American Elephants


It’s a Most Unusual Time! by The Elephant's Child

Every time you assume that things couldn’t get any weirder, they do. Yesterday, Hillary announced that she would have done a much better job with the Corona virus than Trump. Uh huh. Her record does not so indicate. Today, she questioned that if Trump lost the election — would he leave office peacefully? Needing attention are we?

The Sioux bellyached about Trump coming to Mt. Rushmore because the monument was on their sacred lands, but the monument was built when the “sacred lands” belonged to the Cheyenne, not the Sioux. And sacredness seems to be related to fireworks and American heroes, though native Americans are citizens too and entitled to all the protections of the Declaration. Many Native Americans have served in the military and are proud of their service. I’m not convinced that all native Americans are possessive of Mt. Rushmore and resent it being used for a 4th of July Celebration, but I simply don’t know.

There were complaints from the usual suspects that Trump was having a White Supremacy Celebration, and so on, and on, every bit of news is to be accompanied by an attack on Trump. Democrats are worried about Joe Biden. They are worried about his mental confusion too. They are trying to cooperate with his desire to have a woman vice president, preferably black. Silicon Valley seems enthralled with Elizabeth Warren, but the party prefers Kamala Harris. Or Susan Rice. This could get interesting.

They simply cannot stop expressing their hatred for this president, and it is embarrassing for them when he had the economy booming, until the pandemic hit. Now with the excellent job creation in June, it certainly looks like it will soon be booming again. President Trump, as a successful businessman, has a pretty good understanding of just how much over regulation affects the economy, and the Democrats’ demand for absolute control leads them to over-regulate every time. They can’t help themselves.

There has been an uptick in Covid infections, whether from the protests or from people getting together in groups (do I repeat myself?) is an unknown. The American people are sick of shutdowns and masks and distancing and the whole thing. They will wear masks when it’s clear that it is necessary and a good idea, but they are also very, very fed up.

A peer-reviewed study from the Henry Ford Health System concluded that hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug touted by Trump as a potential good treatment for coronavirus, successfully lowered mortality rates for hospitalized coronavirus patients. Results were published Thursday in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Infectious Diseases. There were no adverse effects on the heart. Positive news, hope it pans out. The press does not want any positive Trump stories.

The “potential” part should not be ignored, but neither should it be ignored just because Trump thought it sounded like a possible potential. There’s another potential vaccine that looks promising too. These small encouraging developments should not be ignored just because Trump favored them.

President Trump gave a splendid patriotic speech at Mt. Rushmore, and assorted Democrats called it dark, and the New York Times could not find enough dismal words to apply. A Seth Abramson, a columnist for Newsweek, was completely flummoxed by the passages in the presidential speech where Mr. Trump was mentioning the statues and monuments we have all witnessed being torn down, burnt or destroyed across the country. Abramson could not understand why he was claiming that people were tearing down statues. As a noted journalist, he has apparently missed the whole thing. It is a confusing time, is it not?

It would be nice if we were all on the same page, but there is an election coming up in November, and that seems to be more important than ordinary things like riots and protests, statue-toppling and virtue-signaling. Way too much virtue-signaling.

ADDENDUM: Here’s a good example of weird. Emory & Henry College in Virginia is considering discarding the wasp as it’s mascot. The bug, probably for it’s sting. They are concerned about the connection to WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) and possibly not being sensitive enough to matters of race.



A Day Like All Days Altering and Illuminating the Affairs of Men. by The Elephant's Child

 

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There are times when you look out upon the passing scene — and think if you could just give them all a spanking and send them to bed without any dinner, it might settle them down a bit.  These attacks on our national history and the statues there to remind us, are so ignorant and mindlessly destructive that it is thoroughly disgusting.

There has been a drive-by shooting at the CHOP site on Capitol Hill in Seattle, one 16 year old young man dead, a 14 year old hospitalized. Essentially though, most have moved out. The East Precinct police station is due to be reoccupied next week. The CHOP protesters got some national attention, but not the kind they were hoping for, and when it gets violent with people killed, it isn’t just fun and games any more. Seattle’s feckless Mayor Jenny Durkan had protesters appear at her own house, and she takes it a bit more seriously now.

Seattle’s communist City Council member Kshama Sawant cheerfully blamed “Capitalism’s Brutality” for the murders in CHOP’s autonomous state that Seattle’s government allowed to exist contrary to the law.  Sawant and other council members were expected to vote Tuesday on whether or not to repeal a tax on companies like Amazon and Starbucks that the council intended to combat a growing homelessness crisis.

Seattle does have a statue, a 16 foot tall bronze statue of Vladimir Lenin, but he is privately owned, and rests on private property, so he will continue to inspire the residents of Fremont.  The statue was created by Bulgarian sculptor Emil Venkov. It was completed and put on display in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in 1988, the year before the Velvet Revolution of 1989.

In 1993 the statue was bought by an American who found it lying in a scrapyard, and brought it home to Washington state, but died before he could carry out his plans for displaying the Soviet era memento. Since 1995, the statue has been held in trust waiting for a buyer for the last 25 years on a prominent street corner in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, unwanted and unloved?

Senator Mitch McConnell weighed in on the civil unrest in the country today, pointing out that “a large statue of Vladimir Lenin remains untouched while protesters topple memorials to Thomas Jefferson” and George Washington.  Does look, though, in some of the pictures, as if someone has painted Lenin’s hands suitably red.



Bellevue Police Have Arrested 23 Looters So Far. by The Elephant's Child

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The world is changing around us, and we often don’t notice until we are suddenly confronted with the evidence. In this case, I think I mentioned that BLM protesters turned up in downtown Bellevue, doing their protesty thing, fists raised to indicate how serious they were.

The presence of Bellevue Square, the most affluent mall in the Seattle area, brought potential looters up from South Seattle. And they promptly found looting far more interesting than just plain old protesting. The Square had been closed and locked down for Covid-19, but they knew the stores were all there with luxury goods inside.

We could see, online, bystanders watching while looters came out of the square carrying wastebaskets and garbage cans piled high with loot. Today, however, everybody has a camera. And as the looters came out, bystanders were taking their pictures.

Bellevue police have arrested 23 looters identified so far, from the photos taken by bystanders. They have recovered tens of thousands of dollars of merchandise, as well as alcohol, tobacco, weapons and drugs. Gosh, who knew that while you were getting the clothes for the new school year for free, someone was taking your picture. And the Police Chief even spoke to the crowd to express his sympathy for the George Floyd protest. Didn’t impress the protesters at all. Of course the protesters were far more interested in the looting than in the protesting. Do follow the link above for the King 5 coverage.

I’m appalled that it was allowed to go on so much. If you want some kind of change, act like a grownup, express your objective clearly with evidence, to the people who can make the legal changes which you advocate. Running around with fists raised shouting vulgarities is more plain childish than effective. And looting is simply theft and will be punished by law. Hope you all get significant terms in jail.



They Are Vacating the Autonomous Six Blocks of CHOP That Had Seceded From the Rest of the Country. by The Elephant's Child

This is all extremely weird. The national news is reporting that the occupiers of the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) are vacating, moving out. Their officials say that any protesters can stay as long as they went, but they seem to be tearing up the newly-planted vegetable garden and attempting to return it to ordinary park status, except that it has been all dug up.

Capitol Hill businesses have filed a major lawsuit against the City of Seattle. The merchants said in the suit that they have suffered economic ruin because the city allowed CHOP to happen. CHOP leader Naudia Miller confirmed reports that the area is being dissembled. She added “The burden of owning a business doesn’t compare to struggles of living in a nation that’s built on anti-black racism,” directed at businesses that are a party to the lawsuit.

