American Elephants


Are You in Favor of Tax Cuts? Why or Why Not? by The Elephant's Child

Democrats are fully organized to defeat their opposition: us. They recognize that most of their voters are busy with their plebeian lives, and don’t pay much attention to the news. They just don’t have time. That’s why they are out there crying “racist, sexist, homophobic, etc, etc” whenever the wind shifts slightly. Added on to that will be whatever seems to be the hot button of the moment. Talking points come from John Podesta and the Center for American Progress. You can tell about talking points because when there is any notable think in the news, all major Democrats will speak of it in identical words, often right down to the apostrophes and quotation marks. They speak with one voice, but it does not represent individual thought.

Ordinary Democrats don’t receive the talking points, you have to be somebody who might get interviewed or who might speak on their own. This is simply the old notion that if a lie is repeated often enough, pretty soon everybody will believe it. They are scared to death of the Republican effort to cut taxes, you may have heard them— xxx (this cut) is going to kill people, people will die (work requirement for welfare), removing the penalty for refusing to buy ObamaCare health insurance. That sort of thing, plus all the other drastic results of Republican tax relief.

But guess what: polls are showing that Americans not only do not understand the Republican tax proposals, but a stunning 41 percent of voters say that tax reform will increase their taxes, while just 20 percent think their taxes will fall. Complete nonsense. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that most Americans will have their taxes cut by Republican efforts to reform the tax code. Those who do not get cuts will be because of the elimination of some deductions. The media, of course, is reporting that tax reform is very unpopular. This is the result of a highly successful disinformation campaign.

The Left is highly organized to get their messages out. There’s the Center for American Progress, David Brock and Media Matters and his other efforts, and the Democracy Alliance, a big organization of very wealthy Democrats who have to cough up big bucks just to join, and then commit funds regularly to advance the Leftist project. George Soros is a big player and supporter.

Republican efforts to inform about tax relief get a few quotes from Paul Ryan, Speaker and “policy wonk”, who gets lost in the weeds on tax intricacies. There isn’t much of anyone explaining what is happening. The Left, on the other hand,  is remarkably uninterested in economics, only in control.

Random economists explain, but most people don’t really know how much they pay in taxes. They have automatic withdrawals for taxes where they work, and don’t pay much attention to the total until it’s tax time and they just turn the papers over to their tax guy. Same thing with the news. How many get their news of the day from late night ‘comedians’ or what they hear on the radio on the drive home? What they hear is likely to be more confusing than informative, and highly opinionated.  When and how does all this getting informed happen? Who can you trust? What publication online, or in a newspaper or magazine can you trust?

Too many of today’s young reporters are products of schools that haven’t taught Western Civ for years, who don’t require much in the way of history, and they look at being in the news business as becoming a player in the political game. Go back and read the interview with Claudia Rosett, a real honest-to-goodness journalist. Today’s young reporters seem to be political enthusiasts with bylines who don’t spend their spare time studying up.

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Mark Steyn on Problematic Speech and Free Speech. by The Elephant's Child

Mark Steyn had a long legal battle with the Canadian Human Rights Commission nearly ten years ago about free speech, for the Canadian Human Rights Commission believes that free speech does not include words with which they disagree. They had the force of law behind them, and the descent into totalitarianism is not far behind.

It’s hard for some to realize that free speech actually includes words or statements with which you disagree, especially political words and thoughts. But if free speech means anything at all, you must defend speech that you don’t like. You may disagree, refute their arguments, prove that they are wrong, but they get to say what they believe. There are few things that are so damaging to American colleges and universities than attempting to create tiny spaces somewhere on campus that are “free speech zones.” There is nothing so offensive to those who are pushing  for complete control, silencing any opposition, as free speech. That’s always where the totalitarians start, by silencing opposing voices and shutting them down.

We’ve had a lot of riots and demonstrations on our college campuses the past few years, protesting speakers who might say something  they don’t want to hear, because it might disturb them. The list of invited speakers who have been shut down is not only long, but includes prominent speakers who have important things to say. It’s pretty clear that there are some professors who are more interested in indoctrinating than teaching. So understanding the battle and the threats to free speech is one of today’s most important lessons.



Pearl Harbor and the Legacy of Carl Vinson by The Elephant's Child

U.S. Navy Photo by Photographer’s Mate Third Class Dusty Howell

Today is Pearl Harbor Day. Seventy-six years ago, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and suddenly we were full participants in the war that had been raging in Europe and China. Those who were old enough to experience the war are dying off, and soon there will be no one who remembers. From the current state of our colleges and universities, they seem to be turning out students who know nothing about history at all.

Seventy-six years ago on December 7, 1941, carrier planes from  the Imperial Japanese fleet attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in a surprise attack on the home of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. It was followed a few days later by an attack on the Philippines.

The surprise attack on the fleet killed 2,402 Americans, sank or submerged 19 ships, including eight battleships damaged or destroyed. Just four days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.

Victor Davis Hanson writes today of the contribution of one Democratic Congressman from Georgia, Carl Vinson. Do read the whole thing.

The Japanese fleet had missed the three absent American carriers of the Pacific Fleet. Nonetheless, Japanese admirals were certain that the United States was so crippled after the attack that it would not be able to go on the offensive against the Japanese Pacific empire for years, if at all. Surely the wounded Americans would sue for peace, or at least concentrate on Europe and keep out of the Japanese-held Pacific.

That was a fatal miscalculation.

The Japanese warlords had known little of the tireless efforts of one Democratic congressman from Georgia, Carl Vinson.

For nearly a decade before Pearl Harbor, Vinson had schemed and politicked in brilliant fashion to ensure that America was building a two-ocean navy larger than all the major navies of the world combined.

If you have a history buff on your gift list, get them a copy of Dr. Hanson’s brilliant new book: The Second Word WarsIf you’re feeling generous, add With the Old Breed by Eugene Sledge.

The photograph is of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson



The Mueller Probe Is Not What You Think It Is! by The Elephant's Child

Apparently the Mueller probe has never been about Russian collusion at all, and is entirely focused on trying desperately to find something for which to impeach President Trump. General Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to “lying” to the FBI in order to stop the harassment of his family, the depletion of his savings in attorney fees, and is being forced to sell his house to meet the financial drain. The Mueller team was apparently trying to implicate Flynn’s son, though I have seen no information on that at all.

Michael Ledeen has written on the case, and says that he interviewed former colleagues of Flynn thoroughly when he worked with him on The Field of Flight, to understand his co-author. Flynn was unanimously described as a man who was a compulsive truth-teller. Confessing to making false statements makes no sense, and would be totally out of character,. Ledeen says he has pled guilty to doing foreign policy, which was his job, at the behest of the president-elect, and then misleading the FBI and the vice-president elect. I always listen to Michael Ledeen.

The FBI agent who interviewed General Flynn was Peter Strzok, who was removed from the Russia Probe over anti-Trump bias expressed publicly on Twitter and elsewhere. Michael Ledeen:

So the Flynn story, which is also the Mueller story, is about national politics, as it has been since the beginning. We have just learned that Mueller removed two investigators from his staff after they had played key roles in investigating Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and the so-called “collusion” matter. Mueller has been actively blocking congressional access to documents about the case.

Attorney General Sessions  issued an interesting statement:

The allegations that the inspector general has confirmed are part of his ongoing investigation, if proven to be true, would raise serious questions of public trust. I look forward to receiving the inspector general’s report. We will ensure that anyone who works on any investigation in the Department of Justice does so objectively and free from bias or favoritism.

The inspector general has been working diligently to complete his investigation for months, and I have requested he complete it as soon as possible. The American people deserve answers.

At the Wall Street Journal, Holman Jenkins noted that:

Retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn on Friday pleaded guilty to lying about a non-crime. Even Adam Schiff, the House Democrat most determined to ride the Russia collusion story to bigger and better things, acknowledged that conferring with a representative of Russia about the incoming administration’s Russia policy is not illegal or improper.

The best source for the legal part of this complicated mess is Andy McCarthy at National Review. Read the whole thing, and Andy’s other pieces as well.  We all need to be well informed on this Leftist attempt at a coup. They want to bring down this administration. It has nothing really to do with Hillary’s loss. They wish she would just go away. It is entirely about power.

The Obama administration made some great progress towards the globalism or socialism  that is their goal, and they were looking forward to getting rid of the annoying Constitution, all that free speech crap, all the guns—they could envision the promised wonderfulness nearly in reach, and then—Trump! He is not only decimating all of Obama’s accomplishments one by one, he keeps getting on Twitter and rubbing it in.

I don’t think the average run of the mill Democrat has any grasp of what the hard core of the party is all about. They are Democrats because Republicans are nasty Racist, Sexist, Homophobes who cut taxes for the Rich, and don’t give the poor people anything at all. Or something like that.

The Trump accomplishments to this point are not particularly Republican, but centrist. Trump has his eye clearly on fixing the controls and regulations imposed by the Obama administration and getting overbearing government out of the way of the people.Which is really what he promised, isn’t it?



Another Criminal Illegal Immigrant, 20 Times Deported, This Time He’s Going to Prison Instead. by The Elephant's Child

A 31 year-old Mexican man convicted of kidnapping and sexually abusing two Oregon women was just sentenced to 35 years in prison in a Portland, Oregon courthouse. The first attack occurred early on the morning of July 24, when Sergio Jose Martinez entered the home through a window left open to cool the house. He bound and blindfolded the 65 year old woman, sexually assaulted her, stole her purse and car. She called police from a neighbor’s home. Police located the car and put it under surveillance.

While police were watching the car, Martinez was stalking his second victim in a parking garage. He approached her with a knife, made her get into her car, after she attempted to escape he grabbed her and slammed her head repeatedly into the pavement. The woman called for help, Martinez tried to steal her car and fled when it failed to start. Police caught him minutes later.

He had been freed from jail a week before the attacks in spite of an ICE request to hold him so the agency could take him into custody. Oregon became America’s first sanctuary state when it adopted a law in 1987 preventing law enforcement from detaining people who are in the United States illegally but have not broken other laws. Sergio Jose Martinez had previously been deported 20 times.

Here’s a map of the current sanctuary cities/counties/states, which gives you an idea at least. Reminds us of the electoral map, doesn’t it? There is probably no subject that arouses so much passion, so much misinformation, and so many myths.

The Program created by the Obama administration in 2012 granted work permits, identity documents, and relief from deportation to approximately 800,000 illegal immigrants. It granted lawless work permits to adult illegal aliens who claim to have come before age 16 to get Social Security numbers, drivers licenses, EITC eligibility and more.

The Entire illegal DACA program: (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is spoken of in language designed to elicit an emotional response.  They are “Dreamers.” “Brought here against their will,” ” little children,” “can’t be deported because they have no home in their country of origin,” and more. The cutoff age for the little children to get on the list was 31. A roundup of DACA ‘children’ turned up many members of MS13, the criminal Columbian gang. A survey of legal Mexican immigrants was opposed to any DACA amnesty.

The DACA program was designed to be a permanent attack on our nation, our laws and our freedom. Greater numbers of illegal immigrants will affect the census, which will give those states greater influence in the electoral college, will likely be Democrat voters, and give more power to the Democrats. Obama redefined deportation so that anyone refused at the border counted as being deported, even though they never actually got in. When you hear positive numbers on how many people were deported during the Obama administration, take it with a grain of salt.

We now have the “Diversity Visa Lottery.” You will notice the magic word “diversity.”  The Lottery enabled the Uzbek terror suspect’s attack in New York City. Sayfullo Sailpov is the fifth Diversity Visa Lottery recipient to be involved in terrorist acts in the United States. What about the wall? Here’s an interview with Jessica Vaughn on that very subject. It will be built. It is not only needed, but will essentially pay for itself in the reduced costs of illegal immigration.

The Center for Immigration Studies is a think tank centered on the immigration problem. They are pro-immigrant, anti-illegal immigrant, and an excellent source for information on any and all immigration controversies.

There are approximately 4.4 million people who have applied to immigrate to America the legal way. They are on a wait-list. I do not understand what the open borders people want, but it has become increasingly obvious that everything the Progressives do is about power and control. Free people, free markets, free choice, and free speech are just the beginning of the long list of what they oppose. They are annoyed by human nature, and quite sure if we just let them run things everything would be better. They believe in one-world government, I guess, as long as they are in control. Since they are the “elites,” their money and celebrity guarantee them the benefits of freedom, and they don’t care anything about ordinary people.

The people of Venezuela are slowly starving. Nicholas Maduro has been reduced to using food as a weapon to maintain his power. The protests have died down because if you don’t seem to be supportive of his rule, you don’t get any food, and the government controls the food, all of it.



Class? I’ll Take The “Working Class” Over “The Elites” Any Day by The Elephant's Child

Sociologists like Charles Murray try to understand the people by dividing them up into groups, sometimes by race or ethnic origin, sometimes by class, sometimes by educational attainment, sometimes by income brackets, sometimes by political party. It’s done so that they can get some general ideas by comparing people who have similarities, to see how they are different.

The problem at Middlebury College was the invitation of Dr. Murray to speak. The Southern Poverty Law Center took issue with the idea that he used race as a way to compare and contrast some groups of people. Obviously Dr. Murray was a racist to divide people up by race. You can’t expect a bunch of  today’s college students, to understand how and why Sociologists study  people. They didn’t.

Since Election Day, Democrats have been dividing people up by class. The enlightened and well-to-do city folk naturally voted for Hillary Clinton who was destined to be the first woman president. The working class whites voted for the despicable Trump, obviously because they didn’t know any better.

Working class whites are conceived as those who work in small factories at routine jobs which they hate. They read little, do not have a college education, don’t make very much money, are poorly informed, and inhabit small town America. I’ve seen variations of this description over and over. I’ve even seen drawings of them, bellied up to a bar, drinking beer, exhausted after work. I just don’t recognize these people.

I came from small town America, or rural America if you prefer, and this description doesn’t apply to the people I know. There are people whose forbears came to America with the Puritans and recent immigrants who don’t speak English well. There are doctors and lawyers who prefer a rural practice. There are teachers who can match any scholar who prefer teaching in rural schools. There are ranchers who run hundreds of head of beef, big orchards that supply the demand of the Japanese for good apples who understand international trade quite well.

