American Elephants


In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety Two, Columbus Sailed… by The Elephant's Child

Exactly how George Floyd’s unfortunate death led to the excesses of Black Lives Matter riots and marches and looting, is not especially clear. How things multiplied from that to attacks on statues all around the country is even less clear. They started with the generals on the losing side of the Civil War, and then included generals on both sides and Spanish Friars, founding fathers and their horses too.. Perfect frenzy of attacking bronze statues that couldn’t possibly fight back, but perhaps that was the point. They could demonstrate their rage while in attacking inanimate objects they had no opposition, and no risk.

But one statue led to another, and when they couldn’t find enough Robert E. Lee statues, they turned to Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and, of course, Columbus.  It is all simply theater. What was intended as a powerful political statement was thoroughly messed up by the historical ignorance of the perpetrators. There was some interest in destruction of the four presidents at Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota, encouraged slyly by the New York Times, which brought out Sioux Chieftains to remind everyone that the Black Hills were once sacred grounds for Native Americans.

I think the statue thing is probably over, except for Columbus. There are so many things around the country named for Columbus that it remains a tempting victim — Columbus, Ohio, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska and Texas, the Columbia River, Columbia University, and many ships and lots of wildlife and plants.

What is far more interesting is the “Columbian Exchange” — the plants and animals brought to the new world and from the new world to the old. Search for “The Columbian Exchange” and you will be astounded to find the list of species that were unknown prior to 1492, and how they changed lives. Diseases too. Horses and dogs and cats! Did residents of the new world have no pets until Columbus? And when did they decide that dogs were desirable pets?



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

https://images.dailyhive.com/20200610161746/Capitol-Hill-Autonomous-Zone-500x257.jpeg

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.



History is What Happened in the Past. Unchangeable. by The Elephant's Child

antifa rioters take over Seattle

The Autonomous state of CHAZ on Seattle’s Capitol Hill continues, The folks who actually live in the area are somewhat terrorized, because if someone tries to break into their houses or attacks one of the occupants, they cannot call the police. And the occupants of the new state don’t seem to be the most congenial group.

The Seattle Police Chief, Carmen Best, who is a black woman, has been ordered to leave the East Precinct Police station to the anarchists. Neither our Governor, Jay Inslee, nor the Seattle Mayor, Jennie Durkin, want to be put in a position where they might actually have to do something that might possibly be criticized. Life is just so complicated these days.

History, one might remind, is what happened in the past. You cannot change it. There may be many things you might wish to change, but you can not. You don’t get to rewrite it either. We seem to have arrived at a point where all traces of the Southern side of the Civil War must be obliterated, statues torn down, anything named for a Southern general renamed. Won’t work.

The Civil War remains a major event in American history. The Confederacy lost, but that does not mean that they didn’t have some good generals. The Confederate Flag should not be flown over  statehouses, just the American flag. But it is not necessary to recoil at the sight of the stars and bars. History is what happened. We can  learn from it. You can tear down statues, but those men once lived and did what they, in real life, actually did.

Nancy Pelosi wants to remove something like 13 statues of Southerners from Statuary Hall, which will accomplish nothing. Her Father, Thomas D’Alessandro was mayor of Baltimore, and put up statues to Generals Robert E. Lee and  Stonewall Jackson. This is simply virtue-signaling.

Trying to assert that because you want to tear statues down, you are more completely one with today’s blacks who are angry about the death of George Floyd at the hands of a policeman who held him down with a knee. The death of George Floyd was clearly excessive force, but we don’t know what actions preceded George Floyd’s being taken down and what made the drastic hold necessary. Awful situation, and it has developed into a world wide situation.  And just what will be improved by defunding the police? That they cannot seem to understand what the results of that would be remains a major puzzle.



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.



Six Square Blocks in Seattle: Antifa’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone by The Elephant's Child

View image on Twitter

What an interesting day! I got up late, but while I was sleeping, apparently Antifa rioters were hard at work, capturing a six-block square territory on Seattle’s Capitol Hill, proclaiming it “The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone“, under their own rules and regulations, seceding from the United States of America and issuing a long list of demands, unsurprisingly silly.

The Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct, under attack from rioters, closed the precinct station down late yesterday, and evacuated before somebody got hurt. By early today the separatists had apparently run out of money and had to beg for food from supporters, beg for people with guns to help protect them, and the City helpfully provided them with dumpsters and porta-potties.

Protesters led by activist Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant occupied City Hall downtown last night for just over an hour, called for the resignation of Mayor Jenny Durkan, and the defunding of the Seattle Police Department. They entered chanting “Whose City Hall? Our City Hall!” and a number of speakers on a range of issues spoke on the importance of Black LGBTQIA+ (Not sure that I can translate that, but you get the idea). “It is about building the kind of political representation that brings the voice of the people into the halls of power and grabs power for ordinary people” Sawant said. :Please stop using Black Lives Matter for your political campaigns, also noting the whiteness of many speakers at recent protests.  Sawant also had critical words for her council colleagues who she called “corporate politicians” and “sellouts.”

There are apparently around 500 residential homes in the area, so they have stationed a fire truck there, just in case. While the mayor claimed to keep the area safe, she told the rioters.

“As the Chief takes this operational step, we will continue to remain focused on what we can and must do to address the systemic inequities that continue to disproportionately impact our Black residents,” she tweeted. “Yesterday, we announced a commitment to invest $100 million dollars into community – in addition to existing city programs — and to work with community to create a Black Commission that will help to amplify black voices in City Hall.” She added “With these operational changes, our city can peacefully move forward together.”

The rioters have declared independence from the city itself, and if they are seceding from the United States as well, they will have to negotiate with President Donald Trump. Which might prove interesting.

The Seattle area is home to an enormous number of colleges and universities, which may have something to do with this. There is the University of Washington, Pacific Lutheran, University of Puget Sound, Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University, Northwest University, Bellevue College, all sorts of Community colleges and Evergreen, a list that does not begin to include all the trade schools and branch locations. And, due to the Corona Virus shutdowns, they are not in session. College kids, having learned protesting in college, have in many cases  been trained in the wonderfulness of socialism as well. There will be lots more excitement, I’m sure, before we can get back to normal life. Some COVID-19 watchers seem to think that because of all the riots and crowds, we’ll  have another bad outbreak in the fall, others don’t think so.

How long our major corporations will be willing to put up with this (Increased taxes for Amazon and Microsoft are a common demand) is an unknown. The rioters seem remarkably free from any knowledge of history, or much of anything else as far as that goes. Certainly young blacks growing up in single-parent households, in bad neighborhoods, don’t see a path to success ahead of them. That is not the fault of the police, who try to keep neighborhoods safe.

Aside from abolishing the police, Seattle protesters have demanded not only amnesty, but free health care and free college. The Black Lives Matter people might pay a little more attention to the young black Ohio teen who walked three miles every day, to go to his public library that offered homework help. He has been offered admission to 12 colleges, including the one he most wants to attend.



All the News That’s Fit, and Quite a Bit that Isn’t by The Elephant's Child

Newsy day! We have had one death from Coronavirus here in Washington State, apparently with some Korean connection. Joe Biden has won the South Carolina caucus. Corona beer has NO Connection to the virus with “corona” in the name. I know it’s hard, but try to pay attention and not get panicky.

Democrats are trying their hardest to make President Trump responsible for the Coronavirus, but they are, as usual, making no sense, and lying through their teeth. You need to understand that the Democrats believe themselves to be morally superior and thus entitled to be in charge of, well, everything! They are morally superior because they care.

For example, they care about anyone in Mexico who wants to cross the border, and assume that we should allow them in because they might have coronavirus, and we need to help them. Most sane Americans would admit that Mexico has a number of cases of coronavirus, a number of deaths, and that Mexico has an obligation to take care of their own people, which they are trying to do.  We do not have any obligation to open up our borders to anyone from another country.  Elizabeth Warren has proposed a “Bill to Take All Money From Trump’s ‘Racist Wall,’ Give to HHS to Fight Coronavirus.” Some polls suggest that Elizabeth Warren might not win her own state of Massachusetts. “Racist Wall” ??? A President of the United States’ first responsibility is to the people of his own country, not to the citizens of Mexico, nor of all the other countries’ citizens trying to illegally cross the border. If Warren does not understand that basic fact, she has no business considering herself qualified to run for anything. There is a legal way to come to America and become a citizen. You apply, and wait your turn.

AOC, who never fails to demonstrate her ignorance, was outraged (isn’t she always?) that Vice President Pence, appointed to lead the Coronavirus program, said he would pray as he took on the effort. He is a religious man, and of course would pray for help in doing an important job. AOC promptly announced “Mike Pence literally does not believe in science. It is utterly irresponsible to put him in charge of US coronavirus response as the world sits on the cusp of a pandemic.” Well we all make silly mistakes, Hank Johnson worried about Guam tipping over. Just refrain from suggesting that the folks serving in government are our “betters.”

We elect people to serve us in government so we don’t have to do it. They want to serve because it’s a good paying job with all sorts of benefits, among which are lots of attention from the media, and if you get to be some sort of celebrity, there are even more benefits that involve recognition, name familiarity, and maybe a book deal somewhere down the road, aside from being able to steer business to your family. We have to keep an eye on them, and, if they get too far out of line, elect someone else.

Joe Biden has won the caucus in South Carolina as I said, in spite of getting a little confused about whether he was running for the Senate or the Presidency. It helps to maintain a good sense of humor regarding politics, but it’s hard when one candidate announces that he is a socialist. Socialist/Communist, there’s not much difference. If you don’t know what the term “socialist” means, it’s time to seriously educate yourself. The public schools and our colleges and universities will not do it for you. The universities are staffed with those who got deferments for being in school as they protested the Vietnam War, and a college education doesn’t mean what it once did. Head to your public library, look for The Black Book of Communism, The Gulag Archipelago, The Passing of an Illusion, Property and Freedom, Mao, or any of dozens of books explaining what “socialism” really is. Socialism does not mean free health care, or anything else free for that matter. It costs more than can be endured.

*I don’t know the source of this image, but it expresses the reality clearly



Why Do Democrats Hate President Trump? II by The Elephant's Child

Continuing! President Trump is returning home after a triumphal trip to India with a tumultuous welcome in a packed world’s largest cricket stadium from an overflowing, 100,000+ cheering crowd. Democrats really hate that. Trump and Prime Minister Modi hugged. The hatred is completely irrational, but they expect everyone else to hate him as they do.

They really hate his claims (which are completely accurate) of a booming economy, with jobs for anyone who wants to work. Bernie is building his campaign on poor Americans out of work, needing all kinds of government-supplied help and free stuff. Capitalism, of course, is what creates a booming economy, and the captains of industry are those who supply it, but Democrats see only rich men who don’t need those big salaries. Our young people have clearly not learned either history or civics, or for that matter — basic economics. Bernie apparently thinks that his “socialism” is what is practiced in the Scandinavian countries, but he’s wrong on that as well. Sweden is ranked as one of the most market-oriented economies in the world in 2019, just behind the United States.

A federal appeals court has handed a major win to the Trump administration in it’s fight against “sanctuary” jurisdictions. The administration is deploying Border Patrol agents to sanctuary jurisdictions across the country to help Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) track down and detain illegal immigrants freed by left-wing cities and states. Democrats want mostly open borders because new immigrants are apt (or can be persuaded) to vote Democrat. The court has ruled that the administration can deny grant money to those states that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Chris King, from Pima County, Arizona explained why the county on the border voted not to become a sanctuary county.

H.R. 5383, the “New Way Forward Act” which has 44 co-sponsors, would effectively eviscerate immigration enforcement not only at the border. but also in the interior of the United States. Read that one and become truly frightened. Never mind the report yesterday about an 11 year-old little girl being raped by an illegal immigrant, or the report that the drugs seized in 6 of the largest fentanyl busts were enough to kill 229 million Americans, without even considering the coronavirus potential.

One begins to wonder if any Democrats have any understanding of basic economics, let alone the perils of illegal immigration. The most recent debate would make one think they do not. Democrats like to think well of themselves and their objectives, so they base it all on their compassion and caring. They are caring people, so they want more illegals to enjoy the freedom of America (and do the scut work so they can hire cheap labor). Not much concern for the citizens of Cuba or Nicaragua who might like to come to the U.S. They have experienced Communism and would hardly support it again, and might actually vote Republican. Can’t have that.



Why Do the Democrats Hate Trump So Much? by The Elephant's Child

Bernie seems to be the leading Democrat candidate at present, and the Democrats are horrified. The object of the entire Democrat campaign is to get rid of Donald Trump, and they don’t think Bernie has much of a chance to defeat him. The Democrats really, really hate Donald Trump. But the commentary out there is interesting.

The Manhattan Contrarian said flatly:”If You Can’t Articulate A Limiting Principle On Government Expansion, You Get Bernie Sanders.” That was his headline, and he added:

Well, if you’re the party of free stuff, why shouldn’t the guy who offers the most free stuff win? Bernie is clearly willing to outbid all of his rivals in the free stuff auction. What makes you think anybody can beat him by just bidding less?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced her endorsement for the 2020 presidential election. She called for “publicly owned and run health care and education so that we have more freedom over our lives than the private sector provides.”

Brian Riedl, writing in City Journal on October 15, 2019 commiserated with Bernie’s heart attack, and said as long as he remains in the race, it’s worth taking his policy ideas seriously, since he has unveiled expensive new spending proposals on a near-weekly basis. All told, Sanders’s current plans would cost as much as $97.5 trillion over the next decade, and total government spending at all levels would surge to as high as 70 percent of gross domestic product. Approximately half of the American workforce would be employed by the government. The ten-year budget deficit would approach $90 trillion, with average annual deficits exceeding 30 percent of GDP.

And Victor Davis Hanson said yesterday, “Universities Breed Anger, Ignorance, and Ingratitude” “In turning out woke and broke graduates, they have a lot to answer for.”

When you get history and economics all mixed up with “social justice”, you are creating a major problem. I reject the idea that there is any such thing as “social justice” and if you go off chasing it, you are never going to arrive at a destination. It’s nice to dream of a world where nobody is poor, everybody has what they want and need, but that’s not how it works. Life is hard, bad stuff happens, there are accidents, illness, deaths, wars, family troubles, and you have to learn to cope. You don’t succeed by waiting for somebody else to fix things for you. The joy and the pride of arriving at a goal make the coping all worthwhile. We currently have an economy where most anyone that wants a job can find one. The rising is up to you.



Ted Cruz Has a Few Words for the Democrats at the State of the Union Speech. by The Elephant's Child
February 6, 2020, 11:59 pm
Filed under: Election 2020, Politics, Socialism | Tags: , , , ,

Democrats in the State of the Union Speech hissed when the President spoke about seven million Americans coming off of Food Stamps. Did the Democrats assume that the President was denying free food to the poor? What were they thinking?

It is a triumph when people no longer need government help to eat. People want to be responsible for themselves, to earn an honest living, and to have a job. It may not be the world’s best job, but they are standing up and supporting themselves and their families.

I guess to a political party that looks to succeed by buying votes, by giving away goodies, that is hard to understand. Perhaps that has something to do with the failure of Democrat run cities and states. They look at Republicans as ignorant hicks, and don’t understand the first thing about ordinary humanity, or how to govern.



What is Social Justice? Is There Any Such Thing? by The Elephant's Child

One wonders at the rise of enthusiasm for Socialism. Where does this come from?  Do people know nothing about the history of Socialism and how it works out? No understanding of the crisis of Venezuela? Or how the people there are literally starving in a country that was once the richest in South America?

Are they misled by talk of “social justice”? There is, by the way, no such thing. We humans are a quarrelsome lot, and you can’t overcome the difficulties of being a member of the human species easily. Democrats, with Bernie and Elizabeth Warren pushing socialism, seem to fail to recognize just where that path leads.

The human search for perfect social equality has gone on since the beginning of time. Do people actually rise in the morning hoping that might be the day when they are finally equal? Equal to what? Or Whom? I simply don’t buy it. Not everyone even wants to be rich. People want to care for their family, to have a good job that they like, at least part of the time. They want to have a nice home and be free of debt, and raise their children to be good citizens and succeed at whatever profession they choose. Some do want to be rich and some achieve it. But is it the overarching dream of many? I suspect not. People do want accomplishment, and success, and arriving at goals.

Democrats seem particularly driven by the idea of equality. They want to make everyone equal, and their policies move in that direction. They talk a lot about social justice, and more about the rich who do not deserve to be rich, and big corporations and their CEOs who do not deserve to be rich. I have wished for some things I do not have, that I cannot afford, as I’m sure you have as well. Did you get out of bed this morning yearning to be equal?  Didn’t think so.

Even for those who do want to be rich, and are working to create a business that they hope will succeed and make them richer, I suspect it is the succeed part that drives them, not the riches. Building a successful business is a worthy endeavor, and building it  is the scary and exciting part rather than the arrival at the finish.

So what is all this social justice? the social equality? Democrats’ push for equality sounds good in the abstract, but makes no sense whatsoever as a real goal. Think about that when those campaigning for an office ask for your vote. What they want is to be in charge, and have the opportunity to control your lives.



Elizabeth Warren’s New World Order by The Elephant's Child

The Wall Street Journal featured Elizabeth Warren on the Opinion page. Her ideas, they say, show where the American left wants to go. The Editors combed through some 60 policy papers: There’s the Wealth Tax, The Medicare for All tax, the Global Corporate tax, and the Corporate surtax, Slower expensing, a Higher capital gains tax, Finance taxes (taxing the sale of bonds or stocks, Individual tax increases, increased Social Security benefits, paid for by increasing the Social Security payroll tax), a Lobbying tax, Mandated Medicare for all, The Green New Deal, an end to fossil fuels, ban fracking, halt new drilling leases, prohibit future fossil fuel exports, kill the Keystone XL. Free college, a “right” to child care, more affordable housing, Overturn the so-called “right to work” laws.

Make companies with revenue over $1 billion obtain a new federal charter that gives workers 40% of board seats. Break up Amazon, Facebook and Google, “unwind” their mergers with Whole Foods, Instagram, Double Click and more. (I thought Silicon Valley was lined up behind Warren). Then there’s Gun Control, using federal money to replace every voting machine in the country, mandate early voting and same-day registration.

There’s more, but it is such an expansion of government that one is inclined to dismiss it as…what? Her only real policy difference with Bernie Sanders is that she offers more details. She believes that she has enough political support to help her win the Democrat nomination and win the White House against a vulnerable Donald Trump.

She has already proved that she is a consummate liar, with her Indian heritage and even her brother has just accused her of lying about their father. As her idiotic tax plans suggest, she has, as has been suggested for years, only a child-like understanding of economics, and apparently only a child-like understanding of Americans and America.




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