American Elephants


This Is Not A Photoshopped Picture! by The Elephant's Child

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It is not a photoshop, but simply being in the right place at the right time and recognizing what the camera has captured.

I don’t know who took the picture, so I cannot give proper credit. If You know, let me know and I will amend the post.  I just think it’s a riotously funny shot! And remarkably accurate.



Is America Racist? Black Lives Matter Certainly Seems To Think So by The Elephant's Child

“Is America Racist? Is it as President Barack Obama said — part of our DNA? Author and Talk Show Host Larry Elder examines America’s legacy of racism, whether it’s one we can ever escape, and in the process, he offers a different way of looking at things like Ferguson, crime, police and racial profiling.”

A 2016 video from Praeger University.



“We Need Some Muscle Over Here” She Cried! by The Elephant's Child

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You remember Melissa Click, I’m sure.  She was an assistant professor of communication at the University of Missouri in the fall of 2015 when student protests brought the education process to a screeching halt. Screeching was what brought Melissa to national attention when she attempted to stop a student photographer from taking pictures of the protests: “We need some muscle over here” she cried, and the unflattering picture went viral.

The student protests rocked the school, forcing the resignation of the UM System President Wolfe and Chancellor Loftin. And last week the UM Board of Curators fired Professor Click. But it wasn’t really the board that fired her, it was the action of prospective students and their parents, donors, and alumni — all expressing their dismay with their checkbooks.

The University of Missouri announced in fiscal year 2014 that it had set an outstanding fundraising effort of $164.5 million. They were so pleased with their success that they announced a new fundraising campaign “Mizzou: Our Time to Lead,” last October 8, with a goal of raising $1.3 billion by 2020. The campaign began on October 9th.

Mizzou was also the first campus disordered by disruptions last fall. It was homecoming weekend, and protesters blocked the homecoming parade route, blocking the then-president Tim Wolfe’s car to a halt. Then the UM football players announced they would demonstrate their support for a graduate student’s hunger strike by refusing to play another football game until Wolfe resigned. Some graduate students were protesting the school’s ending their health insurance coverage (which the school said was forced by ObamaCare). But the basic cause of the protests seemed to be perceived racism, which may have been a hoax.

In November, both the President and Chancellor were forced from office, and at the same time, the video of Professor Click hit social media. It showed her attempting to grab the journalism student’s camera, and shouting “Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here” Click shouted to the protesters. “I need some muscle over here.” A communication professor’s forgetting the First Amendment rights of a student journalist seemed to be the last straw for the people of Missouri.

In January, it was reported that student applications had dropped 14 applications, or 5 %, and graduate students’ applications plunged 19%. And worse the Columbia campus received a 7 .7 percent drop in high-scoring SAT and ACT applicants, and out of state applications had dropped by 25% from the previous  year. In state annual tuition is $9,433 and out-of-state students pay a full $24,460, a real blow to the school’s budget.

Then last week, UM announced that new pledges and donations in December—the key month for donations — had fallen by $6 million. The UM Board of Curators announced that Professor Click had been fired. She had been on suspension with pay since the end of January. There are questions about her dismissal and due process from FIRE and the AAUP (American Association of University Professors).

The important thing here may be the public rebuke directly from their pocketbooks — which is unmistakable. Will the public backlash  to Mizzou be carried out at other schools as well? What about the effects of outside agitators from earlier protests like Ferguson and Baltimore, from #Black Lives Matter, Acorn, Organizing for America and other groups trained in “community organizing?” Many of the so-called “racist” incidents have turned out to be hoaxes.

And isn’t it interesting that protests spontaneously develop on one campus after another on supposedly unrelated causes. Harvard Law is going to dump its seal, which contains the crest of a 18th century slave owner. Yale president Peter Salovey has promised to “build a more inclusive Yale, one without isolation and hostility.” What seems to me more disturbing is the resignation of presidents and administrators, and their failure to simply send the students home.  It seems that the students with their foolishness are in charge, and how did that happen?

Yesterday, I saved a piece from Reason.com on student activist demands at Western Washington University in Bellingham. WWU students want” an entire academic college dedicated to breeding social justice activists, separate residential safe spaces for racial groups, and a student committee charged with policing offensive speech.” That, I thought, is carrying the political correctness a bit too far. But then today, I couldn’t find where I had saved the piece, and tried Googling it, and quickly got proof that protests are just another regular thing at WWU, and probably safely ignored. It’s easy to get students all fired up, over not much of anything.  It’s not so easy to get administrators to act responsibly.



Donald Trump is the Ultimate Insider by The Elephant's Child

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Matthew Continetti, writing at the Washington Free Beacon today, said “Donald Trump has become the Republican frontrunner because GOP primary voters want an outsider who is angry at the condition of the country and the party establishment.” this really struck me — because it is just dead wrong. I don’t know whether Continetti is correct or not, but if GOP primary voters assume that Donald Trump is an outsider, they are mistaken. Mr. Trump is the ultimate insider.

He has told us so repeatedly. Trump explains that he donates to both parties because he is in business, and that’s just what you do. Of course. He donates because he is buying access. If he gives a significant sum to a politician, whether a national candidate, a state candidate or someone in city administration, they will see him when he calls. They will look with favor, if they are able, to his requests, favor at least partly, his side of the latest ‘deal.’ That is by nature — an insider. That’s how you make deals.

Forgive me, but the party “establishment,” whoever that is:  Party Chairman Reince Priebus? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell? House Speaker Paul Ryan? Who precisely are you angry at and why? The Republican “establishment” did not pass ObamaCare, but have voted to repeal it in full six times, and in part over 50 times.

Those changes that you resent so much are a direct result of President Obama having a House and a Senate with Democrats in charge, and Republicans couldn’t do a thing about it. Even when the voters revolted and gave control of the House and the Senate to Republicans, there was little that they could do beyond putting a bill on the president’s desk, which he promptly vetoed, as he has. Shut down the government? That only frightens voters who fear that they won’t get their Social Security checks, or their welfare checks, or their food stamps, or their medical care. They depend on those payments, and shutting down the government really frightens them, and loses votes for Republicans at the polls.

The founders designed a Constitutional system that was meant to be slow, with participants thinking and arguing over potential legislation extensively to be sure that it was good legislation. They had no concept of a federal government with hundreds of agencies, departments, offices and bureaus all with the power to issue regulations. Who knew that it would take a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit which could take months and years to pry loose information that Congress needed to do their work? That many arguments about authority would go to the Supreme Court for a decision, and those can take years proceeding through the courts.

Of course there should not be hundreds of agencies, departments, offices and bureaus, and they shouldn’t be issuing regulations. Congress is supposed to be making the laws, not palming them off. It is the Democrats who are in favor of BIG government, and essentially believe that most everything should be done by government. I believe Bernie Sanders recently said that charities should be abolished and the government should take that task over. It is of course about power. And that’s why Democrat plans seldom work.

If  you are angry at the vast number of people who have dropped out of the labor market, the huge numbers on food stamps, the sluggish economy that Obama keeps claiming is growing and prospering — why aren’t you angry with Obama?

If you are distraught at open and unenforced borders, at illegals placed all over the country, and criminal illegals in sanctuary cities, blame the Democrats. If you are disturbed by President Obama’s announced numbers of “Syrian” refugees to be admitted to the country, Republicans are trying valiantly to stop some of these things.

If you worry about ISIS, then don’t fall for the Democrats’ propaganda about “Bush Lied, People Died.” Bush did not lie, every intelligence agency in the world believed that Saddam had WMD — and so he did. He had 500 tons of yellowcake, enough to make 168 nuclear weapons. He had vast warehouses full of “agricultural chemicals” which are the precursors of nerve gas and other poison gasses, and the chemicals that turned them into nerve gas were stored in Saddam’s scientists’ home refrigerators. ISIS has found vast stores of Saddam’s poison gas, which are still turning up. ISIS exists because Obama did not make any effort to make a status of forces agreement and just pulled all the troops out, leaving Iraq to fend for itself.

Republicans are doing what they can to prevent Obama’s overreach but as he has told us—he has a phone and a pen— and he is going to do as much as he possibly can to go around Congress and accomplish his ends with executive orders and signing statements and whatever other executive tricks he can think up. He has no intention of working with Congress at any time. Be as angry as you want, but at least direct your anger constructively at the source of the problems, not at those who are trying to remedy them.



