American Elephants


Enough, Enough, Enough. by The Elephant's Child

migraineSorry about the light or absence of posting. I am exhausted by electioneering, the hate, the venom, the lies and exaggeration.Today and yesterday it has been all about the polls. Who’s up, who’s down. There has even been a vast array of supposedly predictive articles, events, long term trends, and even a Chinese monkey supposedly good at predicting.

It’s all pure speculation (with few facts) on the polls, which are pure speculation. Nobody knows. Everyone is speaking out to say who is going to vote for each candidate, but they are absent anything but speculation. I’m up to the ears with it. The speculation is just based on who the person doing the speculating prefers. And of course everyone is pretending to be non-partisan. I am tired of the media, tired of the pundits, tired of the pollsters — and I have the sense that everyone else is too. The whole damn thing has been a disaster.

The picture is obviously not me. I am of the female gender, But it captures the mood nicely.



Matt Ridley Explains Why the Greening of the World is Far More Important than any Worries about gGobal Warming by The Elephant's Child

 

Matt Ridley is a fascinating speaker, and the world needs to know something about his ideas—they’re that good. Worth every minute. Published October 21, 2016.The speech was given October 17th at the British Royal Society.



The Alienated American by The Elephant's Child

shockedbaldeagleA new column from Victor Davis Hanson at Defining Ideas, a publication of the Hoover Institution, titled “The Alienated American,” is especially pertinent:

Many Americans increasingly seem psychologically, if not materially, disengaged from their own country. A few vote with their feet and move to quieter enclaves in the American rural West or to no-income-tax states in the South and hinterlands. More withdraw with their minds, by shutting out most of the noise emanating from American popular culture, politics, and the media.

I spent my vacation in September in small towns in southern Michigan, and a few days of October traveling to a number of communities in rural California, as well as talking to a variety of people on my farm. In all these venues, I kept meeting the same sort of detached American. Though these men and women came from varying class and ethnic backgrounds, they were united by a sense of malaise. Let me sum up what I think is the new Americanus alienatus.

The American stranger embraces a pessimistic view of this country, rather than the therapeutic view shared by most Americans. Given the nation’s cultural and financial profligacy, he assumes things are going to get worse. Or at least he accepts that they cannot go on as they are. The medicine (that will fall on him to administer) will be as catastrophic as the lethal disease (which he thinks was caused mostly by others).

Stereotyped as a “deplorable” “clinger” and “everyday American,” the stranger certainly has no wish to dispute the new politically correct orthodoxies of open borders, Black Lives Matter, the euphemisms that mask radical Islamic terrorism, record deficits, unsustainable entitlements, and chaos abroad. All of that, he believes, is now the concern of the members of the coastal establishment, whose incestuous lives are glimpsed in the latest WikiLeaks trove.

The whole column is available here.



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.



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.



A Little Real Western Humor by The Elephant's Child
October 14, 2016, 1:04 pm
Filed under: Blogging, Bureaucracy, Domestic Policy, Humor, Regulation | Tags: ,

Borrowed shamelessly from Maggie’s Farm:

The Montana Department of Employment, Division of Labor Standards claimed a small rancher was not paying proper wages to his help and sent an agent out to investigate him.

AGENT: I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them.

RANCHER: Well, there’s my hired hand who’s been with me for 3 years. I pay him $200 a week plus free room and board. Then there’s the mentally challenged guy. He works about 18 hours every day and does about 90% of all the work around here. He makes about $60 per week, pays his own room and board, and I buy him a bottle of Jack Daniels every Saturday night so he can cope with life. He also sleeps with my wife occasionally.

AGENT: That’s the guy I want to talk to – the mentally challenged one.

RANCHER: That would be me.

I grew up in Idaho, but I knew that bureaucrat and that rancher.



The Solutions Often Aren’t Quite What You Expected! by The Elephant's Child

ows_147520558415635_mediumA column at The Daily Signal, from the Heritage Foundation, by Walter E. Williams, a professor of economics at George Mason University draws our attention to a lawsuit filed by Detroit school students against the state of Michigan. The suit claims a legal right to literacy based on the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

Ninety-three percent of Detroit’s predominantly black public school eighth-graders are not proficient in reading, and 96 percent are not proficient in mathematics. According to the lawsuit, “decades of state disinvestment in and deliberate indifference to Detroit schools have denied plaintiff schoolchildren access to the most basic building block of education: literacy.”

In terms of per-pupil expenditures, the state does not treat Detroit public school students any differently than it does other students. According to the Michigan Department of Education, the Detroit school district ranks 50th in state spending, at $13,743 per pupil. This is out of 841 total districts. That puts Detroit schools in the top 6 percent of per-pupil expenditures in the state.

The answer from the bureaucracy is usually the same. Pay the teachers more and reduce class size, which works out well for the teachers’ unions.

It appears that according to a 2011 survey by the American Psychological Association, 80% of teachers had been victimized at school at least once during that school year or the prior year. Detroit schools have the same problems of violence as are faced by other predominately black schools in other cities.

In Baltimore, each school day in 2010, an average of four teachers and staff were assaulted. In February 2014, The Baltimore Sun reported that more than 300 Baltimore school staff members had filed workers’ compensation claims during the previous fiscal year because of injuries received through assaults or altercations on the job.

A January 2015 post at American Thinker documents the problems of racial violence in schools by the author of two books on racial violence in schools—toward teachers. The videos linked are no longer available, except for one, which was captured on a student’s phone, and is startling.

The most popular manual to train teachers how to eliminate racial disparity in grades and discipline is by Glenn Singleton, which is based on Critical Race Theory and insists that teachers must know 3 things to do their jobs: 1. White racism is everywhere. 2. White racism is permanent. 3. White racism explains everything.  Clearly that is not apt to improve much of anything.

The American people invested a lot of hope that the first black president  would improve race relations in the country. Instead we have Black Lives Matter raising animus on campuses and encouraging riots and violence against police. In the assumption that most black men in prison have been convicted because of racism rather than crime, Obama is releasing and/or pardoning hundreds. He has suggested that Trayvon Martin might have been his son, and that police shootings of young black men were unjustified even before the facts were all in, or the grand jury had convened.  The general opinion is that race relations have not only not improved, but have become much worse.

In Minnesota ‘s Cooper High School, “football coach Willie Howard looked at his team and decided there was still something missing. The former Vikings defensive lineman has changed the football culture at Cooper, compiling a more-than-respectable .596 winning percentage compared to the .361 percentage Cooper had in its five previous seasons.”

But, like any football program, there is always more to be done. Black students comprise nearly 37 percent of the student body at Cooper, the school’s largest racial demographic group. Looking to improve their self-esteem and bolster perceptions of them in the community, Howard hit on an idea that has long been a staple in the business world: Two days a week, the Cooper football players dress for success.

“I’d had enough of people thinking negatively,” Howard said. “The only way you can change the way people think about you is by changing things you can control. If you don’t want people thinking you’re a thug, don’t dress like a thug. It you don’t want people thinking you’re unintelligent, show them how intelligent you are.”

Senior wide receiver Emmanuel Ogboru, dressed impressively in a checked shirt, vest and gold tie, said “When you look good, you act good, you do your work good and you play good.”

On Mindset Mondays and We Will Succeed Wednesdays, the entire Cooper football team puts away the hoodies and sweats and dons a more professional-looking attire. If they don’t own such clothes, the school has amassed a large wardrobe with hundreds of shirts and ties, as well as sport coats, vests, slacks and even shoes. Most of the clothes were donated or acquired through the crowdfunding website GoFundMe, which raised $5,000.

“They come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays to get the clothes they need for the next [Dress For Success] day,” Howard said. “When they come to school dressed like that, it says they took the time and energy to prepare. When they’re sitting in that classroom, they feel differently about that class. It reminds them why we’re in this building.

The kids don’t have to do it every day. Howard says some days kids just need to be kids, but dressing for success seems to be catching on. The basketball coach wants to continue it, and kids not in the sports programs are asking if they can take part.

*photo by Jerry Holt, jerryholt@startribune.com




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