American Elephants


The Strange Adventures of the Venus of Willendorf and Mark Zuckerberg by The Elephant's Child

This pudgy figure, the Venus of Willendorf, is to be found in the Naturhistorische  Museum in Vienna, Austria. She is a fertility figure, without face or feet, and one of the oldest sculptures we know. She was found in 1908 near Willendorf, Austria. She is a lonely representative of Stone Age sculpture, approximately from 28,000 — 25,000 years B.C.  She is carved of Oolitic limestone in the Paleolithic Period or the ‘Old Stone Age’. She’s about 4½” tall, and was covered with red ocher paint when found. An image of the work was posted on Facebook by Laura Ghianda last year, and removed as ‘inappropriate content’—despite four attempts to appeal the decision.

Ghianda, who is an activist, denounced the Facebook ruling,  The Museum protested in January requesting that the Venus be allowed to remain naked, and of course great fun was made of Facebook, and a spokesperson for Facebook apologized in March, saying that they had confused the post in question with an advertisement. “Our policies do not allow nudity or implied nudity, but we have an exception for statues.” Ms. Ghianda has launched an online petition asking that Facebook change its algorithms that are censoring art online. And so it goes in the halls of Silicon Valley.

Silicon Valley has a lot riding on its algorithms, and people are getting a little testy about being banned or wanting someone banned. The companies depend on their algorithms to help them define who is likely to be a customer for what to tell their advertisers about how much they are going to have to pay for an advertisement on a particular page, which is why you get ads for shirts when you were just looking at shirts on someone else’s website. And future gadgets and photos of you and yours will tell them even more. They want to know everything useful about you, so they can monetize it . Privacy is a thing of the past.

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Adventures with Cats, as Promised. by The Elephant's Child
February 24, 2018, 7:49 pm
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Health Care, Heartwarming, History, Humor | Tags: , ,

I have two cats. They are indoor cats. Our neighborhood is a wooded Seattle suburb, with streams and parks and a botanical garden, which means that we have coyotes, racoons, owls and other wildlife dangerous to cats, not to mention cars. We have a deck, sunny most of the year, where they can safely go outside. One is a black and white Tuxedo cat named Scarlett, after Scarlett O’Hara who was adored by men who were captivated by her charm, but a bitch underneath, and she rules the roost. The other is a grey and silver cat with a white chest and paws in an indescribable color mixture, larger than Scarlett. but completely cowed. Pretty though. Both female. The latter is Sabrina, because she came with that name. Sabrina had to go to the vet on Thursday for her annual check-up, rabies shot and a rash all over her head and in her ears. Battery of usual tests. Drops for ears. $$$

Friday. Missing cat. Where is Sabrina? Combed the house, granted, it’s a fairly large house with too much stuff, but cannot find the cat. Searched the house again. The elephant did another thorough search. I did a thorough search. The elephant began to wonder if Sabrina got out when he took out the garbage on Thursday night. I searched the house again, looking for unusual hidey-holes. No cat. Colder than the proverbial whatever outside, will the missing cat freeze? The Elephant searched around the house, searched the shed, under the car, under the deck. Consulted the neighbors and searched around their houses. No cat.

We once had a cat who shot outside when I opened the front door and disappeared. Never saw him again, presumably a victim of wildlife. We belong to a neighborhood online message board. Put in an urgent cry “Lost Cat”. Many neighbors responded, nobody had seen a cat, but kind wishes for her safe return. Have a full-length mirror in one corner of the spare bedroom. Hours pass, gets dark. Frantic. Lo and behold — there she is, curled up, hiding in the corner behind the mirror. Responded to kind neighbors, thanks for good wishes, Cat found.

Found cat falls over, cannot walk straight, eyes all squiggly. Aaagh! Late and very cold. Vet long since gone home. Call the emergency vet and take the cat right in. Problem is with ears, may have a punctured ear-drum or just  overenthusiastic ear cleaning. Prescribes Dramamine for the inner ear problem which  causes the falls and drunken sailor stagger. Elephant returns with Sabrina, heads to 24-hr pharmacy for Dramamine. $$$  Have to chop people pills down to size for cat. Cat’s eyes all darting uncontrollably back and forth, she can’t walk right, falls over. Goes to sleep in kitty litter, thankfully, clean. Kind neighbors thank us for thanks. One offers that they lost their cat for 2 days and eventually found her hiding in the garage — because CAT.  That pretty much sums it up.

Both cats get medicine in pill-shooter, followed with syringe of water. Each must avoid the other’s food. Scarlett is fine, gaining weight and cannot get enough to eat. Sabrina asleep in a basket in a large box. Eyes better, ear medicine 2x a day, Dramamine 2x day. So far, so good. But must eat, and won’t.

This will be deeply uninteresting to those who have no pets, or only a dog. I have always had pets, multiple. When I was born, my parents got a new puppy, half St.Bernard, half Great Pyrenees. We were inseparable. He was followed by more St.Bernards, bunnies at Easter, a spaniel/shepherd mix, multiple cats, a relay racehorse, who departed quickly when she ran away with me when she tried to outrun a logging truck, and was replaced by a more amenable steed, two Shelties, a Siamese cat, and a beloved Lab. Adventures with animals. If you have no pets, you don’t know what you’re missing.



When Congress Sang Happy Birthday to President Reagan by The Elephant's Child

A brief trip back in history: when Congress sang Happy Birthday to President Ronald Reagan.

It’s interesting to think about how our politics and national life have changed by the constant presence of cameras. The lives of miscreants have become far more risky since there are almost always people present with phones in their pockets to take their picture. But now even history has changed. What was once a rare filmed event, is now choosing between different versions. Events are not only recorded, but photoshopped, people are added or subtracted from the scenes.

This was February 6, 1987. Apparently this was the day of the State of the Union Speech, and the happy birthday song was saved until the end of the speech, which was eliminated to capture the song. An historic occasion. You don’t often get Congress all singing the same song in good humor.

Thanks to Weasel Zippers for the link



Delusions of Leftist Activism: Jordan Peterson by The Elephant's Child

The delusions of leftist activism, and trying to explain it to one of the deluded. Global warming, and the poor soul is sure that New York City will be under water all too soon, and he wants to go out and protest and make somebody do something. And he does not grasp that is just what Jordan Peterson was talking about. It is all quite symbolic of just what is going on in our culture today. Everybody wants to be an activist. It’s fun to carry signs and shout with all your friends, and with your activism you can change the world. No you can’t. Changing something starts with learning the facts, and doing actual steps that alleviate some part of it. Shouting and waving signs means you want someone else to fix it. But who, and when and how? Jordan Peterson is, as always, delightful.



Visit Steven Hayward’s Week in Pictures. You Deserve a Good Laugh! by The Elephant's Child

Every week at Powerline, Steven Hayward does a roundup of “The Week In Pictures.” This week we seem to have been even funnier than usual.  It has indeed been an interesting week, and American cartoonists had a rousing good time.



A Panicky Pelosi Claims Conspiracy and Distortion. by The Elephant's Child


We await the release of the Memo from the House Intelligence Committee. It is a four page document supposedly referring to the use of the Fusion GPS misinformation to obtain FISA Court permission to surveil and/or wiretap the Trump Campaign, and/or to unmask names. In other words nobody really seems to have a clue.  But—Democrats are having a near nervous breakdown attempting to prevent the release, or make sure that everyone understands that it is inaccurate, false, misleading or something like that, which would seem to indicate that they are scared to death of the reaction.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote to Speaker Paul Ryan demanding that he remove Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) as chairman of the Intelligence Committee for releasing the “bogus memo that has taken the GOP ‘s cover-up campaign to a new, completely unacceptable extreme.”

Both the DOJ and FBI oppose releasing the Nunes memo. As the Department of Justice warned, the public release of the memo would be an “unprecedented action” and “extraordinarily reckless.” The FBI also expressed that the agency has “grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”

It has now come to our attention that Congressman Nunes deliberately and materially altered the contents of the memo since it was voted on by the House Republicans. This action is not only dangerous, it is illegitimate, and violates House rules.

The committee says they cleaned up the punctuation and some spelling, or something like that. Democrats attempt to discredit Chairman Nunes in advance of the release does seem to be a little bit much. An MSNBC analyst asked two Democrat lawmakers if Chairman Nunes was “compromised by the Russians” or a “Russian agent.”

Here’s Andrew McCarthy’s post today, in which he says the FBI and Democrats don’t have good reasons for wanting to prevent it’s disclosure to the public.Andy, as a former Federal Prosecutor, has been clear and informative on this whole process.

Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent, I believe, suggests that the Obama administration was wiretapping and investigating illegally, the Trump Campaign, which they thought was safe because Hillary would win, and now they are having to go back and do a cover-up after the fact, a kind of interference in an election that would be one of the worst scandals in American history.

All rumor, innuendo, guesswork and suspicion, but it’s getting really interesting. Nancy Pelosi is doing a great job of stirring up interest with her panicky accusation of conspiracy theories and attacks on Committee members.

Picture is a screen shot from Weasel Zippers



For Your Notebook of Quotations by The Elephant's Child

 

“This willingness to accept present discomfort and risk for the hope of future riches that so characterized these immigrants, and the millions who would follow over the next two centuries, has had a profound, if immeasurable effect on the history of the American economy. Just as those who saw no conflict between worshiping God and seeking earthly success in the seventeenth century, those who sought economic independence in the eighteenth had a profound impact on the emerging American culture.”
……………………………………………………………………An Empire of Wealth
……………………………………………………………………John Steele Gordon

“None of this should surprise anyone. Contrary to what they tell you (and tell you, and tell you) Progressives don’t have principles. Rather they have faddish opinions that are highly unstable and often contradictory.”
……………………………………………………………………Kathryn Shaidle
……………………………………………………………………Taki’s Magazine

“I have struggled for years to explain that politicians who cant about fairness don’t mean equal treatment or justice, or indeed, any practical outcome whatsoever, What they really mean is that they’re nice people and they’re prepared to prove how nice they are with your money.”
…………………………………………………………………….Daniel Hannan
…………………………………………………………………….MEP for East Anglia

“We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before, and it does not work….We have never made good on our promises. I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started…and an enormous debt to boot.”
……………………………………………………………………..Henry Morgenthau Jr.
……………………………………………………………………..FDR’s Treasury Secretary
……………………………………………………………………..Architect of the New Deal

The Liberal project makes no sense. Liberals cannot articulate basic principles such as conservatives do. Conservatives talk about the rights enumerated in the Declaration and argue about freedom and liberty. Liberals, even when requested to come up with principle—cannot. The lesson is simple. Their principles are all negatives: things that are not fair: slavery—race—women as chattel, who could not vote.
……………………………………………………………………..Never Enough
……………………………………………………………………..William Voegeli

You do have a notebook of quotations, don’t you?




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