American Elephants


The Iran Deal: What it Is and What it Isn’t by The Elephant's Child

Confusion reigns over every mention of the “Iran Deal.” And it is back in the news and at a moment in time when confusion over every tiny thing about the Trump administration, not to mention the large things, seems to set off what might be called a panic attack in the Democrats. Any ability to talk about such things calmly and seriously has gone by the wayside. It’s some kind of contagious dementia.

Iran is not a friendly Middle Eastern country. They support most of the worlds terrorism and terrorists, are attempting to become a nuclear power, are making trouble wherever they can in the Middle East and elsewhere, and generally fall in the category of bad guys. Very bad guys.

The Obama administration signed a nuclear deal with Iran. It is not a treaty, but just an informal deal to relieve sanctions on Iran if they stop trying to get nuclear weapons. They are supposed to get inspections to see if they are doing what they claim, but that isn’t happening, and everybody’s worried about what will happen, what the Trump administration will do, what can be done or not done. All is confusion.

Frederick W. Kagan, a scholar at AEI on Foreign and Defense Policy, the Middle East and Terrorism in general, has spelled out the facts of the deal and attempted to alleviate the confusion so we have some understanding among the reports from the media, most of whom don’t seem to understand any more than we do.

Do read the whole thing, or better yet print it out or save it. This is going to be a major bone of contention for some time yet, and the Democrats are off the tracks, partly because it was an Obama effort, partly because they are quite sure that Trump is starting a new war, or is too irrational to do the right thing, or is anxious to start something or who knows what catastrophe the evil Trump will devise.  In other words, we need to know what they are talking about. Knowing what they are talking about is the best defense.

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12 Principles for a 21st century conservatism by The Elephant's Child

Jordan Peterson is a professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto in Canada. He also a clinical psychologist, and an important voice in today’s world. He is honest, and has thought deeply about what he says, and he thinks out loud and shares the process with you. His mind is well connected to his mouth, and he talks with his hands as well.

He clarifies the most basic things. Things that no one is making clear in our world as it is today. You will hear the audience burst into applause when they realize just how very basic those things are.

This is a very long video that is really worth your while. It might change your life. It is the answer to the previous video about how Sweden has gone so badly astray.

When you finally get down to the basic way things are, ask why they are that way.

(The introduction is way too long, you can skip some of it.)



General John Kelly: An Emotional Press Conference by The Elephant's Child

If you haven’t watched this today, please watch it now. It’s important. General Kelly takes on the media reaction to a presidential call to a bereaved widow who just lost her husband.

He patiently explains just how the American military treats the loss of one of their own, step by step. General Kelly understands the whole thing deeply, from all sides. He understands enlisting in the military, serving in war, reaching a position where he must send men into harm’s way, and losing some of them to an enemy, and making calls and sorrowing with the bereaved. And he’s been notified of the loss of his own son and received the condolence calls and visits himself.

A Florida congresswoman disgraced herself and her party. Contemptible.



Poor Information Flow Between School and Home by The Elephant's Child

Was I saying that it “can’t happen here?” of course it can. Here’s a report from the Minnesota conservative think tank the Center of the American Experiment (CAE) about the public schools in Edina, a Minneapolis suburb, one of the wealthiest cities in Minnesota. The school district has long been regarded as one of the state’s very best. The problem seems to be the lack of information that flows between school and the students’ homes.

The Schools in Edina have “increasingly implemented a controversial, ideologically-driven curriculum” first reported by Intellectual Takeout here and here. And surprise, it’s all about race, class and gender.

If you are thinking, “I don’t live in Edina, what do I care.” You’d probably better pay attention if you have children in school, or expect to, or have grandchildren, or just care about your local schools. Surely you have noticed that our colleges and universities are hotbeds of political indoctrination and activism. Education has long been considered an easy major, and Education Departments have always felt slightly looked down upon because of that, with some justification. Or listen to new teachers complain that they were never really taught how to manage a classroom and control the uncontrollable.

Today, for example, K-2 students at Edina Highlands Elementary School are learning—through the “Melanin Project”—to focus on skin color and to think of white skin as cause for guilt. “Equity” is listed as a primary criterion on the district’s evaluation for K-5 math curricula. At Edina High School, teachers are haranguing students on “White Privilege,” and drilling into them that white males oppress and endanger women. In a U.S. Literature and Composition class, 11th-graders are being taught to “apply marxist [sic], feminist” and “post-colonial” “lenses to literature.”

“In short,” Kersten concludes, “in Edina, reading, writing, math and critical thinking skills are taking a backseat to an ideological crusade.”

• A teacher tearfully told a classroom of 100 students that “the election was rigged.”
• Another teacher announced to a class that “Trump winning was worse than 9/11 and the Columbine shooting.”
• Students gathered in the high school commons on election day chanting “F*** Trump,” while teachers watched on, doing nothing.

While the schools are busy with activism, the consequences are that one in five high school students can’t read at grade level and a third cannot do grade level math. The state ranking of Edina high schools has slipped from fifth to 29th in reading proficiency.

I’ve been a parent, and it’s easy to feel all warm and fuzzy when the teacher’s note or the teacher conference tells you what a good student you have, who is a delight to have in the classroom. But that is not real communication with the school and the curriculum. Schools have decided that  kids don’t need to learn cursive writing, because they will always have keyboards. So the ability to write a hand-written thank-you or sympathy note, or simply a gracious thank-you for a job interview will be beyond them.

College professors all over the country are complaining about their incoming students, their inability to read, write and think. We need to take that seriously and to be sure that we know what our schools are actually teaching, or we will suddenly wake up and find that like the previous video, we had no idea what the schools were teaching our children.



Europe is Finished. Nothing can save it now. by The Elephant's Child

Child abuse. Sponsored by the government in the name of being nice.
There are two genders, and gender dysphoria is a mental problem, as is bodily dysphoria. It’s not science, but ideology.

How could any society get so weirdly and senselessly ideological? If it is this far advanced in Europe, it is undoubtedly underway here, more  than we think—or will be so shortly. And what does it mean that Europe is finished? I had assumed that the Islamization of Europe was well underway, that seems clear. Is this the future of mankind?



For Newly Naturalized Citizens by The Elephant's Child

Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Leader, spoke at a September 21, naturalization ceremony in Bakersfield, California. The Wall Street Journal noted it in their column “Notable &Quotable:”

Every one of you has a story—an American story now. You come from many countries—but today the Pilgrims are your ancestors. You’ve known many leaders—but today George Washington is your Founding Father. You’ve experienced many hardships—but today Valley Forge is your winter.

The Declaration is your inspiration and the Constitution is your inheritance. Lincoln is your liberator. . . . The GIs of D-Day are your heroes. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of your dreams. The moon bears your flag. And our future is your future.

 You are adopted sons and daughters of America with every right, every privilege, every duty and every national memory of those blessed with citizenship by birth. I pray that as you grow into your place as a citizen, that what you would feel more than anything else is gratitude.
Very, very nice.


Obama’s Presidential Library Will Be In Chicago by The Elephant's Child

Former President Barack Obama has unveiled the design and vision for his Presidential Center. It’s to be on the South Side of Chicago and do some neighborhood revitalization as well as a park, and a hub for artists like Springsteen, Chance the Rapper and Spike Lee. A lagoon will have paddle boats and skating in the winter, and Michelle wants a sledding hill, something she always wanted growing up there.

“What we want this to be is the world premiere institution for training young people in leadership to (help them) make a difference in their communities, in their country and in their world,” he said.

Tiger Woods is to design a golf course. But the presidential library will probably be somewhere else. Presidential Libraries (there are only 13 of them) are usually places where scholars can go to study the presidential papers, but this one is apparently going to be more of a celebration of the first African-American president, and the dry old papers will have to go somewhere else. Well, good luck to them, and I hope it does revitalize the neighborhood. There have been a lot of murders in the area, and the Obamas hope the Center will  help. The cost is paid for by private donations, but once built, the upkeep is paid by taxpayers.

I have read that those who once ran for the presidency have a hard time getting over it. Hillary clearly cannot get over her loss, and eleven months later she is still whining about her defeat.  It’s apparently very hard to leave the limelight. Jimmy Carter just offered to go to North Korea to talk to Kim Jong Un to use his famous peacekeeping ability, I guess. Obama’s presidential edifice will be a monument to his considerable ego, and the papers will be off in some dusty corner of the University of Chicago or in some other building. FDR had the first Presidential Library, and he had a considerable ego too. I’m not sure that they shouldn’t just settle for a statue. It’s getting to be a bit of a competition to see whose is grandest.




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