American Elephants


There’s a Lot to be Said for the Power of Optimism by The Elephant's Child

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The British People voted last year to leave the European Union in a vote that has come to be called “BREXIT” or British exit. Mrs. May said forthrightly that she was not in favor of leaving, but if that is what the British People voted for, that is what she would do.

The British High Court said the Prime Minister would have to get a vote of the Parliament in order to do so, and on Wednesday they voted to allow Prime Minister Theresa May to start Brexit negotiations with the European Union. The European Union Bill passed with 498 votes to 114. The Bill will still have to go to the House of Lords before becoming law. May has set a March 31 deadline for invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and beginning exit formalities with the European Union.

The Scottish National Party attempted to block the bill before the vote. Forty-seven members of the Labour Party MPs revolted against the Labor Party’s leadership and voted against the bill.

Staying in the single market would require Britain to continue contributing to the Brussels budget, accept EU economic rules and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and admit levels of immigration that have become politically unacceptable. Remainers said these concessions were worth making, but voters disagreed and they must be respected.

Some European countries want to punish Britain, and drive the hardest bargain possible.  Mrs. May has argued for a clean break, as that is the only way for London to negotiate its own trade deals with the rest of the world.

The smart play is for both to help the other succeed….The biggest threat to the EU isn’t a Britain that succeeds outside the common market. It is an EU that keeps failing to provide the economic prosperity demanded by its frustrated citizens. What drove Britain from the EU was the Continent’s failure on immigration control, fighting terrorism and delivering jobs and rising incomes.

To put it another way, Mrs. May is telling Britons they’re embarking on another great chapter in self-government. The Brits helped invent the idea, so they know what it takes.

Daniel Hannan is a member of the European Parliament who went to the European Parliament urging the abolition of the place. He said “It’s difficult to begin to understand the imbalance of forces in our recent debate and referendum. Every broadcaster, every political party, every bank, every big corporation, every trade association, every think tank, every EU-funded university, the whole of the establishment was telling us that it was a matter of national survival to stay in the EU. That it would be calamitous for us if we left. And people didn’t believe it. On June 23, they politely disregarded all the advice, all the bullying, all the hectoring, all the threats, and they voted to become a self-governing country again.”

He added “Americans voted Leave in 1776, and from where I’m standing, it seems to have worked out OK for you.”



Understanding the Madness of the Left by The Elephant's Child

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My favorite pastime is not trying to figure out why Democrats, the Left, are doing whatever it is that they are currently doing. I have better things to do, and more pleasant  things to pursue. But clear explanations seem important as they continue to go bat s##t crazy. It would seem that the current antics would drive any sane person into Republican arms permanently, but “sane” seems to be the key word.

The idea of requiring every citizen to vote comes up every once in a while, but is dropped because we really don’t want those who do not pay attention, and have no clue about events, to vote. We believe in an informed citizenry, but for the last eight years we have had a press wallowing in their slobbering devotion to the first black president. Even Barack Obama told them in his last days that they weren’t supposed to be sycophants. That’s not how it’s supposed to work.

Victor Davis Hanson says “Everything is in flux in a way not seen since the election of 1932 in which Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoofer. Mainstream Democrats are infuriated. Even Republicans are vexed over the outsider Trump.”

Polls, political pundits and “wise” people, guilty of past partisan-driven false prognostications, remain discredited. Their new creased-brow prophesies of doom for President Trump are about as credible as their past insistence that a “blue wall” would keep him out of the White House.

There. The first explains  why they are doing what they are doing, and the second one explains clearly why Donald Trump is insisting on a wall. You’ll be able to explain to your angry family and friends, but they probably won’t be able to hear you, and that’s explained as well.



President Trump, The Press, The Profession of Journalism, and Sean Spicer. This is Going to be Fun! by The Elephant's Child

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There is a tentative war going on between the press and the new Trump administration. The Washington press corps has been remarkably partisan during the entire campaign season, and they never imagined a Trump presidency.

We have a new White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, beginning to set new rules for how White House press conferences are going to go. He didn’t call on the front row first, but gave the first question to the New York Post, seated toward the back. He called early on reporters from the Christian Broadcasting network, Fox, and Univision. He even announced four “Skype seats” for reporters not in the Washington area. This is very scary stuff for the Washington media.

He noted that the  press routinely publish corrections, and said the administration “should be afforded the same opportunity.”

Press behavior during this political campaign left a great deal to be desired. We had reporters publishing unverified leaks, giving their stories to the candidates for approval before publication, warning candidates of upcoming stories. And in one case, the New York Post noted “the complete collapse of American journalism as we know it.” “The shameful display of naked partisanship by the elite media is unlike anything seen in modern America,” wrote Michael Goodwin.

