American Elephants


The Beautiful City of Portland, Oregon by The Elephant's Child

Here’s a travelogue for the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon. It’s the city where the Columbia River and the Willamette River (pronounced will Lam et, not willa met) meet and the latter flows right through the middle of the city.

Residents say”don’t go downtown, it’s too dangerous” The problem seems to be Antifa, some kind of vicious organization that claims to be anti-fascist with no understanding of what is and is not  fascist. They dress up in black, particularly black masks to hide their identity, break windows, set fires, beat on cars and threaten ordinary residents who do not do what they are told. Very much like Nazi jackboots of another era. What they want is unclear, other than what they do, which is beyond unacceptable. The Portland Police have chosen to refrain from getting involved, so they just watch, supported by the Mayor,

Occasionally we have an Antifa outbreak in Seattle, when there seems to be something worth rioting about. I don’t know whether it’s the same bunch or not. I don’t know what, if anything, they advocate, other than causing trouble and damage. Significant terms in jail might help. But apparently you are not supposed to do anything about a violent mob of Leftist rioters — someone might get hurt.

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Discarding The Shameful Past? by The Elephant's Child

Today is Columbus Day, the day we used to celebrate Columbus’s Discovery of America. Every schoolchild once learned “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” At least that gave kids one marker in world history. But alas, Columbus has become unfashionable. I believe that Columbus, Ohio is attempting to divest itself of any relationship. Kids no longer learn of the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Probably ended in the ’60s. That generation has a lot to answer for. Shelby Steele explained in the Wall Street Journal recently:

The genius of the left in the ’60s was simply to perceive the new moral imperative, and then to identify itself with it. Thus the labor of redeeming the nation from its immoral past would fall on the left. This is how the left put itself in charge of America’s moral legitimacy. The left, not the right—not conservatism—would set the terms of this legitimacy and deliver America from shame to decency.

This bestowed enormous political and cultural power on the American left, and led to the greatest array of government-sponsored social programs in history—at an expense, by some estimates, of more than $22 trillion. But for the left to wield this power, there had to be a great menace to fight against—a tenacious menace that kept America uncertain of its legitimacy, afraid for its good name. …

Today’s left lacks worthy menaces to fight. It is driven to find a replacement for racism, some sweeping historical wrongdoing that morally empowers those who oppose it.

Shelby Steele was mostly talking about racism, but stealing American lands from the natives and abusing them fits right in with the redemptive program, and surely Columbus was a prime suspect for all that followed of conquering the new lands of what would become Latin America.. and then America.

Human nature is fairly quarrelsome, families can’t get along, as you may have noticed.  We don’t need the Democrats attempting to redeem us from “our immoral past” in order to give themselves brownie points. We simply need to recognize the reality of human nature, and that we are not perfect nor perfectible. I am hardly suggesting that we should ignore bad behavior, but on the other hand, the current trend of trying to eliminate past history because you disapprove of it – is beyond silly. The idea that the students now in our colleges and universities will someday be in charge of the country is frightening.



Summing-Up, Fact Checking, Questioning, Digesting the News by The Elephant's Child

This seems to be a day of summing up. Trying to digest and make sense out of the past few weeks.Very much is about the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh, and the battle therein, from scenes of screaming protesters (female) having to be dragged out of a senate hearing room, to embarrassing revelations of the mindset of members of the media or protesters and commentators.

NBC reporter Ken Dilanian tweeted today that “States with varying population sizes should not get the same representation in the U.S. Senate.” Not fair! He was quoting a Washington Post article that said “Senators representing less than half the U.S. are about to confirm a nominee opposed by most Americans.” Um. Constitution. Senate has equal representation for all 50 states, directly because the states with large populations could overrule those with small populations. Basic. You’re fired.

—Is it possible there is hope for some small segment of the media? At American Thinker, Tom Lifson is astonished by a headline and a news story from, of all places, CNN.

—Why Republicans and sane people are celebrating the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh: Here’s a tweet from a writer on the Stephen Colbert show, who has nearly 40,000 followers on Twitter. (Apparently not blocked) One Ariel Dumas:
“Whatever happens, I’m just glad we ruined Brett Kavanaugh’s life.”