A local investment firm closed it’s doors and announced that they were moving to Arizona. No local news purveyor managed to take pictures of the emptied streets, if they indeed are emptied. This is a screen capture from a hard-to-find video. Perhaps after the shootings, reporters and photographers decided to play it safe. This is the same view as in previous pictures that were decorated with barriers, signs, tents, debris and more signs. They talked about setting up at Seattle Center, by the Space Needle or elsewhere. The feckless Mayor of Seattle, Jenny Durkan, was perhaps right when she called it a “summer of love” thing.

The CHOP (formerly CHAZ) has been major news across not only the country, but the world, turning the city of Seattle into something of a laughingstock, and suddenly they’re seeming to pretend that it never happened. There was a murder there, and people hospitalized.

CHOP leaders insisted their efforts are far from over: “We need every one of us to step up in a way that’s in our capacity, because we are dealing with trauma,” Miller said, adding that the only difference going forward is that Capitol Hill will no longer be a staging ground for Black Lives Matter.

Miller also spoke about everything that’s happened at the East Precinct, saying protesters’ takeover of the building was fair game after police used tear gas to disperse CHOP attendees.

“The Seattle Police Department chose that location when they terrorized people on Pine Street, and when they tear gassed people in their homes,” she commented.

The city says that the East Precinct will be reoccupied by next week. Stories about the six-block CHOP are pretty much absent from the news here, where one would think it would be big and welcome headlines. I had to really hunt to find anything.

Did they all suddenly recognize that this mess was giving Seattle a major black eye?

Capitol Hill is distinctly uphill from downtown Seattle, which is on a slight gradual slope down to the west and the water of Puget Sound, where the ferries dock. Seattle was famously built on seven hills, and some were plowed down to make them more acceptable for stores and businesses. If you assume that the CHOP area was in downtown Seattle, that’s incorrect. Capitol Hill is home to Seattle University, hospitals, schools and businesses. It slopes down on the eastern side to Lake Washington, and expensive residential areas along the lake.

Protesters have been shutting down the freeways too, or trying to. The Police keep them under control. As far as I can recall, we haven’t much here in the way of statues, or Confederate anything. Some totem poles.



The Free Capitol Hill Protest Zone Now Has A Murder by The Elephant's Child

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Things are heating up in CHOP-land. On Sunday night, gunshots erupted in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone, less than 48 hours since an earlier shooting left one man dead and a 17 year-old male shot in the arm. Thought this was supposed to be a peaceful protest place, a “summer of love” thing. It appears that Seattle’s feckless mayor Jenny Durkan will have to act in some way. But she hasn’t figured out just how yet.

Perhaps our feckless governor, Jay Inslee, who has preferred to simply ignore the whole thing, will notice that it is giving his state a major black eye in the national news media.

But what to do and who will do it? Will they reclaim the East Precinct? The Police, who have been thoroughly demonized for no reason? The National Guard? That takes an order from Inslee. The neighborhood, and the six block area of homes and small shops and the residents are reported to be becoming restless. Small wonder.

I have no idea what the revolutionaries’ original vision was, in seceding from the United States to become an independent six blocks, but they dug up a patch of the local park to plant seedlings for their kitchen garden. Presumably they thought it would take only a few days to produce fresh vegetables, who knows. A little long on revolutionary fervor, short on common sense or just basic information.

Nationwide, the statues keep being attacked, but the major offenders are gone, so they’re down to the fringe characters like Francis Scott Key. He did write the Star Spangled Banner, but wasn’t that in the War of 1812 rather than the Civil War? I’m not sure just what the objection to him is.  It was a Southern Fort with the rockets’ red glare. The statue attackers are also a little long on revolutionary fervor and quite short of basic information.

If we just ignore it will it go away? Get tiresome? Fervor grow stale? I’m already sick of it all and not feeling at all charitable towards the perpetrators. Put them away for a while to cool off. It is simply posturing, virtue-signaling, but not much virtue. “Summer of Love”indeed. The police are anxious to preserve the rule of law, but the city’s Democrat management simply doesn’t know what to do, or how to do it.



