American Elephants


Myth, Lies And Capitalism by The Elephant's Child

Arthur Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute, economist, and french horn player, gives a short class in Capitalism, always a worthy endeavor. Free enterprise works to lift people all over the world out of poverty.



Just a Bundle of Laughs by The Elephant's Child
May 28, 2015, 6:38 am
Filed under: Campaign 2016, Politics | Tags: , ,

It’s just Hillary.



2010: Perpetuum Jazzile — “Africa” by The Elephant's Child
May 28, 2015, 6:17 am
Filed under: Africa, Perpetuum Jazzile | Tags: , ,

The Slovenian a Capella Jazz Choir with their 2010 hit  “Africa”



Should America Be the World’s Policeman? by The Elephant's Child
May 27, 2015, 5:57 pm
Filed under: Foreign Policy, National Security | Tags: , ,

Bret Stephens is the foreign-affairs columnist for the Wall Street Journal where he is also deputy editorial page editor, responsible for the editorial pages of the Journal’s European and Asian editions. From 2002 to 2004, he was editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post. I recommend his 2014 book America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder unreservedly. Here he is for Praeger University:



Secretary of State John Kerry Has Promoted Marie Harf to Work On Nuclear Negotiations Strategy by The Elephant's Child

What can one say? This is not a joke.

In a communication from the State Department Press Corps,via JWF Jammie Wearing Fools

“Starting June 1, Marie Harf will be beginning in a new role as Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications for Secretary John Kerry. In this position, she will continue her work leading on the Iran Negotiations communications strategy and other priorities.

Mark Toner will be assuming the role of Deputy Spokesperson, a position he held previously when Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland was Spokesperson. Mark returns to the Spokesperson’s Office from the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, where he has been serving as a Deputy Assistant Secretary.”

The inmates are running the asylum, and we’re all doomed.



The Choices Available At The End of the Civil Rights Era by The Elephant's Child
May 27, 2015, 6:12 am
Filed under: Civil Rights, Education, Moral Forces | Tags: , ,

From William Voegeli’s The Pity Party:

The question of self-reliance affects the relationship between emphathizers and empathizees in a further way. If compassion rules out expecting much from those who suffer, then the moral and political leverage that empathizees wield against those who feel sorry for them will come to depend on their own incapacity. This correlation of moral forces operates with particular strength when empathizers and empathizees unite in the belief that the historic grievances of those who suffer preclude anyone else from calling on them to be self-reliant.

The basic choice open to blacks after the landmark legislation and court decisions of the civil rights era, according to the Hoover Institution’s Shelby Steele,* was between advancing “through education, skill development, and entrepreneuralism,” or  “pressuring the society that had wronged us into taking the lion’s share of the responsibility for resurrecting us.” The second course became all but inevitable when the post-civil rights narrative of white guilt and black victimhood decreed “that no black problem— whether high crime rates, poor academic performance, or high illegitimacy rates—could be defined as largely a black responsibility, because it was an injustice to make victims responsible for their own problems.”

*Shelby Steele, White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era (New York: HarperCollins, 2006)



It ‘s Going to Be a Long Hard Summer: The Police and the People by The Elephant's Child
May 26, 2015, 10:21 pm
Filed under: Politics, Empathy, Good Luck, Merit | Tags: , , ,

EE1baltimore.jpg.cms

Memorial Day weekend. In Baltimore, 29 were shot, 9 dead. In Chicago, 43 were wounded and 12 were killed. This has been the deadliest month Baltimore has seen in more than 15 years. That makes well over 100 murders this year, compared with 71 at this time last year, and it’s only (almost) June.

Any time Baltimore police officers respond to calls on the city’s west side, scene of the Freddie Gray Riots, as many as 50 people threaten them. Police Chief Anthony Batts (who is black) says “We have to send out multiple units just to do basic police work” he said. “It makes it very difficult to follow up on violence that takes place there.”

Police officers have just been gunned down in Omaha, New Orleans, Rio Rancho N.M. Victims can blame the crime surge on politicians who give criminals “space” to break the law. Who order cops to stop “stop and frisk.” Officers are called “racist,” their morale is low. Cops fear for their own safety and worry about being unfairly accused of using excessive force against Black criminals. Obama’s police reform task fore urges police to “de-escalate and retreat” when trying to arrest violent offenders, and Obama has unilaterally disarmed local police by banning military-style anti-riot gear.

Those who had the unmerited good fortune to grow up in stable, loving families, attend good schools, and belong to nurturing communities have the inside track to the acquisition of habits and dispositions that will serve them well throughout their lives, not least by eliciting the admiration of others. Conversely, no one deserves  to grow up in a dysfunctional or abusive family, attend crappy schools, and be raised on mean streets. The shortcomings we discern in the products of these environments reflect forces that have work on them from the outside in, rather than facets of character that manifest themselves from the inside out.
But exempting the poor from otherwise widely applicable standards of conduct, like sparing them the strain of personal initiative and responsibility, calls into question how there van be moral agents in the pews capable of being inspired or abashed by liberals’ sermons.
Liberalism presupposes, then, that people are capable of responding to compassionate appeals, and can be justly blamed and criticized if they fail to heed them….If it is possible to induce and expect people to be more compassionate in order to alleviate the suffering of others, it should also be possible to induce and expect people to be more disciplined, responsible and provident to prevent and alleviate their own suffering.*

Economist Walter Williams writes that “Hustlers and people with little understanding want us to believe that today’s black problems are the continuing result of a legacy of slavery, poverty and racial discrimination. The fact is that most of the social pathology seen in poor black neighborhoods is entirely new in black history.”

Today’s black illegitimacy rate of nearly 75% is also entirely new. In 1940, black illegitimacy stood at 14%. It had risen to 25% by 1965, when Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action” and was widely condemned as a racist.

By 1980, the black illegitimacy rate had more than doubled, to 56%, and it has been growing since. Both during slavery and as late as 1920, a teenage girl raising a child without a man present was rare among blacks.

Much of today’s pathology seen among many blacks is an outgrowth of the welfare state that has made self-destructive behavior less costly for the individual. Having children without the benefit of marriage is less burdensome if the mother receives housing subsidies, welfare payments and food stamps….

The bulk of today’s problems for many blacks are a result of politicians and civil rights organizations using government in the name of helping blacks when in fact they are serving the purposes of powerful interest groups.

*William Voegeli: The Pity Party, New York 2014



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