American Elephants


Environmental Mismanagement Is Only Where It Starts by The Elephant's Child

We have had some nice rain over the last two days, and the skies have cleared, the air has cleared, and we’re pretty much back to normal. California is not. The government is not sure at all just who they should listen to, and the result has been a catastrophe.

Environmentalists want everyone to believe that we can forego nasty petroleum fuels, and rely on clean, beautiful wind and solar energy which is free, well, except for the huge cost of wind turbines, their upkeep, the rare minerals required to construct them and the underlying simple fact that the wind does not blow all the time, nor does the sun shine on solar arrays all the time. There are cloudy days and rainy days when neither wind nor sun are noticeable. Wind and sun may be visible, but they are not necessarily available when needed.  We are so accustomed to having energy at the flick of a switch that we don’t really give it any thought at all.

At the dawn of the nuclear age, we thought we could power anything with nuclear energy, but then there was the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, still an abandoned city, I believe. And then the Fukushima accident in Japan in 2011 in  Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, which was started by the Tòhoku earthquake and tsunami. A couple of disasters like that and interest in nuclear plants begins to fade. In the United States we have some great river systems and dams that produce lots of reliable energy, but the environmentalists squawk about the fish runs and damage the dams do. Probably everything that has an upside also has a downside. Some want to remove all dams, just because.

We are uncertain about costs and benefits, usefulness and dangers, needs, in other words we don’t know very much about the problems at all, and are apt to fall for anything that sounds good, particularly if it is fairly remote. When it’s your house that burned down, you pay a little closer attention.

Dr. Roy Spencer PhD,  who runs the satellites that measure the earths’ temperature for NASA, has several basis articles at his website on, for example, “Global Warming 101”, “Global Warming Background”, “Global Warming Natural or Manmade?” which you will find useful. There are others in the sidebar, and each of those will direct you to other scientific sites.

California Governor Gavin Newsom is getting a well-deserved batch of criticism for his handling of the wildfires. The Native Americans learned to minimize the damage by controlled small fires and cutting away dead trees and brush, but we moderns have had more trouble getting our minds around the problem. Did you know it costs something over $43,000 to dismantle a single wind turbine?



In a Contentious Time, a Search for Truth and Honesty by The Elephant's Child

Democrats are undoubtedly studying late into the night, to find a way to disrupt President Trump’s naming of a candidate for the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. They are considering a new impeachment trial or two, whether this brings back the Russian horde is not known. One supposes that Russians rate higher on the really terrifying terrorists than those from other countries. After all the Russians are known for suddenly poisoning people right on the street.

They supposedly are considering just walking out, boycotting as it were, to delay the inevitable. Speaker Pelosi apparently has a couple of impeachments up her sleeves, she clearly feels that most everything Trump has done is grounds for impeachment, and considers it an excellent way to get the nomination of anyone over and done with. Almost anything will do because what they want is delay, so that it becomes too late to advance a candidate before the election.

They speak in generalities, and of course what the Supreme Court is all about is insisting that matters of law follow the Constitution. And of course at that point what is it that they really meant when they wrote the Constitution?  I assume that by this time you are as sick of all the nonsense as I am and want them to just get on with the business of the government. The Constitution is quite clear. When there is a vacancy, the President may nominate a successor, who is to be approved by the Senate. Simple and clear.

The difficult part is that Amy Comey Barrett, who seems to be the leading candidate, is a practicing Catholic. The great fear is that she might rule on Roe v. Wade, the abortion bill, passed and in effect, but could be brought before the Court again. This is an immeasurably contentious bill. Many women feel that nobody else has any right to tell them what they may or may not do with their bodies. Others see abortion as the murder of a real baby. When things are in such dramatic opposition, there is no comfortable middle ground. And of course religion has strong opinions.

In this day and age, when preventive measures are readily available, if one does not want to bear a child, it seems incumbent on them to use preventative measures. Responsibility is required. No one should have to bear a child conceived by rape, but just how you sort that out is difficult. There are a lot of couples who are unable to bear children and desperate to adopt.

There are many areas that are equally contentious matters. Look at the current furor about the police. At one end of the scale is Chicago, which seems to have some violent neighborhoods and a significant weekly death toll. Some seem to think that the police are so violent and corrupt that they must be eliminated, and others who know of too much drugs and street crime in their cities want more police protection.

