American Elephants


Have You Noticed Anyone Claiming Racism In This Election? by The Elephant's Child

Well, yes. Charter schools are on the ballot in Left leaning Massachusetts (Question #2) an initiative to expand charter schools, much to the dismay of the teacher’s unions. The Boston Globe supports the plan, which would give 32,000 students the opportunity for a spot. Students in Massachusetts charter schools gain the equivalent of 36 more days of learning in reading and 65 more days in math. A related measure is on the ballot in Georgia (Amendment #1)

Charter schools are public schools. Donald Trump has favored attaching the state’s education money to each student and allowing the parents to pick the school they want their kids to attend.

In Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe has pardoned 60,000 felons just in time to allow them to register to vote. The state’s supreme court said each individual felon’s circumstances must be weighed separately, so McAuliffe used an electronic autopen to sign thousands of letters—as if he had actually reviewed them. He is a longtime buddy of Hillary Clinton, and expects to win the state for her.



The Alienated American by The Elephant's Child

shockedbaldeagleA new column from Victor Davis Hanson at Defining Ideas, a publication of the Hoover Institution, titled “The Alienated American,” is especially pertinent:

Many Americans increasingly seem psychologically, if not materially, disengaged from their own country. A few vote with their feet and move to quieter enclaves in the American rural West or to no-income-tax states in the South and hinterlands. More withdraw with their minds, by shutting out most of the noise emanating from American popular culture, politics, and the media.

I spent my vacation in September in small towns in southern Michigan, and a few days of October traveling to a number of communities in rural California, as well as talking to a variety of people on my farm. In all these venues, I kept meeting the same sort of detached American. Though these men and women came from varying class and ethnic backgrounds, they were united by a sense of malaise. Let me sum up what I think is the new Americanus alienatus.

The American stranger embraces a pessimistic view of this country, rather than the therapeutic view shared by most Americans. Given the nation’s cultural and financial profligacy, he assumes things are going to get worse. Or at least he accepts that they cannot go on as they are. The medicine (that will fall on him to administer) will be as catastrophic as the lethal disease (which he thinks was caused mostly by others).

Stereotyped as a “deplorable” “clinger” and “everyday American,” the stranger certainly has no wish to dispute the new politically correct orthodoxies of open borders, Black Lives Matter, the euphemisms that mask radical Islamic terrorism, record deficits, unsustainable entitlements, and chaos abroad. All of that, he believes, is now the concern of the members of the coastal establishment, whose incestuous lives are glimpsed in the latest WikiLeaks trove.

The whole column is available here.



The American People Have Plenty of Plain Old Common Sense by The Elephant's Child

freedom-postDavid Horowitz again from The Art of Political War:

The Republican Party claims to be the party of personal responsibility yet it has become a party; that takes no responsibility for the predicaments it finds itself in. Instead, Republicans blame bias in the media or the liar in the White House, or their unprincipled opponents, or even the immorality of the American people to explain their defects.

The greatest political deficiency of the Republican Party today is lack of respect for the common sense of the American people. “Respect” in this context does not mean following polls or focus groups or putting one’s finger slavishly in the winds. It means that what is right politically (whether a constitutional framework and consistent with deeply held principles) produces electoral majorities.

Liberals also fail to understand this. But they were fortunate to have in Bill Clinton a leader who did, who disregarded their advice, and who used his power as the head of their party to force them to pay heed to the voice of the people. The reason Bill Clinton survived his impeachment, riding high in the polls, is that he understood what the electorate wanted and gave it to them (or at least made them think that he had).



The Tipping Point! by The Elephant's Child

angry-public-meetingThere are a remarkable number of buzz-words being tossed wantonly around the media: nationalism, corruption, elitism, populism, reactionary, criminalization, Islamophobia, globalization, sexism, and of course—racism—that all-purpose word when clear thought goes haywire. How many of these epithets can you clearly define? Thought so, me neither.

Donald Trump has been quite precise about why he is running. He wants to Make America Great again, Great Big Wall,  deportation of criminal aliens, care for veterans, renegotiation of trade deals,  some very good ideas for economic growth, some not quite so much.

But why is Hillary running? Yes, yes, she wants to be the first woman president, but what precisely do we get out of it?

My understanding is that the American people are pretty angry about ObamaCare, and even more so now that they have announced an average 25% increase in cost. Obama has left our borders wide open and told the Border Patrol to pay no attention. Criminal aliens are not deported or come right back in. On top of that he is offering “asylum” to Syrian refugees, except that most of them aren’t Syrian, and we can’t tell where they’re from because Syrian passports are available cheap, and there is no government and nobody can be vetted.

There is a list of the reasons why one may ask for asylum. The very first reason is religion—if one fears persecution because of their religion, they may be admitted. Chopping off of heads and being burned alive or crucified would seem to qualify as persecution, but President Obama does not recognize Christians as being among those needing asylum.

Obama seems more interested in placing his asylum-seekers in strong Republican districts in the expectation that new immigrants will vote Democratic.

The American people are not anti-immigrant, they are anti-wide open borders. We have a great many people who have applied through the proper channels for American citizenship, and are parked on a years-long wait list, but those who cross our Southern border are instantly welcome.

The American people have noticed that construction, building and landscaping crews are mostly Mexican, while unemployed citizens cannot find jobs, and the media usually prattle on about jobs Americans won’t do. Criminal illegal aliens who have been deported previously return to commit more crimes.  Canada and Australia calmly admit those who offer some talent that will be useful to their countries.

The corruption in government has been so widespread that there is hardly an agency that has not had a major scandal—the EPA, the IRS, the VA, FBI, FDA, ACA, HSA, FEMA, DHS, DOJ and on and on. Yet no one is fired, nothing changes. Budgets that should be slashed are passed in omnibus bills and nothing is cut. Google “Federal acronyms” for a shocking display of the size and reach of the federal government, yet nothing is cut, nothing is ended, and Congress turns more and more of its assigned work of making laws and regulations over to the uncounted and unaccountable agencies.

The reasons that people are fed up are myriad. One person’s outrage may not phase another who is angry about something else entirely. America seems no longer the most powerful nation, but indecisive, pandering, weak.

The young communists of the Black Lives Matter movement are causing and encouraging riots and attacks on the Police, and they are invited to the White House.

We make a huge deal of new relations with Communist Cuba, without a single concession from the Castros, as a great accomplishment. And just what was the tipping point for you? Yet Obama remains more popular than either of our presidential candidates. Why?

I’m not at all sure that I understand this presidential campaign at all.



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

Judith Miller is a long time journalist,  and winner of the Pulitzer Prize who has had her own problems with a partisan media. I remember several years ago when there were complaints that young people were going to journalism school, not to learn how to accurately report the news, but with the idea that journalism would allow them to change the world. That unfortunate misconception has played out as your see.

However, the world of information has changed. At one time not only were the services reporting the news limited, but the world they were reporting about was limited. Travel was slow, foreign countries were unfamiliar, and people didn’t really know much about the rest of the world. Technology has changed everything, and is continuing to change, and many of the poorest people in the world are being lifted out of poverty through free trade agreements.



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.




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