American Elephants

The Left Sometimes Just Goes Too Far by The Elephant's Child

John Hinderraker at Powerline had a good piece on “the  Despicable Misuse of Children.”

Today students were excused from classrooms all across America to participate in demonstrations in favor of firearms bans of one sort or another. These were anything but spontaneous actions organized by children. Rather, the anti-gun demonstrations were condoned, if not sponsored, by school administrations that are almost universally liberal. And the teachers’ unions played a part too. The National Education Association issued a statement that included this:

Since the horrific shootings in Parkland, Florida, students across the country have launched an inspired movement to demand long overdue action on school safety and gun control. NEA, its affiliates, and members throughout Florida and the nation, support these calls to prevent further school massacres.

Ironically, the demonstrations in favor of school safety featured, in some instances, attacks on non-conforming students. At one Minneapolis high school, two students stood apart from the throng calling for more gun control. One of them carried a sign that said “Blame the Culture, Not Guns.” The other carried a Donald Trump banner. He was cursed, pursued, knocked down and beaten up by “pro-school safety” demonstrators. School officials, who purport to be so concerned with the safety of their students, did nothing to intervene.

Kids are in school because they don’t know very much yet. I’m sure they feel badly about the horrific attack on Parkland, Florida. They may even be alarmed about their own safety. Their chances of an actual school shooting are something like one in 641,000,000. Unfamiliar with history, they are probably unaware that we have tried gun control before, both locally and nationally, and it accomplished nothing at all. In spite of the screeches of the Left,  gun control has not worked anywhere it has been tried, including in Australia, where they confiscated all the guns.


Most of the deaths from guns nationally, are suicides. Fully automatic weapons have been banned for years. Violent crime has been declining steadily since the early 1990s. The 2011 rate was almost half of the rate in 1991, and the 2013 rate was half of the rate in 1993.

The well-meaning kids had signs to carry that they had proudly made themselves. This one,from Twitchy shows how clueless the kids are.


Other notable ones were “The Second Amendment isn’t meant to protect our citizens” and “De-Militarize the Police,” along with “Give us Our Reparations.” Well, I’m sure it was an exciting time for the kids and they got to miss time in school. Wiser parents kept their kids at home.

The Left’s hijacking our children for their own political purposes is disgusting.


Ancient Chinese Curse: “May You Live In Interesting Times” by The Elephant's Child

Every day, in every way, things are getting better and well, at least more interesting. In this case, it it is Catherine McKenna, the 47-year-old Trudeau appointee from Canada’s Liberal Party.  In a recent post on Twitter, she called on followers to “consider the gendered impacts of climate on women, girls and children,” and praised Canada’s leadership in training “women negotiators” in the fight against manmade global warming.

Where did all this gender focus come from? And why? Of course it came from women’s studies, and gender studies, and all the overpaid professors who are playing havoc with the minds of our young people, and if Justin Trudeau is an example, with Canada’s young people as well, which may be the reason for the emergence of Jordan Peterson as a powerful national spokesman trying to straighten us all out.

It’s bad enough that they have suddenly decided that the two genders we have had since mankind first appeared on Earth are not enough and we need to add some substitutes, but they have also decided that men are a major problem for running things and shoveling snow and fighting wars, and getting the lids off jars, and it’s all some kind of toxic masculinity.

And women are tired of doing women things, and want to do the men things instead—the running things, and being in charge, and being paid more. They’re not so much interested in shoveling snow, fighting wars or, for that matter, getting the lids off jars. It’s a strange new world. Orwell would be astonished.


All About Gun Control by The Elephant's Child

I often write a bit about Democrat wordsmiths who come up with the daily language with which to attack Republicans or Deplorables or Right-Wing extremists or whatever we are today. I’m not sure just who the wordsmiths are, but I assume they are from the Center for American Progress, and if you look up their website and their board of directors, you’ve got a good idea. I just don’t understand why all the lefties are so ready to use someone else’s words in harmony with all the other lefties. I would be embarrassed, wouldn’t you?

It says something about their education, or intelligence, or obedience or basic ignorance, but I don’t intend to get insulting here, I just don’t quite get it. In any case, this short video is a perfect example of how it works. The subject is the desire of the Left to get rid of the Second Amendment, and/or confiscate all guns, since their ultimate goal is control. They want to be in charge with no one able to disagree or talk back, or, especially—to make fun of them. Do not take a large mouthful of coffee or tea just before playing the video.

There. I told you so.

What is American Greatness? by The Elephant's Child

The Question was “Can the Swamp Be Drained?” Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal speaks on the Governmental Swamp, Can the political corruption in our government be defined and can we actually actually make progress in fixing it?

It’s a fairly long speech, you may need to save it for the weekend, but don’t miss it. It’s important, and Kim is terrific.  The lecture was given as part of the April 2018 National Leadership Seminar for Hillsdale College, and posted on Feb. 27.

California’s Sanctuary Laws Are Unconstitutional by The Elephant's Child

California’s Governor Jerry Brown ran for the nearest microphone to shriek that the Trump administration “is basically going to war against the state of California.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions filed a lawsuit Tuesday against California’s sanctuary state laws. There are three in particular: The Immigrant Worker Protection Act (HB 450); the Inspection and Review of Facilities Housing Federal Detainees law (AB 103); and the California Values Act (SB54). The Trump administration argues that the California laws are unconstitutional under the Supremacy Clause, which states that federal law “shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” The laws prevent corporations and prisons from cooperating with federal authorities.

Governor Jerry Brown tweeted, “At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America. Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don’t work here. SAD!!!”

A Survey USA/KPIX poll conducted last week after Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warned illegal immigrants last week about potential ICE raids. ICE detained more than 200 illegals last week, but a potential 800 illegals, many of whom are criminals escaped. The poll found that 61% in the San Francisco Bay Area — including 65% of whites, 61% Blacks, 59% Hispanics and 53% of Asians — believe local police should help federal authorities detain illegal immigrants. This is not surprising.

Democrats are anxious to increase the numbers of immigrants, particularly Hispanics, because they are apt to vote Democrat as they usually choose a government that offers more services. The American people clearly want the numbers of illegal immigrants cut back sharply. The Democrats are still calling them “undocumented” rather than “illegal” which is telling. And trying to deny the crimes committed.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions flew to California this morning to meet with the California Peace Officers Association, a group that has opposed the State’s sanctuary stance consistently. They have to deal with the criminals. Sessions said:

There is no nullification. There is no secession. Federal law is ‘the supreme law of the land.’  I invite any doubters to Gettysburg, and to the graves of John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln.

California may top the list of badly managed states. The U-Haul measurement shows a steady outflow of people and businesses. Jerry Brown’s high-speed train to nowhere continues to bankrupt the state, the wildfires this last year that devastated the state were unnecessary because of failure to remove dry undergrowth, water problems led to the Oroville Dam disaster and also to the water needs of the great Central Valley which was the breadbasket of the country. San Francisco streets are filled with human feces and homeless. Los Angeles has tried to tackle the removal of a city of homeless camped along the Los Angeles river. But as long as Silicon Valley is happy, the rest of the state can go hang. The freeways are filled with potholes, I am told. I lived in California for too many years and loathe the state. But many like the weather and the beaches. Jerry Brown huffed:

This is really unprecedented for the chief law enforcement officer of the United States to come out to California and act more like Fox News than a law enforcement officer. This is a political stunt,” Brown said. “We know the Trump administration is full of liars. They’ve pled guilty already to the special counsel.”

“This is basically going to war against the state of California, the engine of the American economy. It’s not wise, it’s not right, and it will not stand,” Brown said.

Here’s the Supremacy Clause — Article VI, second clause:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Strange Adventures of the Venus of Willendorf and Mark Zuckerberg by The Elephant's Child

This pudgy figure, the Venus of Willendorf, is to be found in the Naturhistorische  Museum in Vienna, Austria. She is a fertility figure, without face or feet, and one of the oldest sculptures we know. She was found in 1908 near Willendorf, Austria. She is a lonely representative of Stone Age sculpture, approximately from 28,000 — 25,000 years B.C.  She is carved of Oolitic limestone in the Paleolithic Period or the ‘Old Stone Age’. She’s about 4½” tall, and was covered with red ocher paint when found. An image of the work was posted on Facebook by Laura Ghianda last year, and removed as ‘inappropriate content’—despite four attempts to appeal the decision.

Ghianda, who is an activist, denounced the Facebook ruling,  The Museum protested in January requesting that the Venus be allowed to remain naked, and of course great fun was made of Facebook, and a spokesperson for Facebook apologized in March, saying that they had confused the post in question with an advertisement. “Our policies do not allow nudity or implied nudity, but we have an exception for statues.” Ms. Ghianda has launched an online petition asking that Facebook change its algorithms that are censoring art online. And so it goes in the halls of Silicon Valley.

Silicon Valley has a lot riding on its algorithms, and people are getting a little testy about being banned or wanting someone banned. The companies depend on their algorithms to help them define who is likely to be a customer for what to tell their advertisers about how much they are going to have to pay for an advertisement on a particular page, which is why you get ads for shirts when you were just looking at shirts on someone else’s website. And future gadgets and photos of you and yours will tell them even more. They want to know everything useful about you, so they can monetize it . Privacy is a thing of the past.

Nikolas Cruz, School Discipline, and Misunderstood Statistics. by The Elephant's Child

Even though our legislators, we assume, are trying hard to make good law, they often fail miserably. Laws don’t just establish what one must do or not do, but laws create incentives. All too often the good intent of the legislation creates some very bad incentives that are poorly understood. What is your impression of the frequency and numbers of dead in school shootings? Increased or not? From a lot of the talk, one would think that we have a rash of school shootings, and more victims than ever, but that is not the case. Frequency and numbers are declining.

An article from the Broward County, Florida’s  Sun-Sentinel reported that Nikolas Cruz “kicked doors, cursed at teachers, fought with and threatened classmates and brought a backpack with bullets to school, in 2014 administrators transferred him to an alternate school for students with “emotional and behavioral disabilities” but in 2 years he was returned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He was banished for disciplinary violations but “never expelled from school.” Legally he couldn’t be.

Under federal law, the U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Nikolas Cruz had a right to a “free and appropriate” education at a public school. As special education lawyer Stephanie Langer told the Sun-Sentinel, “You can’t just kick kids out of the public schools because you are afraid of them, or because they are hard to educate.” In Parkland, Florida, that notion overrode the right of other students to an education free from fear, and as it turned out, deprived them of their right to life as well. 

But it was apparently not, or not just, the 1973 law, but extensive meddling by the Obama administration in what they considered the “school to prison pipeline.”

This is a stunning example of the tendency of statistics to confuse and  mislead. The statistics pointed out that 61% of the incarcerated population were Black or Latino, while only 30% were white. Obviously this must be racism at work. A 2007 study by the Advancement Project and Power U Center for Social Change said of every 100 students who were suspended, 15 were black, 7.9 were American Indian, 6.8 were Latino and 4.8 were white. The article includes examples from around the country, and from different sources.

In October, 2015, Heather MacDonald testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a hearing on proposed legislation to “reform” criminal sentencing by releasing large numbers of felons from federal prisons. The Obama administration was just getting going on their drive to end the disproportionate numbers of Blacks in prison.

The most dangerous misconception about our criminal justice system is that it is pervaded by racial bias. For decades, criminologists have tried to find evidence for that bias, and they have always come up short. In fact, racial differences in criminal offending account for all of the racial disproportionality of blacks in prison.  (my emphasis)

A year later, Heather MacDonald published an important article in City Journal: “Violence in the Halls, Disorder in the Malls” in which she explains that the pathology of the inner city, children without fathers in the home, single mothers with little time, gang culture, are the cause of violence in the schools and violence in malls, and the Obama administration’s destructive efforts to undermine school discipline were to blame. Nikolas Cruz, as a Latino, qualified to be treated with care, to avoid trouble with Education Department authorities.

Once again, we have the usual rush to judgment, and slowly, slowly, the facts begin to come out. Obama went to great lengths to seem the great leader of the Black Community, and increased the calls of racism, where there really wasn’t all that much of it. I guess that’s what he learned in community organizing school. Even if his efforts were well meant, the incentives were poorly understood and have had unfortunate consequences.

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