American Elephants


Not Caused By Climate Change, But By a Lack of Forest Management by The Elephant's Child

A wildfire burns in the Angeles National Forest during the Bobcat Fire in Los Angeles, California, September 17.  REUTERS/Ringo Chiu

We had a little rain last night. Not exactly the needed downpour, but still significant rain, and the hill across the way is now more visible. Today there is supposed to be light rain, and it’s not till next Thursday that the online forecast suggests real rain. We’ll see. The online forecast seems to be an iffy business. On the way to an appointment yesterday, downtown Bellevue was wreathed in light gray smoke. Just enough so to be noticeable. It is raining now.

“Climate Change” is quite emphatically not the cause of wildfires in the Pacific Coast States — California, Oregon and Washington, no matter how plaintively the governors of those respective states claim that it is beyond their control. The fires are man-made and have resulted in unnecessary deaths. The cause is mismanagement of western forestlands by the elected officials who are charged with managing them efficiently for the benefit of the public who has given them those offices.

There are “environmentalists” who dream of natural green forests and don’t like the idea of human interference. I usually assume that they all live in downtown apartments, and have little contact with actual nature. I grew up on 400 acres of actual nature with a river flowing through it, bordering on National Forest and Bureau of Land Management  land. There are unfriendly animals, bear, coyotes, lynx and cougar, rattlesnakes, skunks, and porcupines. Never ran into a cougar, but I’ve heard them scream. ”

“Environmentalists” have warped ideas of the out-of-doors which they encounter only on long weekends and vacations. Their ideas of pristine nature don’t mix with solar cells and windmills. Sounds good, but they just do not produce enough energy to maintain a modern society. Nuclear energy works well, but since Chernobyl in 1986  and the Fukushima disaster in 2011, people are scared of nuclear energy, though neither accident was inevitable. We learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others, not always, but often.

We are not interfering with nature if we clear out the deadwood and trim trees and dead brush across forestlands and wilderness. We do it in our own yards so it doesn’t become an eyesore. California Governor Gavin Newsom and Washington Governor Jay Inslee are major climate fanatics, assuming that “climate change” is to blame for anything unpleasant. There’s been widespread objection to “clear cutting” and logging in general. Joe Biden is already suggesting that he would adopt the “Green New Deal” which is more useless windmills and his back and forth about banning “fracking” which he was all for until he found out that there are a lot of “fracking” jobs in Pennsylvania.

West Coast wildfire will not end with a fight on climate change. Clear cutting and controlled burning to thin overgrown forest and removing deadwood works nicely. Native Americans have been managing their forests for years with just such efforts. Joe Biden has accused President Trump of being a “climate arsonist” for not “heeding the science” in claiming that climate change is the cause of the wildfires. The headline at Politico is “Biden labels Trump a climate arsonist, accusing him of net heeding science.” Uh huh.



There is Now a Vacancy On the Supreme Court by The Elephant's Child

The Professional Democrats are panicking. They are deeply afraid that President Trump might offer a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Ginsberg, Justice Ginsberg supposedly issued a request before she died that she not be replaced until after the election, but that’s not something she gets to choose. The Professional Democratic Celebrities are out in full voice demanding that her wishes be honored. Which is nonsense. The President of the United States has the duty to replace the Justice.

Perhaps I should explain my language choices here. I speak of Professional  Democrats, by which I mean those who have no other profession than being an elected Democrat or an appointed Democrat. What their other experience or job in life occurred before they became an office-holder has no bearing on anything, they are now a guaranteed Democrat vote. Others may have had some other career  as a farmer, an academic, a lawyer and that experience validates their advancement to professional status, and their knowledge of their particular field contributes to their government status.

We also have Professional Celebrities. A celebrity is someone whose name is known, and because their name is known, an article in the press may get your attention. The designation of “celebrity” mostly just gathers up those who have good press agents, though these days the media itself acts as press agent. Having a “celebrity” comment on your idea gives it a slight boost in potential readership. Jane Fonda comes to mind. She is capitalizing heavily on her celebrity status these days. I know she is the daughter of Henry Fonda who was a celebrated actor. She has apparently been in some movies herself, but I have never seen one. nor would have any wish to. I remember that in the time of protests against the Vietnam War she went to Hanoi and sat on a cannon to celebrate her protest, and I scratched her off any potential list of anything at that time. She is now a professional Democrat.

Just who President Trump will nominate is unknown. I hope there will not be any kind of echo of the disgraceful behavior of the Professional Democrats in the confirmation hearings for Justice Kavanaugh. Their politics should not matter as much as their understanding of the Constitution, and the reasons for the solutions to the cases that come before the Court. Clarence Thomas has been a great Justice, some others I might mention, not so much.

I believe I have read that President Trump has a good list of excellent potential candidates.It’s their minds and knowledge that matter, not today’s politics. Unfortunately hot-button issues are apt to get in the way, like abortion and trans-gender politics, that we know about and others yet to come.



Now They’re Going After George Washington! by The Elephant's Child

Activists are demanding of the Mayor of Washington DC, Muriel Bowser, that she change anything in her city that is related to George Washington, (Father of our Country) be removed, torn down, re-named etc. because George Washington, our acclaimed first president, once owned slaves. Whether this demand includes changing the name of the city is unknown, but it does include the Washington monument. The demands to tear it down were a little confused when the size and location were pointed out, but there you go. The fact that destroying it would not change history in any way, apparently was not part of the discussion. This is so dumb. According to the records, he  actually opposed slavery. He sold off part of the Mt. Vernon estate to other farmers, because he didn’t want to be a plantation owner.

It’s becoming fairly clear that those out demanding major changes are usually completely unfamiliar with the people they are denigrating, and with their history. We have gone into the false teeth thing, with several posts attempting to discover what George Washington really looked like, as the most familiar image is the one on the one dollar bill. That engraving was based on the portrait by Gilbert Stuart which emphasized the distortions caused by his false and poorly fitting teeth. Washington did not take to Gilbert Stuart and Stuart was offended. The life mask by Jean Antoine Houdon suggests that Washington was fairly good looking. He was tall, about 6’2″, and most verbal descriptions from the time suggest a “roman” or more prominent nose. He spent most of his life in the saddle, so would have been tanned and weathered.

With all the George Washington statues under attack, perhaps it’s a good time to recommend another book. Richard Brookheiser has written biographies of many of our founding fathers, and his highly praised biography of Washington is only 168 pages. There’s some useful supplementary material as well. He has also written biographies of James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Lincoln, John Marshall, and Governuer Morris. and the Adams family. John Adams, not the TV Adams Family



Pity the Poor Portlanders! It’s Going to Be a Long Hot Summer! by The Elephant's Child

Portland’s Mayor Ted Wheeler has moved out of his condominium for now, relieving his neighbors of the crowds of Antifa and protesters besieging his condo and the building. Mayor Wheeler has a number of other residences, so it’s not a big deal for him. Includes one at the beach, and one in the San Juan Islands up in Washington, and a few others. The riots and fires and attacks continued through the weekend.

One wonders how Mr. Wheeler will fare in the upcoming elections, but apparently his opponent approves of Antifa, though I’m not sure if she is a member or just aligned with their goals. Aside from their street theater, Portland has a significant number of “homeless” perhaps surpassing even Seattle. I put the word in quotation marks, because in most cases they are not there because they lack a home, but because of some addiction problem, and trying to find residences or a better place for their encampment is a less troublesome matter than actually trying to solve the addiction problem and return them to productive life.

California is not only engulfed with brush and forest fires, but in the midst of a real heat wave with temperatures ranging far above the comfort level, and under vast power outages, so the air conditioners don’t work. Oregon is likely to see a wave of more homeless trying to find more comfortable streets.

Some ambitious person who might actually want to improve something, might start a campaign as a last-minute write-in alternative candidate. Portlanders prospects don’t look as if they are going to improve any time soon, and the rest of the state is not at all sympathetic.

ADDENDUM: The Portland Police Bureau has spent (so far) $6.9 million on overtime in June and July alone. This represents a 200% increase in overtime spending compared to the same time period last year, when the police spent only $2.3 million as a result of the nightly riots in the city. This is according to Portland’s KATU News. Any sign that considering the consequences, the troubled and annoyed are going to change their behavior?



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.



History is What Happened in the Past. by The Elephant's Child

Former Vice President Joe Biden has clarified matters. Donald Trump caused the Corona virus, didn’t act on it promptly enough, didn’t do the right things when he finally did act, and thus caused all the deaths and misery and unemployment that have resulted. He has also caused all the riots and protests, is a thoroughly bad man and must be replaced as soon as possible by the aforesaid Joe Biden.

So naturally, the news today was entirely about Nancy Pelosi getting her hair done, cut and color, I presume. Partly it seemed to be about whether or not she wore a mask, (She didn’t). which was required. The salon didn’t open their doors, for they have been shut down by local laws. When Nancy became the object of the day’s news, she blamed it all on the salon which played some kind of dirty trick on her. She said she takes responsibility for allowing herself to be “set up” by the salon. I suspect she’s going to have to find a new salon after all this.They were not allowed to be open and opened just for her. Her haircut even trumped the news that the Stock Market today his the highest point ever. Go figure.

The Portland mayor, has been chased out of his home by rioters who broke into his condominium, but he has a number of other homes, so it is apparently not a big deal. Joe Biden, having demonized Donald Trump for going to Kenosha, is now going to go to Kenosha himself, but he will commiserate with the parents of the dead and be compassionate and kind and that will make all the difference.

Looks like we may have a covid vaccine this fall, by October or November. Dr. Scott Atlas, Presidential advisor has sharply dissented with media accusations that it is being rushed because of the election, and said the development is carefully following all the protocols. It is just going well.

The Covid crisis is just another weapon they want to use against President Trump. He’s done pretty well with a disease that we didn’t know anything about when it arrived. Trump shut down all air traffic from China immediately and acted quickly to get ventilators, masks, and all the supplies hospitals across the country might need. Even Democrat governors were praising him for his quick response to their needs.

Expect more. More riots, more shootings, more statue attackers. More demands for reparations. Some have even demanded that the Mayor of Washington D.C. tear down the Washington Monument because George Washington once owned slaves. If you have ever seen it, it is a rather large object.

History is what happened in the past. Changing names, altering buildings, tearing down statues does not change a thing. What happened in the past — happened. We can learn from the past, but we cannot change it. You might remind others of that simple fact.



What Do You Mean “Free” ? by The Elephant's Child

Americans put a lot of emphasis, when thinking about what being an American means, on being free. But what precisely they mean by “free” is not really all that clear. Socialism promises equality .If we just adopt Socialism we will all be “equal” which, of course is nonsense.  Whatever qualities you may possess, they are probably not the same as those the guy standing next to you possesses. So what is it we have in mind when we celebrate being “free”?

I think perhaps the important point is the freedom to rise. We can strive to become whatever it is that we want to be or become, and work towards that goal, with whatever effort and skill we can muster. There are no guarantees that we will make it, but we are free to keep trying, or to change goals, or even to give up.  If you consider what life was like for ordinary Englishmen in 1620, they had a lot of incentive to try for something better, and were willing to risk a lot to try for it. Rising out of their station in life may have been possible for the elites or the educated, but inventions, new ideas, growing, prospering, not so much.

If I asked you to sit down with a pencil and paper and list the Americans who have risen from obscurity to unbelievable wealth, you would be able to come up with quite a few names. It’s commonplace. That’s why I was so taken with the story of the young black man in Columbus Ohio, who had walked three miles every day to the public library that offered homework help. Some sneered at the “3 miles every day” but that extra effort got him acceptance from 22 different colleges and universities for admission. That story didn’t seem to get much attention, but given a few years he will either be heading a large corporation or performing surgery in a major hospital. Whatever he wants. That is the real meaning of being free. If you are a parent of school children, you might want to point that out.



Democrats Are Trying to Blame Trump for COVID-19 by The Elephant's Child

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Democrats keep trying to rid us of President Donald Trump, they tried impeachment, several times. They loathe Trump, but they just can’t figure out how to get rid of him and his systematic repeal of Obama’s progressive project. The problem is that the Democrats just want to be in control. Just what it is that they expect to accomplish when they manage to get control isn’t really clear, and there’s the rub.

The current best idea seems to be blaming him for the Corona Virus. If they can just manage to establish that he didn’t respond quickly enough, professionally enough, carefully enough or something like that, then they can blame him for all of the Covid-19 deaths. That would take care of him!

The first COVID-19 deaths in the United States happened a few miles north of my house when a visitor to a nursing home who had just returned from Wuhan, China infected the residents. President Trump quickly banned any and all flights from China. He referred to it as the China virus or the Wuhan virus. (Outcry. Racial prejudice, etc.) Got automobile companies making ventilators, everybody making masks, hospital ships in New York harbor and in California, Cruise ships anchored, military setting up emergency hospitals in tents in public parks and in parking garages. Experts called in to advise.

Of course they don’t mention that, they talk about results. Here are the five COVID-19 Charts Democrats are anxious to hide. Click on the link. Copy and save the link. Share it with family and friends!

This is from http://www.issues&insights.com, a fairly new website founded by the writers from Investors Business Daily, and is excellent. It has become one of my favorites. They even feature Michael Ramirez’s wonderful political cartoons.



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.



Good Ad. We Don’t See Very Many of Those! by The Elephant's Child



It Isn’t Really About Mail-In Ballots, But Your Right to Vote by The Elephant's Child

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Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer have made a big fuss about President Trump’s objections to a national vote by mail idea. They are even demanding that the United States Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy come testify to Congress immediately! The usual suspects, the New York Times, Washington Post, etc, have erupted with their usual horror to the idea that anyone could possibly object, and so on and so forth. Vote by Mail sounds good, until you look at the data.

According to the Gatestone Institute, the federal election assistance commission keeps tabs. Their data shows that 28 million ballots mailed since 2012 just vanished. Counted? forgotten? discarded? nobody knows. Hundreds of thousands did come back, but had defects that prevented them from being counted, and the voters who sent them have no idea that their ballots were not counted.

Democrats believe firmly that they are meant to be in charge. They were certain that Hillary, former First Lady, former Secretary of State, First Woman, would win the election against the TV celebrity and New York builder. They didn’t really consider any alternative. The fact that Hillary was soundly disliked, a compulsive liar, at State had killed her ambassador, his assistant and two Special Forces guys with her negligence escaped their notice. The unthinkable happened, and they have been trying to get rid of him ever since, something to impeach him for, Russian influence, anything, with the full cooperation of the media. It is hardly surprising that President Trump feels as if he is under constant attack — he is.

Mail-in voting is the current lightning rod, with some justification. Many different networks have accused President Trump of disrupting USPS operations for political gain, even going so far as to claim that he is carrying on a political crusade against the postal service in an effort to rewrite history. Nancy Pelosi announced that “The President has explicitly stated his intention to manipulate the Postal Service to deny eligible voters access to the ballot in pursuit of his own re-election. Alarmingly, the Postmaster General – a Trump mega-donor – has acted as an accomplice in the President’s campaign to cheat in the election, as he launches sweeping new operational changes that degrade delivery standards and delay the mail,” according to a press release from Ms. Pelosi.

The Postal Service is not required by the Constitution, USPS was created to be a financially independent and sustainable agency, responsible for gaining and maintaining it’s own revenue. Postmaster Louis DeJoy was not simply appointed for his Republican ties, but he has also made a fortune in shipping and logistics and had a company that was a contractor of the Postal Service for many years. He was unanimously chosen in May by the USPS Board of Governors who are “appointed by the president with advice and consent of the senate.” They have the capacity to adjust their nationwide processing and delivery network to meet projected Election and Political Mail volume.

There are many examples of recent voter fraud in the United States. In one local special election in Paterson, New Jersey, the “Postal Inspection Service found hundreds of ballots in one mailbox” as well as ballots that were “stolen (completed and empty) and filled out fraudulently, or were otherwise altered.”

People have confused the Postal Service’s picking up mailboxes with a truck and taking them away with some misdeeds, when they do it regularly to clean and repair mailboxes. Once you have decided on a conspiracy, everything looks like a conspirator.

Most countries ban mail-in ballots because they have seen massive vote fraud problems. Democrats may be to blame for the cuts at the Postal Service that are threatening their vote-by-mail scheme. The covid-lockdown has meant an induced reduction in overall mail volume.  USPS 3rd quarter results show First-Class mail revenue decreased by 6.4%. There is an enormous amount of vote fraud. Many people maintain more than one home, and vote in both places. Democrats are engaged in vote harvesting, when they go around and collect ballots from people who really can’t be bothered to vote.

As imperfect as it is, voting is one of our most important benefits or duties. Let’s fight to keep the process honest. Rejecting mail-in voting seems to be one of the questionable parts. We have mail-in voting here in Washington State, and Oregon does too. I am not at all convinced that it is working honestly. but then not much seems to be working correctly these days.




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