American Elephants


Blame It All On Global Warming, That Lets You Off the Hook! by The Elephant's Child

Washington State is still smoky, some local fires, mostly I believe, smoke drifted north from California. Visibility is not normal, ( Rain forecast for Friday) but we’re told in Eastern Washington, across the mountains, visibility is about the length of a football field, at least considerably worse than here.

Our incompetent Democrat governor, Jay Inslee, follows in the steps of California’s incompetent governor Gavin Newsom, to proclaim the wildfires are because of global warming, and we just have to give up our cars, or at least switch to electric cars, and be kinder to Mother Earth so she doesn’t punish us for our fossil fuels. Which is all nonsense.

Sorry. Carbon Dioxide is not the control switch for the climate of the earth. The Sun is.

We had Ice Ages and Heat Waves long before we had  gasoline powered cars, or even discovered fossil fuels.  Native Americans did controlled burning, thinned out brush, and even cut down trees to keep their lands safe from fire.  California is on fire because the governor has not funded the necessary cleanup, as is Washington State.

Lots more expensive when you have to pay lots of firefighters coming for high pay to fight the fires in our forests in our forests, but you can’t be blamed if it is the result of a global pandemic.  Our respective governors, having never bothered to study up even slightly, accept as gospel the party line. Trump bad, Paris Climate Accord essential to save the Earth. Trouble is the scientists started making “models”to help them decide what to do, but they were too arrogant to grasp that they didn’t know enough to make viable models, because there is so much we don’t yet understand about the Sun and the Earth and the galaxy and the interactions between them.

The debate is over around climate change. Just come to the state of California, observe it with your own eyes a grinning Newsom told reporters while touring the fire-ravaged North Complex near Oroville. It’s not an intellectual debate, it’s not even debatable. The debate is over around climate change. Just come to the state of California, observe it with your own eyes,a grinning Newsom told reporters while touring the fire-ravaged North Complex near Oroville. It’s not an intellectual debate, it’s not even debatable.

Breitbart reported this morning:

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Thursday that the August Complex Fire has burned 471,185 acres in the Elk Creek and Stonyford area, surpassing the 2018 Mendocino Complex Fire, which burned 459,123 acres.

Six of the largest fires in California’s history have taken place in 2020. Cal Fire said 29 major wildfires are active and more than 3.1 million acres have burned in the state since the beginning of the season.

The National Interagency Fire Center said 102 large fires have burned a combined 4.4 million acres in 12 states in the western United States, resulting in some two dozen deaths in California, Oregon, and Washington.

In California, five people were killed in the LNU Lightning Complex, 10 were killed in the North Complex, and one each was killed in the CZU August Lightning Complex, August Lightning Complex, Tatham Fire, and Hills Fires.

So there you go, 19 people killed so far, but just blame it all on global warming. I grew up on 400 acres bordered by National Forest at about 4,000′. Many of our closest friends were Forest Service people, and others were loggers or ran lumber mills.

Bernie Sanders is using the current wildfires to push for a Green New Deal, of course blaming Trump who he says “rejects science and calls climate change a hoax.” Christiana Figueres, who was the General Secretary of the IPCC said at a news conference that the idea of Climate Change was the best weapon they had for destroying Capitalism.

You can natter on all you want about Global Warming, but if you had thinned the forests, rid them of dry brush, we would not have the forest fires of three states poisoning our air and blanketing us with smoke.



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?



Chicago, Chicago, That Toddlin’ Town by The Elephant's Child

One gets used to noting the death toll in Chicago over the weekend. Which is pretty disgusting as a matter of fact. An article at Fox News caught my eye. The Chicago Chamber of Commerce president called for a “serious response” to looting. As well he should. He was urging former president Barack Obama to come back to Chicago and use his influence to help, instead of gamboling on Martha’s Vineyard when his home town that made him, needs him.

Here are the shocking numbers: “So far this year in Chicago a total of 2,058 people have been shot and wounded, and 435 have been shot and killed.

America — indeed Chicago — spawned the success that became Obama. Now with ill winds blowing, Chicago needs him more than ever. If anyone should abhor the blood in his old ’hood, it should be Barack. The senseless killing is as surreal as Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq” and as bone-chilling as the damp winds that blow off Lake Michigan every winter. And yet there is deafening silence from the 44th president.

Chicago’s adopted son has a debt to pay. He owes America a bit more than a feel-good legacy of being “first” or shimmering cameos at marquee events, however cool his gait. He should leave behind more than a league of loyalists who profited from his presidency in lieu of legions who are the least of these.

Interesting. I don’t know why Obama’s presence would help, but I didn’t believe that he was a very good president. Apparently the Cook County State’s Attorney is accused of being soft on criminals and failing to do her job, so crime soars as a consequence. It’s sad to see cities fall. And there will be consequences. People will move and business will move. Will the crime move with them, or stay on in a declining Chicago. You get the feeling that there is going to be a massive realignment in the country. Does anyone learn the lessons so vividly on display? The media which is still prattling about “peaceful protesters” have clearly not learned anything at all, nor do they understand how consequences are and will be playing out.

For example: The Post Office is in trouble. Revenue down, volume of mail down. Locking mailbox sales way up, mail theft vastly increased. That is a consequence of several things. Our public schools are not managing to teach kids to write easily and well, nor teaching kids the history of their country. Somebody’s out there being “peaceful protesters,” and they seem to be of the appropriate age. People aren’t writing letters, but sending emails or tweeting or facebooking.’

I email family, but write some long business letters. Computers are not just changing our lives, but changing us. Think how astonished our great-grandparents and great-great grandparents would be were they to reappear in our midst today. And what would they have to say!

 



The Coming Battles of the Election Season by The Elephant's Child

This is going to be an unusually interesting election season. Joe Biden, who has been selected as the Democrat nominee, seems to have some problems with early stage dementia. He does seem unable to remember the proper word to use, or how to adequately express himself at times, and people are concerned, although perhaps incorrectly.

Democrats are inclined to dislike Republicans, and vice versa. That’s simply the way it is, and the problems lie in the amount of dislike and the efforts to do something about it. Now that Mr. Biden has chosen Kamala Harris as his Vice Presidential partner, the campaign has instantly become about sexism.

The usual Hollywood “celebrities” (someone whose name may be recognizable and thereby attract readers) have immediately called up Hillary as an example of someone who lost an election because of sexism. Which is an error. Hillary lost because she is a compulsive liar, had performed poorly as Secretary of State, and is roundly disliked. Nothing to do with her sex. She did notify the campaign that she was anxious to help out in any way she can.

I don’t think much of Kamala Harris as a candidate, and with Joe Biden’s age and possible dementia we have to assume that Ms. Harris could very likely become president. Articles I’ve seen: “Former Obama speechwriter mocks mainstream media’s “hilarious” push to call Kamala Harris “moderate” and Tensions linger between Biden and Obama Carried throughout 2020 primary campaign:  Not sure what’s going on here, the Obama group doesn’t like the Biden group?

The Biden, Harris team are going for some very radical (and ignorant) ideas about the climate, which is just fine, and cooling slightly. They are all for AOC’s “Green New Deal.” Joe Biden wants to ban fracking and the advances that have given us plentiful and cheap energy to run America’s manufacturers and cities, Kamala wants to ban plastic straws and limit access to red meat, altering the food pyramid. Harris wants to reenter us in the Paris Climate accords so “we would be carbon neutral by 2030.” Sorry. Carbon dioxide is not the control knob for the climate. The climate of the earth is determined by the actions of the sun, which is currently in a slightly cooling phase.

Why can’t people study up a little on subjects they know they don’t understand very well? You don’t have to become an expert, just learn enough to be an informed voter and an intelligent conversationalist. Dr.Roy Spencer, who measures the temperatures of the earth–running the satellites for NASA, has a short helpful explanation of “global warming” at his website, and if you look at his blog, there’s an amazing video of a lightning strike.

Growing up in the mountains of Idaho, we once had a lightning strike about 200 yards from the house. It made a remarkably loud noise, and stripped the bark in a circular pattern down the trunk of a Ponderosa Pine. It’s a Big Deal up close.

I am convinced that the Democrats depend on people’s reluctance to study up and depend on their lack of information to accuse their opposition candidates of absurd things. Democrats have tried hard for four years or more to stick President Trump with some sort of collaboration with Russia or Vladimir Putin. None there, but they just would not give up on it, and are back at it.

The other big drive is to blame President Trump for all the deaths from the Covid virus. Good grief, he not only slammed the gates shut to any flights from China immediately, but has not only dealt well the virus and medical equipment needed in this country, but helped other countries as he could as well.



Making Headlines Is Not Always A Good Thing by The Elephant's Child

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How utterly embarrassing, when your city government makes the national news, and becomes an object of ridicule. Portland and Seattle are setting bad examples for the rest of the country.  On Sunday, thousands of Seattleites turned out to “Defend the Police” in the face of the rabidly leftist majority on the city council’s efforts to defund the police. Today, Chief Carmen Best, a 28 year veteran of the Seattle Police Force and the first Black woman chief of police in the nation, resigned in the face of lack of support.

Other communities across the country that have “defunded” the police are seeing mass retirements, and major increases in crime. New York City is another example. Mayor de Blasio cut back on policing, and New York City has had a surge in shootings and other violent crime in the middle of the Covid crisis, according to the Wall Street Journal. Newt Gingrich said “crime skyrockets as Mayor de Blasio sides with criminals against cops.” Shootings are twice the rate of last year, 821 incidents of gunfire, and 1000 victims so far this year. It’s hard when you have to be on the right side of Black Lives Matter so you won’t be criticized, and discover that the police really did matter and that good policing is what kept violent crime down. Fear of being called “racist” has clearly been a powerful motivation.

There are, and certainly will be consequences. People will look for safer places to live and do business. Police will resign if they do not have the support of the community. Police are resigning or taking early retirement all over the country right now. And there will be consequences. An increase in crime means the job of being a policeman becomes more dangerous. So you want a new and inexperienced force? The sheer stupidity boggles the mind.

Elections are coming up this fall. Hopefully voters will take a hard look at 2020 so far and decide what is working, and what is not. Promises to be an interesting year. Americans may have to learn the hard way just why the police are there, and what they do for the people and the community they serve so courageously.

ADDENDUM: I forgot to mention that the Seattle City Council in it’s wisdom has also laid off 100 policemen. We’ll see what the consequences of that turn out to be.



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.



Much Ado About Nothing, or Something Like That by The Elephant's Child

Carmen  Best, Seattle Chief of Police, has had protesters discover her home, and her neighbors turned out to shoo them away. Protests continue in Portland and Seattle, but it’s pretty clear that it is now about the fun of rioting and protesting, rather than actually having something to riot about.

Black Lives Matter doesn’t lead naturally to protesting at the Chief of Police’s house when the Chief is Black. I really believe that not very much of the rioting and protesting over the past weeks, the destruction of property and pulling down of statues has been far more about emotion and destruction than any actual principles. If there is some sort of goal behind all the hoopla, some urgent need for change, it is not at all apparent.

In Portland they burned Bibles and American flags in the street. Somewhere else, a statue of the Virgin Mary was burned, and even AOC, who thrives on media attention, made a fool of herself by attacking Father Damien, Hawaii’s Catholic martyr who gave his life to ministering to the leper colony on Molokai., and eventually died of the disease himself.

I’m not sure what the proper terminology is, “getting all worked-up” more or less covers it. Reaching an emotional state that demands action. Possession.  Common sense departs. Like little kids having a temper tantrum. A spanking and sent to bed without any supper usually cures that. When it is adults who should know better, it’s another matter.

The Seattle City Council has gone along with the police defunding to suggesting a “civilian-led police department,” personally I prefer one led by someone deeply knowledgeable about crime and punishment and keeping order, but apparently that is not fashionable today.

Over the weekend, the press reported the usual round of shootings in New York and Chicago and other trouble spots. No suggestions for improving the situation. So there you go.



Another Weekend of Mayhem in Democrat Run Cities by The Elephant's Child

Our cities are in trouble. Mayors, who were accustomed to dealing with problems like traffic, utilities and minor problems like shoplifting and illegal parking suddenly have massive demonstrations, attacks on buildings, major looting and sudden waves of murder. Quick, find someone else to blame it on. Guess who?

Headlines: DeBlasio’s New York City: 34 people shot, 10 killed over weekend. Lightfoot’s Chicago: 30 shot, 3 dead. Violent Seattle Protest: 59 Police Officers Injured, 45 arrested after explosives thrown at officers. So far in 2020 there have been more shootings in Minneapolis already than the whole of last year, 275 so far.The Washington Post reported at the end of June that out of the top 20 cities for violent crime –17 have Democrat mayors. Democrats have their people demanding that police departments be defunded, or abolished. So now we are going to have major lessons in just why we have police departments, and why we depend on their skills to protect us from the people who are doing all those shootings.

President Trump is sending more federal agents to Portland, as his Constitutional duties require. Mayors are screeching and trying to blame Federal agents for the demonstrations and violence, getting it all completely backwards. The Seattle City Council decided, in its wisdom or lack thereof, to eliminate the nasty tools the police were using for crowd and riot control, like tear gas, and pepper spray and whatever else are usual police tools.

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best politely informed Seattle businesses that the police probably couldn’t protect them in the event of riots or protests. A District Judge informed the City Council that they were out of line, and Downtown Seattle had a riot last night, with, to repeat, 59 police officers injured.

There are bad actors out there. Theoretically we elect public officials to deal with them promptly and efficiently. Elections are coming up, sounds like we need to be a little better informed about those who are running for public office than usual.

Also reported, Hollywood “celebrities” are renewing their calls to defund police departments around the country, urging local politicians to slash police spending and increase funding for “community programs”. They join in solidarity with the “freedom fighters in Minneapolis, Louisville and across the United States and call for the end to “Police Terror”. “Celebrities” listed include Natalie Portman, Joaquin Phoenix, John Legend, Jane Fonda, Kendrick Sampson, and Debra Messing who can claim some responsibility for the mayhem listed above.



Long Beyond Demonstrations, But Why? by The Elephant's Child

Antifa is out rioting again in downtown Seattle. There must be something both enticing and in some way rewarding, or fun in rioting. At least it seems to be popular, and the young people keep doing it. I say young people, because in the videos of rioting I see, I don’t see any real adults, except the policemen.

I can sort of understand looting, the idea that since nobody is paying real attention and guarding stuff, it’s free to grab something and make off with it. That was pretty much disproven here in Bellevue when looters broke into the biggest regional shopping center to loot the expensive stores. A lot of people were standing around outside and filming the excitement, and got pictures of the looters emerging from the Square with wastebaskets and garbage cans full of their loot.

The Bellevue Police Department took advantage of the films, and have tracked down a large percentage of the looters, and charged them–23 was the last number I saw, but I’m sure it’s much greater now.

What mystifies me is that people across the country and in Europe decided that looked like a fun thing to do and started rioting and tearing down statues in their countries. Is there no sense in the back of youthful brains that these are bad things to do, probably against the law, and potentially will get one in trouble? Is there a latent hunger there to do something really bad if one does not expect to get caught?

Or does “the abolition of the United States as we know it” sound appealing to the ignorant and unwashed? What do I know? I’m merely an ordinary law-abiding citizen to whom all of this is something of a mystery. Strange times, and I don’t pretend to understand. That “abolition” part is worrying.



Portland Erupts in Fury, Nancy Pelosi Erupts. by The Elephant's Child

Well, well, Portland has erupted in fury. How dare the President of the United States send in DHS agents to protect the federal buildings being attacked by Antifa protesters? For over 50 nights Antifa anarchists have been attempting to destroy government buildings and the Mayor of Portland, who could have allowed his police force to do their jobs. is blaming Donald Trump for restoring order.  The rioting has been going on for almost six weeks.

Mayor Wheeler tried to claim that the rioting had come close to fizzling out until Trump escalated the violence. What kind of idiot blames law enforcement for enforcing the law instead those doing the rioting? Ted Wheeler, Mayor of Portland. Even the journalists were having none of that.

One Black Lives Matter leader Lilith Sinclair says she’s “organizing for the abolition of not just the militarized police state but also the United States as we know it.”

 “The abolition of the United States as we know it.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blames Trump for “kidnapping Protesters.” Describes violent Antifa as “First Amendment Speech.” Well, well. So that’s what the Democrats have in mind. Siding with terrorists, attacking police officers, trying to burn down the federal courthouse — all just peaceful First Amendment Speech. I suspect the Portland police would not agree with Ms. Pelosi. Millions of dollars of damage, wounded policemen, looted businesses. The “unidentified” agents had POLICE  prominently labeled across their chests and DHS patches on their arms.  Met with explosives, hammers, knives sledgehammers, slingshots with ball-bearings, pipe bombs. Just peaceful First Amendment protesters? She also called them “Trump’s Secret Police.”  I think that perhaps this time, Ms. Pelosi has gone just a little too far.



Portland Antifa Tried to Do Their Own “CHOP”. Didn’t Go Well. by The Elephant's Child

A Judge here in Seattle has approved a potential recall election for Mayor Jenny Durkan. Portland tried out doing their own “CHOP” atonomous community, unfortunately they did it right in downtown Portland, and it didn’t go well. They attempted to seize property the same way anarchists tried to on Capitol Hill in Seattle, and called the area the Chinook Land Autonomous Territory (CLAT) since the land was allegedly stolen from Native Americans. Clat lasted only about 35 or 36 hours. How Come?

Antifa has been terrorizing Portland for years, and sending adherents up to Seattle when there was something useful going on here. They burned the Elk statue, shot off fireworks and other incendiary devices at the federal courthouse, and some rioters carried firearms. But last night the police cleared out Chapman Square Park and Lownsdale Square Park where they had set up the CAT. Police closed down the parks at 5:10 a.m, and gave them ten minutes to leave the park. Nine individuals were arrested for trespass and disorderly conduct.

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Police reported that the parks will remain closed until necessary repairs are made, and the Police Bureau will asist other Portland City bureaus to repair, lawns, bathrooms, benches and public art (The elk?).

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) didn’t seem like the type to put down a lawless occupation, but President Trump sent federal troops to help restore order, Wheeler accused the president of having “escalated” the violence. Which is similar to the response of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) and Mayor Jenny Durkan(D)  to Trump’s demand that they restore order immediately, insisting that it woudl be “illegal and unconstitutional” to quell an illegal rebellion.  Lots of damage to local businesses in Seattle, who are suing the city for the damage. Cities do have some responsibility to maintain order, which local Democrats don’t seem to appreciate.



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.




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