The largest broadcast networks — CBS, NBC and ABC — and major newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post have jettisoned all pretense of fair play. Their fierce determination to keep Trump out of the Oval Office has no precedent. By torching its remaining credibility in service of Clinton, the mainstream media’s reputations will likely never recover, nor will the standards. No future producer, editor, reporter or anchor can be expected to meet a test of fairness when that standard has been trashed in such willful and blatant fashion.

“The University of Georgia does an Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates which surveys J-School grads, their habits, salaries and the jobs they take.” They don’t read print media. Just one third had read a newspaper the day before taking the survey. That’s down from 81% in 1994. Three quarters read news off the internet and many watched TV. Almost all went on a social media website the day before taking the survey.

Which draws the automatic query: if they don’t read their own writing, why should they expect us to?

Newspaper ad revenue is way down. Ads are reaching fewer customers. Magazines with which I am familiar are thinner, with fewer ads. But for the most part I only see magazines at the hair salon or the doctor’s office.  Two local bookstores are closing. It’s not that people are reading less, they are reading online. More and more online sources are creating a subscription barrier, and there are more and more ways to avoid that wall. There is so much information available for free, that people are reluctant to pay. I don’t know where this is all going, but everything is fluid and changing.

I don’t know what journalism schools are teaching their students besides social justice, nor what their requirements are, but journalists seem remarkably lacking in the history department, and just general world knowledge—reflecting wide reading. Starting salaries are worse than for most other professions, and there are more and more clumsy errors that are not caught by editors.

Computers are changing the world. Our sources of information are changing. Social media is becoming more important than  we understand. Occupations are changing. We are always slow to understand the changes and how to adapt, and those who do understand and adapt quickly are probably the millionaires and billionaires of the future.

An article by Stefan Kanfer in City Journal last February mourned the decline of Time magazine and the shrinking readership of newspapers and magazines. He wrote:

Contemporary tendencies—from know-nothing reportage to grade inflation—can be corrected. But the blackboard is large, and the erasers grow fewer by the year. When once-formidable newspapers like the New York Times print regular, lengthy columns of misattributions and misinformation, and when a newsmagazine cannot identify the sex of an author, much less his/her significance, Americans can no longer depend on periodicals to set things straight. That job, ironically, has been ceded to the freewheeling and often irresponsible Internet. Thus by default the solution must come, as it did long ago, from diligent instruction—private, parochial, and public. It had better. For as Abraham Lincoln observed, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” (A former Illinois congressman, Lincoln was the sixteenth president of the United States.)



Visualizing the Growth of Federal Regulations: Food for Thought. by The Elephant's Child

This Mercatus Center video is from 2014, and doesn’t include the generous contributions of the Obama administration in the last two years, or especially in the days since the election. Knowing that he would be succeeded by Donald Trump instead of Hillary, who could be counted on to continue his policies he was sure, Obama indulged in a orgy of rulemaking, adding nearly 1,500 more pages to the Federal Register just on his final day in office. By January 13, he had already added 571 economically significant rules. To be “economically significant” a rule must have at least $100 million worth of impact.



They Came. They Marched. They Left a Mess. They Accomplished? by The Elephant's Child

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Lots of women (and some men) demonstrated today in Washington D.C. to express their anger that their candidate didn’t win the election. They carried even more of the usual vulgar signs, expressed amazing ignorance of both history and politics, and ranted with the usual Leftist vocabulary that is impressive only in its lack of any originality whatsoever. Let’s see, Nazi, Sexist, Racist, Hate, Hitler, Misogynist, seems to cover the usual. “Stay Out of My Uterus” in slight variations was popular. They were advocating reproductive rights for women, which, oddly, does not include the right to produce children, but only to get rid of unwanted pregnancies. Women who actually do celebrate their reproductive rights by having three or more children are apt to get all sorts of sneering comments.

The protests are remarkably uninformed about the policies that have been advocated by the incoming Trump administration. They are just spouting the same silly claptrap that are a feature of Democrats’ usual accusations in the absence of any actual facts. They clearly did not listen to his speech. Democrats have not behaved this badly since they started a war over their desire to keep buying and selling slaves because their economy was based on their labor. That didn’t turn out well for them then, either.

Donald Trump’s inauguration speech was simple and clear. He meant what he said on the campaign trail.  Eight years of a jobless recovery, an increasingly divided America, 300,000 small business jobs lost, most of the jobs created that Obama bragged about were temporary, means that things have to change. Racist? It’s the black community that has suffered the most from Obama’s policies. In an age of growing numbers of terrorist attacks across the world it would be irresponsible to admit numbers of “Syrian refugees” without being able to learn who they really are. Syrian passports are readily available to anyone with the requisite amount of cash, and there is no way to vet them. Do we have to allow ISIS attacks in this country to make people understand the perils of open borders?

