American Elephants


The Origins of Liberalism: A New History by The Elephant's Child

The “narrative” of the Left, to use a newly favorite leftist word, contains a view of America as “an exceptionally guilty nation, the product of a poisonous mixture of territorial rapacity emboldened by racism, violence, and chauvinistic religious conviction, an exploiter of natural resources and despoiler of natural beauty and order such as the planet has never seen.” ( Thank you, Howard Zinn) So says Wilfrid M. McClay in a review of Fred Siegel’s new book: The Revolt Against the MassesThere is as well a second view “in which all of history is seen as a struggle toward the greater and greater liberation of the individual, and the greater and greater integration of all governance in larger and larger units, administered; by cadres of experts actuated by the public interest and by a highly developed sense of justice.”

It’s an important book, “a critique of liberalism by someone who came out of the left.” Siegel believes that liberalism has come to be the mortal enemy of the ordinary working people who are the backbone of America.

Siegel traces modern liberalism back, not to Woodrow Wilson’s progressivism, but to the aftermath of World War I, and the intelligentsia’s view of  the dreary middle class nature of American society.

Between January of 1920 and July of 1922 when the Twenties began to roar, the country endured an economic collapse nearly as steep as that between 1929 and 1933. But the plummet was followed by a rapid recovery under Harding, who was devoted to less government through lower taxes and less regulation. This might have seemed a vindication of the American way, particularly as compared with Europe’s ongoing woes. But the short, sharp downturn, resolved without government intervention, drew only passing intellectual attention. Literary elites soon returned to their central themes. …

[The radicals of 1922] many of them Harvard men, were driven by resentment. The so-called lost generation…was “extremely class-conscious.” They had “‘a vague belief in aristocracy and in the possibilities of producing real aristocrats through education.” They went to Europe “to free themselves from organized stupidity, to win their deserved place in the hierarchy of intellect.” They felt that their status in America’s business culture was grossly inadequate, given their obviously exceptional intelligence and extraordinary talent. Their simmering anger at what they saw as the mediocrity of democratic life led them to pioneer the now commonplace stance of blaming society for their personal failings. Animated by patrician spirit, they found the leveling egalitarianism of the United States an insult to their sense of self-importance.

Well, the radicals of 1922, the radicals of the sixties, not all that much difference. The Democrats of 2014 have a remarkably squalid bench. Hillary is supposed to be the first woman president, but her accomplishment list is scanty, her tenure as Secretary of State is measured in frequent-flyer miles, and a “reset” button. Her tenure as a senator in a safe Democrat seat has nothing to add to the resume. Her claim to qualifications is as Bill’s wife. If you remember, she started out the Clinton reign by wanting to be the co-president. The people were not impressed. Bill was a natural political animal. Hillary simply does not have his political instincts.

The alternate to Hillary is being drummed up as Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) the faux-Indian law professor from Harvard, who is unable to understand the simple direct meaning of the Hobby Lobby case. She issued her “11 commandments” for Progressives this week, which only show that her understanding of cause and effect, and how regulation works is remarkably thin.

Tom Sowell recently pointed out that: “The fundamental problem of the political Left seems to be that the real world does not fit their preconceptions. Therefore they see the real world as what is wrong, and what needs to be changed, since apparently their preconceptions cannot be wrong.”

As I said, the new word is “disproportionate” Sowell adds: “A never-ending source of grievances for the Left is the fact that some groups are ‘over-represented’ in desirable occupations, institutions, and income brackets, while other groups are ‘under-represented.’ From all the indignation and outrage about this expressed on the left, you might think that it was impossible that different groups are simply better at different things.”

Yet runners from Kenya continue to win a disproportionate share of marathons in the United States, and children whose parents or grandparents came from India have won most of the American spelling bees in the past 15 years. And has anyone failed to notice that the leading professional basketball players have for years been black, in a country where most of the population is white?

Most of the leading photographic lenses in the world have — for generations — been designed by people who were either Japanese or German. Most of the leading diamond-cutters in the world have been either India’s Jains or Jews from Israel or elsewhere. …

If the preconceptions of the Left were correct, central planning by educated elites who had vast amounts of statistical data at their fingertips and expertise readily available, and were backed by the power of government, should have been more successful than market economies where millions of individuals pursued their own individual interests willy-nilly.

And to return to where I began, with Wilfrid McClay: “The arrogance that looks upon the actual lives of ordinary people with pity and disdain is, at least potentially, the same arrogance that knows what would be better for those pathetic folks, and presumes itself fit to impose upon them a new way of life that is more fitting and fulfilling than their present condition, had they the wit to realize it.”



The Ever-Growing Lexicon of the Left: New Additions. by The Elephant's Child

dis•pro•por•tion•ate: adjective: having or showing a difference that is not fair, reasonable, or expected: too large or too small in relation to something.
being out of proportion.

#LiveTheWage: Congressional Democrats’ stunt to attempt to live on the minimum wage (briefly). The federal minimum wage of $7.25 would be $290 a week, subtract $176.48 average for housing and $35.06 for taxes leaves $77 remaining for the week to live on. Democrats ask if you could live on that amount?

Informed by polls and public reaction, Obama’s staff and advisors told him to knock off the “income inequality” theme. It wasn’t working. President Obama had hailed it as “the defining challenge of our times.” Yet internal polls proved the class warfare and soak the rich rhetoric was an election loser. Polls have also shown that “minimum wage” doesn’t even register among important issues. Well, not so fast. Income inequality and envy of the rich are perennial hot buttons for liberals, a bedrock issue.

Change the language. The proportion of national wealth that belongs to the 1% is certainly disproportionate. The wages of the average worker are clearly disproportionate to the wages of Industry CEOs. The killing of Hamas terrorists is disproportionate to the numbers of Israeli dead. Are wars supposed to be proportionate? “A difference that is not fair or not reasonable.” I see. Go for fairness.

See how difficult it is to live on just $77 a week? How can people survive on a minimum wage like that? $290 a week is over the poverty level. The minimum wage at $290 a week adds up to $14,500 a year which is over the poverty level of $11,490 a year. And how come Democrats don’t mention that the problems of low wage jobs have become a problem particularly because of ObamaCare, which forced employers to make their full-time workers part time at less than 30 hours. The big increase in new jobs has been in part-time jobs — the other half of the hours of those whose hours were cut.

Minimum wage laws were instituted by union pressure to protect their workers from being undercut by those who would work for less. Ideally, there should be no minimum wage, but only contracts between a willing employer and a willing employee. If I’d like to hire the neighbor’s kid to mow my lawn once a week for far under the local minimum wage of $9.25 I should be able to do so if he wants to mow my lawn. Minimum wage jobs offer new workers a chance to learn marketable skills. A person with marketable skills should be able to find a better job.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky shared her “minimum wage” menu for the week. Her twitter audience was unimpressed.  Pinkie “I honestly think @janschakowsky has no idea that 95% of Americans eat what’s on her menu all the time.” DLoesch “What does @janschakowsky eat normally? Geebus”

BtVHWDNCYAEX-ol



Dave Allen, on “Children” by The Elephant's Child

Dave Allen On Supermarkets by The Elephant's Child
July 20, 2014, 6:53 am
Filed under: Entertainment, Humor, United Kingdom | Tags: , ,

Dave Allen is a British comedian, and brilliant. British supermarkets may be a bit different, but if you shop in a grocery, you will recognize some of your own angst in his performance. He has his audience in the palm of his hnd.



The Offensive Translator by The Elephant's Child

Catherine Tate is a British comedienne, and this is an oldie but goodie. One of her best.



The Recipe for a Speech — Any Speech. by The Elephant's Child

(h/t: Washington Free Beacon)



Somebody call PETA! by The Elephant's Child

26

This picture was posted on Facebook, and many viewers were outraged that at a time when there is so much going on in the world, some idiot hunter was slaughtering, um, peaceful rare animals. If you recognize the face of the man, Steven Spielberg, and the animal, Triceratops, all becomes fairly clear. The director posed with a prop from Jurassic Park. The Daily Caller summed up the rage of some of the commenters:

“That’s Steven Spielberg, director of Jurassic Park!” one user wrote.

“I don’t care who he is he should not have shot that animal,” another responded.

“Steven Spielberg, I’m disappointed in you. I’m not watching any of your movies again ANIMAL KILLER,” commented another.

“Disgraceful. No wonder dinosaurs became extinct. Sickos like this kill every last one of them as soon as they are discovered. He should be in prison,” another followed up.



Carly Fiorina Takes on “The War on Women” Straight on! by The Elephant's Child

“A lot of women, me included, are sick of the ‘war on women.'”said Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and the California Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2012. And she quickly deconstructed the War on Women in 51 seconds flat!

A lot of women, me included, are sick of the ‘war on women,’” the former Hewlett-Packard CEO and California Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. “And we saw it in spades on Monday after the Hobby Lobby case. The women of Hobby Lobby had access to contraception through their company insurance plan before Obamacare; they have access to contraception — 16 forms of it — after the ruling. But somehow, you know, this is the long arm of business and the Republican Party reaching into the body of women. It’s ridiculous.”

Fiorina then pulled out a fortune she said she’d received recently in a fortune cookie.

“‘Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause,’” Fiorina read. “And that’s exactly right. The War On Women is shameless, baseless propaganda. There’s no fact to it. But it’s worked because it’s scared women to death. Enough.”



Seventy Six Reasons For American Exceptionalism! by The Elephant's Child

Buzz Feed Has a marvelous list of “76 Reasons Why America is The Greatest Country In the World,” is not to be missed: Here’s a sample

5. WE’RE THE BEST AT TROLLING OTHER COUNTRIES

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“I baked this cake for my co-workers on Canada Day”

 

16. ROAD LEGAL

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Extra special full on patriotism for our 238th Fourth of July!
Great good Humor!



The Official Foreign Policy of the Obama Admistration by The Elephant's Child

This is actually a clip from the British comedy series “Yes, Minister,” but it seems so precisely applicable, and funny, that I couldn’t resist. The comedy that captures accurately the foibles of humanity is always the best, though we like the comedy of the other guy’s foibles better than when our own are exposed.



Remy: God Bless the USA [VA Scandal Edition] by The Elephant's Child

Remy remakes the Lee Greenwood classic for the administrators of today’s Veterans Administration hospitals.

Iraq and the Release of Taliban Leaders from Guantanamo may have pushed the VA Hospital Scandal off the front pages, but nobody has forgotten or forgiven. Americans care about their veterans.



The Obamas Take Advantage of All the Perks of the Office! by The Elephant's Child

From June 27 to July 3, 2013, the Obama family enjoyed a week-long family vacation to sub-Saharan Africa on the taxpayer’s dime.  Dime? Not exactly. The bill for lodging, entertainment and security expenses came to $2,189,727.60,  The records came from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed with the U.S. Secret Service on July 3, 2013.

According to the Department of Homeland Security documents:

—Secret Service hotel accommodations for the seven-day trip cost $953,788.18
—Although the Obama family’s safari in Tanzania was canceled shortly before the Obama’s departure for Africa, the Secret Service preparations for the canceled safari still cost $11,525.75. The Obamas were persuaded that the safari would really look bad.

During their week in Africa, the Obamas visited three countries: Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. According to reports in the Washington Post, in the days before the trip, “One hundred [Secret Service] agents are needed as ‘post-standers’ —to man security checkpoints and borders around the president—in each of the fist thee cities he visits. Sixty-five are needed to meet up with Obama in Dar es Salaam…In addition 80 to 100 additional agents will be flown in to work rotating shifts, with round-the-clock coverage, for Obama and his family’s security details…”

In March 2014, Judicial Watch released flight expense records from the U.S. Department of the Air Force, revealing that the Obama family also incurred flight expenses of $8,104,224. for flights to, from, and around Africa during the week-long June-July 2013 trip. The trip totaled 35.5 hours at $228,288 an hour. The records came from a FOIA request. According to numerous press accounts the total cost of the Obama family week-long trip was estimated to have cost between $60 million and $100 million, for one week!

Oddly enough this was just at the time when the president was shutting down White House tours and blaming it on the sequester.

As of March 7, 1014, President Obama had played 163 founds of golf. He is aware of the optics in an election year, and although he had averaged 30 rounds a year, in 2012 he cut back to 19.

However, the February 2014 golf trip to Palm Springs and March 2014 golf trip to Key Largo, Florida cost the taxpayers $2,952,278. for flight expenses alone.

The Africa tri was the most expensive, but the Honolulu vacation cost the taxpayers $15,885,585.30 in flight expenses alone. Michelle Obama’s side trip to Dublin, Ireland during the 2013 G-8 conference in Belfast, where she and her entourage booked 30 rooms at the five-star Shelbourne Hotel, with the first lady staying in the 1500-square-foot Princess Grace suite at a cost of $3,500 a night. The Obamas trip to Ireland cost a total of $7,921,638.66.

Clearly, the Obamas abuse the perks of the Office of the Presidency. Obama himself seems tone-deaf to the crassness of railing about income inequality and bellyaching about the sequester as he is leaving for another vacation. The idea that we are borrowing money from China for this excess is deeply offensive. In the style of the best executive expense-accounts the administration is apt to claim attendance at an important meeting about, say California’s water crisis, to cover for several rounds of golf at the most exclusive courses.




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