American Elephants


The Usual Argument Over Just Who Is Responsible by The Elephant's Child

The State of Alabama has passed a law limiting the right to an abortion, and Hollywood and feminists have erupted in fury. Nobody is talking sense, nor seems to have any understanding of the real issues. The issue is “a woman’s right to choose.” The problem is that the urge to get an abortion is mostly the result of a significant number of unfortunate choices.

Many feminists have long resented the ability of horny men to satisfy their urges without consequences, and cannot accept the fact that the female of the species is required by nature to be responsible. Modern society has provided all sorts of assistance, but if one ignores the availability of help – it seems a little crass to expect society to bail you out.

Many people believe that what a pregnancy produces is a new human being. Others believe it is merely a clump of cells of no particular value. This is not a resolvable problem. Casting aspersions on the religion of one side or the lack thereof of the other is distinctly unhelpful. Before Alabama passed their law, the Governor of Virginia was talking about letting the mother and her doctor decide whether to care for it or kill it, which after being born – becomes plain old murder.

There are significant women who find themselves unable to conceive, and desperately want to adopt. With more women working, our national birthrate has dropped far below the replacement rate. Do we force women back to the kitchen? Or import babies from countries with too big a birthrate – a Hollywood fad for a while.

It would seem it should be possible for good-hearted people to find a solution if they can examine the facts dispassionately, but then, quite possibly not. We could start by pointing out that Mother Nature demands that the female of the species  be responsible.



Adventures Don’t Always Go as Planned! by The Elephant's Child


We are all ordinary human beings, with all the flaws and inconsistencies inherent in that designation. Some of us have PhDs and certified high IQ’s but that doesn’t begin to strip us from the all too frequent possibility of being absolutely wrong more than just part of the time.

Our founding fathers were men who thought deeply about what good government might look like. No hereditary kings, for while some might be good, there were always some lemons in the bunch, and they didn’t like the idea of a ruling class either. They tried to devise a government composed of ordinary common citizens who would serve for awhile, and then be replaced by other common citizens intent on doing good government. All in all they haven’t done too badly, but the ruling class part never worked all that well. Ambition and the perks of power fall into the flaws category.

Bet you didn’t know that the term “Founding Fathers” was coined by Judson Welliver, “literary clerk”( speechwriter or ghost writer) for Warren Harding in 1921.

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Started this piece on Sunday, Mother’s Day. Went to my older son’s house for brunch, fell on the step up from his patio to the kitchen, fell on my face, or rather on my right knee, which ended up in a trip to the emergency room and a stay in the hospital. Back home tonight, but still not very mobile. They removed  several cups of extra fluid from my knee, and said I could go home. (I exaggerate. but that’s what it felt like). Nothing broken, just very bruised. I will resume tomorrow.



The Greatest Threat to the World Today by The Elephant's Child

The Greatest Threat to the World as we know it, is not Russian influence, nor climate change, devastating diseases like Ebola sweeping out of Africa, it’s not even the machinations of Donald Trump. It’s an idea. An insidious idea that is sweeping out of our citadels of learning into the greater society. And the damage it has done and can do is incalculable.

The idea is a simple one. You shouldn’t have to listen to ideas with which you disagree, or that make you uncomfortable. That is so clearly idiotic that it seems impossible that one could not only accept the idea, but act upon it. Yet students in what we have long respected as centers of learning are protesting and rioting to prevent themselves from hearing ideas with which they are unfamiliar and which might disturb them by challenging their comfortable ways of thinking.

What the hell, one might ask, did they think education is? How do we learn, grow, improve? How are we to cope with a challenging world if we are not open to engaging with ideas that are new to us. How are we to recognize our own errors and misunderstandings?

The lists of speakers, experts, and fine minds who have been “disinvited” is long and growing. Many have not been disinvited, but protested or rioted against. There’s Charles Murray, Betsy DeVos, Heather McDonald, Clarence Thomas, Ben Shapiro, Henry Kissinger, Jason Riley, Doris Kearns Godwin, Laura Bush, Michael Bloomberg, and Camille Paglia — in no particular order or inclusiveness, and there are lots more.

We have a remarkable dereliction of duty from college administrators here. I have read of no cases of misbehaving students being sent home. This may date me, but when I was in school, many students were sent home for a semester, and able to return when they got their heads on straight, and it wasn’t for anything as dramatic as ordinary riots and protests.

There’s also what I call “cultural contagion,”and others refer to as “copy cat” stuff. Think of the way that Vietnam War protests swept through the nation’s campuses. Of course then there were a lot of young men of military age in the universities. But today they are protesting speakers in the U.K. as well. We have “Big Brother”in Silicon Valley who is bragging, or at least admitting, that they changed the outcome of the mid-term election. If you do not have long experience with encountering other ideas, will you have the knowledge and experience to resist the influence of manipulated search results? How will you recognize when and how the media distort the news? How will you know what you yourself believe and whether or not you have the knowledge to defend your ideas? Speak out, stand up to be counted, and if you have college age kids, make sure they understand what education is and how one acquires it.



Well, The Title’s Certainly True by The Elephant's Child



Ocasio-Cortez Has Made a Delusional Little “Green New Deal” Film by The Elephant's Child

Oh my word. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has made a little movie. It’s seven minutes long, and animated with quick watercolor sketches. The Federalist has posted it and I’ll introduce it with David Marcus’ comment:

In a new, seven minute animated video from The Intercept, narrated by and starring Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) we are transported, via an NYC to DC bullet train, into the future. It is 2028, and what a world it is. On the downside, Hurricane Sheldon at some point left significant portions of Miami underwater, but on the bright side, former oil workers are planting mangroves under the direction of Native American elders. No, I’m not making this up.

Well, how nice of this young woman to save us all from a free and prosperous future, if we just reject all that in favor of a new form of Communism called the “Green New Deal.” Named supposedly in honor of the Old New Deal that was such a dreadful time for America. FDR won the election in 1932, but when he was inaugurated in 1933, he had no clue what to do about it, and embarked on an extensive era of experimentation that extended the misery of the Great Depression for at least seven years longer than it needed to be,  according to UCLA economists Lee Ohanian and Harold Cole. But then, as I keep reminding, Democrats just don’t understand free market economics.

The little video is mostly a celebration of the supposed brilliance and forethought of the very new congresswoman herself. You can forgive careless errors, but attempting to impose such extensive stupidity on the rest of the country is a bit much. But then the twenty or so Democrat candidates so far (with another ten or so waiting in the wings) are doing a marvelous job of opening their mouths and disqualifying themselves from consideration.

Do watch the whole thing, it’s only 7 minutes long, and necessary to understand what the whole bunch of Democrats are willing to sign up for.  What totally unbelievable ignorance. There is a long, long history of panics and delusions, many of the early ones caused by diseases that were not understood as catching an infection from another person , but as the act of some demon, or often as the work of a witch, some poor innocent woman who was burned at the stake in an effort to make the illness go away.



Tucker Carlson’s Outstanding Takedown of Democrat Hypocrisy by The Elephant's Child

The best of Tucker Carlson is this epic takedown of Democrat hypocrisy, not to be missed. This is getting right to the basic elements of the ongoing crisis at our Southern border. Donald Trump has proposed to send to sanctuary cities the asylum-seekers who under current law must be admitted to the United States while they await adjudication of their claims for asylum.

Asylum has a clear definition under law, and historically a little over 33  percent of those claims are denied. Which is why when claimants are given their court date for their asylum hearing, most vanish into the country to increase the illegal immigrant population. Would be immigrants in their home countries are instructed on just how to turn themselves in to the Border Patrol immediately after getting across the border, and specifically what to say to request asylum.

Statistics released in May 2018 showed 697,777 cases pending before 334 immigration judges, or almost 2,090 cases per judge. When an illegal fails to show up, an in absentia removal order is issued.

Democrats want open borders to get higher population numbers in the 2020 census, which they believe will increase their numbers in the House of Representatives. Do not misunderstand. Democrat activists want control, permanent control.They do not want the constant threat of Republican governance hanging over them. That’s why all the “racist, white supremacy, Hitler, toxic masculinity, reparations” verbiage. They object to the words “illegal alien”— illegal simply means “not according to the law”. We are a nation of laws and to come here legally, one applies and if accepted, waits their turn. The term “alien” means owing their allegiance to the country of which they are a citizen. There’s nothing derogatory in the term, just fact.

Leftists rely on language to accomplish their goals. That’s why we are now a “nation of immigrants” not a nation of citizens, children are “ripped from their mother’s arms” although the child may not belong to the family. Potential border-crossers are told that having a child with them will increase their chances. There is evidence that some children are being recycled across the border, that is, pretending to be the child of one illegal family, then when they get in, sent back across the border to be the child of another illegal. Of course there are also the “children in cages” pictures from the Obama administration being circulated for those who don’t pay attention to the news, to try to blame it on Trump.

I hope the president will follow through on his threat to send the illegals to those cities that have declared themselves “sanctuary cities” so they can experience the costs of additions to the welfare rolls, numbers of non-English speaking kids added to the schools, that the rest of the country is now paying for.

In The Pity Party, William Voegeli wrote:

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 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.



So Democrats Are Now the Socialist Party? by The Elephant's Child

Bill Maher is sometimes a gift to the national conversation:

The right, he said, has a hard time understanding the concept that we don’t want “long lines for bread” socialism. We want “you don’t have to win the Lotto to afford brain surgery” socialism. Happiness isn’t only about what you have, it’s also what you don’t have to worry about. Turns out freedom from the fear of ending up in a tent under the overpass is a really great freedom. It’s called peace of mind – let’s call it Capitalism Plus.

That’s very clever, but that’s not how it works. We start telling people early on, that you have to study in school in order to know the stuff that helps you to get a good paying job. And you have to save your money so you can buy insurance that will save you from those big worries. We tell people to stay off drugs, and if you must drink, do so moderately so you won’t end up in a tent under an overpass. We have lots of good advice designed to help you live a good life, but not everybody pays attention. And even some people who do pay attention don’t do what’s recommended. It’s called human nature.

Socialism promises freedom from want and freedom from fear, but those things cost money. If you think you want socialism, you either have to want someone else to pay for your needs, and pay for keeping you from being afraid or – you have to be willing to pay for your own freedom from want, and also for someone else’s freedom, perhaps not just one someone, but perhaps many people’s freedom. When Mr. Maher mentions brain surgery, it’s a reminder that health care is one of the biggest worries for everyone.

Because so many people don’t save enough to pay for their own healthcare needs, employers have been offering to help you by paying for your care, and paying you somewhat less than they otherwise might have. They call it a benefit, but you lose it if you quit or get fired, so you are back to ground zero. There are also limits. If a business does not make a profit, they go out of business.  A strange concept for Lefties who think profit is a bad thing.

Socialism is about getting other people to pay for what you want or need. There are not a lot of people around who want to pay for everybody else, so the government has to force them to do so. People get sick, there are epidemics, lots of measels brought over the border with the caravans of illegals. Everybody gets old, and the greatest cost of health care is for the old in their final years.

In England the NHS sometimes keeps their patients in ambulances longer so they don’t have to process them. Euthanisia is becoming more common in Europe. Active voluntary euthanisia is legal in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Passive voluntary euthanisia is legal throughout the U.S.

The Democrats have refused to pay for keeping babies born alive after an attempted abortion – alive. There’s all the furor about a woman’s right to choose, which doesn’t have all that much to do with the surviving baby.

At some point, they will stop resuscitating old folks, offering less care, less food and water. Old folks are expensive, and there are or will be limits. They are at that point in Britain where the care drops off with the socialized medicine of the National Health Service, and old people get dehydrated, and the bed sheets don’t get changed. In the case of Venezuela, the ultimate bad example of socialism, there is no medicine, the lights may or may not work, and the Cuban doctors probably have gone on home.

You may want “Capitalism Plus Socialism,” but what you get is “long lines for bread Socialism.” Guaranteed. Never fails.

ADDENDUM:
In today’s news, from the Strait’s Times in Singapore’s London Bureau:

– Thousands of elderly people in Britain are left to go blind because of rationing of eye surgery in the National Health Service (NHS), a report revealed on Saturday (April 6).

The Times newspaper said a survey by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCO) found tens of thousands of elderly people are left struggling to see because of an NHS cost-cutting drive that relies on them dying before they can qualify for cataract surgery.

The survey has found that the NHS has ignored instructions to end cataract treatment rationing in defiance of official guidance two years ago.

The RCO said its survey has found 62 per cent of eye units retain policies that require people’s vision to have deteriorated below a certain point before surgery is funded.

This has been an ongoing situation with Britain’s National Health Service for some time. Elderly people with cataracts have been placed on waiting lists, and policies require that their vision has deteriorated  drastically before they can even be considered for surgery.  The problem is a NHS cost-cutting drive that relies on many dying before they get surgery. NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) said there was no justification for policies that required people’s vision to reach the point where they can hardly see before surgery is funded.

Welcome to government-run socialized medicine. If you assume that Washington bureaucrats are better suited to make decisions about what care you can have than your own doctor and hospital, this is the inevitable result of government care. Or did you think that all the veterans complaining about the VA were just a bunch of whiners?

ADDENDUM II: (from instapundit)
EVERYONE IS CONSERVATIVE ABOUT WHAT HE KNOWS BEST, EVEN MICK JAGGER. “We keep hearing about long delays and antiquated care in the National Health Service, and here Jagger is able to get cutting-edge surgery in a matter of days! Oops, never mind. Jagger flew to New York for the operation, a fact that his press representatives don’t seem eager to emphasize.”




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