American Elephants


How Jack Became Black by The Elephant's Child

This goes well with the Heather MacDonald post. We have long considered Race to be both a big deal and in some way defining, but if you give it a little serious thought, it is our bureaucracies at all levels that demand that we give race importance in places where it shouldn’t matter.  When my health insurance demanded to know what my race was, I got my back up, and refused. The bureaucracies demand to know, because they have to put it down on a list which will go on to higher levels of bureaucracy until it reaches the level where some senator can use the statistic in a speech.

This is a trailer for a film about which I know nothing more than this trailer. May be preachy and obnoxious, or may be good, but I thought the trailer was interesting. Do we add Elizabeth Warren to the discussion?

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Heather MacDonald on “The Diversity Delusion” by The Elephant's Child

Heather MacDonald spoke a couple of weeks ago at Hillsdale’s Washington DC outpost, about diversity, based on the research done for her new book The Diversity Delusion.  If you wonder why every college now seems to have a Diversity Office, as well as large groups of “snowflakes” and frequently gets into the news for some protest or riot, and is so sensitive that hearing something with which they disagree gives them major cases of the vapors, Heather explains. Her speeches have been protested, yet she speaks in favor of the police, the dismantling of what she properly calls “the diversity delusion.”

At a time when race seems to matter less and less, we talk about it more and more. We have a long and unfortunate history of assuming that race matters, and officialdom still wants to know just what our race is, even in situations where it does not and should not matter. It’s because we are run by a bureaucracy that wants to protect itself by keeping track.  It’s a very interesting speech, and eye-opening about the dysfunction on our college campuses. And yes, if you have kids now in college or soon to be, you need to be informed. Heather MacDonald always does her homework. She searches out the data and verifies it, and what she says can be taken to the bank.



Equal Opportunity, Not Equality! by The Elephant's Child

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I read recently that California was trying to pass a law that required corporations to include a woman on their board of directors. Not sure if it was the State of California or the City of San Francisco, and I apparently did not write about it because I can’t find it. Feminists were delighted with the idea, but it was a very bad idea. If you require such a thing, it means that no woman will ever again be able to assume that she arrived at a board of directors position because of her skills and ideas and management ability — but because the law requires it.

That is what we have done to black Americans. We made laws that admitted them to universities based not on their own abilities, but because of their skin color. In many cases, we admitted young black people who were not really prepared for the college to which they were admitted under affirmative action regulations, and unsurprisingly flunked out.  We made laws or regulations that said you had to ignore the misbehavior in schools of black and Hispanic students because of the “school to prison pipeline”— and so you got a mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Democrats base many of their campaigns on pushing for equality for all, but you cannot make all people equal. They are not. Human nature doesn’t work that way. The very best you can offer is equality of opportunity. We want you to be the best you can be with your own character, intelligence and gifts. We have free public schools, some far better than others, and if the one in your district is a bum one, we try to offer you the opportunity to go to a better one.

Ben Carson once said that he came from a neighborhood that you would be afraid to drive through. And he said that his mother saved him from getting killed on the streets — with a library card. And he went on to become a world famous surgeon and a member of the President’s cabinet as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He took advantage of opportunity and rose to the pinnacle of society. Opportunity is there — undoubtedly imperfectly, but it’s there. We just have to teach kids how to take advantage of it. Which is another question entirely. Unfortunately, as parents, or just as adults , we don’t know what our kids don’t know. Our heads are filled with a lifetime of learning, but they are new to the business of life.

The Left has mostly given up on pushing affirmative action and switched to “Diversity” instead. But it comes under the same genre. If you get in because you are the right color, is that better than getting in because we have to take affirmative actions to make you equal?



The Intellectual Climate of the Nation Today… by The Elephant's Child

SHOCKEDBALDEAGLE

The intellectual climate of the nation today came from the public schools, where almost every one of us was schooled in the work of the mind. We are a people who imagine that we are weighing important issues when we exchange generalizations and well-known opinions. We decide how to vote or what to buy according to whim or fancied self-interest, either of which is easily engendered in us by the manipulation of language, which we have neither the will nor the ability to analyze. We believe that we can reach conclusions without having the faintest idea of the difference between inferences and statements of fact, often without any suspicions that there are such things and that they are different. We are easily persuaded and repersuaded by what seems authoritative, without any notion of those attributes and abilities that characterize authority. We do  not notice elementary fallacies in logic; it doesn’t even occur to us to look for them; few of us are even aware that such things exist. We make no regular distinction between those kinds of things that can be known and objectively verified and those that can only be believed or not. Nor are we likely to examine, when we believe or not, the induced predispositions that may make us do the one or the other. We are easy prey.

—Richard Mitchell: The Graves of Academe



About the Politics of Personal Destruction by The Elephant's Child

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I just blamed what we have called the Trump Derangement Syndrome on Kathy Griffin’s severed head stunt, which demonstrated that there were no barriers of truth, taste, or decency for Democrats — they were now free to attack in any way they chose, a “can you top this” contest in which you got brownie points for being disgusting. Anything goes in the battle to attack Trump.

You wouldn’t go far astray in suggesting that Minority Leader Charles Schumer is the “Kathy Griffin” of the Senate.

“The Democrats have suddenly lost interest in the sexual assault claim that they claimed was central to Judge Kavanaugh’s fitness to serve on the Supreme Court? We’re now in the “temperament”phase. Judge Kavanaugh’s visible and justifiable anger at having his reputation destroyed, his years of public service attacked and his family publicly attacked — supposedly showed that he did not have the temperament to serve on the Supreme Court.  One is supposed to remain passive while his life is being destroyed publicly before the whole nation? simply for political gain. They are now hot on the trail of what might be a case of Judge Kavanaugh’s throwing ice at someone.

Victor Davis Hanson writes:

Conventional wisdom suggests that, if confirmed, Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh forever will be “smeared” and stained by past frenzied unfounded allegations of sexual assault.

Yet the opposite just as well may be true. As a Supreme Court justice, Kavanaugh would have withstood every imaginable smear and slander and yet stayed defiant in defending his character and past, proof of both his determination and principles. His near-solitary rebuttal to his Senate accusers may suggest that Kavanaugh could prove to be among the most fearless justices on the Court.

Indeed, the only lasting effect, if any, of the serial smears lodged against him might be that in the future, as in the case of Justice Thomas, Kavanaugh would be essentially immune from progressive media attacks. What he went through likely has inoculated him from the Georgetown-party-circuit syndrome of conservative Supreme Court judges’ eventually becoming more liberal by the insidious socialization within the larger D.C. progressive media, political, and cultural landscape.

Incidentally, contrary to popular opinion, Clarence Thomas hardly remains under a permanent cloud after his ordeal. What stopped further Robert Borking for a while was the resistance and pushback of Clarence Thomas. Far from being ruined by unproven charges, he resisted the mob, got confirmed, and thereby established a precedent that innuendo, ipso facto, would not derail a nominee. For three decades, Thomas has not been regarded as suspect by most Americans but is seen as inspirational for his courage in facing down character assassination.

Christine Blasey Ford’s story continues to fall apart. Nothing in her entire testimony seems to be supported by actual evidence. Those she claimed were with her have denied it. The “second door” thing turned out to be false. She is not a practicing psychoanalyst, she has never completed the requirements of the State of California for certification. Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has renewed his requests “for material evidence relevant to allegations of sexual assault … as the Senate exercises its constitutional responsibility of advice and consent for a judicial nomination. I urge you to comply promptly with my requests.”



Slowly, Slowly, the Truth is Coming Out by The Elephant's Child

The more one reviews accuser Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony, the worse it gets — as I expressed in the previous post. There’s the little girl “up-talk”— the last syllable at the end of a sentence goes higher in tone. It’s another little girl thing. She’s just so unsure, she needs help to recall, doesn’t name anyone who can verify her memories.

I cannot imagine how anyone who talks like that could be a professor at a university and at Stanford Medical School. Nobody would take her seriously. Yet she seems so wounded, that it’s easy for viewers to take her defenseless little girl pose as the plaintive plea of a wronged woman, and assume that she is credible.

She pretends that she doesn’t understand the questions, needing more time to reply. When we first heard from her, she didn’t really know who it was, only that someone got on top of her and put his hand over her mouth. Then she was suddenly absolutely clear that it was Brett Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge.  All four of her confirming witnesses did not confirm her story. At Breitbart, John Nolte explores the veracity of her testimony with devastating results.

