American Elephants

They Are Losing or Have Lost Our Trust, And That IS a Very Big Deal. by The Elephant's Child



Troubling times. I find that I cannot watch the debate. Hillary, freshly coiffed by an expert, made up by an expert, dressed by an expert with a flattering collar that reflects all attention on the well done face and none on the weight she’s put on, is too much for me to take. That is a compliment, if a backhanded one. She’s really very well turned out for an important debate.

But even more so, because she is a compulsive liar, re-inventing herself each time she opens her mouth, to appear warmer, more caring, more capable, and just downright good—except that it just isn’t true. Canned lines.  Everything has been focus-group tested to see how it will play. When she said in a speech that there were “public positions” on an issue and “private positions,” it was not just a rare moment of candor, but an excuse if she gets caught at anything.

I have a deep intolerance for liars and lies, not, I hope, as any sort of holier-than-thou thing, but merely that understanding the world and what is going on is hard. People at their most honest are often mistaken or wrong. The only thing we have to guide us is our experience of the past, and other’s experience, but we never know enough. We are stumbling through a darkened wood trying to find the real and honest, and people who lie, deliberately, to confuse and mislead because of their own greed—are the enemy, trying to keep us stupid.

Have you noticed that whatever the subject, Hillary has met with those people, shares their concerns, feels their pain, and has an answer to their problems. Here’s an occasion where the question to Hillary was about her statement that there were “public positions” and “private positions” about a policy and wasn’t that two-faced? Her response is fascinating, and attempts to turn the question gradually into an attack on Trump and insinuation that the Russians are trying to influence our elections for the benefit of Trump. Whew! Some spin, and she ends up with Donald not releasing his tax returns. That’s an impressive trip around all sorts of attacks without ever dealing with the original question.

Hillary is a radical leftist. She was an admiring student of Saul Alinsky and his Rules for Radicals, who teaches how to manipulate people in order to control them to get power. She wrote her senior thesis about him. Obama was a student of Alinsky’s methods and purportedly his best student ever at applying his methods in community organizing.

The leadership of the Democratic Party has moved far left. It’s open borders, and free trade in the hemisphere. Christiana Figueres, as Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity, but to destroy capitalism. The Left pretends that their goals are something new and different, but it’s just the same old story that ends up as Venezuela.

They want to be in charge. They want to make the rules, and they want the power. That’s where Hillary is, and her choice as vice presidential candidate is just as hard left. In spite of impressive degrees or titles, they just don’t know enough to manage a people. You have to trust the people and trust in their creativity and their choices. They don’t need your management, they need to be able to trust you. They are supposed to be the boss, and you government people are the public servants, doing their bidding, not the other way around.

The people are concerned about uncontrolled immigration. They are concerned with a president who operates by executive orders and ignores the Constitution. They are concerned about terrorist attacks and the refusal to do anything about it, including calling terrorism by name. They are concerned about an economy that just costs more, and does less and less efficiently, and doesn’t seem to grow at all.

Even the British papers say that Trump won this debate, so it must be so. We’ll see how it plays out in the polls, which may or may not mean anything at all. These are troubling times, and we can no longer trust the fact-checkers, let alone the media. A strange, strange year.

Is the U.S. Tax System Fair? by The Elephant's Child

Published on Sep 29, 2016

Is the U.S. tax system fair? Are the rich paying too little or too much? What about the middle and lower class? New York Times bestselling author Amity Shlaes answers these questions, and offers a tax solution that most Americans could get on board with.

Hillary’s Pathetic Claim About Trump’s Taxes was the Feature of the VP Debate. e by The Elephant's Child

1003_kaine-pence-composite-1000x625The Vice-Presidential Debate was last night. It doesn’t matter much in the larger scheme of things, but it’s nice to get a look at them both. I was impressed with Governor Pence and his calm ability to stay on message. The task for each candidate was to defend their principals.

Tim Kaine played the attack dog role. He tried hard to echo Hillary’s most dramatic accusations, and to make a big deal out of the New York Times revelation that Trump, years ago, lost nearly a billion dollars on his investments in Atlantic City Casinos, as Hillary had.

Unfortunately, the issue demonstrates one of two realities. Either Hillary is massively ignorant about business, for she keeps trying to claim that anyone who lost a billion dollars in business is unfit for the office of the Presidency.

Well, surprise. It’s not uncommon at all. Try companies like Amazon, GE, Chevron, Exxon-Mobil. That’s why there is a provision in the tax code to allow companies who have suffered a major loss to recoup, and put things back on a sound basis to become profitable again. Such tax deductions play out over several years, and Donald Trump was not required to pay taxes to demonstrate his empathy, he was required to pay, and did, exactly what the law prescribed.

