American Elephants


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.



The Endless Pursuit of Justice, Whatever That Is by The Elephant's Child

Seattle’s Mayor, the feckless Jenny Durkan (D) took to CNN on Monday to blame President Trump for the riot in Seattle on Sunday. She said Trump’s actions “were responsible for what happened this weekend” in Seattle and “we are seeing the dry run for martial law.” She claimed that those who came to the “protest” came “because of what happened in Portland” but I think she meant the federal officers in Portland trying to end the attacks on the federal building and the people who work there, who obviously deserve to be protested for trying to set the federal building on fire while federal workers were working inside. Just peacefully trying to burn people alive. She seemed to think that people wanted to act out against the president and his administration so that’s why they were protesting in the streets?

If you want to protest against the president, clearly, destroying a Starbucks and setting a construction site for a juvenile detention facility on fire, and throwing explosive devices at Seattle police officers seems a rather odd way to protest Donald Trump. I guess carrying carefully constructed signs is just way too old fashioned, and ordinary people don’t know how to call their representatives in Congress to complain. Hard to come up with a good catchy chant: “No Justice, No Peace” is already old and tired. She told the reporter that “He’s using law enforcement as a political tool”, well, yes, everything any president does is a political tool.

If the mayor of a major city cannot keep order, and vast damage is being done to the city and the people who live there, who is going to take charge?

She further stated that “the number one thing we can do to bring peace to the streets in Seattle and across America is to bring more justice to the systems.” Like shutting down riots, seeing that those committing legal offenses are brought to justice, that sort of thing? Or just what justice did you have in mind?



Everything You Wanted to Know About Peaceful Protests by The Elephant's Child

Peaceful protests! peaceful protests! peaceful protests!: If you wondered why the violence you are seeing online in Portland particularly, and in Seattle, the boarded up small businesses with the broken windows, the graffiti emblazoned on statues and buildings, walls and streets is somewhat inaccurately described as “peaceful protests” it’s really quite simple. The First Amendment reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

As long as they can keep the protests “peaceful”, the Feds are disrupting them illegally, and can be blamed with all the insults and vile language, legitimately.

That’s why Attorney General William Barr was called before Congress to testify today before Jerry Nadler’s House Judiciary Committee. Mr. Barr is not a pushover just because he’s been asked to testify, and made mincemeat of several questioners. There are many videos of the committee testimony available.

And here’s the video that Congressman Nadler did not want the committee or the newspeople to see:



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.



The Columbian Exchange: The Most Important Ecological Event in Human History by The Elephant's Child

First posted in 2018:
Historical evidence proves that there were interactions between Europe and America before Columbus’s voyage in 1492, but Columbus’ contact began a large, impactful and lastingly significant transfer of animals, crops, people groups, cultural ideas and microorganisms between the two worlds.

In 1493, on his second voyage, Columbus brought horses, dogs, pigs, cattle, chickens, sheep and goats to the “new” world.  In the 1530’s the Spanish Conquistador and explorer Francisco Pizarro saw the potato in Quito, Ecuador, where the Incas in the Andes first cultivated the potato. Think kindly of Pizarro when next you have french fries, (that common name tells of its travels).

Alfred Crosby who wrote an important book in 1972, called The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 claimed that the commingling of plants, animals, and bacteria resulting from the Columbian Exchange is one of the most important ecological events in human history.

From the Americas to Europe:
Avocados, Beans (kidney, navy, lima) Bell Peppers, Black-eyed Susans, Cacao (chocolate), Chili Peppers, Corn, Cotton, Marigolds, Papayas, Peanuts, Petunias, Pineapples, Poinsettias, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Quinine (for malaria), Rubber, Squashes, Sunflowers, Sweet Potatoes, Tobacco, Tomatoes, Turkeys, Vanilla Beans, Zinnias

From Europe to the Americas:
Bananas, Barley, Cabbages, Carnations, Chickens, Coffee, Cows, Crabgrass, Daffodils, Daisies, Dandelions, Horses, Lemons, Lettuce, Lilacs, Olives, Oranges, Peaches, Pears, Pigs, Rice, Sheep, Sugarcane, Tulips, Turnips, Wheat

And unfortunately:
Smallpox, Influenza, Typhus, Measles, Malaria, Diphtheria, Whooping Cough

And in return, the Old World got:
Polio, Hepatitis, Encephalitis, and Syphilis

Here in Seattle, Columbus is not celebrated, instead it is “Indigenous People’s Day”. All part of the Democrat’s vision of redeeming us from our immoral past — or denying history to put it bluntly, except for the parts that they like.

Denying history is a major problem. We are supposed to understand history, not deny it, and we are supposed to learn from history. But then that might lead us to examine the history of communism and socialism and prefer the capitalism that has lifted much of the world out of poverty and into the middle class.

Democrats cannot stop hating “the rich” as a useful group to envy when they are appealing to the less wealthy, but you can tell how sincere they are by noticing how hard they try to be in control so they can get rich or richer, as the case may be.

So Why are the demonstrators so determined (anxious?) to tear down Columbus statues? Columbus had nothing to do with our indigenous tribes. The closest he came to the United States was the Bahamas, a very nice vacation spot today. Historical ignoramuses. In the pictures of Columbus statues, one bears the painted message “Stop Creating Genocide”, which has nothing whatsoever to do with Columbus.

But that is the story with most of the demonstrations. Mindless fun in smashing and destroying. Antifa at least seems to want to end the Capitalism that has made America and the world rich, in favor of some kind of socialism that promises to make everybody equal and makes them prisoners instead.



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.

Image

Image

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.



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.



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?



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

 

See the source image

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.



A World Shifting and Changing As We Try to Grasp What is Happening. by The Elephant's Child

Has the magazine industry died entirely while I wasn’t looking? Magazines are still plentiful in waiting rooms of doctors, hairdressers and barbers, and in bookstores. But do ordinary people still subscribe? I get a few specialized publications. But I grew up with Time, Life, Fortune, the Saturday Evening Post, Readers’ Digest, and Smithsonian. Times changed, and we all got computers. There used to be stories and cartoons, and interesting ads.

Now many people pay significant sums to avoid having to see any ads at all. I don’t remember ads being so objectionable as they are now. I am a reader, and I don’t want my reading interrupted, especially with something that moves and has sound. Google regularly tells me, as I delete yet another ad, that they base the advertising I see on my interests as determined by the websites I visit. They are clearly very bad at determining my interests. I have never responded to a Google ad, except to delete it. I’m still in the deleting phase rather than paying a hundred dollars to be free of ads. How about you?

The world is shifting and changing. We are occupied with the current protests and statue eradication, and not really noticing that shopping malls are disappearing, going broke, being transformed into apartments.

Post-pandemic, will our world return to pre-pandemic or has it all shifted? There is certainly more talk about more people working from home. Meetings can be held online. Offices are expensive. Here in Seattle businesses are moving out. What has driven them out is official failure to deal with protests and CHOP and consequent lack of public services and police protection. Protesters are occupying the freeways too.

If you are looking you will see frequent reports of whole populations moving, People leaving the large coastal cities and heading for safer territory. Even Chicago had 100 people shot on Father’s Day. The weekend before set a record, I believe, for fatalities.

Daniel Boorstin, the late Librarian of Congress, once wrote: “In our world of callused ears and overtaxed eyes, there are many symptoms of the desperate need of people to make somebody listen, to be sure somehow that somebody is hearing. More and more people are willing to pay fees they cannot afford, to medically trained psychiatric listeners who listen, nod, and take notes. A few desperate people especially young people with great energy who find that they cannot get people to listen when they say something, decide instead to throw something.” Is that what is going on?




%d bloggers like this: