American Elephants


Sometime it’s What You Don’t Know That Really Hurts! by The Elephant's Child

shockedbaldeagleA splendid essay by Angelo Codevilla in the Fall Claremont Review of Books on “The Rise of Political Correctness” points out that :

Every form of progressivism bases itself on the claim of a special “scientific,” knowledge of what is wrong with humanity and how to fix it. The formula is straightforward: the world is not as it should be because society’s basic “structural” feature is ordered badly. Everything else is “superstructure” meaning that it merely reflects society’s fundamental feature “For Marx and his followers that feature is conflict over the means of production in “present day society.” From the dawn of time, this class warfare has led to “contradictions”: between types of work, town and country, oppressors or oppressed, and so on. The proletariat’s victory in that conflict will establish a new reality by crushing all contradictions out of existence. Other branches of progressivism point to a different structural problem. For Freudians it’s sexual maladjustment, for followers of Rousseau it’s social constraint, for positivists it is the insufficient application of scientific method, for others it is oppression of one race by another. Once control of society passes exclusively into the hands of the proper set of progressives, each sect’s contradictions must disappear as the basic structural program is straightened out.

At the Democrat convention before Obama won his first election, Michelle Obama spoke of her husband’s speech about how “the world as it is just won’t do” and “the world as it should be,”and how much that inspired her.

The Left just doesn’t like the world as it is, and it doesn’t like human nature—which they believe must be “fixed.” This is a remarkable idea, for human nature is by definition not “fixable”. Human nature refers to the general psychological characteristics, feelings and behavioral traits of humankind regarded as shared by all humans. What the Left really means—is “fixing”     those who have the nerve to disagree. You have probably noticed the absurd response to the election of Donald Trump instead of Hillary.

At our colleges and universities, there is a drive to “fix” history, by removing statues, changing names of buildings or programs, hiding the real history so no one will be offended by people living a couple of hundred years ago who owned slaves, or thought slavery was normal, without any understanding whatsoever that history is what happened. We have not yet managed to invent time travel. and you cannot change the past. In an era when the meaning of words is changed, people can change their gender to however they identify at the moment, religion becomes an enemy to be eliminated rather than a solace. Family is an outdated form, one’s personal plumbing and where to use it is merely a matter of preference rather than a rule or a custom.

The Left is wants a world where everybody is equal, and to move towards that goal they believe that you must tax those who are rich or have too much and give to those who do not have enough. That is their vision of economics. You will notice that how new money is  created doesn’t seem to be in the mix. When they are fully in control of the reins of government, they believe that new ideas will come from those enlightened people in government. Oddly, they are deeply opposed to businessmen (or businesswomen) as oppressors of the workers, and insist on issuing more and more regulations to control the actions of business. They don’t like the free market, and don’t grasp the idea of the wisdom of the people and their free transactions in a free market as a source of innovation, wealth, and new ideas. They despise CEOs of large corporations. Those who serve in a proper Leftist government are the enlightened who control and regulate the rest.

They simply cannot comprehend that an increase in the minimum wage for beginning workers is an unemployment program for the least accomplished or rawest beginners. If you explain that McDonalds has announced their plan to install self serve kiosks across the country, they are indignant that a business would do such a thing. They cannot understand that lowering or removing corporate taxes is good for the economy because corporations don’t pay taxes. Taxes are simply a cost of doing business for a corporation, and it is the customers (you and me) who pay for it. When you don’t understand the basic rules of economics, you keep messing up, and the citizens are the ones who get hurt. What if it turns out that Trump is a good president? What will the Left do then?



Donald Trump’s New Social Contract and Industrial Policy by The Elephant's Child

Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, stands for a photograph after a Bloomberg Television interview at his campaign headquarters in Trump Tower in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. According to Trump, Janet Yellen's decision to delay hiking interest rates is motivated by politics. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images *** Local Capton *** Donald Trump

Editor in chief of American Thinker Thomas Lifson has two important articles today, explaining Donald Trump’s Carrier deal. There has been much angst about the jobs saved at Carrier in the wake of tax incentives from the State of Indiana, because there are still a significant number of jobs going to Mexico. We misunderstand what Trump is doing, Lifson says, and explains what the President-elect has in mind. Do read both pieces, they really are important. What Trump intends:

He has announced that, reigning globalist economic theory to the contrary notwithstanding, the United States must maintain a manufacturing sector. The shift of manufacturing to low wage countries is not a law of nature, not an inevitability, and not a path that America will take in the future. We cannot abandon the regions of our country that have devoted themselves to manufacturing.  He has not mentioned the national security dimension of such a policy, but it is obvious to all but a few theorists that you cannot maintain a strong nation if you depend on others to do your manufacturing.

