American Elephants


What is Social Justice? Is There Any Such Thing? by The Elephant's Child

One wonders at the rise of enthusiasm for Socialism. Where does this come from?  Do people know nothing about the history of Socialism and how it works out? No understanding of the crisis of Venezuela? Or how the people there are literally starving in a country that was once the richest in South America?

Are they misled by talk of “social justice”? There is, by the way, no such thing. We humans are a quarrelsome lot, and you can’t overcome the difficulties of being a member of the human species easily. Democrats, with Bernie and Elizabeth Warren pushing socialism, seem to fail to recognize just where that path leads.

The human search for perfect social equality has gone on since the beginning of time. Do people actually rise in the morning hoping that might be the day when they are finally equal? Equal to what? Or Whom? I simply don’t buy it. Not everyone even wants to be rich. People want to care for their family, to have a good job that they like, at least part of the time. They want to have a nice home and be free of debt, and raise their children to be good citizens and succeed at whatever profession they choose. Some do want to be rich and some achieve it. But is it the overarching dream of many? I suspect not. People do want accomplishment, and success, and arriving at goals.

Democrats seem particularly driven by the idea of equality. They want to make everyone equal, and their policies move in that direction. They talk a lot about social justice, and more about the rich who do not deserve to be rich, and big corporations and their CEOs who do not deserve to be rich. I have wished for some things I do not have, that I cannot afford, as I’m sure you have as well. Did you get out of bed this morning yearning to be equal?  Didn’t think so.

Even for those who do want to be rich, and are working to create a business that they hope will succeed and make them richer, I suspect it is the succeed part that drives them, not the riches. Building a successful business is a worthy endeavor, and building it  is the scary and exciting part rather than the arrival at the finish.

So what is all this social justice? the social equality? Democrats’ push for equality sounds good in the abstract, but makes no sense whatsoever as a real goal. Think about that when those campaigning for an office ask for your vote. What they want is to be in charge, and have the opportunity to control your lives.



Elizabeth Warren’s New World Order by The Elephant's Child

The Wall Street Journal featured Elizabeth Warren on the Opinion page. Her ideas, they say, show where the American left wants to go. The Editors combed through some 60 policy papers: There’s the Wealth Tax, The Medicare for All tax, the Global Corporate tax, and the Corporate surtax, Slower expensing, a Higher capital gains tax, Finance taxes (taxing the sale of bonds or stocks, Individual tax increases, increased Social Security benefits, paid for by increasing the Social Security payroll tax), a Lobbying tax, Mandated Medicare for all, The Green New Deal, an end to fossil fuels, ban fracking, halt new drilling leases, prohibit future fossil fuel exports, kill the Keystone XL. Free college, a “right” to child care, more affordable housing, Overturn the so-called “right to work” laws.

Make companies with revenue over $1 billion obtain a new federal charter that gives workers 40% of board seats. Break up Amazon, Facebook and Google, “unwind” their mergers with Whole Foods, Instagram, Double Click and more. (I thought Silicon Valley was lined up behind Warren). Then there’s Gun Control, using federal money to replace every voting machine in the country, mandate early voting and same-day registration.

There’s more, but it is such an expansion of government that one is inclined to dismiss it as…what? Her only real policy difference with Bernie Sanders is that she offers more details. She believes that she has enough political support to help her win the Democrat nomination and win the White House against a vulnerable Donald Trump.

She has already proved that she is a consummate liar, with her Indian heritage and even her brother has just accused her of lying about their father. As her idiotic tax plans suggest, she has, as has been suggested for years, only a child-like understanding of economics, and apparently only a child-like understanding of Americans and America.



Bad News for Democrats, Good News for the People by The Elephant's Child

 

Democrats in general, do not understand tax cuts. They understand raising taxes which means the government has more money to do stuff with. Which stuff, they will determine later. They are outraged by the idea of cutting the taxes of rich people. They are especially enraged by the idea of cutting corporate taxes. If you understand this basic mindset, you can understand why the Left says and thinks the things they do.

The popular idea presently among those on the Left is for tuition-free college education. That will bring in the votes of the younger people and their parents, who are terrified of the cost of college. How this is to be managed doesn’t seem to enter the discussion. Colleges have their campus and libraries and labs, playing fields and gyms to support. Professors believe firmly that they should be paid just as much as corporate heads. After all they, the professors, all have PhDs. How all this is to be paid for under a tuition-free regime is a question to which none of them seem to provide an answer. It’s about buying votes.

Conservatives frequently explain that cutting taxes for a business means that business can hire more people, add new products, make improvements in operations or expand. Leftists don’t understand why this might be a good thing. That hiring or building make the economy grow just doesn’t seem to penetrate.



A Brief Look Back at a Bit of History by The Elephant's Child

People and their governments are not always in a happy or successful relationship. The people recognize in varying amounts that we need to have a government to keep us from killing each other, at least partly. We need a government to keep the rest of the people in line, and make some rules that we can all manage to live with. But the people increase, and the government grows and finds that it likes being in charge and making rules and that being part of a government can be somewhat rewarding, and rewarding for your relatives as well. So it’s all a bit of a conundrum.

We end up in an unsettled situation like we are just now, with one political party demanding impeachment, removal from office, and the other pointing out that we actually like what he is doing, which the other side finds unbelievable. I thought you might appreciate a look back at how we got here. You will find it clarifies the whole thing effectively, and leaves you in a better mood for the upcoming festivities, but don’t take it out on the relatives.



The Concept of “Diversity” is Sheer Bunk! by The Elephant's Child

What do you call it when a word or a concept rises out of the ordinary to become a phenomenon that becomes all-encompassing and everywhere, and the center of all ideas. I write of diversity. It has somehow arisen from an ordinary word describing differences, to the ruling order of business at corporations, organizations, pictures,  classrooms, hiring and firing, it’s everywhere. It’s the goal of all human resources departments, wherever they are, college admissions, agency staffing, advertising, commercials, from school pictures to the annual reports of giant corporations. Diversity is a must, and the organization will be condemned if diversity is not obvious.

We just had another flap over the Democrats most recent debate, because with Kamala Harris no longer in the group, and Cory Booker also, there were complaints about the lack of diversity among Democrat candidates. Come to think of it, it was Cory Booker complaining.

I was reminded because I ran across one of my books today, which is titled “Diversity, The Invention of a Concept” by Peter Wood, who at the time was a professor of anthropology at Boston University. Excellent book. Ask for it at your public library, or look for it used at Amazon. You’ll be glad you did.

The whole idea, of course, is based on skin color — that is the obvious, visual, proof of ‘real’ diversity. And be very sure you have someone very black in the group, or it will not be diverse. It’s more a talking point for Democrats because Democrats believe they are entitled to be in charge because they are morally superior. They are morally superior because they care, and because they care they are carefully diverse, and try to demonstrate that characteristic at every opportunity, because they divide their voters up into groups.

Those of us who think the whole “diversity” thing is bunk continue to believe that skin color or national origin is not really the most important thing about a person. You can undoubtedly come up with a fairly long list of things that are more important about a person than their skin color. Think back over the national news of recent months and how important diversity is in the national conversation. Why? It’s Democrats demonstrating their superiority by showing how Trump is ‘racist’ because some encounter was not diverse, or diverse enough.

We think of America as a great melting pot, and it is. Peter Wood looked into the diversity in food in Boston, where he lived, from 1900 on, by restaurants’ cuisine and what was offered. It’s an interesting survey. There is a new Afghan restaurant next door to the salon where I get my hair cut.

It is obviously all political in nature, trying to appeal to a particular population by race, to appeal to voters of a particular race. I just think it’s important to understand what “diversity” is all about. The dust jacket of Wood’s book notes:

But the current cult of diversity is no laughing matter.  Wood shows how the elevation of this concept to the highest social good marks a profound change in our cultural life. Diversity as it is practiced today is anti-individualist and at odds with America’s older ideals of liberty and equality.

Where did this all come from? Justice Lewis Powell, in June 1978, in his stand-alone opinion in the Supreme Court case Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. He asserted that the goal of “attaining a diverse student body” provided a “constitutionally permissible” reason to allow racial preferences in admissions to a medical school. Thus the goal of achieving diversity overrode the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.

Addendum: Breitbart notes today that “Red State Governors Approve More Refugees in Their States” Refugees will usually vote Democrat, or can be persuaded to do so.

Democrat governors representing red states such as Kentucky, North Carolina, Montana, and Kansas have approved more refugee resettlement in 2020 for their states.

For Fiscal Year 2020, President Donald Trump will continue cutting refugee admissions by reducing former President Barack Obama’s refugee inflow by at least 80 percent. This reduction would mean a maximum of 18,000 refugees can be resettled in the U.S. between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020. This is merely a numerical limit and not a goal federal officials are supposed to reach.



Speaker Pelosi and Her Democrats Embarrass Themselves by The Elephant's Child

Ms. Pelosi and the members of the House have gone on home, so the impeachment spectacle is apparently over until the New Year. It’s important, I guess, to keep it in the public eye as much as possible until the next election.

It is beyond bizarre to listen to some of the Democrats trying to come up with reasons for this absurdity.  The Media is blathering on about Donald J. Trump being the third president to be impeached, but he has not been impeached. The House of Representatives has voted to impeach, but as Nancy Pelosi knows well, it is not an impeachment until it is confirmed by the Senate, who will not confirm it, so the best she can do for the angry, angry Hollywood celebrities is to drag it out so the media can talk about impeachment to make it as big a deal as possible.

Something to remember is that being a celebrity means that some people know your name and/or your face as well. It also means that to continue to be a celebrity, you have to stay in the news. For the media,  getting a celebrity to say something, is a way to fulfill your requirement to come up with news, and if you get them to say something nasty, it will actually make news. Think Robert De Niro for example. Always ready to spout off on the horrors of Donald J. Trump.

The problem is that there is no actual crime. They had to make something up. The charge is Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress. Of course that’s what a president is supposed to do — Obstruct Congress when they get out of order. The Abuse of Power relates to his phone call with the Ukraine President.  In his phone call Trump asked for help investigating corruption issues in the country. Since come of the corruption touched on the family of Joe Biden, Democrats say Trump abused his power because Joe Biden might be his opposition in the 2020 election. As Mollie Hemingway explained at the Federalist:

Biden was the Obama administration’s point man in Ukraine when his son, Hunter, who had no expertise in the region or industry, was being paid $80,000 a month to sit on the board of an energy concern there. Setting aside that charge, the second charge is more troubling.

Democrats say that Trump’s decision to exercise his constitutional privilege to protect executive communication means he should be removed from office. That’s their second charge — obstruction of Congress. Many presidents have battled with Congress over their executive privilege and what it covers, but the idea that the debate is cause for impeachment is remarkably weak. If President Trump had defied a court order to turn over documents, that would make for a stronger case. But that hasn’t happened.

The initial plan was to spin up a special counsel that would deliver a report on collusion with Russia to steal the election. That dream fizzled with the inability to find a single American, much less anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign, who had done so.

Do read Mollie Hemingway’s 4 Reasons Trump’s Impeachment is the Weakest in U.S. History.

 



Victor Davis Hanson Explains the Left, and It’s Not Pretty by The Elephant's Child

Everybody is busy trying to get ready for Christmas, do the shopping, get presents, write cards, parties, plan festivities, get a tree and put it up. Who has time?

And yet we are presented with a phony impeachment, accusations that make no sense, the underlying information coming out and criminal acts being exposed.  Who has time to pay the attention needed, to learn what’s really happening.  If you have time for another very rewarding video for learning about what is really going on, you will appreciate this. If you don’t have time, copy it and save for later.  Or depend on my archives. It will be there.



The Death of Europe: A Special Conversation by The Elephant's Child

This is one of Peter Robinson’s Uncommon Knowledge videos from the Hoover Institution, a particularly fascinating and essential one: a conversation with Douglas Murray about his book The Death of Europe and his coming new book The Madness of Crowds.  This is deep insight into the state of the world today, and why it is so.

Understanding Britain and America and the oncoming problems, and why people are the way they are. Absolutely brilliant. It’s very long, and worth every minute. No time now, come back and watch it later, or make your own copy from You Tube. You will be rewarded and your understanding deepened.



So Much for the Democrats Talking Points! by The Elephant's Child

Inspector General Horowitz firmly puts an end to Adam Schiff’s major talking points.The FBI played partisan politics and got caught at it.

This is a very big deal indeed. If we cannot trust the federal agencies assigned to protect the citizens, we’re, as they say up a creek without a paddle.



What if There is No Climate Emergency At All? by The Elephant's Child

When Greta Thunberg arrived in Madrid for the big climate meeting, there was an “unprecedented demonstration” for protection from the climate in the Spanish capital, supposedly involving 500,000 participants. However, the federal police said there were about 15,000 demonstrators.

This seems to be a fairly usual story in all things climate. The notrickszone website adds:

There were, as usual, no scientific facts to be found, but a lot of feeling, self-righteousness and general demands to an ominous elite, who officially stand behind Thunberg’s FFF.  (fact free fantasy)

NoTricksZone also links to a headline from 2018 that notes that over “100+ Scientific Papers find that there is Low Climate Sensitivity to Doubled CO².”  They find that the climate’s sensitivity to doubled CO² ranges from less than zero to 1º C.

From The German Spiegel Online, Dec. 7, 2019

Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia: “It’s the longest dry period that we have ever had.”

The Victoria Falls are considered to be the widest waterfall in the world. But instead of the usual quantities that plunge into its depths, there is a drought – tourists have also gone absent. The mood there is gloomy.”

And, of course, it is being immediately attempted to explain the water flow with man-made climate change. The Guardian wrote on the same day:

Data from the Zambezi River Authority shows water flow at its lowest since 1995, and well under the long-term average. Zambian president, Edgar Lungu, has called it ‘a stark reminder of what climate change is doing to our environment’.”

