American Elephants


If You Were Wondering Why the Left Seems So Insane… by The Elephant's Child

John Marini is  professor of political science at the University of Nevada. He writes. in the latest edition of Imprimis, about political scandal.

Nearly every political administration has potential scandal lying just below the surface. There are always those in government who seek to profit privately from public service, and there are always those who will abuse their power. All governments provide the occasion for scoundrels of both kinds. But the scandals they precipitate rarely erupt into full-blown crises of the political order. What differentiates the scandals that do?

Scandal can provide a way for defenders of the status quo to undermine the legitimacy of those who have been elected on a platform of challenging the status quo.

To understand a political scandal fully, one must take into account all of the interests of those involved. The problem is that these interests are rarely revealed—which is why it is so tempting for partisans, particularly if they are at a political disadvantage, to resort to scandal to attack their opponents. Many great scandals arise as a means of attacking political foes while obscuring the political differences that are at issue. This is especially likely to occur in the aftermath of elections that threaten the authority of an established order. In such circumstances, scandal provides a way for defenders of the status quo to undermine the legitimacy of those who have been elected on a platform of challenging the status quo—diluting, as a consequence, the authority of the electorate.

And here’s Andy Puzder on Fox News:

To the great shock and disappointment of liberals who have been desperately hoping for a downturn, the U.S. economy once again blew away expectations, recording 3.2 percent GDP growth rate in the first quarter of this year.

Liberals have been predicting an impending recession for months. Frustrated with the obvious success of President Trump’s sweeping middle-class tax cuts – which they had claimed would result in “Armageddon” – Democrats next argued that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) would only produce a “sugar high” for the economy. With each successive quarter that their predictions have failed to materialize, they’ve only become more frustrated with the economy’s long-term prospects. …

This isn’t a one-time anomaly, either. GDP growth has been increasing steadily throughout Trump’s presidency, and the most recent data bring us to three consecutive quarters in which year-over-year growth has been 3 percent or higher. In fact, GDP growth has averaged 3.3 percent over the past four quarters.

Camille Paglia wrote, back in 2014:

The basic leftist premise, descending from Marxism, is that all problems in human life stem from an unjust society and that corrections and fine-tunings of that social mechanism will eventually bring Utopia. Progressives have unquestioned faith in the perfectibility of mankind.

William Voegeli at a Heritage panel on the future of the left, also in 2014

The fundamental assumption of the Left is the innate goodness of each person. This assumption means that they are seeking to undermine the Constitution which is based on a very different version of human nature. The Constitution puts the three branches of government against each other so that each will keep the others in check. The Constitution expects selfish ambition and by expecting ambition it legitimizes it — which is precisely what the left does not want to do. The left wants to supply not the “defect of better motives” but just better motives. Liberals want to set up a system that allows our latent goodness to “flourish” and the checks of our constitutional system can be discarded in favor of technocratic centralized disinterestedness that allows each individual to live an authentic life of his choosing.

Kevin Williamson, same panel:

In order to achieve this goal of a soft liberated citizenry the Left will have to dominate and control more of society—a tendency that is already in evidence.

And here’s Tom Sowell:

The vision of the left is not just a vision of the world. For many, it is also  vision of themselves – a very flattering vision of people trying to save the planet, rescue the exploited, create “social justice”and otherwise be on the side of the angels. This is an exalted vision that few are ready to give up, or to risk on a roll of the dice. Which is what submitting it to the test of factual evidence amounts to. Maybe that is why there are so many fact free arguments on the left, whether it is gun control, minimum wages, or innumerable other issues – and why they react so viscerally to those who challenge their vision.



Saving the Planet From the Ravages of Climate Change by The Elephant's Child

The fabled “Green New Deal” would have essentially no effect whatsoever on global warming, yet it would impose enormous economic and social costs. The report comes from the American Enterprise Institute’s Benjamin Zycher, who analyzed likely impacts of the Green New Deal as outlined by new Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D- N.Y.) calling for such a program to supposedly cut U.S . greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. Uh huh. They were even ever so sure that it would actually boost the economy.

The “boosting” bit depends on a “broken windows” theory (If you break a lot of windows, you’ll have to hire a lot of people to replace them.) Not a serious claim.

The United States counts for only a minor part of the worldwide CO2 emissions, but Zycher explains that if we achieved zero emissions, it would cut future temperatures by 0.083 to 0.173 degrees Celsius by 2100 — essentially zero. The overall cost would be about $490 billion, and would require for renewable energy – the seizure of some 115 million acres of land, more than the area of the entire state of California.

Remember that “renewable” energy only works when the wind is blowing at the optimum speed of about 35 miles an hour, and the sun is shining in a cloudless sky. If that’s not happening, you have to use plain old conventional energy because our society depends on energy. These are well known facts.

Looks like we are going to have a national demonstration, however. Democrats believe in global warming, probably because Republicans are not apt to. New York City politicians intend to “lead the way” to combat “climate change.”

Last week, the City Council voted almost unanimously for a package of six bills that comprise the “Climate Mobilization Act” for the nation’s largest city. Of the 44 council members voting, only two opposed this legislation.

What will happen that is predictable is the immediate cost. The centerpiece of this legislation is the $4 billion energy efficiency mandate on the City’s largest buildings, on top of the already substantial property taxes and construction costs. But that is just the beginning of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s estimated $14 billion strategic plan—his own “Green New Deal”—unveiled on Earth Day to reduce the City’s “carbon footprint…before it’s too late.”…

Mayor de Blasio said building owners need to “clean up their act” (who knew they were such polluters?) and that “if we don’t get results, there will be real fines.” In addition to the City Council’s handiwork, the mayor’s plan would go further by effectively banning glass-walled and steel buildings. I suppose what would remain is concrete and stone. Appropriately, today’s front page of the New York Post ridiculed the mayor.

They also plan on “phasing out reliance of processed meat and reduce the City’s purchase of beef by 50 percent.”Imagine people in elective office assuming that they can dictate your diet and lifestyle. Well, after all, they are attempting to save the planet!



Confusion and Misconception are Rampant Everywhere by The Elephant's Child

Friedrich Hayek once wrote: “Buying and selling were a procedure for discovering facts, which if the procedure did not exist, would remain unknown or at least would not be used.” The full name of Adam Smith’s classic work was “An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,“as the Coyote Blog noted today:

The fact that AOC and other modern admirers of socialism can fret about poverty is, as they imagine, attributable to capitalism, but not in the way they think. Capitalism did not cause the poverty, it created the situation in which poverty is an issue with but a minority of the population (rather than essentially everyone). Before capitalism, fretting about poverty would just have been fretting about .. the way things are for everyone.

One of the earliest things that someone learns about politics, at least in Democrat families, is that Republican tax cuts only go to the rich. They simply do not understand the workings of the economy. Because “the Rich” pay way more in taxes than the rest of us, they get proportionally bigger tax cuts. What we are seeing out there is the result of everyone’s tax cuts. Someone remarked on the radio this week, in the wake of the  3½% remarkable growth spurt in the economy, that “people have decided to go shopping.”

Well, yes they have. I learned some time back that apparently large numbers of people have chosen to have their income taxes withheld from their wages, and really don’t know how much they paid in taxes — but only how big their refund was. This year, their refunds were somewhat bigger, and they have the money to do some extra shopping. I guess they worry that if they don’t have taxes withheld, they may not have the funds to pay on April 15. The rich don’t have to wait for refunds, so when they receive a tax cut, they have the extra funds to expand, grow their businesses, hire, invent—and make the economy grow. How do we tell? By reading the facts of the buying and selling that is going on.

This explanation does not fit into the world view of Democrats. They don’t buy it. I remember a few years back, a writer at the Wall Street Journal wrote in astonishment that “Elizabeth Warren has only a childlike understanding of economics.” That is why you have so many Democrats who want to get rid of capitalism. Much of the climate activists’ purpose is to use climate as a way to rid the world of capitalism. Mentioning Venezuela as a notable example of the abject failure of Socialism gets you nowhere. They do not, and cannot, accept the starving people of Venezuela as the inevitable result of Socialism. It just does not compute. It is based, of course, on a failure to understand human nature and an ignorance of history.

There has been lots of conversation about the vast crowd of Democrats running for the presidency. All are positive that Trump is so despised, so awful, that only the few gap-toothed deplorables in flyover country would vote for a second term. Joe Biden makes the twenty-first Democrat candidate to announce a run. Some reporters have remarked that name-familiarity should help him, but according to polls, large numbers of Americans have no idea who he is, and do not recognize a picture.

Those of us who have always assumed that we can depend on the wisdom of the American people may want to give some consideration to running for your local School Board. Or at the very least picking up one of Hayek’s books at the Library: The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism, The Road to Serfdom, or The Constitution of Liberty.



Politics Becomes More Poisonous Day by Day. by The Elephant's Child

Joe Biden has kinda sorta said he will announce on Thursday and that would seem to be his intent, based on an article at PJ Media on Wednesday. He will be the 21st announced Democrat candidate.


Clearly it’s true. Here is the photo accompanying the story. Brand new healthy tan, newly whitened teeth, and the white hair has become a becoming blonde. Looks good!. Younger too. Now with the endless fun the media has made of the Trump tan and the Trump slightly orange hair, will the media notice or show interest in the Biden blonde? Do I have any wagers? My bets are on no notice whatsoever.

Why is it that we currently have so much attention on skin color, and the diversity thereof, and the castigated old white-skinned men are attempting to darken their skin? People notice skin colors, but not necessarily in any kind of a prejudicial way. They notice when someone is sunburned, or freckled, or has zits. Many people of all different races have healthy good looking skin, and some don’t. The media attempts to claim that any one who does not support open borders does so because they are racist. Silly, but in this era of identity politics, anyone who isn’t Hitler or a Nazi is clearly racist. We seem to have a shortage of sufficiently nasty names. We could have a contest to find better nasty names than those in current usage.

Heather MacDonald has a new book out  on “The Diversity Delusion” with the subhead “How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the Culture.”She is absolutely correct.

Toxic ideas that originated in academia have now spread beyond the university setting, widening America’s cultural divisions. Too many college students enter the working world believing that human beings are defined by their skin color, gender, and sexual preference, and that oppression based on these characteristics defines the American experience. In The Diversity Delusion, Mac Donald argues that the root of this problem is the belief in America’s endemic racism and sexism, a belief that has spawned a massive diversity bureaucracy, especially in higher education.

Diversity is now the most important criteria in everything from hiring decisions, reading assignments, university admissions to photographs and cafeteria food selection. Heather is a careful researcher, and her work or her speeches are always worth your time.

The politicians believe that these are winning issues for them, based simply on their seeming “popularity”in the culture. We need to let them know that they are getting way off track.

The United States is probably the most diversified nation in the world with the most varied blend of races and languages, and we’re really pretty successful with it. I don’t know that calling everyone a racist is  useful way of improving things.



What Is The Matter With These People? by The Elephant's Child

Observing the political scene, one wonders, what the heck is the matter with these people? It seems that large numbers of people are asking the same question. From American Greatness “NYT Ponders: Could the Steele Dossier be Russian Disinformation?” A slightly belated question, or the beginnings of  a CYA operation?

Victor Davis Hanson said: “for them, that particular subset that really hates Trump, its the idea that this guy just comes in, and all their pretensions or all of their disconnects, he challenges. And then he doesn’t just challenge it, he points out how hypocritical they are. He does that all the time.  If you look at his tweets, that’s one constant theme. “You have walls. Why can’t the nation have walls?” Hanson points out that all the Never Trumpers at the Bulwark, Max Boot, David Frum, Bill Kristol, have spent their lives advancing the issues that Trump has put into effect, and now they don’t like them because Trump’s fingerprints are on them.

But why the hatred? Most of the people who were involved in the Never Trumps, were invested in particular campaigns, and they thought they would be the wise men, they would be asked to come into the White House, be on Talk shows. They offerred their expertise, but they have a special office at the White House looking at applicants tweets and Facebook posts. Their obliging offers were rejected.

Jeremy Carl, a Hoover Institution scholar, called to our attention that in the aftermath of the Jussie Smollet hate hoax, journalist Andy Ngo wrote that the hoax was symptomatic of America’s illness – a combination he attributed to the rise of the victimhood culture fueled in significant part by increasing group conflict.  Not, Carl wrote, an “illness” of America writ large, but an affliction particular to white liberals. Recent polls by nonpartisan organizations suggest that white liberals have a unique distaste for their own ethnic group. (See Smollett, Covington HS boys in their MAGA hats.) Group bias is a widely recognized phenomenon, and most groups prefer their own. Except white liberals.

I think that the Liberals were expecting sixteen years of continuous control. It’s not just controlling the levers of power— but the jobs, the prestige, the friendships, the opportunities. It clearly wasn’t about Hillary except as the brownie points of electing the first woman, they’ve already lost interest in her completely. No longer useful.

Presidents are supposed to be former governors, or have been in the military – which suggests familarity with high level politics more than skill. From the still growing list of Democrat candidates there’s not much in the way of demonstrated skills. It is beginning to look as if there may be more skills in understanding economics, managing very large operations and dealing with the law in America’s CEOs, certainly than in the current crop of candidates. That’s the big divide. Trump represents everything the Left has been trained to hate. The birth certificate for a good liberal is the understanding that Republicans give tax cuts to the Rich, while good Democrats help the poor. Democrats have no understanding whatsoever that allowing people to keep more of their own money gets invested into the economy. They expand, hire, invent, and, oddly in the process, more people have jobs, unemployment goes down. The economy grows with more activity.  Democrats are good at propaganda however. Current surveys suggest that a significant percentage of the people don’t think that they got a tax cut.

Most people grew up in a neighborhood, by that I mean among people very like themselves. Similar home costs, similar houses, similar yards, kids go to the same schools. I notice, largely because I did not grow up in a neighborhood. There is a difference.

A president is someone we choose to run the country for us for four years. The campaign is supposed to demonstrate the skills and potential that candidates may (or may not possess). We get distracted by looks and personality or demeanor, and forget to look hard at proven ability, which is  a major mistake. We have a current crop of candidates who are blithely signing on the “The Green New Deal” with no understanding of why it would be a massive mistake, no understanding of whether there is or is not a climate crisis, and why. Over and over they are demonstrating that they have never even bothered to read or learn anything about the subject whatsoever. All of them.

We can scatter the blame around, but we need to look in the mirror. We have to be informed voters. It’s up to us.



Well, The Title’s Certainly True by The Elephant's Child



He is Risen! Happy Easter! by American Elephant
April 21, 2019, 5:10 am
Filed under: News | Tags: , , , ,

resurrection-of-christ-1875

Matthew 28:1-10

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”



The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by The Elephant's Child

On the actual 18th of April, the country was consumed with all things Mueller report, and I forgot to post this. Good for kids, who like the galloping rhythm of the poem, a lesson in history, and encourge them to memorize part or all of it. Memorizing is a skill that would serve them well through school and probably their future occupations as well.

Paul Revere’s Ride posted annually by The Elephant’s Child


[A little Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for the eighteenth of April]
Today is the 244th anniversary of the “Shot heard Round the World”

Listen, my children, and  you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend,”If the British march
By land or sea from the town tonight,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light—
One if by land, and two, if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.”

Then he said, “Good night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, a British man-of-war:
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street,
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed to the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry-chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the somber rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade—
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town,
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night-encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay—
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now gazed at the landscape far and near.
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth
And turned and tightened his saddle girth:
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and somber and still.

And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns!

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet:
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides:
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock,
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer’s dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.
It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadows brown.

And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket-ball.

You know the rest.  In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm—
A cry of defiance and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will awaken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the  midnight message of Paul Revere.

(The illustration is from a lovely edition of the poem illustrated by Ted Rand for children or any Longfellow lovers. Copies still available from Amazon at very reasonable  prices)



An Odd Exploration of American History and Folkways by The Elephant's Child

I woke up this morning with a nonsense song my father used to sing to me when I was very little, in my head, and tried to write it down. Then I decided to try to search to see if it was a popular song of his day, or a children’s song from his childhood., or indeed, if anything at all would result from a search, after all, this is the computer age!

Here’s what I wrote down, deeply imprinted in my head after all these years, and don’t ask how many.

Shoo, shoo, shoo went the Roo,
Shoo went the Rocklechockle,
Chittle went the Choo,
Crosskey a Vanjo, Faddle Daddle Day,
Cajittle went the Banyan Slando.

We went up on yonder hill,
There we sat and cried our fill.
Cried enough tears to fill a water bill,
Cajittle went the Banyan Slando.

I found first:“Mia’s Bicultural Bedtime:

She comented: “I learned this song from my own mother. One of the few early memories I have is of her singing this to me at night time.”
The “Johnny’s gone for a soldier” line suggests the Civil War, but…

John Cowan wrote on Yahoo in 2003:
I got curious about a song half-remembered from my childhood and spent a few hours tracking it down. It makes a marvelous example of the folk process at work, as well as what happens to Irish when the Americans (even those of Irish or Scots-Irish descent) get hold of it.
The original song is “Shule Aroon”, and the first verse and chorus look like this (old orthography):

I would I were on yonder hill
‘Tis there I’d sit and cry my fill,
And every tear would turn a mill,
Is go dtëidh, a mhuirmin,slán!

Slubhail, slubhail, slubhail, a rúin!
Slubhail go socair, agus slubhll go cluin,
Slubhail go dti an dorus agus euligh liom,
ls go dtéidh tú, a mhuimin, slán!

On arrival in the colonies, the song split into two versions. The better- known one shed its Irish altogether, aquired a Revolutionary War motif and became:

Here I sit on Buttermilk Hill,
Who should blame me cry my fill?
And every tear would work a mill,
Johnny has gone for a soldier.

Buttermilk Hill is in Westchester Couty, New York; supposedly dairy
cattle were hidden there during the Revolution to protect them from
raiders from either side. The tune changed too, but all versions can be
sung to all tunes, so I ignore this.

But in the southern U.S., where there were lots of Irish and Scots-Irish
people, the Irish was retained in singing, but its meaning was forgotten and its phonetics garbled. This version was collected in Arkansas in 1958, when I was busily being born.

Well I wish I was on yonders hill
There I’d set and cry my fill
Every drop would turn a mill
Ish come bibble ahly-boo-so-real.

Shule-shule-shule–roo
Shule-like-sharus-spilly-bolly-qule
First time I saw spilly-bolly-eel
Ish come bibble in the boo-shy-laurie.

Not too much later, I learned the “Buttermilk Hill” version but with the following chorus:

Shool, shool, shool a rool,
Shool a rack-a-shack, shool-a-barbecue,
When I saw my Sally-baba-yeel,
Come bibble in the boo-shy laurie.

And so over the past 200+ years, Irish has turned slowly to complete
gibberish…Ghu only knows what will happen to the song if Americans
keep singing it for the next 200 years.

My version (complete gibberish) but recognizable with the crying-on-a- hill part, came from the South Carolina Scots-Irish who arrived shortly before the Revolution, and my father’s father was descended from that group. My father came from Pennsylvania. The song was unknown to my mother whose people were very early New England.

I don’t know if you find the folkways interesting, but perhaps there’s someone out there with another version. Of course early Americana is beyond out-of-fashion currently, evil, white people invaded a peaceful paradise, displaced and destroyed the gentle indigenous peoples, and if we just tear down all remnants of the founding….

It would probably help a lot more if our schools did a decent job of teaching American history. The current crop of aspiring candidates for the presidency, and the new young representatives in Congress make it clear that there is something deeply wanting in the history department.



Victor Davis Hanson and the Search for Meaning by The Elephant's Child

This one is long,  49 minutes, but I cannot imagine, at the moment, any way it could be better spent. It is brilliant. Please do not miss this.

This has been a national nightmare, with everyone going a bit off the rails, and a lot of catastrophic crashes, and we’re a long way from recovery. Victor Davis Hanson does a very good job of clarifying and walking us through the whole thing. Expectations shattered, overreaction, searching for understanding or meaning, shedding certainty, shedding conviction. Strange and difficult times, and as I said — Dr. Hanson is brilliant.



Bill Whittle On the Notre Dame Fire: Straight Talk by The Elephant's Child



Words of Wisdom for Today: by The Elephant's Child

Andy McCarthy has been invaluable as a source for this whole special prosecutor episode, as he has served as a federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, and can explain what’s happening.

Kevin Williamson also has a sharp eye and mind for searching out the reality of a situation:

My own belief is that this was never about removing Trump from office, though of course hamstringing him or humiliating him would have been very satisfying to Democrats. This seems to me to be more about Democrats continuing to tell themselves a comforting fairy tale about why they lost in 2016, and where they really stand politically. Getting cheated out of an election hurts a lot less, psychologically, than getting beat fair and square by Donald Trump — and it does not demand a lot in the way of reconfiguring priorities or rethinking stances. Which is to say, the Democrats’ current commitment to grasping at straws in this matter is, politically speaking, the best news the Trump campaign has had in weeks, the report itself notwithstanding.

American Thinker posted a quote from Victor Davis Hanson that beautifully captures the essence of the Notre Dame tragedy in France:

After 800 years, we were the steward of this iconic representation of western civilization, Catholicism, Christendom. And of all the years, 2019, at the height of our sophistication and technology, I’m not blaming the French or anybody, but we were found wanting and we didn’t protect this icon. And we don’t build them anymore.
There’s great churches and cathedrals that go up all over the world, but, Laura, they are in Poland. They are in Cairo. They are in the Ivory Coast, they’re in Brazil, they’re in India. It’s almost as if the places that are less affluent without the technology of western Europe and the United States are like we used to be. They still believe in transcendence. They still believe in something other than this world.

And so it’s going to be very hard in our society to ever build a cathedral again, much less to repair them, because we don’t believe in what they represented. And it’s ironic, because we don’t like the past. We are at war with the past. We tear down monuments. We don’t build cathedrals. We erase names. We say to Father Serra or Christopher Columbus, you don’t live up to our standards of race, class, and gender, moral superiority. Shame on you.




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