American Elephants


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.



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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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



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?



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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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.



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.




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