American Elephants


A Query About the “Deep State.” Do These Public Servants Recognize the “Servant” Part of the Designation? by The Elephant's Child

It is becoming increasingly clear that the “Deep State” has some significant problems. Career Civil Servants seem to frequently forget the “servant” part. Kimberly Strassel of the Opinion Page in the Wall Street Journal takes it on:

The “deep state”—if we are to use the term—is better defined as consisting of career civil servants, who have growing power in the administrative state but work in the shadows. As government grows, so do the challenges of supervising a bureaucracy swelling in both size and power. Emboldened by employment rules that make it all but impossible to fire career employees, this internal civil “resistance” has proved willing to take ever more outrageous actions against the president and his policies, using the tools of both traditional and social media.

So are they a problem? Do they understand that they work for us, not for what they think would be good? Highly paid, a “swelling bureaucracy.” Interesting essay, do read the whole thing. Are they our public servants or do they have more elaborate self images?



What We Have Been Reading Today by The Elephant's Child

Here’s What We’ve Been Reading Today:

From William Voegeli, at Law & Liberty: “Do Americans Want to Be Involved in Local Governance?” He analyzes the choices offered to him on the most recent ballot, and the problems involved in keeping up and keeping well informed.

From The Babylon Bee, the satirical website that mostly makes more sense than the real world. “All Democrats Drop Out of Presidential Race Since The World is Ending from Climate Change and There’s No Point

From Breitbart : Watch Live–One Year Later; Leftists March on Scotus to Impeach Kavanaugh It’s quite clear, they never thought he was guilty of abusing women, Since he is a Conservative, they feared he might vote against their abortion rights, and thought impeaching him the only way to get him out of there.

Also from Breitbart, “While Democrats Pursue Impeachment, President Trump Builds Impressive Record of Accomplishments.”

From American Thinker, Nancy in the swamp of despond.”

From the New York Post: “Sorry, Dems: It’s OK to ask for foreign help in a criminal justice investigations

From National Review: “What We Love About America: An Introduction



Defining Reality, Or Explaining What is Really Going On by The Elephant's Child

Clearly it is time to explain what is really going on. One gains enormous wisdom by staring at the blank walls of a very fine hospital. So somewhere between a second civil war and an impeached president, or the election (this time) of good old Hillary, there must be, somewhere, some clarity. Elections are always contentious, but this is ridiculous.

We are in a battle over defining reality. To quote Daniel J. Boorstin, the late Librarian of Congress and notable historian at the University of Chicago, in The Americans: the Colonial Experience:

We have too long been told that a “unified” scheme of knowledge is required to give meaning and unity to society; that men have a greater sense of sharing values and of working to a common end if they are united by a grand overarching system of thought; that somehow an articulate and systematic philosophy is likely to provide such a system of shared meaning. The stock example is, of course, the Middle Ages when such theologians as Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus constructed monuments of speculative philosophy. that has become an unexamined commonplace that a more unified philosophy will produce a more unified society, that ours  would be a better and more meaningful  world if we in America possessed such systematic and “unifying” thought.

But is this really true? It may have seemed so in earlier societies where the frame of meaning was supposed to be accessible only to a priestly or ruling class. Could it remain so in a modern literate society where most people would be expected to understand the purposes of the community? One cannot unify such a society by mere concepts, however refined and subtle, however vivid to a few philosophers or theologians. “The attempt to bridge the chasm between multiplicity and unity is the oldest  problem of philosophy, religion, and science.”

You may have noticed that “the ruling class” is not in particularly good grace at present, a problem rather than a solution. They are unaware of their predicament, are unwilling to give up the slightest bit of their cherished power.

Those who supposedly report on the society and the people and the ruling class assume that, instead of accuracy, their task is to get attention by featuring what celebrities or politicians may have to say, not because it might be of interest, but because the celebrity or politician might have a bit of click bait interest to promote the career of the reporter. Their interest is not in attempting to describe reality, but what, instead, might be sensationalized. They’re not on our side either. Which President Trump grumbles about as “fake news”. Which in turn infuriates the press, because they differently define their assigned task.

It’s only human nature to wish to advance one’s self, to look for what is readily available rather than work hard, but there you are. The current debates and argument is over the nature of reality, which is up in the air, struggling to be properly defined.



How Interested Are You In The Climate? by The Elephant's Child

I know that many of you are interested in matters climate, but I don’t know just how interested. If you are willing to do some reading, go to
http://www.sepp.org/the-week-that-was.cfm

There are all sorts of interesting articles, particularly those relating to the NIPCC, (the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change) in contrast to the U.N’s IPCC.

This organization began with an informal meeting in Milan, Italy in 2003. by Fred S. Singer PhD and SEPP to propose independent evaluation. They said Our sole goal in presenting this information is to enable fellow scientists, elected officials, educators, and the general public to make up their own minds about what the science says, to understand climate change rather than simply believe in it.