The combination of information technology, robotics, new materials, and many other advances (including management advances such as lean manufacturing and continuous improvement organizational disciplines) has squeezed low value labor out of manufacturing.  Global companies that locate within their most important market are able to create serious competitive advantages over companies assembling products in low wage companies through flexibility and rapid response time.

The second of the two companion pieces is “The Key to Trump’s Carrier deal: Next-generation manufacturing.” Do read both articles. There is a lot of important insight here.

Progressives are confident of their own knowledge and expertise, and feel completely confident in their ability to issue rules and regulations (backed up with enormous penalties to make sure you understand their importance) so that you will run your business in a way that the progressives find more agreeable. When I was looking for a new car last year, I learned the extent to which automobile design and performance has been changed and controlled by the EPA’s fuel efficiency standards. More aluminum, more substitution of light things for heavy things. One dealer said the outside mirrors would go soon because of that. Some have said that higher highway fatalities are probably due to the Fuel efficiency standards.

The addition of ethanol to gasoline, deadly for small engines like lawn mowers and appliances, has been shown to accomplish nothing in the prevention of greenhouse gases, and was a deal with the corn lobby to get enough votes to pass the 1990 Clean Air Act. Useless, but a highly expensive boondoggle that affected far more things than the amount of CO2 in car exhaust.

The federal demand to show calorie numbers for fast food on signs and menus has been shown to be completely ineffective because people don’t care. They know fast food is more caloric than an ordinary meal, but they want it because it’s fast and tasty. For the industry, the costs are enormous, but federal regulators are not interested in that. Ditto the drive for a $15 minimum wage, which is simply an unemployment program for the beginning or unskilled worker. McDonalds is already committed to a nationwide program of installing computer kiosks to replace workers.

The EPA is probably the biggest offender. Their ideas about what is environmentally friendly are weak on science and heavy on agency power and control. It’s an agency of zealots, and should be abolished. That may not happen, but their power will be cut back. Myron Ebell will be a terrific advisor on the EPA and it’s overreach.



Here’s the Incoming Cabinet So Far by The Elephant's Child

Feb. 2, 2010

Courtesy of Jim Geraghty at National Review, here’s a list of the incoming cabinet so far: It’s a pretty impressive group!

Attorney General: Senator Jeff Sessions.

Secretary of Defense: General James Mattis

Secretary of Health and Human Services: Representative Tom Price

Secretary of Transportation: Former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao

Secretary of Education: Philanthropist Betsy DeVos

Treasury Secretary: Banker Steven Mnunchin

Secretary of Commerce: Financier Wilbur Ross

Deputy secretary of Commerce: Todd Rickets, co-owner of Chicago Cubs

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Dr. Ben Carson

Ambassador to the United Nations: Governor Nikki Haley

White House Chief of Staff: House RNC Chairman Reince Priebus

National Security Advisor: Former Defense Intelligence Agency director Michal Flynn

Deputy National Security Advisor: K.T. McFarland. Fox News Analyst who served in the Reagan Administration.

Department of Homeland Security: Marine General John Kelly (Ret) Former head of Southern Command, with special concern for Mexican border, and Gitmo.

CIA Director: Representative Mike Pompeo.

EPA Director: Oklahoma Attorney General, Republican Scott Pruitt

Administrator Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Indiana health-policy consultant Seema Verma

White House counsel: Donald McGahn partner at Jones Day who served as campaign counsel.McGahn is a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission.

Marine General James Mattis will need a waiver from Congress, as he has only been retired for three years, and the law specifies military officers must be retired for seven years. General George Marshall required such a waiver, which was promptly given, as will be the waiver for General Mattis.

Senator Kirsten Gillebrand, who replaced Hillary in the Senate, and reportedly has presidential ambitions, says she will oppose General Mattis’ appointment. I guess she will take advantage of any opportunity to get attention. You’ve probably noticed that Democrats are really having a hard time accepting the new reality.



Facts Have a Way of Coming Out, In Spite of the Media. by The Elephant's Child

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Of the 112 “protesters” arrested in Portland riots, 69 of them could not be found to have turned in a ballot, nor were registered to vote in Oregon. Interesting details largely unmentioned by the media.

Some Leftist remarked “Why can’t we run someone who’s beloved?”

 



“It’s a Republic If You Can Keep It” by The Elephant's Child

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elephant-sized-770x415xtThe pollsters and ballot analysts have a lot to answer for. To accomplish their ends, they separate the American people into a wide variety of pigeonholes—the working class, college-educated women, the rich, illegal immigrants, felons, residents of the inner-cities, millennials, aging baby-boomers. As if separating people into groups tells you, not just how people will vote, but who they are and what their issues are. Because those labels are broadcast over and over, there is the assumption that some important knowledge about the people has been portrayed. Not so.

