American Elephants


Explaining Capitalism Once Again. by The Elephant's Child

John Mackey, co-founder of Whole Foods, explains to Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie just why Intellectuals hate Capitalism. “Intellectuals have always disdained commerce” he says. “They have always sided…with the aristocrats to maintain a society were the business people were kind of kept down.” (This is a 2015 conversation, but good on capitalism)

I’ll just add Roger Kimball’s excellent take once again.

Here’s the bottom line: Capitalism is the greatest engine for the production of wealth the ingenuity of man has ever invented. Are you interested in helping the poor? Embrace capitalism. Do you want to help clean up the environment? Embrace capitalism. Are you interested in obliterating the scourge of malnutrition in some ghastly African disease, or illiteracy, embrace capitalism. The global poverty rate, Kevin reminds us, has been cut in half in the last 20 years. Think about that. Then think about that. Then think about the sorrowful history of our species up to about 1830. How much progress against widespread—really, near total—poverty had been there from the beginning of time until then—until, that is capitalism started to take off? Not much

Advertisements


A Helpful Guide to Leftspeak. Use it At Your Peril. by The Elephant's Child

The language of the left:

social justice: justice in terms of distribution of wealth. Opportunities and privileges within a society. The distribution of advantages and disadvantages in a society.

metaphysics: abstract theory or talk with no basis in reality. The branch of philosophy responsible for the study of existence. It is the foundation of a worldview that answers the question “What is?” It encompasses everything that exists, as well as the nature of existence itself. It says whether the world is real or merely an illusion.

xenophobe: One who is unduly fearful of what is foreign and especially of people of foreign origin—a person who fears or hates foreigners.

reactionary:
political views that favor a return to the status quo ante, the previous state of society which they believe possessed characteristics that are negatively absent from the status quo of society favoring extreme conservatism or rightism in politics, opposing political or social change, ultra-conservative in  politics.

empirical: based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or  experience rather than theory or pure logic.

historicism: a mode of thinking that assigns a major significance to a specific context such as  a historical period, geographical place and local culture. A theory, doctrine or style that emphasizes the importance of history as a theory in which history is seen as a standard of value or as a determinant of events.

critical theory: A philosophical approach to culture and especially to literature that seeks to confront the social, historical and ideological forces and structure that produce and constrain it. — a type of theory that aims to critique society, social structures and systems of power and to foster egalitarian social change.

positivism: a philosophical theory stating that positive knowledge is based on a natural phenomena and their properties and relations. Thus information derived from sensory experience interpreted through reason and logic forms the inclusive source of all authoritative knowledge.

metaphysics: The branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time and space.

The attainment of social or economic justice makes mere  philanthropy unnecessary. The pursuit of that objective renders philanthropy harmful. The alliance of experts and victims will progress toward its goals more slowly and with greater difficulty if amateurs, lobbyists and dilettantes are mucking about, trying to alleviate victims’ suffering. They don’t know what they’re doing, and should keep out of the way of people who do. Furthermore, caring for others by any other means than supporting, with votes and taxes, welfare state programs to enact and adequately fund those programs, postpones rather than hastens the realization of social justice.

There you go. You may now consider yourself among the enlightened.



We Are Living in “Interesting Times” by The Elephant's Child

Victor Davis Hanson, writing at American Greatness, talks about the Frenzy we seem to be passing through. A “Salem moment” like the Salem witch trials. “It moves from host to host, fueled by rumor, gossip and self-righteous furor.” That sounds about right.

For about six months, cable news shows, the internet, and the major newspapers ginned up the charge of “Russian collusion”—as a means of explaining the otherwise inexplicable and unacceptable defeat of Hillary Clinton by someone without either political or military experience.

Pundits and talking heads without evidence echoed each other with ever more preposterous charges. Voting machines supposedly had been rigged by a monstrous man who later had stooped to remove the Martin Luther King bust from the West Wing. We were also told that all good souls of the Electoral College clearly should have vitiated their constitutional duties and denied Trump the presidency.

We were lectured at the height of the collusion frenzy that Trump would be 1) impeached, 2) removed by the emoluments clause, 3) forced to resign under the 25th Amendment, or 4) simply quit in shame.

Do read the whole thing. It’s comforting in a way to see that someone else finds what’s been going on  truly nutty. Yes. It’s true. If you think back, you’ll remember other times when we seem to have slipped a cog.

For more on the unbelievable scale, here’s Tucker Carlson’s interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel, who has been doggedly following the twists and turns of the Fusion GPS strange tale.

You’ve probably heard the ancient Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times”. I think we’re there.



Alternative Math by The Elephant's Child

This delightful short film has the odd feeling that we’ve see this story before, that it is perhaps a little too close to today’s reality. Makes you slightly uncomfortable.

Stolen shamelessly from Maggie’s Farm  Do watch the whole thing, it’s not very long and worth every minute.



Here Is A Real Live Case of What Happens When Google Disagrees by The Elephant's Child

It is partly about Free Speech, which recent events in the country prove is a simple part of the First Amendment, and nobody seems to have read the First Amendment, nor do they understand it at all. Our college campuses sometimes have small spaces set aside as Free Speech Zones which demonstrates the lack of understanding.

Kids should understand that before they graduate from high school. College professors should understand it completely and be able to explain all sorts of examples, from Supreme Court cases to school hallway encounters. Not happening. This short video is an excellent example.



A Shooting at a Church in Texas by The Elephant's Child


Every time you think the Democrats can’t go any lower, you’re wrong. The talking points issued become very clear when they all use the same phrases and come up with the same dumb ideas. This time it was insulting all of those who offered thoughts and prayers for the devastated families, victims of a church shooter. “Doesn’t do a lot of good to offer “thoughts and prayers” when the shooting took place in a church where people were already praying, and how disgusting when they could be doing something like banning guns.” Slight variations in the statements,but that’s the gist.

The tragic shooting was not the result of guns. It was a result of the crazed, in this case, person who wielded the gun. Had he not had a gun, he might have used an axe, made a bomb, driven a large truck into the church or any one of hundreds of  other methods. There are all sorts of venues all over the world that have fallen for the Ban the Guns idea, and accomplished nothing whatsoever. Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and the highest murder rate.  In Britain the gun laws are very thorough, even the policemen don’t usually carry guns, and a fat lot of good that has done them. One would think that with the rise of mass killings accomplished by driving a very big truck into a crowd of pedestrians, the calls for “gun control” would diminish slightly, but evidence doesn’t seem to sink in either.

Examples of successful killings seem to inspire other copy-cat attempts. Or have you noticed that airplane hijackings seem to have dropped off the roll of evil events. When a major concert venue is attacked, soon there will be another. Now that Hollywood has erupted with major sex scandals, expect other venues, the UN, EU, and governmental bodies will soon have women speaking out. I guess if one person speaks out about the abuse they received, it’s easier for the next person to speak—and the more do, the easier it becomes. Imitation, or some strange kind of validation.

When there is a ugly scene where innocent people are gunned down, it’s completely natural for people to want to do something to prevent it happening again, to stop such killers. A significant percentage of the shooters seem to be clearly mentally disturbed, yet as a society we don’t really know what to do with that information.



Victor Davis Hanson “How Did the Universities Change So Badly” by The Elephant's Child

We’ve all watched the complete insanity going on in our Universities and wondered how did we get here? Why can’t the college administrators act like grown ups, and send these misbehaving kids home promptly? This one is brief, only 10 minutes.

At Mizzou, enrollment is way down, some dorms had to be closed, and at every other campus where riots and misbehavior took place without consequences, enrollment is down, donations are down, and new student enrollment is down. At Evergreen, George Bridges reportedly had to seek psychological counseling over the summer, and the professor who was attacked won a significant lawsuit. That would seem to be a sign that all is not well in higher education.

I’m not at all sure that they understand it even yet. Parents send their kids off to be educated, not indoctrinated — and at outrageously exorbitant cost.




%d bloggers like this: