American Elephants

“Diversity” is a Fad, and an Unhealthy One at That. by The Elephant's Child


“Asian-Americans are one of America’s great success stories. To get into top schools, a student needs SAT scores that are about 140 points higher than those of their peers. In 2008 over half of all applicants to Harvard were Asian, but they made up only 17 percent of the entering class. (now 20 percent), Asians are the fastest growing racial group in America, but their proportion of Harvard undergraduates has been flat for two decades.”That’s from the New York Times, Nov. 24, 1014.

“Diversity” has raised its ugly head once again. In today’s meaning, diversity refers to race. So you are talking about affirmative action, not diversity of anything but race. A lawsuit against Harvard was filed in Boston federal court in 2014, by Students for Fair Admissions, a nonprofit that includes Asian American students who were denied admission to Harvard. The U.S. Justice Department, at the end of August filed a statement of interest supporting the claims of the plaintiffs. It does take a long time to work it’s way through the courts.

Are Asian-American students simply brighter than other Americans? Probably not, but they are very apt to have “tiger mothers” who make sure they do their homework promptly and thoroughly, excel at all their schoolwork, and are qualified to get into any school they want. It makes a difference, and reflects badly on the rest of us, who who let our kids get away will all sorts of nonsense. See “Reynolds Law” in the previous piece.

I ran across a quotation yesterday from one Charles Peguy, who I had never heard of, a French essayist and poet, ca. 1873, but I liked what he said: ” It will never be known what acts of cowardice have been committed for fear of not looking sufficiently progressive.” The introduction to the Asian Tiger Mother came from the book The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, by Amy Chua, which spawned a whole raft of other books and articles. If the entire entering class of Harvard was entirely Asian-American, it might make other mothers spend more effort on their children’s success. Would that be healthier? There’s another book by a tiger kid that says not.

Is there some position in our society which successful blacks have not reached? Renowned Economist, scholar, writer Thomas Sowell whose almost every word becomes a quote in someone else’s vocabulary. World famous physician and surgeon Ben Carson, now Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. President of the United States Barack Obama, Stars of every sport, world famous movie stars, CEOs of major corporations, world famous musicians, none of whom arrived at those positions because of “affirmative action., and that hardly even begins to cover the gamut of success achieved with hard work.

Diversity of background may be worthwhile. Someone from Alabama may well learn a lot from having a roommate from Wyoming, and vice versa. Someone who grew up on a Texas ranch might learn a lot from a friend from Manhattan, but it isn’t the locale that would bring them together. A military brat who lived on army bases all over would have more in common with other military brats. Students from widely divergent backgrounds may become lifelong friends with others who have the same interests in science. “Diversity” as it is practiced seems to be based on a conviction of biases and prejudices that I’m not at all sure exist any more, and would seem to  encourage a focus on race to the exclusion of common interests and similar backgrounds. “Diversity” is a fad, and important to have the correct number of races and genders in photographs, as above. They tried to get “ageism” in there too, but that didn’t work. Elderly people are not of interest, because they are — old.

I have written often about “diversity” because I believe it is an unhealthy, politically sponsored push to force national interests to focus on what’s different rather than the enormously successful melting pot that America really is. No other country in the world has so successfully become a melting pot of a strange and wild variety of peoples. If you are interested, enter “diversity” in the space over Bog Hope’s head in the sidebar.


John Hinderaker Said “The Democrats Are Crazy!” by The Elephant's Child

John Hinderaker at Powerline was not alone yesterday in exclaiming on their blog that “The Democrats are Crazy”— in reference to their theatrics at Judge Kavanaugh’s hearing. A lot of people out there were exclaiming the same thing. But it got me to thinking about just why we all have the same reaction to them.

Democrats believe deeply in the use of language to move, emotionally, those who hear their carefully chosen words (we usually call this ‘propaganda’). Democrats are quite sure that Americans, in general, are not all that bright and don’t pay much attention to the news; thus they are easily influenced by short snappy words designed to catch at their emotions. We can recognize this from the “talking points” that emanate from the bowels of “Think Progress,”— but just who develops the “talking points,” I don’t know.

We do notice when a great many leading Democrats all say exactly the same words in the same way, on the same day. We’ve several times managed to catch their words individually and put the clips together—it’s fairly hilarious, and an excruciatingly embarrassing example. But that is the source of the “talking points” charge.

Perhaps you have noticed the Democrat’s desire to admit any and all illegal immigrants who come to to the border as future voters, and bodies for the census, (which will improve their allocation of representatives and votes in the electoral college). The Dems’ desire to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE)—has been dealt with by the suddenly ubiquitous phrase “ripped from the arms of their mothers.” Excellent emotional words to get voters to the polls for the midterms, and it’s working. The fact that it isn’t true does not matter. Back in the Cold War days, propaganda was frequent, and fairly well understood, but it was what the Russians did, not us. Uh-huh.

