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.



And On the Other Side of the World…Crisis Erupts! by The Elephant's Child

While we are complaining about smoky air, there are a few towns that have completely burned up. Destroyed by fire. Some lives lost, I’m not clear if it is among the firefighters or just people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On the other side of the world, the world is watching to see if China’s Three Gorges Dam survives the flooding of the Yangtze River. Fascinating article.

That led to the Epoch Times and a long interview with Maura Moynihan, daughter of the former Senator and former Ambassador to China. She is an activist about Tibet, the plateau that controls all of Asia, and China and the CCP. If links in the article don’t get you there, just go to Epoch Times which will. My complaints about my view and the air quality pale in comparison. I may not sleep well tonight.  I learned a lot about geography, and the Chinese Communist Party, and the relations among the countries of Asia.

Moynihan suggests that the Chinese don’t know much about flood control, nor about building big environmentally sensitive dams, nor about constructing a dam to stand for years and withstand big floods. All the major rivers of Asia flow from the Tibetan Plateau, so it is a very very big deal indeed.



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.



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.



Portland, The National Bad Example by The Elephant's Child

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Portland, Oregon mayor Ted Wheeler (D) just wrote an angry public letter to President Trump:

Dear President Trump:

Yet again, you said you offered to aid Portland by sending in federal law enforcement to our city.

On behalf of the City of Portland: No thanks.

We don’t need your politics of division and demagoguery. Portlanders are onto you. We have already seen your reckless disregard for human life in your bumbling response to the COVID pandemic. And we know you’ve reached the conclusion that images of violence or vandalism are your only ticket to reelection. …

In Portland, we are focused on coming together as a community to solve the serious challenges we face due to systemic racism, a global pandemic and an economic recession.

I forget the exact number of days Portland has been under a siege of rioting, something like 89 or 90 that Portland has been a national symbol of a city completely out of control, a case study in Antifa and Blac Bloc violence that the national news media has used as the shining example of worst possible outcomes, surpassing even Seattle in the really bad example category. When they were attacking the Federal Courthouse and attempting to set the building on fire, unconcerned about workers inside, that did set some kind of new standard.

Seattle’s “CHOP” on Capitol Hill finally ended when rioters discovered just where Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan lived. Now the protesters have discovered Mayor Wheeler’s condominium and presented themselves there, though a condo on an upper floor is not as vulnerable as an ordinary house.

Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf has declared that the Left-wing group Antifa “absolutely” meets the standard worthy of condemnation as a “domestic terrorist group.” Whether that precludes some tougher action remains to be seen. As does the presence of rioters in Mayor Wheeler’s building. Mayor Wheeler is running for reelection.

In the meantime, we have Kenosha, Wisconsin. I have not been able to discover why it was the city of Kenosha that was selected to go up in flames. President Trump is sending in Federal help to bring back order to that city. He’s not going to stand for cities out of control and endangering ordinary folks lives, which seems the correct thing to do.

There is more talk now about civil war,which should have been impossible. But there is so much going on that should have been impossible. Senator Rand Paul and his wife and another woman were accosted and threatened by a mob when they attempted to walk across the street from the White House to their hotel which was just on the other side. They weren’t sure they could make it, even with police protection and feared for their lives.

Democrats are beginning to realize they  made a major mistake in excusing and encouraging “systemic racism” and race riots over the death of George Floyd, and defunding the police. They are dimly beginning to realize that the American people don’t like riots. Who knew? We apparently need more policing, not less It has been confirmed that George Floyd died of a massive overdose of fentanyl, apparently a enough to have killed him twice over. Things are not always as they seem at first glance.

We will, as the Chinese proverb goes, apparently continue to “live in interesting times.”



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.



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



Its Getting Very Strange Out There! by The Elephant's Child

It’s getting so every time I start to write, I’m inclined to start with something like “It’s getting weird out there.”It is hard to address an event or accomplishment because the accusations flow so abundantly, and fiercely.

President Trump announced two days ago an historic peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. This is a very big deal in a region that seems always to be on the verge of war.

The President, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed released a joint statement Thursday in which they agreed to the “full normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.”

This means embassies, talks, regular normal relations. In that region this is an enormous breakthrough. Talking things over regularly has some major advantages over a shooting war. Yet the media was not particularly interested, they had more important attacks on the president to offer.

In the meantime, President Trump is accused of personally causing the deaths of every American who has died from the Corona virus. He is accused of destroying the U.S. Postal Service, He is accused of being racist, sexist, evil, being a dictator, and a white supremacist as well. The President’s younger brother who has been seriously ill, passed away, and the media couldn’t even write decently about that.

If they can’t find something horrendous to blame him for, they turn to Hollywood celebrities ( those who have some kind of name recognition) who can be counted on for an insulting comment. It is indeed getting weird out there.



The People of Seattle Want to Recall Mayor Jenny Durkan by The Elephant's Child

The people of Seattle, at least some of them, are attempting to recall Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. A federal judge has just allowed their effort to proceed, at which point the feckless Mayor Durkan has appealed to the State Supreme Court. HALP!! The Seattle City Council, also a feckless bunch, has defunded the Seattle Police Force by $100 million, and laid off 100 policemen, preferably black ones. Do they have no understanding of what their actions will produce?

Austin Texas has apparently followed suit, gutting their police budget by one third, in order to fund Planned Parenthood, the abortion factory. Austin leads the country in percentage increase of total homicides compared to the previous year, passing Chicago, New York and Los Angeles according to the Wall Street Journal. There are always consequences.

Conservative states are being flooded with applications from policemen in troubled states who are being defunded and disrespected and want to move.

Democrats’ goal is always control, ever more complete control, but they just don’t seem to have any familiarity with consequences. There are always consequences. If you push the table too hard, the glasses fall off. If you drink too much coffee you won’t be able to get to sleep. Why the Seattle City Council can assume that there will be no consequences from defunding the police force and laying off 100 policemen is unfathomable, but one can be assured that one of the most notable will be dead bodies. And the responsibility for those deaths will go to the City Council. But that won’t be the end of it. Many of the Seattle small businesses are not planning to reopen, but to go somewhere else where there is police protection and the police are respected.

It’s not easy for small businesses to make enough money to survive and prosper. That is, after all, what our free enterprise economic system promises. If you have courage and work hard, you can succeed and perhaps even get rich. Democrats don’t like that. Odd, but they are just sure that everything would work better if they just had more complete control. So there you are.



Despite the Best Efforts of the Media, Some Glimmers of Hope! by The Elephant's Child

Small glimmers of progress. The New York Times now admits that Seattle’s CHOP was not the ‘Block party’ they claimed it was. Portland’s Mayor partially defunded the Cops in June and now the bodies are piling up. New York had a mail in Vote, and the results have been Lax deadlines, late ballots, carelessness, missing postmarks.  The Democrats got wiped out in the Louisiana election, and the press is trying to keep it quiet. And a New York City Democrat just called Bill DeBlasio the “Worst Mayor in the History of This Great Country.” Here in Seattle hundreds of ordinary citizens turned out at City Hall to protest and let them know that they liked the police and weren’t happy with City Hall. One has to grasp at those small bits of progress. It all takes time. You mean that if you defund the police crime goes up and people get killed? But,  but…

Another Democrat City Councilman announced that hydroxychloroquine saved his life. I thought that once Trump suggested that it works, it became impossible for anyone to use. .

On the other hand, Bureaucrats at the space agency NASA wanted to show that they were as woke as anyone else, so they are checking out all the names of celestial objects to display their sensitivity. The planetary nebula NGC 3392 which is blowing off outer layers at the end of its life will no longer be called the “Eskimo Nebula”.  and NGC 3568, a pair of spiral galaxies found in the Virgo Galaxy Cluster will no longer be referred to as the “Siamese Twin Galaxy.” Do read that one for a stunning picture of the “Horsehead Galaxy” which doesn’t look much like the head of any horse I’ve known, and I have been pitched off a few.

But what to do about the celestial objects named for women? There’s Portia, one of the moons of Uranus, and Venus, and Pandora. And yes we won’t mention the other obvious problem there. They have already gone way too far with the “sensitivity” bit. and wandered off into absurdity. Don’t get me off on destruction of statues of Columbus again.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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