American Elephants


The Concept of “Diversity” is Sheer Bunk! by The Elephant's Child

What do you call it when a word or a concept rises out of the ordinary to become a phenomenon that becomes all-encompassing and everywhere, and the center of all ideas. I write of diversity. It has somehow arisen from an ordinary word describing differences, to the ruling order of business at corporations, organizations, pictures,  classrooms, hiring and firing, it’s everywhere. It’s the goal of all human resources departments, wherever they are, college admissions, agency staffing, advertising, commercials, from school pictures to the annual reports of giant corporations. Diversity is a must, and the organization will be condemned if diversity is not obvious.

We just had another flap over the Democrats most recent debate, because with Kamala Harris no longer in the group, and Cory Booker also, there were complaints about the lack of diversity among Democrat candidates. Come to think of it, it was Cory Booker complaining.

I was reminded because I ran across one of my books today, which is titled “Diversity, The Invention of a Concept” by Peter Wood, who at the time was a professor of anthropology at Boston University. Excellent book. Ask for it at your public library, or look for it used at Amazon. You’ll be glad you did.

The whole idea, of course, is based on skin color — that is the obvious, visual, proof of ‘real’ diversity. And be very sure you have someone very black in the group, or it will not be diverse. It’s more a talking point for Democrats because Democrats believe they are entitled to be in charge because they are morally superior. They are morally superior because they care, and because they care they are carefully diverse, and try to demonstrate that characteristic at every opportunity, because they divide their voters up into groups.

Those of us who think the whole “diversity” thing is bunk continue to believe that skin color or national origin is not really the most important thing about a person. You can undoubtedly come up with a fairly long list of things that are more important about a person than their skin color. Think back over the national news of recent months and how important diversity is in the national conversation. Why? It’s Democrats demonstrating their superiority by showing how Trump is ‘racist’ because some encounter was not diverse, or diverse enough.

We think of America as a great melting pot, and it is. Peter Wood looked into the diversity in food in Boston, where he lived, from 1900 on, by restaurants’ cuisine and what was offered. It’s an interesting survey. There is a new Afghan restaurant next door to the salon where I get my hair cut.

It is obviously all political in nature, trying to appeal to a particular population by race, to appeal to voters of a particular race. I just think it’s important to understand what “diversity” is all about. The dust jacket of Wood’s book notes:

But the current cult of diversity is no laughing matter.  Wood shows how the elevation of this concept to the highest social good marks a profound change in our cultural life. Diversity as it is practiced today is anti-individualist and at odds with America’s older ideals of liberty and equality.

Where did this all come from? Justice Lewis Powell, in June 1978, in his stand-alone opinion in the Supreme Court case Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. He asserted that the goal of “attaining a diverse student body” provided a “constitutionally permissible” reason to allow racial preferences in admissions to a medical school. Thus the goal of achieving diversity overrode the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.

Addendum: Breitbart notes today that “Red State Governors Approve More Refugees in Their States” Refugees will usually vote Democrat, or can be persuaded to do so.

Democrat governors representing red states such as Kentucky, North Carolina, Montana, and Kansas have approved more refugee resettlement in 2020 for their states.

For Fiscal Year 2020, President Donald Trump will continue cutting refugee admissions by reducing former President Barack Obama’s refugee inflow by at least 80 percent. This reduction would mean a maximum of 18,000 refugees can be resettled in the U.S. between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020. This is merely a numerical limit and not a goal federal officials are supposed to reach.



So Much for the Democrats Talking Points! by The Elephant's Child

Inspector General Horowitz firmly puts an end to Adam Schiff’s major talking points.The FBI played partisan politics and got caught at it.

This is a very big deal indeed. If we cannot trust the federal agencies assigned to protect the citizens, we’re, as they say up a creek without a paddle.



What We’ve Been Reading Today! by The Elephant's Child

From Newt Gingrich, at the Fox News Network:

“Bye Democratic Party–You’re being Transformed into an anti–American engine of radical change.”

Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential candidate debate was one more reminder that we are living through the death of the Democratic Party. It is being replaced by a new Democratic-Socialist Party.

Imagine that any candidate had agreed with President Barack Obama’s original 2008 position that “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage.”

Or imagine that a candidate had defended ObamaCare as the solution to health care in America.

When the last two Democratic presidents can no longer be defended by the men or women hoping to become the next Democratic president, something profound has happened.

From PJ Media by Rick Moran:

 “Justice Party-Endorsed Candidate Thinks it’s a Great Idea to Disarm Police”

Jamaal Bowman, a candidate for Congress looking to defeat incumbent Bronx Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) has some unusual ideas on how to make his New York district safer—disarm the police.  uh huh.

From Fox News Network:

“Victor Davis Hanson: We’re finally discovering the ugly truth  about China and the harm it has caused”

In these times of near civil war, Americans agree on almost nothing. Yet sometime in 2019, almost all of America finally got “woke” on China.
For years, our leaders had yawned about Silk Road neo-imperialism in Africa and Asia, and gross abuses of human rights against Chinese religious minorities and political dissidents.

Almost every assumption Washington made, both by Democratic and Republican administrations, was logically flawed at best. And at worst, these calculations were a weird mix of conservative commercial greed, liberal political correctness and shared screwball naiveté.

From PJ Media:

“Court Strikes Down Obama Rule Forcing Doctors to Perform Transgender Surgery”

On Tuesday, a district court judge struck down the Obama administration’s since defunct mandate forcing doctors to perform transgender surgery regardless of their religious convictions or conscientious objections. The mandate handed down by Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), ironically did not apply to Medicare and Medicaid or to military doctors because the government’s own research showed that transgender hormones and surgeries can be harmful.

From Fox News Network:

Andrew McCarthy: “The trivialization of impeachment is serious –– It has consequences that threaten liberty.”

Our system is based on a separation of powers, because liberty depends on preventing any component of the state from accumulating too much authority – that’s how tyrants are born. For the system to work, the components have to be able to check each other. The federal and state governments have to be able to check on each other.: The federal and state governments must respect their separate spheres, and the branches of the federal government must be able to rein in a branch that oversteps its authority.

The steady federal encroachment on state authority has created an imbalance that probably cannot be rolled back. I want to focus on the collapse of inter-branch checks in the federal government.

From Powerline :

Paul Mirengoff: “Doral, Here We Come”

“The next G-7 summit, which is due to be held in the U.S., will take place at Doral, the luxury resort Trump owns in Florida….
According to Mulvaney, Doral was added to the list of about a dozen facilities for consideration at Trump’s suggestion. The decision as to which facility on the list to select was made by a White House team after visiting and analyzing each facility.

Mulvaney said that Doral will host the G-7 at cost. In other words, Doral will make no profit off of the event. If the White House is true to its word, the participating nations, and presumably the media outlets that cover the conference, will save a fair amount of money.

Democrats and their media pals are blasting Trump for this decision. They have not demonstrated, however, that Doral will make money or that there was an available alternative facility that would have been as desirable as Doral in terms of accommodations, location, etc. … reporters complained that even if Doral does not make a profit, holding the G-7 there will enhance Trump’s “brand” or at least make it more visible. I doubt it. Trump’s brand is about as visible as it can get. The public’s view of the Trump brand – whether positive or negative –is surely fixed by now.



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.



Boycott, Ban, Confiscate, Report, Red Flags, … Just Do Something! by The Elephant's Child

Now it’s time to boycott the NRA, Ban Guns, Red Flags, all the usual fuss about “assault weapons” and go over all the same old, same old arguments once more.

The NRA is not an evil organization that favors killing people and white supremacy and all of the other current buzz words of this particularly ugly campaign season. It is an organization that defends our Constitutional right to bear arms. There are a lot of ordinary people out there who hunt deer, elk, pheasants and ducks and geese, and depend on filling their freezers with game for the winter. There are all sorts of apartment-living people who have never held a gun in their hands, think killing an animal or bird for food is deplorable, and that no one should be able to own a gun.

There is no such thing as an “assault weapon.” There are military weapons that are illegal for people not in the military. There are some ordinary rifles, jazzed up with fancy looking scopes to look more masculine, dangerous, and exciting, but they don’t really do anything different, they just look different. That’s what the people who get all excited about assault weapons have in mind. They go through a lot of pictures of current guns and pick out those that look “scary” and call them “assault weapons”.

It is quite clear that some mental aberration causes a shooter and a mass shooting. There is talk of “Red Flags” for someone who seems to be violent or disturbed. It is certainly true that in the aftermath of a mass shooting there often seems to be something that responsible people should have noticed, or should have acted upon. For example in the Parkland shooting, there were all sorts of Red Flags waving about the young man, about his behavior at school, about his homelife, but in every case they were ignored or excused, or just dismissed. That seems to be the case most times. There was something that should have been noticed, reported or acted upon— that wasn’t. Sometimes there have been real warnings, and the people in charge of safety just don’t take it seriously.

There’s always an outcry to ban all guns, more background checks, stop selling bullets, boycott anyone that sells guns, yet most guns used in crimes are purchased on the black market or stolen. What about all the Democrat-run cities where gun crime is rampant. The death toll from a weekend in Chicago can top the toll in a real mass shooting. But Gun bans don’t seem to work. Gun confiscation? I doubt most gun owners would turn in their guns. What about those rural folks who count on game to fill their freezers?

As always in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting, everybody wants answers right now. There are people and organizations studying the problems, and lots of bad answers. Video Games don’t cause mass homicides. Mass shooters are not male white supremacists. Hateful people are attracted to hateful ideologies. But most mass shooters don’t proclaim any ideology at all. Mental illness is very common. Lots of stereotypes, lots of misconceptions. Here’s a good article explaining a little of what we know and don’t know.

The wonderful Michael Ramirez cartoon at the top was so appropriate that I have saved it form another mass shooting at another time. We all wish we had solutions, but we don’t. Pay attention to warning signs. Try not to dismiss them casually. There are a lot of people searching the available evidence for clues to what to do. Remember that one of the biggest mass killings was accomplished not with a gun, but with a truck in Nice, France, on Bastille Day when 84 people were mowed down.



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.



The Latest News from the Sunshine State by The Elephant's Child



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