—Heather MacDonald in a post at City Journal titled “Trauma and Truth” says the confirmation of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court dealt the #Me Too and #Believe Survivors a major defeat. “Those feminist ideologies will continue wreaking havoc throughout American institutions—especially the claim that self-professed sexual assault victims deserve Unqualified belief.”

—A new well-funded Progressive group, linked to Democratic campaign organizations, is based on demonizing senior citizens. They have decided to attempt to turn younger voters against senior citizens. Identity group warfare is supposed to be another strategy for success at the polls. If they’ve got gray hair, attack them? The group in question is called ACRONYM according to CNN, Sept 24.

Acronym [is] a progressive nonprofit launched last year by veteran digital strategist Tara McGowan to help narrow the advantage Republicans had built in digital capacity.

A progressive group on Monday launched a $3 million voter registration campaign in the 36 states that allow online registration, with a focus on Arizona, Florida and Georgia, CNN reported.

Here’s their first campaign advertisement: Seems dumb to me, but they apparently have lots of financing.

—A 27 year-old congressional staffer has been arrested for posting on Wikipedia the private addresses of members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, what’s called “doxing” or releasing the private information of public  figures, witness tampering, threats, identity theft, and unlawful entry. For the media, he is a hapless overzealous intern, but it was a criminal act, particularly in the current climate when everybody who is anybody is getting death threats.

—And finally, retired reporter Don Surber listened to President Trump’s version of the Six O’Clock News in Topeka, Kansas. He found it “less biased, more factual and presented better.” but decided he’d better fact-check the man.



Inebriated With Their State’s Storied History, Californians… by The Elephant's Child

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I lived in California for a number of years, and absolutely loathe the place, so I’m inclined to enjoy the news from the state. I believe I mentioned that Governor Jerry Brown is planning to launch California’s own climate satellite to monitor climate-change pollutants.  I can remember the days when one dressed up to go into “the city.” Now the streets of San Francisco are so fouled with feces that  tourist organizations advocate avoiding the place.

As a state run by Democrats, California has the Democrat illusion that control of the population is a desirable thing. They are a sanctuary state, welcome illegals, and ban plastic drinking straws to save whatever sea life is bothered by them. Assembly Bill 1884 bans dine-in restaurants from automatically providing plastic straws to customers. Plastic straws can be provided if the customer requests one. Violators will be fined $25 per day.

Jerry Brown has just signed the nation’s toughest net neutrality measure, requiring internet providers to maintain a level playing field online. The move prompted an immediate lawsuit by the Trump administration. The new law prohibits internet providers from blocking or slowing data based on content or from favoring websites or video streams from companies that pay extra.  From what I understand, the new regulations protect consumers, but the tech companies don’t like them, but the whole thing is a bit beyond my pay grade.

Not to be outdone in their concern for the health of the climate, California has adopted a 100 percent renewable energy goal — a law mandating that 100 percent of the electricity in the state will come from emissions-free sources by 2045. I don’t think he means that they are going to build a lot of nuclear plants—he means wind and solar. Unfortunately wind and solar cannot produce dependable energy. Essentially, he is declaring war on carbon dioxide, what we exhale every time we breathe. The environmental costs of wind and solar are huge, and a major factor in the state’s high electricity rates. But neither produce dependable energy, and not in high enough quantity to service the population’s needs. Natural gas and nuclear would be a better choice, but putting nuclear plants on top of the San Andreas fault is probably not a good idea. Wind turbines kill a lot of birds, as do solar arrays. The turbines chop them up, and the solar cells fry them.

Such global warming as there is seems to be caused by the action of the sun. The small increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is greening the earth. Here’s satellite evidence for planetary greening caused by increasing carbon dioxide:

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These are trends in leaf area around the earth. Which feed hungry people around the world.
Civil Rights groups are suing the state because the climate regulations fall most heavily on those who can afford higher energy costs the least. California has the highest poverty rate in the nation.

And last but not least, (hee hee) San Francisco has passed an ordinance requiring public artwork to depict more women. Taxpayers, including women, will be stuck with the bill in this ridiculously expensive city. The new rule also requires the Arts Commission to put up a statue of Maya Angelou, who was once a San Francisco resident in the city’s main library.

When I lived in a San Francisco apartment briefly, about 5 or 6 blocks from the beach, there was a tidal wave alert. San Francisco residents rushed down to the beach to see the tidal wave.  (fortunately it was a dud. )



Urban Planning From the Science Fiction Department! by The Elephant's Child

We receive a community newspaper freebie, pitched on our driveway on the weekend, with coupons, ads, many many inserts and a couple of articles by young writers hoping to become journalists someday.

“The City Council hears report on gas tax replacement”. Cars are being made with more fuel efficiency and so revenue from the gas tax is going down. That won’t do. Must have more taxes.

“Bellevue speaks at self-driving car conference”  We had a panel of an associate professor, Dr. Anne Brown, at the University of Oregon, where she studies technology and urban planning, who looks to be about 26, and another young woman who is identified as the Seattle Department of Transportation new mobility strategic advisor  who appears to be several years younger. And some man with gray hair who is Bellevue’s transportation planner who did not speak. Here are some excerpts from the article:

Brown said that there are four main areas she is concerned with: land use, curb space management, parking and the revenue implications for municipalities.  (you will notice that people do not figure in her thinking)

One of the biggest impacts autonomous vehicles could have is reducing the need for parking, not only in public places, but in homes and apartments. In the near future, single-family home owners with a garage may opt to use self-driving car rideshare services, freeing up their garage to be converted into a “mother-in-law unit” or rental unit. On city streets , massive amounts of space reserved for parking could be converted into other uses.

Some parking for self-driving cars would still be needed, and city planners should think about where these could be  placed, Brown said. Vehicles in the U.S. are parked about 95 percent of the time, and if fewer people relied on single-occupant vehicles to get around it would unlock huge amounts of space in urban areas.

“Without that, it releases all this space to be re-imagined,’ she said.

For housing, if commutes are more enjoyable it could lead to more urban sprawl as people opt to live farther away and deal with more travel time.

I didn’t include the retail part, or the Seattle Department of Transportation’s new mobility strategic advisor, Shannon Walker, ( the one who looks to be maybe 25) mentioned that the city’s goal is to encourage carpooling instead of people buying their own self-driving cars in an attempt to curb traffic.

I have never heard any ordinary person say that they wanted a self-driving car, or would even ride in one. But perhaps I am talking to the wrong people.

These two women seem to have little familiarity with the lives of ordinary people. Like a family with two kids, one in grade school, one in junior high. The one in junior high has ball practice after school, the one in grade school has piano lessons one day a week. The mom works, picks up the kids after school and the dog at the doggy day care, and has to pick up some things she forgot at the grocery store. Another day, she has to get something at Home Depot. Her husband had to leave work early for a doctors appointment, and he’s going to get a haircut if he can.

Their next door neighbors have entirely different schedules, kids of different ages and interests, and so on down the block. The other people in their workplace scatter off all over the region, with different needs and different plans.

And do remember that this is from a weekly driveway freebie drop.

PLEASE COMMENT!

 I really want to know about your reaction.  And having committed yourself to a self-driving car, how do you get to the mountains or for skiing on the weekend? Your workout at the gym before work? Oh, you have to have a car for that? So much for turning the garage into a mother-in-law apartment. Trust a self-driving car on the mountain roads I love? Fat chance! There’s a 200 foot drop-off on the left.

Reported on the radio, they are planning to force us all into self-driving cars, centrally controlled, to take us to the nearest public transportation stop. Do you think we are headed for a civil war?



The Elevator Encounter Drama by The Elephant's Child

Democrats are congratulating themselves for their success in putting a bunch of activists in the elevator with Jeff Flake screaming about rape and coverups and women being attacked and the whole litany of Kavanaugh abuse. It got Jeff Flake in a panic and hence the delay and the new FBI investigation.

Their trick worked, so they are urging activists to get out there and get in their faces, etcetera. Right out of Maxine Water’s playbook. The uncertain or confused or wafflers can expect to be singled out, as can anyone else who shows interest in  or tolerance for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. “You look at me when I’m talking to you” one yelled.

(Remember those two men who called to say it was probably them, not Kavanaugh and offered  confirming information). We will probably never hear about them again.

The chant seems to be “We Believe Survivors” but Christine Blasey Ford is not a survivor, nor was she raped. Her complaint was that aside from not being able to remember quite where she was and with whom, the man put his hand over her mouth and groped her, and she was afraid he was going to kill her. There is no evidence that that person was Judge Brett Kavanaugh, and until there is such evidence, he must by law (and one would think—common decency) refrain from assuming guilt. That is the law in this country.



My Summary of the Entire Kavanaugh Extravaganza by The Elephant's Child

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The Kavanaugh nomination continues to dominate the news. Democrat propaganda efforts have seen to that. I don’t know just who does their propaganda, but they have become quite good at it. If you recall, with the women’s march, the bellyaching by feminists that they don’t yet occupy all the really important positions in the country, and of course, the #Me-Too movement, sexual abuse has become a big prominent deal.

Federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been nominated to the Supreme Court. Senator Charles Schumer has spoken out to say essentially that no, we cannot have a conservative or a Republican appointed to the Supreme Court, because Democrats have to be in the majority and in charge. As the time for Kavanaugh’s hearing approaches, lo and behold, at almost the very last minute Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has a letter from a woman who claims that Brett Kavanaugh abused her when they were in high school 36 years ago. Senator Feinstein has had the letter since July, but just didn’t think of making it public until just before the Kavanaugh hearing, Purely a coincidence of course.

The woman is identified as Christine Basely Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University. She claims that at a party 36 years ago the high school boys were all drunk, Kavanaugh held her down and put his hand over her mouth, and she was very frightened. When was this? She can’t really remember. Well, where was this? She can’t remember where the party was. She can’t remember how she got home. Did she tell anyone? About 12 years ago when she and her husband were in couples counseling, she suddenly remembered and told the therapist. Palo Alto University is a college for psychology and counseling.

Chairman Grassley says they will arrange to hear her on Monday. She will not come on Monday. She wants the FBI to investigate the whole thing before she will testify, because she has received death threats and nasty calls. The FBI doesn’t do investigations to determine who is right in a he-said she-said argument. Women’s march feminists assume, with help from Democrat propagandists that she was raped, but she has never claimed that as far as can be determined. She says she won’t testify until she can be protected because she is very frightened — death threats. The question seems to be can she drag out the contretemps long enough to get the Kavanaugh  nomination dumped? Raise enough suspicions? Etc. Etc. Etc.

Kavanaugh is adamant that it never happened. His friend from high school also says it never happened. Many women who knew Kavanaugh in high school say Kavanaugh was always a perfect gentleman. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Hollywood celebrities, whose names I do not recognize, but I’m not very up-to-date, are quick to chime in and demand that Ford be given a hearing, #Me-Too, Etc. Etc. Etc. Why are we forced to listen to Hollywood celebrities who are famous because they once appeared on a screen somewhere, who know nothing whatsoever, but demand to be listened to because they once appeared on a screen somewhere? They have no claim to any expertise, they just like to sound off, and lazy reporters can just pick up what they said online.

That’s my best summary of what is happening. Let me know if my summary is haywire. The propaganda is skillful, the Democrats are deeply opposed to the Constitution and want it abolished, because it is a brake on their quest for control. They particularly hate the Electoral College, citizenship laws, free speech, the first and second amendments, and most of the rest of it as well. Obama used to say that the Constitution was wrong because it said what the government may not do, to the people, and it should have said what the government must do — for the people.

ADDENDUM: Here’s Breitbart’s timeline of events, far more comprehensive than mine. The Thursday date would apparently make it too late for Kavanaugh to be confirmed for the new court session, which begins October 1.   Democrats have again “suggested” that Clarence Thomas is a proven sexual predator, With the  Thursday date for testimony, the Democrats’ game is exposed. They are not nice people, and they play very dirty. And their goal is power and control.

Here’s Powerline’s list of Ms. Ford’s demands:

Citing “sources,” Fox News’ Shannon Bream reports on the demands Christine Blasey Ford and her legal team are making as a condition for her testifying about her allegations against Brett Kavanaugh:

Ford team wants NO questions from lawyers, only Qs from Committee members, #Kavanaugh cannot be in the room, Kavanaugh must testify FIRST – more to come …

These demands are absurd. No questions from lawyers? I guess Ford wants to be able to claim she’s being persecuted by an all-white-male panel. She doesn’t want a woman to examine her, which I imagine is what the Republicans have in mind.

ADDENDUM II

Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley (R-IA) set a final deadline today for Judge Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyers to agree to have her testify at a hearing next week.  If Ford’s lawyers do not reach an agreement to one of the options they have been offered, Grassley will schedule a committee vote on Kavanaugh for Monday.




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