American Elephants


A Small Step Forward on Campus Disruptions by The Elephant's Child

It has come to this—the University of Wisconsin administration is, “taking steps to crack down on protesters who push their right to free speech and protest to the point where they shout down or entirely shut out speakers with whom they disagree.”

University of Wisconsin System leaders approved a policy Friday that calls for suspending and expelling students who disrupt campus speeches and presentations, saying students need to listen to all sides of issues and arguments.

The Board of Regents adopted the language on a voice vote during a meeting at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie. The policy states that students found to have twice engaged in violence or other disorderly conduct that disrupts others’ free speech would be suspended. Students found to have disrupted others’ free expression three times would be expelled.

“Perhaps the most important thing we can do as a university is to teach students how to engage and listen to those with whom they differ,” system President Ray Cross told the regents. “If we don’t show students how to do this, who will? Without civil discourse and a willingness to listen and engage with different voices, all we are doing is reinforcing our existing values.”

The astonishing thing is that this perfectly reasonable step has become news. Ben Shapiro was shouted down at the University of Wisconsin-Madison last year. Jazz Shaw, author of the piece,raises questions about “who determines what differentiates disruption from legitimate protest?” What about protesters who are not students? And asks what is a disruption and what is protesting and expressing an opposing opinion?

How about just plain bad manners? Why is it acceptable to protest an invited speaker? Why does someone have the right to keep others from hearing a speech? Seems to me that someone who disrupts a speech should be quietly removed from the room. Why do they get to engage in violence or disorderly conduct twice before they get suspended? The University of Wisconsin seems to be on the right track, but way too wishy-washy.

Student protests seem to be all the rage, quite fashionable. In most cases an example of student ignorance and bad manners. I think immediately of the misguided protests against Charles Murray and Heather MacDonald at Middlebury and Claremont respectively. It is the students who are violating Constitutional rights of free speech, not engaging in it. And part of a University’s job of turning out responsible citizens might be teaching about basic manners.

Advertisements


A Quick History of the American Revolution by The Elephant's Child

I like timelines or chronologies that tell you just where and when the events of history took place. It gives you a sense of history as it happened and what was happening at the same time elsewhere in the world. So you will see one here now and then, and I hope you find them useful.

So lets start with the 1765 Stamp Act, passed by Parliament on March 22, 1765. It imposed on all American colonists a tax on every piece of printed paper they used. The money collected was to be used to help pay the costs of defending and protecting the American frontier near the Appalachian Mountains, and 10,000 British troops were to be stationed on the frontier for this purpose. It wasn’t the cost that was so offensive, but the standard it seemed to set, that Britain could impose a tax without the consent or approval of the colonial legislatures. This was a tax on ships papers,legal documents, licenses, newspapers, other publications and even playing cards. That started things:
1767: Townsend Acts (import taxes on tea, glass, and products from England)
1770: The Boston Massacre (Colonists rioted to protest English soldiers there to protect British commissioners and the Townsend taxes) 5 colonists
killed, including Crispus Attucks, an escaped slave.
1773: Boston Tea Party
1774: The Intolerable Acts and the First Continental Congress
1775: Rhode Island abolished slavery.
Paul Revere’s Ride to warn Lexington and Concord
Battle of Bunker Hill
1776: Declaration of Independence.
Battle of Long Island (August)
Battle of Trenton   (December 25)
Washington crosses the Delaware R. (Dec. 26)
1777: Battle of Princeton (Jan. 3)
Burgoyne captures Fort Ticonderoga
Articles of Confederation
Saratoga: Sept. 19, and October 7.  Victory!
1778: American Colonies sign treaties with France and Holland,
reject British peace offer.
1779: John Paul Jones on Bonhome Richard defeats Serapis.
1780: Charleston Falls
Camden Aug 16, Kings Mt. 7 October, Cowpens, Jan 17
1781: Cornwallis Surrenders at Yorktown, October 19.
1789: George Washington chosen president
1799: George Washington dies of strep throat
1789-1793: The French Revolution



Natural Selection and the Character of the American People by The Elephant's Child

Never was there a more outrageous or more unscrupulous or ill informed advertising campaign than that by which the promoters for the American colonies brought settlers here. Brochures published in England in the seventeenth century, some even earlier, were full of hopeful over-statements, half-truths and downright lies. Gold and silver, fountains of youth, plenty of fish, venison without limit. How long might it have taken to settle this continent if there had not been such slick promotion. How has American civilization been shaped by the fact that there was a kind of natural selection here of those people who were willing to believe in advertising?

………………………………………………………..From Hidden History
………………………………………………………..
by Daniel Boorstin



Gun Laws Clearly Do Not Work, But That Fact Seems Not to Matter by The Elephant's Child

Are Democrats really sure than banning guns would mean no more killing? Or are they just told to respond to a mass killing with a push for a gun ban. We, of course, have come to expect that. Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, but a very high murder rate, rivaled only by Baltimore. It was over 400 before the month of July was over. The pictures that accompany the article show pictures almost entirely of young black men, which suggests gang killings. Other cities like St. Louis, Detroit and New Orleans have even higher death rates, but I don’t know what their gun laws are.

Britain has really tough gun laws, even the police cannot carry guns, but a very high rate of shootings. The recent one at Manchester was very bad. Now the British are considering knife laws. ISIS has been urging their adherents to stab people, and it seems to be catching on, particularly in Israel.

In Switzerland, all young men are required to join the militia, where they learn all about firearms and are required to keep a gun to be ready if they are called upon. Switzerland has the lowest rate of gun crimes in the civilized world. Their firearms legislation is comparatively liberal and similar to the United States. The reason is a long tradition of shooting and hunting.

In the West, and where I grew up, many if not most, families counted on killing a deer or elk to fill the freezer for the winter. Here, near the coast, they add a salmon or two.

The current push is to ban bump-stocks, the accessory that allows machine gun like rapid fire from a rifle. Some Republicans in Congress agree that they should be banned, to the anger of others who believe that it is wrong to give in to the Democrats irrationalism because that would encourage their efforts for total gun control, which would get lots more people killed. Thinking logically is not one of the Lefts strong points.



There has Been a Mass Shooting in Las Vegas by The Elephant's Child

Two confirmed dead, many seriously wounded by a shooter on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Hotel, where there was a country music concert across the street from the hotel. The shooter had a fully automatic weapon with which he sprayed the crowd. You can’t buy those at your neighborhood gun store.

The shooter is dead, unidentified, but local. More than 100 are wounded, many seriously. Prompt police attention, careful statements. Too soon to know very much. More will become clear as the day rolls on. Evil people seem to like large concerts.

UPDATE: 59 dead. 527 to Hospital. Shooter killed himself, is local from Mesquite, high stakes gambler, 64 years old, no known connection to terrorism, although ISIS tried to claim credit. Worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Naturally all the left emerged to demand gun control, oblivious to the fact that it was the people operating the weapon who did the killing.

A gun is an inanimate object. Most of Europe has total gun control, and lots of mass shootings. For those who can’t get their hands on guns, knives are becoming popular to the extent that Britain is considering knife control laws. Will chefs then have to be licensed?  In Switzerland, I believe, every able-bodied young man has to be trained in the militia, including weapons training, and are expected to keep their weapons at home. Many hunt, as well.

Chicago, has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and a lot of good that does them. They usually top the list of most killings any weekend.



Secretary Price Has Resigned From Health and Human Services by The Elephant's Child

Secretary Tom Price has resigned from Health and Human Services, and his resignation has been accepted by President Trump.

One of the most important notions of the Trump campaign was that of ‘draining the swamp.’ The nation’s capitol has become too expensive, too self-important, too unresponsive to the people. The Democrats in general, and the media in particular, have become consumed with hatred for the man who, in winning the election, has taken away their control in numbers, ideas, and power across the nation.

The Democrats not only confidently expected Hillary to win and continue their power in government, and to have their own way, but they were astonished to see the Trump victory echoing through the states down to the local level. They lost 13 seats in the Senate, 69 House seats, 910 State Legislative seats and 30 Legislatures. The Media no longer had powerful people in government eager for their attention.  From remarks from the media, it seems that the Obama administration was in constant contact trying (mostly successfully) to manage the news.

So you have probably not noticed that President Trump’s goal of making America great again involves cutting the cost of government. Cabinet officers and Congressmen who direct the work of the government have been excused for far too long for their carelessness with the taxpayers’ money. Secretary Price, who is also a wealthy man, may have thought nothing of chartering private jets for his travel, and billing it to the government, but the department’s inspector general did. It is unfortunate because Dr. Price is a good man, and was a good appointment as a physician,with long Congressional experience to Health and Human Services.

The media recently attacked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos who was flying on a private jet to her meetings all over the country, only to be terminally embarrassed to find that it was her own plane, and she was paying for it. So much will be made of the Price scandal. Other Cabinet members are looking closely at their own travel.

You will find that most of President Trump’s actions are based on ordinary common sense. Which is why he won the votes of a great many Americans who were fed up with “the swamp.” You will hear plenty about this ‘scandal’ and its reverberations.



Victor Davis Hanson Explains the Media Hysteria Over Trump And the Reality by The Elephant's Child

I think most of us have noticed that the American media seem to have slipped a cog. They are no longer the serious observers of government, exposing wrongdoing and praising praiseworthy ventures. They were supposed to serve as the watchdogs, alerting us to error and triumph, but they have instead become highly partisan purveyors of platitudes, or as President Trump tweets—fake news. That is perhaps too strong a term, but they are clearly partisan, and getting a lot of issues just plain wrong. If the media cannot get things right, the people have lost their guidelines.

People don’t seem to know quite what to make of President Donald Trump. Dr. Hanson gives the best explanation I have seen anywhere. Trump speaks differently. Dan Bongino who is from Queens, says simply that Trump talks like someone from Queens. I think a goodly amount of press angst comes from President Trump’s tweets. No president has tweeted before, and Trump says what he thinks. The media expects measured and carefully prepared speech, and don’t know what to do with such revelations. Salena Zito, outstanding reporter, says to ‘take Trump seriously, not literally’.

Victor Davis Hanson is an American classicist, military historian, columnist and farmer, professor emeritus of classics at California State University, Fresno, and currently a fellow in classics and military history at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, This is a clip from a longer speech given at Hillsdale College on May 26. 2017.




%d bloggers like this: