American Elephants


Executing an ISIS Executioner And Saving His Victims. Good Job! by The Elephant's Child

isis-fighters
In Sunday’s news:” A British Special Air Service marksman turned one of the most hated terrorists in Syria into a fireball by using a Barrett 50-caliber rifle to strike the fuel tank affixed to the executioner’s back.”

The shot, made from nearly a mile away, exploded the fuel tank killing the terrorist and three of his flunkies just before the jihadist was about to burn 12 hostages alive with a flamethrower. The ISIS butcher had been on a US “kill list” for several months. He apparently delighted in burning hostages alive, tied to stakes or thrown in cages before being torched.

The flunkies who were killed were a film crew planning to film the executions for recruiting purposes.

British and American Special Forces rescued the eight men and four women who were about to be murdered.



Hillary Clinton Puts Her Stunning Ignorance of Economic Reality On Display by The Elephant's Child

wwwmoney
From Labor day on, we are in the purely political world. “In her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, presidential nominee Hillary Clinton insisted that the economic performance of the preceding eight years was ‘much stronger’ than it was during the Bush years. More than fifteen million private sector jobs were created  under President Obama, she said, many more people are now on health insurance, and the automobile industry is booming.” That, said Richard Epstein, seems to be her argument that progressive policies led to economic growth.

The day after her big speech, the Commerce Department reported that the slowest economic recovery since 1949 was getting slower still. The Gross Domestic Product growth  was down to 1.2 percent. Well, nothing to do with the success of Progressivism. It’s the decline of the middle class, or rising levels of inequality that are the problem. The FED just said that we have full employment, though I just mentioned yesterday that Obama had put 83,000 coal miners out of work. It’s no wonder people get confused. Who can you believe?

The U.S. Department of Labor unemployment rate (U-3) defines the unemployment rate as those who are jobless but actively looking for work. But there are five other measures of labor underutilization. U-6 refers to not only the unemployed, but also the marginally attached who are neither working or looking, but want to and are available and have looked in the past year, and the people who have a part-time job but want to work full time. That rate at it’s peak was 17.1 percent but is now down to 9.7 percent. That’s still a lot of discouraged people.

The thing is that Progressives don’t really do economics. They are opposed to the free market, they believe that business and industry need to be heavily regulated, and that government should be big enough to manage the whole economy. They find the idea that government doesn’t need to manage the economy, but to leave it alone — completely absurd. The idea of small government, or disposing of some agencies altogether gives them a case of the willies.

Some things are not important to a Progressive. Obama has cut funding for the military by $265 billion over 5 years. They are opposed to war, so prefer not to fund it — which can be awkward when your enemies start to see you as very weak, human nature being what it is. But then Progressives don’t really believe in human nature either. Economist Mark Perry at AEI gives us the Venn Diagram of the day:

vennapplewalmartnew

You see the problem. The official national debt is at $19 trillion and climbing, but the real debt is much higher. Need proof? Nancy Pelosi, declared that “the best way to stimulate the economy” is through food stamps and unemployment insurance. The more people who get free food, the more prosperous we become?

Hillary wants to spend $1 trillion more on government works programs, free day care and free college education and expanded entitlements. She will pay for all this by raising taxes on everybody, but especially the undeserving rich, the top 1% who already pay 38% of all federal taxes paid.

Hillary attacked Donald Trump saying “While he may have some catchy sound bites, his statements on the economy are dangerously incoherent. They are deeply misguided, and they reflect an individual who is temperamentally unfit to manage the American economy.” Well, yes. Cutting taxes and turning loose the economy is, to a progressive — dangerously incoherent.

Obama has added over $7 trillion to the national debt all by himself, and if you remember back when he started off so confidently to create lots of jobs with repairing our crumbling infrastructure — exactly the same thing Hillary is promising. Except Obama had to sheepishly admit that “there don’t seem to be any shovel-ready jobs.”



Once Again, Free Markets Work Their Magic by The Elephant's Child

indi

Let’s turn to some really good news:

This year marks the 25th anniversary of liberal reforms in India that led to the dismantling of many socialist economic policies and the end of the draconian License Raj.  Liberalization has changed life for many in India over the past couple of decades, although much more remains to be done. Just the middle class alone has exploded from 30 million people in 1991 to 300 million in 2014.

So this is a good occasion to tell the story of perhaps the most unexpected beneficiaries of these reforms: the rising Dalit millionaires. In recent years, many thousands of so-called “untouchables,” or Dalits, members of the lowest group in the Indian caste order, have risen out of poverty to become wealthy business owners, some even millionaires.

Westerners are often unable to grasp just what it has meant to be born into a caste of the poorest of the poor without hope of ever moving out of the caste. Caste was determined by birth, and being born an untouchable meant a lifetime of being trapped in low income “dirty” jobs. Marriage could only be within a caste, and there was no hope of advancement for one’s children. Systematic discrimination locked in place for generations.