After claiming that when Trump paid no taxes, he wasn’t supporting the military and was taking food from the mouth of babies, Hillary went on to claim that any businessman who lost a billion dollars shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the nuclear codes.

So tell that to GE, Chevron, Amazon and Exxon-Mobil and dozens of other companies. Hillary tried to make a big deal of the fact that he lost money on — an Atlantic City casino. If she does know that Atlantic City was a disaster for all the casinos, then the other alternative is that she is demonstrating her massive contempt for her voters. The common people will fall for anything.

Not Constrained Anywhere Nearly Enough! by The Elephant's Child


We want so badly to understand just what is going on. Reports vary from “run for the hills” to “nothing to see here,” just move along. It’s pretty clear that the economy is not thriving, no matter how often Mr. Obama insists that it is. We are not happy with our economy, we are not happy with our government, and we’re not happy with each other.

Have you read the comments on any major website? It’s getting truly nasty out there. Black Lives Matter is successfully causing riots and attacks on police. Seventeen year-old Brian Ogle is fighting for his life after he dared to post “Blue Lives Matter” on his Facebook page. He was attacked and beaten and is in critical condition with three skull fractures.

We have an ideological war going on. The Democratic Party elite have moved far, far to the Left. I don’t know if the rank and file of the party is in line with that. There’s talk of globalists and anti-globalists, immigration and open borders, terrorism and inviting in unlimited numbers of Syrian refugees who cannot be reliably assured are even from Syria, or are not ISIS fighters. Matthew Continetti took that one on:

What is a “globalist’? They are, according to the Times, the “advocates of a more densely enmeshed world,” “concerned internationalists,” “humanitarians, leaders of nongovernmental organizations, donors, investors, app peddlers, celebrities,” a cast of managers, bureaucrats, apparatchiks, media figures and billionaires working across borders to solve problems such as climate change, the Syrian refugee crisis, Third-World poverty;, racial and sexual injustice, and interplanetary colonization. They are the busybody winners of the knowledge economy. And they are feeling glum.

I have a lot of articles attempting to explain what is going on, sitting on my desk, from John Fonte’s “Liberal Democracy vs. Transnational Progressivism: The Future of the Ideological Civil War Within the West”, to Ernest Sternberg’s “Purifying the World: What the New Radical Ideology Stands For.” to Angelo M. Codevilla’s “After the Republic” and from the anonymous Decius: “The Flight 93 Election”.
All excellent, a lot of reading, but worth your time if you have plenty to spare.

I think it evolves down to a simple fact: The radical Left does not like human nature, and they want to fix it. Our founders gave a lot of thought and worry to devising a Constitution to guide our country. They recognized man’s urge for power, the desire to enhance one’s own position and reputation, and they tried to insert checks and balances to keep us on the straight and narrow.

Leftists do not like the free market, which relies on the individual decisions of thousands of people making their own choices. They do not trust mass choice, they want control. Free people have ideas about how things can be improved or about a new product that they are sure will be popular. Rich people often support a new product by paying exorbitant prices to have the newest thing — which in turn makes it possible to begin mass production and bring the cost of the product down. The Left doesn’t want rich people to be free to buy high priced goods, they want to tax their money away to be given to the needy.

The Left does not like needy people being needy, but they are unwilling to leave them free enough to begin the climb to their own riches. They are wrapped up in their own empathy, and feeling good about taking your tax money to succor the world’s poor. As Thomas Sowell wrote — the anointed, or self-consciously elite, are sure that they know what is good for society and who think that the good must be attained by expanded government action. It’s always a ‘crisis’ that must be solved by government action, and they, of course, are always correctly the government who solves stuff. Remember the crisis when it was said that some of our school children were obese?

Human nature: people are tribal. They belong to countries with borders and a language, and customs, and food, and a history and traditions. We establish our own smaller tribes as well, from bridge clubs to neighborhoods, to political groups and football fandom. We seek out those who share our ideas and interests. Haven’t you noticed the extent to which the government is trying to dictate where we live and with whom we associate? If our interest groups are not sufficiently diverse, they may come after us, and we will be called racist, or homophobic or Islamophobic.

They don’t like human nature, they don’t like freedom, they want to control everything — so they can shape us into something they like better. The problem is those three separate branches of government set up to prevent exactly that control. You have noticed, I am sure, how far the Obama administration has gone in bypassing the three branches, ignoring the Constitution and custom and the traditions of the office. He has made a study of what he can get away with by executive orders, actions by federal agencies, and other means to avoid having to work with Congress. He wants to do what he wants, without interference. Which is surely one of the reasons why we have Donald Trump and a lot of very angry Americans.

