American Elephants


Assigned Reading by The Elephant's Child

The new American history by Wilfred M. McClay has had excellent reviews and I’m giving it as Christmas gifts, but I haven’t read it yet.

Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story

Another I like is John Steele Gordon’s

An Empire of Wealth:
The Epic History of American Economic Power

Essential:
The Black Book of Communism
Crimes, Terror, Repression

Communism
A History
By Richard Pipes

The Black Book is huge, over 700 pages, Richard Pipes book is small at 160 pages, but dense. Read both.

It’s clearly time to know a lot more about China than we do. The unknown story of:

MAO
by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday

Two from Bernard Lewis:

The Middle East:
A Brief History of the Last 2000 Years

What Went Wrong
The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East

And I like this:
Voices of 1776
The Story of the American Revolution in the Words
of Those Who Were There
by Richard Wheeler

And let me add:
1491
New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
By Charles C. Mann



Americans Are Getting Dumber! Here’s Proof. by The Elephant's Child

I wrote a couple of days ago a post about people seeming to get dumber. When you read quite a bit of opinion, you become sure of it. Rasmussen, the big polling company, said today that, and I quote, “Democrats really don’t like America and think it’s time to move on from the culture that got us here,”

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that just 38% of Likely Democratic Voters believe American society is generally fair and decent. Fifty-one percent (51%) say it’s unfair and discriminatory.

By comparison, 74% of Republicans and unaffiliated voters by a 49% to 36% margin view American society as fair and decent.

Look, let’s get back to basics. You should have learned by the time you are five or six, at least,that Life Is Hard. You fall down and get hurt, you don’t like the food your mother made you eat. You can elaborate far beyond that. Bad marriages, people you love die, disappointments, problems, failure, owing money, illness, disease. It’s just not all sweetness and light. With time, you can get the good stuff to outweigh the bad and shrug off the rest of it.

It’s not just Twitter, though they are a problem. How many pictures have you seen of young people seated somewhere, each and every one interacting with their phone, ignoring those around them? ‘Social Media’ but not much is social about it. We’re told that our young people in college think it would be fine to change our form of government to Communism.  They reached 18 years of age and know nothing? Nothing at all. We are deeply in trouble.

Adam Schiff is basking in his moments of fame, and trying desperately to hype up his moment. A Vice President of the United States has used his position to get his kid a job on a foreign country’s Energy Company’s Board of  Directors at an enormous salary of $83,000 a month, for which he has no qualifications whatsoever, and we are supposed to think it’s all about his father (the former Vice President of the United States) being a rival for the 2020 election? Perhaps Mr. Biden had no felonious intent, and just thought it was nice that these people wanted his son on the board because they liked him and…Sorry, there is no way that does not smell to high heaven. Yes, we know that former government officials get big payoffs from the private sector, book deals, fancy estates, from those looking to use the influence of a big name. But that’s not the way it is supposed to be. We honor our past presidents, even the ones we didn’t  like.

George W. went on home and led outdoor trips for wounded vets, and painted their portraits.  After it was discovered that Harry Truman was living off his army pension and little more, and had the integrity to avoid post-presidential money grubbing, Congress increased presidential pay significantly and a pension was provided so that future presidents were protected from any possible penury.

The news from the Trump presidency is pretty outstanding. Did you know that? The increases in median household income under Donald Trump are very large. Based on Census Bureau monthly data, from January 2017 when Donald Trump entered office through August 2019, middle-class household incomes have risen from $61,000 to an all time high of $66,000 — in 2019 dollars, adjusted for inflation.

The left freaked out for understandable reasons. They are especially agitated because median household incomes have risen by $5,000 under Trump, compared to $1,100 in seven years under President Barack Obama. The data also undermines the case against Trump. Elizabeth Warren likes to say in every speech, “The middle class has been left behind by Trump’s policies.” That’s flat-out wrong.

The self-proclaimed “fact-checkers” on the left went to work to try to discredit the numbers. This includes The Washington Post, PolitiFact and others.

As an aside, we have a big problem in America when the “fact-checkers” are all playing for the liberal team. A case in point is the liberal PolitiFact, which used the screaming headline “Trump’s Shaky $5,000 Boast.” The Post gave Trump two Pinocchios for claiming these income gains and said “Trump Inflates His Economic Record.”

A standard complaint is that these numbers are assembled by a private organization called Sentier Research. But the two Sentier statisticians who analyzed this month’s Census Current Population Survey — a gold mine of economic information — are probably the most knowledgeable people in the country on this data.

Stephen Moore, whose commentary this is, goes on to show how the media has tried to spin this news. If you are interested in liberal spin, this is an excellent example. Do they really just want to get Trump out of there before anyone catches on to what an outstanding job he is doing? You might also enjoy The American Mind’s explanation of the Culture War 2.0, and the changing Rules of Engagement. It’s a 12 minute read, they say.  (I told you, they are having to go to great lengths to get unwilling people to read, and we are getting dumber. ) We have to read to get informed, to know what is true and what is not, and how we are being manipulated. We have to fight back.

“Occasio-Cortez Dismisses Fears Democratic Party Moving Too Far Left: “We Are Bringing the Party Home” Yesterday’s headline at Breitbart.

 




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