American Elephants


The Professed Future of the Left by The Elephant's Child

Back in September of 2014, The Heritage Foundation hosted a panel discussion on the future of the Left entitled simply “Liberalism in America.” These are my notes. 

William Vogeli – “The fundamental assumption of the Left is the innate goodness of each person. This assumption means that they are seeking to undermine the Constitution, which is based on a very different version of human nature. The Constitution puts the three branches of government against each other, so that each will keep the others in check. The Constitution expects selfish ambition, and by expecting ambition, it legitimizes it – which is precisely what the Left does not want to do. The Left wants to supply not  just “the defect of better motives” but just better motives. Liberals want to set up a system that allows our latent goodness to “flourish” and the checks of our constitutional system can be discarded in favor of technocratic, centralized disinterestedness that allows each individual to live an authentic life of his choosing.

Kevin Williamson – In order to achieve this goal of a soft liberated citizenry the left will have to dominate and control more of society – a tendency that is already in evidence.

Ben Domanech – characterized the Left as having become a “protection racket” seeking to protect interest groups: unions, minorities, single mothers, from perceived threats such as the free market. A free society will always have winners and losers – Absolute equality and absolute liberty will always stand in tension. All people and their choices are equal and should be treated as such. Undergirding this statement is a moral agnosticism that necessarily undermines a self-governing republic based on rights. Liberalism’s appeal is to equality and security.

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Who Are The Most Powerful People in Washington? by The Elephant's Child

Another great video from Praeger University. A look behind the scenes in Washington D.C. Congress has long passed off their administrative duties to the federal government bureaus. The administrative stuff takes time and effort away from trying to get reelected, and Congress has illegally passed their duties on to unaccountable bureaucrats, who have to come up with good ideas to earn their pay and demonstrate their value.

The result is millions of pages of unnecessary regulation that interfere with economic growth and prosperity. It’s much harder to get rid of unneeded regulations than it is to enact them.

Some federal agencies should be moved to the parts of the country that they are regulating. Why is the Agriculture Department in Washington D.C.? Why is it not in farm country, like Kansas?



Chicken Little in Full Cry: “The Sky is Falling, the Sky is Falling” by The Elephant's Child

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In a press release, the World Meteorological Organization said:

The long-term warming trend has continued in 2018, with the average global temperature set to be the fourth highest on record. The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, with the top four in the past four years.’

The BBC and others picked up on that and said:

Climate change” Last four years are the ‘world’s hottest”

And the Guardian:

“Past four years hottest on record, data shows.”

 

As you can see a graph tells a very different story. The past decade has a climate change contribution but what elevates the past four years above the previous ones is an El Nino event, the strongest one on record. As we have said many time before an El Nino is not a climatic phenomenon, it is weather. What’s more, after its peak in 2016 the global temperature has fallen by around 0.4° C. The past four years being the warmest on record is true, but it has been primarily due to the 2015/16 super El Nino.

Warmest on record? Not exactly, the WMO got weather and climate mixed up. For the full commentary, go here.

It is fascinating that in the information age, when we supposedly have access to anything and everything in the way of information, it is so hard to figure out just what the truth is.  What is not politicized, seems to be printed in sheer ignorance.  Politics trumps Truth every time. We should make a little more noise about facts and truth. Google employees apparently wanted to ban any Conservative commentary, yet are happy to connive with the Chinese government in suppressing the freedom of China’s citizens to complete control. Apparently those who have spent their lives so far learning technology issues, have neglected to learn any history, or read the Constitution, or learn the nature of the free enterprise system.



The Founding Fathers Explain Conservatism by The Elephant's Child

First published in January of 2008.  Seems like we need reminding now and
then
.The Founding Fathers

The brilliant Mark Levin laid out the bedrock principles of conservatism using the founders’ own words. It is no coincidence that they are the exact same principles our nation was built upon. These are the exact same principles that made America great, they are the exact same principles that liberty depends upon, and they are the exact same principles that liberalism seeks to destroy:

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”
~ Thomas Jefferson
“Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare but only those specifically enumerated.”
~ Thomas Jefferson
“[T]he powers of the federal government are enumerated; it can only operate in certain cases; it has legislative powers on defined and limited objects, beyond which it cannot extend its jurisdiction.”
~ James Madison
“…[T]he government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”
~ James Madison
“…the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.”
~ Thomas Jefferson
“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”
~ Benjamin Franklin
“No nation was ever ruined by trade, even seemingly the most disadvantageous.”
~ Benjamin Franklin
“Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.”
~ Thomas Jefferson
“Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.”
~ Thomas Paine
“They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
~ Benjamin Franklin
“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.”
~ Thomas Paine
“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”
~ John Adams
“To be prepared for war, is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”
~ George Washington
“One single object. . . [will merit] the endless gratitude of the society: that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation.”
~ Thomas Jefferson
“Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
~ John Adams
“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”
~ Thomas Jefferson
” I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.”
~ Benjamin Franklin
“The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.”
~ Thomas Jefferson
“[The purpose of a written constitution is] to bind up the several branches of government by certain laws, which, when they transgress, their acts shall become nullities; to render unnecessary an appeal to the people, or in other words a rebellion, on every infraction of their rights, on the peril that their acquiescence shall be construed into an intention to surrender those rights.”
~ Thomas Jefferson


An Evening With Tucker Carlson by The Elephant's Child

The Independent Institute presented An Evening With Tucker Carlson, in Alameda, California, on October 16th. It is an interesting companion piece to the panel discussion at the Heritage Foundation on “Identity Politics” below.

Conservatives seem to recognize that something is truly out-of- whack with the Democrats who seem to have gone rather rudely balmy. Or, more accurately, refer to the quotation from Thomas Sowell just below.

Here Tucker isn’t trying to make sense of what some balmy liberal has to say, but simply being himself and explaining how a “ruling class” is bringing America to the brink of a civil war. If you enjoy Tucker, you will really enjoy this.



DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Explains the Border Crisis by The Elephant's Child

Kirsten Nielsen DHS

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen posted the following on DHS’s Facebook page “regarding the recent crisis on our southern border:”

Given the activities of the last 24 hours at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, I want to provide an update on what occurred and attempt to dispel many of the rumors and much of the misinformation circulating.

First, the violence we saw at the border was entirely predictable. This caravan, unlike previous caravans, had already entered #Mexico violently and attacked border police in two other countries. I refuse to believe that anyone honestly maintains that attacking law enforcement with rocks and projectiles is acceptable. It is shocking that I have to explain this, but officers can be seriously or fatally injured in such attacks. Self-defense isn’t debatable for most law-abiding Americans.

Second, the caravan is far larger and more organized than previous ones. There are 8,500 caravan members in Tijuana and Mexicali. There are reports of additional caravans on their way.

Third, the overwhelming majority of these individuals are not eligible for asylum in the United States under our laws. Historically, less than 10% of those who claim asylum from #Guatemala, #Honduras, and #ElSalvador are found eligible by a federal judge. 90% are not eligible. Most of these migrants are seeking jobs or to join family who are already in the U.S. They have all refused multiple opportunities to seek protection in Mexico or with the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Seeking employment or family reunification are not grounds for asylum under our laws, or any international obligation. There are, however, legal ways to seek a job or to be reunited in the U.S.

Fourth, the caravan members are predominately male. It appears in some cases that the limited number of women and children in the caravan are being used by the organizers as “human shields” when they confront law enforcement. They are being put at risk by the caravan organizers as we saw at the Mexico-Guatemala border. This is putting vulnerable people in harms way.

Fifth, we cannot confirm the backgrounds and identities of all caravan members which possess a national security and public safety risk to our country. However, at this point we have confirmed that there are over 600 convicted criminals traveling with the caravan flow. This includes individuals known to law enforcement for assault, battery, drug crimes, burglary, rape, child abuse and more. This is serious. Additionally, Mexico has already arrested 100 caravan members for criminal violations in Mexico.

Sixth, our Border Patrol agents and officers responded admirably and responsibly to the events on Sunday. It is a testament to their training and professionalism that no one was injured. The accepted use of nonlethal force (also used by the Obama Administration in 2013) prevented further injury to agents and a mass illegal rush across the border. We will not shy away from protecting our people. I ask parents to avoid violent caravan groups and refrain from attempts to illegally enter our country – these acts will put your children in danger.

Seventh, I want to thank President Donald J. Trump again for the decision to send @DeptofDefense to the border to bolster our ports of entry and provide force protection for Customs and Border Protection. This decision likely prevented injuries to personnel and migrants or additional damage to property. Instead of “a political stunt,” as suggested by some, this was in fact the act of a leader concerned about the rule of law.

Eighth, this Administration has been working nonstop to fix our immigration system to address the crisis at the border. We have proposed legislation and asked Congress to pass it. The President has repeatedly made clear what is needed to secure our border and negotiated in good faith. It is time for Congress to do its job. Absent Congressional action courts have misinterpreted existing laws and have made the job of law enforcement far more difficult. But the men and women of DHS will continue to do all we can to enforce the law and DHS and U.S. Department of State will continue negotiations with Mexico and our other partners in the region. We are optimistic that cross border collaboration can help make America, indeed the entire region, more secure.

Finally, this Administration warned about the danger of the caravan. We predicted the violence we saw on Sunday. We prepared to address it with additional personnel and DOD deployments. We will continue to prepare for the next assault while looking for lasting solutions with Congress and our Mexican partners. As always, I want to thank those officers and agents in San Ysidro who, under tremendous strain, used professionalism and restraint to ensure that no one was injured as they were attacked themselves. I also thank DOD and our state & local law enforcement who were on scene to support our people.



How Do You Solve A Problem Like Human Nature? by The Elephant's Child

There are faint signs that perhaps the tensions involved over the debate about “globalism” and “national sovereignty” may be clearing a bit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that European Union (EU) member states must be prepared to transfer their powers over to Brussels at such a debate.

“In an orderly fashion, of course” Merkel said, as she explained that Germany had given up some of its sovereignty in order to join the EU, but national parliaments were in charge of deciding whether or not sign on to international treaties.

The CDU (Christian Democratic Union) leader said that trust and the willingness to compromise are essential in discussing the controversial UN migration pact, which the debate has continued to divide her own party.

Some important allies are pulling out of the agreement – Australia has left saying they will not risk their ‘hard won’ success in controlling their own borders. Trump has said no, and others are trying to figure out where they stand.

Chancellor Merkel accused critics of the Global Compact for Safe and Orderly Migration of “advocating ‘nationalism’ in its purest form.” She paraphrased her French counterpart Emmanuel Macron who recently claimed that “patriotism is the exact opposite because nationalism is treason.” Europe must surrender national sovereignty she said, to Brussels over “foreign affairs, migration, and development, as well as an increasing part of our budgets and even fiscal resources.” She also called for the creation of a real, true EU army and she stated that only through globalism can the world see peace.

This is an old, old argument — even on the original Thanksgiving we celebrate — can’t we all just get along? Well, no we can’t. It is now and always has been a pipe dream. And on throughout world history. The first humans probably started dispersing because they couldn’t get along together and were fighting about the kill that Roku dragged home for dinner, or who was going to get the choice piece of meat. You probably noticed in all the talk about happy family get-togethers for Thanksgiving dinner, there was also a lot of talk about how to deal with Uncle Harry who was a far Left Trump hater, or Uncle Ralph who was a bigoted Conservative.

The concept of a perfect society, or utopia, is as old as humanity. That is really the origin of communism and socialism and Nazism. They believed they were creating the perfect system. Here in America the Utopian Movement gained traction in 19th century America when thousands of people formed communities hoping to improve on existing society. The heyday was between 1820 and 1860. One of the remaining groups from that period is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or the Mormon Church, founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith. There was also the Oneida Community in upstate New York, the Shaker Movement, Brook Farm, a utopian community in Massachusetts.

We have had a lot of movements for “world peace.” There was the “war to end all wars” followed by the League of Nations”, followed by the rise of socialism with Mussolini and Hitler and World War II and the United Nations and the Cold War and another bunch of wars and Angela Merkel ought to be aware that the odds are quite definitely not in her favor.

In the present, Europe is suffering from Merkel’s invitation to all the unhappy people from the Middle East and Africa to migrate to Europe in the mistaken idea that Europe’s problem of declining birthrates and lack of young people to do the scut work and boring jobs would be solved by migration. Instead they got an invasion of Moslems whose religion demanded that those who did not submit to Allah should be killed. The migrants were welcomed all over Europe with gifts of food and clothing, flowers and song. The migrants were happy to accept the gifts, complained bitterly about the accommodations provided, and wanted to be supported by European generosity. They have instead proved willing to burn cars, rape any available women and girls, and engage in occasional shootings, and their communities have become dangerous ‘no-go’ districts. Merkel has just still not given up on her ideas of utopia.

In spite of all the Never-Trumpers, the deranged ‘celebrities’ in a constant search for the nearest microphone, and the newest “Democratic-Socialists”, plain old free-market capitalism in a constitutional republic seems to work better than anything else. The news of the day is not usually about how peaceful and happy the nations of the world are, but about their quarrels. Quarreling remains human nature, and we seem to be stuck with it.




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