The opening up of production processes to market forces created new opportunities never before possible. “Starting small and scraping together resources and capital, many of these Dalits now run business empires that actually provide employment to upper caste members.”

There is Thomas Barnabas who was born into a family of bonded laborers, all eight of whom lived in a one-room house. Thomas recalls being thrown out of an upper caste friend’s home as a child after eating and drinking there because he was “untouchable.” They then proceeded to purify and wash the floor where he sat and threw away the dishes from which he ate.

Thomas saw the unmet demand for the processing of industrial waste that was generated by large corporations like Dell, Samsung and Mercedes that had set up manufacturing plants in India after liberalization. He now owns an industrial waste recycling and disposal business that has an annual sales revenue of $2,3 million, and employs 200 people, including many from upper castes.

Do read the whole thing. Shows what can happen with free markets and free people. Not perfect by any means, but improving.

Meanwhile, back in the Americas, thousands turned out, with their pots and pans, crying “We Are Hungry!” in Venezuela and chased President Nicholas Maduro down the street. Only last week some broke into the zoo and killed a starving horse for the meat. Socialism sometimes sounds good, but it is always a lie.



The Progressive Left’s Ideas on Diversity Are Sheer Bunk by The Elephant's Child


The Progressive Far Left aims to change American culture by changing our language. You’ve heard the buzz-words — over and over and over. One of the big ones is “diversity.” Sounds like a good thing, doesn’t it? The Progressive Left chooses their words carefully to sound good, but what do they mean by “diversity”?

What is meant is skin color and/or race. This includes mostly Blacks, Hispanics or Latinos, occasionally Native Americans, Hawaiians, and seldom Asians. It has mostly been pursued through the education system. The failure of schools in minority districts was attempted to be remedied, not by better teachers and better programs, but by busing.

Awkwardly, Hispanics or Latinos are not a race, but speak either Spanish or Portuguese. Some, descended from South America’s Native Americans do have brown skin, and some are descended from black slaves from Africa imported to work in the cane fields. In any case, we are supposed to divvy everything up to conform to numbers in the total population.

So there are advantages to being “diverse,” and numbers of prominent Lefties have attempted to become “diverse” in order to take advantage of available goodies — Elizabeth Warren, Rachel Dolezal and Ward Churchill.  It’s quite popular to claim Cherokee or Comanche ancestry, other tribes not so much. The fact that Native Americans owned slaves is never ever mentioned.

The American Melting Pot has been marvelously successful in blending in folks from all over the world. The first generation often huddles together with others who speak their language, but they become Americans.  That is the purpose of our Americanization process for those applying for citizenship. Obama has attempted to reduce the requirements significantly, because he isn’t much interested in their becoming Americans, only in whether they vote Democrat.

The importance of buzz-words is indicated by the extent to which Colleges and Universities now emphasize “diversity” of race. Diversity of ideas is not considered either important or necessary. There have even been many instances of professors demanding conformity and urging dissenters to drop the class. Oddly, students inspired by Black Lives Matter are demanding more classes in race, more Black professors, more separate dorms. Diversity indeed. Racially segregated “safe spaces” are fixtures on college campuses. Enormously important in advertising.

How much of this political correctness exists because people fear the disapproval that might descend upon them if they do not follow the correct line? Think about that one.

Here is an excellent column by Victor Davis Hanson titled “History’s Pathway to Chaos.”

Bruce Thornton writes about Progressive “Thought Blockers:”Diversity: The grim antithesis to liberal education.

I believe that human beings are by nature tribal. In the modern age, the old notion of tribes is long gone, except in the Middle East, but we still self-select organizations and clubs to form the modern tribe of people we want to be with and who share our ideas and tastes. Nobody bellyaches when we join bridge clubs, churches, poker clubs, bird-watching clubs. charitable organizations, neighborhood communities, Boy Scouts (well, we have had some objections to the Boy part), same goes for Campfire girls, and these organizations may be extremely diverse or not. So what? The Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations are popular. Just total up some of the organizations that you and your friends have joined. That’s just the modern version of Tribe. Who is more tribal than a bunch of Progressive Democrats, and who is at war with Freedom of Speech?



How To Talk to The Black Community Or Not by The Elephant's Child

allen_west

An article by Allen West in Townhall pursues the same problem, titled “The Super-Secret Handshake of the Black Community.” He says “something is happening in this presidential election cycle that has some folks totally up in arms. A white GOP presidential candidate is addressing the issues in the black community.” Only white liberal progressive socialists are provided with the handshake.

