American Elephants


Poor Information Flow Between School and Home by The Elephant's Child

Was I saying that it “can’t happen here?” of course it can. Here’s a report from the Minnesota conservative think tank the Center of the American Experiment (CAE) about the public schools in Edina, a Minneapolis suburb, one of the wealthiest cities in Minnesota. The school district has long been regarded as one of the state’s very best. The problem seems to be the lack of information that flows between school and the students’ homes.

The Schools in Edina have “increasingly implemented a controversial, ideologically-driven curriculum” first reported by Intellectual Takeout here and here. And surprise, it’s all about race, class and gender.

If you are thinking, “I don’t live in Edina, what do I care.” You’d probably better pay attention if you have children in school, or expect to, or have grandchildren, or just care about your local schools. Surely you have noticed that our colleges and universities are hotbeds of political indoctrination and activism. Education has long been considered an easy major, and Education Departments have always felt slightly looked down upon because of that, with some justification. Or listen to new teachers complain that they were never really taught how to manage a classroom and control the uncontrollable.

Today, for example, K-2 students at Edina Highlands Elementary School are learning—through the “Melanin Project”—to focus on skin color and to think of white skin as cause for guilt. “Equity” is listed as a primary criterion on the district’s evaluation for K-5 math curricula. At Edina High School, teachers are haranguing students on “White Privilege,” and drilling into them that white males oppress and endanger women. In a U.S. Literature and Composition class, 11th-graders are being taught to “apply marxist [sic], feminist” and “post-colonial” “lenses to literature.”

“In short,” Kersten concludes, “in Edina, reading, writing, math and critical thinking skills are taking a backseat to an ideological crusade.”

• A teacher tearfully told a classroom of 100 students that “the election was rigged.”
• Another teacher announced to a class that “Trump winning was worse than 9/11 and the Columbine shooting.”
• Students gathered in the high school commons on election day chanting “F*** Trump,” while teachers watched on, doing nothing.

While the schools are busy with activism, the consequences are that one in five high school students can’t read at grade level and a third cannot do grade level math. The state ranking of Edina high schools has slipped from fifth to 29th in reading proficiency.

I’ve been a parent, and it’s easy to feel all warm and fuzzy when the teacher’s note or the teacher conference tells you what a good student you have, who is a delight to have in the classroom. But that is not real communication with the school and the curriculum. Schools have decided that  kids don’t need to learn cursive writing, because they will always have keyboards. So the ability to write a hand-written thank-you or sympathy note, or simply a gracious thank-you for a job interview will be beyond them.

College professors all over the country are complaining about their incoming students, their inability to read, write and think. We need to take that seriously and to be sure that we know what our schools are actually teaching, or we will suddenly wake up and find that like the previous video, we had no idea what the schools were teaching our children.

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Obama’s Presidency Destroyed the Democratic Party by The Elephant's Child

This is an excerpt from a longer speech given at the Reagan Ranch. The full speech is about an hour long, and worth your time, but you probably don’t have a spare hour now. A hard look at the facts.



A Small Step Forward on Campus Disruptions by The Elephant's Child

It has come to this—the University of Wisconsin administration is, “taking steps to crack down on protesters who push their right to free speech and protest to the point where they shout down or entirely shut out speakers with whom they disagree.”

University of Wisconsin System leaders approved a policy Friday that calls for suspending and expelling students who disrupt campus speeches and presentations, saying students need to listen to all sides of issues and arguments.

The Board of Regents adopted the language on a voice vote during a meeting at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie. The policy states that students found to have twice engaged in violence or other disorderly conduct that disrupts others’ free speech would be suspended. Students found to have disrupted others’ free expression three times would be expelled.

“Perhaps the most important thing we can do as a university is to teach students how to engage and listen to those with whom they differ,” system President Ray Cross told the regents. “If we don’t show students how to do this, who will? Without civil discourse and a willingness to listen and engage with different voices, all we are doing is reinforcing our existing values.”

The astonishing thing is that this perfectly reasonable step has become news. Ben Shapiro was shouted down at the University of Wisconsin-Madison last year. Jazz Shaw, author of the piece,raises questions about “who determines what differentiates disruption from legitimate protest?” What about protesters who are not students? And asks what is a disruption and what is protesting and expressing an opposing opinion?

How about just plain bad manners? Why is it acceptable to protest an invited speaker? Why does someone have the right to keep others from hearing a speech? Seems to me that someone who disrupts a speech should be quietly removed from the room. Why do they get to engage in violence or disorderly conduct twice before they get suspended? The University of Wisconsin seems to be on the right track, but way too wishy-washy.

Student protests seem to be all the rage, quite fashionable. In most cases an example of student ignorance and bad manners. I think immediately of the misguided protests against Charles Murray and Heather MacDonald at Middlebury and Claremont respectively. It is the students who are violating Constitutional rights of free speech, not engaging in it. And part of a University’s job of turning out responsible citizens might be teaching about basic manners.



Hillary Demands The Elimination of the Electoral College by The Elephant's Child

Hillary is still touring the country on her perpetual “What Happened” First Woman Whine presentation. She simply cannot get over herself.  She was destined to be the first woman president, and now she is demanding that we eliminate the Electoral College, because she is right and the Founders were wrong.  She joins Maxine Waters on the most embarrassing Democrat list.

There is no such thing as a national popular vote. That is not the way our electoral system works, and ill-informed reporters simply prove that they are unfamiliar with the Constitution as well as the law.

As supposedly the most qualified candidate ever to run, Hillary exhibits an astonishing unfamiliarity with the United States Constitution and the reason why the founders invented an Electoral College. Michael Ramirez explained visually what would happen if we elected presidents by some kind of national popular vote.

In that case only four states would determine who the president should be and the rest of the country could go hang. The other states simply would not count. The electoral college assures that the votes of even the smallest or least populated states matter. And if we are to have a country where everybody matters, it’s important. The number of states and their population has changed a lot since the founders were struggling to do right by succeeding generations, but we should be eternally grateful for their wisdom.

The idea of Hillary’s qualifications for being president were based entirely on her job titles: First Lady, Senator, Defeated Candidate, Secretary of State. I’m not convinced that being married to the President is a qualification. She was elected to a safe Democratic seat when Daniel Patrick Moynihan retired. Her accomplishments as a Senator were carefully enumerated by the Huffington Post. She dropped out to run for the presidency, lost, and Obama appointed her as Secretary of State. The accomplishments in that office amounted to a lot of travel, and a “reset button” for the Russians as a joke, but she could not even get the Russian language correctly translated.

Benghazi was a disaster, her ambassador begged for help, for more security, warned that the situation was getting out of hand, and died along with his aide, and two CIA contractors who were trying to save the embassy staff. It was not the fault of someone who made a video that no one ever saw.

Her “carelessness” with classified documents convinced many voters that she was unqualified for office. Anyone who paid attention to the news knew that Moammar Ghaddafi was a bad guy, but he had given up any effort to get nuclear weapons when he saw what happened to Saddam. But he kept a lid on a very troublesome country. Hillary decided that he should be eliminated, and set loose all sorts of terror. Today the Islamic State controls Libya, and much of the population had to flee for their lives.

Somehow, she never seemed to have done her homework, nor to have studied up to have some expertise on a subject, any subject. But that was just an impression.

Somebody remarked today that the ultimate payback will be when Nikki Haley is inaugurated as the first woman president.



A Beacon of Liberty For The World by The Elephant's Child

Illegal immigration was down sharply after Donald Trump was inaugurated, with his commitment to building a wall and cutting back on illegal immigration. As the talk of amnesty for the DACA group has grown, immigration has been increasing sharply—up by 22% in August (a 100% increase from April). It has doubled in just 4 months. There are no overall statistics, but those apprehended by ICE and the Border Patrol give a rough estimate for the total flow.

Among those apprehended, there are lots of family groups—parents and children. So we can expect that we have another bunch of “childhood arrivals” Do they get to stay too? If not, “cruel”, and “no fair.”

Most parents have no real guide to parenting beyond how they were raised, what their friends are doing or not doing, and what they read in the news.What most moms learn gradually and often painfully, is that “Well just this once” is a very bad idea. If you have rules, then they have to be rules and obeyed, otherwise they are only a sham.

The fact that some people oppose open borders, oppose DACA, and want a wall is presumed to be clear evidence that they are white supremacists and their opposition to illegals is racist, because some Central and South Americans have brown skins. Has nothing to do with the fact that the average cost of deporting someone was $10,954 in 2016. Or the crimes and drugs brought along with illegal aliens. Or the families who have lost a loved one, murdered by an illegal alien. Nice people have sanctuary cities, to keep criminal illegal aliens from being deported.

I think I may speak for millions of Americans who believe that American citizenship is something special, and should be difficult to reach, because you prize something more if you have to work hard to get it. Our Constitutional freedoms are unique in the world and require constant defense from those who prefer a welfare state that gives you stuff. We seem to have brought forth a generation that has no understanding of the rarity and importance of being able to say out loud what you believe in, and to publicly challenge your government when it has gone astray. It’s very easy for our elected officials to come to think that they are the important ones and forget that they work for us, and can be dismissed.

*This 2014 cartoon by Michael Rameriz captures the idea perfectly



Tucker Carlson on DACA: ” A Rare Voice of Honesty” by The Elephant's Child


Since posted, this video has been determined to be “private” and only available to those who have permission. It was a marvelous compilation of Democrats who had been issued talking points, one after another referring to any questioning of the DACA petitioners to be cruel and so they did, obediently. Cruel, cruel, cruel. Sorry we missed it. It was the most obvious presentation of Democrat “talking points” I’ve seen.

The whole immigration problem can be summed up by a video. The Left has learned their propaganda skills well, and understands that if you keep repeating something often enough, pretty soon people will start to believe it. And it works. The progressive leadership sends out “talking points” or in other words the word or words to be repeated endlessly. Republicans (or at least some Republicans) understand this and capture them in action. But they capture them as a sort of joke—”Look, they’re doing it again, the stupid fools” but then they don’t fight back beyond that. So the folks who don’t follow the news that closely, or watch the right videos are swayed by the repeated words.

I’m delighted that Republicans seem to understand the propaganda tricks, but could they possibly stand together and denounce them? Or beat them at their own game?

Leftists want to fix, or at least improve, human nature. “We are the World”, open borders, global government, can’t we all get along, no more wars, love and kindness, fight to save the world from global warming, end disease, help the poor, make everybody equal, and so on and so on.

Human beings are by nature tribal. It used to be just those who were blood related, or lived in  tribal territory, but as we have grown and spread out, we simply form our own little tribes. Tribes of those we went to school with, or work with, or who root for the same football team, or share a love of chess or gardening, belong to the same clubs, or who live in the same neighborhood. We want to be with people who share our same interests or history. Doesn’t mean we don’t like or want to associate with others. Many are temporary—people we used to work with, or those who have plainly left our tribe. Being human, we don’t like everybody we meet. It’s not prejudice, it’s just being human, and you can’t “fix” it.

The Left uses the idea of tribes as a pejorative. Same for “the Rich,’ or corporations, or Wall Street, or Banking, or Guns — the list is quite long. Making everybody equal, of course, doesn’t include themselves, because someone has to have the power and run things. Doesn’t hold up well under  close examination.

We change over time as we learn and grow, responding to events in our lives. You undoubtedly have friends or relatives who have strikingly different political opinions, and in trying to avoid a fight, you don’t spend as much time with them as you did in another time.

On the other hand, the latest pejorative for the Left is “white supremacists,” which is supposed to be the underlying cause for any opposition to open borders or wanting a wall, or opposing sanctuary cities, or opposing ObamaCare. The fact of “white supremacists” is clearly demonstrated by the fact that there are more white people in this country than any other particular skin color, though it is expected that the total of those who are not “white supremacists” will be greater than the number who are “white supremacists” sometime in the near future, and that will be ever so much better?



Does A Nation Have A Right To Decide Who They Will Admit as Immigrants? by The Elephant's Child

Oh my, Hollywood has erupted in fury. President Trump is ending the DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), an illegal program created by executive action by former president Barack Obama, in defiance of the United States Immigration Laws. Former president Obama has remained in Washington DC ostensibly to let their younger daughter finish school at Sidwell Friends, but clearly he wants to remain active in politics.

One of the most contentious subjects arises with immigration. Democrats believe that a larger percentage of immigrants will vote for Democrat candidates, so they are anxious to increase immigration to help them to control America. Many line up with George Soros’ Open Borders position. You have undoubtedly noticed that Democrats violently oppose a border wall, refuse to call illegal aliens ‘illegal’ and have worked to change the nomenclature to “undocumented immigrants.” Changing the language is a long time leftist tactic.

Obama had asked Congress to create a law allowing “childhood arrivals” to remain in the country. Congress refused. So in June 2012, Obama issued an executive order — overriding Congress —because he disagreed with the Congressional decision. The youngest “children” who were included in the program at age 15, are now 20. They are not children, but adults, and unvetted adults as well.  2,139 DACA recipients have already been convicted or accused of crimes against Americans. Obama issued an 800 word statement  high on emotion, low on common sense, suggesting that these are our “best and brightest”  because “they want to start new businesses, staff our lavs, serve in our military and otherwise contribute to the country we love.” As usual from Obama — flowery words with no facts whatsoever  behind them.  Angela Merkel opened the borders of Europe with a welcome to “refugees“.

Germany is making trouble again. This time it is not sending young men in uniform swarming across its borders to conquer Europe. Instead, it is using its position of economic dominance to cause young Muslim men from outside Europe to swarm across Europe’s borders. In World War II, Germany’s conquest of Europe and subsequent defeat left the continent in ruins. This time, however, Germany’s actions seem designed to bring about Europe’s destruction by inviting conquest rather than by initiating it.

Nations have a right to decide about immigrants. They have a duty to protect their workers and their citizens. So if we have to be nice to this crop of young illegal aliens, what about the next ones? We have something like 4.4 million people across the world who have applied legally to immigrate to America and become citizens. They are waiting patiently on a wait list. What about them? Every “amnesty” we allow suggests that those wanting in should just hang on a bit and we’ll do amnesty again.

Immigration is complicated, and our immigration program badly needs to be overhauled. Silicon Valley imports foreign workers because they can be paid less and more easily controlled. The American people favor a border wall, because walls work to keep illegal aliens out, if imperfectly. Building a wall does not mean prejudice against immigrants or foreign workers. Most Americans are happy to welcome people from other nations, but they want them to come legally, according to American law. “Sanctuary Cities” while pretending to be ‘nice’ turn out to be magnets for illegals, gangs, drug dealers and sex traffickers as well as potential terrorists.

 




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