People are individuals, and human nature doesn’t fit nicely into slots. The Left’s constant drive is for “diversity”which is their bow to people of different races. The Media latches on to convenient tags, without giving much thought to whether or not the tags actually fit anything. Human beings are tribal, it’s how we are made. We form little tribes of those who share the same interests and ideas, and we may belong to several distinct and different tribes. The Left rejects that idea, and wants to realign us into groups and neighborhoods that conform more closely to their ideas of what is proper. Colleges put in all sorts of affirmative action programs, try to reorganize people into more correct groups, and then cannot understand why all the black students sit at the same table in the student union.  It is not, by the way, racism.

The Left always claims that Republicans collectively and individually are “Racist.”Anyone with the slightest smattering of history knows this to be absurd, but apparently far too many Americans have little historic knowledge.

College educated women were going for Hillary in a big way, we were told. I’m a college educated woman, and I certainly felt no compulsion to vote for Hillary Clinton, nor did any of my friends who are also college educated women. We’re pretty well informed as to what Hillary has been up to for the past 30 years, and reject her categorically as being unqualified for the job.

There’s a big difference between being anti illegal immigration, and being anti-immigration. We welcome immigrants but want them to apply and get in line. It’s hardly fair for those who have applied and have been on the waiting list for years, when the president forbids the Border Patrol from preventing anyone from crossing the border, and invites state officials to register them to vote.

Why should anyone be angry? Isn’t the jobs report improving all the time? 14.8 million  private sector jobs have been created since February 2010.  Obama brags about that. But the population grew by 16.4 million. Labor force participation ticked upward at 62.7%, but when the recession ended in June 2009 — 65.7 % of the adult population was in the labor force. Some improvement!

There are 94,539 people not in the labor force as of October 2016,who have looked for a job in the past 12 months, but have more or less given up.

Here’s a study from last year. Employees of the federal government earn far more than their counterparts in the private sector, according to a study by the Cato Institute.

The study found that federal government workers earned an average of $84,153 in 2014 compared to the private sector’s average of $56, 350. Cato based its findings on figures from the U  S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. (BEA)

But when adding in benefits pay for federal workers, the difference becomes more dramatic. Federal employees made $119,934 in total compensation last year, while private sector workers earned $67,246, a difference of over $52,000, or 78 percent.

Add to that a link to a program from UC San Diego that is a guide to U.S. Government Acronyms and Abbreviations. Click on a letter, any letter. Yes, that is how bloated our federal government has become. Not quite what the founders envisioned.

There is talk of bigotry, nationalism, globalism, misogyny, and populism among other epithets flung around. But they are missing the point entirely. I may have voted against Hillary. Others voted against political correctness, many more at the eight-year long recession that just never seemed to recover. The labels don’t even begin to cover it. The media too often forgets that the convenient labels they find so useful in meeting a deadline— sway opinion, damage real people with real concerns. We are real people out here. The newly elected president is an ordinary flawed human being, as is the current president. They will make mistakes, they always do.

It remains a Republic, if we can keep it.



Peter Thiel Spoke Today to the National Press Club by The Elephant's Child

Billionaire venture capitalist and entrepreneur Peter Thiel has rocked Silicon Valley with his support for Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump. Thiel will discuss that political endorsement and the 2016 election at a National Press Club speakers newsmaker event on Monday Oct. 31.

Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and Palantir Technologies Inc., endorsed Trump at the Republican National Convention in July and pledged a $1.25 million campaign donation in support of the candidate.



The American People Have Plenty of Plain Old Common Sense by The Elephant's Child

freedom-postDavid Horowitz again from The Art of Political War:

The Republican Party claims to be the party of personal responsibility yet it has become a party; that takes no responsibility for the predicaments it finds itself in. Instead, Republicans blame bias in the media or the liar in the White House, or their unprincipled opponents, or even the immorality of the American people to explain their defects.

The greatest political deficiency of the Republican Party today is lack of respect for the common sense of the American people. “Respect” in this context does not mean following polls or focus groups or putting one’s finger slavishly in the winds. It means that what is right politically (whether a constitutional framework and consistent with deeply held principles) produces electoral majorities.

Liberals also fail to understand this. But they were fortunate to have in Bill Clinton a leader who did, who disregarded their advice, and who used his power as the head of their party to force them to pay heed to the voice of the people. The reason Bill Clinton survived his impeachment, riding high in the polls, is that he understood what the electorate wanted and gave it to them (or at least made them think that he had).




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