American Elephants


Tucker Carlson on DACA: ” A Rare Voice of Honesty” by The Elephant's Child


Since posted, this video has been determined to be “private” and only available to those who have permission. It was a marvelous compilation of Democrats who had been issued talking points, one after another referring to any questioning of the DACA petitioners to be cruel and so they did, obediently. Cruel, cruel, cruel. Sorry we missed it. It was the most obvious presentation of Democrat “talking points” I’ve seen.

The whole immigration problem can be summed up by a video. The Left has learned their propaganda skills well, and understands that if you keep repeating something often enough, pretty soon people will start to believe it. And it works. The progressive leadership sends out “talking points” or in other words the word or words to be repeated endlessly. Republicans (or at least some Republicans) understand this and capture them in action. But they capture them as a sort of joke—”Look, they’re doing it again, the stupid fools” but then they don’t fight back beyond that. So the folks who don’t follow the news that closely, or watch the right videos are swayed by the repeated words.

I’m delighted that Republicans seem to understand the propaganda tricks, but could they possibly stand together and denounce them? Or beat them at their own game?

Leftists want to fix, or at least improve, human nature. “We are the World”, open borders, global government, can’t we all get along, no more wars, love and kindness, fight to save the world from global warming, end disease, help the poor, make everybody equal, and so on and so on.

Human beings are by nature tribal. It used to be just those who were blood related, or lived in  tribal territory, but as we have grown and spread out, we simply form our own little tribes. Tribes of those we went to school with, or work with, or who root for the same football team, or share a love of chess or gardening, belong to the same clubs, or who live in the same neighborhood. We want to be with people who share our same interests or history. Doesn’t mean we don’t like or want to associate with others. Many are temporary—people we used to work with, or those who have plainly left our tribe. Being human, we don’t like everybody we meet. It’s not prejudice, it’s just being human, and you can’t “fix” it.

The Left uses the idea of tribes as a pejorative. Same for “the Rich,’ or corporations, or Wall Street, or Banking, or Guns — the list is quite long. Making everybody equal, of course, doesn’t include themselves, because someone has to have the power and run things. Doesn’t hold up well under  close examination.

We change over time as we learn and grow, responding to events in our lives. You undoubtedly have friends or relatives who have strikingly different political opinions, and in trying to avoid a fight, you don’t spend as much time with them as you did in another time.

On the other hand, the latest pejorative for the Left is “white supremacists,” which is supposed to be the underlying cause for any opposition to open borders or wanting a wall, or opposing sanctuary cities, or opposing ObamaCare. The fact of “white supremacists” is clearly demonstrated by the fact that there are more white people in this country than any other particular skin color, though it is expected that the total of those who are not “white supremacists” will be greater than the number who are “white supremacists” sometime in the near future, and that will be ever so much better?

Advertisements


Fed Up, Annoyed, And Just Plain Had It Up to Here! by The Elephant's Child

I am fed up. The excesses of the media are becoming just too much. There are too many would-be reporters chasing too little news with a portfolio of too little knowledge. This celebrity said that about President Trump—a notice that brings out other celebrities to say something, because celebrities’ lives depend on publicity, and members of the media are hungry for a new and interesting comment.  One rude comment brings on a “Can you top this” reaction.

It is an age of hysteria. We now have “Antifa”— supposedly “anti-fascist” but they seem to be the same anarchists and Black Bloc people who keep showing up with clubs and black clothes and masks whenever there is an opportunity for a good lively protest — at least here in Seattle and in Portland. I don’t know if they are that active elsewhere in the country, but they have apparently found that not too many get dragged off to jail here, the opposition is unorganized, as is the police force. Mayors don’t want melees in their streets—bad publicity. It’s always appeared to me that the anarchists are just interested in breaking windows, setting fires and especially destroying police cars. Higher aims or philosophy, if any, have not been worked out.

It’s clear that excesses on one college campus infect many others, like a plague. Even abroad. And it grows a little with each new venue. I don’t think the kids consciously think, oh let’s go imitate Old Ivey — that would be embarrassing, but that’s of course what they’re doing. In their enthusiasm for eliminating the Civil War, the Trojans called for changing the name of the white horse the Trojan cheerleader rode out on the field after each touchdown, because he was named Traveler, which was the name of Robert E. Lee’s horse. An Asian-American sportscaster named Robert Lee was yanked by ESPN from broadcasting a University of Virginia football game. Virtue-signalling carried to an extreme. And so it goes.  A plague of idiocy, highly contagious.

Kathy Griffin is still complaining that she was roundly condemned for holding up a bloody-looking head of a supposed Donald Trump as if he had been decapitated, and people didn’t get the joke. Or she doesn’t understand why it wasn’t a joke, or she doesn’t understand why everyone made such a big fuss about it. Her entire career as a comedian is in the toilet, and the punishment is just too much for her to bear. The fact that she did it to herself seems not to have penetrated.

There was a time when the press was supposed to be the watchdog of government, keeping the three branches of government honest and responsible. Truth tellers in the face of possible corruption and greed. That’s almost laughable these days.

And Trump accomplishments? Never mentioned. The Trump administration has blocked Obama regulations that would have burdened employers with hundreds of millions of dollars in compliance costs and increased paperwork loads by millions of hours each year. The OMB instructed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to shelve a rule change that would have required employers to submit twenty times as much data to the agency as previously required. It would have affected 61,000 workers.

American companies with more than 100 workers and federal contractors with more than 50 workers were required ,to demonstrate their commitment to closing the nebulous “gender wage gap.” Obama’s big idea was for businesses to provide 3,660 different data points about each employee and their pay structure, up from just 188 points. Lessening the burden of regulation on employers may just have something to do with the economy’s growth the last quarter at an annual rate of 3 percent. This was much better than the  2.7 percent rate that was expected. The 3 percent figure was the first time the GDP growth rate has hit 3 percent in over 2 years. Broadcast news, of course, chose not to cover that interesting bit of information.



Best Essay of the Day by The Elephant's Child

Donald J Trump is president. Really. He won it fair and square, he was inaugurated seven — almost eight — months ago, and he very probably is going to be president for another three and a half years.

Minimum.

So, now, children, let’s calm down. All of you people over there saying Trump is unqualified and should be removed? Give it up. He’s qualified by the only qualification that matters: he is over 35, he is a native U.S. citizen, and he won the damned election. The Constitution doesn’t have a clause in it for removal by vote of the media, or because his political opponents don’t like him. The only reason he can be removed constitutionally is if someone finds high crimes and misdemeanors.

Now, I know that some people are fantasizing about the Democrats taking the House, and passing a bill of impeachment, and somehow getting the Senate to convict.

To which I say, “be careful, you’ll get chafed.”



Lighten Up, People by The Elephant's Child

You have undoubtedly noticed that the Left-wingers are deadly serious about their fury at President Trump for winning the 2016 election. It was nine months ago, and they’re still at it. And they are so very very serious. Any thought or statement from the Right is met with cries of Racist-Sexist, Xenophobe, Homophobe, Misogynist, White-Supremacist, etc, etc. And that’s all they have: everybody’s a victim. It’s all social justice. There are no ideas for advancing anything. ObamaCare is about to go broke, and the potential rise in cost will be unaffordable for most—but they can’t conceive of anything different. It must be saved.

The Republicans are mostly somewhat amused. You will see in my previous post all the variations they came up with on the Democrat’s rubber chicken balloon. Once a week, Steven Hayward posts a collection of the week’s best cartoons at Powerline, with special emphasis on Google’s overreaction to some scientifically accurate comments on women’s abilities. Or here  is a link to Michael Ramirez’s website for the conservative view of the world. There’s such a difference, and the Democrats are so angry.

 



Is Google Being Run by Human Resources? by The Elephant's Child

We seem to have a society being run by the Human Resources Department. At least that’s what the flap at Google appears to be about. Diversity and inclusion. But just what is diversity, and why is it important? It clearly is the correct mix of skin color and ethnic origins, and gender too, of course. More complicated now as we seem to have increasing numbers of possible genders, since gender is no longer attached to your natal distinction, but rather to what you feel like today.

Does the number of skin colors have to match the skin colors of the world, or only the country or the city in which you operate? And, for example, if you have Asians represented, is that enough or do you need each Asian country represented? There aren’t all that many Mongolians in our country. But what does any of this have to do with skills, and abilities, information, education, personality, politics, temperament and the ability to do the job required? When you start actually having to explain the meaning of diversity, it all begins to fall apart.

Victor Davis Hanson’s column “The Problem of Competitive Victimhood” gets right to the heart of the matter.

Many working-class voters left the Democratic Party and voted for a billionaire reality-TV star in 2016 because he promised jobs and economic growth first, a new sense of united Americanism second, and an end to politically correct ethnic tribalism third. …

Recent scholarly studies, here and abroad, have found that the aggressive effort to win government preferences for particular ethnic and religious minorities descends into “competitive victimhood.” In other words, such groups battle each other even more than they battle the majority.

After all, who can calibrate necessary government set-asides and reparations for a century and a half of slavery, for ill-treatment of Native Americans, and for descendants of victims of the Asian immigration exclusionary laws, of segregation, of the unconstitutional repression of German citizens during World War I and of Japanese-American internment during World War II?

In another paradox, immigrants came to and stayed in America because they saw it as preferable to their abandoned homelands. Romanticizing a forsaken culture that one has already decided offered far less opportunity and security than America is incoherent.

Democrats have largely pinned their hopes on competitive victimhood. Nancy Pelosi is fundraising on “Trump’s Immoral Border Wall.” It seems that protecting our border is immoral. Sanctuary City Portland was attempting to prevent ICE from deporting the illegal immigrant accused of raping a 65 year old woman after being previously deported something like 20 times. He stole her car as well. Others attack little kids of 10 or 12. Sanctuary Cities attract illegals. Leftists want the extra population when it’s time for the census, which will get them another representative in Congress. Concern for the victims doesn’t measure up to political needs.

So diversity seems to be one of those noble goals — stamping out prejudice, and all that — that doesn’t hold up to closer inspection. It’s just another round of politically correct nonsense.  Sounds good on a list of goals for Human Resources though.

 



“The Resistance” versus The Constitution by The Elephant's Child

The United States Constitution is quite clear. Article II, Section1.  The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States. That’s it. A very clear and simple statement about the executive power of the United States. Every single person in the executive departments of the federal government answers to the President.

Back in February, Acting attorney General Sally Yates instructed Justice Department lawyers not to defend President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending immigration from seven majority Muslim countries. (There are 49 majority Muslim countries. The 7 temporarily banned make up a relatively large portion of refugees entering the country, but only a small share are visa holders.) Yates sent an email to the lawyers in Justice’s Civil Division instructing them not to defend President Trump’s executive order in court. She acknowledged, in the email that the executive order had been reviewed by the Office of Legal Counsel, which had determined it was lawful on its face. She asserted the federal bureaucrats “I don’t care what you say and I’ll do what I please.” Trump promptly fired Yates. As a federal bureaucrat, she has the right to disagree, but she has no authority to order the Justice Department to refuse to enforce it.

It’s not talked about much, but these things are “catching”. On college campuses, there are a few bad actors, or members of Black Lives Matter, or others sent by ‘community organizers’. But if somebody is protesting and screaming and carrying torches or signs, it’s easy enough to join the crowd.

Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, pointed to news reports about upset employees, social media campaigns and “civil disobedience” training for staffers looking to push back against the White House.

GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak, a contributor to The Hill, attributed the blowback to a host of factors, from the political make-up of civil servants to the use of holdover officials in government offices that are still waiting for the Senate to confirm Trump political appointees.

He said there is also a “real industry now behind recruiting whistleblowers inside the resistance movement,” and creating public outcry about the administration.

“It’s not enough just to be a government employee and resign because of the direction your agency is going,” he said, noting that officials’ concerns are often sincere. “Now you have to do it in a highly public way, out of social pressure and personal motivation.”

These are arrogant bureaucrats, refusing to do the job they were hired to do. They serve at the pleasure of the president. He should make that known by firing the lot.

