American Elephants


Former President Obama Simply Can’t Let Go! by The Elephant's Child

I’m still playing around with the “power” theme. That’s what it’s all about now, is it not? The millionaire football players kneeling at the national anthem, the pay gap for women, the claims of racism and white supremacy, the claim that the president said “hellhole” in more scatological terms and should therefore be censured by Congress. What if what he actually said was “hellhole”? Apparently no one but Illinois Senator Dick Durbin actually heard him say the ‘s’ version. It is all about Donald Trump winning the election and putting the Democrats out of power at all levels.

I wrote back on the first of January about former President Obama’s reluctance refusal to return to civilian life, as president’s do when their term of office is done. He is apparently the first, ever, to refuse to do so. Jimmy Carter insisted on commenting frequently, but Obama is doing something quite different, and unprecedented.  It must be a bit galling to find your successor cancelling your misguided programs and having the economy take off as a result. Democrats are insisting that the economy is acting in response to Obama’s efforts, but the people who make the economy go have no hesitation in telling what they are responding to.

Here’s Politico: Since leaving office, Barack Obama has struggled with how to do what no modern president has: take on his successor.

Obama and Eric Holder are fully engaged in the effort to challenge every GOP redistricting effort in court to claim they were (of course) racist and therefore illegal. You have surely noticed the extreme reappearance of charges of racism. It is not due to any evidence of racism, but of the “Black Lives Matter” protest group, which is also orchestrated. Every business in the country is eager to hire minorities, if only to prove that they are not discriminating. Unemployment claims for Blacks are the lowest in recorded history, and Black employment is at all time highs.So that’s not what this is about, it’s about power—having it and losing it.

Do read the whole Politico article. It’s a glimpse into the Leftist view. I wish it was about how to fix things, and get our huge deficit under control, but of course, it is not. It’s just about power.

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Jordan Peterson on the Patriarchy and the Pay Gap by The Elephant's Child

Here is Jordan Peterson again, in an interview with a British feminist named Cathy Newman. She is utterly fixated on the idea of the pay gap that favors men and how utterly unjust it is. She has real trouble hearing what Professor Peterson says, expects him to be disseminating and misleading and he actually means exactly what he says. Nevertheless, it is a fascinating conversation and I learned a lot about some real differences between men and women that careful research shows. Especially interesting for women to watch. You may even find it helpful.



Why Globalism Fails: Jordan Peterson by The Elephant's Child

I really enjoy Dr. Jordan Peterson. He is deeply interested in getting to the very essence of things. How things really work underneath it all. What makes people tick and why. And why they don’t. I like listening to him, and I like watching him. He talks with his hands. I don’t think I do that at all, and I don’t know why some people do and some people don’t—besides being Italian. Enjoy.



“Speaking Facts in Polite Company” Scandalized the Left by The Elephant's Child

Ahhh! The Agony of the Left. President Trump accurately described some of the troubled countries of the world, though apparently not in the words claimed, and the Left erupted in fury, attempting to attach the probably crude designation of a country to the citizens thereof and thereby make a moderate insult into a racist one. Or something like that. Anyway it was enough to occupy the media’s hours, because they don’t seem to know enough about the real world to do actual news. What do they teach in journalism schools these days anyway?

The most accurate and effective riposte came from Andrew Klavan, which is great fun as well as being completely accurate.

Nothing scandalizes a leftist like the truth. Point out that women and men are different, that black Americans commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime, that most terrorist acts are committed by Muslims, and the Left leaps to its collective feet in openmouthed shock, like Margaret Dumont after a Groucho Marx wisecrack. This is racism! This is sexism! This is some sort of phobia! I’m shocked, shocked to find facts being spoken in polite company!

No one is really shocked, of course. This is simply a form of bullying. The Left has co-opted our good manners and our good will in order to silence our opposition to their bad policies. The idea is to make it seem impolite and immoral to mention the obvious. …

Here in the states, the First Amendment has so far allowed old-fashioned American loudmouths to fight the system whenever they could find ways around our monolithic corporate media. But the Empire of Lies is quick to strike back. Google/YouTube now stands charged by multiple accusers of singling out conservative voices for censorship, “fact-checking,” and demonetization. Hidden-camera videos released by Project Veritas this week show Twitter employees conspiring to “shadow ban” conservatives on their system. On campus, intelligent conservative speakers of good will like Ben Shapiro, Charles Murray, and Cristina Hoff-Somers have faced violent protests meant to shut them up.

No person of importance on the right seeks to silence anyone on the left. The Left, on the other hand, is broadly committed to ostracizing, blacklisting, and even criminalizing right-wing speech.

The Manhattan Contrarian takes on the same general problem—the utter insanity of the Left, quite effectively. And calls out the “Yale psychiatrist” who in contraindication to the rules of her supposed profession feels free to diagnose  someone she has never met, or goofy columnists who don’t even need any qualifications whatsoever.

Scott Adams. creator of Dilbert sums it all up nicely by noting that President Trump has earned the “Highest Presidential Approval Level of all Time.” The most important Presidential Approval Poll is the Small Business Optimism Index, which has hit an all-time high.

The lesson of 2017 is that better policies make for better economic results,said Duggan. “The evidence is overwhelming that small business owners pay close attention to Washington, and that federal policies affect their decisions on whether to hire, whether to invest, whether to grow inventory, and whether to seek capital.”



The EPA Is Cleaning Up Superfund Sites, The Most Toxic Sites in the Country. by The Elephant's Child

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has cleaned up in part, or completely, seven of the most toxic Superfund sites in the U.S. in 2017. Of the seven sites designated for cleanup, three have been completely cleansed, while four others still require some work. This is a vast improvement over the prior year when the EPA completely cleaned one Superfund site.

“We have made it a priority to get these sites cleaned up faster and in the right way,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said. “By creating a streamlined task force and making major remedy decisions that hold potentially responsible parties accountable for cleanup, the Superfund program is carrying out the agency’s mission of protecting human health and the environment more every day.”

These gains by the EPA are part of a list of 21 contaminated sites that need “immediate and intense attention” our of more than 1,300 Superfund sites nationwide. The Left has been heavily criticizing Pruitt for rolling back some of Obama’s environmental regulations and reducing the reach of the agency. Pruitt said he is taking more of an environmental  stewardship-focused, rather than a preventative, view of the relationship between the environment and industry. He wants to hear local voices. He said We can be about jobs and growth and still be good stewards of our environment. The last several years have been more adversarial, and there wasn’t much cleanup going on. Surely you remember the bright yellow river.



“Diversity” Does Not Include Any Diversity of Ideas. by The Elephant's Child

In a recent post, I noted that The New York Times, in publishing a list of President Trump’s confirmed cabinet (partially correct) had, full of their own importance, added that President Trump’s cabinet was more white and male than any cabinet since Ronald Reagan’s. What possible aberration of mind could possibly make one think that the most important thing about a presidential cabinet was their skin color and their sex? Um, intelligence, capability, experience, for a few qualities?

Democrats are determined to own the black vote, because of Barack Obama, and their huge losses at all levels  in the last election, but trying to push race constantly in the face of their own unfortunate history with race is deeply discouraging. It’s clearly evidence of the elimination of the study of History as an important subject in our schools. Did you think that Democrat’s consistently calling Republicans “Racist” was just dumb?

“Diversity” has become the buzz word and goal throughout business, industry and education, at a time when there are few barriers except capability and experience in any field you want to mention.  And there have been few times in my own life when diversity of ideas is so unacceptable.

Diversity has been one of Thomas Sowell’s favorite subjects:

  • Demographic “diversity” is a notion often defended with fervor but seldom with facts.
  • What are the alleged “compelling” benefits of”diversity“? They are as invisible as the   proverbial       emperor’s new clothes. Yet everyone has to pretend to believe in those benefits, as the pretended to admire the naked emperor’s wardrobe.
  • If there is ever a contest for words that substitute for thought, “diversity” should be recognized as the undisputed world champion. You don’t need a speck of evidence, or a single step of logic, when you rhapsodize about the supposed benefits of diversity. The very idea of testing this wonderful, magical word against something as ugly as reality seems almost sordid.
  • Despite the fervor with which demographic “diversity” is proclaimed as a prime virtue—without a speck of evidence as to its supposed benefits—diversity of ideas gets no such respect.

At the present, the  idea that there should be some diversity of ideas has lost the battle, if you want to call it a battle. Any effort to force your ideas into the national conversation will be met with calls of “racist”, “sexist”, “homophobe”, etc. etc. etc. Strange times. Free speech is derided because it might hurt someone’s feelings, yet accusing others of being “racist” or any of the other names is fine. You have to wonder if the Democratic Party is more of a cult than a party. Folks that just don’t want to be included in a group that are “racist”, “sexist” etc., etc., etc. Diversity is one of those words. Sounds good, but empty of real meaning.

