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

We The People Of The United States of America — Are Pretty Ticked Off by The Elephant's Child

Reposted from June 25. 2016


—Over at Powerline, John Hinderaker asked rhetorically “Why are Liberals so Hateful?” Good question. James Taranto pulled up a 2010 piece from Charles Krauthammer, to explain why the liberal elite finds Americans revolting. Krauthammer finds a pattern:

— Promiscuous charges of bigotry are precisely how our current rulers and their vast media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking.

— Resistance to the vast expansion of government power, intrusiveness and debt, as represented by the Tea Party movement? Why, racist resentment toward a black president.

— Disgust and alarm with the federal government’s unwillingness to curb illegal immigration, as crystallized in the Arizona law? Nativism.

— Opposition to the most radical redefinition of marriage in human history, as expressed in Proposition 8 in California? Homophobia.

Taranto says: Krauthammer portrays this as a cynical game: “Note what connects these issues. In every one, liberals have lost the argument in the court of public opinion. . . . What’s a liberal to do? Pull out the bigotry charge, the trump that preempts debate and gives no credit to the seriousness and substance of the contrary argument.”

Because their motives are pure, their intellectual superiority and managing expertise entitle them to rule over the rest of us ignorant, backward, stupid, religious nuts, and clinging intolerant bigots.

We daily hear about “the elites” and “the working class”— where do they get that? The “elites” naturally include as the cognitive elite the nation’s reporters, columnists and scribes. Businessmen are not really part of the elite—they are more apt to be included in “Wall Street” or excluded as manufacturers. We do have some wealthy playboys (and girls) but most everybody else supposedly works for a living, yet “the working class” are those who perhaps went to trade school or do those “dirty jobs” that Mike Rowe built into a successful career,( with some very good advice for future members of the employed ranks.) That leaves rather a large segment of the American public who actually do work for a living, enjoy it at least part of the time, and feel good about putting supper on the table and enjoying a movie now and then—out of the picture as — what, unmentionables?

Are BREXIT and Trump and all the international anger about being sneeringly called “the working class” when we are obviously more than a little short of work? Unemployment is a big problem in the EU as well as here. Holman Jenkins, business columnist for the Wall Street Journal remarked recently:  “It turns out government cannot spare us collectively from having to adapt and compete in an economy.”

The Left, in their headlong race towards what they conceive to be a more perfect world, when they get the rest of us bullied into shape, simply do not grasp basic human nature. We are flawed creatures, imperfect, and human nature is not perfectible. At the end of their relentless drive towards an imaginary utopia is — Venezuela, or Cuba, or Auschwitz or the Gulag.

Well, no wonder they think of themselves as an “elite.”The federal government has too many people working for the government, and there isn’t enough work for them to do. Government workers make 78% more than the private sector for comparable jobs according to Cato. They call themselves “public servants,” but they don’t mean it. When they start to think of the U.S. Constitution as an impediment rather than a guarantee that the government belongs to the people and the public servants are there to work for us, not the other way around, we’re in trouble. So here we are.

I think it was Mike Lofgren, author of The Deep State, who captured the essence of Leftist discourse: “Take offense, call your opponent names, refuse to let them speak, decline to debate.”

That pretty much covers it.

The Bureaucrats In Washington Think We Are Really Dumb! by The Elephant's Child

uscapitolwestside-crop-600x338Instead of polling the American people about Washington D.C. some academics from Johns Hopkins tried something new and different. They reversed the question, and polled Washington about the American people.

“What they found was a combination of ignorance, contempt and disdain.”

Survey data from the polled group — staffers from the White House and Capitol Hill plus career civil servants and the policy community of lobbyists and others who work closely with government from outside it — indicate that the functionary class thinks of itself as our betters. Our bosses, not our representatives. They see their own judgment as being far superior to that of the rest of us — the people whose wishes they are supposed to be carrying out.

The findings were revealing: By a huge margin, the bureaucrats said they knew better than the public what was right for the public. On Social Security, twice as many bureaucrats said they knew best. On crime, three times as many bureaucrats said their way was superior. On the environment, the ratio was almost four to one.

Why am I not surprised that they feel so self-important on matters environmental?

The academics presented the bureaucrats with simple multiple-choice quizzes. 65 percent of the DC insiders guessed that the median household income was lower than the reality (about $52,000 a year). Four out of five respondents  thought the percent of the population that is white (78 percent of Americans) much less. Sixty four percent thought the percentage of American who had a high school diploma was much lower than it is (85 percent). Eighty percent of respondents thought the rate of homeownership is much lower than it is (67 percent).

They proudly call themselves “public servants” but they define it a little differently.

Thus the instructions they give us are usually off the mark. They are usually pushing “urgent, disastrous fixes for imaginary problems.” Out-of-touch doesn’t even begin to cover the problems. Half the problems with Medicare, Medicaid, and ObamaCare can be laid to poor regulations. Officials vastly overestimate (by 8 percentage points) the proportion of Americans who support increasing government spending in areas like education, welfare, child care and crime prevention. They are sure that we want them to solve more of our problems.

They think enforcing existing immigration law as unnecessary or even undesirable. It would be impractical or racist anyway. They believe that terrorism or jihadism is under control. (71 percent of the public thinks its a big problem.) They don’t think that the people know anything about the policies created to deal with these problems. They think of themselves in a paternalistic fashion, taking care of the people. The poor unfortunate stupid people to whom they report. Do read the whole thing.  It explains a lot.

“The revelations in the new book “What Washington Gets Wrong: The Unelected Officials Who Actually Run the Government and Their Misconceptions about the American People,” by Jennifer Bachner and Benjamin Ginsberg, serve up the side benefit of providing a partial explanation for the rise of Donald Trump.”


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.

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.

Barack Obama, Keeping Us Safe From Those People He Won’t Describe Because it Might Offend by The Elephant's Child

*Click to enlarge

It doesn’t always take a long-winded discussion to explain just what is going on in our world. Michael Ramirez strikes again!

Happy Constitution Day! by The Elephant's Child

Today is Constitution Day, September 17, celebrating the ratification of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787.  If you are unfamiliar with the day of celebration, you may be forgiven, for it was only established in 2004, and to further confuse matters, if it occurs on a weekend it is celebrated in schools and government offices on the closest weekday, so they supposedly celebrated yesterday. Check with your child if you have one in school.

The law establishing the American federal observance was created with an amendment by Senator Robert Byrd to the Omnibus spending bill of 2004, and mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions, and all federal agencies provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on September 17, 1787. It is also Citizenship Day, commemorating the coming of age or by naturalization, of those who have become citizens. (What? You’re not a citizen until you turn 18?)

Iowa schools started celebrating in 1911, and there’s a long history of attempts to make it a national celebration, which aren’t really important anyway. What is important is that a recent survey determined that most college students had no idea who James Madison was, or why he was important. And were astonished to learn that slavery was not practiced only in the United States. No idea of Muslim raids on the British Isles to capture British slaves, or of Muslim slave traders caravans up from ‘darkest Africa’, nor of  American Indian slaves. Schools across the country have become very lax in the teaching of American History. And our college students have no idea why the Constitution is a big deal. Oddly enough, the institution that makes the most of American history and the study of the Constitution is Hillsdale College, which receives no federal funding at all. Here is Dr. Larry  P. Arn, President of Hillsdale College explaining why they study the Constitution.

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