The Democrats are in deep difficulty and they know it. They’ve been hauling out one potential candidate after another to see what the reaction is. Not good. They have no bench. They have no ideas. They have been trying to stall every nomination of the president to impede his policies. They imagine themselves romantically standing on the barricades bravely as “The Resistance” in some illusionary French Revolution. Well, it won’t fly.

 

 



Fake News and the Hunger for Information by The Elephant's Child

Johannes Gutenberg is widely credited with the invention of the first printing press in 1455. However Chinese monks had been using block prints even earlier, by A.D, 600, and there were attempts to create type as a means of conveying information. Too many characters in the Chinese language, and conveying important messages with blockprints didn’t really go anywhere.

The first newspaper in America was Public Occurrences, Both Foreign and Domestic, and the first (and last) issue was published in 1690. The 1st Amendment to the Constitution says “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom…of the press.” The Constitution establishes a government with three branches, but it does not establish a press or a media. What it does do is try to prohibit the government from trying to control what people say in the press or outside the press. Free speech.

It’s more useful to think about the way news was disseminated before there were a wide range of newspapers and subscriptions. Try to imagine a town crier, shouting out news of marriages, births and big events as he strolls around the town. People depended on riders to convey the news from one town to another. News of war and the battlefield had to wait until a rider could be sent back to town, and farmers and small communities were out of luck until someone happened by.

Illustrated news came to be long before photographs were invented, and depended on artists who could make reproducible engravings or blockprints. Americans yearned for news of the old country, but had to wait until a ship came in. Gold was discovered in California in January of 1848, but it wasn’t until December that the first rumors reached New York. Sailing ship going around the horn — the Panama Canal did not yet exist.

Samuel Morse invented the telegraph in 1844, and Morse code, but it wasn’t until 1860 that a bill was passed in Congress to authorize the telegraph to be built across the continent. They built from each coast with fascinating stories of Indians, the pony express, and the trans-continental line was completed on October 24th, 1862, linking the continent.

So here we are with “Fake News” and a profession is disrepute. The telegraph was followed by the telephone, the Atlantic Cable, photography, radio, movies, recordings, sailing ships were replaced by steam, the Panama Canal was built. Wars intervened, and news from the battlefield, but the front lines had to communicate with Division headquarters, and the medics, so there were runners. Then there were walkie-talkies. Each improvement in communication meant changes in the way things were done. Lives were saved.

With the advent of television, everyone said it was a great step forward, the American people would watch symphonies, the best of the New York stage, lectures, history. Uh huh.  They thought the same thing when we first got computers. You can watch porn online, and pretend comedians holding up an efigy of the head of a newly elected president. A goodly percentage of the people do not pay any attention to the news, and are open to the most partisan claims because they don’t understand what is happening. Cell phones, and people get mowed down on the street because they are paying attention to their phone instead of where they are going, and ditto for cars.

Victor Davis Hanson writes on the Media Meltdown between 2008 and 2016 at the Hoover Institution’s ‘Defining Ideas,’ and how it all happened. We are being manipulated by a partisan media, and the Left is capitalizing on focus-tested vocabulary and pictures to influence the unwitting—and unfortunately all of us are unwitting at least part of the time. I emphasize “the Left,” but of course the Right tries to do it too, but is not as skilled at manipulation, and more inclined to explanation.

So now we have reached a point telephone calls are made by robots, we have the immensely annoying telephone trees when you just want to shriek “I want to speak to a human.” We can turn on the air-conditioning or close the shades at home—from the office. Ordering anything online is killing the retail industry and you no longer have to go out to get dinner, you can have it delivered, as a kit to produce your own, or as a fully prepared meal. There’s a lot going on in that sector, and we can probably look forward to a time when we don’t have to cook at all.

What is becoming very clear is that new inventions will not develop in the way we assume. Our schools are making us dumber, and human nature being what it is, we probably won’t become wise consumers, very well-informed, or lifelong learners striving to know as much as we possibly can. After all, we’re still watching movies about comic book characters and playing silly games on our computers—rather than listening to symphonies and the finest Broadway productions.




%d bloggers like this: