American Elephants


Victor Davis Hanson Explains the Left’s Hypocrisy about Equality by The Elephant's Child

Well, professors at our universities have long seethed with not just envy but anger at CEOs in American industry. After all, you can read what their salaries are in the financial pages or in annual reports. Professors prefer to pretend that their concern is at the diversity of the salaries of the ordinary working stiff and the CEO. What really lights their fuses is that they, the professors, have Doctorates! PhDs! They are the scholars of the nation, the recognized elite.

Of course they do not recognize that CEOs are awarded their salaries by the corporate Board of Directors, in recognition of the profitability of the corporation itself, and in relation to the economy.

What if the elite professors in our nation’s universities had to demonstrate what their students have learned at the end of four years, in order to justify their salaries.” I rest my case.

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A Helpful Guide to Leftspeak. Use it At Your Peril. by The Elephant's Child

The language of the left:

social justice: justice in terms of distribution of wealth. Opportunities and privileges within a society. The distribution of advantages and disadvantages in a society.

metaphysics: abstract theory or talk with no basis in reality. The branch of philosophy responsible for the study of existence. It is the foundation of a worldview that answers the question “What is?” It encompasses everything that exists, as well as the nature of existence itself. It says whether the world is real or merely an illusion.

xenophobe: One who is unduly fearful of what is foreign and especially of people of foreign origin—a person who fears or hates foreigners.

reactionary:
political views that favor a return to the status quo ante, the previous state of society which they believe possessed characteristics that are negatively absent from the status quo of society favoring extreme conservatism or rightism in politics, opposing political or social change, ultra-conservative in  politics.

empirical: based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or  experience rather than theory or pure logic.

historicism: a mode of thinking that assigns a major significance to a specific context such as  a historical period, geographical place and local culture. A theory, doctrine or style that emphasizes the importance of history as a theory in which history is seen as a standard of value or as a determinant of events.

critical theory: A philosophical approach to culture and especially to literature that seeks to confront the social, historical and ideological forces and structure that produce and constrain it. — a type of theory that aims to critique society, social structures and systems of power and to foster egalitarian social change.

positivism: a philosophical theory stating that positive knowledge is based on a natural phenomena and their properties and relations. Thus information derived from sensory experience interpreted through reason and logic forms the inclusive source of all authoritative knowledge.

metaphysics: The branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time and space.

The attainment of social or economic justice makes mere  philanthropy unnecessary. The pursuit of that objective renders philanthropy harmful. The alliance of experts and victims will progress toward its goals more slowly and with greater difficulty if amateurs, lobbyists and dilettantes are mucking about, trying to alleviate victims’ suffering. They don’t know what they’re doing, and should keep out of the way of people who do. Furthermore, caring for others by any other means than supporting, with votes and taxes, welfare state programs to enact and adequately fund those programs, postpones rather than hastens the realization of social justice.

There you go. You may now consider yourself among the enlightened.



Trust and History. What Does History Teach Us, And What Does it Tell Us About Today’s World? And Whom Can We Trust? by The Elephant's Child


I hope you watched the video on “Why No One Trusts the Mainstream Media” with Sharyl Atkisson, who I consider a good and honest journalist.

Today I wanted to recall the basic facts about the terrorist truck massacre in Nice, France. I searched first with Bing. Took me 24 websites to get to one I trusted, which was Zero Hedge. Tried Google instead: The 8th website was Britain’s Telegraph, 12th The Washington Times, followed by USA Today, The Daily Mail, GQ and CBS News. 28th was Fox News, just after The Daily Beast. I don’t like being manipulated by the Silicon Valley Oligarchs.

Tom Steyer, billionaire, who got rich running a hedge fund, and selling it — retired to become a political activist and climate true believer. He’s been running ads  and spending $10 million chump change (and then another) to get people to impeach President Trump. He considers himself an environmentalist, which means he believes deeply in “clean energy” (which doesn’t produce enough energy to even be significant) opposes the Keystone XL pipeline (which apparently means he wants the oil trucked or shipped by rail, which is not safe.)  Why these people can’t study up a little before they decide to just believe, I don’t understand, but they do.

Steyer, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and probably others of the Silicon Valley Oligarchs, with huge wealth, have decided to spend most of their wealth in their lifetimes, trying to improve the world. I don’t know just what Sundar Pichai. Larry Page and Sergey Brin have in mind, but Jeff Bezos, once he has decimated the retail industry is interested in space. And there are lots more of them. Bill and Melinda Gates wanted to improve American education and invested a lot of hope in Common Core Standards, and it hasn’t worked, as he admitted recently. Central planning doesn’t work. I know it sounds good to have educational standards the same for everyone, but there’s a lot of history that proves that central planning doesn’t work, for schools or for governments, or for countries. People are stubbornly human, and human nature is not all that cooperative. If you want everyone to line up and do just what is wanted, better be invested in AI, not real people. You might find it rewarding to spend a few minutes considering historical examples of central planning. Victor Davis Hanson has mentioned some lately.