Donald Trump’s inauguration speech was not eloquent, no flowery or grandiloquent phrases,  but plain speech. “Mike Rowe shared an anecdote about the rise and success of his show “Dirty Jobs” on the Discovery channel, and how it perfectly explains the way that Donald Trump resonated with hard-working Americans.”

Dirty Jobs didn’t resonate because the host was incredibly charming. It wasn’t a hit because it was gross, or irreverent, or funny, or silly, or smart, or terribly clever. Dirty Jobs succeeded because it was authentic. It spoke directly and candidly to a big chunk of the country that non-fiction networks had been completely ignoring. In a very simple way, Dirty Jobs said ‘Hey – we can see you,’ to millions of regular people who had started to feel invisible. Ultimately, that’s why Dirty Jobs ran for eight seasons. And today, that’s also why Donald Trump is the President of the United States.

Here’s the text of President Trump’s speech: You might want to read it again and see what Mike Rowe meant, and how all those angry women were missing the point. Here’s the Wall Street Journal on the women’s march: “advocating everything from providing unfettered reproductive rights for women, to tackling climate change, to raising the minimum wage.”

Women can get an abortion according to the Supreme Court, settled law. Climate has been changing for millions of years and people have been adapting. Raising the minimum wage is a vicious unemployment program for poor young black men and women. Federal funding for Planned Parenthood could quickly be rendered unnecessary if all these women would just contribute the amount they spent on getting to Washington for the big march, they probably wouldn’t need any government funding. Madonna sang and made an F-word laced speech, and will be investigated by the Secret Service for announcing that she wants to bomb the White House. All very colorful and very pointless.  I suppose it feels really good to be part of what your consider as “a movement.” Manning the barricades as it were. I’ve been really very tired of so-called feminists for a very long time.



The Women’s March on Washington is Bunk. by The Elephant's Child

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Saturday, and we are to be annoyed with the “Women’s March ” which seems to be mostly anti-Trump  posturing with abortion rights thrown in for extra credit. I am so sick of the Left’s ignorant outcry that I have little patience left for this sort of thing. Guaranteed unrestricted sexual choice is not an absolute good. All the old sexual diseases have returned and are rampant. Planned Parenthood’s selling of baby body parts is not only criminal, but unbelievably disgusting. Contraceptives are widely available and cheap in many locations. I see no reason why taxpayers should be saddled with that expense.

The anti-Trump protests are so disconnected from reality that it’s hard to believe that these people live in the same country as the rest of us. Rachel Maddow asks if she will be “put in a camp?” People go on about “Fascism” in a way that makes it clear that they have no idea what fascism is. Donald Trump is not an Anti-Semite, his daughter Ivanka has converted to Judaism, as her husband is an orthodox Jew. Trump is not anti-gay, nor prejudiced against Muslims nor Mexicans. He merely emphasizes that unlimited and uncontrolled immigration, ignoring our immigration laws, opens the door to drug trafficking and people trafficking and, in the age of al Qaeda and ISIS, opens the door to terrorist attacks. Obama remarked in the last few days that we really haven’t had any terrorist attacks in this country under his watch, which prompted some very puzzled disagreement, beginning with Fort Hood, and running through a lot of other sad venues.

Of course. women who voted for Donald Trump are not welcome, but women who oppose Planned Parenthood or oppose abortion are not welcome either. It is just another leftist event. They find Trump sexist, racist, misogynist, and fascist, of course.  They may even mention equal pay for women, but that has been settled law for years, not that it is observed in places like the Clinton campaign.

I hope they have a good time, because their message is bunk. There is no such thing as social justice. We have one kind of justice in this country and it is concerned with the Constitution, the courts and the body of law. The only diversity that matters is diversity of ideas and the freedom to express them. Skin color hasn’t mattered to anyone for a very long time. And if you think that trying to force everyone to be equal is a good idea, you might try reading the Black Book of Communism, or reading up on Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, Cambodia, and Soviet Russia.

 



Inauguration Day. by The Elephant's Child

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Renowned satirist Oleg Atbashian has been spoofing authoritarianism and leftist overkill at his blog The People’s Cube, for years, but now the activist editors at Wikipedia have decided to destroy him. They have deleted his blog.

Congratulations, comrades. We are now officially a non-site populated by non-persons sharing non-thoughts and making non-jokes,” Atbashian wrote in a post at The People’s Cube  “It makes me feel right at home, back in the Soviet Union, where an invisible hand obstructed any of my efforts to manifest my existence. How liberating. No visibility means no responsibility. Out of sight, out of mind.”

Not exactly the first time Wikipedia has brazenly demonstrated its hard left political affiliations. Drop by if you have a chance and wish him well. He is very talented and way too familiar with the Left and their machinations.




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