American Elephants

Oddly, This Is What The Democrats Oppose! Keep That in Mind by The Elephant's Child

The one identity we’re not encouraged to trumpet is the one that enables us to trumpet all the others, our identity as citizens of a very particular kind of society, built on the rule of law, property rights, freedom of expression, and the universal franchise.……………………………..

Mark Steyn: “The Silver Virus: The West’s Anti-Westernism:”.The New Criterion: Feb. ’02

In the Western myth, many have found exactly what they were looking for. Significantly, the images and the simple story of the western legend first caught on in the early nineteenth century, those years when the young Republic, like a proud and gawky adolescent was trying to decide who and what it was. This myth has been around ever since, simply because it has always done its job.
The legend is rooted in a story with which just about anyone can identify. It tells what happened when ordinary people moved into an extraordinary land. Often enough they overcame the challenges that they met there, but the real point of the story is not what happened to the land, but what happened to the people. They were changed, the legend insists—transformed, reborn. And they were better for it. The ordeal in the wilderness created the American, we believe, free-thinking, open, tough, optimistic, self-reliant—the litany goes on and on. The western hero has embodied these virtues and this message. He is us, only a little bigger, tougher, braver. From James Fenimore Cooper to John Wayne, whenever someone has told us this story and has done it well, we have clapped and made him rich.

………………Robert  G. Athearn: The Mythic West: University Press of Kansas. 1986

The framework that the Founders devised to unite a baker’s dozen of small homogeneous colonies on the Atlantic coast proved strong enough to expand across a continent and halfway round the globe to Hawaii. That’s why the British have successfully exported Westminster constitutions to Belize, Papua New Guinea, and India, the world’s largest democracy, mainly Hindu but with a minority population of 150 million Muslims (that’s some minority) who to their credit have no interest in the fetid swamp of militant Islamism in which so many of their co-religionists elsewhere are festering. Of the world’s fifty most free nations, half were once ruled by Britain. That’s the sort of thing most countries would boast about, not teach in schools as a shameful legacy of oppression.
……………………………………………………………………………………Mark Steyn: Ibid

Our county was not predestined to prosper, it did so through choices made at its Founding and renewed every generation since: the choices of freedom over rule, property over collectivization, the liberty of the individual human spirit over the dictates of the enlightened few. We should be thankful for the wisdom of our ancestors in creating this heritage, and mindful of our stewardship as we are called to carry forward this idea called America.…………………………

……………………………James S. Robbins: “Pilgrim Parable” NRO, November 27, 2002


Democratic Socialism is Still Socialism by The Elephant's Child

Words to Remember About Equality and Freedom by The Elephant's Child


Here’s another of those things well said, that need to be remembered. It comes from William Voegeli’s book The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion.

Economist Dierdre McCloskey calculates that in “the countries that most enthusiastically embraced capitalism” some two hundred years ago, real, per capita economic growth has increased by 1 .5 percent annually. Owing to the miracle of compound interest, this increase has meant a 19-fold increase in living standards over the past two centuries, which, she contends, is a “change in the human condition” that “ranks with the first domestications of plants and animals and the building of the first towns” McCloskey argues that this enormous economic result had a cause that was cultural rather than economic. Humans did not suddenly become more acquisitive or creative. Rather, “when people  treat the marketers and inventors as having some dignity and liberty, innovation takes hold. The new respectability of bourgeois life, the belief that the creativity of capitalism’s creative destruction more than offset its destruction, was the decisive attitudinal change that rendered human life in the past two centuries decisively different from what it had been throughout the preceding millennia.”

And from the late Russia scholar Richard Pipes: Property and Freedom

The trend of modern times appears to indicate that citizens of democracies are willing heedlessly to surrender their freedoms to purchase social equality (along with economic security) apparently oblivious of the consequences. And the consequences are that their ability to hold onto and use what they earn and own, to hire and fire at will, to enter freely into contracts, and even to speak their mind is steadily being eroded by government  bent on redistributing private assets and subordinating individual rights to group rights.

One more from Milton Friedman:

A society that puts equality – in the sense of equality of outcome – ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality or freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests.

The Three Values That Make America Great by The Elephant's Child

Another great new video from Prager University

It Wasn’t About Kavanaugh, They Want to Get Rid of The Constitution by The Elephant's Child

I have long been addicted to collecting quotations, or rather – things that someone said exceptionally well, and bear repeating because they are so well said. This is one of them:

Masterpieces created by a committee are notably few in number, but the United States Constitution is certainly one of them. Amended only twenty-seven times in 215 years, it came into being just as the world was about to undergo the most profound – and continuing – period of economic change the human race has known. The locus of power in the American economy has shifted from sector to sector as that economy has developed. Whole sections of the country have risen and fallen in economic importance. New methods of doing business and economic institutions undreamed of by the Founding Fathers have come into existence in that time – while others have vanished. Fortunes beyond the imagination of anyone living in the pre-industrial world have been built and been destroyed. And yet the Constitution endures and the country continues to flourish under it.

From An Empire of Wealth by John Steele Gordon

For the first time since the 2008 recession, the U.S. once again sits atop the rankings of the World Economic Forum’s most “Ideal” economies. What the organization refers to as the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” is well underway, and the WEF has developed some innovative criteria to rank the economies of nations.

Under the new framework for competitiveness, released Tuesday, the U.S. achieved the closest to the “competitiveness frontier,” or “ideal state,” with a score of 85.6.

George Gilder On The Future of Computing by The Elephant's Child

Uncommon Knowledge, from the Hoover Institution. 9/24/18

Is blockchain the technology of the future? George Gilder, author of Life After Google, argues that bitcoin and blockchain technology is revolutionizing the Internet. He sits down with Peter Robinson to discuss technology, cloud computing, big data, and the growing role of blockchain in innovating new technologies.

Gilder argues that cloud computing, while it was the hot new technology ten years ago, has reached its limits as the physical limitations of big data storage centers maxes out. Improvements in parsing big data are incremental at this point, and it’s time for the next big technology to take its place. Gilder points to blockchain as the technology of the future, with its ability to prevent corruption and manipulation of transaction data and the infinite uses it could have in third world countries.

Gilder also discusses the history of technology, artificial intelligence, and the revolutionary bitcoin. He argues that artificial intelligence can never replace human intelligence and creativity and that in principle, it is impossible for machines to take over.

For the full transcript go to:…

Jordan Peterson: The Fatal Flaw in Leftist American Politics by The Elephant's Child

What is political extremism? Professor of psychology Jordan Peterson points out that America knows what right-wing radicalism looks like: The doctrine of racial superiority is where conservatives have drawn the line. “What’s interesting is that on the conservative side of the spectrum we’ve figured out how to box-in the radicals and say, ‘No, you’re outside the domain of acceptable opinion,'” says Peterson. But where’s that line for the Left? There is no universal marker of what extreme liberalism looks like, which is devastating to the ideology itself but also to political discourse as a whole

. Fortunately, Peterson is happy to suggest such a marker: “The doctrine of equality of outcome. It seems to me that that’s where people who are thoughtful on the Left should draw the line, and say no. Equality of opportunity? [That’s] not only fair enough, but laudable. But equality of outcome…? It’s like: ‘No, you’ve crossed the line. We’re not going there with you.'” Peterson argues that it’s the ethical responsibility of left-leaning people to identify liberal extremism and distinguish themselves from it the same way conservatives distance themselves from the doctrine of racial superiority. Failing to recognize such extremism may be liberalism’s fatal flaw.

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