What amazes me is that here we have someone challenging the failed progressive policies of the inner city and his sincerity is questioned? Why has no one EVER questioned the sincerity of the Democrats who have run the inner cities of America for decades? Easy answer, they have the secret sauce and Hillary Clinton even admitted she carries it in her purse. When the left, (or the appointed black gatekeepers) are challenged on their policy shortcomings in the black community, the retort is racism. That is the means by which suppression of the discussion is sought. If you are a black conservative, then you are told you are not really black, only a token, Oreo, sellout, Uncle Tom and several other denigrating titles that are too vile to repeat here. …

So, it becomes very apparent that one does not talk about the decimation of the black family. No one needs to know that, prior to the policies of Lyndon Johnson, the two parent black household was at 75%-77%. Even a white, liberal Democrat senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Monyihan, admonished Johnson against instituting the policy of government checks for out of wedlock children, caveated by the condition that no man could be in the home. Monyihan obviously did not know the super-secret handshake because he was attacked and demonized for speaking out. I am reminded of his famed quote, “You are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.” The fact is that many of the issues in the inner city, the black community, stem from the destruction of the black family. But, if you are not part of the secret club, you best not speak of that, lest you are attacked. …

Unless you have the super-secret handshake code, you cannot talk about black on black shootings and murders. Matter of fact, it is about the gun, not the socio-economic factors creating the violence. And, you had best tow the talking points line, or else have your membership card revoked — which is what we see from the liberal progressive media. Their propaganda is not focused on the real issue. How many shootings and deaths occurred in Chicago this past weekend? The message from the leftist media is all about maintaining the status quo, the 21st century economic plantation. It is about the perpetuation of the dependency society, the welfare nanny-state. They will never challenge the notion of economic enslavement to the government masters.

Uncomfortable truths.  Do read the whole thing.

ADDENDUM: See also “Chicago’s Murder Rate Spirals Out of Control” by Jack Dunphy.



Why Are Americans Working Fewer Hours? by The Elephant's Child

Unfortunately, Democrats do not seem to understand cause and effect. They are always making foolish mistakes like this because they don’t understand business (they have a long history of this). President Obama made this clear himself, when he said he disliked the brief job he had as a copywriter, and believed that the more positive pursuit was “public service.”

Public servants are noble, caring, and ordering and administering the rest of us is a righteous career choice, while businessmen are greedy, mean, cruel, and often get rich on the back of the working man. They prey on the poor and business is bad, bad, bad, except for those who go out of their way to support the Democratic Party and its candidates. Or something like that.

ADDENDUM: “We’re Hiring Economics Writers” was the headline of a post from FiveThirtyEight.  “This is a part-time staff position (up to 29 hours per week) and does not offer benefits.”

Guess why they chose 29 hours? You know, you just watched the Prager University video.



The Paranoid Style of American Politics and the Left. by The Elephant's Child

In The Closing of the Liberal Mind: How Groupthink and Intolerance Define the Left,  Kim Holmes addresses the “paranoid style of American politics” as described by political scientist Richard Hofstadter in the 1960s.

Liberal populists, … are big believers in conspiracy theories. Hillary Clinton once spoke of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” against her and her husband, and she is not alone in her paranoia. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (whose financial disclosure reports showed her to be worth about $8 million in early 2015) believes businessmen, bankers, and the rich are irredeemably selfish and make decisions solely for their own benefit which hurts the poor. To many progressive liberals, opponents of same-sex marriage are not honest people guided by conscience, but malicious bigots out to do harm. American history is not a complex unfolding of events but a cynical conspiracy driven by rich white people whose only interest is to keep their racial and economic privileges. Since the “enemy” is in control of everything—the radio waves, the churches and the banks—they are thought to be all-powerful. It is perfectly acceptable to apply any means whatsoever to dislodge them from power. It is justice of the revolutionary sort, because according to the paranoid’s viewpoint, one’s political opponents  are simply too evil to be given  fair shake in the debate. They must not be merely opposed. Them must be silenced and removed.

Oh, come on! Surely that’s an exaggeration. Surely you have noticed that you are being called a “white supremacist,”

The city of Seattle, WA, has offered a class on “white fragility” to white people in order to explain white guilt and why white people cannot “handle matters involving race.”Lecturer Robin DiAngelo, who coined the term, is teaching the taxpayer-funded class for the city Office of Arts and Culture. She defines white fragility as “a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves.”

Critics say it is just the latest attempt at spreading white guilt, following in the footsteps of concepts such as “white privilege.”

From Richard Hofstadter:

Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated —if not from the world, at least from the theatre of operations to which the paranoid directs his attention. This demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly unrealistic goals, and since these goals are not even remotely attainable, failure constantly heightens the paranoid’s sense of frustration. Even partial success leaves him with the same feeling of powerlessness with which he began and this in turn only strengthens his awareness of the vast and terrifying quality of the enemy he opposes.

Unrealistic goals? I give you millions of jobs from repairing our infrastructure, or how about running the country on wind and biofuels? Or possibly handing control of the entire Middle East over to the Mullahs in Iran, so we can have peace. I’ll even bet that you can think of some other unrealistic goals.




%d bloggers like this: