American Elephants


Islamic State Barbarians Are Still Continuing the Slave Trade by The Elephant's Child

Slave Trade
In yesterday’s post, I noted a Professor at U. Wisconsin’s agonizing quote about a quiz he gave to college juniors and seniors. It’s worth repeating:

I started giving quizzes to my juniors and seniors. I gave them a ten-question American history test… just to see where they are. The vast majority of my students – I’m talking nine out of ten, in every single class, for seven consecutive years – they have no idea that slavery existed anywhere in the world before the United States. Moses, Pharaoh, they know none of it. They’re 100% convinced that slavery is a uniquely American invention… How do you give an adequate view of history and culture to kids when that’s what they think of their own country – that America invented slavery? That’s all they know.

Today, The Islamic State, in a digression from their usual tirades against Christians, claimed in the latest issue of their propaganda magazine Dabiq that if Muslims had been running things in countries like the United States, “the lucrative African slave trade would have continued, supporting a strong economy.”

As usual, the Islamic State supports its position with theological arguments, suggesting that Allah is pleased with slavery, as long as the slaves are infidels.

“The Islamic leadership would not have bypassed Allah’s permission to sell captured pagan humans, to teach them, and to convert them, as they worked hard for their masters in building a beautiful country,” the article reads.

Trading in black African slaves, the magazine notes, would not be done for racial reasons but religious ones.

Along with African slavery, the IS authors said that “if it were Muslims instead of Christians who had fought the Japanese ad Vietnamese or invaded the lands of the Native Americans, there would have been no regrets in killing and enslaving those therein.”

This charming diatribe from ISIS calls to mind Victor Davis Hanson’s column from last week: “The Dream of Muslim Outreach Has Become a Nightmare”

When President Obama entered office, he dreamed that his hope-and-change messaging and his references to his familial Islamic roots would win over the Muslim world. The soon-to-be Nobel Peace Prize laureate would make the U.S. liked in the Middle East. Then, terrorism would decrease. …

The new message of the Obama administration was that the Islamic world was understandably hostile because of what America had done rather than what it represented.

Accordingly, all mention of radical Islam, and even the word “terrorism,” was airbrushed from the new administration’s vocabulary. Words to describe terrorism or the fight against it were replaced by embarrassing euphemisms like “overseas contingency operations,” “man-caused disaster,” and “workplace violence.”

In apology tours and mythological speeches, Obama exaggerated Islamic history as often as he critiqued America. He backed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. He pushed America away from Israel, appeased Iran, and tried to piggyback on the Arab Spring by bombing Libya. He even lectured Christians on their past pathologies dating back to the Crusades.  (Do read the whole thing)



The News from America’s Campuses Is Even Worse Than You Thought! by The Elephant's Child

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Anybody that has been paying even minimal attention has noticed that all is not well on our college campuses. Safe spaces and hate speech and censoring speakers; renaming streets and buildings that were named long ago for a person who at some time did not have the ideas celebrated by today’s students. Black Lives Matter, and requests for more segregated buildings, more black studies courses, and more diversity intensive courses. Increasing racist hoaxes, and demands for particular administrators to be fired. Protection from offensive speech, or micro-aggressions, or cultural appropriation or racial insensitivity.

More disturbing yet is a report from Dr. Duke Plesta, an assistant professor of English at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh, on the “left’s choke hold on higher education—and its consequences.”

I started giving quizzes to my juniors and seniors. I gave them a ten-question American history test… just to see where they are. The vast majority of my students – I’m talking nine out of ten, in every single class, for seven consecutive years – they have no idea that slavery existed anywhere in the world before the United States. Moses, Pharaoh, they know none of it. They’re 100% convinced that slavery is a uniquely American invention… How do you give an adequate view of history and culture to kids when that’s what they think of their own country – that America invented slavery? That’s all they know.

A new report from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) reveals that “the overwhelming majority of America’s  most prestigious institutions do not require even the students who major in history to take a single course on United States history or government. Disregard for the importance of United States history in the undergraduate history major is matched by the overall disappearance of United States history requirements from general education, the core curriculum that should be part of every student’s education. ACTA’s annual “What will They Learn?” survey shows that only 18% of the over 1.100 four-year colleges and universities in the study, public and private, require a foundational course in United States history or United States history or United States government.”

  • Less than half could identify George Washington as the American general at Yorktown.
  • Only 42% placed the Battle of the Bulge in the history of World War II.
  • One-third of college graduates were unaware that FDR introduced the New Deal.
  • Nearly half did not know that Teddy Roosevelt played a major role in constructing the Panama Canal.
  • Less than 20% could accurately identify—in a multiple-choice survey—the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Over one-third of the college graduates surveyed could not place the American Civil War in its correct 20-year time frame.
  • Nearly half of the college graduates could not identify correctly the term lengths of U.S. senators and representatives. Reputation and high tuition are no guarantee that students will know the history of their nation.

We expect a certain amount of pure stupidity from college students. That is, after all, why they are there, but that only 18% of four year colleges and universities “require a foundational course in U.S. History or government” is alarming. Parents and alumni should let their schools know that to be unacceptable. They should also demand that the chairman of the history department explain the department’s requirements and rationale for those requirements.

ACTA delved into the requirements and course offerings in the history departments of 76 of the country’s top colleges and universities to see just how American history fit into their programs. Only 23 of the top undergraduate programs require a single course in U.S. history. Pathetic. That’s why we require new citizens to learn something about our history.

I particularly love John Steele Gordon’s An Empire of Wealth: The Epic history of American Economic Power, which brings in the inventions and developments that changed not only this country but changed the world. We’ve had adversity and wars, and a nation of diverse ambitious people from all over, striving to make better lives and a better country along the way. Economic developments have consequences and Mr. Gordon’s history provides the answer to why things happened the way they did. It’s a fascinating book.

If the colleges are mistreating your kids, after all the tuition they demand, be prepared to drill some history into them when they get home. The Left may want a generation of malleable nitwits, but our country can’t afford it.

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Red Tape Is Far More Than Annoying — It Has a More Sinister Purpose by The Elephant's Child

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In a previous post, I linked to an essay by Myron Magnet from City Journal titled “Why are Voters So Angry,” and I added my usual “Do read the whole thing,” but most of you didn’t (I can tell because WordPress tells me how many clicked on each link). So I’m posting another  link and urging you to read the whole essay once again.

The problem is the Administrative State. Socialists, who abound on the Left, have given up on the government’s owning the means of production (and thereby enriching themselves). They have realized that they don’t have to own America’s businesses, they can just control them with government regulation. And their control is far advanced, and nobody seems to recognize just what is happening.

Myron Magnet starts at the beginning and explains just how we have lost control of our government and what we need to do about it. Most adults not part of the Loony Left recognize that socialism is not a good form of government, and ends up as Venezuela, Cuba or Stalinist Russia, in hunger and poverty and desperation. Most adults excludes, of course the Bernie-worshiping Millennials who don’t know about Venezuelans starving and dying without medicine, and just think he’s kind of cute with his great shock of white hair.

But if we cease to enshrine American exceptionalism at the heart of our culture—if we set equal value on such Third World cultural tendencies as passive resignation, fatalism, superstition, devaluation of learning, resentment of imaginary plots by the powerful, and a belief that gratification deferred is gratification forgone—the exceptionalism of our institutions becomes all the more precarious.

Supercharging American anger over illegal immigration and its consequences is the politically correct ban on openly discussing it, with even the most reasoned reservation dismissed as racism and yahooism. And political correctness generates its own quantum of anger among citizens, who think of freedom of speech and debate as central to American exceptionalism. But elite culture stigmatizes plain speaking, so that now a rapist or a murderer is a “person who committed a crime” or an “individual who was incarcerated,” says the Obama Department of Justice, or, according to the latest humbug from the Department of Education, a “justice-involved individual.” Implicit in these euphemisms is the theory that “society,” not the criminal, is to blame for crime, a long-exploded idea aimed at blurring the distinction between right and wrong.

Well, there you go. That’s what I have just been going on about. Here we are in a mortal battle for the future of our country with candidates we hardly would have chosen as our champions. Hillary has essentially promised to continue Obama’s current drift into catastrophe, if only we will allow her to be America’s first woman something or other, and Donald Trump who has recognized the anger and frustration and answered it  with a burst of pure populism.

Jobs are created by the private sector, which makes the economy grow. Jobs created by the federal government just mean another cost to the taxpayers for agencies that cannot fulfill the task assigned to the agency. I’m not sure I can find an agency without a scandal attached. They are paid 78% more than their counterparts in the private sector, and there isn’t really enough work for them to do. The average federal employee earns about $119,000 annually, including salary and benefits, compared to $67,000 for the private sector. And they are receiving that generous compensation for plastering the private sector with so many regulations and so much red tape that the private sector cannot provide the engine of free market capitalism at which they have been so successful.

Read Myron Magnet’s essay on the Administrative State, and pass it on to family and friends. It is important that people realize what is happening to our country. Unfortunately the Left’s big ideas don’t work in the long term, or did you think that those quaint old cars in the Castro’s Cuba were there as theater for the tourists?

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Crime in Major Cities, and How Long They Have Been Run By Democrats! by The Elephant's Child

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A friend sent this comment:

I was just thinking – not long ago GM was building cars in Flint, Michigan and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico.

After 7 plus years of Obama’s administration, GM now builds cars in Mexico and you can’t drink the water in Flint, Michigan.

Hope and Change delivered! Is this a great country or what?



The Problem of Turkey Grows — Revolution or Counterrevolution? by The Elephant's Child

Turkey-Map

Europe has, in general, thought of Turkey as their bulwark against the hordes of Islamic migrants (heavily infiltrated with ISIS fighters). The democratically elected president of Turkey, Recep Tayip Erdogan, has just been the subject of a military coup (while he was absent from the country) which failed. Many believe that it was not a real coup, but Erdogan’s own plot to dispose of future military coups, and confirm his preferred position of lifetime dictator of a radical Islamist state. That seems to be the customary and approved  form of governance in the Islamist states of the Middle East. It does not bode well.

Erdogan is taking advantage of the coup crisis to justify a major crackdown on his enemies. He seems to have a prepared list, ready to go, of officers and judges who have already been arrested in the thousands, along with civic leaders, journalists, professors, and government employees. The government is calling on the people to protest in the streets, and encouraging jihadists and IS sympathizers to raid the homes of secular people beat them and kill them.

David P. Goldman, who also writes as Spengler,  is expert in matters of demography and finance. He says that Turkey has built up a bubble of debt, financing consumption with debt. Consumer debt is now almost equal to total personal income in Turkey, compared to 20% here, which horrifies conservative economists.  Turkey’s average interest rate as consumer debt, according to the central bank, is just under 17%. The birth rate for Turks is way down, while the birth rate for Kurdish Turks remains healthy—but they want to form their own country with Kurds from Syria and Iraq.

An article by Soner Cagaptay in the Wall Street Journal captures the dangerous moment in history for the Turkish nation:

In 2014, Mr. Erdogan, acceding to term limits, stepped down as prime minister and as the head of the AKP. He instead assumed the presidency—a formerly weak office that he has been steadily transforming. The coup gives Mr. Erdogan an excuse to press ahead with his plans to cobble together a parliamentary majority; he intends to amend Turkey’s Constitution and take over the posts of prime minister and AKP chairman in addition to being president.

This process, which would make Mr. Erdogan the most powerful person in Turkey since the country became a multiparty democracy in 1950, fits into his gradualist approach to consolidating power. At the same time, it presents a risk: In the two most recent elections, Mr. Erdogan’s AKP has maxed out at 49.5% support, and although the president’s popularity has risen since the coup, there is no guarantee that this bump will last until the next elections, which, depending on when Mr. Erdogan calls them, could be as late as next year.

The quickest path to power is Islamist revolution. Erdogan supporters are Islamists and jihadists and protesting in the streets. An Islamist counter-revolution would mean the loss of its NATO membership, exposing the country to neighboring enemies, including Russia. And an economic meltdown is not unlikely.

If Mr. Erdogan were to pump up religious fervor further, he could convert the religious counter-coup d’état into an Islamist counter-revolution, ending Turkey’s status as a secular democracy. Adding to the temptation is the fact that the military, divided and discredited in the public eye following the failed coup, is in no position to prevent a counterrevolution.



Heather MacDonald by The Elephant's Child

This is a lecture given by Heather MacDonald in April of this year at Hillsdale College. Heather MacDonald is a scholar at the Manhattan Institute, and a recognized authority on American crime and policing. She has the data and statistics to back up her contentions, which belie  the claims of the Black Lives Matter crowd and their attacks on police and policing.

It’s a long lecture, so you will want to postpone it till you have time, but if you can manage it, her command of the facts will clarify this situation that is getting increasingly dangerous. Or you can just buy her new book, The War on Cops.



Military Coup in Turkey. by The Elephant's Child

There is a military coup in Turkey. The Turkish military claims success. Erdogan has departed, but Germany refused permission for his plane to land. Anti-coup protest in Istanbul. Nothing confirmed. All iffy information from twitter and other social media.

Military coups have long been a feature of Ataturk’s secular Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged citizens to take to the streets to fight the coup. Turkey is a member of NATO.

The Turkish military said in a statement that it was seizing control to “reestablish Addendum:constitutional order” as it moved to take over all government responsibilities.

ADDENDUM: Erdogan has returned to Turkey, claims the coup attempt is over, and plotters will be heavily punished. At least 42 people have been killed in attacks. An Istanbul hospital is reportedly treating at least 150 wounded people. Erdogan is apparently pushing for an authoritarian Islamic regime. All will eventually become clear, or at least clearer.




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