The pace of life may be a little slower, but there’s time to enjoy the seasons, to get some real reading done. To enjoy life in America. To assume that because people live in the rest of the country rather than in the coastal cities they are somehow less intelligent, poorer, work with their hands, or machines, and live somehow underclass lives is a gross mistake, but that’s what is going on. It may surprise some of our “elites” but a lot of the American people in the rest of the country don’t have a lot of respect for city people, nor for the denizens of Silicon Valley.

So pay no attention to the Democrats. They have no idea who the American people really are, they have no understanding of them, so it’s no wonder they are still posing as “the resistance” and attempting to demean those who have the gall to disagree with them.

The picture at the top is close to where I grew up. The local mountains are considerably higher than anything in the Adirondack chain, though we didn’t think of them as particularly high. If you have this in your back yard, so to speak, why would you want to live in a city with homeless camps under the freeways, safe injection sites for addicts, and an hour’s commute just to get home to your small apartment?

Democrats don’t like the folks on the other side of the aisle. They have been calling us names forever, aside from the regular racist, sexist, homophobe. populist, fascist, they refer to the America outside the coastal cities as “flyover country,” “redneck country”, “hillbilly country,” “the sticks.” “hicksville”, and they are quite sure that all the intelligent people live in the great coastal cities where everyone who matters lives and works.  The most famous slur, of course, was the 1976 New Yorker cover  that just skipped all the messy stuff between 9th Ave. in New York and the Pacific Ocean. It just doesn’t matter in the Leftist scheme of things.

Too bad because there are a lot of wonderful Americans out there in the heartlands. A little knowledge of history would help too, but that isn’t fashionable either. Western Civilization  is no longer taught in most universities, and the curriculum doesn’t deal all that much with American history. At least it seems not to be a required subject.

I guess all the protesters from the Vietnam War who got deferments by staying in school, have become the tenured professors of today, and they are hard at work destroying American higher education.

*Changed the phrasing of the headline to more accurately reflect my meaning.



One More Mission From NASA Physicists and Engineers by The Elephant's Child


Unvalidated climate models that don’t correspond with physical data and the requirements of the scientific method contribute to unfounded climate alarmism, a retired NASA physicist said at the Heartland Institute’s recent America First Energy Conference.

Since America’s national security depends in part on energy security, unsubstantiated claims about global warming that prevent policymakers from making “rational decisions” with regard to the development of U.S. energy resources have become a national security threat, said Hal Doiron, a 16-year NASA veteran.

The “propaganda” underpinning climate alarmism is “causing tremendous political bottlenecks” that prevent government officials from “doing the right thing” on energy, he said.

Hal Dorion helped to develop the Apollo Lunar Module’s landing dynamics software during NASA’s moon missions. He is concerned that the U.S. military has been misdirected by climate alarmist claims that are not sound science. He poses the example of the US Navy preparing for something that is unreasonable that would also cost way too much money —extreme sea level rise— that is not supported by rigorous scientific data.

With respect to climate alarm, he says that too many academics in too many universities are writing papers that draw conclusions from models that don”t agree with physical data.

My assumption is that once alarm about the possible warming of the earth became a public concern, everybody wanted to jump on the bandwagon. Prestige, grants, new laboratories, new assistants, prestige for the university etc. etc. They assumed they could just put the whole problem in a computer program which would allow them to really study it.

They put in what was known scientific fact, then they put in educated guesses, and some assumptions, and the more they did the more money became available, invitations to glamorous conferences, interviews. There are some things we know, but there’s a lot that is  unknown and the true believers want answers now, because it has become politics—not science.

Science means that lots of others can do the same experiment and get the same answer. That’s validation. The earthly temperatures that they were all using came from temperature recording sites that were sometimes located right next to the air conditioning units’ output, or right where concrete walls reflected heat back, or at airports where there was miles of concrete runways and buildings around the recording site.

Admiral Thomas Hayward who retired from the Navy as U.S. Chief of Naval Operations and a member  of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also addressed the Heartland Institute’s energy conference.

For the past six to eight years, he said, climate change has been given “a higher priority” than the readiness of the Navy’s fleet. During that time, the U.S. Defense Department has spent $100 million on “just climate change,” while the U.S. Navy has spent “$58 billion chasing what is called the ‘green fleet.’”

That means many U.S. Navy vessels are using biofuels, but Hayward wonders how many ports around the world are equipped to accommodate U.S. Navy vessels that rely on a high percentage of biofuels, and he worries how that would work in a combat situation.

Here is the letter the Right Climate Stuff research team sent to President Trump last May. Here is the website for the Right Climate Stuff organization of retired NASA physicists and astronomical engineers, lots of good information there.




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