American Elephants


The Eagle Creek Fire: 3,000 Acres Around This Beautiful Spot by The Elephant's Child

Please read this post by Alex Berezow, about the Eagle Creek fire in Oregon.This beautiful spot is Punch Bowl Falls. Just down the road, right along Interstate 84 is Multonomah Falls, a 620-foot waterfall, utterly beautiful. I’ve been there.

Both are in danger because of acts of pure stupidity and recklessness. The fire is about 7 percent contained and has burned over 3,000 acres because some teenagers shot off some fireworks. Six or more communities have been evacuated, some of the territory includes the watershed that is one of the main sources of water for the city of Portland.

Lots of evacuations, bad air quality for those with respiratory problems, closure of locks and Columbia river, many communities. Nice going teenagers. I hope they’re prosecuted. It will take years to recover.

UPDATE:  11% contained, burning 35,000 acres. Interstate 84 is closed in the Columbia River Gorge. The west lanes will be opened when it is safe. ODOT have already removed 1,500 trees that were posing a hazard to the Interstate highway, but nearly another 1,000 trees still need to be felled. A beautiful drive won’t be beautiful again for many, many years.

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9/11 Hurricane Update by The Elephant's Child

Hurricane Irma is weakening and headed north and west through Alabama, and mopping up has started in Florida. About half of Florida has been reported to be without power, and may be for even weeks — an interesting development for those who depend on electric cars. Closed gas stations will be resupplied soon, but they did say the power may be out for weeks.

Puerto Rico was dealt only a glancing blow by Irma, and relieved Puerto Ricans are donating water, clothing, first aid and other supplies as they head off to St. Thomas where they weren’t so lucky. Government-led missions have also been evacuating people from the islands to Puerto Rico in six C130 aircraft. Some 1,200 American citizens have been carried from St. Martin and St. Thomas, and more than 50 patients have been airlifted to Puerto Rican hospitals. The civilian effort has been local, spontaneous and a volunteer affair. Hundreds of volunteers have packed shipping containers full of supplies. Power and phone service have left islanders disconnected from the rest of the world.

José seems to be still spinning around in circles.Vast warnings about the coast and possible landfall as far north as New York or New England, but it has weakened and isn’t going anywhere at the moment. I remain interested because it is all so foreign to me and I know so little about hurricanes.

Governors seem to have been very good at urging evacuation and safety. Human nature assures us that there will still be idiots out there wind surfing in the hurricane, or wandering out to look at the way the sea has withdrawn so far. There is some talk from officials about prosecuting those who abandoned their pets. Seattle Humane is receiving many dogs and cats from Florida.

 



Vice President Pence Spoke Today at a Ceremony of Remembrance, on a field at Shanksville, PA. by The Elephant's Child



Historic. Remarkable. Devastating. Destructive. World Ending. by The Elephant's Child

(Chicago, 1871. A city destroyed. Very low CO2.)

We are indeed watching historic hurricanes, but not in size or — destructiveness. Irma comes in only 7th in the list of hurricanes that have made landfall on the U.S. We had quite a respite from serious hurricanes, but now they’re back, but not because of global warming.

This year we have not only have almost instant coverage and constant updates, but we have film from the intrepid pilots who fly over the hurricanes. We have pictures from the Space Station and satellite pictures delivered instantly to your computer or cell phone. 

But hurricanes are unpredictable. Irma was a Category 5, degraded to a 4, then a 2.  Was supposed to go up the east coast of Florida, made a turn and is heading up the west coast, expected to hit Georgia and the Carolinas, then last I saw is turning west towards the more central states. Unpredictable.

Will more information make us brighter? Probably not. Irma pulled the waters out of Tampa bay, and some residents promptly went down to the shoreline to see the water pull so far back. STORM SURGE! A storm surge can be 12 or 15 feet above normal. All at once. One of the brighter souls suggested shooting this #*”! storm, and many thought that was an excellent idea, while officials shrieked no! no! the bullets can be blown right back at you. Looters are busy and busy being taken in. Some wag remarked — At least bookstores are safe!

For more serious and informed information, and a bracing dose of common sense, visit Climate Depot or Watts Up With That  where you will find the silliness debunked and links to the comments of climate scientists who are experts in this stuff. Read the comments too:

The WashPost ist buyed by Al Gore and his co-operates. That`s the real fight Pres. Trump has to fight against the fake news media. But Trump is a scotch fighter with german blood, he will stand this media storm. Scotchs have been fighting over hundreds of years against the normans, saxons and vikings on the british islands and Scotland is still standing until today. It is, in line with Ireland ( which is an island) and Wales the last bastion af the once great celtic nation.

With a period of low hurricane activity, people have forgotten how bad it can be, and they are scared that it’s all falling apart: Here’s Peter Brannen from the Guardian: “This is how Your World Could End.” And as a rebuttal, here’s the always sensible Christopher Booker: “Hurricane Irma’s numbers simply do not add up  although the global warming brigade would like them to.”



As I Was Saying…. by The Elephant's Child



Language, Talking Points, and the Vanishing Profession of Journalism by The Elephant's Child

Selected language and preferred narratives seem to be going off into all directions. Some of it is quite deliberate, as Democrats in mass speak in focus-tested talking points. This is proven by the vast numbers of Democrats who emerge on a given day—all saying the exact same thing in the exact same words. The goal seems to be controlling the narrative of the day, and thus commanding the news cycle and, hopefully, the thoughts in the heads of Americans. Orwell would understand.

The ordinary news cycle seems to be all fouled-up as well. Hurricane Irma is the strongest hurricane ever in the history of the west, no, there have been regularly very damaging hurricanes and many of them. Irma has been downgraded to a Category 4.  José has been upgraded to a Category 4. The plots they are expected to follow change regularly. There are official websites with official numbers, but everybody seems to be using some alternates.

I may exaggerate a little, but it suffices as a description of the ordinary news. There’s Republican news and Democrat news with variances,and nuances, lots of nuances.  Many people have remarked that they don’t believe any major news sources and simply depend on a few individuals they trust. This is a remarkable situation, and I cannot remember any time when the media was so mistrusted, and held in so much contempt. It’s a very uncomfortable circumstance. Traditionally, the media was supposed to be the watchdog of the three branches of government, so that when the politics became too apparent, the truth would prevail. “Draining the swamp” as it were.

The visual media has made reporting a glamorous profession, and the pretty or handsome ones  become celebrities of a sort, like movie people — their names and faces are known. I’m not sure of the diagnosis — are there too many reporters chasing the same stories, is this a failure of the journalism schools, poorly educated reporters, or has everyone just become far too political? Journalism has always been political going back as far as  “Remember the Maine” and the Spanish American War, but the present case seems different.

Time will tell, and there are a great many curious cases to be fully explained. I did read that CNN has finally given up on the Russia connection.



Letting Go by The Elephant's Child

Nobody has mentioned it, but we are seeing an excellent example of what no one really talks about. How to end a presidency or a campaign gracefully. For all the Democrat histrionics about George W. Bush and Iraq, he handled leaving the presidency with grace and character. Clearly he has felt deeply responsible for the war that took place during his tenure as Commander in Chief, and his efforts with wounded warriors, and honoring those who served with his paintings is impressive. But he clearly recognized, early on, that his legacy would be determined by the historians, and there wasn’t all that much he could do about it. What happened — happened.

Former president Barack Obama hasn’t quite come to terms with being a former president. He is working on how he can continue to be active in politics, bought a mansion in one of the tonier sections of Washington D.C. and continues to pursue his celebrity status. What neither he nor Hillary quite seem to understand is that when it’s over—it’s really over, and the party has moved on. They are interested in the future, who are viable candidates, what are viable programs and policies, and the former have no real role to play.

Hillary is embarking on her book tour, and Democrats are not pleased. Her book, which she sees as vindication and explanation for “What Happened” comes across more as a plaintive whine, and Democrats find it uncomfortable and wish she would just go quietly away. She is charging over $2,000 for her book tour appearances (book included). I ran onto a quote from early in Bill’s presidency when she was complaining about being offended, and saying that those giving offense just didn’t like dealing with a “very powerful woman.” Interesting. I never thought of her as powerful, at all.

Jimmy Carter wasn’t ready to deal with the end of his presidency either. He kept trying to interfere disastrously in international relations. I guess having the reins of power in your own hands is a feeling that is hard to give up. Someone should write a little “retiring with grace” book.




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