American Elephants

AAAARGH!!! by The Elephant's Child

Forgive me, but I want to rant a bit! I HATE PASSWORDS! I did business with this outfit two or three years ago, wrote down the password in my little password notebook, but it seems that is not actually my password, because (???) it doesn’t work. Well, then, they have my special verification clues, which apparently is the name of my best man or matron of honor at my wedding a couple hundred years ago. But that doesn’t work, and which one did they want — male or female, They don’t accept either one. So we start all over with sending codes and emails and new passwords. Supposedly I gave then the name of my “favorite author” as a verification back in the distant past. Favorite author? I was an English major, I do not now or ever have favorite authors. It depends on what I just read and whether I liked it or not, and I read all the time. And all this was for a very unimportant $10.00 purchase.

Does anyone else have this difficulty with passwords and verification? Or is it a universal complaint? Didn’t some federal person just become a laughingstock recently because his password was “password”? Oh do, please, tell me your horror stories so I won’t feel so alone in my rage.

Fixing the Date by The Elephant's Child

A bit of advice for the New Year. Take a sheet of scratch paper, and write 2018 at least 25 times, more if you feel it’s worthwhile. It may keep you from entering 2017 every time you have to write a date. On checks, it’s a pain in the neck. Will it work? Dunno, but it’s worth a try. I usually spend a month getting it wrong.

Enter, I Guess, Under News of the Day. by The Elephant's Child

Let’s see. If I understand the current hysteria over guns and bullets, assault weapons, scary looking attachments like scopes and magazines of assorted sizes and how many bullets a magazine may contain, the liberal argument is that only the police need guns. And in the meantime, a former police officer has issued a manifesto to kill police officers in the Los Angeles area.

Christopher Jordan Dorner, an ex-LAPD police officer is the main suspect in three separate murders. A vehicle that matched the description of Dorner’s truck was driving down the road, but was delivering newspapers. Two older women were delivering papers when police officers opened fire. One woman was shot in the back, the other in the hand. Both are expected to survive.

Another person was shot while driving a pickup truck after Torrance police arrived at the scene. Reports of his injuries weren’t clear, but he is considered in good condition—except for being shot by police officers.

Perhaps they should rethink that idea that only the police need guns.

At the bottom of the piece under “RECOMMENDED STORIES’

—Convicted Ohio man apologizes to family of slain daughter-in-law strangled, put in septic tank.

—Pennsylvania mistrial declared when man’s prosthetic eye pops out on witness stand.



Not My Fault, Says Obama, It’s the Stalemate in Washington. by The Elephant's Child

In this week’s weekly address, President Obama told the American people that the “stalemate in Washington is holding our economy back during this make-or-break moment for the middle class.”Uh huh. Translation:”The Republicans won’t pass my jobs bill.’ He’s sent his bill over to Congress twice now, and it has been unanimously rejected twice. “Unanimously” means that none of the Democrats would vote for it either.

The president doesn’t seem to know how jobs are created, and even the part of his jobs bill that has passed, the temporary continuation of the cut in the payroll tax, goes to those who are working, and have jobs.  They will get a little more in their  pay envelopes, but  it will do nothing whatsoever to create jobs. It does, however, cut back on what those receiving the money eventually get from Social Security.

I assume that this goes back to the Democrats fixed idea that if you just put more money into the economy, there will be a multiplier effect as the money (taxpayer money)  circulates through the economy and passes from hand to hand.  If there is such an effect, it is very small, but it is a matter of faith to the left.

History shows that the money that individuals and businesses invest and spend, if left alone to do so, generates far more wealth and new jobs than any government-directed spending.  The most successful cities and states dedicate their resources in creating the kind of conditions that attract private investment rather than pouring public money into centrally planned visions of economic development.
(Brian Anderson City Journal, Autumn 2001)

Obama repeated his idea that Congress should pass a bill to help states put thousands of teachers, firefighters and police officers back on the job. And he wants a bill to put union construction workers back to work building his fabled infrastructure — those crumbling roads and bridges and runways.

Public school employment has climbed by nearly 100% since 1970, while the enrollment of pupils has only climbed by about 10%. We seem to be overloaded with school administrators, yet the left persists.  And class sizes have dropped by 40 percent since 1960, but class size remains a constant issue.

If the states, struggling to balance their budgets, have laid off teachers, firefighters or police, that is a choice that they made. It is not up to the federal government to use taxpayer money to rehire employees that the states have decided they can’t afford to pay.

After Solyndra and all the other bankrupt “green energy” companies, he want more tax credits for clean energy manufacturers? I’m afraid the president is indeed a slow learner. Ryan Lizza, writing in the New Yorker says that President Obama plans to make climate change his top priority for his second term.

“Obama has an ambitious second-term agenda. The President has said that the most important policy he could address in his second term is climate change,” supposedly to “improve the world.”

Obama’s belief in big government goes deep. He seems to hold the private sector in contempt. According to David Maraniss’s new biography Barack Obama: The Story, Obama did work in the private sector for a year, writing newsletters for American companies doing business abroad. He hated it. He quit after fulfilling his initial one year commitment. He had no prospects, but wanted to do public sector work.

Obama’s work in the public sector took place in Chicago, where those in the public sector help each other. You do nice things for your friends and they do nice things for you, and the taxpayers have the benefit of paying for it all.

There is a stalemate between the two parties. Some claim that both parties have moved to extremes. Certainly the Democratic party has been in the hands of the hard left, but Democrats’ idea that the Tea Party is something extreme is laughable. Surely some nice grey-haired ladies carrying signs and Gadsden flags aren’t that scary, are they? Although Obama did call out a Swat team to deal with them in Ohio. The Tea Party Patriots wanted more respect for the Constitution and adherence to it, obviously a radical position.

The Constitution is “extreme” to the hard left. They are offended that it has not been changed enough to be more compatible with their current thinking. Their prominent legal scholars would prefer a “living” constitution — one that is more in line with their ideas. Some think we should pay more attention to European law. You will notice headline news  concerns “Citizens United” — a Supreme Court decision protecting free speech, and another upcoming Supreme Court case again involving the First Amendment, and the protection of Freedom of Religion. This not a dusty old discussion, but important today.

Most Americans believe the Constitution has served us well. It has only been amended twenty-seven times in 225 years. The president took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. That oath neither changes nor is modified simply because this is an election year.

My Secret Vice by The Elephant's Child

I am compulsive.  I am not comfortable unless I have a notebook or tablet at hand.  I make lists. Oh, ordinary enough ones: grocery lists, Christmas lists, birthday lists, to-do lists, lists of all the birds I’ve seen at my bird-feeder, that sort of thing.  Then there are lists of plants seen at the nursery, plants seen in the botanical garden, plants I covet, economists, historians, books I want to read, books I want to take out from the library on a trial run to see if I might want to buy. Names for snow, names for storms.  Names of scientists I find interesting and their specialty.

I make lots of book lists; histories on specific periods, histories I’ve read, environmental books, best children’s books,  a list of the best books I’ve ever read, lists of authors I’ve liked, movies, recipes.  I have lists of family names—Grizzella and Tryntje are favorites.  I have an annotated booklist in three parts that I share with friends (who think I’m nuts).  I have a 68 page list of quotations insights that I’ve collected from my reading to which I refer frequently — which bores my family immeasurably.

Then there are the unintelligible lists—the list of ideas jotted down in a hurry, often undecipherable in hasty handwriting,  and I wonder what I could possibly have  had in mind.  I have stacks of notebooks, and have to go back through them to see if they can be discarded and find that I am fascinated with a list I have made long ago and wonder why I troubled to write that down.

My compulsion seems to be a matter of putting it in writing. A line from Richard Mitchell comes to mind —”the business of writing is to stay put on the page so you can look at it later and see where you have been stupid.” Not a direct quotation, but that’s the idea.

Writing it down fixes an idea in your mind. If I have made out a grocery list, I can usually remember everything even if I leave the list on the kitchen table.  A list may organize my mind, but I am, in general, no more organized that anyone else —probably less.

Am I alone in my personal weirdness? Anybody else out there? Just curious.

Amazing sheepdogs, crazy Welshmen, and a large flock of sheep. by The Elephant's Child
March 20, 2009, 12:50 am
Filed under: Entertainment, Fun n Games, Humor, News of the Weird, Uncategorized

And here you have some imaginative Welshmen and their sheep and their wonderful border collies. What a delight! Don’t miss this one.

If you don’t have what you think you need, make do with what you have. by The Elephant's Child
January 28, 2009, 8:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

What is a band to do when they need a rhythm section and they don’t have one?  This is pretty goofy, but it works!

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