American Elephants


Why Does Race Dominate the Political Conversation? by The Elephant's Child

Heather MacDonald, writing in the Wall Street Journal:

Long before the El Paso massacre, President Trump’s political opponents accused him of sowing “division” with his “racist language.” Mr. Trump “exploits race,” “uses race for his gain,” is engaged in a “racially divisive reprise” of his 2016 campaign, stokes “racial resentments,” and puts “race at the fore,” the New York Times has reported over the past several months.

I don’t know about you, but I had certainly heard the claims of Trump’s racism, but I didn’t hear the examples. The president doesn’t seem to use racial categories in his tweets, or in his speeches. (The article is may be behind a subscription barrier)

The Democrats and the Media certainly do. Ms. MacDonald wrote:

 



New Words Devised Especially for The Presidential Campaign by The Elephant's Child

What a strange, strange time we are living in. The important words to describe it are new combinations of old words. “Social justice.”not just justice dealt out under the law, but social justice. What does that mean? Something like everybody is to be nice? The words are ubiquitous, you hear them everywhere, but the meaning is pretty flimsy.  Then there’s cosmic justice—applying to everybody, everywhere? Virtue signaling is a little clearer— see what a good person I am? I can’t wait for society’s verdict, you need to see how good I am immediately. The one that really bothers me is hate speech which is rapidly becoming any speech that you do not like. This is not speech that urges you to hate someone else, but again, any speech that you do not like, particularly that emanating from the other political party, or criticizing you or what you believe in.  Foul language is fine. Vulgarity is Acceptable, But do Not Disagree. If you know all the important words and their definitions, you are woke, or with the contemporary use of language. It’s easy.

Since the Mueller affair didn’t work to dispose of President Trump, the Democrats are hard at work trying to move the emotions of the voters largely by calling names. “Racist” is the most important, every one of the dozens of people on the Democrat debate stage has insisted that Donald Trump is a racist, with not a shred of evidence. Trying to suggest that the reason we are trying to keep illegal aliens out of the country is because of their race rather than the simple fact that we have laws that tell just how you may apply to enter our country legally and how to do it. They have dragged out pictures of Obama’s chain link fenced-off areas for detaining illegals, especially if there are children involved. Children in cages, especially frightened children in cages or crying children in cages has such an emotional effect that AOC made a fool of herself getting pictures taken of herself standing, weeping, in front of a chain link fence that supposedly held the aforesaid weeping children, except that other shots showed it to be a parking lot on the other side of the fence. Virtue signaling.

There are some suggestions that many American blacks are recognizing the president’s accomplishments in creating jobs. Black unemployment is the lowest it has ever been, and even the kids are finding it easy to get a job. Do you suppose that Democrats are so intent on keeping every single black vote that they would be insisting every time they speak to emphasize what a racist the President is? Are they that crass? Of course they are. The New York Times has a series going to explain to all those who managed not to learn any American history is school, that the United States of America was based on slavery, founded on slavery, and grew wealthy and prospered because of slavery. Useful if you are trying to blame the slave trade on Donald Trump, but dependent on the ignorance nurtured by our public schools.

Slavery was common in the world at the time of our nation’s founding. The native American Indians kept slaves of other tribes they had defeated or captured in wars. The Kwakiutls of the northwest coast made regular trips south to the coast of present day Washington and Oregon to capture slaves in their big war canoes. Arab ships prowled the coasts of Europe and England to capture white women (preferably blondes) for concubines for their harems. The Moslem traders who captured African natives for the slave trade, drove long columns of slaves north to the Mediterranean, and to the ports on the Atlantic coast where the slave ships came.

The majority of African slaves in the transatlantic trade went to the sugar islands and to South America, not the United States. It was exceedingly common for people in the British Isles and Europe who didn’t have the necessary funds to come to America as indentured servants, who had to work a defined number of years to earn their freedom, though usually at more pleasant work than African slaves had on southern plantations. Farm work was very labor intensive. Tractors were a distant future invention, but there were plows to be pulled by horses.  My point is only that the history of slavery is far more complicated than the New York Times cares to admit, and still exists in some parts of the world. When you are trying to blame the president and his party for the entire slave trade, and for rampant white supremacy, you get pretty far off into the weeds.

Democrats are moving their attacks to the imminent recession to be caused by Trump, of course. Any day now the market will tank and it will all be Trump’s fault. Scaring the public into a market downturn will, they hope, cause a bad recession. Trying to damage the public in order to defeat Donald Trump in the upcoming election is a new low, and one of their sleaziest ones. Trump’s tax cuts, they are sure, went only to his richest friends and to the biggest corporations. Economics is not one of their strong points. But please do pay attention to their efforts to sway an election. Politics has become remarkably ugly, and they really should be held to account.



Keep Calm and Try to Talk Sensibly. by The Elephant's Child

The Cry is echoing around the Media: “Stop Gun Violence!” Unfortunately there is no such thing as gun violence. Guns are inanimate objects. it’s the people that are violent. The question is much more difficult, and we don’t really know who is going to be violent and when, nor do we really know how to stop them when we do know. It really helps when you can address the problem in clear language. Stop shouting “Do-Something”. There are limits to federal solutions.

Having misidentified the perpetrators as the guns themselves, you get drawn into all sorts of silly arguments about banning and confiscating, and which guns and why, and why the NRA is evil, and why the Second Amendment should be overturned and so on and so forth. Ban Assault weapons is the usual first bright idea, but it turns out that nobody knows what an assault weapon is other than it’s one of those that look “scary.” And that is true. Gun makers have added scopes and fancy details to make the guns look more appealing and masculine and military-looking.

City people are likely to be less familiar with guns than rural people. Rural people are more apt to be plagued with varmints — a handy all-purpose word to cover woodrats, porcupines, skunks, coyotes, ground squirrels, badgers, hawks, rattlesnakes, wolves and wildcats, among other wild animals. Ranchers sometimes have to put down a badly injured animal to stop its suffering. Guns are just a necessary tool.

Many rural people hunt to fill their freezers with a meat supply for the winter months. Some city people also hunt, and many people hunt for sport rather than for food. Pheasant is very tasty indeed. In the South people shoot squirrels a lot, and oddly, I just saw pictures online of squirrel heads mounted, much as elk and antelope are, which was new to me. I couldn’t quite decide whether it was cute or horrifying. I’ve never considered squirrels as bad animals, but I have shot large numbers of woodrats. They really are nasty critters.

There you have an extensive discussion of gun violence without  any indication about what to do about the violence part, and how one is to identify the violent. President Trump is interested in the Red Flag warning for those who seem— troubled or dangerous. Parkland is an example of a mass shooting where there were red flags all over the place about the young shooter, but no one recognized the flags. There are no easy answers. Human kind is far from perfect, quarrelsome, troubled, angry, despondent, but also kind and caring. Might help if we forced people to talk about the problems seriously instead of in soundbites. Conversation instead of shrieking. So there you are, four paragraphs that solve nothing, nothing at all.



No, The End of the Earth is Not Imminent by The Elephant's Child

I don’t know just what spurred me to visit the U.S. House of Representatives online yesterday, but I did. (http://www.house.gov.) I was curious about what the Democratic House was doing in the wake of AOC’s Green New Deal, and all the Democrat presidential candidates seeming to think saving us from catastrophic climate change was a big electoral issue.

I’m a confirmed skeptic, partly because I grew up in the mountains, largely outdoors, and very familiar with weather and wildlife, and my mother was my Biology teacher. I had a good grasp of photosynthesis. I’d been snowed in, without power, flooded, had lightning strike quite close, killed a rattlesnake and had to deal with a lynx trying to kill my dog, among other events. So don’t try to tell me that the world is ending in just 15 years. Of course it’s an effort to get rid of capitalism. The climate is just fine, warming and cooling as it has done for hundreds of thousands of years.

If you want an interesting exercise, go to the house website, and click on committees, and select the one on climate. Good grief! That is really discouraging.

Here is Dr. Richard Lindzen, one of America’s most revered scientists.



Mass Shootings, Phony Accusations, No Real Answers by The Elephant's Child

Democrat candidates for the presidential nomination seem to have decided that the way to win the competition is to come up with a nastier insult for the President of the United States. Which is almost funny, since that is the office they seek.

It might be helpful if they would identify some policy correctly, explain why they thought it unfortunate, unworkable or bad, and tell us what they would do instead, but no one has bothered, too troublesome.

The accusations center around “racism” and “white supremacy”which seem to be centered around illegal immigration and control of our border. The American people, according to polls, want the borders controlled, are opposed to illegal immigration, and opposed to open borders. But when Trump opposes illegal immigration, wants more control of the border, it’s different — he’s racist.

I’m convinced that Democrats are terrified that American blacks will notice that Trump’s actions have changed the job market for them completely. Even black youth are close to full employment. I think that’s why the “racist” claims, because Trump clearly is not racist, but if they repeat it frequently enough, people will start to believe it.

A few Democrat-run cities have such frequent shootings that they get mixed up in the mass-shooting list, although for cities like Chicago and Baltimore, it seems to be just an ordinary weekend. That was the case for Chicago last weekend.

Over the weekend we had two big mass shootings, 22 dead in El Paso, 9 dead in Dayton, Ohio, and many wounded. We don’t really know what sets the shooters off. The outcry was predictable. “Gun control”, and every variation of that that people could come up with. “Assault weapons” an undefined term that seems to refer to all guns that are “scary-looking” rather than those that are efficient. Of course all Democrats insisted that both shootings were Trump’s fault. Talk about “Red flag” people. as if we could correctly identify those who are slightly cracked and want to take it out on their fellow citizens.

The biggest mass murder was on Bastille Day, 84 people mowed down with a truck in Nice, France. Clayton Cramer wrote today that there is too much focus on the role of guns in mass murders.

I am currently creating an encyclopedia of mass murder in America and have catalogued 504 incidents so far. Common methods used throughout our history include axes, hatchets, blunt objects, knives, hanging, drowning, poison gas, poison, fire, and aircraft (and not just on 9/11). Some of the rarer weapons demonstrate that where there is an evil will, there is a way. Scythes. Blowtorches.

Human beings are a quarrelsome bunch. We have trouble getting along with our own families, let alone people who seem to be against everything we revere and have heads filled with strange nonsense. How anyone could reach adulthood without learning the value of freedom and the simple fact that socialism does not work remains a mystery. Enchanted with the idea of making everybody equal, I guess. Unfortunately those who most want to make everybody equal always seem to have in mind being in charge of all the rest.

There is a lot of talk about “Red Flags” – supposedly finding some way to identify the crackpots before they begin shooting. Clearly, they are disturbed in some way, but we don’t know in what way and what the impetus might be. There have been suggestions of childhood mistreatment of some sort. One schoolteacher came up with a brilliant way to look out for troubled kids, which you might recommend to any teachers of your acquaintance. Would help produce healthier kids for any reason., even if there was no relation to shootings.

Zero Hedge posted some of issues turned up by two criminologists who have been studying the life histories of mass shooters in the U.S. for a project funded by the Dept. of Justice, looking for some commonalities among the perpetrators of mass shootings. The article has a graph from Babylon Bee with a satirical take, which makes the whole piece somewhat confusing. Ignore the graph and scroll down to the results of the study of life histories. I’m not even sure that what they have found is actually useful, but there are clues. Gun laws and banning “assault weapons” will not help. There are important Second Amendment Issues that prevent the wild-eyed nonsense proposed.

When people are grieving, it’s not really the time for quick decisions.

Most of the reporting and much of the commentary is misguided, unhelpful, and unnecessarily partisan. Americans of all political persuasions would really like to avoid any more of these events.



Seafair in Seattle by The Elephant's Child

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SEATTLE (Aug. 8, 2010) The U.S. Navy flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels, perform aerial maneuvers over Lake Washington during the 61st annual Seattle Seafair Navy Week. Seafair activities allow U.S. and Canadian Sailors and Coast Guard personnel to experience the local community and to promote awareness of the maritime forces. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason M. Tross/Released)

Today and tomorrow are celebrations of Seattle’s Seafair. The highlight is always a performance of the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels demonstration team. My house seems to be on the back part of their route, and yesterday, when they were practicing, I thought perhaps they were going to drop in for a cup of coffee after they landed on the roof.

It’s loud when they roar directly overhead, but I love it. Sound of freedom! Height of Summer. Older photo.



At Least 5,800 “Fake Families” Have Been Found at the Border. by The Elephant's Child

We have an interesting disconnect here. Illegal immigration is a major concern for the American people, according to polls. Democrats, uniformly, seem to believe in open borders, Sanctuary Cities and states, and seem to believe that AOC’s  (always on camera) description of “concentration camps” for kids is quite accurate, or even if not accurate, — useful. They believe that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is a terrorist organization  and should be abolished. Democrats feature pictures of children in cages, left from the Obama administration as propaganda to show how awful the Border Patrol and anyone who dares to oppose illegal immigrants just flowing over the border is. This suggests that they believe the American people outside the hallowed halls of the nation’s capitol are so stupid they will believe any propaganda the Democrats choose to present.

On Tuesday, Mark Morgan, Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told a Senate Committee that 5,800 “fake families” have been discovered trying to enter the U.S. illegally this year.

“Our laws prevent us from holding people more than 20 days and because we can’t get the information we’re probably releasing them even sooner than that in many cases, correct?” Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) asked Morgan during a Senate Homeland Security hearing on the border crisis.

“With respect to family units, since March of this year, United States Border Patrol has been releasing family units directly so in some cases they’re being released in under 48 hours into the interior of the United States,” Morgan said.

Johnson replied, “Because it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to try and find facilities to hold them for 20 days with this overwhelming flow so instead of border patrol turning them over to ICE for a more thorough vetting process and then ICE releasing them, border patrol is doing it directly?”

We’ve written before about kids being circulated back and forth over the border to create a “family” out of illegals who have no kids. There’s a hefty charge for renting kids. Then there are children forced into the task and threatened to keep them obedient.

Democrats are anxious to make all things about the border an emotional affair, you are supposed to pity the poor children, care for the poor adults who just want to get into the country to make more money than they can make at home. Children are separated from their “parents” because the law does not allow children to be detained with their parents. They are required to be cared for separately, and they are well cared for.

The Border Patrol began testing DNA on April 30. They really don’t have time to determine if children are with their real parents or are victims of human trafficking.

AOC’s visit to the border and weeping photograph over an empty parking lot on the other side of the chain link fence, and her claims of “concentration camps” are meant to elicit pity and emotion. Congress needs to change some bad laws to help the Border Patrol deal with a monumental problem, but Democrats find the current situation much more useful.

ADDENDUM: Elizabeth Warren apparently claimed last night that there are “cages of babies” being held at the U.S.-Mexico border – despite there being no evidence whatsoever, no photos, no confirmation from others.

“What we can’t do is not live our values,” Warren said. “I’ve been down to the border, I have seen the mothers, I have seen the cages of babies. We must be a country that every day lives our values. And that means we cannot make it a crime when somebody comes here.”

While visiting a federal immigration facility in Los Fresnos, Texas, Warren spoke about adult border crossers being held in detention without the children they arrived with but did not mention seeing cages of babies.

They keep explaining and explaining that the law requires that children cannot be put in detention with their parents. They are place in non-detention facilities, treated well, taken to parks and entertained. If Democrats want children to remain with their (?) parents, they will have to change the law which they refuse to do. All pictures of children in cages are from the Obama administration, which did put them in cages.




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