American Elephants


A Little Clarity About the Virtues of Socialism – There Aren’t Any. by The Elephant's Child

Daniel Hannan is the Member of the European Parliament for South East England, for the Conservative Party. This speech is from 2014, but still more than appropriate. Bernie Sanders, committed Socialist, suggests we should have a government more like Sweden — currently the rape capital of the world. Hannan is a Euroskeptic, and argues for Democratic reform. If you prefer, he can speak in either French or Spanish as well.

When we graduate aspiring politicians, I wish we could send them to Britain to learn how to speak without uhs and ands and garbled language and fuzzy thought.



Something Wonderful! by The Elephant's Child
January 12, 2016, 6:22 am
Filed under: Environment, Freedom, Heartwarming, History | Tags: , ,

Bandit the bull had spent his entire life in a narrow stable with no opportunity to stretch his legs or enjoy a bit of sunshine. But when Gut Aiderbichl sanctuary rescued Bandit and gave him a new life — that all became only history. Lovely story. I’ll borrow Vanderleun’s headline.

(h/t: American Digest)



Bret Stephens on The Coming Global Disorder by The Elephant's Child

Bret Stephens has been the foreign affairs columnist for The Wall Street Journal for nine years. This is a speech he delivered to the David Horowitz Freedom Center Texas Retreat, last June. A very thoughtful speech. It reflects much of the thinking expressed in his 2014 book America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder.

It’s perhaps a little long for a Wednesday night when tomorrow is a work day, but do save it to watch when you have time. You will be glad you did.



Leftist Ideas of “Social Justice” Will Never End Illegal Immigration by The Elephant's Child

Here’s Heather MacDonald, explaining mass illegal immigration and its effect on American society. Sweden was recently the most welcoming nation for Syrian refugees, after becoming the rape capitol of the world, Sweden has moved to limit refugee migration severely. Everybody wants to be ‘nice,’ they sympathize with the justifiable fear of refugees, but they were unprepared for the clash of cultures between 21st century European social democracy and Fifth Century totalitarianism.

Heather begins with the conundrum of Kate Steinle and her murder in a Sanctuary City by a five times deported illegal alien felon. Nice and Compassion, and Empathy have become guideposts for the Left, but they don’t fit well into the real world. What is to be done? When and where do you say Enough? It’s not an easy question and the answers are not easy either. Heather MacDonald is a certified expert in crime and policing, law and punishment, and borders and immigration. Pull up a chair and give a listen.



The Bill of Rights Will Be 225 Years Old This Year, And Nobody seems to Understand it After All This Time! by The Elephant's Child

shutterstock_105467189-630x286
Congress Shall Make No Law Respecting an Establishment of Religion, or Prohibiting the Free Exercise Thereof; or Abridging the Freedom of Speech,
or of the Press; or the Right of the People Peaceably
to Assemble, and To Petition the Government
for a Redress of Grievances.

The Bill of Rights will be 225 years old this year, and remains as contentious as ever. In a way, it’s only natural. Nobody likes rude comments directed to them, or to someone or someone they favor. Depending on just how rude — you probably want them silenced. Certainly we have a current problem on college campuses where the students not only don’t want to be offended, but they don’t want any microaggressions, and want to be protected from having to hear anyone who might disagree with them.

Well so much for education. No one who needs protection from opinions different from their own has any interest in being educated. ‘Protection from’ and ‘education’ are antithetical. Parents, you’re wasting your money.

“December 17, 2015 ought henceforth to be a date which will live in infamy, as that was the day that some of the leading Democrats in the House of Representatives came out in favor of the destruction of the First Amendment. House Resolution 569 condemns “violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States.”

That freedom of speech thing is all very well until it is your own ox being gored. How did we get to a place where understanding the meaning of free speech is so hard?

Here’s a short history of how the Bill of Rights came about. and follow that up with Wikipedia’s account of the Alien and Sedition Acts. What? You mean they can throw you in prison for criticizing the government?  That’s what Sedition is, and in many countries it is grounds for being arrested, thrown in prison, or even having your head chopped off. ISIS chops off heads of those who criticize the Caliphate or its leaders, or the prophet, or its rules. Iran does the same, and Saudi Arabia just executed 47 prisoners. You will find many countries where Sedition is against the law.

Jonathan Rauch wrote a splendid little book back in 1993 called “Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought. The jacket flap says “Thou shall not hurt others with words. The commandment looks harmless even admirable. But it is neither. As Jonathan Rauch states in the groundbreaking book, “This moral principle is deadly—inherently deadly, not incidentally so—to intellectual freedom and to the productive and peaceful pursuit of knowledge.”

