American Elephants


Heather MacDonald On the Universities and the Students by The Elephant's Child

Heather MacDonald is an American political commentator, essayist, attorney and journalist. Wikipedia describes her as a “secular conservative” whatever that is. I guess that must be what I am as well. She is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor to New York’s City Journal, and someone worth paying a lot of attention to. Her latest book is “The War on Cops” which is worth your time. She hangs around precincts a lot and knows whereof she speaks.

Naturally and unfortunately, the Left rejects whatever she says. Bill McGurn wrote a piece called “The Silencing of Heather MacDonald” for The Wall Street Journal.  You can find frequent essays of hers at City Journal.

Advertisements


Explaining the Trump Derangement Syndrome: by The Elephant's Child

All is explained. Or at least a goodly part of all. Economist Mark Perry refers us to an article by Jeffrey A. Tucker last May in FEE. All good things eventually become clear, but the path may be a little tangled. Dr. Perry offers a condensed version:

For the center-left crowd, all their hopes and dreams are bound up with particular political processes, outcomes, and institutions. The state is their favorite tool for all the good they aspire to do in this world. It must be protected, guarded, defended, and celebrated. The illusion that the government is not a taker but a giver and the source of all good things must be maintained. The gloss of the democratic process must be constantly refurbished so that the essential sanctity of the public sector can be constantly cited as the highest calling.

The center-left has at least one hundred years of work and resources invested in the state’s health, well-being, reputation, and exalted moral status. Nothing must be allowed to threaten it or take it down a peg or two. Any failures must be deemed as temporary setbacks. The slightest sign of some success must be trumpeted constantly. The population must be subjected to unrelenting homilies on the essential holiness of the public sector.

They believe so strongly that they can make the world a better place through the managerial state that it has become their religion. It’s their very core! The president is supposed to at least pretend to be the high priest of the statist religion. That’s his job, according to this outlook.

Everything seemed to being going so well under the Obama administration, which was so earnest, so decorous, so civil. He was funny, smart, respectful of process, and sincere in his pronouncements. He ran on hope and change but governed as the person who kept hope for a new freedom and any radical change at bay.

Trump has profoundly disturbed the balance(click here for the rest)

We keep wondering just what spurs the Trump Derangement Syndrome. This is not a bad diagnosis.



The Trump Jobs Boom is Real by The Elephant's Child

There were 228,000 jobs created in November. Joblessness is at a 17 year low of 4.1% and wages are going up. President Trump’s focus on tax cuts and deregulation is very good for the job market. It’s the strongest it’s been since 2000. The number of people employed is up by 1.87 million. Up for minorities, up for women, men and low-income folks. The only group that is doing notably worse is—teenagers.

It’s not hard to figure that one out. There have been significant minimum wage hikes around the country. Hiring a teenager means that you have to train someone in how to work, how to work at that job, how to relate to customers, how to make change, all the little tasks that make up most entry-level jobs,

Unions were out marching a while back with their signs: “Fight for Fifteen”. The Seattle area was a demonstration venue. The city of SeaTac (the Seattle Tacoma Airport) has lots of motels, restaurants, hotels, fast food places. They voted for a $15 minimum wage. Hotel maids got their $15, had to start paying for parking, paying for lunch. Some lost their jobs, or worked fewer hours, but privileges like free meals, vanished. Most workers felt that the rise in the minimum wage was a negative event. Taking on someone who needed a lot of training to get up to speed just wasn’t going to happen.

In Seattle it has meant that many marginal small businesses have gone out of business. And the same thing is happening across the country.

Manufacturing has rebounded. The economy has added 189,000 jobs in the past year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics points out that at the same time federal government employment is down by 3,000. The Trump people have been removing unneeded regulation as fast as they can, and it is a boon for business. The Democrats have been out there shrieking “Tax Cuts for the Rich”— but that isn’t what is happening. Wages are rising faster in the lower income ranges than the higher ones. The Media, of course, has tried to portray Trump as a friend of the elites and an enemy of working people, but that is just wrong. Good tax cuts are on the way and that should keep growth going for a long time yet.

If you have teenagers, there are a lot of skills you can teach them at home. How to talk to customers, how to make change and count it back, How to clean the table and how to clean a bathroom. How to sweep up. Those simple tasks can be useful skills.



