American Elephants


Turning to My Favorite Author for Guidance by The Elephant's Child

I frequently say that Leftists don’t understand the free market — that’s why they are Leftists.

Kathy Shaidle remarked a while back: “None of this should surprise anyone. Contrary to what they tell you (and tell you and tell you) Progressives don’t have principles. Rather they have faddish opinions that are highly unstable and often contradictory.”

Here’s John Steele Gordon from An Empire of Wealth:

The willingness to accept present discomfort and risk for the hope of future riches that so characterized these immigrants and the millions who would follow over the next two centuries has had a profound and immeasurable effect on the history of the American economy. Just as those who saw no conflict between worshiping God and seeking earthly success in the seventeenth century, those who sought economic independence in the eighteenth had a powerful impact on the emerging American culture.

And this:

People with an economic advantage, however “unfair” that advantage may be, will always fight politicians as hard as they can to maintain it. Whether the advantage is the right to another person’s labor, or an unneeded tariff protection, or an exemption from taxation makes no difference. And because the advantage for the few is specific and considerable while the cost to the disadvantaged many is often hidden and small, the few regularly prevail over the many in such political contests.

and one more:

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 had 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 destroyed. And yet the Constitution endures and the country continues to flourish under it.

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Mindless Protests Have Cost Universities Dearly, Now It’s Football’s Turn. by The Elephant's Child


The news today seems to be entirely about professional sports teams protesting the national anthem because—well, that’s where it gets a little confusing.  I’m not a professional sports fan, and usually pay no attention, so forgive me if I get some of this wrong. Apparently it all began with Colin Kaepernick,  formerly a quarterback with the SF 49’rs, who took to “taking a knee” (two knees is religious and bad, but one knee is a protest?) to protest the National Anthem, because of the oppression of blacks?  That didn’t go over very well, but his winning streak for the 49’rs didn’t last and he’s now a “free agent” which seems to be pro-sports speak for out of a job.

This young man is worth some $22 million, and had a salary of  $10,400,000. which doesn’t sound too oppressed.  So he is obviously concerned about other black people.

We just had a black president and first lady,  for two terms. We have had black Supreme Court justices for years beginning with Thurgood Marshall.  Currently Clarence Thomas serves, but he is a conservative, so he doesn’t count. He is regularly called an “Uncle Tom” and not included in the Smithsonian Black American History Museum. The Congressional Black Caucus currently has 45 members, is described by Wikipedia as a”racial organization,” and you have to be black to belong. There are 6 black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and one of them is a woman.  Blacks are very active in the movie industry, and Morgan Freeman not only appears in every movie, but is right there whenever a deep voice is needed.

There are black professors in most universities, black novelists appear on the bestseller lists, black historians, black chefs (I’ve recently been getting Stubbs slow-cooker sauce, and recommend it), black fashion designers, black artists, and our music world would be poverty stricken indeed were it not for the contributions of black musicians. Black economists have added immeasurably to our understanding of how economies work — Tom Sowell has a particular genius for explaining things in an uncomplicated way, without jargon, that quickly makes sense, and Walter Williams brings a libertarian approach, but both are called Uncle Toms. Easier to insult than to emulate.

Some believe the Black Lives Matter claims, but their Marxist propaganda does not stand up to actual statistics. Cops shoot far more white men than black. More blacks are incarcerated because they commit more crimes. In general the police are trying to keep the peace and stop criminals from harming others, at great risk to themselves. There are some bad cops, some unjust court cases, and some wrong people blamed for a crime they did not commit. That is not the norm.

Now if you want to count comparable numbers, maybe it is unfair, I haven’t counted. It seems that there is no field that is not wide open to those who strive. On the other hand, our schools are not doing so well. Some schools that serve black neighborhoods are failing the kids, despite, in many cases, spending much more than other schools per pupil. That’s what Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education is trying to fix by promoting charter schools, school choice, and insisting that schools are responsive to the needs of students and the expectations of parents. Reports from our universities reveal that the kids cannot write coherent sentences and whole papers are beyond them. But that is not black kids but all kids. The schools apparently decided that in an era of keyboards, it was no longer necessary to teach writing—in the case of cursive writing, and in the case of putting words together in a way to actually make sense. The demise of cursive writing is unfortunate, for one of the best tricks for remembering something is writing it down, and writing it down at length is important so that you can go back and look at it later and see where you have been stupid.

Former president Obama clearly made race a feature of his administration. He vowed to make trouble for his successor, remaining in Washington to supervise the efforts of his OFA, which seems to be behind much of the attacks on President Trump. The New York Post explains how Obama is funding the anti-Trump resistance, with some funny business with the mortgage crisis settlements, and an improper, maybe unconstitutional, slush fund. He certainly managed to make race a much more prominent problem during his administration.

I don’t think knowledge, or skills, or education, or ability, or ambition has anything to do with the color of anyone’s skin. To the astonishment of most university students today, America was not the only nation that once had slavery. Slavery was common all over the world since long before recorded history. “Native American” nations were warring with and enslaving one another long before Europeans arrived. In the South there were blacks who owned slaves. Slavers from the Mediterranean raided the British isles to capture slaves. The African slave trade mostly went to the sugar islands and South America. America remains unusual in having fought a civil war to end slavery and in making successive laws to stamp out the remnants. Look to the Islamic countries where slavery is still common.

Sunday was a day for sports team protest. They claimed to be protesting President Trump for suggesting that they should be fired for protesting the National Anthem, when so many have fought and died for our country. It was the anthem they insulted, and the country, and the veterans. Owners and coaches may not realize the animosity that our people feel when their country and their flag is insulted. There’s a reason why the Emmys had the fewest viewers ever. There’s a reason why some stadiums are half empty. How about you? Are you boycotting anyone?



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



Vice President Pence Spoke Today at a Ceremony of Remembrance, on a field at Shanksville, PA. by The Elephant's Child



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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