7 chapters begin with list of key findings that contradict those of the IPCC. Findings are discussed in detail, using in depth reviews and analysis of thousands of scientific papers.

Climatology as a field is young, and new discoveries are being made seemingly every day that reveal how little we know about how the climate works. An expert in one field may not understand or follow the latest developments in another field and depend on an organization like the IPCC to report accurately and truthfully on the overall picture of the human impact on climate. One important finding from our work is that the IPCC has abused that trust and misled countless scientists and policy makers.

That’s from “the-week-that-was”. Tantalizing, isn’t it?

You can sign up to receive their weekly newsletter on a weekend. I always enjoy it, although I’m not a scientist, but an English major who likes to read.

Kinda puts AOC and her pronouncements about approaching doom and “the Green New Deal” in proper perspective, as well as a few presidential wannabes.



Al Gore Is Back, Trying to Get You To Eat Fake Meat! by The Elephant's Child

Did you wonder why the climate panic people are trying to turn you into vegetarians? Why they are trying to deprive you of hamburgers, sirloin steaks and prime rib roast? Why the attack on beef cattle?

I can’t answer for the climate panic people, who may all already be vegetarians, but one advocate of climate policies that limit the amount of meat one may consume is an old familiar face. Al Gore is hoping to become a fake meat billionaire by advocating policies that limit meat while his firm invests $200 million in meat substitutes. He is the largest investor so far in “Beyond Meat”, a meat substitute manufacturer.

Al Gore’s climate movie made him a millionaire with which he quickly bought a waterfront home in California, which put the lie to claims of the ocean rising. Now he is hoping to arouse enthusiasm for “fake meat” as a way to be a stalwart in fighting climate catastrophe by giving up your consumption of real meat in favor of “fake meat” and saving the planet.

The largest investor in Beyond Meat is Kleiner Perkins, where Al Gore is a partner and advisor. Beyond Meat is a Los Angeles-based producer of plant based meat substitutes. The company went public in May and only weeks later had more than quadrupled in value. Should governments be persuaded to restrict real meat consumption and force consumers to go for the dubious substitutes, Al Gore might just become a billionaire.

Fortunately, the slightly increased amounts of CO² in the atmosphere are
greening the earth. Carbon dioxide is a natural fertilizer for plants, and forests are greener and grasslands are more vibrant. and the hungry people of the globe are finding food more available as crops are abundant.


Are We All Just Getting Dumber? Or More Informed? by The Elephant's Child

The University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center in an annual survey found that one in every five Americans cannot name a single branch of the government.

The center released its annual Annenberg Constitution Day Civics Survey on Thursday, and found that about 2 in 5 American adults accurately named the three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial.

  • 39 percent named all three branches
  • 14 percent named two branches
  • 25 percent named one branch
  • 22 percent couldn’t name any branch
  • 1 percent refused to answer

The center notes that the percentage of people who could name all three branches “is the highest in five years, statistically the same as the prior high of 38 percent in 2013 and 2011 and a substantial increase over last year, when 32 percent could do the same.”

According to the center, the survey also found that people who took civics classes in high school, or were regular consumers of news, were more likely to know the answers to the survey questions.

That’s fairly startling, if accurate. National Review noted that the Democrats on stage for their debate Thursday night demonstrated that they are not qualified to hold forth on immigration policy because they have no idea what our immigration policy is. Joe Biden announced proudly that “we didn’t put children in cages” though all the pictures of children in cages come from the Obama administration. Andrew Yang announced that he would return immigration to the level it was during the Obama administration, which is exactly where it is right now. But one should know what the annual level of immigration is within a couple of hundred thousand, and whether it has gone up or down. These are people who supposedly want to be President.

In the past few weeks, Democrats have focused on the chance of a recession (hopefully), but steered clear of any mention of the current economy. You have probably read enough to know why they have.

I suspect that as a society, we are getting dumber. We get our news by surfing through the internet, reading a headline here and there, reading a few words of an article and deciding it’s too long, or not interesting enough, and moving on the the next bright object, as it were. And then we think of ourselves as well informed citizens, but are we actually? Is the nature of the Internet making us shallower and less informed? Scary thought, but plausible.

August reports from the Commerce Department and BLS show excellent economic results that continue to exceed MSM expectations.  Retail sales climbed by 0.4 percent twice what analysts had predicted, and highlight retail sales strength year over year. Employment up for everyone. Need for food stamps dying. Unemployment for all in very low numbers.



Here’s Thomas Sowell With a Few Well Chosen Words on Climate Change. by The Elephant's Child

This is an “oldie but goodie”. One can always count on Dr. Thomas Sowell to make sense. I wish it were a characteristic more widely available. We could surely use more of it around in these perilous days.




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