Victor Davis Hanson Explains the Left’s Hypocrisy about Equality by The Elephant's Child

Well, professors at our universities have long seethed with not just envy but anger at CEOs in American industry. After all, you can read what their salaries are in the financial pages or in annual reports. Professors prefer to pretend that their concern is at the diversity of the salaries of the ordinary working stiff and the CEO. What really lights their fuses is that they, the professors, have Doctorates! PhDs! They are the scholars of the nation, the recognized elite.

Of course they do not recognize that CEOs are awarded their salaries by the corporate Board of Directors, in recognition of the profitability of the corporation itself, and in relation to the economy.

What if the elite professors in our nation’s universities had to demonstrate what their students have learned at the end of four years, in order to justify their salaries.” I rest my case.



Are You in Favor of Tax Cuts? Why or Why Not? by The Elephant's Child

Democrats are fully organized to defeat their opposition: us. They recognize that most of their voters are busy with their plebeian lives, and don’t pay much attention to the news. They just don’t have time. That’s why they are out there crying “racist, sexist, homophobic, etc, etc” whenever the wind shifts slightly. Added on to that will be whatever seems to be the hot button of the moment. Talking points come from John Podesta and the Center for American Progress. You can tell about talking points because when there is any notable think in the news, all major Democrats will speak of it in identical words, often right down to the apostrophes and quotation marks. They speak with one voice, but it does not represent individual thought.

Ordinary Democrats don’t receive the talking points, you have to be somebody who might get interviewed or who might speak on their own. This is simply the old notion that if a lie is repeated often enough, pretty soon everybody will believe it. They are scared to death of the Republican effort to cut taxes, you may have heard them— xxx (this cut) is going to kill people, people will die (work requirement for welfare), removing the penalty for refusing to buy ObamaCare health insurance. That sort of thing, plus all the other drastic results of Republican tax relief.

But guess what: polls are showing that Americans not only do not understand the Republican tax proposals, but a stunning 41 percent of voters say that tax reform will increase their taxes, while just 20 percent think their taxes will fall. Complete nonsense. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that most Americans will have their taxes cut by Republican efforts to reform the tax code. Those who do not get cuts will be because of the elimination of some deductions. The media, of course, is reporting that tax reform is very unpopular. This is the result of a highly successful disinformation campaign.

The Left is highly organized to get their messages out. There’s the Center for American Progress, David Brock and Media Matters and his other efforts, and the Democracy Alliance, a big organization of very wealthy Democrats who have to cough up big bucks just to join, and then commit funds regularly to advance the Leftist project. George Soros is a big player and supporter.

Republican efforts to inform about tax relief get a few quotes from Paul Ryan, Speaker and “policy wonk”, who gets lost in the weeds on tax intricacies. There isn’t much of anyone explaining what is happening. The Left, on the other hand,  is remarkably uninterested in economics, only in control.

Random economists explain, but most people don’t really know how much they pay in taxes. They have automatic withdrawals for taxes where they work, and don’t pay much attention to the total until it’s tax time and they just turn the papers over to their tax guy. Same thing with the news. How many get their news of the day from late night ‘comedians’ or what they hear on the radio on the drive home? What they hear is likely to be more confusing than informative, and highly opinionated.  When and how does all this getting informed happen? Who can you trust? What publication online, or in a newspaper or magazine can you trust?

Too many of today’s young reporters are products of schools that haven’t taught Western Civ for years, who don’t require much in the way of history, and they look at being in the news business as becoming a player in the political game. Go back and read the interview with Claudia Rosett, a real honest-to-goodness journalist. Today’s young reporters seem to be political enthusiasts with bylines who don’t spend their spare time studying up.



Mark Steyn on Problematic Speech and Free Speech. by The Elephant's Child

Mark Steyn had a long legal battle with the Canadian Human Rights Commission nearly ten years ago about free speech, for the Canadian Human Rights Commission believes that free speech does not include words with which they disagree. They had the force of law behind them, and the descent into totalitarianism is not far behind.

It’s hard for some to realize that free speech actually includes words or statements with which you disagree, especially political words and thoughts. But if free speech means anything at all, you must defend speech that you don’t like. You may disagree, refute their arguments, prove that they are wrong, but they get to say what they believe. There are few things that are so damaging to American colleges and universities than attempting to create tiny spaces somewhere on campus that are “free speech zones.” There is nothing so offensive to those who are pushing  for complete control, silencing any opposition, as free speech. That’s always where the totalitarians start, by silencing opposing voices and shutting them down.

We’ve had a lot of riots and demonstrations on our college campuses the past few years, protesting speakers who might say something  they don’t want to hear, because it might disturb them. The list of invited speakers who have been shut down is not only long, but includes prominent speakers who have important things to say. It’s pretty clear that there are some professors who are more interested in indoctrinating than teaching. So understanding the battle and the threats to free speech is one of today’s most important lessons.



Class? I’ll Take The “Working Class” Over “The Elites” Any Day by The Elephant's Child

Sociologists like Charles Murray try to understand the people by dividing them up into groups, sometimes by race or ethnic origin, sometimes by class, sometimes by educational attainment, sometimes by income brackets, sometimes by political party. It’s done so that they can get some general ideas by comparing people who have similarities, to see how they are different.

The problem at Middlebury College was the invitation of Dr. Murray to speak. The Southern Poverty Law Center took issue with the idea that he used race as a way to compare and contrast some groups of people. Obviously Dr. Murray was a racist to divide people up by race. You can’t expect a bunch of  today’s college students, to understand how and why Sociologists study  people. They didn’t.

Since Election Day, Democrats have been dividing people up by class. The enlightened and well-to-do city folk naturally voted for Hillary Clinton who was destined to be the first woman president. The working class whites voted for the despicable Trump, obviously because they didn’t know any better.

Working class whites are conceived as those who work in small factories at routine jobs which they hate. They read little, do not have a college education, don’t make very much money, are poorly informed, and inhabit small town America. I’ve seen variations of this description over and over. I’ve even seen drawings of them, bellied up to a bar, drinking beer, exhausted after work. I just don’t recognize these people.

I came from small town America, or rural America if you prefer, and this description doesn’t apply to the people I know. There are people whose forbears came to America with the Puritans and recent immigrants who don’t speak English well. There are doctors and lawyers who prefer a rural practice. There are teachers who can match any scholar who prefer teaching in rural schools. There are ranchers who run hundreds of head of beef, big orchards that supply the demand of the Japanese for good apples who understand international trade quite well.

The pace of life may be a little slower, but there’s time to enjoy the seasons, to get some real reading done. To enjoy life in America. To assume that because people live in the rest of the country rather than in the coastal cities they are somehow less intelligent, poorer, work with their hands, or machines, and live somehow underclass lives is a gross mistake, but that’s what is going on. It may surprise some of our “elites” but a lot of the American people in the rest of the country don’t have a lot of respect for city people, nor for the denizens of Silicon Valley.

So pay no attention to the Democrats. They have no idea who the American people really are, they have no understanding of them, so it’s no wonder they are still posing as “the resistance” and attempting to demean those who have the gall to disagree with them.

The picture at the top is close to where I grew up. The local mountains are considerably higher than anything in the Adirondack chain, though we didn’t think of them as particularly high. If you have this in your back yard, so to speak, why would you want to live in a city with homeless camps under the freeways, safe injection sites for addicts, and an hour’s commute just to get home to your small apartment?

Democrats don’t like the folks on the other side of the aisle. They have been calling us names forever, aside from the regular racist, sexist, homophobe. populist, fascist, they refer to the America outside the coastal cities as “flyover country,” “redneck country”, “hillbilly country,” “the sticks.” “hicksville”, and they are quite sure that all the intelligent people live in the great coastal cities where everyone who matters lives and works.  The most famous slur, of course, was the 1976 New Yorker cover  that just skipped all the messy stuff between 9th Ave. in New York and the Pacific Ocean. It just doesn’t matter in the Leftist scheme of things.

Too bad because there are a lot of wonderful Americans out there in the heartlands. A little knowledge of history would help too, but that isn’t fashionable either. Western Civilization  is no longer taught in most universities, and the curriculum doesn’t deal all that much with American history. At least it seems not to be a required subject.

I guess all the protesters from the Vietnam War who got deferments by staying in school, have become the tenured professors of today, and they are hard at work destroying American higher education.

*Changed the phrasing of the headline to more accurately reflect my meaning.




%d bloggers like this: