American Elephants


It’s a Most Unusual Time! by The Elephant's Child

Every time you assume that things couldn’t get any weirder, they do. Yesterday, Hillary announced that she would have done a much better job with the Corona virus than Trump. Uh huh. Her record does not so indicate. Today, she questioned that if Trump lost the election — would he leave office peacefully? Needing attention are we?

The Sioux bellyached about Trump coming to Mt. Rushmore because the monument was on their sacred lands, but the monument was built when the “sacred lands” belonged to the Cheyenne, not the Sioux. And sacredness seems to be related to fireworks and American heroes, though native Americans are citizens too and entitled to all the protections of the Declaration. Many Native Americans have served in the military and are proud of their service. I’m not convinced that all native Americans are possessive of Mt. Rushmore and resent it being used for a 4th of July Celebration, but I simply don’t know.

There were complaints from the usual suspects that Trump was having a White Supremacy Celebration, and so on, and on, every bit of news is to be accompanied by an attack on Trump. Democrats are worried about Joe Biden. They are worried about his mental confusion too. They are trying to cooperate with his desire to have a woman vice president, preferably black. Silicon Valley seems enthralled with Elizabeth Warren, but the party prefers Kamala Harris. Or Susan Rice. This could get interesting.

They simply cannot stop expressing their hatred for this president, and it is embarrassing for them when he had the economy booming, until the pandemic hit. Now with the excellent job creation in June, it certainly looks like it will soon be booming again. President Trump, as a successful businessman, has a pretty good understanding of just how much over regulation affects the economy, and the Democrats’ demand for absolute control leads them to over-regulate every time. They can’t help themselves.

There has been an uptick in Covid infections, whether from the protests or from people getting together in groups (do I repeat myself?) is an unknown. The American people are sick of shutdowns and masks and distancing and the whole thing. They will wear masks when it’s clear that it is necessary and a good idea, but they are also very, very fed up.

A peer-reviewed study from the Henry Ford Health System concluded that hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug touted by Trump as a potential good treatment for coronavirus, successfully lowered mortality rates for hospitalized coronavirus patients. Results were published Thursday in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Infectious Diseases. There were no adverse effects on the heart. Positive news, hope it pans out. The press does not want any positive Trump stories.

The “potential” part should not be ignored, but neither should it be ignored just because Trump thought it sounded like a possible potential. There’s another potential vaccine that looks promising too. These small encouraging developments should not be ignored just because Trump favored them.

President Trump gave a splendid patriotic speech at Mt. Rushmore, and assorted Democrats called it dark, and the New York Times could not find enough dismal words to apply. A Seth Abramson, a columnist for Newsweek, was completely flummoxed by the passages in the presidential speech where Mr. Trump was mentioning the statues and monuments we have all witnessed being torn down, burnt or destroyed across the country. Abramson could not understand why he was claiming that people were tearing down statues. As a noted journalist, he has apparently missed the whole thing. It is a confusing time, is it not?

It would be nice if we were all on the same page, but there is an election coming up in November, and that seems to be more important than ordinary things like riots and protests, statue-toppling and virtue-signaling. Way too much virtue-signaling.

ADDENDUM: Here’s a good example of weird. Emory & Henry College in Virginia is considering discarding the wasp as it’s mascot. The bug, probably for it’s sting. They are concerned about the connection to WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) and possibly not being sensitive enough to matters of race.



A Day Like All Days Altering and Illuminating the Affairs of Men. by The Elephant's Child

 

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There are times when you look out upon the passing scene — and think if you could just give them all a spanking and send them to bed without any dinner, it might settle them down a bit.  These attacks on our national history and the statues there to remind us, are so ignorant and mindlessly destructive that it is thoroughly disgusting.

There has been a drive-by shooting at the CHOP site on Capitol Hill in Seattle, one 16 year old young man dead, a 14 year old hospitalized. Essentially though, most have moved out. The East Precinct police station is due to be reoccupied next week. The CHOP protesters got some national attention, but not the kind they were hoping for, and when it gets violent with people killed, it isn’t just fun and games any more. Seattle’s feckless Mayor Jenny Durkan had protesters appear at her own house, and she takes it a bit more seriously now.

Seattle’s communist City Council member Kshama Sawant cheerfully blamed “Capitalism’s Brutality” for the murders in CHOP’s autonomous state that Seattle’s government allowed to exist contrary to the law.  Sawant and other council members were expected to vote Tuesday on whether or not to repeal a tax on companies like Amazon and Starbucks that the council intended to combat a growing homelessness crisis.

Seattle does have a statue, a 16 foot tall bronze statue of Vladimir Lenin, but he is privately owned, and rests on private property, so he will continue to inspire the residents of Fremont.  The statue was created by Bulgarian sculptor Emil Venkov. It was completed and put on display in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in 1988, the year before the Velvet Revolution of 1989.

In 1993 the statue was bought by an American who found it lying in a scrapyard, and brought it home to Washington state, but died before he could carry out his plans for displaying the Soviet era memento. Since 1995, the statue has been held in trust waiting for a buyer for the last 25 years on a prominent street corner in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, unwanted and unloved?

Senator Mitch McConnell weighed in on the civil unrest in the country today, pointing out that “a large statue of Vladimir Lenin remains untouched while protesters topple memorials to Thomas Jefferson” and George Washington.  Does look, though, in some of the pictures, as if someone has painted Lenin’s hands suitably red.



Reading for Pure Pleasure, Or How to Get Lost in a Book by The Elephant's Child

I recommended a few books a few days ago to add to your knowledge. There are many kinds of reading, thrillers, histories, mysteries, westerns and romances, among others. If you are still locked down, or avoiding going out, you are likely to need more reading just for pure pleasure. To get lost in a book.

At the very tip-top of my list is Patrick O’Brien. with seventeen novels described variously as “the best historical novels ever written”, “the best sea story I have ever read,” books you will keep to read again and again. The series is about the Royal Navy in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and establishes the friendship between Captain Jack Aubrey R.N. and Stephen Maturin. ship’s surgeon and intelligence agent against the thrilling background of the Napoleonic wars.

Details of life aboard a man of war in Nelson’s navy are faultlessly rendered; the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging and the roar of the broadsides as the great ships close in battle.

The first, Master and Commander, was published in 1970, the last in 1995. You can get the whole series from Amazon for a hefty $240.75 or one at a time for $10.89. One of the best investments you will ever make.

Another series I recommend highly is James Clavell’s Asian Saga which begins in 1600 with Shogun, followed by Tai-Pan, 1841, Gai-Jin,1862, King Rat, 1945, Noble House,1963, and Whirlwind,1979. Clavell is an excellent storyteller. Today’s China and Hong Kong add to the interest although the books are fiction.

If you are female and do not read books about wars and battles, shame on you, but you might enjoy anything by Penelope Lively, Joanne Greenberg, or Elizabeth Spencer.



Recommended Reading. Not Just Should Read, but You’ll Be Glad you Did. by The Elephant's Child

Photo Of Woman Reading Book

Here are some books I highly recommend. Your public library should have them, Amazon will, and they’ll have used books if you don’t want to spend much. If you have kids, you will want to have them around the house.

David McCullough’s 1776, a gripping narrative of the year of independence, tells the story of the men who marched with George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence. Won the Pulitzer Prize. Extensively researched not only in our own archives, but in British archives as well. It’s also the story of ordinary Americans in the ranks: farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, boys turned soldiers and the story of the Redcoats, disciplined soldiers who looked down on their rebellious foes with contempt and fought with valor.

McCullough also has a biography of John Adams, our second president, also a Pulitzer winner.

Paul Johnson’s A History of the American People by a distinguished British historian is particularly interesting in the light of the New York Times’ embarrassing “1619 Project” Johnson traces the origins of the first arrival of slaves in this country that correct the New York Times.

Two more: I particularly like John Steele Gordon’s An Empire of Wealth, which is an epic history of America’s economic power. A Free people able to experiment and innovate end up creating a country that dominates the world through its creation of wealth. It is a fascinating book,  that you would enjoy.

The other is Charles E. Mann’s 1491  or what the Americas were like the year before Columbus arrived. Take that, you nutcases who are tearing down statues of Columbus because you are ignorant. Fascinating to learn that our most deeply rooted ideas of the peopling of the Western Hemisphere and the kinds of societies that had developed there before the arrival of Europeans are just wrong. Mann has followed that up with 1493 which explains the result of his arrival.  I haven’t read this latter one yet.

Guaranteed good reading. Enjoy.



An Attack on Our History As a Nation, A Marxist Ploy. by The Elephant's Child

You may have noticed that I am more than annoyed with these attempts to use the death of George Floyd captured on film to assume that he was killed because of racism, which should naturally lead to attempts to alter and destroy the history of the United States of America by tearing down and defacing statues, eliminating anything and everything associated with the Confederacy, and anything that could lead one to value our country.

There have been cries to eliminate the Star Spangled Banner, and replace it with something better, like John Lennon’s nauseous “Imagine.”They have even succeeded in getting some members of Congress to believe that the names of long standing military bases Fort Benning and Fort Bragg must be changed because they were named for Confederate Generals.

Indeed they were, but so what? I challenge anyone to ask the next 50 to 100 people they encounter not only where these “forts” are located, but who they are named for. You might run into someone who actually knows where they are — a lot of people who have served in the military trained there, but the source of the names? Highly unlikely, and so what?

Government, aside from being necessary, is seldom popular. The folks elected might do a better job than the last bunch, but then they may do a lot worse too.

Countries have enemies. The United States of America is a big powerful. wealthy country that occupies an outsize position in the world, and is probably resented more than loved. Because of all our freedoms, our people are free to innovate, invent, and discover, which is how we became powerful and wealthy. That kind of freedom is hard for governments to give away. The people elected to government usually don’t have all that much respect for those who elected them. which is why governments rise and fall.

Our founding documents: the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are what must be discredited before anyone else can take over. There are still a lot of people who actually believe that Marxism is better because it makes everybody equal.

With just a little effort you can find pieces online written by American citizens who have escaped from Cuba or Venezuela warning that the current attacks on our freedom are what transformed Cuba and Venezuela into Communist prison states. The attacks on our history and our memories are not just because of George Floyd.

Our defense against Marxism and other political attacks is our own knowledge of our history and our understanding of the value of being an American. Our schools are clearly not doing a good job with the teaching of history, and many of our biggest nutcases seem to be ensconced in our institutions of higher learning.  The kids who are marching in the streets and tearing down statues learned it somewhere.



They Are Vacating the Autonomous Six Blocks of CHOP That Had Seceded From the Rest of the Country. by The Elephant's Child

This is all extremely weird. The national news is reporting that the occupiers of the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) are vacating, moving out. Their officials say that any protesters can stay as long as they went, but they seem to be tearing up the newly-planted vegetable garden and attempting to return it to ordinary park status, except that it has been all dug up.

Capitol Hill businesses have filed a major lawsuit against the City of Seattle. The merchants said in the suit that they have suffered economic ruin because the city allowed CHOP to happen. CHOP leader Naudia Miller confirmed reports that the area is being dissembled. She added “The burden of owning a business doesn’t compare to struggles of living in a nation that’s built on anti-black racism,” directed at businesses that are a party to the lawsuit.

A local investment firm closed it’s doors and announced that they were moving to Arizona. No local news purveyor managed to take pictures of the emptied streets, if they indeed are emptied. This is a screen capture from a hard-to-find video. Perhaps after the shootings, reporters and photographers decided to play it safe. This is the same view as in previous pictures that were decorated with barriers, signs, tents, debris and more signs. They talked about setting up at Seattle Center, by the Space Needle or elsewhere. The feckless Mayor of Seattle, Jenny Durkan, was perhaps right when she called it a “summer of love” thing.

The CHOP (formerly CHAZ) has been major news across not only the country, but the world, turning the city of Seattle into something of a laughingstock, and suddenly they’re seeming to pretend that it never happened. There was a murder there, and people hospitalized.

CHOP leaders insisted their efforts are far from over: “We need every one of us to step up in a way that’s in our capacity, because we are dealing with trauma,” Miller said, adding that the only difference going forward is that Capitol Hill will no longer be a staging ground for Black Lives Matter.

Miller also spoke about everything that’s happened at the East Precinct, saying protesters’ takeover of the building was fair game after police used tear gas to disperse CHOP attendees.

“The Seattle Police Department chose that location when they terrorized people on Pine Street, and when they tear gassed people in their homes,” she commented.

The city says that the East Precinct will be reoccupied by next week. Stories about the six-block CHOP are pretty much absent from the news here, where one would think it would be big and welcome headlines. I had to really hunt to find anything.

Did they all suddenly recognize that this mess was giving Seattle a major black eye?

Capitol Hill is distinctly uphill from downtown Seattle, which is on a slight gradual slope down to the west and the water of Puget Sound, where the ferries dock. Seattle was famously built on seven hills, and some were plowed down to make them more acceptable for stores and businesses. If you assume that the CHOP area was in downtown Seattle, that’s incorrect. Capitol Hill is home to Seattle University, hospitals, schools and businesses. It slopes down on the eastern side to Lake Washington, and expensive residential areas along the lake.

Protesters have been shutting down the freeways too, or trying to. The Police keep them under control. As far as I can recall, we haven’t much here in the way of statues, or Confederate anything. Some totem poles.



“Erasing American History” Why Would Anyone Want To? by The Elephant's Child

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The brave people who are out fiercely attacking helpless statues are at it again. Not every city has handy statues of former Confederate generals, so they have to go after the lesser figures, who may or may not have owned slaves, which seems to be the latest charge. George Washington? Francis Scott Key? The Star Spangled Banner?  Protesters are so monumentally ignorant of American history that they hardly know who to attack to show just how outraged they are. Outraged about what? George Floyd?

Not really. Here Victor Davis Hanson speaks about removing Confederate statues and the erasing of American History.  We need to provide these unfortunates with some reading lists. How can they possibly have spent years in the classrooms of America and learned so little about our history. It’s not really the kids’ fault, but their parents and their teachers.

One of the particularly interesting websites is American Mind, which offers scholarly essays on contemporary issues. Their essays are accompanied by a notation at the top of how long it will take to read: 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 7 minutes.  Can you, in your busy, busy life spend 5 minutes reading our laboriously researched and written essay? Is that not sad?

The Capitol Hill autonomous zone: CHOP, continues on. Seattle’s feckless mayor, Jenny Durkan, chooses to assume it’s just “the summer of love”. They’ve now had a shooting, somebody dead, somebody else in critical condition. They have dug up a public park to make a kitchen garden in which they have planted seedlings, perhaps unaware of just how long the distance is between planted seedling and anything actually useful for the kitchen table. Most of it seems to be mostly a matter of vast ignorance, whatever the topic.  Left alone, they will soon run out of money, cleanliness, food, or energy. It’s hard to know how dependent they are on publicity, but they don’t seem to be adding adherents. But I’m not a close observer, I live across the lake.

I found this “Real History of Antifa” online, which you might find of interest.

 



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

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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 Western World Has Gone Stark Raving Mad. by The Elephant's Child

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Here’s the box they built around the statue of Winston Churchill in Britain. Police also protected the cenotaph, and protesters bravely threw some statues into the River Thames.

In Whittier, California, BLM protesters defaced a statue of John Greenleaf. Who is he?  He was a prominent Quaker abolitionist, known for his anti-slavery writings.  A picture shows the usual graffiti. Sometimes, it seems, we get a little over-excited about attacking statues. Of course, unlike attacking real people, statues just sit there and behave like the inanimate objects they are, and there’s no fuss unless the police catch you at it, and even then it depends on what the local rules are about attacking statues. It is entirely about the symbolism, and attacking a king symbolically ranks a little higher than a symbolic mere member of Parliament, for example.

Of course in America we went for bigger targets than mere statues (which were attacked as well) but that can’t compare to HBO blacklisting Gone With the Wind. Good Grief! Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler. Hattie McDaniels, who is black, won the first Oscar ever given to a person of another race. It was well deserved, but there’s the rub. She played the role of Mammy, a slave.

Well, never mind Oscars, the outrage was furious. Banning Gone With the Wind!  America’s favorite movie of all time. What happened immediately was that everybody went out and bought a copy for their own, and just think through the economics of that little stunt, and how it would reverberate down through the years. I can even quote you the opening lines of the book: “Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm, as the Tarelton twins were.”

HBO decided that unbanning Gone With the Wind was probably the better idea, but because of George Floyd and all, they hired  Black scholar and TCM host Jacqueline Stewart. She is a professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago.  Cinema and Media Studies is a major at the University of Chicago? It has not been yet announced just when GWTW and Scarlett and Brett will return to streaming services. Jacqueline Stewart will provide an introduction to the movie, so you understand the correct viewpoint. This is a very odd time, we can’t seem to decide whether we can allow history to remain unchanged, or if we have to have a do-over that we like better. Historically, we do recognize that the Civil War began on April 12, 1861, when Southern forces fired on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, and on April 15, President Lincoln issued a public declaration than an insurrection existed and called for 75,000 militia to stop the rebellion.  It ended on April 9, 1865 when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S, Grant at the Appomattox Court House, with a remarkable lot of history in between those two dates. If you are unfamiliar with the Civil War, study up! You’ll be glad you did. Here’s a guide to books on the war.

You might want to look up the Emancipation Proclamation.

Race has come up as a major subject in the international outrage over the death of George Floyd. Statues are being destroyed in this country, in Britain, Australia, Scotland–Robert the Bruce, the Scottish King who freed Scotland from England’s clutches, and who knows where else, which accomplishes nothing at all, but expresses varying degrees of outrage over varying subjects. The Civil War in general, any generals who fought for the South,  anything named for a general who fought for the South, that sort of thing.  Fort Bragg and Fort Benning are especially mentioned as needing to be renamed immediately to appease the anger about race.  Quick, can you tell me where Fort Bragg is, and who it is named for? Didn’t think so. How about Fort Benning — location, named for? If we are going to be outraged and change names, shouldn’t we know what we are talking about, and how it relates to, for example, “CHAZ” or “CHOP” as it is now, on six blocks of Capitol Hill in Seattle? And what does that have to do with putting a box around the statue of Winston Churchill in Britain?

What seemed to happen to George Floyd was clearly an outrage, but what actually happened was not as it seemed. The call to police about Floyd was that he was trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. We never learned if it was counterfeit or not. There must have been some kind of resisting arrest going on for him to end up on the ground with an officer holding him down with his knee.

Floyd was a very large man who worked as security in a night club, a “bouncer” as they are called, as did the police officer, and they apparently worked at the same establishment. The cause of death is unclear. Yes, he was saying “I can’t breathe” but before the choke hold as well. He was apparently high on fentanyl. The autopsies (there were two) also mentioned a heart attack, and another fatal condition. The officer has been charged with murder, but in the middle of international outrage. I have no idea. It just sounds like it is a lot more complicated than we were led to believe. The outrage over what was seen on film was huge. The emotion stirred up was huge and has led to all the rest.

Hopefully, enough information will eventually come out to clarify the whole thing. Why it has led to the destruction of Columbus statues, names of anything connected to the South in the Civil War, remains unknown. Aunt Jemima syrup has changed its name and picture. Kellogg’s Rice Crispies has been attacked for Snap, Crackle and Pop who seem to be three white boys. The same white boys are on the Cocoa Crispies box, although the cereal is brown.  In other words, a big section of America has become certifiable. A City Councilman in Charlotte, SC has declared that it is time to proclaim that racism is a public health crisis. The worst reaction is the call to defund the police. which is beyond stupid. Unfortunately it has all been exacerbated by the CORONA-19 turmoil and societal shutdown and all the chaos that has caused. Emotions were already stirred up by people locked down.

This too shall pass.  From the Federalist: “Why White People Will Always Be Racists: Whites are continually put into the position of forever having to prove the negative, that they’re not racists. This is impossible. And that’s the point.”



Politics Does Not Belong in the Workplace. by The Elephant's Child

Just saw, online, another of those annoying claims that profess to know every public figure’s IQ. They do not. They claim to know the IQ of Presidents going way back, which they do not. The IQ test was not devised until 1904. They’re making it up.

NBC claims that Google has blacklisted Zero Hedge and the Federalist. Google says not so. My immediate response is that the Big Tech companies are too new to the American Business community to grasp that it is unwise for corporations and smaller businesses to publicly profess political leanings.

The other party may well be in control of the government, and be annoyed. Companies of any size have lots of employees, who, despite resident loudmouths, probably vote quite differently. Yes, I know, it’s tempting, if unwise, to assume that everyone thinks the same way as you do, because it’s so obviously the “right way.” Do read the Constitution again, including the Bill of Rights, and remember that the first thing a Socialist government would do is to remove all those silly protections.

Yes, I know that Socialism promises to make everybody equal. That’s bunk. Those who assume that Socialism is a good thing need to look a little closer at socialist governments, beginning with Venezuela and Cuba. Those pushing for Socialism are not pushing for equality, but simply pushing to be in charge.  They want to run things.

Keep politics out of the Workplace, and protect workers’ personal freedom.



Just Another Normal Day in Seattle by The Elephant's Child

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I think I read that they changed the name of the Seattle Autonomous six blocks from CHAZ to CHOP, but I’m not sure of that one. It continues being autonomous. On Flag Day, yesterday, some stalwart individuals tried to march through with American Flags, perhaps reminding them just what country this is, but they took the flags away (violently).

This part of the country has a fairly long history of being a bit weird.  Postmaster General James A. Farley had a famous toast “to the forty-seven states and the soviet of Washington”. Seattle has a long reputation for radicalism. Recommended reading: Utopias on Puget Sound, 1885-1915. There was a smattering of that again in the sixties, I believe. Perhaps it’s something in the water. Breaks out now and then.

There was a Seattle General Strike in February 1919, and 350,000 shipyard workers in the Seattle shipyard stopped work after not getting their post WW1 pay increase. A big Wobblies Protest (Workers of the World Union) also known as the Everett Massacre (2 men were killed and 16-20 wounded). The Kent State Shootings in May of 1970, The WTO Protests in 1999 40,000 demonstrated in the city, much vandalism, Occupy Seattle: September/October 2011, a reform aimed at big banks, and questions about the legality of protesters sleeping in public spaces. So perhaps it really is something in the water.

Paul Joseph Watson did a most enjoyable video on “Cultural Revolution“, and the Autonomous Zone currently on Capitol Hill. For those unfamiliar with the Seattle area, it is a city famously built on seven hills, and they plowed some of them down to create space for a city. Do watch the video if you have some fascination with strange societal outbreaks. It might be helpful when one breaks out in your peaceful town.

We’re getting a lot of national attention as this is assumed to be just an extension of Black Lives Matter, but apparently it is just normal life here in the Northwest.  I grew up in the mountains of Idaho and find this strange and fascinating.

In Scotland, BLM protesters defaced the statue of Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn, Scotland’s legendary King. In Britain, as many statues were torn down or defaced, the Statue of Winston Churchill was put in a tall box to protect it.

The proper adjective to describe Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkin and Governor Jay Inslee, I decided, is feckless.



Tear Them Down, Civil War Generals and Columbus Too! by The Elephant's Child

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Now we seem to have reached the stage of tearing down statues and destroying monuments, for what purpose is not entirely clear. History has become a bad thing, to be ignored or changed to suit more contemporary minds. Since our schools have been doing a lousy job with history anyway, our people don’t seem to know much history. The center of the current rioting is, of course, the American Civil War, fought between the North and the South, and at the heart of things was slavery. The South lost. The Slaves were freed, and slavery became against the law. So why do they seem to be fighting it all over again 169 years later? Statues of Civil War Generals must be torn down, defaced, destroyed. Places named for Civil War generals need to have their names changed, and Nancy Pelosi wants large numbers of the statues in Statuary Hall (I’ve never been there) removed, although they were put there by the states themselves.

Place names: Fort Bragg, and Fort Benning. Quick, can anybody tell me who is honored with these names of military posts, and cities? Does the name Braxton Bragg ring any bells? Thought not. How about Henry L. Benning? How can these be names that must be removed because of their terrible associations if nobody knows who they are and Forts Bragg and Benning are just names, like Sally or Bill? that serve only to distinguish the bearers from Susan and Sam?

Of course Christopher Columbus has been torn down in the last few days as well. I can guarantee that he had nothing to do with the Civil War, so why? I think it’s the vague thought that he was mean to the native Indians, ignoring the wonders of the Columbian Exchange, and the childhood rhyme “In 14 hundred and ninety two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” That latter verse may be what most kids learned about history in grade school.

Victor Davis Hanson took up the same subject in National Review’s Corner: “On Name Changing and Statue Toppling” . The removal of anything Columbus has been going on longer, but I have no idea what they have in mind. The Nation of Columbia, the Columbia River, Columbia University, and several hundred other things come to mind. Take a moment and look up “The Columbian Exchange” if you are unfamiliar with it.

As I have said, and so many other have said, history is the record of what happened. And for that matter a record of the order in which things happened. If tractors and plows had been developed much earlier, the South would have had no need for slaves to produce their cotton crops for British mills. Remember, it was the British that really started the elimination of slavery when they banned the Atlantic slave trade, and set the Royal Navy to work to stop it..

It’s clear that what must change is a little more attention to the curriculum in our schools. They are doing a lousy job with history, and the historical ignorance out there is having a major effect on politics and our understanding of the world. Hillsdale College offers some free online classes in history, especially American history. If we don’t understand where we have been, and how we have progressed and why, we’re going to make a mess of the future.

I don’t believe that tearing down statues, changing the names of military bases, or re-fighting the Civil War, the War Between the States, will improve the lives of our Black citizens in  the slightest. We have created many programs, opened many doors and clearly, more is needed. Charter schools seem to be doing a good job, but I guess it’s teachers’ unions who fight against them. Perhaps the most important example was the young black kid in Columbus Ohio, who was written up recently for walking 3 miles every day to the public library that offered homework help. He has been offered admission to 12 different colleges, including the one he most wants to attend.




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