“Erasing American History” Why Would Anyone Want To? by The Elephant's Child

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The brave people who are out fiercely attacking helpless statues are at it again. Not every city has handy statues of former Confederate generals, so they have to go after the lesser figures, who may or may not have owned slaves, which seems to be the latest charge. George Washington? Francis Scott Key? The Star Spangled Banner?  Protesters are so monumentally ignorant of American history that they hardly know who to attack to show just how outraged they are. Outraged about what? George Floyd?

Not really. Here Victor Davis Hanson speaks about removing Confederate statues and the erasing of American History.  We need to provide these unfortunates with some reading lists. How can they possibly have spent years in the classrooms of America and learned so little about our history. It’s not really the kids’ fault, but their parents and their teachers.

One of the particularly interesting websites is American Mind, which offers scholarly essays on contemporary issues. Their essays are accompanied by a notation at the top of how long it will take to read: 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 7 minutes.  Can you, in your busy, busy life spend 5 minutes reading our laboriously researched and written essay? Is that not sad?

The Capitol Hill autonomous zone: CHOP, continues on. Seattle’s feckless mayor, Jenny Durkan, chooses to assume it’s just “the summer of love”. They’ve now had a shooting, somebody dead, somebody else in critical condition. They have dug up a public park to make a kitchen garden in which they have planted seedlings, perhaps unaware of just how long the distance is between planted seedling and anything actually useful for the kitchen table. Most of it seems to be mostly a matter of vast ignorance, whatever the topic.  Left alone, they will soon run out of money, cleanliness, food, or energy. It’s hard to know how dependent they are on publicity, but they don’t seem to be adding adherents. But I’m not a close observer, I live across the lake.

I found this “Real History of Antifa” online, which you might find of interest.

 



Cheap Virtue, Jumping on Bandwagons of Public Feeling* by The Elephant's Child

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Every time you think you have seen it all, something else pops up. In this case, it is protesters in Portland, Oregon who last night dismantled a statue of George Washington, after they wrapped Washington’s head in an American flag and set it all on fire. George Washington?

The statue was created by an Italian-American sculptor, Pompeo Coppini, and was installed in Portland’s Rose City Park neighborhood in the late 1920s. Many years ago I lived about ten blocks from there, though I had never been to that park. It seems like an odd place for a George Washington statue. It was also defaced with spray paint.

Sprayed on the statue was the number “1619“. That suggests massive historical ignorance, which unfortunately is more common than anyone would like to admit. The 1619 date would seem to be a reference to the New York Times’ embarrassing 1619 Project attempting to rewrite the nation’s history to make it ever so much more racist, and useful.

Democrats have been chafing for years by being reminded of the Civil War, and being on the wrong side. They were terrified that would lose their Black votes. Then they elected the First Black President, which absolved them of any previous errors. And now a policeman put a black man in a neck hold, and the man died, though from the neck hold, a heart attack or a drug overdose is not clear, the world exploded in anger, started looting, and attacking statues. Just how attacking a statue of our First President and Founding Father accomplishes anything is somewhat unclear, but it seems to be the most popular solution, after looting.

This seems to be how the common saying “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!” may have arisen.

*An appropriate phrase for the headline, borrowed from Hillsdale College.



History is a Record of What Happened. You Cannot Fix it! by The Elephant's Child

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Democrats are apparently terrified that Donald Trump might win re-election this fall and subject them to another four years of terror. Their immediate focus concerns the vote of Black Americans. They have already shown that they will kneel in abject humility on the floor of the United States Congress, draped in what they consider to be African apparel to show their plaintive agreement that “Black Lives Matter,”and encourage Blacks to vote for them.

Not enough. Nancy Pelosi is now attempting to demonstrate that Republicans are the “white supremacy” party and Democrats deeply oppose the side of the South in the Civil War of 1861, by removing four portraits of former Speakers of the House who once served in the Confederacy.

Well, it’s a little difficult to blame it all on Republicans when one recalls that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.  He issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, which became effective on January 1, 1863. The reproduction shown above was from 1864 and is in the Library of Congress.

History is a record of what happened.  Sometimes new evidence is discovered that alters our understanding, but in general we’re stuck with the evidence of what really happened. Human nature is not all sweetness and light. We are human beings, some good, some bad and some really dreadful. No saints.  Do remember that most families have trouble getting along,

Most of us don’t know enough history. Our public schools are clearly doing a lousy job, and if we have kids, we need to help them to get interested.  The general knowledge of history, American history and world history is lacking. Knowing how we screwed up in the past sometimes helps us to avoid doing it again, but we cannot remake the past. What happened, happened.

Slavery was at one time common. Muslims ruled the slave trade in Africa, and marched captured Africans north, and to the Atlantic coast to ship to the Americas. Most of the slave trade went to the sugar islands and South America rather than to the Southern States. American Indians kept slaves. When they warred with another tribe, those captured were kept around to do the scut work, rather than killed when the fight was over. That may be the origin of much of slavery. Britain stamped out the slave trade. They set the Royal Navy to eliminating the Atlantic slave traffic, which they did.

Look at all the changes in society that have made slavery unnecessary, aside from being disgusting, of course.  Most of the slave trade in the South was because of the cotton crop which the British needed for their fabric mills, and the South needed for income.  Farm work today has become heavily mechanized, though there are some things that still must be picked by hand. Farm equipment is truly astonishing these days, and the elaborate machines are something to behold. And we are just at the beginning of the age of robots and computer printing and there are plenty of enthusiastic applicants for the Space Force. The more we know about our own history, the better it will help us to avoid bad mistakes in the future.



Politics Does Not Belong in the Workplace. by The Elephant's Child

Just saw, online, another of those annoying claims that profess to know every public figure’s IQ. They do not. They claim to know the IQ of Presidents going way back, which they do not. The IQ test was not devised until 1904. They’re making it up.

NBC claims that Google has blacklisted Zero Hedge and the Federalist. Google says not so. My immediate response is that the Big Tech companies are too new to the American Business community to grasp that it is unwise for corporations and smaller businesses to publicly profess political leanings.

The other party may well be in control of the government, and be annoyed. Companies of any size have lots of employees, who, despite resident loudmouths, probably vote quite differently. Yes, I know, it’s tempting, if unwise, to assume that everyone thinks the same way as you do, because it’s so obviously the “right way.” Do read the Constitution again, including the Bill of Rights, and remember that the first thing a Socialist government would do is to remove all those silly protections.

Yes, I know that Socialism promises to make everybody equal. That’s bunk. Those who assume that Socialism is a good thing need to look a little closer at socialist governments, beginning with Venezuela and Cuba. Those pushing for Socialism are not pushing for equality, but simply pushing to be in charge.  They want to run things.

Keep politics out of the Workplace, and protect workers’ personal freedom.



Just Another Normal Day in Seattle by The Elephant's Child

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I think I read that they changed the name of the Seattle Autonomous six blocks from CHAZ to CHOP, but I’m not sure of that one. It continues being autonomous. On Flag Day, yesterday, some stalwart individuals tried to march through with American Flags, perhaps reminding them just what country this is, but they took the flags away (violently).

This part of the country has a fairly long history of being a bit weird.  Postmaster General James A. Farley had a famous toast “to the forty-seven states and the soviet of Washington”. Seattle has a long reputation for radicalism. Recommended reading: Utopias on Puget Sound, 1885-1915. There was a smattering of that again in the sixties, I believe. Perhaps it’s something in the water. Breaks out now and then.

There was a Seattle General Strike in February 1919, and 350,000 shipyard workers in the Seattle shipyard stopped work after not getting their post WW1 pay increase. A big Wobblies Protest (Workers of the World Union) also known as the Everett Massacre (2 men were killed and 16-20 wounded). The Kent State Shootings in May of 1970, The WTO Protests in 1999 40,000 demonstrated in the city, much vandalism, Occupy Seattle: September/October 2011, a reform aimed at big banks, and questions about the legality of protesters sleeping in public spaces. So perhaps it really is something in the water.

Paul Joseph Watson did a most enjoyable video on “Cultural Revolution“, and the Autonomous Zone currently on Capitol Hill. For those unfamiliar with the Seattle area, it is a city famously built on seven hills, and they plowed some of them down to create space for a city. Do watch the video if you have some fascination with strange societal outbreaks. It might be helpful when one breaks out in your peaceful town.

We’re getting a lot of national attention as this is assumed to be just an extension of Black Lives Matter, but apparently it is just normal life here in the Northwest.  I grew up in the mountains of Idaho and find this strange and fascinating.

In Scotland, BLM protesters defaced the statue of Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn, Scotland’s legendary King. In Britain, as many statues were torn down or defaced, the Statue of Winston Churchill was put in a tall box to protect it.

The proper adjective to describe Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkin and Governor Jay Inslee, I decided, is feckless.



Other Voices About Race And Policing by The Elephant's Child

Aside from the goofiness on Seattle’s Capitol Hill, the discussions about Race and Police are serious and deserve serious thought and discussion.

Heather Mac Donald is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research who has written extensively on criminal justice. She has several important books out and here are her comments submitted to the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives in response to the Oversight Hearing on Policing Practices. It is truly important to get the views of someone who is an expert in the field and knowledgeable about the criminal justice and policing. Do read the whole thing if you can make the time. You’ll be glad you did.

Here is Columbia University linguist John McWhorter on “How Anti Racism Hurts Black People.”

And PowerLine included this tweet from Doctor Tyrone Wilson:

Dr. Tyrone Wilson @DrTyroneWilson1

In 8 years of residency and attending as a trauma surgeon, I’ve had 67 young black men end up on my operating table from gunshot wounds.

I CAN’T MAKE THIS CLEAR ENOUGH

NONE OF THEM ENDED UP THERE AT THE HANDS OF POLICE OR A WHITE PERSON.

NONE OF THEM….ZERO#BLMisLiberalBS

Serious subjects, and many of us are inclined to respond to emotion rather than taking the time to study up. The death of George Floyd was surely a terrible act. Suggestions that it was intentional are clearly premature, as the autopsy’s suggest , but such an emotional thing to see his death online, that the whole world was troubled.

Black lives of course matter, and more people than many blacks can conceive want them to succeed and prosper.



Shelby Steele, Longtime Civil Rights Leader, Says “Blacks Have Never Been Less Oppressed” by The Elephant's Child

Shelby Steele had a long interview with Mark Levin last night. He has long been a champion of black civil rights, was a veteran of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, and a bestselling author. He doesn’t think much of the riots and looting that have been dominating the news. Blacks, he says, have never been less oppressed in American society. Blacks, he said flatly, have never faced less oppression, and they simply have to take responsibility for their position at the bottom of any socioeconomic measures.

Steele is a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and an author of many books on race relations. Some are White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era, and Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country.

This article about the Mark Levin show, includes a video from the show, and much more of the conversation with Steele. I don’t think that the things that are holding blacks back are things that have to be given to them. Demand Charter Schools, they seem to really work well. Demand that public libraries offer homework help. Wait till after you are married to have babies. It mostly helps to have a father in the home. Public libraries have free storytimes, when a librarian reads to the kids, and they get to discover what wonders can be found in a book. Large numbers of companies are anxious to hire black workers, and not just for the scut work. It enhances their reputations to be welcoming to people of many races.




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