You probably have noticed occasions when it seems that Lefties are missing the very basic information that informs most of us. In the case of the Kavanaugh hearing, they seem unusually ill-informed about how the Supreme Court works, how they receive cases to adjudicate, and how they decide to deal with a case, and unclear about what the Constitution has to do with it.

They assume that because Kavanaugh is a Republican — he is rabidly pro-life, and will quickly deprive women of their precious right to have an abortion (which they carefully call “women’s health care.”) Never mind that we are just learning that numbers of women are actually dying from abortions at Planned Parenthood. The whole subject would not come up unless a case would come to the Court that found in some fashion that Roe v. Wade was wrongfully decided or that it was proving to be unconstitutional—which is highly unlikely. Justices don’t get to pick past cases and give them a do-over. That’s not what the Supreme Court does. Democrats seem somewhat unfamiliar with the Constitution as well. I think hard reading is perhaps too much for them.

A good supply of “talking points” relieves Democrats of the necessity of time-consuming studying up, or the need to really become knowledgeable about much of anything. Thus they can become passionate advocates for women’s rights, global warming, the plight of the polar bears, or the dangers of genetically modified foods, when a little studying-up would straighten out their misconceptions.

That’s my take. I’m sure all Democrats would disagree and just object that that’s just partisan politics. Of course it is that, but it does help if you know what you are being partisan about.

Maybe it’s Time to Put Away the “Not Presidential” Idea by The Elephant's Child

The Left in general, and the Never Trumpers in particular, complain that President Trump is “not presidential.” The “presidential” part seems to mostly be directed at his habit of “tweeting.” We are told that the president has trained himself to operate on only six hours of sleep, so he can get more done. Other presidents didn’t tweet, and it’s rude, and crude, and not “presidential”. You’ve got 140 characters, so what you say has to be brief and snappy. And as far as other presidents, Twitter is just coming up on its sixth birthday, so Obama is the only other acting president who could have tweeted, and he does. Jack Dorsey sent the first tweet on March 21, 2006.

According to Twitaholic, the current five most popular Twitter accounts are: ladygaga: 33,265,051 followers, justinbieber: 33,262,987 followers, katyperry: 31,495,485 followers, rihanna: 27,928,899 followers, and BarackObama: 25,963,9666 followers.  It’s also important to note that a lot of these followers are fake. Lady Gaga has 32% fake followers, Barack Obama has 23% fake followers.

What most observers fail to notice is that President Trump’s tweets are strategic. He is letting the world know that he is personally paying attention. He is also letting the world know that he is not predictable.  And the world is paying attention, and they don’t know what to expect. “South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ruling African National Congress (ANC) appear to have walked back ambitious proposals for “expropriation without compensation —for the present — as a result of a controversial tweet by President Donald Trump.” Italy and Hungary Create an ‘Anti-Immigration Axis’. Don’t know if that is a response to a tweet, but it surely has something to do with America having their back. On the Palestinian Refugee Issue, President Trump is Magnificently Right. In Florida, a big boost for Rep Ron DeSantis came from President Trump’s endorsement. and GOP Gov. Rick Scott won an important victory at the polls.

The Washington Times observes that 83% of business executives say business is better, 76% see more growth coming. Stocks are at a record high and Wall Street is growing more optimistic that trade tensions are easing.

Many have seen President Trump as a reality TV star, or a New York raconteur, without understanding of the politics and deep experience of being a builder in New York City. I suspect that dealing with building codes, city bureaucrats, property owners, the legal establishment and who knows what else just might be a better training for political leadership than being a state legislator or even a governor.

Just What Does Being “Presidential” Mean? by The Elephant's Child


I have always suspected that Leftist ideology would prefer that we were more like Europe. Not sure what that means—Kings and Queens instead of boring old presidents? More castles for the exceedingly rich so they don’t have to build their own? Surely it’s not more wars. I also suspect that it’s partly because they are more than a little unfamiliar with history. They are very big on blaming America for slavery and racism, apparently unaware that slavery was the way of the world pretty much until the British and America banned it. American Indians practiced slavery. The vast majority of the trans-Atlantic slave trade went to the sugar islands of the Caribbean and South America, not here.

My point, however, is that Americans don’t understand the efforts made by the Founding Fathers, the early settlers, and historians well-versed in history to not favor any kind of royal trappings, they wanted us simple, ordinary, common, down-to-earth, good people. After the Revolution, when we thought we were done with British royalty, many wanted George Washington to be a King, but he would have no truck with that. He really didn’t want to be the President —he just wanted to go back to his farm. Whenever someone got to yearning for more elegance, there was usually someone else to remind that we don’t do that sort of thing. There was just an extensive article this week about the tendency of residents of “the swamp” to want to buy great art (with taxpayer dollars) to make Washington DC  a little classier.