But I think we have a problem with the Tech billionaires. Whether it’s Google or any one of dozens of other companies, we welcome the good products they have made, but they are getting rich on selling our information, and organizing us. When they start trying to control how we think and work, we’re heading in a very troublesome direction. We’re told now that the cameras on our computers may be recording our lives.When they have enough money to buy us all, many times over, it’s going to be hard to get across the idea that we don’t belong to them and they can’t run our lives to suit themselves. There are other search engines, and other browsers who do recognize the problems.

Amazon has Echo, which I guess is called a smart speaker. It does  voice interaction, makes to-do lists, and an control other devices, as well as listen to you and record what you are saying. The other tech companies all have their own versions, and will intrude more and more in our lives. Is this helpful, or scary? No wonder some people are very worried about artificial intelligence, though it’s hard to know what is real, what is fantasy and what is simply a very bad idea.

You might be interested in investigating your usual search engines. I don’t know. pick a subject, any subject you know something about and try it out on your search engines. How many websites that you reject do you have to go through to find one that you might trust? I visit a lot of websites to try to grasp what is happening, but I no longer believe in the New York Times or the Washington Post for anything at all. They have lost any sense of responsibility in the journalism profession. The media have become political activists with bylines, and they seem to be unfamiliar with history, with the Constitution, with science, and welcome the daily talking points to give them direction. It wasn’t always this way. Who do you find to be trustworthy, and what websites do you trust?

This has been kind of a disjointed piece, but there are a whole raft of things going on with some commonalities among them that I am trying to understand and decide how much I should worry. And a lot of Silicon Valley Oligarchs trying to change the world for the better is not really a comforting thought. I don’t question that they mean well.



Democrats Are All About Control of the Language by The Elephant's Child

(Click on View Image to Enlarge)

John Hinderaker of Powerline blog returned yesterday from an eleven day vacation in England. While there he had several conversations with Brits about politics,including one Member of Parliament. He said they were “few and unscientific, but were with well-informed people.”

Several people asked what I think about President Trump. All were surprised when I said I think he is doing a good job, and if he keeps it up will be our best president since Reagan. All said they have hardly heard anyone defend him. All the people I talked politics with were intrigued by my defense of Trump, since they had never heard it before. Trump is restoring the rule of law? Who knew?

The other thing I observed was that the level of interest in the Mueller investigation is high, but knowledge about it is nil. Everyone I talked politics with thought it was a big deal that Manafort and that other guy no one ever heard of have been arrested. One lefty I spoke with was literally rubbing his hands with glee at the prospect of another endless Watergate drama. Needless to say, he was shocked at my suggestion that Trump should appoint a second independent counsel to investigate 1) the Uranium One scandal, 2) the role of the FBI in general, and Bill Mueller and James Comey in particular, in covering up the Uranium One scandal, and 3) collusion between the Clinton campaign and Russians to influence the 2016 election.

It isn’t only the British Left that takes the Mueller investigation seriously. Relatively conservative Brits seemed to have essentially the same view, mostly (I think) because they never hear the other side of the story. They suffer from the delusion that the New York Times and the Washington Post are reliable news sources.

Democrats have purposefully taken command of the language. The instant a new issue arises, they are out there naming and carefully defining the problem. You may have noticed in yesterday’s news that Tony Podesta, (John’s brother) resigned from the Podesta Group, which is a lobbying firm like Fusion GPS, who do opposition research. John Podesta. was not only Hillary’s campaign chairman, a former White House Chief of Staff, but also is the founder of the Center for American Progress.

Which I believe is  the source of the “talking points” that come out daily (?) to tell Democrats what language to use about daily events and problems. This is evident from the identical language used by all Democrats when they speak, including the media. They are also quite familiar with the “Big Lie” technique which says that if a falsehood is repeated long enough and loudly enough, everyone will start to believe it.

If you are a Republican or a Conservative, you are familiar with being called “Racist”, and are bewildered by charges of “White Supremacist, KKK, far Right, and alt-right.” You are familiar with the Republican history as the abolitionists who freed the slaves, fought a war to make it so, made them citizens, made sure they have the right to vote. Republicans, tired of illegal voting, insisted on Photo ID when you sign up to vote. Democrats immediately claimed this was a racist denial of the vote to black Americans, and if that didn’t work, that some black voters were too poor to get to city hall to get their photo ID.  They have also insisted that there are no illegal voters, and the numbers of illegal votes reported never make major headlines. Democrats believe most voters don’t follow the news carefully, and if they can control the headlines, they’ve won.

With the talking points to guide them, many Democrats fail to worry about little things like history, or science, or what I call “studying up” to really grasp what’s going on. That means they believe the globe is warming and the planet is at risk. They believe that the polar bears are endangered and dying off as the Arctic melts. They believe that, for the sake of the planet, we should put much of our corn crop (that could feed the hungry), into our gas tanks. They believe that nasty fossil fuels should be kept where they belong —in the ground, and we should rely on natural sources of energy like wind and solar to power our society. And Republicans are evil “deniers.” Control of the language matters.



Iran Threatens to Attack All U.S. Bases in the Region by The Elephant's Child

According to Adam Kredo at the Washington Free Beacon, a top Iranian Military commander has threatened to launch ballistic missile strikes on all U.S. bases in the region. The Islamic Republic is anxious to show off their advanced missile capabilities, which is capable of striking U.S forces up to 1,300 miles away, which includes all U.S. bases in the region.

Credit for this debacle goes directly to Barack Obama, who hoped that nobody would notice when he shipped piles of cash ($400 million) in foreign denominations in an unmarked cargo plane to the mullahs in Iran to be delivered at midnight.

The question that was debated was whether the payment ( of $400 million) was actually a ransom paid for the release of American hostages Tehran had abducted, which he hotly denied saying that “we don’t pay ransoms,”  He said the reason that we had to give them cash is because we are so strict in maintaining sanctions and we do not have a banking relationship with Iran.

The sanctions which he wanted to preserve, prohibit Americans and financial institutions from engaging in currency transactions that involve Iran’s government. Iran remains on our government’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.

There is a consensus in Washington that the U.S. needs to “push back” against the Islamic Republic. Nobody seems to want to clarify just what is meant by “push back.” President Trump’s response with cruise missiles in the early morning hours after the Russians had been warned doesn’t suggest the the Trump administration really wants to escalate. Reuel Marc Gerecht summed up the situation back at the end of July for the Hoover Institution. Not hopeful. It remains a very difficult subject.



Mark Steyn, Tucker Carlson: Clarifying the Russia Thing by The Elephant's Child

Here’s a good one: Tucker Carlson and Mark Steyn try to clarify the whole Russia thing. Lots more bombshells to come out, but now enough has emerged that we get a front row seat on the revelations.

Anyone going to be held responsible? Is this finally big enough that we will have a real honest-to-goodness shakeup? The American people are fed up. They don’t trust the press, they’re angry at the behavior of a bunch of overpaid athletes, they don’t understand why the IRS gets to pay off the folks they mistreated with taxpayer dollars, and John Koskinen gets to retire with a comfortable pension. And why can’t Congress get anything done?



The Iran Deal: What it Is and What it Isn’t by The Elephant's Child

Confusion reigns over every mention of the “Iran Deal.” And it is back in the news and at a moment in time when confusion over every tiny thing about the Trump administration, not to mention the large things, seems to set off what might be called a panic attack in the Democrats. Any ability to talk about such things calmly and seriously has gone by the wayside. It’s some kind of contagious dementia.

Iran is not a friendly Middle Eastern country. They support most of the worlds terrorism and terrorists, are attempting to become a nuclear power, are making trouble wherever they can in the Middle East and elsewhere, and generally fall in the category of bad guys. Very bad guys.

The Obama administration signed a nuclear deal with Iran. It is not a treaty, but just an informal deal to relieve sanctions on Iran if they stop trying to get nuclear weapons. They are supposed to get inspections to see if they are doing what they claim, but that isn’t happening, and everybody’s worried about what will happen, what the Trump administration will do, what can be done or not done. All is confusion.

Frederick W. Kagan, a scholar at AEI on Foreign and Defense Policy, the Middle East and Terrorism in general, has spelled out the facts of the deal and attempted to alleviate the confusion so we have some understanding among the reports from the media, most of whom don’t seem to understand any more than we do.

Do read the whole thing, or better yet print it out or save it. This is going to be a major bone of contention for some time yet, and the Democrats are off the tracks, partly because it was an Obama effort, partly because they are quite sure that Trump is starting a new war, or is too irrational to do the right thing, or is anxious to start something or who knows what catastrophe the evil Trump will devise.  In other words, we need to know what they are talking about. Knowing what they are talking about is the best defense.




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