American Elephants


A Beacon of Liberty For The World by The Elephant's Child

Illegal immigration was down sharply after Donald Trump was inaugurated, with his commitment to building a wall and cutting back on illegal immigration. As the talk of amnesty for the DACA group has grown, immigration has been increasing sharply—up by 22% in August (a 100% increase from April). It has doubled in just 4 months. There are no overall statistics, but those apprehended by ICE and the Border Patrol give a rough estimate for the total flow.

Among those apprehended, there are lots of family groups—parents and children. So we can expect that we have another bunch of “childhood arrivals” Do they get to stay too? If not, “cruel”, and “no fair.”

Most parents have no real guide to parenting beyond how they were raised, what their friends are doing or not doing, and what they read in the news.What most moms learn gradually and often painfully, is that “Well just this once” is a very bad idea. If you have rules, then they have to be rules and obeyed, otherwise they are only a sham.

The fact that some people oppose open borders, oppose DACA, and want a wall is presumed to be clear evidence that they are white supremacists and their opposition to illegals is racist, because some Central and South Americans have brown skins. Has nothing to do with the fact that the average cost of deporting someone was $10,954 in 2016. Or the crimes and drugs brought along with illegal aliens. Or the families who have lost a loved one, murdered by an illegal alien. Nice people have sanctuary cities, to keep criminal illegal aliens from being deported.

I think I may speak for millions of Americans who believe that American citizenship is something special, and should be difficult to reach, because you prize something more if you have to work hard to get it. Our Constitutional freedoms are unique in the world and require constant defense from those who prefer a welfare state that gives you stuff. We seem to have brought forth a generation that has no understanding of the rarity and importance of being able to say out loud what you believe in, and to publicly challenge your government when it has gone astray. It’s very easy for our elected officials to come to think that they are the important ones and forget that they work for us, and can be dismissed.

*This 2014 cartoon by Michael Rameriz captures the idea perfectly

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Language, Talking Points, and the Vanishing Profession of Journalism by The Elephant's Child

Selected language and preferred narratives seem to be going off into all directions. Some of it is quite deliberate, as Democrats in mass speak in focus-tested talking points. This is proven by the vast numbers of Democrats who emerge on a given day—all saying the exact same thing in the exact same words. The goal seems to be controlling the narrative of the day, and thus commanding the news cycle and, hopefully, the thoughts in the heads of Americans. Orwell would understand.

The ordinary news cycle seems to be all fouled-up as well. Hurricane Irma is the strongest hurricane ever in the history of the west, no, there have been regularly very damaging hurricanes and many of them. Irma has been downgraded to a Category 4.  José has been upgraded to a Category 4. The plots they are expected to follow change regularly. There are official websites with official numbers, but everybody seems to be using some alternates.

I may exaggerate a little, but it suffices as a description of the ordinary news. There’s Republican news and Democrat news with variances,and nuances, lots of nuances.  Many people have remarked that they don’t believe any major news sources and simply depend on a few individuals they trust. This is a remarkable situation, and I cannot remember any time when the media was so mistrusted, and held in so much contempt. It’s a very uncomfortable circumstance. Traditionally, the media was supposed to be the watchdog of the three branches of government, so that when the politics became too apparent, the truth would prevail. “Draining the swamp” as it were.

The visual media has made reporting a glamorous profession, and the pretty or handsome ones  become celebrities of a sort, like movie people — their names and faces are known. I’m not sure of the diagnosis — are there too many reporters chasing the same stories, is this a failure of the journalism schools, poorly educated reporters, or has everyone just become far too political? Journalism has always been political going back as far as  “Remember the Maine” and the Spanish American War, but the present case seems different.

Time will tell, and there are a great many curious cases to be fully explained. I did read that CNN has finally given up on the Russia connection.



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?



Good Advice. Print Out And Tack on Your Bulletin Board. by The Elephant's Child

“The Constitution is a model of flexible law that can evolve with changing times and unforeseen circumstances. This remarkable document, shorter than the EPA’s benzene rules, gave us three branches of government and a Bill of Rights built on vague principles like ‘due process’.”
……………………………………………………………The Death of Common Sense
……………………………………………………………
Philip Howard

“Fredrich Hayek, the Austrian-American economist and Nobel Laureate devoted much of his brilliant career to describing how rationalism could never work. How can anything good happen, Hayek asked, if individuals cannot think and act for themselves? Rules preclude initiative. Regimentation precludes evolution. Letting accidents happen, mistakes be made, results in new ideas. Trial and error is the key to all progress. The Soviet system of rules and control planning is doomed to failure, Hayek stated fifty years ago, because it kills the human faculty that makes things work.
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,………………………………..The Death of Common Sense
……………………………………………………………Philip Howard

“Capital will go where it is wanted and it will stay where it is well treated. It will flee from manipulation or onerous regulation of its value or use and no government power can restrain it for long. ”
……………………………………………………………The Twilight of Sovereignty
……………………………………………………………Walter Wriston

“Our American economic system, like our political system, is untidy—it offends those people who like tidy, predictable societies. We make a lot of mistakes in this country, we have a lot of failures. Some people see only the failures;they cannot seem to grasp the fact that the failures are the price we pay for the successes. It’s as though they wanted to have “up” without “down”, or “hot” without “cold.”
……………………………………………….,,………….’The Twilight of Sovereignty
…………………………………………………,,…………Walter Wriston

“The error behind all of these failures is the liberal faith in the perfectibility of politics. Liberals believe that the next law, or the next federal agency, will somehow make up for imperfect human nature. But America’s Founders understood that politics could never be perfected precisely because men weren’t perfect.

So they designed a system with a minimum of bureaucratic and legal control in which disputes could be settled by political debate. They did not want to rely on lawyers or experts who could maneuver around ou through a maze of campaign and ethics laws. It’s taken us 20 years of picking through the ruins of liberal reform to relearn how right they were.”
……………………………………………………………..Wall Street Journal Editorial
……………………………………………………………..
Feb. 25, 1999

“In fact, the destiny of this land, of any land, is exactly and inevitably determined by the nature and abilities of the children now in school. The future simply has no other resources. And, an even more dismaying fact, because it tells of us, not them, this land as it is today is the exact and inevitable result of the nature and abilities of the school children that we were. And the things that you think important, everything from the politics to the rapes and murders and fires, are what they are and have the meanings that they have precisely because of what we were.”
……………………………………………………………..The Graves of Academe
……………………………………………………………. .
Richard Mitchell

“A society that puts equality—in the sense of equality of outcome—ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests.”
………………………………………………………………Milton Friedman

“The very fact that economists sweat over statistics purporting to demonstrate economic inequality in America proves that there is, relatively speaking, not much of it.”

………………………………………………………………Irving Kristol
..

 



More in the Lighten-Up Vein: You’re Making Fools of Yourselves, Lefties by The Elephant's Child

Again, the Left is frothing at the mouth, not at the stupid groups looking for an opportunity to do battle of some kind, but at Donald Trump who didn’t condemn them strongly enough, or soon enough, or in the right words, and can we impeach him for that? The Right, exhausted with the wretched excess, finds the Left funny.

People actually on the right side of the political spectrum don’t include white supremacists, nor neo-Nazis, nor anti-Israel violence in their group at all. Never have. History is a little more complicated than that. The Confederate statues that the historical revisionists are trying to tear down were erected during the Woodrow Wilson administration. Wilson was a prejudiced bigot, a Democrat, and praised the KKK from the White House. The attempt to change history by eliminating statues or changing names of buildings or monuments or programs will not change history, but then most people have no idea who or what the statues are, what they represent, nor any idea who the buildings were named for, anyway.The most current idea is to remove the name Lynch, a common surname, from buildings, street names, parks, and any where because once upon a time blacks were lynched. Just how they are going to get everyone in the Lynch family to cooperate is a question. They can check with Loretta.

Our schools should have been teaching some real history and some real constitutional law, and some geography instead of “social” justice— which does not exist. There is no such thing as “social” justice. Justice involves the United States Constitution, the courts, and the laws and regulations passed by our governing entities.

The Democratic Party has adopted the idea of “social” justice in which everyone can be a victim. They will “save” the victims by giving them other people’s money, which will make them dependent on the government, so they will vote for Democrats again and again to keep the other people’s money coming. History, with which they are unfamiliar, shows that sooner or later they run out of other people’s money. Margaret Thatcher famously said that, but that’s a bit of history too.



Why Physics. “The Universe in a Nutshell” by The Elephant's Child

This is not new, but I had never seen it before. I took physics in high school and survived the class because I was one of two girls in a class of boys. I did not understand at the time what physics was for, nor why I should be deeply interested. Obviously because I did not have Dr. Michio Kaku as a  teacher. This is a long one, and utterly fascinating.



Victor Davis Hanson Speaks on the Problem of California by The Elephant's Child

Dr. Hanson speaks of the wealthiest state, the Golden State, and where has California gone wrong? California was supposed to be the answer or the guide to a better future for the rest of the world, with the best climate, the best universities, the most beautiful state with lovely beaches, redwood forests, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, bountiful farmlands and citrus groves — what happened? This is the San Mateo County “Progress Seminar 2017” held in May. Hanson is a renowned historian, emeritus professor of Classics at Cal State University at Fresno, fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University,  5th generation Central Valley farmer, and author of at least two dozen books.  If you’re not from California, why should you care?

Though he talks about what is going wrong in California, it is also what is going on in perhaps lesser ways in the rest of the country.  The cities of so many dreams have become unaffordable,  business is leaving for more welcoming states, a heavy tax burden, water problems, energy problems, a coastal elite and impoverished Central Valley. Hanson has retained all of his worlds, which inform his scholarship and views on modern life and the long span of history since the days of ancient Greece.




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