Which brings me to the vast complaints about President Trump. The problem is the tweets. Of course it’s the language too, the Queens accent, (Dan Bongino, who is from Queens. says Trump talks like someone from Queens who is in the construction business.) Even the Never Trumpers always emphasize the tweets. The insults, the name-calling, the criticism. He’s Not Presidential!! they cry, forgetting that tweeting was not available to the previous 44 or 43.  I don’t mind because it tells us what he’s thinking, and I find that helpful information. And if they knew a little more presidential history, they wouldn’t yammer on about being “unpresidential.”

But “presidential”— if there is some particular standard for presidents, I must have missed it. We have had a very few exceptional, a lot of more or less OK ones, some marginally competent and some downright awful. The party that is not in power always has nasty thing to say about the president that is in power. Presidents are only ordinary men (so far) with all the faults and quirks that go along with being human, who are maybe a little more ambitious that the rest of us. We elect them to run the country for four years, and if they do a very good job we may give them another four years. We ask a lot of a president, but he gets to surround himself with the best advisors he possibly can get along with, but he’s the boss. When the board of directors of a corporation needs a new CEO do they sit around the table complaining about his funny hair, or his tan out of a bottle? They want someone who can make the company work better, earn more money, make better products, hire better people, make the company grow and prosper.

But isn’t that exactly what Trump is doing? Making the country grow and prosper? Black and Hispanic unemployment is the lowest in history. Small business prospering, large business prospering. But the Media says Trump is a racist? (see previous post) No, former Speaker Pelosi, tax cuts are not just for the rich. Everybody benefits, and the rich don’t necessarily benefit the most. And announcing that the first thing you’d do when you get back in power is to end the tax cuts immediately requires an immediate remedial course in economics, as well as a failure to get back in power.

When you cut taxes, people are able to keep more of their own money, and invest it in new businesses, new products, new ideas, or just buy something they’ve needed for years. When the government dumps dumb regulations that are not accomplishing anything, people are freed up to do new things. But the environment! Trump is getting rid of regulations. Yes. filling the gas tanks of America’s cars with fuel made of corn (food) was a dumb idea. The Paris Climate Accords were a scheme to get the rich countries to give a big chunk of their wealth to poor developing countries for free, and pretending that it had some effect on the climate (it didn’t) was a dumb idea.  What the Left hates is that the country is prospering under Trump, and there’s a possibility that he might get re-elected, which accounts for much of the venom.

The Common Complaint of Bias in the Media (TRUE) by The Elephant's Child


Ann Coulter, “New York Times  best-selling author and conservative columnist” said today at Breitbart that she just wants President Trump to “destroy the media”— even if nothing else is accomplished by his administration.  She was specifically offended by the media’s “distaste” that the president tweeted about the killing of white farmers occurring in South Africa. (not to be mentioned), and she added I want him to expose where the Democratic Party is going with things like their chant “No borders, no wall, no USA at all,” Gov Cuomo saying America was never great, or the New York Times hiring Sara Jeong who just tweets hatred and venom towards white men.

Well, I can’t disagree with Ann all that much. A former editor for the New York Times, David Leonhardt, claimed that American racism is the only reason Americans care about the death of Molly Tibbits at the hands of an illegal alien. (No it’s not racism, it’s the ILLEGAL part.) We don’t like 20 year old college students being brutally murdered. The only reason Democrats try to stick the Republicans with the racism tag, is because Democrats have such a long and dreadful history of their own racism. They thought electing the first black president would finally absolve them of their history. But they haven’t changed their behavior.

CNN excitedly thought they had caught President Trump in an impeachable offense, lying about prior knowledge of the infamous Trump Tower meeting during the 2016 presidential campaign. Turned out it was Lanny Davis, Cohen’s attorney, who said Cohen told him, but Davis has since admitted publicly that Cohen did not have such information, and he was a source on the story to CNN. CNN refused to retract the story in spite of it’s falsification.

Twitter failed to block or ban a tweet to NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch on Sunday that said:

The only way these people learn is if it affects them directly. So if Dana Loesch has to have her children murdered before she’ll understand, I guess that’s what needs to happen.

Loesch’s husband complained to Twitter, who eventually responded “We have reviewed your report carefully and found that there was no violation of the Twitter Rules against abusive behavior.” Threaten to kill your kids? Fine. They did remove it by Wed. after an outcry.

I was about to discard my 2002 book on Media Bias by Bernard Goldberg, but I think I’d better hang on to it. A strong leftward bias by the news media is not anything new, just more virulent.

Some thoughts on those angry voters. Ask parents of any two-year-old and they can tell you about those temper tantrums; the stomping feet, the rolling eyes, the screaming…Imagine a nation full of uncontrolled two-year-old rage. The voters had a temper tantrum last week…Parenting and governing don’t have to be dirty words: the nation can’t be run by an angry two-year-old.
……………………………..ABC’s Peter Jennings after the GOP won
…………………………………..the House. Nov, 14,1994

The man is on the Court. You know, I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease. Well, that’s how I feel. He is an absolutely reprehensible
…………………………..—USA Today columnist Julianne Malveaux on ………………………………Justice Clarence Thomas on PBS. Nov.4 1994

There are lots more examples in the book, but two will suffice.

A Nation of Immigrants, from Prager University by The Elephant's Child

Here’s Michelle Malkin to explain about immigration. There is enormous confusion about the issue. In demonstrations you will see Latin American immigrants holding signs that proclaim than”No human is illegal”, which is silly. Of course those who cross the border in defiance of American Law are Illegal. That’s the meaning of the word. If they are citizens of another country to which they owe allegiance, they aliens illegal aliens. Straightforward dictionary definitions. The immigration laws assume that we can accept about one million new immigrants a year.

The law is complicated by all sorts of problems like H-1B workers here because industry claims to need them. Then the law has to deal with their wives, and can the wives work? The laws are a bit of a mess, and need cleaning up. We do need a wall, walls do work, as the evidence from other countries who have walls demonstrates. And lots of countries have walls. Mexico has a wall, with watchtowers on their southern border.

The best source for information is the Center for Immigration Studies — They are pro-immigrant, anti-illegal immigrant, and try to make sense of all the information and misinformation.

Democrats are loudly proclaiming that our laws are mean and we should have open borders. The problem is that they have no concern whatsoever for the  illegal immigrants—or their welfare, they simply want more bodies for the 2020 census, which counts bodies, not citizens. The number of people in a state will determine the number of representatives a party may have in the House of Representatives, and the count in the electoral college. So you can probably guess why they want more illegal immigrants.

Here Are the Democrats’ Current Talking Points by The Elephant's Child


They have decided that the situation that gets the most reaction from voters is the “ripped from the arms of their mothers” line about the Border. Chelsea Clinton, now sorta-kinda intimating that she might consider running for office, was in Edinburgh for a Book Fair, I guess pushing a book or books in the “she persisted” thought line. She went on at great length about how truly awful it was of Trump to allow little children at the border to be “ripped from the arms of their mothers.” A really emotional line for female voters, but fact-free.

The second talking point is the absence of any mention of impeachment, which polls very well for Republicans. The public does not like all the talk about impeachment, so the word will not cross the lips of any Democrat.

The third, you have already heard: Trump is an unIndicted co-conspirator.  If you haven’t heard that in the last two days, you haven’t been paying attention. What it means is another matter entirely—which is nothing, nothing at all, but it sounds important.

David Horowitz explained it very well in his book Take No Prisoners. He wrote:

Politics is always a gamble. No one be sure what tactic will succeed, which is why we have to respect each other and keep our coalition strong, even when we disagree.

I said we were not good at politics. Actually we’re pretty terrible at politics. Whenever a Republican and a Democrat square off, it’s Godzilla versus Bambi. They call us racists, sexists, homophobes, and selfish pigs, and we call them….liberals. Who is going to win that argument? They spend their political dollars calling us names and shredding our reputations; we spend our political dollars explaining why the complicated solutions we propose will work and why theirs won’t. But when you are being called a racist, an enemy of women, and a greedy S.O.B., who will listen to your ideas about the budget? Who is going to believe you when all your motives are portrayed as vile?

Yes, they’ve called us names, vile names. The pessimistic view doesn’t stick. Better economic policies are the primary reason the economy has improved since 2016. If pro-growth policies continue, the economy’s strong performance will continue. Republicans are on the march.

U.S. economic performance is the strongest in years. One policy driving this turnaround is the substantially lower corporate-tax rate, which has made the U.S. more competitive with other countries. Regulatory changes—such as the partial rollback of Dodd-Frank and new leadership within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—also have proved helpful, particularly for small businesses, which are benefiting from lower record-keeping and compliance costs. Meanwhile, the number of regulatory pages in the Federal Register has been cut by a third since President Obama’s last year in office. That’s a major reason the National Federation of Independent Business reports that more small-business owners are hiring than ever. They’re also increasingly optimistic about the future of the U.S. economy.

As the two hallmarks of recovery are still rising, the economy likely has not reached its new, higher growth path. This means that the U.S. can expect above-normal growth in the coming months, possibly even years.
 …………………………………….Lee Ohanian and Edward C. Prescott

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