American Elephants


Goodbye Columbus Day, and Farewell to History by The Elephant's Child



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

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

And I didn’t realize that 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.



Discarding The Shameful Past? by The Elephant's Child

Today is Columbus Day, the day we used to celebrate Columbus’s Discovery of America. Every schoolchild once learned “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” At least that gave kids one marker in world history. But alas, Columbus has become unfashionable. I believe that Columbus, Ohio is attempting to divest itself of any relationship. Kids no longer learn of the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Probably ended in the ’60s. That generation has a lot to answer for. Shelby Steele explained in the Wall Street Journal recently:

The genius of the left in the ’60s was simply to perceive the new moral imperative, and then to identify itself with it. Thus the labor of redeeming the nation from its immoral past would fall on the left. This is how the left put itself in charge of America’s moral legitimacy. The left, not the right—not conservatism—would set the terms of this legitimacy and deliver America from shame to decency.

This bestowed enormous political and cultural power on the American left, and led to the greatest array of government-sponsored social programs in history—at an expense, by some estimates, of more than $22 trillion. But for the left to wield this power, there had to be a great menace to fight against—a tenacious menace that kept America uncertain of its legitimacy, afraid for its good name. …

Today’s left lacks worthy menaces to fight. It is driven to find a replacement for racism, some sweeping historical wrongdoing that morally empowers those who oppose it.

Shelby Steele was mostly talking about racism, but stealing American lands from the natives and abusing them fits right in with the redemptive program, and surely Columbus was a prime suspect for all that followed of conquering the new lands of what would become Latin America.. and then America.

Human nature is fairly quarrelsome, families can’t get along, as you may have noticed.  We don’t need the Democrats attempting to redeem us from “our immoral past” in order to give themselves brownie points. We simply need to recognize the reality of human nature, and that we are not perfect nor perfectible. I am hardly suggesting that we should ignore bad behavior, but on the other hand, the current trend of trying to eliminate past history because you disapprove of it – is beyond silly. The idea that the students now in our colleges and universities will someday be in charge of the country is frightening.




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