I Have a Few Questions for Mr. Trump, and I’ll Bet You Do Too! by The Elephant's Child

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Andrew Malcolm, who writes at Investor’s Business Daily, posted, “unfiltered, Trump’s remarks from Sunday night at an Alabama rally. No interpretation. No commercial interruptions. No analysis. Just Donald Trump, on the eve of Super Tuesday’s voting, in his very own words. Uncensored.”

“The 69-year-old making the case for why he wants to be president of the United States, commander-in-chief for the next four years. And why other candidates should not become chief executive, or even be allowed to run.

Perhaps reading in his own words how Trump details his positions and policies will help voters evaluate him and other candidates and decide how to vote, this week or later.

Trump takes the stage at a school stadium in Madison:

This is amazing. Amazing. I could listen to that music all day long, all day long.

Well, I want to thank you. By the way, there’s 3,000 people waiting to get in. Should we start without ‘em? Yes. Yes! That’s amazing. So this is the biggest crowd of the political season by far. We have 30,000 people. 30,000. Amazing. 30,000 people. I just want to thank everybody.

You know, we have a lot of folks in the Huntsville-Madison area, this whole area. Really thriving. You do know that, right? Really thriving. It’s doing well. And you know we’re going to keep that space program going, folks. Gotta keep it going. We’ll be doing a lot cutting. But when it comes to that, I have to tell you, we’re going to be keeping it going.

I want to thank the Benghazi guys, you met ’em, you saw ’em. So incredible. Guts. Courage. They know what happened. Amazing guys. I want to thank Mark and John for being here today. Amazing. Amazing.

The rest is here. Do read the whole thing. Learn about how Mr. Trump plans to deal with our twenty trillion national debt, his plans for dealing with ISIS, with al Qaeda, with the mess in Syria and with the Iran Deal, and Iran’s continuing work on nuclear weapons in spite of the “Deal.” And about the drastic decline in our military readiness, our Navy the size it was in 1915, and the Army the size it was in 1940. Is that adequate to meet the needs of today? And if not, how does he plan to pay for it while also shrinking the debt?

Is he concerned about the Zika virus? What about the felons President Obama has released from prison? What does he plan to do about North Korea and China’s brand new islands in the South China Sea? President Obama has planned to admit large numbers of “Syrian” Refugees, but it is suspected that many of them are actually ISIS fighters, and we have no way to vet them. Attacks on the police are growing because of #Black Lives Matter agitation, how will you handle that? ObamaCare is failing, and insurers are going broke, more and more physicians refuse to deal with ObamaCare patients. It is a program that cannot work, so how do we get government out of the health care business?

Those are just a few of my questions that Mr. Trump did not address in the first 60 minutes of Trump’s full remarks. You undoubtedly have some questions of your own.



What’s Wrong With Diversity? More Than You Ever Knew. by The Elephant's Child

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Yesterday I received the alumni magazine from my alma mater in the mail, and among other changes, they announced the appointment of a new chief diversity officer.  Which seems to put them right in line with the norm in colleges and universities today, when every gathering or crowd is scanned for the correct mixture of skin color and ethnic identity. That doesn’t seem quite right.

It seems to me that diversity, in the case of higher education, should be a diversity of ideas — not a diversity of skin color and  ethnic origins, nor sexual diversity—there’s a lot of that going around — but diversity of ideas is pretty hard to find. Consider the speakers invited to campuses who are not just disagreed with, their divergent opinions are excoriated, their very presence is protested, loudly and violently, and security must be called to protect the person — who has improper ideas! Students need “safe spaces” to protect them from ideas with which they disagree.

Sometimes, I seem to be a little slow. I really hadn’t put together the innocuous idea of “diversity” which always seemed a little silly, with Saul Alinsky’s famous phrase “Rub raw the sores of discontent, galvanize them for radical social change.” Barack Obama was a student of Alinsky’s methods, and he’s been busily organizing us for over seven years. Hillary too, was a student of Alinsky.

The problem with the Alinsky method is that the end game is amorphous; the end game is the acquisition of power but little is said of what to do with that power once acquired. The core of Alinsky’s method is destruction, destruction of the “system” that allows a disparity of wealth. There is no discussion of what is to replace this system once it is brought down. However, there is little doubt that Alinsky’s idea of a better “system” is one that brings forced equivalence or Marxism. Fundamentally, the struggle to get power is the essence of Alinsky, what to do with the power once acquired is another matter altogether.

“The Obama administration is the embodiment of the failure of politics because it is not about politics—politics involves concession and compromise—it is about victory at any cost. The American people expected hope and change, as that is what they voted for, but what they really wanted was stability and prosperity.”

Well, no wonder the people are so angry with their government— and looking for someone, anyone, who can fix it. Their government has been furiously busy trying “to rub raw the sores of discontent.” They not only didn’t get “hope and change” — they didn’t get stability and prosperity either. “Diversity” has been a false promise. The people know and like people of all different races and ethnic backgrounds, and we like the ideas and the foods they have brought with them as well.

The race riots in Ferguson and Baltimore were urged on by imported community organizers. The campus protests and demands for more racial equality and more racial segregation at the same time, the banishing of statues or buildings named for anyone who once owned slaves, the racial hoaxes, were all stirred up by organizers from Black Lives Matter, Acorn, Occupy, and Organizing for America. Did you wonder why race relations seemed to get worse rather than better? Did you wonder why Black Lives Matter seemed to be stirring up animus against the police instead of improving relations? Why more policemen were being attacked or killed? That was deliberate community organizing.

Michelle Obama at the Democratic Convention:

“Barack stood up that day,” talking about a visit to Chicago neighborhoods, “and spoke words that have stayed with me ever since. He talked about “The world as it is” and “The world as it should be…”
“All of us are driven by a simple belief that the world as it is just won’t do – that we have an obligation to fight for the world as it should be.”
“There is no utopia; those who have strived to make the impossible real, to implement their grand visions of life have been the agents of death and destruction on a scale surpassed only perhaps by Islam. Alinsky, like the Koran, Sira, and Hadith, represents morality turned upside down or abandoned entirely in favor of cold pragmatism. …It is no surprise that they have been deeply involved in voter fraud and other nefarious practices. “

Here’s David Horowitz:

This is something that conservatives generally have a hard time understanding. As a former radical, I am constantly asked how radicals could hate America and why they would want to destroy a society that compared to others is tolerant, inclusive and open, and treats all people with a dignity and respect that is the envy of the world. The answer to the this question is that radicals are not comparing America to other real world societies. They are comparing America to the heaven on earth — the kingdom of social justice and freedom — they think they are building. And compared to this heaven even America is hell.

Freedom is important to Americans, but it is sometimes hard to recognize where and why and how it is being taken away. We hate the EPA for its dumb overregulation, are shocked when Condoleeza Rice is invited to speak at an American university, and turned away because students protest. Environmentalists suggest prison terms for people who claim that global warming is natural. People are laid off, but will not get severance pay unless they train the foreign workers who will replace them. Scandals erupt throughout the government, but no one is ever fired. Veterans are denied medical care, but the promised changes never take place. Government workers who break the law are placed on paid leave, instead of being dismissed.

Detainees are released from Gitmo, and turn up as spokesmen for al-Qaeda. Relations are resumed with a nasty little Communist dictatorship just south of Florida, who continue to abuse their people and emphasize that they will change nothing at all — in return for a resumption of trade. Immigration laws are ignored, the borders are ignored as well, and illegals flow into the country to be distributed to every state. Obama makes speeches about the importance of constitutional law regarding appointment of a judge to replace the distinguished Antonio Scalia, but notes that he has a phone and a pen, and he cannot be bothered to attend the distinguished jurist’s funeral.

The American people are indeed angry. But their anger is somewhat misplaced. It is not “the establishment” that is turning loose drug pushers to go back to the streets in the name of “prison reform.” It’s not “the establishment” that is letting convicted criminal illegal aliens back into the country to commit more crimes. It’s not “the establishment” that made an impossible deal with Iran that practically assures that we will be attacked with nuclear weapons. It is not “the establishment” that has so weakened our national security that we are warned to expect a direct attack from ISIS this summer. And it’s not the establishment that stuck us with ObamaCare, nor “the establishment” that has reduced our army to the smallest since 1940 and the Navy the smallest since 1915. Nor is it “the establishment”  that has given us the worst economic recovery in the last 70 years.

I think we need to do some serious reassessing.

ADDENDUM: “White college students are undergoing a weekly “deconstructing whiteness” program at Northwestern University. The ‘6-part’ workshop series for undergraduate students who self-identify as white” launched in January and runs through March according to the university’s website.” The program is voluntary, but comes under the rubric of “Social Justice Education.” Forgive me, but there is no such thing as “social justice”— we have one kind of justice in the United States of America which involves the Constitution, the body of laws, the courts, the judicial system and the officers of the law. Northwestern University declined to give any details.

F.I.R.E. reports that 33 “public colleges have elected to ignore a deadline to respond to the House Judiciary Committee’s request to adopt new speech codes on campus. Bob Goodlatte, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, asked 160 schools to change at least one of their existing policies after a FIRE report showed that these schools substantially restricted their students’ free speech rights.”



Let’s Completely Eradicate a Species This Time by The Elephant's Child

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The Zika Virus is in the news, and it is a bad one. It is carried by a mosquito, Aedes aegypti, commonly known as the yellow fever mosquito, and more recently known as the dengue mosquito that particularly affects small children. Now it is called the Zika mosquito. and seems to be associated with microcephaly in newborns. Nasty bug.

Mosquitoes like human blood, and seem to be skilled at spreading disease around. The Anopheles mosquito is responsible for malaria, which according to the World Health Organization, kills more than a million people a year — mostly children under the age of five.

As far as is known, malaria does not infect animals. The pesticide DDT has been a critically important tool in eradicating malaria in some areas of the world. Paul Herman Muller  discovered the insecticidal properties of DDT in 1939, and won a Nobel Prize in Medicine, for it was an effective and affordable way to manage the public health risks carried by mosquitoes, lice, and other insects.  By 1955 DDT had been used to largely eradicate malaria from Western countries, including the U.S. where it was endemic in 26 states. It helped to control typhus, yellow fever and sleeping sickness. In Sri Lanka, malaria cases dropped in 10 years from about 3 million a year to just 29 cases in 1964.

Enter Rachel Carson, whose 1962 book Silent Spring triggered the environmental movement and hysteria about pesticides. Carson had contracted cancer, and came to believe that her cancer was caused by pesticides. Rather than offering her concerns in a measured way, she took an extreme view that chemicals were causing, or would cause, cancers and harm wildlife — producing a bleak world in which “no birds sing” and “one in four” people would likely die from chemically caused cancers. The book became a Book-of the-Month Club selection, and excerpts were published in the New Yorker. Then V.P. Al Gore said in his introduction to the 1994 edition “Without this book, the environmental movement might have been long delayed or never developed at all.” A true statement.

An EPA panel had approved DDT, but EPA Director William Ruckelshaus overruled them and in 1972 the U.S. banned DDT, and most of the rest of the developed world followed suit. In 2001, the Stockholm Convention, a global treaty, banned DDT as part of a “dirty dozen” agricultural chemicals. Carson was wrong about threats to human health, but she never recommended a complete ban. Nevertheless, the damage was done, and the WHO now estimates there are between 300 and 500 million unnecessary cases of malaria a year, again, mostly young children, and mostly in Africa.

With the advent of the Zika Virus, there have been calls to release DDT from the erroneous worldwide ban, but environmentalists are devoted to their religion, not to science. Outrage that anyone should suggest such a drastic step.

Doctors have found the Zika virus in areas of the body that are protected from the immune system, such as the placenta, seminal fluid, and fetal brain tissue. It seems to be in the blood for a very limited period of time. They have found it in the tissue of infants who died from microcephaly, a rare birth defect, which results in a small head and disorder in the brain. They are learning as they go.

Stagnant water, and small amounts of water in pots, discarded hubcaps, provide the ‘ecosystem’ for the development of the virus. The Aedes aegypti mosquito has spread from sub-Saharan Africa to the Americas, Asia, the South Pacific and Australia within the last few hundred years entirely because of human activity.

“The recent development of “gene drive” technology raises theoretical possibility of winning” the war on this invasive mosquito.

Unlike an ordinary gene, which is passed on to just half of all offspring, a gene drive construct could be passed on to virtually all offspring. It can be used to spread genes that destroy female mosquito chromosomes, prevent female mosquitoes from flying, or determine whether a mosquito becomes a male.

By releasing a small number of gene-drive mosquitoes, the number of wild females could be reduced each generation until they disappear completely. Without any females to produce the next generation of eggs, the surviving males would have a very lonely last few weeks until they died out, too, along with the genetic modification that caused their disappearance.

One step at a time. But this time we’re hoping for a complete eradication of a species. The use of DDT would be helpful, but gene drive sounds like a real possibility for getting rid of the yellow fever mosquito for good.




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