Spiegel calls it the worst drought ever. The Guardian calls it the worst drought since 1995. That’s a small difference.

Here are excerpts from The Climate Talking Points Report delivered to the UN Climate Summit in Madrid:

MADRID, Spain – How to Talk About Climate Change Issues & Alleged “Solutions” – 2020

INTRODUCTION: Global warming hype and hysteria continue to dominate the news media, academia, schools, the United Nations, and the U.S. government. The Green New Deal being pushed on Capitol Hill and in the 2020 presidential race is based upon “solving” an alleged “climate crisis.”

Teen school-skipping climate activists are testifying to the U.S. Congress and the United Nations and young children are being recruited for lawsuits against the U.S. government for its alleged climate “inaction.” The phrase ‘climate emergency’ has emerged as the favorite for climate campaigners.

But the arguments put forth by global warming advocates grossly distort the true facts on a host of issues, ranging from rising sea levels and record temperatures to melting polar caps and polar bears, among others. In short, there is no “climate crisis” or a “climate emergency.”

The UN, climate activists, the media, and academia are using the climate scare as an opportunity to lobby for their alleged “solutions” which require massive government expansion and central planning.

This talking points memo is designed to arm people with the voices of the rising number of scientists, the latest data, peer-reviewed studies on key facts so they can better engage in climate change debate with those advocating the UN/Al Gore/Green New Deal positions.

The global warming movement has morphed into a coalition of “climate cause deniers.” They deny the hundreds of causes and variables that influence climate change and instead try to pretend that carbon dioxide is the climate “control knob” overriding all the others factors and they pretend that every bad weather even it somehow “proof” of their “global warming.”

The Los Angeles Times supports mandated relocation of coastal properties based on climate alarmist flawed sea level rise claims. I have noted before that the World’s 76 best Tide Gauges show a mean 0.34 mm rise. That’s not even one millimeter! And if you don’t know how big a millimeter is, look it up. We have a case of mass hysteria going on.

Do remember that I just pointed out that Nancy Pelosi just took a body of House Democrats en-masse to Madrid for the big bash, and to tell the UN Climate meeting there that the U.S is not out of the Paris Climate Accords. “We’re Still in” she told them. I believe that is in President Trump’s jurisdiction, since it is not a treaty. It is widely agreed that the Paris Climate Accords were designed to transfer a great deal of money from the wealthy nations to the very poor nations of the world.

 



Elizabeth Warren Destroying Her Campaign One Speech at a Time by The Elephant's Child

A writer at the Opinion Page of the Wall Street Journal remarked several years ago that “Elizabeth Warren has only a child-like understanding of economics.” That was so spot-on that I’ve always remembered it.

Elizabeth Warren

@ewarren

Seems like she has only a child-like understanding of the Constitution as well. There really is a very sound and longstanding reason for the Electoral College, and it is to protect the people’s vote from people like Elizabeth Warren, who was a law professor, was she not?


What We have Been Reading and Mulling Over: by The Elephant's Child

At Commentary:  John Steele Gordon asks: “Has the American Economy ever been in better shape than it is today? The answer, frankly, is no.”

The American economy continues its robust growth. Two hundred sixty-six thousand new jobs were added in November, well above expectations, while the unemployment rate dropped back to September’s and October’s jobs numbers adjusted upwards, job growth has averaged 208,000 jobs for the last three months.

At Powerline blog: By Scott Johnson “BARR IS ON THE CASE”

Attorney General William Barr sat for an extended interview with NBC’s Pete Williams to discuss the findings in the Department of Justice Inspector General report released yesterday afternoon. NBC has cut the thing up in a couple of stories, but it has also posted the whole thing on YouTube (24-minute video below).

If you can find the time, do watch the video. Attorney General William Barr will make you feel like there are still some grownups here.

Scott followed that up with BARR IS ON THE Case 2

At National Review: “The Articles of Impeachment are Very Weak” by Andy McCarthy:

The charges range from insignificant to implausible to inane.

Democrats rolled out two articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday, alleging abuse of power and obstruction.

As noted over the weekend, I had to correct myself when writing that the impeachment inquiry that led to this point was a “rush to judgment.” The judgment was made long ago. The president has been Impeached Man Walking for “The Resistance” since before he took the oath of office. The House proceedings have been a matter of rushing the process until it catches up to a judgment of three years’ standing.

The Democrats have oversold the impeachment idea. How could they help it? Their Crazies are loudly proclaiming how horrible Trump is daily and demanding his removal from office. They have gone too far, and their arguments are falling apart. The FBI is in deep trouble. Much is yet to come, including the other investigation.

 




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