American Elephants


“Democratic Socialism” Indeed. No, It’s Venezuela by The Elephant's Child

The United States of America is a big messy country, full of wildly diverse opinionated people. The country itself is hugely diverse ranging from desert to mountain splendor. We are a nation built on an idea brought from the religious wars of Europe to form a new nation based on the simple idea of individual freedom.  All men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights the Declaration said, and among those are the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

What other country ever suggested that you should pursue happiness? We have lots of resident cranks who chafe at that and insist that we are getting the “created equal” part all wrong. We should be ensuring that everyone is equal. That’s government’s real job and we should buy you lots of stuff to make you equal.

Nobody promised that you would be equal, just that you could, from birth, strive to be whatever you choose—pursue happiness. We can’t guarantee anyone’s success either. Just pick up your ideas and your energy and see what you can do. Some people get a head start, born to great wealth, and make a colossal mess of the whole thing. Others start with nothing and become fabulously wealthy. The rest of us are somewhere in between.

But those resident cranks, promising to make everybody equal are always more interested in enforcing the equality bit than in actually being equal themselves. They want to be in charge. Oddly they remain unfamiliar with the long dreadful history of socialism, and just insist that those other people just didn’t do it right. Unfortunately those other people turn out to be Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Kim’s North Korea, Castro’s Cuba or Maduro’s Venezuela. Socialism does not work. Ever.

At American Thinker, Monica Showalter asked if Time Magazine, notable for the fake picture of Trump with a crying child ‘ripped from her mother’s arms’ would put a photo of a starving Venezuelan on its cover, too? You need to see the pictures. That’s Venezuela today. Someone should send a copy to “Democratic Socialist” Ocasia Cortez, the new star of the Democratic Party.

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President Trump Once Again Fulfills his Promise by The Elephant's Child

President Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Judge Kavanaugh has served for 12 years on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and has written more than 300 opinions that involve every significant constitutional issue including separation of powers and federalism. The Supreme Court has adopted the logic of 11 of his opinions in whole or in part. He is among a younger generation of judges who base their rulings on the text of the Constitution and Congressional statute. He has the experience and intellect to be a leader on the Court, rather than a predictable vote on an issue.

Naturally, the Left has erupted with the usual silliness. Kavanaugh will end Roe v. Wade, put gay men in jail, and whatever else they can come up with.  That’s not how the Supreme Court operates. They are the court of last resort whose duty is to apply and defend the United States Constitution to the particular case before them. Mr. Trump promised to select a Justice “who will faithfully interpret the Constitution as written,” and that is just what he has done.  Judge Kavanaugh has a record that suggests that he will help to restore the Supreme Court to its proper, more modest role in American politics and American society.

The serious and thoughtful men who wrote and adopted the U.S. Constitution were intent on preserving the freedoms and rights that the country had just fought a long bloody war about. They recognized the imperfect nature of mankind and how easily freedom could be lost to bad ideas. And we always have a remarkable quantity of bad ideas in our society as in any society.

The hard Left just won an election in a safe Democratic district with a young “Democratic Socialist” who is remarkably free from any knowledge of history, politics or international affairs. Dumb as a post. And she tried to palm herself off as just a girl from the Bronx, not. She left the Bronx as a small child and grew up in a tony Westchester suburb with her successful well-to-do architect father. But she had the Hispanic name for a district that is largely Hispanic

Here’s the Wall Street Journal’s take on Judge Kavanaugh, and here is John Hinderaker at Powerline.



Another Great Jobs Report, Leaving Democrats in Despair by The Elephant's Child

Nancy Pelosi presser

The big news from the Labor Department was that 600,000 workers re-entered the work force. Manufacturing jobs increased by 36,000, The 4 week average of continuing  unemployment claims was the lowest in 45 years.

1.03 million workers have returned to the work force.  The June economy added 213.000 new jobs, 22,000 more than economists had expected. 155,576,000 Americans are working.

Naturally, Democrats are distraught.

Nancy Pelosi, minority leader, tweeted:

The June shows what is at stake from the brewing storm of rising health costs, spiraling trade uncertainty & an economy being hollowed out to enrich big corporations & the wealthiest 1 percent. Americans deserve better than the GOP’s raw deal.

Democrats do not believe in tax cuts. It is a matter of faith. Taxes are supposed to go up, not down, and give the Democrat Party more money to play with, to buy votes and buy supporters. Naturally, they blame big corporations, but not rich corporate executives upon whom they depend for donations.

Brian Riedl, of Economics 21 wrote in the E21 Commentary:

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) remains controversial, with public opinion evenly split and many Democrats campaigning on repeal. However, the Democratic critique of the tax cuts has grown increasingly incoherent. The party excoriates the “tax cuts for the rich” while trying to tilt them even further to the wealthy. Democrats slam the deficit effect of the tax cuts while working to worsen budget deficits. In addition, they erroneously describe the law as a “middle-class tax hike” while proposing policies that would truly raise middle-class taxes.

And about the “Tax cuts for the Rich”

The most aggressive liberal complaint was that the TCJA represented a giveaway to the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. In reality, the tax cuts nudged the distribution of federal taxes in a more progressive direction. The bottom 80 percent of families had previously paid 33 percent of all combined federal taxes, yet received 35 percent of the tax cuts. By contrast, the top one percent had previously paid 27 percent of all federal taxes, but received just 21 percent of the tax cuts. Since upper-income earners received a lower share of the tax cuts, their share of federal taxes paid will slightly rise.

Do read the whole thing. I know, economics??? The more you understand, the better off you will be. At least that’s what I always tell myself, and it certainly doesn’t leave me approving of former Speaker Pelosi and her crew.



The Difficulties With Declaring Independence by The Elephant's Child

All you need to know about Silicon Valley can be summed up by the simple information that they have chosen the Southern Poverty Law Center as their guide to identifying Hate Speech!

Bwa ha ha ha ha-ha ha!

File this under “It takes one to know one!”

Then add this bit:  ” Facebook removed an excerpt from the U.S. Declaration of Independence, claiming that the text violated the social network’s policies.”

As Reason adds: “The social media site has a difficult time telling the difference between white nationalist ravings and the writing of Thomas Jefferson.”

America’s founding document might be too politically incorrect for Facebook, which flagged and removed a post consisting almost entirely of text from the Declaration of Independence. The excerpt, posted by a small community newspaper in Texas, apparently violated the social media site’s policies against hate speech.

Since June 24, the Liberty County Vindicator of Liberty County, Texas, has been sharing daily excerpts from the declaration in the run up to July Fourth. The idea was to encourage historical literacy among the Vindicator‘s readers.

The first nine such posts of the project went up without incident.

“But part 10,” writes Vindicator managing editor Casey Stinnett, “did not appear. Instead, The Vindicator received a notice from Facebook saying that the post ‘goes against our standards on hate speech.'”

The problem is ignorance. Silicon Valley is full of math and physics majors and H-1B immigrants, not history majors. Our own colleges and universities, full of anti-war people left over from Vietnam have turned our education system into far left indoctrination organizations, so there are a lot more courses titled “Studies” in colleges and fewer “The History of.”

Facebook was based on the flawed idea, that it would be emotionally appealing for people to share their family news and doings with friends, which, of course it was. But the downside never occurred to the founders. Users were making public the intimate details of their lives and their children, where they went to school, the general status of the family, the location of the home—which they did, with no thought about the dangers of making such information public. So it is unsurprising that Facebook has turned the bother of identifying “hate speech” over to robots.

The powers that be in Silicon Valley have already been in trouble for allowing the adherents of radical Islam access to the world’s computers, and correctly recognize that to be a problem. They are trying to figure out how to protect themselves. At the same time, the major news media are telling them that the Right Wing are white supremacists, Hitler, Nazis, fascists, etc. etc., so, in their ignorance of history they do not understand politics and assume that they need to banish anyone on the Right—without understanding that making enemies of half the population of the country is probably not a good idea. They probably do not want to come under regulation by the federal government as utilities.

 



Diversity & Discrimination In The Ivy League by The Elephant's Child

In early May of 2015  a complaint was filed against Harvard College alleging that the school sets too high a bar for Asian-American applicants by setting a higher bar for admissions than that faced by other groups.

A complaint Friday alleged that Harvard College discriminates against Asian-American applicants by setting a higher bar for admissions than that faced by other groups.

The complaint, filed by a coalition of 64 organizations, says the university has set quotas to keep the numbers of Asian-American students significantly lower than the quality of their applications merits. It cites third-party academic research on the SAT exam showing that Asian-Americans have to score on average about 140 points higher than white students, 270 points higher than Hispanic students and 450 points higher than African-American students to equal their chances of gaining admission to Harvard. The exam is scored on a 2400-point scale.

The complaint was filed with the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights. Harvard responded that the school’s admissions policies are “fully compliant with the law” Robert Iuliano, Harvard’s general counsel said the admissions process takes into account many factors besides academics including extracurricular activities and leadership.

“Within its holistic admissions process, and as part of its effort to build a diverse class, Harvard College has demonstrated a strong record of recruiting and admitting Asian American students,” Mr. Iuliano said in a statement. He said the percentage of Asian-American students admitted to the undergraduate school rose to 21% from less than 18% in the past decade.

Forward to April 2018. An organization leading the lawsuit is Students for Fair Admissions, comprised of Asian-American students who applied to get into Harvard and were rejected. The group believes the school is guilty of racial discrimination, specifically against students of Asian descent. .

A degree from Harvard College certainly opens a lot of doors for the applicant. Is it a better education? That’s an interesting question. “Harvard has refused to release information about its application process, calling it a vital trade secret” says the Daily Signal.

The devotion to multiculturalism—the ever-present left-wing philosophy framing the issue of race in terms of oppressor vs. oppressed groups—utterly dominates America’s “elite” institutions. …

The stultified culture of diversity becomes malignant when it’s used to discriminate against some groups for doing too well, such as with Asian applicants to an elite school. But even without these egregious examples, it damages the idea that Americans are to be judged as individuals, not groups.

The Ivy League used similar methods to discriminate against Jews in the past. When that became seen  as racist and unfair, the quotas for ‘leadership’ and ‘well-rounded’ were dropped.

The idea that the only diversity that matters is racial diversity dominates academia, and business today. And it is Bunk. I believe that it is a product of the Democratic Party’s need to hold onto the black vote. Democrats have a long history of racial discrimination. It was Southern Democrats who imported slaves to work their cotton fields, while the North was industrializing. They fought and lost the Civil War, fought and lost the effort to prevent blacks from becoming full citizens, and fought for the right to discriminate against them. The Democrats’ horror at a casual comment by Kanye West saying that he liked the way Candace Owens spoke, was typical.

Diversity is a prevailing ideology of grievance. The idea that a college class needs to be “diverse” in the percentages of racial heritage to give students the experience of associating with people of other races seems absurd. “Tribal” is currently considered something of a dirty word, yet I believe that people remain tribal in that they form groups based on their interests, their heritage, their hobbies, and their passions. I have friends from home, from high school, from college, from my neighborhood, none of whom know each other. When I go to a nearby mall with a food court, I will see groups playing with the giant chess set, groups who are all knitting, and special sections set aside for Seahawks gear and fan stuff. That is tribal, and tribal is just ordinary human nature.

Today, society seems to be breaking down on the issue of politics, or more specifically Donald Trump. We have the increasingly irrelevant Mueller search for some trace of Russian collusion, and Maxine Waters is out there demanding that all Democrats attack Conservatives anywhere they are to be found, and conversely Democrats panicking that Maxine may be messing up their Blue Wave. Silicon Valley has proclaimed itself to be an exclusive bastion of the Left, and just to prove how diverse they are, not only fired someone who suggested that women make different choices than math and physics, but to make sure that they properly designate some things as “hate speech” they have enlisted the Southern Poverty Law Center as their approved “hate speech” censor, which proves my point.

So there you go. Another ordinary day in the Home of the Free and Land of the Brave.



The President, The Resistance, The People by The Elephant's Child

From The American Spectator

It’s June and the crush of undocumented immigrants at the U.S. border with Mexico has hit a crisis point.

Government officials are housing migrants in tents and separating some children from their parents. Tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors attempt to cross the southern border; some 90,000 are expected to be apprehended by year’s end. A former top administration official defends the government’s policy: “We have to send a clear message. Just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean your child gets to stay.”

The year was 2014. Barack Obama was president and the quote was uttered by Hillary Clinton, Obama’s secretary of state from 2009 to 2013 who also plainly stated that thousands of children “should be sent back” to their families.

‘The Resistance’ doesn’t seem to be creating a wedge between President Trump and the party.  It’s turning off Liberal supporters as well.
From Don Surber:

The Times approach to Trump supporters was laughably offensive. It reported, “In interviews across the country over the last few days, dozens of Trump voters, as well as pollsters and strategists, described something like a bonding experience with the president that happens each time Republicans have to answer a now-familiar question: ‘How can you possibly still support this man?'”

Buried in Paragraph 26 was the answer, from John Westling, 70, of Princeton, Minnesota, who said, “Let’s see. Economy booming, check. Unemployment down, check. Border security being addressed, check. Possible end to the Korean War that started when I was 3 years old, 68 years ago, check.”

Democrats fall in love. It’s the leader of “their team”— the savior who will bring them all good things. who will save them from the perils of life. It’s a romantic relationship. I have been in many Democrat homes where there is a picture of the (Democrat) President on the wall.

Republicans care about what the president does.They argue incessantly about what he does for the country, what Congress should do, whether what they have done will be effective. I have never been in a Republican home where there was a picture of the President (of either party) on the wall.



R.I.P. Charles Krauthammer. You Will Be Missed! by The Elephant's Child

A Life well and powerfully lived. Paralyzed from the neck down after a swimming pool accident, Charles Krauthammer became a psychiatrist, and a good one. And he became a columnist and author, and was an outstanding one. Of his own predicament, he said:

“Better to be paralyzed from the neck down
than the neck up.”

—”The Indispensable Man” by Steven Hayward

Charles Krauthammer” by the WSJ Editorial Board

America Lost Its Greatest Political Commentator”by Roger S. Simon

And here are a few of his columns”

Did the State Make You Great”by Charles Krauthammer

“The Bush Legacy” by Charles Krauthammer

“Moving from Left to Right” by Charles Krauthammer

“Trump’s ‘Madman Theory’ Diplomacy” by Charles Krauthammer




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