American Elephants

Peter O’Toole: 1932-2013 R.I.P. by The Elephant's Child
December 15, 2013, 6:40 pm
Filed under: Entertainment, Movies, United Kingdom | Tags: , ,


Consummate actor Peter O’Toole has died in London at the age of 81.
From Lawrence of Arabia which brought him to stardom, he brought much pleasure to world audiences over the years. And there was Becket, The Lion in Winter, Goodbye Mr. Chips, My Favorite Year, and even the Pixar animated Ratatouille. So many memories. His movies will live on.


History is Still With Us. Do We Need Reminding? by The Elephant's Child

It’s hard to remember that the year 1990 was 23 years ago, and those who born at “the End of History” are now 23 years old and the “young invincibles”on whom Obama depends to rescue the unworkable liberal dream of ObamaCare from oblivion. In 1990, capitalism had triumphed and there was no serious ideological challenger left in the world. The global trend toward freedom swept away dictatorships, apartheid in South Africa and the Serbian challenge in the Balkans. Was the 1990’s only the high point of Pax America and global freedom?

Well not so fast. September 11 was a rude awakening to the fact that history was still with us, and the twelve years since have only proved the point. Dictators are reasserting themselves in the former Soviet Union, radical Islam gets even more radical and is close to having a nuclear weapon, and mayhem breaks out with regularity. The American superpower has lost its will to lead a world order, let alone police it. We apparently want to be just another nation among others, and as the United States retreats, disorder increases.

Kim Jong Un reminds us that the totalitarian mind has not vanished, even if we’d prefer not to see. The North Korean dictator reminds us that not even family is immune. The public frog-march and execution of his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, is a reminder of just what the totalitarian mind is capable of, and why it remains a challenge to the world.

It also turns out there is a challenge to democratic capitalism: the eternal human temptation to rule and subjugate other human beings. The motivating ideology varies, such as fanatical Islam, what is left of Communist belief in China and North Korea, tribalism in parts of Asia and Africa, or simply the quest for power and control.

North Korea’s regime is instructive precisely because it has managed to survive and become even more threatening despite the post-Cold War currents of freedom. Partly this is due to its isolation, and partly to the protection of its patrons in Beijing. But its survival is also the result of the regime’s sheer will to dynastic power at all costs, and the West’s willingness to ignore its horrors.

The totalitarian mind is increasingly a threat to us all, because it is rapidly acquiring the technology to kill people far beyond the population of North Korea.They have nuclear warheads and will soon have a missile that can reach the United States, and they are happy to share the technology to anyone with enough cash.

The Tea Party Stands For Resistance to Unconstitutional Power by The Elephant's Child


Charles Kessler, editor of the Claremont Review of Books, writes in the most recent issue:

    The original Tea Party was neither a political organization nor a populist movement. It was a one-night stand, an evening uprising. Nevertheless, the young John Adams judged it so intrepid and consequential as to mark “an epocha in history.”
The British government agreed.  Lord North warned the Commons that a turning point had been reached. “We are now to establish our authority.” he said,”or give it up entirely.” We all know how that turned out.
Both the old and the new Tea Party stand for resistance to unconstitutional power. In 1773 the Tea Partiers opposed the Tea Act, which violated their rights as Englishmen and as men. Their counterparts today fight against Obamacare, a much worse law. And they have enough orneriness left over to confront many other usurpations by the Obama Administration as well as several inherited from Bush II.
Modern liberalism can neither fathom nor tolerate the Tea Party. Liberals don’t believe in a right of revolution against liberalism. They consider progress as they define it to be irreversible. For example, here is Barack Obama at his most peremptory, calling in 2009 for nationalized health care. “I am not the first president to take up this cause,”he told Congress, “but I am determined to be the last.”

Liberals are just plain frightened by the Tea Party. They prefer to think of it as the dying gasp of conservatism, but fear it to be revolutionary in the Jacobin, man the barricades, sense. They are unaccustomed to conservatives who hold rallies, carry homemade signs, and  even say the Pledge of Allegiance, all together, in public.

Liberals take the threat of the tea party seriously enough that President Obama has sicced the IRS on any groups with ‘Tea Party’ or ‘Patriot’, or other alarming words in their application for tax-exempt status. The IRS was caught unlawfully discriminating against such groups, and an ongoing investigation is working to get to the bottom of it. When winning is everything, using government agencies for political purposes seems acceptable.

The president has shrugged it off as a non-issue in spite of public outrage, and is now proposing  new regulations to make it impossible for nonprofits to discuss anything the Obama Administration deems political — like speaking of the Constitution, issuing nonpartisan voter guides or mounting nonpartisan drives to register voters. The administration slipped in new rules and regulations clarifying what can be called “political activity.” The new regulations attempt to codify what Obama’s IRS had hoped to achieve with mere harassment. Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal notes:

What makes this targeting more obvious is that the Obama Treasury rule only applies to 501(c)(4) groups. The ultra-liberal League of Women Voters Education Fund is registered as a 501(c)(3)—one of those “charities” supposedly held to the strictest IRS standards on politicking. Yet it brags on its website that it holds “candidate debates and forums,” and that its “educational activities” include “understanding candidate views and ballot initiatives.”

The League will continue to be able to do its voter guides and registrations and candidate forums. Yet under this new rule, any conservative social-welfare organization that attempts to do the same will likely lose its tax-exempt status. Nor does the new rule apply the biggest spenders of all in politics—unions, which are registered as 501(c)(5)s. The only category muzzled is the one recently flooded by conservative groups that Democrats fear in the 2014 election.

You have perhaps noticed that liberals are trying to portray, with some success, the Tea Party, in particular, and Republicans in general, as in the midst of an internecine battle, sure to result in the demise of Republicanism entirely.

Republicanism is a big tent. The Tea Party, indignant and new at the game, wants to put on their armor and battle flags flying, go on the attack. Conservatives want to pick their battles and not lose track of the real goal. There are Moderates and Libertarians as well, and of course the Establishment.

And “there is the easiest path to electoral success which is simply for someone on the right to stake out a position just to the right of one’s Democratic opponent.” as Ace of Spades said today. We are all human and one person’s hot button in not necessarily anyone else’s.

The Tea Party, new at political infighting, tends to speak in maximalist and uncompromising terms, and the Establishment knows more about politicking than the Tea Party. Both sides need to recognize that their goals are the same, even as they differ on strategy. The Establishment needs to stop thinking of the Tea Party as the new kids on the block who don’t know how to behave, and the Tea Party needs to stop trying to primary every congressman or senator who disagrees with them on strategy.

There are arcane rules and ways of getting things done in Congress when you’re just one of the three parts of the government. The goal is to repeal ObamaCare and all it entails.

This is the first time we have had a President of the United States who simply does not take the oath of office seriously, and is inclined to think the Constitution is an obsolete document that can be ignored.  And there, as they say, is the rub.

Christmas Gifts for Conservatives! 30% OFF ‘TIL MIDNIGHT by American Elephant

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The Original, Iconic 1980 Ronald Reagan primary campaign logo. Available ONLY from American Elephants!

The Original, Iconic 1980 Ronald Reagan & Bush campaign logo. Available ONLY from American Elephants!

Andrew Breitbart's Clarion Call to Conservatives, Tired of Being Demonized and Lied About By the Democrat-Media Complex

I (heart) Big Oil

Milton Friedman on the Economics of Socialized Medicine by The Elephant's Child


I just found this, and it seems appropriate to listen carefully, once again, to Milton Friedman. It often seems to me that economics is simply the art of trying to quantify common sense, but I do recognize that my “common sense” is someone else’s heresy.

The theory is that if you repeat something often enough, after a while it will sink in. I remain hopeful.

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