People like and associate with other people based on things they have in common. It may, particularly for recent immigrants, be country of origin and familiar language. But that seldom lasts more than a generation or two. It is more apt to be a neighborhood, a school, a club, a particular interest, whether football fandom or chess club or knitting circle. A fairly large percentage of people don’t follow politics all that much, nor pay a lot of attention to the news.

If a company achieves a perfect record of “diversity” and pictures of the workers include the correct colors and races—what have they achieved? Is there some occupation that is not open to qualified people of any race, sex, or ethnic origin that should be? There are male nurses, and female boxers, Black CEOs, and there are many occupations that demand particular physical characteristics. Yet Diversity of Ideas is not included, which would be the most important characteristic.  “Diversity” is sheer bunk. Go to Google, click on ‘Images’ and enter “Diversity” and see what comes up. And by the way, the unemployment rate for Blacks is currently the lowest ever achieved.



The Trouble With ObamaCare by The Elephant's Child

The trouble with ObamaCare was, in particular, the regulations. Lots of other problems,of course, but Leftists always think that they know better how anything should be run, and for just that reason, it mostly doesn’t work. The Wall Street Journal today pointed out one of the big reasons which is that ObamaCare mostly meant that small businesses quit providing healthcare for their employees.

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta is proposing to allow small businesses to band together to provide insurance on an equal footing with corporations and unions. Excellent!

The share of workers at small businesses with employer-sponsored health benefits has dropped by a quarter since 2010 as insurance costs have ballooned, in part due to government mandates. About 11 million workers employed by small businesses are uninsured. Some businesses have dropped their workers onto state insurance exchanges where premiums are subsidized by taxpayers.

Enter President Trump, who last fall directed Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to consider “expanding the conditions that satisfy the commonality-of-interest requirements” for association health plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or Erisa.

Large-group plans that are self-insured—i.e., funded by unions or employers—are covered by Erisa. These plans are exempt from ObamaCare’s essential benefits requirements, though they must comply with rules on annual and lifetime limits and pre-existing conditions as well as state solvency regulations.

Mom-and-pop businesses and sole proprietors aren’t so lucky. Most purchase coverage from insurers in the small group or individual marketplaces, which are subject to ObamaCare’s coverage mandates and controls on premium prices. The Obama Administration precluded small employers from forming association plans that are exempt from Erisa by narrowly interpreting the “commonality of interest” membership requirements.

Secretary Acosta on Thursday, proposed a new rule that would define “commonality of interest” among employers to include geographical area, such as a metropolitan area or even a state, as well as an industry, trade or profession. Chambers of commerce or national industry groups could sponsor plans. Sole proprietors could be defined as both employers and employees, which would allow independent contractors to form or join association plans. The Left is, of course, howling about Trump trying to destroy ObamaCare, but millions of small business people and sole proprietors aren’t insured at all because they can’t afford coverage on the exchanges. Sole proprietors who earn too much to qualify for subsidies are squeezed out by soaring premiums.

If they are freed from ObamaCare’s mandates, they can devise plans more suited to their workers, and costs would be reduced by spreading the administrative burden. This is not going to solve the burdens of ObamaCare, but ObamaCare was never a plan to give health care to everyone. It was a plan for government control of health care so that the giver of health care would always be voted back in because of the fear of losing health care. They saw that kind of ‘insurance’ in Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).

Britain’s NHS figures show that 16,893 patients waited more than 30 minutes at Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments in the week at the end of the year. This was a 42% rise over the previous week when only 11,900 waited in the ambulances hoping they wouldn’t die while they waited. Hospital bed occupancy was 91.7 percent—an 85% level is considered safe.

It was announced a day earlier that all non-emergency operations will be cancelled until at least February as the worst NHS winter crisis in 30 years hits. Around 55,000 procedures that were planned will not happen. A senior doctor claimed that patients are being treated in “third world” conditions in some hospitals. In the meantime cases of flu are rising and there are severe respiratory problems. The people generally believe that their health care is free, but forget that they pay for every last bit of it in their taxes and lower standard of living.

The population of Great Britain is 66,387,483, ours is 323.98 million as of 2016. When healthcare is free, people are inclined to run to the doctor at every small symptom. ObamaCare assumed that when all the healthy young people were forced to pay their share, it would cover the sick people. The skyrocketing premiums show how well that all worked. And young people have consistently dropped out. Doctors tell their kids to choose another profession. Those who use up the most medical care are of course, the old folks. The Eskimos solved that by leaving granny out to freeze on an iceberg which is a relatively painless way to go. Some in India leave their grannies in a tiger preserve, I have read. I’m sure we will gradually come up with solutions. Just try to keep the politicians out of it.




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