American Elephants

Historic New York City As You’ve Never Seen It Before by The Elephant's Child

New York City’s Municipal Archives have just released over 870,000 images from its photographic collection. It is, as the Atlantic describes  it,”a visual coming-of-age story, documenting its maturation into one of the world’s most influential cities.”

The Atlantic’s Alan Taylor has sifted through the images, and come up with 53 early and mid-20th century images for their magazine. The Atlantic has done a number of these spectacular photo essays, and they are always worth your time. There is a link to the whole collection, but they warn the website is swamped, and you may have difficulty reaching it. I loved this early street sweeper. Click on the image to enlarge.

Free Enterprise Does Not Fit Into Obama’s Vision for America by The Elephant's Child

Once upon a time, in the first days of November of 2010, all that was right about the world was shattered by one of the biggest electoral swings in congressional history. Democrats are still trying to grasp what has happened.

Conservatives don’t particularly dislike Liberals, but they detest their ideas. Liberals detest Conservatives and don’t understand their ideas at all.

Conservatives believe that reality suggests we are all flawed human beings, who must be set free to learn from our mistakes and grasp for opportunity. We make a lot of mistakes, but we turn around and correct them, muddle through and do amazing things in the process. The great innovations usually originate in a single mind, not in a committee.

A transaction in the free market does not happen unless both parties find it to their advantage. Competition keeps prices low and fosters innovation. Competition increases the quality and choices of products and services. Competition is hard work for businesses, and they have to fight for customers. They  have to keep track of what their competitors are doing, and find ways to innovate. Because it is hard, they lobby lawmakers to constrain the free markets in which they originally achieved success.

The most effective way to control capitalists is through competition, not regulation. Liberals are sure that rapacious big business will cheat customers, abuse workers and charge too much if  uncontrolled. In the free market, who wants to be a customer of such a business? They’ll go where they’re treated well.

Liberals offer to control the forces let loose in the free market. But control is seldom evenly applied. Those in control will, because they are human, favor one business over another. Or they will favor the unions, or  pick winners and losers, and subsidize a favored business while ignoring the competition.

Liberals are suspicious of competition. They have tried hard to stamp it out in the schools, eliminating winners and losers. Everybody gets a medal and nobody is a winner— lording it over the others.  But if there are no winners, there is no point in trying to be best. It is failures that make us work harder to succeed.

President Obama said that “the free market is the greatest force of economic progress in human history,” but he didn’t mean it. No president in history has worked so hard to expand state control over health care, energy, the environment, the financial sector, education, and American business. If the free market fits into Obama’s vision of America, he hasn’t explained how.

Obama assumes that progress begins with the administration of government money to jump-start a business. Government investment will somehow foster innovation and create jobs and prosperity. “Government money” is not taken as seriously as is the money from the pockets of individual investors. If you run short, there is usually more government money to be had, because failure would make the giver of government money look bad. Individual investors do more due diligence in the first place, and monitor operations more carefully— it’s their money at stake.

Nobody ever said that the free market is easy. It’s hard, but it works. We have evidence over and over— from history, from developing countries, from our own successes and failures.

We are fallible human beings, yet we rise to opportunity. One fallible human being’s success opens doorways for many more. The United States of America has been a beacon to the world in demonstrating the freedom and possibilities of the free market, and more and more nations are growing and prospering because of it.

How very odd that in” the worst recession since the Great Depression,” we should forget the simple rules that made us Americans.

THIS is what a bully looks like! by American Elephant
April 29, 2012, 6:56 pm
Filed under: Education, Media Bias, News, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: , , , , ,

This is Dan Savage. Dan Savage makes me ashamed to be gay. Dan Savage is a vile [warning: when I say vile, I mean it], loathsome human being, far more hateful than any Christian I’ve ever known, and I know many.

Here, he proves that he does not seek to END bullying, but seeks TO bully. He also proves that he has no clue what the meaning of the word tolerance is, not to mention the words irony and hypocrisy.

He uses his position of power and authority over these high school kids, as an invited speaker with a stage, a microphone, and a very real “bully pulpit,” to bully those in the audience who dare to be Christian. He willfully misrepresents what the Bible says, knowingly lies about what Christians believe, dishonestly berates their religion (I know he knows better because I’ve seen and heard Christians explain to him exactly how he misrepresents their religion and beliefs, but instead of correcting his arguments, he keeps right on repeating what he knows to be lies.)

I am SO PROUD of all the kids, of every race & creed who got up and walked out on his bigoted, hateful tirade. I’m only sorry that the camera was zoomed in on Savage so that only one aisle could be seen. There were at least three aisles — probably 5 if you count the outsides, and I’m sure just as many kids were leaving via those aisles as well.

Tolerance does not mean that you must agree with people, or approve of what they do — that is the totalitarian leftist definition: “give us more money & control or you are a ‘H8er’.” If everyone agreed with one another, there’d be no need for tolerance. Tolerance means living in peace with people with whom you disagree — even strongly. Something Savage has never shown any evidence of doing. Something Christians do every day.

Tolerance is what these Christian kids did! (assuming they were all Christian, which may not be the case) —  coming to see him speak knowing who he was, knowing he was gay, knowing that he was a hateful, anti-Christian, anti-religious bigot.

And when he started berating them from his bully pulpit, they didn’t protest, they didn’t throw things at him and try to shout him down — as so-called “progressives” regularly do to conservative speakers. Quite the contrary, they let him speak, and quietly left, refusing to sit there and be bullied.

And when these throngs of kids left, what did this “progressive, enlightened, tolerant” man do? He pretended HE is the victim and called these high school kids (guilty of nothing) “pansy ass” (a little self-loathing, internal homophobia there Dan?) for leaving.

The most courageous people in that auditorium were those who stood up and left, in front of an auditorium full of their peers.

Dan was the least courageous. Dan was and is a coward. Bullying Christian kids, knowing full well that the very ‘worst’ thing they would do is possibly pray for him.

He has the GALL to accuse Christianity of teaching that women should be stoned (which shows he doesn’t understand a thing about Christianity Hey Dan! New Testament, Google it!) and to intimate that Republicans might want to do that much or more, cus ‘who knows where they’re going” as he put it — at the very same time his “progressive” president is sending millions to Palestinians who actually DO kill people for being gay.

He picks on high school kids whom he knows will do nothing,  but doesn’t have the balls to criticize the only religion on Earth that actually DOES stone, hang and burn gays to death in the name of their religion. You, Dan, are the “pansy ass”. The kids who laughed & applauded you at least have the excuse of being young and ignorant.

And lastly, I fervently hope it was more than just Christians who left!

I hope students of other faiths, and no faith at all, got up and left too. Most of all, I hope at least a few of those who left were gay kids who recognized the glaring hypocrisy of this “man” spewing hate and lies in the name of tolerance.

They were RIGHT to leave. Dan Savage is the bully. Dan Savage is the bigot.

[PS: He is supported & endorsed by Barack Obama & Democrats.]

Snapple Cap Message of the Day: by The Elephant's Child

“Most lipstick contains fish scales.”  Euww-ww!! Perhaps cosmetics, like sausage, are something that should just be left to the FDA to declare safe, and leave it at that. There are limits to recycling, or should be.

“This Mandate is Going to Wind Up in the Supreme Court” by The Elephant's Child

When Obama spoke warmly about  hope and  bipartisanship and cooperation in Congress, both houses of Congress were controlled by the Democrats. When the 2010 election put Republicans firmly in control of the House of Representatives, Obama lost interest in cooperation.

Instead he determined to accomplish what he wanted done by executive orders, presidential memoranda and proclamations, and of course, regulations and mandates from the various agencies that were more or less authorized by some legislation. He just wouldn’t bother with Congress anymore.

Ruling by decree was just the way Obama wanted it. In February, President Obama announced his intention to order private insurance companies to provide contraception and abortion drug coverage free, as his way of accommodating religious institutions’ conscientious objections to being forced to provide coverage of those items for their employees, under the terms of ObamaCare.

The president just doesn’t get to rule by decree, taking over private industry,  installing his own people to carry out his wishes.  Oh, wait….

Back in 1952, during the Korean War, Harry Truman, an unpopular president, conducting an unpopular war, was faced with a political problem in a presidential election year. A looming steelworker’s strike could shut down the country’s steel production for months. The industry was under wartime price controls and could not raise their prices, yet could not meet the demands of labor without raising steel prices. The federal Wage Stabilization Board recommended a wage increase, but the federal Office of Price Stabilization denied the companies’ request for a price increase. Nobody would budge, and a strike was imminent.

Steel production was important to the war effort. Congress had rejected the idea of direct government interference in labor disputes. Truman ordered his secretary of commerce to seize and take over operation of the nation’s steel companies, in order to give steelworkers a wage increase and avoid a strike threatening steel production in the middle of a war. This became one of the most famous and most important of all modern Supreme Court decisions: Youngstown Steel & Tube Co.v. Sawyer. The Supreme Court held that the president may not rule by decree, conscripting private industry to carry out his commands. The chief executive may only execute laws passed by Congress, according to their terms. He may not make up laws of his own and then enforce them.

The presidents of three evangelical colleges have filed suit with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and the Alliance Defense Fund against the mandate, which is clearly in violation of the religious clause of the First Amendment.

In addition, it appears that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius did not consult Supreme Court decisions on religious liberty, nor have a legal memo prepared before she drafted the mandate. On Thursday Secretary Sebelius appeared before the House and was questioned by Congressman Gowdy (R-SC) a former federal prosecutor.

I suspect that Obama’s overreaching mandate may be in trouble.

Obama Will Inaugurate His Reelection Campaign on May 5 by The Elephant's Child

Stop laughing. Yes, this guy that has been flying all over the country in Air Force One, raising money at campaign events, beginning nearly a year ago. Over 100 fundraisers and another one last night — admission $35K on up. All those rallies at schools are just to see the kids science projects or something. The attempts to sell the “Buffet Rule,” those were “official” forays, or “official” travels designed to influence Congress.  But Obama knew the so-called Buffet Rule would never get by Congress.

The trips this week to talk to college students about lowering the interest rates on college loans? Those were obviously “official” business, even though the kids don’t have to worry about their loans until after they graduate — but they do get to vote before then — don’t they?

Air Force One costs $182.000 an hour— apparently of taxpayer money, since they are being so careful to indicate that he is only starting to campaign on May 5. Does he really need the helicopters as well, and the 20 car motorcade?

I think presidents should have vacations, enjoy some golf or whatever relaxation they need, spend time at Camp David. The work can be very stressful. We provide a president with lots of perks out of respect for the office. But it seems to be the Czars who are doing all the work, and this imperial president lavishes in the most expensive of the perks without the slightest concern for the enormous budget deficit and the 88 million unemployed. As the press is fond of saying — the optics are, um, unfortunate.  You can look up the president’s schedule on the White House website. It includes all his campaign events too.

We’ve been paying for his personal fascination with things solar, his personal enthusiasm for electric cars, his romance with light rail, and his personal distaste for any and all fossil fuels, not to mention his very obvious unconcern for the pocketbooks of American citizens. All those fundraisers that pretended to be “official” events should have raised enough money to pay for the presidential campaign travel, shouldn’t they?

You Will Behave, and We Will Monitor Your Behavior. by The Elephant's Child

You can always tell when the Democrats have come up with a bill by the name. I thought the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” was a pretty pretentious name as ObamaCare neither protects patients nor makes anything affordable. Now comes the prospective Senate Bill 1813 the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.” I reject anything named the 21st Century anything, but “Moving Ahead for Progress”— oh, puhleeze.

It gives the IRS the power to revoke passports belonging to those who are delinquent with tax debt in excess of $50,000. (That keeps a lot of Obama administration people safely at home). The potential law may also be used to measure your carbon footprint each time you get in your car.

The  legislation makes it mandatory for all new cars in the  U.S. to be fitted with black box-like recorders beginning in 2015. Called “Mandatory Event Data Recorders,” the devices would be capable of monitoring your speed, driving habits, braking habits, miles driven, location and distance of travel. Removal of the device would be a civil offense. The measurements would remain the property of the vehicle owner, but the government would have the authority to retrieve the data.

This is most probably another innovation of the Greens. They are very anxious to control your use of energy, and shutting down most sources of energy in favor of what they conceive of as clean energy continues unabated. Just wait till you get your Smart Meter and are connected to the Home Area Network.

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