American Elephants


Peter Thiel Spoke Today to the National Press Club by The Elephant's Child

Billionaire venture capitalist and entrepreneur Peter Thiel has rocked Silicon Valley with his support for Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump. Thiel will discuss that political endorsement and the 2016 election at a National Press Club speakers newsmaker event on Monday Oct. 31.

Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and Palantir Technologies Inc., endorsed Trump at the Republican National Convention in July and pledged a $1.25 million campaign donation in support of the candidate.



Why Are Hillary’s Emails a Big Deal? by The Elephant's Child

hillary-angryIn spite of all the conversation and millions of words that have embroidered the campaign of Hillary Clinton for the Presidency of the United States, I’m not at all sure that people understand just what the email scandal is all about. Charles Faddis, a former CIA operations officer with 20 years of experience in intelligence operations took to The Hill to explain just why Hillary Clinton’s emails are important and why her use of a private email server is a big deal. For it is a very big deal indeed. Mr. Faddis explains:

I have worked in national security my entire life. Most of that has been in the intelligence community surrounded by classified information. For twenty years, I worked undercover in the Central Intelligence Agency, recruiting sources, producing intelligence and running operations. I have a pretty concrete understanding of how classified information is handled and how government communications systems work.

Nobody uses a private email server for official business.
Period. Full stop.

The entire notion is, to borrow a phrase from a Clinton campaign official, “insane.” That anyone would presume to be allowed to do so is mind-boggling. That government officials allowed Hillary Clinton to do so is nauseating.

Classified and unclassified information do not mix. They don’t travel in the same streams through the same pipes. They move in clearly well defined channels so that never the twain shall meet. Mixing them together is unheard of and a major criminal offense.

If you end up with classified information in an unclassified channel, you have done something very wrong and very serious.

Accidentally removing a single classified message from controlled spaces, without any evidence of intent or exposure to hostile forces, can get you fired and cost you your clearance. Repeated instances will land you in prison.

The whole thing is available here: Everyone, depending on their affiliations tries to portray the issue as simply  nasty political accusations with no merit whatsoever, or as some Trump crowds scream “Lock her up, Lock her up!” It is not the usual case of mild government corruption, everybody does it sort of thing. The Clintons may have believed that everybody does it, but they are wrong. On the other hand, there are scandals attached to far too many government agencies, fortunately none of the others deal so directly with national security.



Uncommon Knowledge: Victor Davis Hanson by The Elephant's Child

Victor Davis Hanson on grand strategy, immigration, and the coming election.  It’s a fascinating conversation, worth every minute. I hope you can find time.

 



The American People Have Plenty of Plain Old Common Sense by The Elephant's Child

freedom-postDavid Horowitz again from The Art of Political War:

The Republican Party claims to be the party of personal responsibility yet it has become a party; that takes no responsibility for the predicaments it finds itself in. Instead, Republicans blame bias in the media or the liar in the White House, or their unprincipled opponents, or even the immorality of the American people to explain their defects.

The greatest political deficiency of the Republican Party today is lack of respect for the common sense of the American people. “Respect” in this context does not mean following polls or focus groups or putting one’s finger slavishly in the winds. It means that what is right politically (whether a constitutional framework and consistent with deeply held principles) produces electoral majorities.

Liberals also fail to understand this. But they were fortunate to have in Bill Clinton a leader who did, who disregarded their advice, and who used his power as the head of their party to force them to pay heed to the voice of the people. The reason Bill Clinton survived his impeachment, riding high in the polls, is that he understood what the electorate wanted and gave it to them (or at least made them think that he had).



Freedom May Be Messy, But it’s a Heck of a Lot Better than the Alternative by The Elephant's Child

statue-of-liberty-8From David Horowitz’ Take No Prisoners:

Politics is always a gamble. No one can be sure about what tactic will succeed, which is why we have to respect each other and keep our coalition strong, even when we disagree.

I said we are not good at politics. Actually we’re pretty terrible at politics. Whenever a Republican and  Democrat square off, it’s Godzilla versus Bambi. They call us racists, sexists, homophobes and selfish pigs, and we call them …liberals. Who’s going to win that argument They spend their political dollars calling us names and shredding our reputations; we spend ours explaining why the complicated solutions we propose will work, and why theirs won’t. But when you are being called a racist, an enemy of women and a greedy SOB, who will listen to your ideas about the budget? Who is going to believe you when all your motives are portrayed as vile?

This is the problem that not only Republicans but also Tea Partiers and conservatives in general have failed to address. It is why the Democratic Party, which supports policies that are morally repugnant and have also failed on an epic scale, still win elections. Medicare is bankrupt and a mess; Social Security is bankrupt and a mess; the War on Poverty is a twenty-trillion dollar catastrophe that has created worse poverty than it was designed to cure—and yet Democrats can still propose and pass the biggest socialist entitlement and redistributionist scheme ever and get away with it. Until Republicans and Tea Partiers are willing to fight fire with fire, these circumstances are not going to change. Twenty-five years after the most oppressive empire in human history collapsed because socialist economics don’t work, 49 percent of American youth, according to a recent Pew poll; think socialism is a good system. That’s a political failure on our part. We won the Cold War, but we didn’t drive a stake through the Communist heart. As a result the vampire of “social justice” has risen to fight another day.



YouTube Just Censored a Video Criticizing Censorship! by The Elephant's Child

YouTube has just censored a video criticizing censorship.  Yes, the one just below titled “the Dark Art of Political Intimidation.”

Beginning in 2010, the IRS intentionally targeted conservative nonprofit groups and delayed approving their tax-exempt non-profit status an attempt to render them politically impotent during the 2012 election, Strassel explains.

In Wisconsin, a Democratic prosecutor went after conservatives in a shadow campaign finance investigation. The real reason for the pre-dawn raids on conservative activists’ homes and the subsequent gag orders legally compelling them to stay quiet about it all were to enact revenge for their support of Republican Gov. Scott Walker, she says.

These are two of several examples she highlights in this five-minute-long video decrying censorship of one’s political opponents, which YouTube decided to censor by placing it on “restricted mode.”It’s common for schools and parents to place their YouTube account on restricted mode to keep obscene or graphic content away from children. But PragerU’s videos, including the aforementioned one about censorship, are G-rated, so it’s unclear why the video platform is placing these videos on the naughty list.

Goodness, don’t let children see the short educational videos that Prager University creates. Here’s a list of the naughty and salacious videos from which children must be protected. Sound scary?

The Dark Art of Political Intimidation
Are The Police Racist?
Why Don’t Feminists Fight for Muslim Women?
Why Did America Fight the Korean War?
Who’s More Pro-Choice: Europe or America?
What ISIS Wants
Why Are There Still Palestinian Refugees?
Islamic Terror: What Muslim Americans Can Do
Did Bush Lie About Iraq?
Who NOT to Vote For
Don’t Judge Blacks Differently
Israel: The World’s Most Moral Army
Radical Islam: The Most Dangerous Ideology
The Most Important Question About Abortion
Why Do People Become Islamic Extremists?
What is the University Diversity Scam?
He Wants You
Israel’s Legal Founding
Pakistan: Can Sharia and Freedom Coexist?

YouTube is a Google company. Google had many subsidiaries, and last year reorganized with the parent company becoming Alphabet Inc.  Visit Wikipedia.org and search for Alphabet Inc.

According to Wikipedia, Larry Page, Google CEO, said that “the establishment of Alphabet was prompted by a desire to make the core Google Internet services business “cleaner and more accountable” while allowing greater autonomy to group companies that operate in businesses other than internet services.”

A new study from SEO Competitive Analysis Company CanIRank finds that, confirming many conservatives suspicions, Google searches favor left-wing content.

It finds that top search results are almost 40 percent more likely to contain pages with a “Left” or “Far Left” slant than they are to contain pages from the right. Searchers are 65 percent more likely to encounter liberal search results than conservative search results among the five first returns to their inquiry.

Moreover, 16 percent of political keywords contain no right-leaning pages at all within the first page of results.

Are these findings the result of politically neutral rules for determining which results appear first? The study concludes they are not.

Google highlights two key determinants for ranking content: (1) the number and quality of links pointing to a page and (2) the content (i.e., relevancy and comprehensiveness). According to the study, pages demonstrating a left or far left political slant made it into the top results with significantly fewer external links compared to pages rated balanced. And pages with a right-leaning slant needed still more links to make it into the top results.

In the case of actual content, conservative websites were more comprehensive, which they measured by number of words, yet they were less highly ranked. The study also considered the secondary factors in Google ranking. Both sides of the  political spectrum agreed on where sites ranked in the study. Google appears to be biased towards the left. Voters get much of their information from search engines about elections and campaigns. This is not a minor thing, though many of us know to just keep going down the list until we reach a reliable website.

Go here to sign the petition to Stop YouTube from Blocking Prager U Videos.



The Intimidation Game 101: How it Works by The Elephant's Child

Here’s Prager University’s latest video featuring the Wall Street Journal columnist, Kimberly Strassel explaining political intimidation, a feature of Leftist tactics. The Left is quite serious with the whole thing, and they want to eliminate those who might disagree with them —permanently. They’ve talked about concentration camps, but laugh it off as jokes. But underneath, that’s what they believe.

This is only a brief introduction to Strassel’s book on the subject, a very serious subject indeed. The hard Left wants to eliminate dissension, disagreement and  essentially—any opposing party. Or didn’t you notice their attempts to silence what they call “climate deniers” — the ordinary folks who think all the panic about climate seems to reside in the programs of the climate scientists in their university labs, not out in the real world.  Ask any farmer.



The Washington State Ballot Makes National News, for some Surprisingly Dumb Issues by The Elephant's Child

vennwastate

Washington State voters have just received their ballots and the Voter’s Guide. It tells you something when we have already made the national news. The above Venn Diagram comes from economist Mark Perry, writing at AEI.

Over at the Wall Street Journal, we got a full article on “The SEIU’s Ballot Fraud:  The union tries to hoodwink voters into protecting its dues.”

That’s the story in Washington state, where the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is funding a ballot measure that advertises itself as the Seniors and Vulnerable Individuals’ Safety and Financial Crimes Prevention Act. What the ballot measure would really do is prevent home-care workers from being informed that they have the right to opt out of the union.

In Harris v. Quinn in 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that home-care workers have a First Amendment right not to pay fees to a union they don’t wish to join. In Washington state the ruling was taken up by the Freedom Foundation, which sought to inform the members of two unions representing child-care and home health-care workers that they could opt out. …

Under the ballot measure, the Freedom Foundation or other outsiders would be blocked from obtaining the list of union members’ names. The unions know that when workers know they have a right not to pay union dues, they often don’t. According to the Freedom Foundation, of the roughly 7,000 unionized child-care providers notified by the Freedom Foundation, well over 60% have dropped their union membership.

National Review targeted the same ballot measure.

In Washington State, Unions Advance a Ballot Measure to Keep Members in the Dark.” It is disguised as a measure to protect the elderly from abuse but is simply an aggressive effort to keep home care providers from knowing that they don’t have to belong to the union, nor do they have to pay union dues.

Also on the ballot, but unaddressed at the national level is a state attempt to invalidate the (much hated by the Left) Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision, the aforementioned minimum wage issue,  a gun bill that attempts to remove guns from the mentally ill or depressed in an ineffective suicide prevention idea. And to top it all off, there’s an attempt to pass a carbon tax that would accomplish nothing, nothing at all, except an increase in taxes.

The Wall Street Journal also points out that “State government revenues have swelled 30% in the last five  years. That’s a bigger raise than most workers have received, but public unions and their friends are asking voters for more at the ballot box on November eighth.

So they are, and we should not give them a cent.



A Real Live October Surprise! by The Elephant's Child

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 06: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers remarks after being presented the 2013 Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize December 6, 2013 in Washington, DC. Clinton received the award for her work in the areas of women's rights and internet freedom. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Well, well—a real October Surprise. This very weird campaign has just become even more strange. Only days until the election, and FBI Director James Comey has said that they are re-opening their investigation. It appears that in the FBI investigation of Anthony Wiener’s case about sexting to an underage girl, Hillary emails have popped up on the home computer that Huma Abedin, Hillary’s top aide, shared with her (now estranged) husband. And even that may be speculation. Nobody knows anything, but there is lots of reporting.  I don’t know anything either, so I am simply speculating as well. But this is earthquake-size speculation because it deals with the election itself.

This has been an enormously difficult situation from the beginning. The Democrats’ bench of accomplished, likeable candidates is notably thin. There was Hillary whose burning desire the become the first woman president was well known. Her record as a senator and as the Secretary of State left a great deal to be desired. People kept making jokes about trying to get observers to name an accomplishment. Bill is a natural politician, and his good-old-boy, aw-shucks persona got him through all sorts of  difficulties. Hillary is not a natural politician, and she is not particularly likeable (that’s the reported reaction to her from Democrats). Democrats were anxious to find someone else but they couldn’t.

Her emails as Secretary of State have caused her major problems. It seems likely that she wanted a private server to keep from having to reveal any of her emails, and keep them away from prying eyes, undoubtedly the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” When the emails began to become public, FBI Director James Comey was put in a dreadful position. If he went after her directly because of the emails, he would be the person who decided the election in advance. In such a case, he needed a flawless, extremely strong case. It was becoming clear that new Attorney General Loretta Lynch was more an appointee of the Obama administration than she was the upstanding Attorney General of all the people. I know nothing about the pressures put on our appointed officials, let alone the elected ones. Director Comey apparently didn’t feel that he had a solid gold case for charging one of the candidates in a presidential race with a crime.

It appears that the FBI investigation into Anthony Wiener’s sexting messages to an underage girl, revealed that there were emails sent by Hillary to her top aide on the home computer that Huma Abedin shared with her (now estranged) husband.

Retired 4-star general James Cartwright, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has just pleaded guilty to making a false statement in an investigation into a leak of classified information about a covert cyber-attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The offense carries a maximum of five years in prison. but the defense counsel and the government had agreed on a recommended sentence of no more than 6 months. Sentence will be decided in January.

So there’s the big question. Are our “elites” somehow above being prosecuted? Do we have different standards for “important people?” It has been reported that there has been major dissension among senior FBI agents who see the whole thing as a reflection on the integrity and honor of the agency. So, for the moment, that’s where we are.



How Does the Minimum Wage Work? by The Elephant's Child

Here in Washington State, the minimum wage is on the ballot. They’re trying to ease it up over time, so we won’t notice. The minimum wage is an unemployment program for the lowest skilled workers. They already had big protests and demands to raise the minimum wage in the city of SeaTac, which is the area around the airport. Lots of fast food and regular restaurants and lots of hotels and motels. So the city passed a raise to $15  an hour. What happened? Fewer workers, some suddenly found they were charged for parking, which had previously been free. Restaurant workers found they had to pay for their own meals. Lots of other actions by businesses to try to cope with a government ordered increase in the cost of doing business.

Then the City of Seattle decided to raise the minimum wage. Some small restaurants closed, some let workers go. Some businesses moved to the suburbs. Now it’s on the statewide ballot. Most politicians have no experience in the private sector, and see no reason why they can’t just order businesses to do as they demand. And as usual, Democrats just don’t get the unintended consequences. Business is now having to cope with Obama administration orders to expand the numbers of employees who get overtime pay. That too will have unintended consequences.

If you enjoy these Prager University short videos, You Tube has decided that some of them are just too dangerous for you to see, and put them on the restricted list, You can help out by signing the petition to tell YouTube to Stop censoring PragerU videos. You’ll find a big red link at the above link.



And Just Who and What is the Real Hillary Rodham Clinton? by The Elephant's Child

rs-hillary-clinton00-14dd2339-a1e8-4e17-81f1-d42f597558f3In a previous post, I asked “But why is Hillary running? Yes, yes, she wants to be the first woman president, but what precisely do we get out of it?”  We the people that is. What does she want to do that will make America better if we should elect her?

It seems that Hillary “began conducting focus groups and polling swing state voters as early as December 2014 to figure out how to brand herself and find a “rationale” for running for president.”

Nearly two years before the election, Clinton’s team circulated a timeline of research objectives for which the nascent campaign would spend $2 million on focus groups and surveys, according to recently released hacked emails.

A “fundamental question” was how to brand Hillary as either “Badass/hip,” or a “Grandma.”

“Attached is an updated summary of the research process and a budget,” Robby Mook, who would become Clinton’s campaign manager, emailed on Dec. 8, 2014. “I want to emphasize that THIS *WILL* CHANGE because the team will have better ideas on methodology and the strategy will evolve as the project progresses.”

They figured on a $2 million budget for their research, maybe less, but didn’t want to ignore thoroughness and quality.

Twenty-four focus groups and 13,200 interviews with voters were to be held before the campaign launched in April 2015. It included 500 interviews with 18 to 28 year-olds, a demographic that supported Bernie Sanders in the primary. He was kind of cute with that great shock of white hair, but clearly, as has subsequently proven out, they have no idea what Socialism and Communism were or are all about.They aren’t much on geography anyway, and probably have no idea where Venezuela is, or what the history of Cuba is all about.

The focus groups tested stuff like colors, type fonts, humor and imagery. This is old news for the Clintons who made extensive use of focus group testing when they were in the White House. Nothing was left to chance.They thought that immigration and trade might be issues for Hillary.

According to Wikileaks, the campaign was considering pandering to black voters with a “Yo Mama” joke. but it got nixed at the last  minute.

Jokes are rehearsed and focus group tested. Economist Stephen Moore had a column at Investors in which he charges Hillary with hypocrisy.

In the modern history of American politics has there ever been a bigger hypocrite than Hillary Clinton?  Her 30 years in politics has taught us clearly that  Hillary lives by one set of rules and wants to impose different rules for everyone else.

She constantly accuses Donald Trump of transgressions that she has been caught red handed of herself.

She sermonizes about a code of conduct that she and her husband and her operatives routinely violate.  We have learned from her emails that she has two personas: she tells voters one thing and her donors the opposite.

Do read the whole thing. He illustrates with quotes from Hillary—which he completes with the real facts. It’s pretty funny.

Well, test everything, then rehearse the jokes until you have them down pat. Use the right colors and type font to encourage belief and confidence. You can’t believe your own lying eyes, and you certainly can’t believe Hillary.



Unintended Consequences, or Truth is Stranger than Fiction. by The Elephant's Child

hillary-scowlThis struck me as hilarious: from The Washington Free Beacon—the headline “Clinton Campaign Bars Employees from Using Personal Email Accounts.”

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign prohibits employees from using a personal email address to conduct official business, according to a hacked copy of its employee handbook.

“Staff are provided an e-mail account for Campaign business use only. Employees must use their Campaign-provided e-mail accounts for all correspondence regarding or related to the Campaign’s business,” the handbook states.

“Employees cannot use personal email addresses (.gmail,
i cloud, etc.) to conduct Campaign business.”

“Failure to retain documents subject to a litigation hold can result in the imposition of harsh fines and other penalties on HFA and, in some cases, on the individual,” the document advised.




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