American Elephants

Words of Wisdom, Pertinent to the Day by The Elephant's Child

“The vision of the Left is not just a vision of the world. For many, it is also a vision of themselves—a very flattering vision of people trying to save the planet, rescue the exploited, create “social justice” and otherwise be on the side of the angels. This is an exalted vision that few are ready to give up, or to risk on a roll of the dice, which is what submitting it to the test of factual evidence amounts to. Maybe that is why there are so many fact-free arguments on the left, whether on gun control, minimum wages, or innumerable other issues—and why they react so viscerally to those who challenge their vision.”

Thomas Sowell, 1/22/2014, Front Page Magazine

“In contrast to America, countries like Canada and Australia treat immigration the way Harvard treats college admission or the New England Patriots treat the NFL draft as a way to get the talented that can benefit the institution and keep out the untalented. Here in America we increasingly treat immigration as if it were a sacred civil right possessed by 7 billion foreigners.”

William Voegeli: The Pity Party

“Once politics was about only a few things; today it is about nearly everything…Once the “legitimacy barrier” has fallen, political conflict takes a very different form. New programs need not await the advent of a crisis or an extraordinary majority, because no program is any longer “new”—it is seen, rather, as a extension, a modification, or an enlargement of something the government is already doing…Since there is virtually nothing the government has not tried to do, there is little it cannot be asked to do.”

James Q. Wilson,”American Politics, Then and Now” Commentary, Feb, 1979

Faux Outrage, Faux Fact Checkers, American Culture Today. by The Elephant's Child

static2-politico-comLast night, everyone agreed that Donald Trump had won the debate with Hillary Clinton. Today the “Fact Checkers” chimed in to suggest that anything Donald Trump has said was false. Hillary Clinton turned to all the great things ObamaCare had achieved,  she claimed to the approval of every “fact-checker,” but it isn’t true. That number came from a March 2016 report that came from the Obama Administration.

So today the flap is all about Trump’s “threatening to jail a political opponent” which is “anti-democratic and anti-American.” Others in the media said it was a case of banana-republic criminalization of politics.  Andy McCarthy wrote:

Donald Trump did memorably say that Hillary Clinton “would be in jail” if he were president; but what he actually vowed to do was appoint a “special prosecutor” to look into Mrs. Clinton’s “situation” — by which he was obviously referring to the e-mail scandal.

The Obama Justice Department’s “investigation of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal” was the real banana-republic event. It was a clear statement that some people are above the law after all. This was a case of criminal misconduct for which others who commit similar felonies go to jail.

Congressional Republicans promptly got the vapors and were absolutely shocked, shocked that anyone would actually say the p-word out loud. Madonna has been doing remarkably vulgar shows for years. See also Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Congress regularly has its scandals and sexual misconduct is usually among them. Sexual misconduct in Washington D.C.? Really?

What I find most annoying is that the American people have watched President Obama ignore the Constitution, circumvent the Constitution, and run the government of the United States by executive orders — and Congress could not seem to find any way to stop him. That simple fact accounts for much of the rise of Donald Trump. The people wanted someone who would not be afraid to fight back.

See Heather MacDonald’s “Trumped-Up Outrage” from City Journal.

Can You Trust the Press? Should You? by The Elephant's Child

Here’s Judith Miller, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. speaking for Praeger University.  And the answer is No.  They have squandered that trust with their own partisanship and misrepresentation. I’m not at all sure that they recognize the loss of trust at all. Smug. Remarkably smug.

This Is A Very Peculiar Election Year by The Elephant's Child

The peculiarities of this election continue to amaze. Here there just aren’t any Clinton or Trump signs. Went to the grocery store a few days back, and someone had just put up a raft of Trump signs on the median of our main East-West street. Returning 20 minutes later, they were all gone, some in ragged piles.

Have seen a few sad Bernie bumper stickers on Priuses, but essentially no bumper stickers at all. A video of a gentleman who got tired of someone tearing down his Trump sign, and wired it up for a mild electric shock is all over the internet. And a farmer somewhere in the Midwest Mowed a HUGE Trump sign in his lawn that could be appreciated from space.

The Arizona Republic endorsed Hillary Clinton, the first time they had ever endorsed a Democrat, and the subscription cancellations were pouring in every ten minutes.

The Progressive Media Does Not Have to Do Journalism — They Do “Talking Points” by The Elephant's Child

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s computer was hacked recently, and what was clearly demonstrated were the talking points handed down to Progressives, so they would all say the same thing in the same approved words. This is how the Progressives change the language. In this case, the preferred words were about how to talk about Black Lives Matter.

This is another example of “the correct description.” Hillary collapsed as she left the 9/11 memorial event early, and progressives are trying to cover it up. She was taken to Chelsea’s apartment instead of to a hospital, as Secret Service regulations require, and she later revealed a letter from her personal physician saying she had recently contracted pneumonia. With pneumonia don’t you usually go to the hospital?

Which didn’t cover the overheating on a moderately warm summer day, or the coughing fits she has been having for months, or her fainting spells, the concussion, the blood clots on the brain — nothing to see here, just move along. But there she is hugging a little girl (pneumonia is contagious), now some of her campaign staff reportedly have pneumonia. If you think it’s serious, it’s sexism, because she is a woman.

Nobody is going to elect a candidate who does not have the basic physical condition to cope with the office, so they lie about it.  See President Woodrow Wilson, or President Franklin Delano  Roosevelt. This is why we have talking points. Cover-up, cover-up, cover-up. She will “Power Through.”

“It’s Because She Lies About It!” by The Elephant's Child


Roger Simon was asked why Hillary’s health is an issue? He said “It’s because she lies about it.”

She has blamed her inability to remember about the classification of her emails, or whether she had any instructions about the security of emails or much of anything else about her emails. And she told the FBI that she didn’t recall, but I remember Rush’s long ago parody song— “I can’t remember, my mind’s like a blender, it’s jello, jello” Was that about Whitewater, or the cattle futures? I can’t remember.

I’ve always regarded lying as a particularly offensive trait. I had a boss for a while who was a compulsive liar. I caught on before senior management did, but they did discover it, along with some funny business with expense reports, and he was gone.

An excellent book about lying is Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life by Sissela Bok, that covers all the basics and all the excuses.  Recommended. Only 1¢ + shipping for used copies. Might be useful in the current context.

The thing is, if someone lies to you and you believe them, and you act upon that information — it is a pretty big deal.  And it is a big deal in the current political  campaign. The current administration has lied to us extensively, one department after another. The EPA, the IRS, if I had to list them all this post would be far too long. People are noticing, and they don’t like it, they don’t like it at all. Here’s Hillary:

Why? What does she get out of it?

The Paranoid Style of American Politics and the Left. by The Elephant's Child

In The Closing of the Liberal Mind: How Groupthink and Intolerance Define the Left,  Kim Holmes addresses the “paranoid style of American politics” as described by political scientist Richard Hofstadter in the 1960s.

Liberal populists, … are big believers in conspiracy theories. Hillary Clinton once spoke of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” against her and her husband, and she is not alone in her paranoia. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (whose financial disclosure reports showed her to be worth about $8 million in early 2015) believes businessmen, bankers, and the rich are irredeemably selfish and make decisions solely for their own benefit which hurts the poor. To many progressive liberals, opponents of same-sex marriage are not honest people guided by conscience, but malicious bigots out to do harm. American history is not a complex unfolding of events but a cynical conspiracy driven by rich white people whose only interest is to keep their racial and economic privileges. Since the “enemy” is in control of everything—the radio waves, the churches and the banks—they are thought to be all-powerful. It is perfectly acceptable to apply any means whatsoever to dislodge them from power. It is justice of the revolutionary sort, because according to the paranoid’s viewpoint, one’s political opponents  are simply too evil to be given  fair shake in the debate. They must not be merely opposed. Them must be silenced and removed.

Oh, come on! Surely that’s an exaggeration. Surely you have noticed that you are being called a “white supremacist,”

The city of Seattle, WA, has offered a class on “white fragility” to white people in order to explain white guilt and why white people cannot “handle matters involving race.”Lecturer Robin DiAngelo, who coined the term, is teaching the taxpayer-funded class for the city Office of Arts and Culture. She defines white fragility as “a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves.”

Critics say it is just the latest attempt at spreading white guilt, following in the footsteps of concepts such as “white privilege.”

From Richard Hofstadter:

Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated —if not from the world, at least from the theatre of operations to which the paranoid directs his attention. This demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly unrealistic goals, and since these goals are not even remotely attainable, failure constantly heightens the paranoid’s sense of frustration. Even partial success leaves him with the same feeling of powerlessness with which he began and this in turn only strengthens his awareness of the vast and terrifying quality of the enemy he opposes.

Unrealistic goals? I give you millions of jobs from repairing our infrastructure, or how about running the country on wind and biofuels? Or possibly handing control of the entire Middle East over to the Mullahs in Iran, so we can have peace. I’ll even bet that you can think of some other unrealistic goals.

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