American Elephants


Man The Barricades, The People Are Getting Angry! by The Elephant's Child

Independence is a tradition in America, The people don’t really like being ordered around, and a number of governors are getting more than a little officious. The people understand the pandemic, and the need for care and avoidance, and wearing masks, but we are seeing examples of whole cities being shut down, with no one allowed to enter or leave and that goes way too far.

Since our officials are elected from the general population, their skill at good management is not always in evidence when they are elected and is sometimes utterly missing. President Trump correctly turned the management of the states over to the governors of their own state, and some have done all right, most have gone too far, fearful of not doing enough. The most urgent problem is that many Americans have lost their jobs, and are finding it difficult to cope. And many of those who might be employed have had their workplace closed. Food bank use is way up.

Protests are breaking out, sometimes spontaneous, often organized, and it may get worse. People want to go back to work. Our governor here in Washington State has just extended his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order through May 31. He may allow  some retail curbside purchases, car washes, (Swell, and I really, really need my hair cut) but I will be allowed to wash the car. More details to come. Pet grooming may be allowed, but not for people. can you tell that I am getting a little testy?

California’s governor Gavin Newsom has been very busy closing beaches, and as the weather is getting warmer, that’s not going over well. Orange County is bitterly protesting the closure of their beaches. They have had a very low death rate, with a higher population in the county than that of many states. Most of the people who live in Orange County live there because of the beaches.

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has shut down the schools for the rest of the year. There will undoubtedly be no summer camps available. Parents will have to find new amusement or tasks for their kids.

New York was fearful of running out of hospital space, and the President sent the Hospital Ship Comfort , but it never was needed at all, though the arrival was prompt and spectacular. They also, I believe. built a military hospital tent in a park, which was also never used. Better to have unused supplies, than sick people needing unavailable beds.

The nation’s governors have no experience of pandemics, nor of preparing for them, or administering them. Next time around, we will be better prepared. Are they not telling us that there will be a second round this next winter? There is so much that we do not know, but we are learning fast. I hope they are keeping good records of our successes as well as our failures.



The People Are Getting Restless! by The Elephant's Child

Americans don’t like being bossed around. The corona virus shutdown has gone on too long and people want to get back to normal. They want to go back to work, a good percentage of those who were working from home would just as soon head back to the office. Life has been so disrupted that they just want it to stop. The advisories about the disease have been challenged so much that they don’t know what’s really necessary anymore. Is it really important to stay six feet away from everyone? Different medical experts don’t agree with each other, and nobody knows who is right or wrong.

Protests are breaking out, people are trying to organize bigger protests, Facebook and Twitter are not going to allow their free speech, because they want to control what people may or may not say on their venues, without understanding that their efforts at control are also offensive. President Trump clearly recognizes the need of the public to get back to work, yet COVID-19 is far more infectious than was originally assumed, and he doesn’t want more Americans to die. How much is needed protection of the American people and how much can be ignored because it is too much control?

Democrats are desperately anxious to prevent Donald Trump from winning a second term. Are they still enraged that Hillary won the popular vote, but not, as the Constitution allows, the Electoral College? They intend to get rid of the Electoral College as quickly as possible, so that will not happen again. Does anyone stop to think about where we would be if Hillary had been elected? We would still have the corona virus emergency. When Hillary was Secretary of State in the Obama Administration, one of her Ambassadors in a country under threat from terrorists, had been begging for weeks for more security. Hillary ignored the pleas, and in consequence killed not only her Ambassador, but his aide and two valiant former Navy Seals who were all lost in an attack on the Embassy.  And she would have protected a nation from a poorly understood virus?

On the other hand, Communism and Socialism appeal to some because they offer more control of the people. America exists because earliest settlers objected to British efforts to control and tax her American citizens. The impulse to control the actions and thoughts of other people is buried deep in human nature. People who are quite sure they are right simply want everybody else to do it their way. You see Communism at work in China, with everyone monitored all the time. Correct and obedient behavior will earn you privileges like being able to take a trip on a train or bus.

So here we are. Feisty Americans are sick of the shutdown, and they want it ended now. How will this one play out? The people of other countries react a little differently. Is it just Americans too used to freedom, and having won wars to defend their freedom  to whom it really matters?



Furious Protests Continue In All Major Cities in Iran. by The Elephant's Child
December 28, 2009, 9:08 pm
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Freedom, History, Islam | Tags: , , ,

Michael Ledeen explains what is happening in Iran right now.  Krauthammer is right.  This is one of the hinges of history.

From Deutsche Wellle:

In a strong statement to the press on Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the actions of Iran’s state security services “unacceptable.”

She called on them to “avoid any further escalation of the violence and to pursue political dialogue to peacefully settle internally disputed matters,” and also to respect their commitment to the International Pact on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees the right to peaceful protest.

At least eight people were killed in street clashes in Tehran when police and Basij militia members confronted protest marchers who were attempting to gather at a number of central squares. Sunday’s protests took place on Ashura, a Shiite Islamic holy day devoted to honoring martyrs, often through street marches.

Violent response

According to opposition sources, security forces used tear gas and live ammunition to try to get the marchers to disperse.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle criticized Iran’s tactics as “brutal,” and said that the international community “would be watching, not looking away.”

A spokesman for the French foreign ministry, Bernard Valero, said his country again expressed “deep concern,” and “condemns the arbitrary arrests and violence carried out against ordinary protesters.”

He added that intensification of repression “would lead nowhere.”

The Italian foreign ministry, meanwhile, warned the Islamic republic that “safeguarding human lives is a fundamental value which must be defended everywhere and in every circumstance.”

National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer made a statement on violence in Iran:

We strongly condemn the violent and unjust suppression of civilians in Iran seeking to exercise their universal rights. Hope and history are on the side of those who peacefully seek their universal rights, and so is the United States. Governing through fear and violence is never just, and, as President Obama said in Oslo, it is telling when governments fear the aspirations of their own people more than the power of any other nation.

An article by Nile Gardner, Washington-based foreign affairs analyst for the U.K. Telegraph, was headlined “Iranian protesters are dying for freedom — where is Barack Obama?

Here is a video from Iran. It’s hard to watch, but it has a happy ending. The death toll has risen to 15 18.


(h/t: Ace of Spades)




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