American Elephants


Politics Does Not Belong in the Workplace. by The Elephant's Child

Just saw, online, another of those annoying claims that profess to know every public figure’s IQ. They do not. They claim to know the IQ of Presidents going way back, which they do not. The IQ test was not devised until 1904. They’re making it up.

NBC claims that Google has blacklisted Zero Hedge and the Federalist. Google says not so. My immediate response is that the Big Tech companies are too new to the American Business community to grasp that it is unwise for corporations and smaller businesses to publicly profess political leanings.

The other party may well be in control of the government, and be annoyed. Companies of any size have lots of employees, who, despite resident loudmouths, probably vote quite differently. Yes, I know, it’s tempting, if unwise, to assume that everyone thinks the same way as you do, because it’s so obviously the “right way.” Do read the Constitution again, including the Bill of Rights, and remember that the first thing a Socialist government would do is to remove all those silly protections.

Yes, I know that Socialism promises to make everybody equal. That’s bunk. Those who assume that Socialism is a good thing need to look a little closer at socialist governments, beginning with Venezuela and Cuba. Those pushing for Socialism are not pushing for equality, but simply pushing to be in charge.  They want to run things.

Keep politics out of the Workplace, and protect workers’ personal freedom.



Is Communism Once Again Rearing Its Ugly Head? by The Elephant's Child

The current bunch of Democrats remaining in the contest for the Democratic nomination continue to astonish in their very odd understandings of America and Americans. How Bernie Sanders can remain on the list with significant support while professing Socialism as the solution for the government of the United States of America is astounding.

Supposedly one out of three millennials (31%) say they are a democratic socialist or a socialist and would identify as either, according to a poll. The poll found that nearly half of all millennial Democrats (48%) identify as democratic socialists or socialists. The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation found that 50 percent of American millennials view socialism or communism as the ideal political ideology. Our colleges and universities have a lot to answer for, raising up a generation of ignoramuses.

Nazism is an accusation thrown around by the Left at President Trump and his supporters. They apparently fail to understand that Nazism was just another form of socialism. But it remains a choice insult because of the known death toll from the Holocaust:

Between five and six million Jews. More than three million Soviet prisoners of war. More than two million Soviet civilians. More than one million Polish civilians. More than one million Yugoslav civilians. About 70,000 men, women and children with mental and physical handicaps. More than 200,000 gypsies.

Nazism came to a distinct end with the defeat of Nazi Germany. But the death toll from communism encompasses many countries and many regimes. Socialism often turns directly into real communism,  depending on the party’s will for ever more complete control.

Communist regimes did not just commit criminal acts, they were criminal enterprises in their very essence; on principle, so to speak, they all ruled lawlessly, by violence, and without regard for human life.

This is from The Black Book of Communism. It offers a rough approximation, based on unofficial estimates to give some sense of the scale and gravity of these crimes.

USSR: 20 million deaths
China: 65 million deaths
Vietnam: 1 million deaths
North Korea: 2 million deaths
Cambodia: 2 million deaths
Eastern Europe: 1 million deaths
Latin America: 150,000 deaths
Africa: 1.7 million deaths
Afghanistan: 1.million deaths
The international Communist movement and Communist parties not in power: about 10,000 deaths

You might conclude that there is some sort of pattern here, and that perhaps regarding it as an ideal political ideology is beyond ignorance, and approaches insanity.



So Democrats Are Now the Socialist Party? by The Elephant's Child

Bill Maher is sometimes a gift to the national conversation:

The right, he said, has a hard time understanding the concept that we don’t want “long lines for bread” socialism. We want “you don’t have to win the Lotto to afford brain surgery” socialism. Happiness isn’t only about what you have, it’s also what you don’t have to worry about. Turns out freedom from the fear of ending up in a tent under the overpass is a really great freedom. It’s called peace of mind – let’s call it Capitalism Plus.

That’s very clever, but that’s not how it works. We start telling people early on, that you have to study in school in order to know the stuff that helps you to get a good paying job. And you have to save your money so you can buy insurance that will save you from those big worries. We tell people to stay off drugs, and if you must drink, do so moderately so you won’t end up in a tent under an overpass. We have lots of good advice designed to help you live a good life, but not everybody pays attention. And even some people who do pay attention don’t do what’s recommended. It’s called human nature.

Socialism promises freedom from want and freedom from fear, but those things cost money. If you think you want socialism, you either have to want someone else to pay for your needs, and pay for keeping you from being afraid or – you have to be willing to pay for your own freedom from want, and also for someone else’s freedom, perhaps not just one someone, but perhaps many people’s freedom. When Mr. Maher mentions brain surgery, it’s a reminder that health care is one of the biggest worries for everyone.

Because so many people don’t save enough to pay for their own healthcare needs, employers have been offering to help you by paying for your care, and paying you somewhat less than they otherwise might have. They call it a benefit, but you lose it if you quit or get fired, so you are back to ground zero. There are also limits. If a business does not make a profit, they go out of business.  A strange concept for Lefties who think profit is a bad thing.

Socialism is about getting other people to pay for what you want or need. There are not a lot of people around who want to pay for everybody else, so the government has to force them to do so. People get sick, there are epidemics, lots of measels brought over the border with the caravans of illegals. Everybody gets old, and the greatest cost of health care is for the old in their final years.

In England the NHS sometimes keeps their patients in ambulances longer so they don’t have to process them. Euthanisia is becoming more common in Europe. Active voluntary euthanisia is legal in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Passive voluntary euthanisia is legal throughout the U.S.

The Democrats have refused to pay for keeping babies born alive after an attempted abortion – alive. There’s all the furor about a woman’s right to choose, which doesn’t have all that much to do with the surviving baby.

At some point, they will stop resuscitating old folks, offering less care, less food and water. Old folks are expensive, and there are or will be limits. They are at that point in Britain where the care drops off with the socialized medicine of the National Health Service, and old people get dehydrated, and the bed sheets don’t get changed. In the case of Venezuela, the ultimate bad example of socialism, there is no medicine, the lights may or may not work, and the Cuban doctors probably have gone on home.

You may want “Capitalism Plus Socialism,” but what you get is “long lines for bread Socialism.” Guaranteed. Never fails.

ADDENDUM:
In today’s news, from the Strait’s Times in Singapore’s London Bureau:

– Thousands of elderly people in Britain are left to go blind because of rationing of eye surgery in the National Health Service (NHS), a report revealed on Saturday (April 6).

The Times newspaper said a survey by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCO) found tens of thousands of elderly people are left struggling to see because of an NHS cost-cutting drive that relies on them dying before they can qualify for cataract surgery.

The survey has found that the NHS has ignored instructions to end cataract treatment rationing in defiance of official guidance two years ago.

The RCO said its survey has found 62 per cent of eye units retain policies that require people’s vision to have deteriorated below a certain point before surgery is funded.

This has been an ongoing situation with Britain’s National Health Service for some time. Elderly people with cataracts have been placed on waiting lists, and policies require that their vision has deteriorated  drastically before they can even be considered for surgery.  The problem is a NHS cost-cutting drive that relies on many dying before they get surgery. NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) said there was no justification for policies that required people’s vision to reach the point where they can hardly see before surgery is funded.

Welcome to government-run socialized medicine. If you assume that Washington bureaucrats are better suited to make decisions about what care you can have than your own doctor and hospital, this is the inevitable result of government care. Or did you think that all the veterans complaining about the VA were just a bunch of whiners?

ADDENDUM II: (from instapundit)
EVERYONE IS CONSERVATIVE ABOUT WHAT HE KNOWS BEST, EVEN MICK JAGGER. “We keep hearing about long delays and antiquated care in the National Health Service, and here Jagger is able to get cutting-edge surgery in a matter of days! Oops, never mind. Jagger flew to New York for the operation, a fact that his press representatives don’t seem eager to emphasize.”



South of the Border, the Problems Grow. by The Elephant's Child
March 29, 2019, 12:30 am
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Communism, Economy, Russia, The United States, Venezuela

Last Saturday, two Russian air force planes arrived in Venezuela, outside Caracas, believed to be carrying nearly 100 Russian special forces and cybersecurity personnel. That appears to have escalated the political crisis in the country.

Russia and China have backed President Nicolas Maduro, along with Cuba. Communists stick together.

President Donald Trump called on Russia to pull its troops from Venezuela and said that “all options” were open to make that happen. Other Western countries support newly elected opposition leader Juan Guaido. In January, Guido invoked the Venezuelan constitution to assume Venezuela’s interim presidency, as according to the constitution, Maduro’s 2018 election was illegitimate.

Russia has to get out,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, where he met with Guaido’s wife, Fabiana Rosales.



It’s Hard to Believe That Anyone Could Believe in Socialism Today! by The Elephant's Child

There is so much history, so many horrible examples. How could anyone be so ill-informed? It probably starts with Republican tax cuts. The Democrats always sneer  “tax cuts for the rich!” and the rich do get tax cuts, and so does everyone else. The cuts for the poorer people are indeed smaller because they pay less taxes in the first place.The top 20% of earners pay 94% of all taxes paid. Of course they get a bigger percentage cut than the rest of us.

Boggles the mind to see how many people complain about the government, and then want to turn over to the government, all those unelected bureaucrats, our businesses, our worldly goods, and our way of earning a living. We cannot make even the simplest decisions about our lives, but have to leave it up to the government? It’s far worse than no toilet paper and no food. It’s having to eat the zoo animals, and then your pets.

There is no such thing as “Democratic Socialism.”



Socialism Is a Bait-and-Switch Scheme by The Elephant's Child

The Federalist has an excellent column: “Socialism’s Bloody History Shows Millennials Should Think Twice Before Supporting It” by Stella Morabito. It’s a political system that puts the reins of Power in the hands of just a few strongmen who end up calling all the shots. It’s a system in which suspicion nd the smell of treason tend to hang in the air.  She says:

Socialism, by the way, is just such a system. This is the case whether you call it by any other name, whether communism, utopianism, or collectivism. Oh, go ahead and slap some lipstick on that pig and call it “democratic” socialism or “progressivism” or “communitarianism.”

Socialism and communism both involve ceding to the state control over the distribution of goods and services for the masses. This involves giving up individual rights, and giving the state a good measure of control over our personal lives. This road always leads to tyranny, no matter what you pave it with, and no matter what you name it.

Do read the whole thing.



The Crisis in Venezuela Continues by The Elephant's Child
February 23, 2019, 10:37 pm
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Crime, Cuba, Economics, Economy, Freedom, Socialism, Venezuela | Tags: , ,

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Maduro is trying desperately to hang on in Venezuela, but his chances don’t look too good. Children are dying of starvation, and he is trying to block food aid coming into the country with the military. I have previously read that the military he depends on is actually Cuban, but I don’t know if that is true today. The question is to what extent he will use violence to stop food and medicine for a starving people?

Headline yesterday: “Two killed, 18 Injured in Venezuela Border Clashes.”

An emergency doctor says two protesters have been killed and another 18 have been injured during clashes between soldiers and residents of the southeastern Venezuelan town of Santa Elena de Uairen, near the border with Brazil. …

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro announced he’s breaking all diplomatic ties with neighboring Colombia amid deepening political turmoil.

Maduro spoke Saturday as opposition leader Juan Guaido launched an effort to bring international humanitarian aid into Venezuela from across the border in Cucuta, Colombia.

Maduro denies a humanitarian crisis exists, saying Guaido is a puppet of the United States which seeks to colonize Venezuela and exploit its oil.

The Wall Street Journal asks to what extent Maduro will use violence against his own people? More than 50 countries have recognized Juan Guaidó as the legitimate government of Venezuela. Maduro is trying to gin up fear of an invasion, especially from the U.S., but it’s not working.

Soldiers are abandoning their posts as the first aid shipments cross the Venezuelan border with Brazil, today. The Daily Caller has a video. Thousands of volunteers, according to the BBC will help get the aid into the country.

Fox calls out President Trump’s forceful repudiation of socialism at home and in socialist countries.

While previous U.S. leaders have opposed totalitarian regimes, no American president since Ronald Reagan has confronted the evils of socialism as forcefully as Trump is doing today by supporting the people of Venezuela as they retake their country from the corrupt socialist dictatorship of disputed president Nicolas Maduro.

President Trump deserves more credit than he is getting for taking this stance against an economic system that throughout its history has created nothing but poverty, despair and want – all managed by totalitarian elites.

When your rule of your country gets down to denying food and medicine to your own people, it doesn’t usually transform into a successful reign. The countries who support Maduro are Cuba, Russia,  China, and the other usual suspects. Our new Democrat candidates seem quite unprepared to deal with the entire subject, sure that Trump is about to invade, and what they are supposed to think



Trump’s Pointed Venezuela Speech Starts Things Moving by The Elephant's Child

President Trump delivered an excellent speech in Miami directed at the Venezuelans and Hispanics in the audience. We have food aid waiting near the border to be delivered to the starving people in Venezuela. Now Brazil has assembled caravan of food for the Venezuelans in cooperation with the U.S. and said it’s whether socialist dictator Maduro likes it or not.

Maduro, of course, denies that there is any shortage of anything, and will block any shipments. Brazil’s new right-leaning President Jair Bolsonaro has recognized newly elected Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela. So far the Venezuelan military is backing Maduro, but that will not continue indefinitely, in the nature of things. Maduro will be lucky to escape with his life, but where would he go?

With the U.S. and Brazil standing up for ordinary humanitarianism, things will start to move and other nations, fearful of acting on their own, will join in. That too is in the nature of things. You can think back to other times and other dictators and how they were deposed. We can usually learn from history, even if the ignorant try to hide what what happened, to proclaim their own virtue. Famously said: “The Truth Will Out.”



National Emergency? You Can’t Do That! by The Elephant's Child

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President Trump did exactly what he said he would, and declared a national emergency over the border, and of course the Democrats exploded in feigned outrage. I did mention that Obama declared a national emergency something like 13 times, so the hissy-fit seems somewhat misplaced, but of course it is all in the preparation for the upcoming court fights. Democrats want open borders. The illegal votes are important for them, and they’re hoping to switch enough votes in targeted states to increase their control of the House of Representatives to make it more permanent. They really don’t like to be out of power.

And of course, they deny every tiny bit of information on which the president has based his declaration of an emergency. Fewer illegals crossing the border now, no drugs except at the ports of entry, and they’ve given more money for technology to find the drugs that are coming through. Attacks on the president’s character, his information, his knowledge, and the usual claim that his only possible reason for not wanting illegal immigrants from Central America is that they are “brown people.” And how interesting that at the same time, they refuse to see or acknowledge the ‘Angel’ families who have lost members of their family to criminal illegal aliens.

Some of the vast field of would-be candidates for the 2020 nomination are joining the push for tearing down existing walls. Pandering to the illegals already here for their illegal votes? Nancy Pelosi outlined the Democrats game plan early on. The governing law is the National Emergencies Act of 1974. The Free Beacon covers the law thoroughly, Everybody plans to sue, picking the most favorable to their cause venue, and it will wind its way through the courts, probably ending at the Supreme Court. White House lawyers seem to believe they have a winning case.

Democrat’s position on the border has been clear for some time. Obama’s invention of the DACA amnesty was clearly illegal, and the results have been even worse than anticipated. Few have gone to college, and a large percentage never finished high school. The fraud rate has been estimated at 40%-50%, and very few have enlisted in the military. What is most discouraging is the Left’s drive for absolute power which is more appropriate to other kinds of governance like Russia or China. What’s the old saying –”Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The results are playing out for all to see in Venezuela, where children are starving to death, because there is no food, and Maduro will not relinquish the presidency even though he has been voted out legally. Nor will he allow the food aid we have sent – into the country. Wonderful system, socialism.



The State of the Union Speech by The Elephant's Child

Oh excellent, excellent and most excellent. President Trump gave his best speech yet. Democrats were all prepared to go on and on about his lying and bragging. Not going to work. He explained his accomplishments for the country, why they needed to be done, and how they are working. He explained his hopes for the country and for the world, and asked for their help in getting it done.

I saw Nancy Pelosi all in white, but it took a while to realize that all the Democrat women were in white, symbolizing something or other. I apparently missed the explanation. I thought they were imitating Cuba’s Women in White, with their usual lack of comprehension of Communism, but I understand that they were thinking of themselves as “suffragettes” who nobody remembers and have nothing to do with white clothes as far as I can remember. I’m female, but definitely not a feminist, and find them  embarrassing. They seemed to have lot of trouble figuring out when to stand and when to sit, when to smile and when to scowl. Speaker Pelosi seemed to have big chunk of lemon in her cheek which she bit down on in the more stressful moments. (The cheering, the shouts of USA, USA!)

Chuck Schumer said that Stacey Abrams was a wonderful speaker, so I was interested but completely unfamiliar with her. I guess nobody checked on what she was going to say. Yea Unions! Boo depriving the people of their votes? Huh? Nice family stories, but utterly ill-informed about what is happening in the United States, except for Democrat propaganda. Little children in cages and all that. Seems like a nice lady. She tried to make a big deal out of the government shutdown, which was an inconvenience, but ruined no one’s life. I’m afraid that she was chosen as the first African-American woman to give the response to a State of the Union speech. Democrats think like that. The actuality of what is said isn’t that important.

Really funny to listen to the media’s comments pre-speech. Senator Schumer’s anticipatory comments were an absolute disgrace. He should be ashamed. There is really no place for that. Schumer has been in Congress since 1981. The venom of the Left knows no bounds.



The Differences between the Political Parties Couldn’t be Clearer. by The Elephant's Child

I posted this piece in November of 2013, and not all that much has changed.

What is the difference between Republicans and Democrats?  I suspect that most people don’t really know. Republicans  are usually pretty clear about what we believe, and can express it clearly — that’s why we argue so much. It’s a big-tent party that welcomes Conservatives, Tea Party people, Libertarians, “mainstream” Republicans, Independents, and all sorts of people who are deeply interested in a single issue. Republicans don’t usually conform to current talking points as Democrats do.

Republicans are committed to principles, Democrats admit that they don’t have any, and react to events as they occur, which they believe is a superior way of thinking.

Republicans worry about debt and taxes, economic growth, and individual liberty. Democrats’ care about winning. When they win, they have the power to tax and spend which will enable them to win the next time.

Republicans believe in low taxes, because the money belongs to individuals who, on the whole will use it far better than the government would. Free people and free-market capitalism. The decisions of the mass market will usually be far better than the decisions of the enlightened few.

Democrats believe in government money. It is money they are entitled to spend because of taxes which are paid by rich people who don’t deserve it. (At some point you have enough money). When they leave government “service” they will move to lobbying or NGO’s or corporate boards, or other well remunerated positions. It’s a good life.

Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Charles Schumer and Max Baucus have never done anything but government. No private sector experience at all. I haven’t had time to go through the rest of the list, but I would expect a lot more of the same. So they do not understand profit and loss, nor risk, nor meeting a payroll— any of that stuff. They seem a little weak in the math department as well. And economics? Any bets?

So these are the people who believed they could write a successful health insurance program for 330 million people to replace the world’s finest health care system. They believed they could convince ordinary Americans that it will cost less and be a vast improvement over what they had. They knew perfectly well that it would take some convincing. We got a lot of convincing, direct from their President and all his minions.

And there is not any part of it that can be believed. They tell you that they care about you, but unfortunately — they lie.

No change. We just get called more names, and they’re not even creative ones.



The Once Prosperous State of Venezuela. by The Elephant's Child

I didn’t see who came up with this, but it is all too painfully correct. Venezuela was once the richest state in South America, and then Cuba offered to help them out.




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