Hillary is Biased, Partisan, Shameless, Dishonest and Corrupt, But You Should Turn The Economy Over to Her to Run? Oh Please! by The Elephant's Child

Over 80 million people watched the debate last Monday. The most ever. Which seems quite splendid until you stop to realize that the population is over 300 million. But of course everybody has been talking about it ever since. Michael Barone listed some of her ideas:

Hillary Clinton started off with a laundry list of incremental economic programs — none of which would promote economic growth. Some have already been legislated (equal pay for women, 1963), others are tilted to the upscale (debt-free college). A possible exception: the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which she has renounced but which she might, as Donald Trump predicted, manage to find acceptable once elected.

What about the “investments” she called for? Infrastructure spending employs a few high-skill workers and may, some day, provide facilities. Other “investments” usually turn out to be subsidies for Democratic-supporting public employee unions. Revive the economy by building solar panels? The government tried that with Solyndra and lost $535 million.

But then, she believes the 2007 financial crisis was caused by Bush’s tax cuts which is beyond absurd.She apparently believes that “clean energy” is a viable way to power the economy cheaply and reliably, because she’s going to go after the coal miners if there are any of them still working. She said so.

The financial crisis of 2007 began when the housing bubble burst. The bubble was caused by government efforts to get more poor people into their own homes, and lending standards were reduced to accomplish that. The Fed kept interest rates artificially low for too long, and the bad loans were passed around creating an economic collapse. It had nothing to do with incentivizing business investment to generate economic growth. Hillary even dragged out the old saw about “trickle-down economics”, trying to pin it on Trump as “Trump Trickledown Economics” in an effort to be clever. Didn’t work.

Hillary wants federal “retraining” of local police and believes that racial disparities in law enforcement are due to “systemic racism” from you and me, rather than the documented racial disparities in criminal behavior. Is that the way to bring out the black vote? I thought people who live in dangerous neighborhoods wanted more police protection. Encouraging protests and riots against police has already proven to be disastrous.

She has endorsed the “Iran Deal” as a way to keep a lid on their nuclear weapons program, rather than the pathway to weapons to attack Israel and the United States, which they candidly admit is their goal.

She believes firmly that “government can create the benefits of economic growth without any actual economic growth. Working Americans are clearly suffering economically. Economic growth is beyond anemic, and the absent recovery is the worst recovery period since World War II.  GDP is averaging about 1% so far this year, with no signs of relief.

The Federal Reserve Board is projecting GDP growth going forward at a pitiful 2% annually. The economy is so weak that the Fed is afraid to raise interest rates by even a quarter of a point. One of the primary causes has been a decline in investment. We have the world’s highest corporate tax rate, and with projections of only a mere 2% growth going forward, companies are reluctant to invest.

Mr. Trump believes in offering incentives to encourage growth. He wants to reduce taxes from 35 percent to 15 percent for companies, big and small. He wants to reduce the regulatory burden that is keeping investment low, keep an “all of the above” energy program. If increasing business investment will drive economic growth and create jobs this is a HUGE and effective approach that has always worked.

Hillary wants to raise taxes on “the wealthy” to “make the economy “fairer” without any understanding that jobs are created by people who actually have money to invest. Poor people do not create jobs.

Hillary will turn to government mandates to address stagnant wages, by forcing businesses to share more of their profits with employees. In other words she wants to increase wages and benefits without any actual economic growth to make those increases possible.

FBI director James Comey testified that Hillary seemed to not have much understanding of technology, and blamed much of her troubles on her ignorance. She doesn’t have much understanding of economics either, and her ignorance could cause us all some very real trouble.

How Much Money have Humans Created? by The Elephant's Child

All stock markets added together are worth $70 trillion, and global debt is $199 trillion.

That’s all impressive, but the derivatives market takes the cake. Derivatives are contracts between parties that derive value from the performance of underlying assets, indices, or entities. On the low end, the notional value of the derivatives market is estimated to be a whopping $630 trillion according to the Bank of International Settlements.

However, that only accounts for OTC (over-the-counter) derivatives, and the truth is that no one actually knows the size of the derivatives market. It’s been estimated by some that it could be as high as $1.2 quadrillion, and others estimate it could be even higher.

There are many financial critics who worry about the risk that these contracts pile onto the global financial system. With the sheer size of the derivative market dwarfing all others, it’s understandable why business mogul Warren Buffett has called derivatives “financial weapons of mass destruction”.

Barack Obama, Keeping Us Safe From Those People He Won’t Describe Because it Might Offend by The Elephant's Child

*Click to enlarge

It doesn’t always take a long-winded discussion to explain just what is going on in our world. Michael Ramirez strikes again!

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