Your best source for sorting things out is Heather MacDonald, a serious scholar who goes to the source and digs out the real statistics, as opposed to what is more sensational and reported on the news. You can find her at the Manhattan Institute, or City Journal, or her many valuable books : The War on Cops, The Burden of Bad Ideas, Are Cops Racist?, and The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan Than Today’s.  All invaluable.  Or just type her name into your search-bar.



Well Yes, You Could Call the Whole Thing a Train Wreck! by The Elephant's Child

Clearly the Democrat Party has gone stark raving bonkers. They firmly believe that they are supposed to be in control of the federal government and clearly Donald Trump is an aberration. Not supposed to be that way. They were destined to have the first woman President of the United States, and they still haven’t recovered and are still desperately trying to find a way to get rid of the evil Donald Trump. They keep dragging up the Russians, but the facts simply don’t support their efforts. I’m beginning to think that they were so fixated on electing the First Woman President, that they have simply gone a bit off the rails. Those “Firsts” on the record are very important to Democrats.

Their hatred for President Trump has surpassed all norms. Bob Woodward, longtime journalist, features himself as an investigative journalist, with many left-leaning books to his credit about any scandal he can hype. He, of course, doesn’t like Donald Trump. So this time, he blames President Trump for the Corona-19 virus and every death it caused. If you are going throw accusations around, might as well pick a biggie.

I live currently in a Seattle suburb. The first American exposure and death from Covid-19, came to the next suburb just north of my house. Apparently someone carrying the disease returned to relatives in a nursing home directly from Wuhan, China. Everyone contacted by that person contracted the disease and most died. President Trump slapped a freeze on flights from China immediately. Vast outcry from the Left. Bigot, Racist, etc, etc, etc. Trump gathered up the most informed advisers he could find, Dr.Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in January of 2020, and Dr. Rebecca Birx, and listened closely to their advice. State Governors demanded help, they needed ventilators, Trump pushed American auto makers to shift some production to making ventilators, Governors demanded more hospital beds, Trump sent two US Navy hospital ships, and military hospitals were set up in parks and stadiums where there was room. Masks were needed and produced. The record goes on with the President trying to meet every new need, and shut down that which was not safe. Impossible to control everything that was going on. New York Governor Cuomo directed ailing elders to be treated in senior care homes, and caused vast numbers of deaths of the elderly. Cruise ships that had someone infected on board became death traps. Lots of deadly mistakes were made as we learned about the disease. Mr. Woodward, a small former journalistic star, has betrayed his profession and whatever honored journalistic career he once had, with a partisan attack that is just a partisan lie. Shame on him.

Now we have the battle of the Supreme Court. Democrats are outraged that with Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death, President Trump will, as the Constitution requires, name a new justice for the Senate to approve. Democrats are threatening to impeach Trump once again, for any reason they can think up, anything to keep him from naming a new candidate to replace the late Justice Ginsberg. He has no right to do this when there’s an election coming up in two months, and Biden might win, and then he would appoint a left-leaning candidate.

The Constitution is just fine, until it doesn’t support what you want to do. Naming a potentially conservative justice to the Supreme Court just means the Democrats will have to pack the court and expand the number of justices so they can be in control. They are Democrats and entitled not to be troubled by some hillbilly backwoods bunch of Conservatives, who just don’t understand the way it was meant to be.



There Are Always Consequences! by The Elephant's Child

What happens to a city that is consumed with riots and protests, damage to shops and businesses, looting, police attacked, cars and other vehicles damaged or destroyed? We have answers from many businesses, who say they are moving out. Some to other safer cities or safer states, some to different areas  of a city. Some just giving up. Do lots of new businesses move in to replace them? That will be a long time coming.

Portland is coming up on 100 days of riots and protests in the streets. The mayor impolitely said “no thanks” to the President’s offer of federal help to quell the violence. Portland has become nationally known as a home to Antifa.

When we have had big celebrations or parades in Seattle, it is not unusual for Portland Antifa to come up and try to start trouble. Curious about what Antifa is? Or other questionable groups? Visit www.discoverthenetworks.org to learn about the organizations attempting to tear America down.

So people will want to risk starting up a business in downtown Portland? Or Portland at all? People who were thinking about moving to a new city are going to move to Portland? If a city gets a bad reputation, how long does it take to get rid of it, and prove that the bad reputation was not justified. And how many people just decide to move elsewhere. There are always ramifications. And that goes for Minneapolis, and Kenosha as well.

How did we get here? Who decided that rioting and protesting were the way to go? Not really all that surprising.

We know the Democrats are desperate to be in control, but American elections should not descend to this level.

ADDENDUM: Here’s another take on The Economic Scars of Rioting  from National Review. Democrats need to be held accountable for what they have done with their Trump Derangement Syndrome. What makes it even more pathetic is that he is doing a remarkably good job. The unemployment rate has dropped to 8.4% as August has seen 1.4 million new jobs. The fourth straight month of added jobs in the economy. Back in April unemployment was 14.7%. Looks like we may have a Corona Virus vaccine later this fall. If you look hard there is lots of other good news, and big accomplishments.



Democrats Are Trying to Blame Trump for COVID-19 by The Elephant's Child

See the source image

Democrats keep trying to rid us of President Donald Trump, they tried impeachment, several times. They loathe Trump, but they just can’t figure out how to get rid of him and his systematic repeal of Obama’s progressive project. The problem is that the Democrats just want to be in control. Just what it is that they expect to accomplish when they manage to get control isn’t really clear, and there’s the rub.

The current best idea seems to be blaming him for the Corona Virus. If they can just manage to establish that he didn’t respond quickly enough, professionally enough, carefully enough or something like that, then they can blame him for all of the Covid-19 deaths. That would take care of him!

The first COVID-19 deaths in the United States happened a few miles north of my house when a visitor to a nursing home who had just returned from Wuhan, China infected the residents. President Trump quickly banned any and all flights from China. He referred to it as the China virus or the Wuhan virus. (Outcry. Racial prejudice, etc.) Got automobile companies making ventilators, everybody making masks, hospital ships in New York harbor and in California, Cruise ships anchored, military setting up emergency hospitals in tents in public parks and in parking garages. Experts called in to advise.

Of course they don’t mention that, they talk about results. Here are the five COVID-19 Charts Democrats are anxious to hide. Click on the link. Copy and save the link. Share it with family and friends!

This is from http://www.issues&insights.com, a fairly new website founded by the writers from Investors Business Daily, and is excellent. It has become one of my favorites. They even feature Michael Ramirez’s wonderful political cartoons.



Mindless, Purposeless Riots Just For Fun. Disgraceful. by The Elephant's Child

The Left has certainly dragged out their old-time-religion. Race, white supremacy, fascism, and apparently not the slightest interest in what is actually going on in our world today. Riots, not “peaceful protests” and if you have watched the videos, they are not really about much of anything but the fun of roaming down the streets with big groups of people, breaking stuff, breaking windows, damaging property, attacking cars and people. Mindless. They are out there for the fun of it.

They need to be hauled off promptly to jail. Democrat Mayors are terrified of even the possibility of doing anything about it. In Seattle, the feckless Mayor Jenny Durkan pulled herself together a bit and vetoed the feckless Seattle City Council’s attempt to defund the police. And I think I read that the National Guard has been called out for Portland, that would have to be the governor I think, Mayors can’t. But the fun in the streets has spread to Denver,  Minneapolis of course,    Fort Wayne Indiana, Green Bay Wisconsin, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Olympia WA and that is far from a complete list.

“Black Lives Matter” has nothing to do with this mess. There’s a lot of violence and drugs in poor black neighborhoods, and they want and depend on police protection.

Attacking statues has lost some of its fury. What becomes completely clear is that there is a very deep ignorance of American History. “Fascist” is a popular word: Here’s Wikipedia’s definition, but I’d be willing to bet that few if any of the street mobs could define it. Mindless.

Fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.

Look up Benito Mussolini in Italy, who “popularized” the idea. But the problem is authoritarianism. The urge to control. Well, Mussolini made a mess of it, but if you are interested in this “new” authoritarianism I recommend borrowing The Black Book of Communism from your friendly public library. Amazon has it, but it’s quite expensive, even used. Or buy Communism: a Brief History by Richard Pipes, one of our greatest historians. Or read about the Soviet forced labor system in The Gulag Archipelago by Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn. Lana Peters, Stalin’s daughter became an American citizen, and died at 85, not too long ago.



File Under Useful Hints: by The Elephant's Child

You may or may not have noticed my new favorite word: feckless. I probably saw someone else use it, and though I knew (sorta-kinda) the meaning, looked it up to be accurate.

Feckless: lacking initiative or strength of character, irresponsible. synonyms: useless, worthless, incompetent, ineffective, inept, good for nothing, ne’er do well, lazy, idle, slothful, indolent, shiftless, apathetic, aimless, unambitious, unenterprising, no good, no account, lazy.

With elections coming up, it may be a remarkably useful word, at least to tuck in the back of your brain when deciding whether to support a candidate or a city council or not.



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.




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