American Elephants

Truth and Lying: Moral Choices In Public Life. by The Elephant's Child

The New York Times noted that the Washington Post wrote on Wednesday “that the San Bernardino shooting was the second mass shooting today and the 355th this year.” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, the New York Times and other Lefty websites reported the same or similar statistics. The church in Charleston, a college classroom in Oregon and a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado but — what were the other 352 shootings? This is how information is communicated on the Left. Everybody quotes the same article, accepts it as holy writ, and passes it on. That’s why they all say the same thing in the same words.

There is an official definition for “mass shooting” but everybody ignores it when it is convenient to do so. The Left is clear as to the nature of the problem. It is guns —”Weapons of War” as designated by the New York Times. No “thoughts and prayers,” and never mind the victims and the injured, the news must be turned to one of the Left’s favorite talking points. This is just ugly.

For the past decade, the F.B.I has defined a mass shooting as a single attack in which four or more victims were killed. (In 2013 President Obama lowered that threshold to three victims killed). Mother Jones compiled a database, which they did not include, eliminating gang fights and late-night shootings on a city streets, and those that stemmed from robbery or domestic abuse, and refers those interested to a list compiled by a forum supporting gun control.  Mother Jones kinda-sorta suggested that there was something different about San Bernardino  but was quite unwilling to mention anything related to terrorism.

National Review took up the same question, explained it in a straightforward way, a metric based on the Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012, and the Congressional Research Service, and concluded that conflating the rarer incidents like Aurora and Newtown, with “familicides” or shootings attributable to underlying criminal activity or commonplace circumstances are almost twice as common as “mass public shootings.” There’s a lot of political convenience going on here. They ended up with an average of about 21 mass shootings annually between 1991 and 2013.

Charles C.W. Cooke took on the case of school shootings and the claimed 74 shootings since Newtown, and explained that they are lying too. Everytown identifies a school shooting as any instance in which a firearm was discharged within a school building or on school grounds, sourced to multiple news reports per incident. Therefore, the data isn’t limited to mass shootings like Newtown—it includes assaults, homicides, suicides and even accidental shootings. Of the shootings, 35 took place at a college or university, while 39 took place in K-12 schools.

We have come to expect politicians to lie to us as there has been so much of it, from “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” fight on down to the present. That probably has a lot to do with public anger, but how it can lead to the rise of Donald Trump shows that we’re just as gullible as ever.

I can forgive the public. We are naturally gullible, expecting to be told the truth. Hard-nosed cynicism is not the best of companions. I am not so forgiving of the media, and the Journalism schools should be ashamed of themselves.

Yet the casual approach of professionals is wholly out of joint with the view taken by those who have to cope with the consequences of deception. For them, to be given false information about important choices in their lives is to be rendered powerless. For them their very autonomy may be at stake.¹

¹ Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life: Sissela Bok, New York, 1978

Sympathy, Compassion, Empathy, Toleration, Confusion and Civilization.. by The Elephant's Child

September_17_2001Murder is not a mystery. Its harbinger is the police car, the plane flying low, the smiling man who opens his coat. Evil is not a mystery either. It is moral courage tuned to the destruction of civilization. The murderer can be courageous, but not creative. The ends of evil are power and ruination.

Liberalism is all too often the cult of the poor murderer. The thug who kills over inequality. The terrorist who bombs over bigotry. And it is outrage at the victims of its own Utopian crimes.

Utopia is another name for power. It is an absolute good that negates the humanity of every person on earth. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Islamic Caliphate of ISIS or the Socialist gulag. The destruction of the individual is not only necessary, but celebrated as evidence of the triumph of the ideology. Destroying people shows the absolute power and total importance of the creed.

That is the force that destroys civilizations. It’s a moral force, but it’s the moral force of evil.

Civilization is the moral force that resists destruction. It is the speech that dares to name murderers, murderers. As civilization dwindles, streets darken and savages and their lawyers hunt the night. Murderers become victims, destroyers become the future and good is invoked in the name of evil.

Sometimes upholding civilization is a difficult thing. It can mean being a soldier on the front lines or a police officer sitting in a car waiting for a terrorist to strike.

Or sometimes it can simply mean speaking the truth. And that is something that any of us can do.

Even at the best of times, civilization is a fragile thing. At the worst of times, it can be held up with a few words, with a few people reminding each other that truth is worth fighting for.

From Sultan Knish (Daniel Greenfield) Sunday November 22, 2915

This Kinda Says it All! by The Elephant's Child


All About Refugees and World Poverty…and Gumballs by The Elephant's Child

Facing the real facts.

(h/t: Vanderleun)

Keeping Track of the Terrorists Is More Important than Keeping Track of the Guns. by The Elephant's Child


After the attack in Paris, and before the attack in San Bernardino, Hillary Clinton offered up the Leftist Bluebook formula: “Let’s be clear: Islam in not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”

A few days back, President Obama jetted to Paris spewing clouds of CO2 which he believes to be destroying the planet and uttered the undying words “a declaration that for all the challenges we face, the growing threat of climate change could define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other. What should give us hope  that this is a turning point that this is the moment when we finally determined we could save our planet, is the fact that our nations share a sense of urgency about this challenge and a growing realization that it is within our power to do something about it.”

The New York Times felt so strongly about “weapons of war” that they put their editorial right on the front page. “End the Gun Epidemic in America It is a moral outrage and national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency.” They should be embarrassed. They hauled out all their best adjectives and strong words — Moral outrage, national disgrace,  “America’s elected leaders offer prayers for gun victims and then callously and without fear of consequence, reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing.” Barbara Boxer offered her testimony on the efficacy of California’s strong gun laws.

If the terrorist couple in San Bernardino had managed to get away, they had already produced an armory of 12 pipe bombs. They were made from Christmas tree lights, toy cars and other ingredients that anyone can buy anywhere. quite effective at killing and maiming. France has very strict gun laws, which essentially eliminate the possibility of guns in the hands of anyone but police. So does Britain, there even the police are unarmed. A young unarmed soldier was attacked and brutally killed on a public street with machetes.

The Times’ fatuous comment was — “at least they ‘re trying. The United States is not.” Pompous editorial, petty conclusions. A lot of killings have been prevented by civilians who are licensed to carry. The  rate of gun crime has been going down steadily since the mid 1990s. With Obama releasing big numbers of people sentenced for non-violent crimes, it may well start  back up again. There is a reason why the number of crimes has gone down, most likely, more people serving time for crime.

The Wall Street Journal summed it up nicely

President Obama entered the White House believing that the “war on terror” was a misguided overreaction driven by political fear, and his government even stopped using the term. Seven years later Mr. Obama is presiding over a global jihadist revival that now threatens the American homeland more than at any time since the attacks of September 11, 2001. …

The FBI director said more than once that the investigation is in the early stages, but he deserves support for speaking frankly about the evidence and dangers. Every instinct of this Administration, starting with the President, has been to minimize the terror risk on U.S. soil—perhaps because it contradicts Mr. Obama’s political belief that all we have to fear is fear of terrorism itself.

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