American Elephants

Thomas Sowell Talks About Intellectuals and Race by The Elephant's Child

On the Hoover Institution’s Uncommon Knowledge, Thomas Sowell talks about his newest book on Intellectuals and Race. Dr. Sowell  has been uncluttering language and thought for many years. I keep copying down things he has said casually, because they are so well said, I want to remember them. He occupies a goodly percentage of my personal book of quotations. Bartletts doesn’t answer anymore. Too dusty.

The Permanent Campaign Goes to Annapolis by The Elephant's Child

President Obama spoke to the graduates at the Naval Academy at Annapolis last week . He told them that they were the most diverse class in Navy history, and he told them that:

Every day, men and women of talent and skill work in the financial institutions that fund new businesses, and put new families — put families in new homes and help students go to college.  But we’ve also seen how the misdeeds of some — wild risk-taking or putting profits before people — sparked a financial crisis and deepened the recession that cost millions of Americans their jobs.

Every day, elected officials like those on this stage, but also all across the nation, devote themselves to improving our communities and our country.  But all too often we’ve seen a politics where compromise is rejected as a dirty word, and policies are driven by special interests rather than the national interest.  And that breeds a cynicism that threatens our democracy.

So the financial crisis wasn’t caused by a housing crisis, and loans made to people who could not afford to pay them back, not community organizers demanding that banks forgo the prudent rules of banking and make such loans, but by wild risk-taking and putting profits before people.

I’m glad to know that because I was worried that the government is once again pushing banks to make loans to people who can’t afford to pay them back, and I hear ads on the radio every day for people who want to teach you how to flip houses for major profit. Been there, done that, and it was so much fun you want to do it again?

“A politics where compromise is rejected as a dirty word, and policies are driven by special interests” — like paying back your union contributors and subsidizing cronies special interest in energy loans.

Seems a little crass to turn a congratulatory speech to graduates into a campaign speech, but I guess he can’t help it. The graduates won’t remember the speech anyway. Do you remember the speech at your graduation? I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who did.

Will There Be a Revolution in Europe? by The Elephant's Child

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned today that failure to win the battle against youth unemployment could tear Europe apart, while abandoning the continent’s welfare model in favor or tougher U.S. standards would cause “revolution.”

A generation of young Europeans fear that they will not find jobs, with youth unemployment in the EU standing at nearly one in every four, more than twice the rate of adult unemployment. Yet, he said, if US welfare standards were introduced in Europe “we would have revolution, not tomorrow, but on the very same day.” Schaeuble told a conference in Paris.  U.S. “tougher” standards would create revolution. Tougher?

However dismal the job prospects are for European youth, they are worse for disaffected immigrant Muslim youth, and that’s a very bad sign. So they can’t afford the welfare, and they can’t afford to be tougher about it, so….

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