The most frightening thing of the year has been to discover that there are significant numbers of students who have been admitted to good colleges, even ivy league colleges, who have not the slightest idea of  the importance of free speech, nor of the blessings of living in a country that has such protections. American schools go to great lengths to inform us that they are teaching “critical thinking.” That is a lie, and a big one. They are teaching the art of being a victim. They are teaching “social justice,” unaware that there is only one kind of justice in this country—which is embodied in the Constitution, the laws of the nation, the states, and the courts.

A reading list might start with Kindly Inquisitors, include 1984, A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, and The Gulag Archipelago by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Add to that Against All Hope: A Memoir of Life in Castro’s Gulag: an account of the 22 years author Armando Valladares spent as a prisoner of conscience under Fidel Castro. His only crime was upholding his Catholic faith by refusing to display Marxist propaganda on his work desk. He was kept up at night by the sound of Castro’s firing squads murdering innocent Cubans, brutally beaten, immersed in human feces, forced to watch guards abuse and even murder other prisoners. President Reagan read his memoir and appointed Valladares the U.S. ambassador to the UN Commission on Human Rights.

The pitiful “snowflakes” on our campuses, having been “organized” by former protesters from Ferguson and Baltimore, Acorn, and Obama’s Americorps, were protesting faux racial offenses, and nonexistent hate crimes. There was no excuse for administrators and faculty who forgot how to behave like adults, and pandered and resigned in disgrace.

Greg Lukianoff of the organization FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, has been defending freedom of expression on campus since 1999. He wrote today at Cato, an essay titled “Campus Free Speech Has Been in Trouble for a Long Time.” FIRE is a splendid organization and his essay is worth your time. If we do not stand up for freedom of speech, we may end up with a new batch of Sedition laws. The Left is certainly of the opinion that freedom of speech should be curtailed.  Or do you not understand what the Citizens United case was all about? Our presidential candidates on the Left promise to get rid of the decision.

Another essay worth your time is “Campus Turmoil Begins in High School” by Jonathan Haidt. The kids are heading back to school after Christmas vacation. We’ll see if the holidays (or their parents) have mellowed the returning students at all. We can only hope.



Why American Politics Is the Way It Is by The Elephant's Child

American-Flag-Background-Vintage-580x271
from
Take No Prisoners
by David Horowitz

A defining characteristic of the progressive outlook is its belief in the doctrine of original innocence. The modern source of this belief is the French radical Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who maintained that private property is the source of social evils and that “Man is born free but is everywhere in chains.” This is doctrine so obviously false it hardly  needs refutation except progressives believe it. What they believe is that “society” is the root cause of social problems. In their view, human beings are naturally cooperative and sharing, honest and moral, but are corrupted by social institutions that encourage prejudice and greed and set them against each other. They believe that  “social justice” is the model of how human beings naturally relate to each other, that equality and cooperation reflect human nature, and that socialism is therefore the name of a truly  human future.

Conservatives believe the opposite. They believe that human beings are the root cause of social problems and that social institutions are corrupt because human beings create and run them. It is the barbarity of the species that requires the intervention of a social order with the disciplines of morality and law to civilize its inhabitants. This is also what the Founders believed. It is why they did not create a pure democracy that would express the popular will, which they regarded as unruly, emotion driven, and dangerous. Instead they devised a system of checks and balances to frustrate the majority’s natural instinct to tyrannize the weak and outnumbered. And they set limits to government.

Take No Prisoners by David Horowitz



Promises, Promises, From the Real Good Talker. by The Elephant's Child

121121_barack_obama_ap_605_1

Today I am pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office. This will not be easy. It will require us to make difficult decisions and face challenges we have long neglected. But I refuse to leave our children with a debt they cannot repay — and that means taking responsibility right now, in this administration for getting our spending under control.
………………………………Barack Obama, Fiscal Responsibility Summit 2/23/09

On January 20, 2009, the day President Barack Obama was inaugurated and saved the nation from the clutches of runaway capitalism, the national debt was $10,626,877,048,913.08; Obama acting more responsibly than any Wall Street villain increased that by around $6,000,000,000,000. If Barack Obama paid the debt back a dollar a second, it would only take him 126,750 presidential terms to “finish the job” and put us back on solid fiscal ground. Assuming the debt didn’t grow in the meantime.
………………………………………………………..David Harsanyi, The Federalist




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,544 other followers

%d bloggers like this: