American Elephants


A Screen Capture from Twitter! by The Elephant's Child
March 20, 2020, 4:39 pm
Filed under: China, Humor, News, Politics | Tags: , ,
A  screen capture from Twitter, on the 18th of March. I know nothing beyond what is shown here, but —ELEPHANTS !!!  We care about elephants.

Corono she better don’t
@Spilling_The_T
While humans carry out social distancing, a group of 14 elephants broke into a village in Yunan province, looking for corn and other food. They ended up drinking 30kg of corn wine and got so drunk that they fell asleep in a nearby tea garden.

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A Bit of History That You Probably Never Knew by The Elephant's Child

The photo is from Venezuela, a line of hungry people trying to get groceries, and scarce toilet paper. Here in the Seattle area we are having runs on toilet paper, people are desperately trying to stock up. Some stores are limiting how many packages of rolls one may buy. We have a delivery of groceries coming on Monday, and won’t know until then how much, if any, toilet paper will be included with the order. Thanks to Covid-19.

That leads those of us who read a lot to check into the history of toilet paper, and a lot of people are doing so. You may know that the “slang term” for the toilet is “the crapper.” This is not a bad word for the facility, but the name of the gentleman, Thomas Crapper, who patented his valve and siphon design in 1891. Philadelphia was the first city that switched entirely to cast iron pipes for their new system of water delivery.

Chicago was the first city in the country in 1885, to have a comprehensive sewer system. The Tremont Hotel in Boston was the first hotel of its kind to feature indoor plumbing for guests in 1829. Eight water closets were built by Isaiah Rogers. Until that time indoor water closets were commonly found in the homes of the rich and in luxury hotels.  Soon soap was introduced during bathing,(!) and it was adapted widely for hygiene purposes. Think about that one, with what you know of history in general. Before there were comprehensive sewer systems, there was often a town pump where you went with your bucket. We live in such an age of invention that it’s hard to think about previous generations as not having them. My mother bought her first television so she could see the first moon landing. But there was a time when someone in the family bought their first toilet, and someone first bought toilet paper. Before that the pages of the Sears and Roebuck catalog usually were used.

The first water pipes were discovered by archeologists in the Indus River in India, dating back to 4000-3000 B.C. Egyptian ruler Menes supported a thriving civilization by constructing canals, irrigation ditches, and basins.

This comes from a History of Plumbing Timeline: The Invention of Indoor Plumbing posted by John C. Flood of Virginia, apparently a plumbing company. Do take the time to visit it and learn a bit about our history that you probably never knew. Always good for starting a new conversation at a boring party.



Last Night’s Vicious Democrat Debate by The Elephant's Child

Democratic Debate last night. I did not watch, since I think they’re all loons. It was apparently a vicious time with everybody attacking everybody else. Bloomberg, Biden and Sanders all lead in different primary states.

President Donald Trump’s “Hire American,” low-immigration policy is giving American employees a larger share of company profits, so the federal government should raise the supply of foreign workers, according to a mournful editorial column in the Wall Street Journal.

“Corporate profits have been declining as employers increase wages to hire scarce blue-collar workers … corporate profits could soon drop to historic lows, which could reduce business investment and GDP growth,” says the editorial board’s complaint, titled “America’s Disappearing Workers.”

The candidates are not doing their homework, nor are their staffs. They  hardly seem to know what is going on in the country. Part of it is illusion, about the Russians, the President, and of course the panic about climate doom. Nobody seems to want to study up on what the scientists have to say, if the saintly Greta Thunberg says it’s a problem, well there you go. Straight from the mouth of an autistic 17 year old.

Start with this: “Over 440 Scientific Papers Published in 2019 Support a skeptical position on Climate Alarm.” There is a great deal of doubt that anthropogenic CO² emissions function as the control knob  of the climate. As I have remarked many times before, back in 2015, Christiana Figueres, who was general secretary of the IPCC  (the International Panel on Climate Change) in early February remarked in a news conference that the object of the Climate Crisis was not to save the Earth from climate doom, but as the best chance they had to eliminate Capitalism from the world. And do read the post just below by Ian Plimer, about the history of world climate.

Bernie Sanders, Socialist candidate, wants to eliminate fracking, apparently unaware that the replacement of large amounts of oil and gasoline with clean natural gas has meant that the United States has eliminated more CO² than any other nation on earth, because of the vast plenitude of natural gas made available by the technique of fracking. I’m rather fond of Capitalism myself.  Our huge supplies of natural gas are quite damaging to the Russian economy, and Iran, for they count on selling their oil to the Europeans, who would much rather have clean natural gas.

If you’ve got Fareed Zakaria doubting you, maybe there’s some hope.



More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About St.Valentine’s Day by The Elephant's Child
February 15, 2020, 12:29 am
Filed under: Heartwarming, History, Humor, Politics | Tags: , ,

What an odd holiday Valentine’s Day is! Stopped by Safeway on the way home, and the store was festooned with Valentine’s Day balloons, and of course, all sorts of flowers, and lots of candy, preferably in red heart boxes for those busy gentlemen on their way home who didn’t dare arrive empty handed.

Online at home, I was startled by this picture  at Powerline blog. Took me right back to grade school. Nasty little candies festooned with idiot sayings. All the kids got a big very cheap packet of valentines, that you punched out of  cardboard sheets, to put in the class Valentine box, usually something like a hatbox, decorated by the teacher with a slot in the top. Some kids gave a valentine to everybody, some just to their close friends, and it was a test of popularity to see who got the most cards. I’d forgotten, it was so long ago.

But who was St. Valentine and why do we celebrate him with heart-shaped boxes of candy? He was apparently some sort of priest or even a bishop in the 3rd Century in Rome, born around AD 226. He died on February 14, 269. He ministered to persecuted Christians, was martyred and his body buried at a Christian cemetery on the Via Flamina close to the Ponte Milvio to the north of Rome. Relics of him were kept in the Church and Catacombs of San Valentino in Rome, which remained an important pilgrim site throughout the Middle Ages. February 14 has been observed  as the Feast of Saint Valentine since 496 AD.  From Wikipedia:

The Catholic Encyclopedia and other hagiographical sources speak of three Saints Valentine that appear in connection with February 14. One was a Roman priest, another the bishop of Interamna (modern Terni, Italy) both buried along the Via Flaminia outside Rome, at different distances from the city. The third was said to be a saint who suffered on the same day with a number of companions in the Roman province of Africa, of whom nothing else is known.

Though the extant accounts of the martyrdoms of the first two listed saints are of a late date and contain legendary elements, a common nucleus of fact may underlie the two accounts and they may refer to a single person. According to the official biography of the Diocese of Terni, Bishop Valentine was born and lived in Interamna and while on a temporary stay in Rome he was imprisoned, tortured, and martyred there on February 14, 269. His body was hastily buried at a nearby cemetery and a few nights later his disciples retrieved his body and returned him home.

There seem to be around seven different St. Valentines. The Roman Emperor Claudius took a liking to Valentinus until Valentinus tried to convince him to embrace Christianity, when Claudius refused, and condemned Valentinius to either renounce his faith or he would be beaten with clubs and beheaded. Valentinius refused and was executed in that manner, on February 14 in 269.

Valentinius artifacts (including his bones) have traveled as far as Ireland, where believers and lovers and tourists come, particularly on Valentines’ Day. His body, in 269, was hastily buried at a nearby cemetery and a few nights later his disciples retrieved his body and returned him home.

Saint Valentinius, one account runs, wrote a letter to Asterius’s daughter signed “from your valentine,”which is where the cards come from. Lots of legends have been added to the story.  One says that Valentine secretly performed Christian weddings for couples, allowing the husbands involved to escape conscription.  Supposedly, in order to remind these men of their vows and God ‘s love, Valentinius cut hearts from parchment giving them to these soldiers and persecuted Christians, possibly the origin of the use of hearts on St. Valentine’s Day.

Somewhere under all that is a true story, embroidered and vaguely historical that results in heart-shaped boxes of candy, sugary sweet Valentine cards, and husbands rushing to the grocery store on their way home from work to appear with an armload of flowers and a red heart box of candy, for the love of their life.



Happy Valentine’s Day! by American Elephant
February 14, 2020, 2:38 am
Filed under: Humor, Pop Culture | Tags: , ,

Valentines Elephants

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Being of the male of the species, I’ve never much understood the importance some place on the holiday. Let’s face it, Valentine’s Day is nothing more than a concoction of the greeting-card industry to promote the sales of schmaltzy valentines. And as a holiday, it’s kind of a rip-off — if even the most perfectly executed Valentine’s Day gesture doesn’t excuse one from being romantic the rest of the year, then, really, what’s the point?

That said, I should point out that Elephants are known to be very partial to chocolate truffles.

[reposted from previous years]



All The Excitement of Oscar Night! by The Elephant's Child

Oscar night. I didn’t watch. No interest. I have had to listen for months to Hollywood “celebrities” extolling their hatred for the President of the United States, TDS, and unfortunately, their general ignorance of economics and law. Tiresome and annoying. I returned the favor by not viewing any Hollywood movies this year at all.. Did watch a British movie or two. If they find that box office receipts are down or that interest in the Oscars has dropped off, they have only themselves to blame.

Who is a celebrity? In general, someone who has accomplished something and has been extolled in the press. In Hollywood, it’s often someone who has a good press agent, who gets a big salary for getting their celebrity-to-be’s name in the press. Once someone becomes a certified celebrity, then it’s a quick and easy report for the press, whose jobs depend on filling the reports of online news or the pages of a newspaper. So the lazy way is always to call up some celebrity to see if they have a comment.

Photo: Jonathan  Schmer

ADDENDUM: Ho Ho ho! Breitbart:s John Nolte article: WOKETARD OSCAR RATINGS COLLAPSE 20 PERCENT TO ALL-TIME LOW

Oh, well, except for the fact that Sunday night’s telecast ended up being exactly what those of us who refused to watch knew it would be: Three-plus hours of elitists hectoring and lecturing the rest of us to make sacrifices they never will.

The whole night was smug and pompous and sanctimonious and hypocritical.

The whole night was filled with man-hating and self-congratulations… It was appalling.

The whole night was filled with small, petty, mean-spirited, divisive, spiritually-unattractive blowhards who obviously hate most of their customers, but who are so bubbled and spoiled and privileged and sheltered, they not only feel no need to hide that hatred and contempt, they believe that by being boorish and insulting and off-putting, it will actually boost their standing within a failing industry held together by literal spandex.

Second Post: AXLEROD WARNS APATOW; HOLLYWOOD’S TRUMP-BASHING MAY HURT DEMOCRATS

David Axelrod, who managed Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns and worked as a senior advisor to the president in the Obama administration, told film director Judd Apatow that Hollywood’s hostility toward President Donald Trump may be damaging the Democrat Party’s political fortunes in Middle America.

I won’t say I told you so, but I told you so.



The Perils of Celebrity! by The Elephant's Child

I mentioned this in the last post, but didn’t have the evidence in hand, but it found me today.

Nicky Rothschild Hilton has a  “high low” approach to fighting climate change – wear vintage Chanel and take the subway.

“I am here in support of [sustainable fashion brand] Maison de Mode … So I pulled out an old Alice + Olivia skirt and wore a vintage Chanel bag, and I took the subway here,” she told us at Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street. “I took the 6. I feel like I am doing my part.”

Hilton was also spotted at the opening of the Winter Show at the Park Avenue Armory — the annual art market that benefits The Bronx’s East Side House Settlement — and she reportedly said of the chic pencil skirt she was wearing while admiring a $24,000 sculpture of a cat, “It was $75 from Instagram.”

Ah, the perils of celebrity! But the Swedes have just nominated Greta Thunberg for the Nobel Peace Prize. Greta plans to trademark her name and the “Fridays for Future” campaign in a move meant “to protect the movement and its activities” she wrote on Instagram on Wednesday. She said she and her strikers have “absolutely no interest in trademarks, but unfortunately it needs to be done.”

The trademarks would cover the 17-year-old Swede’s name, as well as the name of the “Fridays for Future” movement and ‘Skolstrejk för klimatet’ (which translates as “School strike for the climate” in Swedish), the slogan on a sign she held during her weekly solo climate protests outside of Sweden’s parliament which inspired similar protests by other activists.

“Fridays For Future is a global movement founded by me. It belongs to anyone taking part in it, above all the young people. It can — and must — not be used for individual or commercial purposes,” she added.

CFact reports that the Washington Post, under some delusion claims that  more plant growth is bad. It has been shown that global warming benefits plant growth, but that apparently worries them. They said:” We can’t recall the planet if we mess up. Climate change is risky business. They add an example: “The National Climate Assessment says there is at least a two-thirds chance that your asthma or hay fever will get worse because of climate change.”

As far as I can tell, “Climate Change” is simply this big scary thing that people are talking about. No one bothers to study up, read what the most respected scientists say, nor, for that matter to find out who the most respected scientists are. But that seems to be the way the public gets “informed.” They heard, or they read, or they saw. But that just doesn’t apply to “climate change” but to anything political, national, local or international. Our schools do not seem to be teaching that learning is a lifelong thing, and you have to keep working at it, because what we need to know is growing faster than was thought possible.




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