Christina Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that she began having memories of her abuse returned when she and her husband put, at her demand, a second front door on their house. She said she had never told anyone about anything until May 2012 when she went to couples counseling.

In explaining why I wanted a second front door, I began to describe the assault in detail. I recall saying that the boy who assaulted me could someday be on the U.S. Supreme Court, and spoke a bit about his background at an elitist all-boys school in Bethesda, Maryland. My husband recalls that I named my attacker as Brett Kavanaugh.

The second front door was already installed by March 2011, perhaps earlier,  and apparently installed as a door to an office where she had a private business called The Couples Resource Center.

According to information found on the Internet, a business was located at the exact same address as the Ford house (please note that the address of this house was released on the Internet weeks ago). The Couples Resource Center was located at the exact same location as the Ford’s home.

Michael Walsh takes on the profession of journalism as it relates to Ford, and the media does not come off well.

Victor Davis Hanson summed it all up nicely in a single paragraph:

The “process” of memorializing Ford’s testimony involved a strange inversion of constitutional norms: The idea of a statute of limitations is ossified; hearsay is legitimate testimony; inexact and contradictory recall is proof of trauma, and therefore of validity; the burden of proof is on the accused, not the accuser; detail and evidence are subordinated to assumed sincerity; proof that one later relates an allegation to another is considered proof that the assault actually occurred in the manner alleged; motive is largely irrelevant; the accuser establishes the guidelines of the state’s investigation of the allegations; and the individual allegation gains credence by cosmic resonance with all other such similar allegations.

The descriptions of the house, what one can hear of people going up and downstairs , she contradicts herself. Supposedly her friend Leland drove her home, but Leland denies the whole thing, says she never encountered Kavanaugh at all, and has no knowledge of the party. Ford reports proudly of her polygraph, (her lawyers made her do it) and neither the lawyers nor herself as a practicing psychologist should be unaware of the limitations of polygraphs.

And at Powerline, John Hinderaker comments on the smear:

Brett Kavanaugh enjoys one of the most spotless reputations of anyone in American public life. He has been enthusiastically endorsed by those who have known him all his life–by girls he knew in high school and college, by judges he has served with, by professors and students and Harvard and Yale law schools, by judges who have worked with him, by his judicial clerks–most of whom have been women–by the American Bar Association, by sitting Supreme Court justices. In short, everyone who has ever known or dealt with Brett Kavanaugh endorses him.

I think that Judge Kavanaugh’s pristine reputation is one reason why the Democrats have unleashed against him a smear campaign unparalleled in American history. This is the message they are trying to send: If we can do this to the Boy Scout Brett Kavanaugh, we can do it to anyone. Are you thinking of serving in a Republican administration? Or accepting an appointment to the federal judiciary from a Republican president? Think twice, and then think again.

Nope, I don’t believe a word of it, including her claim that she was sexually abused. Her story just falls apart.



Jordan Peterson: The Fatal Flaw in Leftist American Politics by The Elephant's Child

What is political extremism? Professor of psychology Jordan Peterson points out that America knows what right-wing radicalism looks like: The doctrine of racial superiority is where conservatives have drawn the line. “What’s interesting is that on the conservative side of the spectrum we’ve figured out how to box-in the radicals and say, ‘No, you’re outside the domain of acceptable opinion,'” says Peterson. But where’s that line for the Left? There is no universal marker of what extreme liberalism looks like, which is devastating to the ideology itself but also to political discourse as a whole

. Fortunately, Peterson is happy to suggest such a marker: “The doctrine of equality of outcome. It seems to me that that’s where people who are thoughtful on the Left should draw the line, and say no. Equality of opportunity? [That’s] not only fair enough, but laudable. But equality of outcome…? It’s like: ‘No, you’ve crossed the line. We’re not going there with you.'” Peterson argues that it’s the ethical responsibility of left-leaning people to identify liberal extremism and distinguish themselves from it the same way conservatives distance themselves from the doctrine of racial superiority. Failing to recognize such extremism may be liberalism’s fatal flaw.




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