American Elephants


Shelby Steele Explains Why the Left is Consumed With Hate by The Elephant's Child

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How did our beloved country slip and fall around the bend? Noted Hoover Institution scholar Shelby Steele took on the question in the Opinion page of the Wall Street Journal. “Even before President Trump’s election, hatred had begun to emerge on the American left—counterintuitlively, as an assertion of guilelessness and moral superiority.”

For many on the left a hateful anti-Americanism has become a self-congratulatory lifestyle. “America was never that great,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently said. For radical groups like Black Lives Matter, hatred of America is a theme of identity, a display of racial pride.

For other leftists, hate is a license. Conservative speakers can be shouted down, even assaulted, on university campuses. Republican officials can be harassed in restaurants, in the street, in front of their homes. Certain leaders of the left—Rep. Maxine Waters comes to mind—are self-appointed practitioners of hate, urging their followers to think of hatred as power itself.

How did the American left—conceived to bring more compassion and justice to the world—become so given to hate? It began in the 1960s, when America finally accepted that slavery and segregation were profound moral failings. That acceptance changed America forever. It imposed a new moral imperative: America would have to show itself redeemed of these immoralities in order to stand as a legitimate democracy.

In the ’60s, he says, the genius of the left was simply to perceive the new moral imperative, and then to identify itself with it. Their task became redeeming the nation from its immoral past. The left put itself in charge of America’s moral legitimacy. The enormous political and moral power put the left in charge of federal social programs, the greatest array ever, some $22 trillion worth. You can buy a lot of supporters and donors with $22 trillion. But you have to be fighting against a big menace to be believable. The more menace, the more power. Racism was at the top of the list, and you can ask for more and more in the name of “systemic racism” and “structural inequality.” When that begins to lose its power, just think of what can become the newer menaces to be overcome.

You could quickly come up with a list. It is the Left’s weapon of choice. And their $22 trillion? Has it accomplished anything. Nearly every program they have espoused — welfare, public housing, affirmative action, diversity, school busing, job training, has failed and failed badly. But real results were never their aim.  Convincing the public that to be decent human beings they must join the fight, which never ends is the goal.

Yet it has all sort of dissolved into an indulgence in hate. Who can hate the most, or demonstrate their hatred the most, or say the worst things — and on and on it goes. I think Mr. Steele has put his finger on something important. I always wonder why the Left doesn’t seem to understand the Constitution and why it is important, what it means, and why our founding generation pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to establish it. They are off tilting swords at the menaces of modern America.



The Trials and Tribulations of Contemporary Technology by The Elephant's Child

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I have been pretty negative on social media. Silicon Valley is remarkably partisan, and Congress is not only noticing, but considering what, if anything, they should do about it. I just had the experience of searching for the answer to a very simple question, which I never got, but the question was clearly partisan, (I was searching for the proper title of someone in the Trump administration) and it took me well in to the high 74th – 76th posts to even begin to get close to an answer. Every conservative has noticed that their algorithms disfavor conservative websites.

But here’s a case where technology is attempting to increase the speed and accuracy of food recalls. Walmart Inc. is requiring direct suppliers of lettuce, spinach and other greens to join its food-tracking blockchain by early next year. The move comes after 28 months of tests tracing the origins of berries, mangoes, baby food, chicken and other goods on a system developed by IBM, known as the IBM Food Trust blockchain, a group that includes Walmart, Nestlé SA, Dole Food Co, and several other food companies.

This also follows a bad outbreak of E.coli linked to romaine lettuce earlier this year that spread across 36 states, caused five deaths and hundreds of illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Outbreaks like this can hurt all distributors as shoppers who hear of it simply stop buying lettuce and other suspect goods from any suppliers, even unaffected ones. Blockchain can be used to promote transparency and greater food safety. Preventing deaths from E.Coli infection should surely be a high priority. We expect the food in our modern food chain to be safe.

Both the Food Trust group and IBM are working to simplify the process of getting data on farmers’ fields. lots and shipments into the system, including a web portal for farmers to use from a desktop or laptop to enter data, and a mobile app for accessing the Food Trust.

A further caution: The idea of Organic food came up because some shoppers were afraid of chemicals in fertilizers. Plants require nitrogen as a fertilizer, and don’t care if it comes from petroleum or from cow barns, but people who are afraid of Petroleum, oil and gas, do. So the organic label was born, and organic farmers promised to fertilize their food crops with cow manure as a “natural” response to fertilizer fear. Of course oil and gas are “natural” too, but unacceptable. The trouble is that cow manure is often the source of E.coli, and organic food costs about 35% more than non-organic.

I never buy organic food, but I once bought a bottle of organic lotion, which was really silly. It was lemon verbena, and I’m a sucker for anything in lemon verbena. That suggests that the trees that grew the lemons or the verbena bushes were fertilized only with manure, but I’m just putting the lotion on me, not in me.



Joe Biden Explains FBI Investigations by The Elephant's Child

Here’s Joe Biden, a bit younger back in 1991, during the Clarence Thomas hearings, explaining that FBI investigations, such as the one demanded today of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, do not reach conclusions. That’s not their job, nor how they do things. Embarrassing to Democrats to have us dredge up ancient evidence, but there it is. The FBI investigates, but they do not reach conclusions.

Democrats really hate it when we do this. They have no concern about consistency, and hate it when we make fun of them.




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