American Elephants


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


Have You Heard About “The Equality Act”? by The Elephant's Child

diversity-header

“While Europeans are accustomed to being ruled by presumed betters whom they distrust, the American people’s realization of being ruled in the same way shocked this country into well-nigh revolutionary attitudes. But only the realization was new. The Ruling Class had sunk deep roots in America decades before 2008.

America’s disease is all the more deadly for being bipartisan. Republican and Democratic office-holders and their retinues share  similar presumption to dominate, and show fewer differences in tastes, habits, opinions, and sources of income among one another than between both and the rest of the country. They think, look, and act as a class, almost a caste.”…

That excerpt comes from Angelo M. Codevilla’s 2010 book The Ruling Class.

In that line of thought, I was interested to learn that last week, Democrats introduced the Equality Act, a measure that would ensure gender ideology – i.e., transgender bathrooms, forced preferred pronoun use, and biological men playing women’s sports, etc. – is cemented into federal law.

H.R. 5, which was introduced with 239 co-sponsors, states its purpose is to “prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and for other purposes.”

Prohibiting discrimination and promoting equality sound virtuous, but many serious opponents — including a coalition of conservatives, feminists, lesbians, and Christians — are warning Americans the Equality Act is dangerous legislation that will do anything but create equality. In fact, the measure would likely force American women throughout the country to relinquish their rights to privacy, safety, and the ability to compete in sports “equally.”

Monica Burke of the Heritage Foundation summed up the likely effects of the Equality Act with the observation at the Daily Signal that “it actually would promote inequality by elevating the ideologies of special-interest groups to the level of protected groups in civil rights law.”

Concurrently, it seems that British Police are investigating a Catholic mother after she used the “wrong pronoun” for a transgender person.  According to the Telegraph, Catholic journalist Caroline Farrow “allegedly used the wrong pronoun when referring to “transgender rights activist Susie Green’s “transgender daughter.” Green filed a complaint with the police. Farrow will face a recorded interview with police to determine whether she committed a “hate crime.” She is also being investigated for a possible hate crime under the malicious communication act, an offense that carries a maximum two-year prison sentence.”

So is this the ultimate denouement of the Democrat’s long, long effort to make the Republicans the “racist” party?  It was Southern Democrats who imported slaves from Africa. It was Southern Democrats who seceded from the union to protect their ‘peculiar institution,’ fought a long and bloody war to preserve slavery. Democrats have been twisting themselves into pretzels to find proof, that anyone would believe, that Donald Trump is a racist.

A ban on travel from a few Middle Eastern Countries that have supported terrorism, they tried to make into a general racist ban on people with slightly darker skin. They’ve tried to make the crisis of illegal immigration at our Southern border into something racist. Everything is now supposed to be about “Diversity” which supposedly means that every group of people must include the correct proportions of skin colors compared to their numbers in society. All group photographs must be correctly diversified. That is not working sufficiently to ease their fears that some blacks might move to the Republican Party. Harvard, for example, is now being sued by Asian students with outstanding SAT scores who are not accepted because it would mean that Harvard had too many Asian students and not the correct “diversity.”

Did you wonder why “white supremacy” has suddenly popped up as a bad thing? It possibly has something to do with Democrat’s fear that they may be losing some of their black voters. There are well known black Republicans. There is a “walk away” movement. Democrats consider themselves the real Ruling Class, and they must be in control. That’s why “white supremacy”, that’s why Trump must be a racist, that’s why opposing open borders must be racist, and why the Democrats introduced the Equality Act last week. If you don’t want to reach the point where you or I might be hauled off to be interrogated by the police for “misgendering” someone as having committed a hate crime, you might want to contact your congresspeople, or urge the President to get out his veto pen.



Where Are Those Caravans We Were Worried About? by The Elephant's Child

A few days ago there was an enormous caravan coming up on buses to the –Southern border with over 1,200 people from Honduras or Guatemala, and curiously they seem to have disappeared from the news entirely, or am I deluded? Not just “fake news” but absent news. There was more than one huge group, but Mexican cities were so anxious to get rid of them that they were arranging buses or trucks to help them on their way to the Texas border. So where are they?

President Trump held a rally in El Paso, a border town, and also the home town of “Beto” O’Rourke, failed senatorial candidate, who was holding an opposing rally at the same time. He is apparently still trying to decide if he is running for the presidency too. He seems to think that El Paso didn’t really want border walls and claimed Trump only wanted walls because he was a racist. Breitbart posted  a funny picture of O’Rourke speaking to supporters through  very tall fence. I’m not sure that Beto is ready for prime time.

There were news pictures of police cars lined up a few feet apart on the border, I presume to stop the thousand or so disappeared caravan people.
National Sheriff’s organizations appeared before Congress to demand more border security. The Democrats are offering less than half of what Trump asked for and what border patrol people are begging for. I have no idea if it is just refusal to give Trump anything as a win for him, or if they are just determined on open borders. One would think that MS-13 gangs, fentanyl and heroin, new diseases like Typhoid in LA, measles. mumps and many new cases of TB would be of interest to Democrats, but apparently not. Nor are the crimes committed by illegals. The new California governor, Gavin Newsum (?) seems to want open borders too. I don’t care about their race, or their language, I want them to care enough about coming to America that they want to do it legally. Countries have borders and laws. If you don’t obey them coming in, you are probably not going to become a useful citizen.




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