American Elephants


A Few Thoughts on the Coming Elections by The Elephant's Child

I wander around the internet to websites I consider to be reasonably responsible, but dang, it’s discouraging. Portland continues to be a major source of news and violence. It would seem that a responsible governor would have called out the national guard, cleaned up the protesters and put them away to cool off, and restored some sense of sanity to the city. Not happening. Across the country we seem to have vast numbers of people in positions of authority who do not understand what their jobs are and what they should be doing.

They seem to err on the idea of “peaceful protests”, but I haven’t seen a “peaceful protest” yet. All the ones I have seen, admittedly online, are resulting in shattered windows, looting, boarded-up businesses and lots of property damage. The peaceful protesters are not paying for the damage they have caused. Aside from that, it is extremely unclear just what they are “peacefully protesting” about. It’s clearly not George Floyd, it’s not racism in general. It may be the police, and the poor protesters will have to learn that there is a real reason for policing, and why most people depend on that protection. Across the country, unappreciated policemen are retiring in record numbers. Take that one to heart.

The Covid crisis has meant a societal shutdown, but the protesters are not out there with masks, but mask-less, and spreading the virus around, as is attested by a rise in cases wherever there are lots of protests.

The Civil War is being re-fought, with any evidence of the existence of anyone on the Confederate side (statues and names) to be obliterated, along with Christopher Columbus who had nothing to do with the Civil War. 1492 is a long way from 1860.

The remedy for a shutdown economy is assumed to be giving everybody a little extra cash, which it is assumed that they will rush out and spend to buy something they want but could not previously afford, and thus start the economic engine humming again. Since the overriding rule of the American Economy is “the federal government has no money of it’s own, every dime comes out of the taxpayer’s pockets” seems like some rather fuzzy economics. But that’s the way things work, or fail to work.

The simple fact that this is an election year makes every comment and every action more important as we try to sort what we are told by an irresponsible press out into real information, which is difficult. Reporters want readers. To attract readers, they act as press agents, using celebrities’ statements as enticements. Are you more apt to read an article about politics if the headline includes an outrageous statement by some Hollywood dummy? Apparently we are.

Eventually the vaccines will be developed and distributed. The Covid crisis will ebb, possibly to occur again next year. Schools will open, and the “peaceful protesters” will have something to do besides protesting.

Before we get to the elections this fall, consider the vast amounts of evidence we have on the capabilities of current office holders, and vote accordingly.



Another Weekend of Mayhem in Democrat Run Cities by The Elephant's Child

Our cities are in trouble. Mayors, who were accustomed to dealing with problems like traffic, utilities and minor problems like shoplifting and illegal parking suddenly have massive demonstrations, attacks on buildings, major looting and sudden waves of murder. Quick, find someone else to blame it on. Guess who?

Headlines: DeBlasio’s New York City: 34 people shot, 10 killed over weekend. Lightfoot’s Chicago: 30 shot, 3 dead. Violent Seattle Protest: 59 Police Officers Injured, 45 arrested after explosives thrown at officers. So far in 2020 there have been more shootings in Minneapolis already than the whole of last year, 275 so far.The Washington Post reported at the end of June that out of the top 20 cities for violent crime –17 have Democrat mayors. Democrats have their people demanding that police departments be defunded, or abolished. So now we are going to have major lessons in just why we have police departments, and why we depend on their skills to protect us from the people who are doing all those shootings.

President Trump is sending more federal agents to Portland, as his Constitutional duties require. Mayors are screeching and trying to blame Federal agents for the demonstrations and violence, getting it all completely backwards. The Seattle City Council decided, in its wisdom or lack thereof, to eliminate the nasty tools the police were using for crowd and riot control, like tear gas, and pepper spray and whatever else are usual police tools.

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best politely informed Seattle businesses that the police probably couldn’t protect them in the event of riots or protests. A District Judge informed the City Council that they were out of line, and Downtown Seattle had a riot last night, with, to repeat, 59 police officers injured.

There are bad actors out there. Theoretically we elect public officials to deal with them promptly and efficiently. Elections are coming up, sounds like we need to be a little better informed about those who are running for public office than usual.

Also reported, Hollywood “celebrities” are renewing their calls to defund police departments around the country, urging local politicians to slash police spending and increase funding for “community programs”. They join in solidarity with the “freedom fighters in Minneapolis, Louisville and across the United States and call for the end to “Police Terror”. “Celebrities” listed include Natalie Portman, Joaquin Phoenix, John Legend, Jane Fonda, Kendrick Sampson, and Debra Messing who can claim some responsibility for the mayhem listed above.



A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury… by The Elephant's Child

Is there some kind of cause here? The media has lots of stirring film of demonstrations and protests in Portland and Seattle to tuck away for the next appropriate moment. Does it mean anything? The police officer who had his knee on George Floyd’s neck has been charged with murder, and will face the courts.

This has all evolved into an extended accusation that America is the most racist nation in the world, and according to some should be completely transformed into something more appropriate. The protesters have accomplished nothing much other than tearing down or destroying some statues, damaging a lot of businesses and buildings, racking up millions of dollars in damage, attempting to refight the Civil War, and abolish anything reminiscent of the Confederacy. They seem to have had a good time breaking windows, looting, and trying to set buildings on fire.

Has it all accomplished anything at all? Certainly individuals, businesses and governmental entities are rushing to prove how opposed to racism they are and to make gestures of one sort or another to demonstrate their sincerity. Have we gone through some noble kind of societal transformation with all the rioting and shouting and attempts to demonstrate what? President Trump indicated that he believed it was the business of the federal government to maintain some kind of order in such circumstances. The Secretary of Homeland Security acknowledged that to be the task of his department, and sent in federal officers to restore order, since the mayors and governors could not manage to do anything useful whatsoever.

Democrats erupted in outrage, talking about Trump’s “Storm Troopers”, and tried to portray it as authoritarian and tyrannical, and the worst thing any president has ever done. There is an election coming up this fall, and Democrats are getting desperate. Their candidate keeps forgetting what he is trying to say and having senior moments.

What has been accomplished? Statues of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Christopher Columbus, J.E.B. Stuart, Robert E. Lee, an Elk,  the Virgin Mary, and Jesus have all been torn down, attacked or damaged. Military bases named after Confederate Generals long ago will apparently have their names changed, confusing all the military veterans who trained there.

Colleges have removed their statues and are changing names where appropriate. Sports teams across the country are changing their names and logos, stadium names, and uniforms, with particular reference to those names referring to Native Americans, although our Native Americans didn’t seem to be demanding any change. Millions of dollars in damages. Many small businesses destroyed, Some woman who has always wanted, apparently, to expose herself in public stripped and sat on the pavement in front of the approaching police forces, spread legs and all, but what she accomplished or what happened to her has not as far as I know, been reported.

I don’t see that all this smoke and fury has accomplished much of anything at all. We should perhaps start charging would-be protesters a hefty fee to be allowed to demonstrate. It might help to pay for all the damage they have done. I’m sure it seems as if it will be exciting to tear down statues, break windows and set things on fire. Do they assume that in future years they will tell their kids or grandkids about what they did back in 2020?

 



Long Beyond Demonstrations, But Why? by The Elephant's Child

Antifa is out rioting again in downtown Seattle. There must be something both enticing and in some way rewarding, or fun in rioting. At least it seems to be popular, and the young people keep doing it. I say young people, because in the videos of rioting I see, I don’t see any real adults, except the policemen.

I can sort of understand looting, the idea that since nobody is paying real attention and guarding stuff, it’s free to grab something and make off with it. That was pretty much disproven here in Bellevue when looters broke into the biggest regional shopping center to loot the expensive stores. A lot of people were standing around outside and filming the excitement, and got pictures of the looters emerging from the Square with wastebaskets and garbage cans full of their loot.

The Bellevue Police Department took advantage of the films, and have tracked down a large percentage of the looters, and charged them–23 was the last number I saw, but I’m sure it’s much greater now.

What mystifies me is that people across the country and in Europe decided that looked like a fun thing to do and started rioting and tearing down statues in their countries. Is there no sense in the back of youthful brains that these are bad things to do, probably against the law, and potentially will get one in trouble? Is there a latent hunger there to do something really bad if one does not expect to get caught?

Or does “the abolition of the United States as we know it” sound appealing to the ignorant and unwashed? What do I know? I’m merely an ordinary law-abiding citizen to whom all of this is something of a mystery. Strange times, and I don’t pretend to understand. That “abolition” part is worrying.



Portland Erupts in Fury, Nancy Pelosi Erupts. by The Elephant's Child

Well, well, Portland has erupted in fury. How dare the President of the United States send in DHS agents to protect the federal buildings being attacked by Antifa protesters? For over 50 nights Antifa anarchists have been attempting to destroy government buildings and the Mayor of Portland, who could have allowed his police force to do their jobs. is blaming Donald Trump for restoring order.  The rioting has been going on for almost six weeks.

Mayor Wheeler tried to claim that the rioting had come close to fizzling out until Trump escalated the violence. What kind of idiot blames law enforcement for enforcing the law instead those doing the rioting? Ted Wheeler, Mayor of Portland. Even the journalists were having none of that.

One Black Lives Matter leader Lilith Sinclair says she’s “organizing for the abolition of not just the militarized police state but also the United States as we know it.”

 “The abolition of the United States as we know it.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blames Trump for “kidnapping Protesters.” Describes violent Antifa as “First Amendment Speech.” Well, well. So that’s what the Democrats have in mind. Siding with terrorists, attacking police officers, trying to burn down the federal courthouse — all just peaceful First Amendment Speech. I suspect the Portland police would not agree with Ms. Pelosi. Millions of dollars of damage, wounded policemen, looted businesses. The “unidentified” agents had POLICE  prominently labeled across their chests and DHS patches on their arms.  Met with explosives, hammers, knives sledgehammers, slingshots with ball-bearings, pipe bombs. Just peaceful First Amendment protesters? She also called them “Trump’s Secret Police.”  I think that perhaps this time, Ms. Pelosi has gone just a little too far.



Bellevue Police Have Arrested 23 Looters So Far. by The Elephant's Child

https://img.particlenews.com/img/id/23hQ5d_0PQj5XPc00?type=thumbnail_1024x576

The world is changing around us, and we often don’t notice until we are suddenly confronted with the evidence. In this case, I think I mentioned that BLM protesters turned up in downtown Bellevue, doing their protesty thing, fists raised to indicate how serious they were.

The presence of Bellevue Square, the most affluent mall in the Seattle area, brought potential looters up from South Seattle. And they promptly found looting far more interesting than just plain old protesting. The Square had been closed and locked down for Covid-19, but they knew the stores were all there with luxury goods inside.

We could see, online, bystanders watching while looters came out of the square carrying wastebaskets and garbage cans piled high with loot. Today, however, everybody has a camera. And as the looters came out, bystanders were taking their pictures.

Bellevue police have arrested 23 looters identified so far, from the photos taken by bystanders. They have recovered tens of thousands of dollars of merchandise, as well as alcohol, tobacco, weapons and drugs. Gosh, who knew that while you were getting the clothes for the new school year for free, someone was taking your picture. And the Police Chief even spoke to the crowd to express his sympathy for the George Floyd protest. Didn’t impress the protesters at all. Of course the protesters were far more interested in the looting than in the protesting. Do follow the link above for the King 5 coverage.

I’m appalled that it was allowed to go on so much. If you want some kind of change, act like a grownup, express your objective clearly with evidence, to the people who can make the legal changes which you advocate. Running around with fists raised shouting vulgarities is more plain childish than effective. And looting is simply theft and will be punished by law. Hope you all get significant terms in jail.



The Free Capitol Hill Protest Zone Now Has A Murder by The Elephant's Child

See the source image

Things are heating up in CHOP-land. On Sunday night, gunshots erupted in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone, less than 48 hours since an earlier shooting left one man dead and a 17 year-old male shot in the arm. Thought this was supposed to be a peaceful protest place, a “summer of love” thing. It appears that Seattle’s feckless mayor Jenny Durkan will have to act in some way. But she hasn’t figured out just how yet.

Perhaps our feckless governor, Jay Inslee, who has preferred to simply ignore the whole thing, will notice that it is giving his state a major black eye in the national news media.

But what to do and who will do it? Will they reclaim the East Precinct? The Police, who have been thoroughly demonized for no reason? The National Guard? That takes an order from Inslee. The neighborhood, and the six block area of homes and small shops and the residents are reported to be becoming restless. Small wonder.

I have no idea what the revolutionaries’ original vision was, in seceding from the United States to become an independent six blocks, but they dug up a patch of the local park to plant seedlings for their kitchen garden. Presumably they thought it would take only a few days to produce fresh vegetables, who knows. A little long on revolutionary fervor, short on common sense or just basic information.

Nationwide, the statues keep being attacked, but the major offenders are gone, so they’re down to the fringe characters like Francis Scott Key. He did write the Star Spangled Banner, but wasn’t that in the War of 1812 rather than the Civil War? I’m not sure just what the objection to him is.  It was a Southern Fort with the rockets’ red glare. The statue attackers are also a little long on revolutionary fervor and quite short of basic information.

If we just ignore it will it go away? Get tiresome? Fervor grow stale? I’m already sick of it all and not feeling at all charitable towards the perpetrators. Put them away for a while to cool off. It is simply posturing, virtue-signaling, but not much virtue. “Summer of Love”indeed. The police are anxious to preserve the rule of law, but the city’s Democrat management simply doesn’t know what to do, or how to do it.



Cheap Virtue, Jumping on Bandwagons of Public Feeling* by The Elephant's Child

See the source image

Every time you think you have seen it all, something else pops up. In this case, it is protesters in Portland, Oregon who last night dismantled a statue of George Washington, after they wrapped Washington’s head in an American flag and set it all on fire. George Washington?

The statue was created by an Italian-American sculptor, Pompeo Coppini, and was installed in Portland’s Rose City Park neighborhood in the late 1920s. Many years ago I lived about ten blocks from there, though I had never been to that park. It seems like an odd place for a George Washington statue. It was also defaced with spray paint.

Sprayed on the statue was the number “1619“. That suggests massive historical ignorance, which unfortunately is more common than anyone would like to admit. The 1619 date would seem to be a reference to the New York Times’ embarrassing 1619 Project attempting to rewrite the nation’s history to make it ever so much more racist, and useful.

Democrats have been chafing for years by being reminded of the Civil War, and being on the wrong side. They were terrified that would lose their Black votes. Then they elected the First Black President, which absolved them of any previous errors. And now a policeman put a black man in a neck hold, and the man died, though from the neck hold, a heart attack or a drug overdose is not clear, the world exploded in anger, started looting, and attacking statues. Just how attacking a statue of our First President and Founding Father accomplishes anything is somewhat unclear, but it seems to be the most popular solution, after looting.

This seems to be how the common saying “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!” may have arisen.

*An appropriate phrase for the headline, borrowed from Hillsdale College.



The Independent State of CHAZ on Capitol Hill by The Elephant's Child

There is today, unsurprisingly, a remarkable amount of conversation in the press about race. The protests have spilled out internationally to England, to the European continent and to Australia and South America, and maybe other locations. Lots of tearing down statues and fiery speeches.

I live in a Seattle suburb, so the construction on an “independent state” which has seceded from the rest of the country, is of particular interest to the press who are always breathtakingly waiting for a happening, and usually have to settle for what some so-called celebrity has to say, and about which nobody cares at all.

Our Governor, Jay Inslee, having extremely unsuccessfully run for the presidency, was surprised to be questioned about the new autonomous state in the largest city in his state. He seemed entirely unaware of its existence, which is a little embarrassing when the press in the rest of the country is more informed than he is.

The Antifa people displaced a bunch of homeless who were occupying the sidewalks in the six block area they had claimed as their state, so they invited them in. But quickly complained when the homeless had eaten all their food, so they had to appeal to their friends on the outside to buy them some food, preferably vegan with meat substitutes. It’s the little details that make this all so fascinating.

There are around 500 people who live in the area, and the city has provided a fire truck in case things get out of hand. They are trying to charge the businesses in their new state rent, (they have to find a way to pay for the food) but that is actually a crime like entrapment or something. Lots of demands, but they have already invaded City Hall, so there’s not much left to invade, and nobody is paying any attention to their demands.



These Are Interesting Times Indeed! by The Elephant's Child

I think the ancient Chinese curse is “May you live in interesting times.” I may be mistaken because I didn’t look it up but depended on my memory. Well, they are interesting indeed. President Trump acted on an opportunity to get one the world’s worst terrorist leaders, and our national media erupted in horror, completely forgetting that our embassy in Iraq had been attacked, or ignoring this inconvenient bit. The information was correct, we were able to hit Quassam Soleimani and eliminate a terrorist dedicated to attempts to harm the United States and our military at every opportunity.

Democrats in Congress were incensed that they were not consulted for their formal consent and approval, neglecting to consider that in such situations the President does not need to consult Congress, nor does he need their approval. He is the Commander in Chief. He gets to protect our Embassy, it’s staff, our military.

The Embassy is sovereign American territory, which was attacked. Soleimani has been a formally designated terrorist and terrorist leader since 2007. That this comes in the midst of an attempt to impeach the President with a Democratic Party that is consumed with their desire to get rid of the terrible Trump, leaves the Democrats in a sticky position. They cannot approve of anything Trump does at the moment, yet taking the opposing position puts them on the wrong side as well.

Some have pointed out the example of Benghazi and our embassy there, and the failure of our State Department to provide them with the needed security to prevent the death of the Ambassador, his aide and two former Seals working as government contractors. It was inexcusable.

What is disheartening is the response of the media who can’t put aside their partisan outlook long enough to report events as if they are journalists rather than just partisan Democrats.



The Immediacy of The Latest News of the Day by The Elephant's Child

Got up a little late today, and perusing all my usual websites in search of what is news in the wake of the elimination of top Iranian terrorist Quassem Soleimani, the Democrats impeachment debacle, and what Hollywood celebrities had to say about Trump, what appeared at the top of the front page of almost every website was “If You Have Toenail Fungus, Do This Immediately!”

Some days are just like that!



And a Happy New Year to You All ! by The Elephant's Child

I am not an enthusiast for New Years celebrations, nor do I really think of a new year being a big deal. Don’t like all the efforts to predict what the new year will bring, but the efforts to sum up what transpired during the past year can be useful.

The impeachment thing drags on, but is going nowhere. Abuse of Power is silly, there was no crime whatsoever, and Obstruction of Congress is way beyond silly. The President’s job is to keep the reins on Congress and keep them from doing stupid things. That’s why the founders gave him veto power, and Congress the right to override a veto if they can. The founders were well aware of the failings of the human race, and thought long and hard about writing a Constitution.

The Wall Street Journal was having fits about the “trade war” Trump was initiating with China, but as Joseph Sternberg said today:

A new year brings new optimism that the U.S.-China trade war might not blow up the global economy after all. The two sides are on track to sign a “phase one” deal within weeks. Oddly, no one has stopped to ask if America is ready for what will happen if President Trump “wins” the trade war. …

China’s current-account surplus—the amount by which its exports of goods and services and income from overseas investments exceeds imports—has shrunk for years. It’s likely to tip into a deficit early this decade, meaning China will import more goods and services (and receive less profit from overseas) than it exports.

The scale of this potential deficit, likely under 1% of gross domestic product to start, pales in comparison with the enormous current-account surpluses of nearly 10% of GDP each year China racked up in the first decade of the century. And the deficits will be here to stay.

He adds that their population is aging, the much vaunted Belt and Road deal is mostly pouring money into corrupt public-works, and China’s overseas investments tend to be bad ones. And the U.S. tends to be the world’s premier destination for investment capital. China’s Communism has used industrial policy to suppress domestic demand.

It seems that despite the skeptics, Capitalism seems to work quite nicely. Unemployment is at record lows, the stock market at record highs.

In Baghdad, the crowd that attacked the U.S. Embassy in Iraq seems to have been more pro-Iran militia than unhappy citizens. A  country’s embassy is considered a part of their own territory and attacking it is a big deal. The president promptly sent in the Marines to reinforce and protect, and demonstrate that attacks were not acceptable. The Washington Post, of course, tried to score points against President Trump. The top Iranian Commander, Quassem Soleimani, leader of Iran’s Quds Force, was apparently killed Friday in airstrikes on Baghdad International Airport. The Pentagon confirmed that President Donald Trump ordered the airstrike. Iran’s Quds Force has been designated as a terrorist organization for some time.

Seems to me that President Trump is letting our friends and enemies know that he has no intention of being a pushover, in case they were under some misapprehension.

Other than that, the media seemed fascinated with the leftover theme from the 1920’s – trying to stick on “the Roaring Twenties” in some way, I guess because that’s all they could think of.  Didn’t work.

Hollywood has-beens keep trying to come up with insults to the President that will get them some media notice, for you cannot remain a celebrity if you cannot get the attention of the press, Nobody seems to have noticed that a lot of Americans are finding other ways to amuse themselves, and movies aren’t doing all that well.




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