinese proverb goes, apparently continue to “live in interesting times.”



Kenosha et al: “Fiery but Peaceful Protests” by The Elephant's Child

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The “Peaceful Protests” continue, rioting, burning, looting, murder, destruction of property, arson. The Portland riots continue and have done so for something like
88 days (if I remember what I read correctly) and Portland’s Mayor Wheeler (D) somehow just can’t manage to get it under control. Now it’s Kenosha, Wisconsin rioting with two dead, vast property damage. What can they possibly think that this accomplishes?

“Mostly Peaceful Protests,” what idiot wrote that headline? Oh, of course it’s CNN. Democrats are discovering, rather belatedly, that the riots are not popular with the vast American audience and may be even affecting the vote. Expect the peaceful protests to begin to die out, or perhaps even get back to actually being “peaceful.”

President Trump is sending in federal help to get Kenosha back under control. He’s not going to stand for terrorized cities out of control, and I think the American people agree with that. Did the Democrats really believe that people would actually favor this rioting and burning? Democrats are panicking a bit now, as they are realizing that the rioting could actually affect the vote.

Did you assume that “Black Lives Matter” was a plaintive shout meant to help the poor black people who were badly treated by nasty policemen? It is actually an organization founded by Marxist revolutionaries in 2013 to depict the United States as a nation awash in racism, sexism and homophobia established in response to the acquittal of the man who killed black Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. They formally depict white police as trigger-happy bigots who are intent on killing innocent, unarmed black males. Raised fists may make the fist’s owners feel good, but accomplish nothing at all. Try encouraging your local library to offer homework help, make a donation to historically black colleges, donate or volunteer at a local food bank. Lots of ways to actually help instead of grandstanding.

In Columbus, Ohio, a young black teenager was celebrated very briefly for walking 3 miles every day to the public library which offered help with homework. As a graduating senior in high school, he was accepted at some 22 colleges and universities, including the one he most hoped to attend. There was more clucking over the daily three miles than recognition of the rewards for his extra efforts and what it said about his character and ambition. Shortly after, a young black woman who became the valedictorian of her class, and had an outstanding record of perfect attendance received something like $40,000 worth of scholarship money. Beats raised fists any time.



Mindless, Purposeless Riots Just For Fun. Disgraceful. by The Elephant's Child

The Left has certainly dragged out their old-time-religion. Race, white supremacy, fascism, and apparently not the slightest interest in what is actually going on in our world today. Riots, not “peaceful protests” and if you have watched the videos, they are not really about much of anything but the fun of roaming down the streets with big groups of people, breaking stuff, breaking windows, damaging property, attacking cars and people. Mindless. They are out there for the fun of it.

They need to be hauled off promptly to jail. Democrat Mayors are terrified of even the possibility of doing anything about it. In Seattle, the feckless Mayor Jenny Durkan pulled herself together a bit and vetoed the feckless Seattle City Council’s attempt to defund the police. And I think I read that the National Guard has been called out for Portland, that would have to be the governor I think, Mayors can’t. But the fun in the streets has spread to Denver,  Minneapolis of course,    Fort Wayne Indiana, Green Bay Wisconsin, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Olympia WA and that is far from a complete list.

“Black Lives Matter” has nothing to do with this mess. There’s a lot of violence and drugs in poor black neighborhoods, and they want and depend on police protection.

Attacking statues has lost some of its fury. What becomes completely clear is that there is a very deep ignorance of American History. “Fascist” is a popular word: Here’s Wikipedia’s definition, but I’d be willing to bet that few if any of the street mobs could define it. Mindless.

Fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.

Look up Benito Mussolini in Italy, who “popularized” the idea. But the problem is authoritarianism. The urge to control. Well, Mussolini made a mess of it, but if you are interested in this “new” authoritarianism I recommend borrowing The Black Book of Communism from your friendly public library. Amazon has it, but it’s quite expensive, even used. Or buy Communism: a Brief History by Richard Pipes, one of our greatest historians. Or read about the Soviet forced labor system in The Gulag Archipelago by Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn. Lana Peters, Stalin’s daughter became an American citizen, and died at 85, not too long ago.



Consequences Are How We Learn by The Elephant's Child

Rioters who do property damage need to be arrested, prosecuted, and to have a police record that follows them around and makes it hard to find employment. Consequences work both ways. If you do bad things and there are no real consequences, you’re quite apt to go out and do it again, because it’s fun to do real damage and get away with it. It is simply human nature, and the founders, when they were struggling for independence from England, thought long and hard about human nature and how it works.

If you struggle and work hard and are well rewarded for your efforts, the consequences are that you want to do it again, and maybe those who saw your success will struggle as well.

Yes, I know, some people firmly believe that we put people in prison simply because of the color of their skin, which is nonsense.

Democrats loathe the Electoral College and intend to abolish it at the first opportunity. Yet the founders carefully established it to protect the smaller, less populous states, so that every state would have an equal voice in the union. Democrats just want to be in charge permanently, and don’t really care who they have to step on to get there.

Human nature is kind of a mess. People are selfish, generous, mean, cruel, thoughtful — a mix of all the possible qualities out there. We always remain hopeful that the better nature will win out, but hope remains eternal.

Through all the “Black Lives Matter” protests and demands for reparations and payback, there were some plaintive voices out there that didn’t get enough attention. Jason Riley, who is black, and writes for the Wall Street Journal, has a book out with the rather intriguing title “Please Stop Helping Us.”

Oddly, a few months back a young black high school senior was written up in the national news for walking 3 miles every day to a public library that offered homework help. His efforts earned him letters of acceptance from over 20 colleges and universities, including the one he most hoped to attend. No further notice, no celebration.

Shortly after that, a young black woman who was valedictorian of her class with perfect attendance got a brief article in the media, because she was awarded something like $450,000 in scholarship money. Nobody bothered to report that’s the way the world works. You work hard and put your soul in it, and you are often rewarded by accomplishing your goals.

Neither of the stories got any particular attention as far as I know, but there’s a real lesson there.



Chicago, Chicago, That Toddlin’ Town by The Elephant's Child

One gets used to noting the death toll in Chicago over the weekend. Which is pretty disgusting as a matter of fact. An article at Fox News caught my eye. The Chicago Chamber of Commerce president called for a “serious response” to looting. As well he should. He was urging former president Barack Obama to come back to Chicago and use his influence to help, instead of gamboling on Martha’s Vineyard when his home town that made him, needs him.

Here are the shocking numbers: “So far this year in Chicago a total of 2,058 people have been shot and wounded, and 435 have been shot and killed.

America — indeed Chicago — spawned the success that became Obama. Now with ill winds blowing, Chicago needs him more than ever. If anyone should abhor the blood in his old ’hood, it should be Barack. The senseless killing is as surreal as Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq” and as bone-chilling as the damp winds that blow off Lake Michigan every winter. And yet there is deafening silence from the 44th president.

Chicago’s adopted son has a debt to pay. He owes America a bit more than a feel-good legacy of being “first” or shimmering cameos at marquee events, however cool his gait. He should leave behind more than a league of loyalists who profited from his presidency in lieu of legions who are the least of these.

Interesting. I don’t know why Obama’s presence would help, but I didn’t believe that he was a very good president. Apparently the Cook County State’s Attorney is accused of being soft on criminals and failing to do her job, so crime soars as a consequence. It’s sad to see cities fall. And there will be consequences. People will move and business will move. Will the crime move with them, or stay on in a declining Chicago. You get the feeling that there is going to be a massive realignment in the country. Does anyone learn the lessons so vividly on display? The media which is still prattling about “peaceful protesters” have clearly not learned anything at all, nor do they understand how consequences are and will be playing out.

For example: The Post Office is in trouble. Revenue down, volume of mail down. Locking mailbox sales way up, mail theft vastly increased. That is a consequence of several things. Our public schools are not managing to teach kids to write easily and well, nor teaching kids the history of their country. Somebody’s out there being “peaceful protesters,” and they seem to be of the appropriate age. People aren’t writing letters, but sending emails or tweeting or facebooking.’

I email family, but write some long business letters. Computers are not just changing our lives, but changing us. Think how astonished our great-grandparents and great-great grandparents would be were they to reappear in our midst today. And what would they have to say!

 



The Consequences Begin to Turn Up! by The Elephant's Child

Chief Carmen Best has resigned as of the end of the month, and the City Council has defunded the police by $4 million, and voted to cut her salary and that of her command staff. The budget reductions are for the remainder of the year. Here is a copy of the resignation notice that she emailed to Seattle police officers.

I did mention something about consequences, i think. Black Bloc ANTIFA took to the streets of downtown Seattle, when they realized that the Seattle Police were not coming out to meet them. They roared through the streets breaking windows and destroying whatever property they could, without a single police officer feeling the need to intervene. Here are videos from Andy Ngo and Liz Jones. Truly a disgusting bunch of terrorists, for that is what they are, and should be treated as such. Can we discard the “Peaceful Protesters” scam?

There are always consequences. The members of the Seattle City Council should have to pay the damages out of their own funds. More probably they will attempt to raise taxes on the businesses who were hit, and those who luckily avoided it. Go Figure. This is why bureaucracies get a bad name. The citizens can’t complain to the mayor, though. They are trying to recall her. Dunno how our feckless governor, Jay Inslee will be affected. Seriously, I hope.



File Under Useful Hints: by The Elephant's Child

You may or may not have noticed my new favorite word: feckless. I probably saw someone else use it, and though I knew (sorta-kinda) the meaning, looked it up to be accurate.

Feckless: lacking initiative or strength of character, irresponsible. synonyms: useless, worthless, incompetent, ineffective, inept, good for nothing, ne’er do well, lazy, idle, slothful, indolent, shiftless, apathetic, aimless, unambitious, unenterprising, no good, no account, lazy.

With elections coming up, it may be a remarkably useful word, at least to tuck in the back of your brain when deciding whether to support a candidate or a city council or not.



Making Headlines Is Not Always A Good Thing by The Elephant's Child

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How utterly embarrassing, when your city government makes the national news, and becomes an object of ridicule. Portland and Seattle are setting bad examples for the rest of the country.  On Sunday, thousands of Seattleites turned out to “Defend the Police” in the face of the rabidly leftist majority on the city council’s efforts to defund the police. Today, Chief Carmen Best, a 28 year veteran of the Seattle Police Force and the first Black woman chief of police in the nation, resigned in the face of lack of support.

Other communities across the country that have “defunded” the police are seeing mass retirements, and major increases in crime. New York City is another example. Mayor de Blasio cut back on policing, and New York City has had a surge in shootings and other violent crime in the middle of the Covid crisis, according to the Wall Street Journal. Newt Gingrich said “crime skyrockets as Mayor de Blasio sides with criminals against cops.” Shootings are twice the rate of last year, 821 incidents of gunfire, and 1000 victims so far this year. It’s hard when you have to be on the right side of Black Lives Matter so you won’t be criticized, and discover that the police really did matter and that good policing is what kept violent crime down. Fear of being called “racist” has clearly been a powerful motivation.

There are, and certainly will be consequences. People will look for safer places to live and do business. Police will resign if they do not have the support of the community. Police are resigning or taking early retirement all over the country right now. And there will be consequences. An increase in crime means the job of being a policeman becomes more dangerous. So you want a new and inexperienced force? The sheer stupidity boggles the mind.

Elections are coming up this fall. Hopefully voters will take a hard look at 2020 so far and decide what is working, and what is not. Promises to be an interesting year. Americans may have to learn the hard way just why the police are there, and what they do for the people and the community they serve so courageously.

ADDENDUM: I forgot to mention that the Seattle City Council in it’s wisdom has also laid off 100 policemen. We’ll see what the consequences of that turn out to be.



Despite the Best Efforts of the Media, Some Glimmers of Hope! by The Elephant's Child

Small glimmers of progress. The New York Times now admits that Seattle’s CHOP was not the ‘Block party’ they claimed it was. Portland’s Mayor partially defunded the Cops in June and now the bodies are piling up. New York had a mail in Vote, and the results have been Lax deadlines, late ballots, carelessness, missing postmarks.  The Democrats got wiped out in the Louisiana election, and the press is trying to keep it quiet. And a New York City Democrat just called Bill DeBlasio the “Worst Mayor in the History of This Great Country.” Here in Seattle hundreds of ordinary citizens turned out at City Hall to protest and let them know that they liked the police and weren’t happy with City Hall. One has to grasp at those small bits of progress. It all takes time. You mean that if you defund the police crime goes up and people get killed? But,  but…

Another Democrat City Councilman announced that hydroxychloroquine saved his life. I thought that once Trump suggested that it works, it became impossible for anyone to use. .

On the other hand, Bureaucrats at the space agency NASA wanted to show that they were as woke as anyone else, so they are checking out all the names of celestial objects to display their sensitivity. The planetary nebula NGC 3392 which is blowing off outer layers at the end of its life will no longer be called the “Eskimo Nebula”.  and NGC 3568, a pair of spiral galaxies found in the Virgo Galaxy Cluster will no longer be referred to as the “Siamese Twin Galaxy.” Do read that one for a stunning picture of the “Horsehead Galaxy” which doesn’t look much like the head of any horse I’ve known, and I have been pitched off a few.

But what to do about the celestial objects named for women? There’s Portia, one of the moons of Uranus, and Venus, and Pandora. And yes we won’t mention the other obvious problem there. They have already gone way too far with the “sensitivity” bit. and wandered off into absurdity. Don’t get me off on destruction of statues of Columbus again.



What To Do About Back to School? by The Elephant's Child

It is now August, and attention has turned to the back to school problem. Nobody seems to know what to do. So far online lessons have not been a rousing success. Some kids do them, some refuse, and some have not done any. Not every family has a computer. As the school year gets closer, the battle is heating up. Avik Roy writes in the Wall Street Journal: (There may be a subscription barrier.)

The second-largest teachers union, the American Federation of Teachers, is preparing for its members to go on strike if schools reopen without their assent. President Trump has expressed a desire to “cut off funding” for schools that don’t reopen. It doesn’t help that the debate is taking place during the 2020 presidential campaign and a late-summer rise in coronavirus-related cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Teachers contracts are mostly school district matters, and what happens and what they are supposed to do and whether or not they get paid for teaching or not teaching is supposedly in the contract. Some teachers, naturally, are terrified they will get the virus in the classroom. Small children don’t seem to transmit the disease. Governors don’t know what to do, kids really do need to be in school, many parents (both) work outside the home. Teachers are not trained or skilled in creating online classes, and who makes sure the kid does the lessons anyway? Kids do not joyfully tackle a new lesson, at least mine didn’t.

We do know that school closures cause significant damage to children, damage that videoconferences cannot repair. Boston reported that one in five public school children dropped out. Many children from poorer families depend on reduced-price or free meals at school. The social science journal SSRN reported that school closures led to a 27% decline in reports of child abuse, because teachers may be the first ones to notice signs of maltreatment.

Other industrialized countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Germany, Finland, Iceland and  France reopened schools in April and May, and their experience has largely been positive.  Timing varied. Denmark was careful, requiring children to stay 2 meters apart whenever possible. Children were grouped into “bubbles” of 12, and required to wash their hands every two hours but did not wear masks. Denmark concluded that according to data from the European CDC, you could not see any negative effects from the opening of schools.

Children do not seem to play a significant role in the transmission of the virus. France started with a social distancing of four square meters and reduced it to one linear meter and they made attendance mandatory for primary and middle schools.

It sounds as if the greater danger to teachers is other teachers and staff. More and better information can be found at the CDC, the think tanks like Hoover.org, AEI.org, CATO.org, Reason.org and others. Here is an article titled “Open the Schools–or Kiss the Economy Goodbye” by Allison Schrager from the Manhattan Institute.

President Trump wants to see the kids in school. Some Governors just don’t know what to do. Many doctors have said they see no problem with sending their own children to school. Keep in mind that it is small children that don’t seem to spread the virus. Older children are another matter. I don’t know what the cut-off age when you start to worry is.  My three kids are long grown, so I am not affected, but I understand the concern. More knowledge will help.




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