American Elephants


This Is What Passes for News These Days by The Elephant's Child

There are small mentions of what would seem to be unimportant news items, but if you follow up and see what the Leftists with bylines do with it, it gets pretty funny. Here’s what happened. President Trump declined to hold a “Iftar Dinner” at the White House to celebrate Ramadan. (Translation, nothing happened because there was no dinner and there were no invitations). Can’t let something like that pass without comment (see Islamophobia). The ‘establishment media” promptly tried to turn it into a crisis.

“Amy B. Wang of the Washington Post led the pack” with a claim that Thomas Jefferson held the “first Iftar Dinner” with a June 24 piece titled “Trump just ended a long tradition of celebrating Ramadan at the White House.” She even “recounted the time when the diplomatic envoy from the Bey of Tunis, Sidi Soliman Melli Melli, visited Washington during Ramadan in 1805.”

Jefferson invited the envoy to dinner at the White House at 3:30 PM, the time when dinner was usually served in those days. He was told that Melli Melli could not partake of a meal until after sunset because of Ramadan. It was either cancel the dinner or change the time, which he did. He had no intention of honoring Islam, didn’t ask about any special food. In fact, there was no tradition. Only three presidents in all of American history ever held an Iftar dinner: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.  Three presidents out of 45 does not a “tradition” make.  Do recall that Jefferson fought the Barbary pirates. Obama claimed in 2010, that his Ramadan dinner was the first since Jefferson, but his speechwriters were not known for research accuracy.

Interestingly, it seems that Islamic extremists killed more than 1,620 people during this year’s holy month for Muslims, making it one of the bloodiest Ramadans in history. At the end of Ramadan on Saturday, the total number of casualties for the entire holy month reached 3,451 (421 deaths 729 injuries) more than tripling the 1,150 casualties from 2016. ISIS issued many messages urging its followers to carry out deadly attacks in the United State, Europe, Russia, Australia, Iraq, Syria, Iran and the Philippines. Except for Russia, they did carry out attacks. Breitbart has a list of all the attacks they have been able to record. It’s a very long list. Does fasting and avoiding sex from dawn to dusk make a person particularly irritable?  Who knew? So — news, fake news, bad research, overreach, dumb journalists. But that’s what passes for news these days.

ADDENDUM: Well, now that I’m fully awake, the math doesn’t add up 421 deaths +729 injuries adds up to 1,150 apparently from last year. If this year is a total of 3,451, that would indeed by a tripling. The error was in the original post, and I just unthinkingly copied it. Sorry about that.



Democratic Female Senators And Identity Politics by The Elephant's Child

The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs held a hearing last week on political Islam, also referred to as ‘Islamism.’ The committee invited four witnesses: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Asra Q. Nomani, Michael E. Leiter, former director of the U.S National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and John Lenczowski, president of the Institute of World Politics. The hearing called our attention to the dysfunction that we face in addressing the topic.

The two female witnesses were on edge. Earlier that day, a shooter had attacked the Republican baseball team in Alexandria, and only moments before the hearing began a man wearing a Muslim prayer cap had stood up and heckled them, putting Capitol police on high alert. They were expecting tough questions. Both women had been born into deeply conservative Muslim families. Both have been threatened with death by jihadists for things they have said and done. Ayann, who survived genital mutilation and forced marriage, and Asra defied Sharia by having a baby while unmarried. Ayann cannot appear in public without armed guards.

The four female Democratic senators, Clair McCaskill, Missouri; Kamala Harris, California; Heidi Heitcamp,North Dakota; and Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire; are ardent feminists, so the witnesses might have expected sympathetic questions. Senator Claire McCaskill,  announced that she took issue with the theme of the hearing itself. “Anyone who twists or distorts religion to a place of evil is an exception to the rule.” she said. “We should not focus on religion,” she said, adding that she was “worried” that the hearing organized by Senator Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, would “underline that.”

Ayaan and Asra emphasized the meaning of what went down:

[W]hat happened that day was emblematic of a deeply troubling trend among progressives when it comes to confronting the brutal reality of Islamist extremism and what it means for women in many Muslim communities here at home and around the world.

When it comes to the pay gap, abortion access and workplace discrimination, progressives have much to say. But we’re still waiting for a march against honor killings, child marriages, polygamy, sex slavery or female genital mutilation.

[W]hen we speak about Islamist oppression, we bring personal experience to the table in addition to our scholarly expertise. Yet the feminist mantra so popular when it comes to victims of sexual assault — believe women first — isn’t extended to us. Neither is the notion that the personal is political. Our political conclusions are dismissed as personal; our personal experiences dismissed as political.

That’s because in the rubric of identity politics, our status as women of color is canceled out by our ideas, which are labeled “conservative” — as if opposition to violent jihad, sex slavery, genital mutilation or child marriage were a matter of left or right. This not only silences us, it also puts beyond the pale of liberalism a basic concern for human rights and the individual rights of women abused in the name of Islam.

Why?

Partly they fear offending members of a “minority” religion and being labeled racist, bigoted or Islamophobic. There is also the idea, which has tremendous strength on the left, that non-Western women don’t need “saving” — and that the suggestion that they do is patronizing at best. After all, the thinking goes, if women in America still earn less than men for equivalent work, who are we to criticize other cultures?

Obama made a big deal about helping refugees, largely because they were expected to become Democrat voters. Refugees from communist totalitarian states like Cuba and Venezuela, were rejected.  Identity politics, moral relativism or political correctness are more important than real information or some victims are more important than other victims. Things like sex slavery, violent jihad, genital mutilation, honor killings, polygamy or child marriage simply don’t measure up to equal pay for women (federal law since 1963).

They didn’t ask the two women a single question. Not just rude, for the two women were invited guests as well as witnesses who are pro-democracy, pro-free speech, pro-freedom Muslims. What an excellent chance to learn a little more about the Muslim religion and Islamic ideology firsthand.

Mackubin Owens pointed out that “Islamism isn’t a religion. It’s a political system at war with us. Political Islam seems to be the front runner in who is the most oppressed of all?  They cannot be criticized even if it means throwing other favored victim groups under the bus. Islamists punish homosexuals with death by throwing them off tall buildings or stoning, but “Islamophobia” trumps “homophobia.” The problem is distinguishing between Islam as a religion and political Islam as a system for organizing society. This is a pathology that is aimed at effecting the final destruction of the West.  We can’t seem to get our minds around that simple fact.

 



Everything You Have Thought About Today’s American Journalism is True by The Elephant's Child

The new issue of Imprimus  features a piece from long time journalist Michael Goodwin, chief political columnist for The New York Post, based on a speech that Goodwin gave at a Hillsdale event. It is a raw and intensive look at contemporary journalism by a long time practitioner who knows his way around the media. It’s just as bad as you thought.

I’ve been a journalist for a long time. Long enough to know that it wasn’t always like this. There was a time not so long ago when journalists were trusted and admired. We were generally seen as trying to report the news in a fair and straightforward manner. Today, all that has changed. For that, we can blame the 2016 election or, more accurately, how some news organizations chose to cover it. Among the many firsts, last year’s election gave us the gobsmacking revelation that most of the mainstream media puts both thumbs on the scale—that most of what you read, watch, and listen to is distorted by intentional bias and hostility. I have never seen anything like it. Not even close. …

During the years I spent teaching at the Columbia University School of Journalism, I often found myself telling my students that the job of the reporter was “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” I’m not even sure where I first heard that line, but it still captures the way most journalists think about what they do. Translate the first part of that compassionate-sounding idea into the daily decisions about what makes news, and it is easy to fall into the habit of thinking that every person afflicted by something is entitled to help. Or, as liberals like to say, “Government is what we do together.” From there, it’s a short drive to the conclusion that every problem has a government solution.

Goodwin goes on to explain how today’s journalism has gone astray,  how it came about, and how bad it really is (Just what you thought, and even more).

I knew all of this about the media mindset going into the 2016 presidential campaign. But I was still shocked at what happened. This was not naïve liberalism run amok. This was a whole new approach to politics. No one in modern times had seen anything like it. As with grief, there were several stages. In the beginning, Donald Trump’s candidacy was treated as an outlandish publicity stunt, as though he wasn’t a serious candidate and should be treated as a circus act. But television executives quickly made a surprising discovery: the more they put Trump on the air, the higher their ratings climbed. Ratings are money. So news shows started devoting hours and hours simply to pointing the cameras at Trump and letting them run.

A study, Goodwin says, estimated that Trump had received so much free airtime that if he had to buy it the price would be around $2 billion. Executives realized that they had helped Trump’s rise, which made them furious, and soon they were gunning for him.

It’s a fascinating look at a failed media that can no longer perform its assigned task in the American political landscape. Do take the time to read it if you can. It has changed how we search for information. I have long believed that in the new electronic age, students need to be taught how to look for information, how to judge the quality of the information, and enough history to understand why it is important to search carefully, to be informed, and why their vote is important and needs to be well informed. We’ve been watching the education establishment disintegrate before our eyes, and the evidence from college students that they need safe spaces where they can refuse to listen to ideas that might disagree with their own.

With journalism no longer a viable source for accurate news, we have turned to blogs, judged their information and veracity, and the trustworthiness of the provider. Others have turned to social media, and Twitter has assumed an outsized role as a potential clue to future trends, currency, reach, and yet it may not have that significance at all. Combine that with our ordinary human shortcomings — impatience, laziness, reluctance to read anything long— and I suspect we are becoming less and less informed. But then I was an English major and a glutton for reading. Do any of us currently have a hunger to know and understand in an age when sheer entertainment is so pleasurable and so readily available?

Do read the Imprimus article. It will give you a deep understanding of where the media is and why, and give you armor and a nudge towards knowing more and to hell with the “journalism” profession.

(To subscribe to Imprimus, just go to the Hillsdale College website and sign up. It’s free and always informative.)

 



Patagonia Pledges Their Entire Business to The Resistance by The Elephant's Child

How interesting that Lefty CEOs feel that their politics takes precedence over any potential customers, particularly at a time when so many retailers are going under because of the online marketplace. The CEO of Patagonia, a maker of outdoor clothing, has announced that she intends to pledge her entire company to the “resistance” movement against President Donald Trump. Essentially, she has decided that the law and the Constitution and the business of conservatives don’t matter, only her personal politics.

Chalk up Patagonia as another company responsible for the shooting in Alexandria and the fight for their lives that Steve Scalise and Matt Mika are undergoing as well as the others wounded: Zachary Barth, Chrystal Griner, David Bailey and Roger Williams.

Donald Trump is the duly elected President of the United States. If you don’t like him, shut up and wait your turn in the next election. Americans don’t go around romantically joining the preposterously named “Resistance”. The popular vote has no meaning in our Constitutional system.  Lefties will excuse any crime or aberration of anyone with a “D” attached to their name, and they’ve harbored many real criminals.

For those who actually pay attention, Hillary was a dreadful candidate, a compulsive liar, even when lying made no sense. She did not do her homework preparing for events. Used American taxpayers as her personal piggy bank. As Secretary of State, she refused help to her ambassador and his aide ( her responsibility), after they had begged for help nearly 50 times, and refused military aid to the two CIA contractors who were trying to save the embassy staff. She was unfamiliar with the fact that Ghadaffi had abandoned any effort to get nuclear weapons, and although a rotten dictator, kept a lid on his tumultuous country.  Sold a big chunk of America’s uranium reserves to the Russians, for her personal gain. Always believed that she was above the law, which, it appears, may be true. It’s odd that we send small-time violators of national security to prison, but if you are”important” the law does not apply.

Like the Patagonia CEO who has no interest in conservatives, Hillary called more than half the nation “Deplorables” and thought their votes unnecessary. Rose Marcario (the CEO) attacked President Trump for his statements about rolling back President Obama’s aggressive campaign of confiscating millions of acres of state lands and claiming them as “national monuments”, apparently under the notion that the federal government should own all available land other than the high rise cities in which they expect the citizen subjects to live. Unfortunately the federal government is a lousy manager of public lands, and they are not effective guardians of the national parks, let alone “national monuments.” A friend recently went to Yellowstone and reported that they were out picking up cigarette butts, so things have improved somewhat there after a lot of very bad publicity.

Sixty percent of the residents of Utah opposed Obama’s land grab, and many state governments fully agree with Trump’s assessment and oppose such land grabs. Patagonia is very “Green” — more high-minded activism than any interest in actual science or facts, but that is quite common on the Left, as is attested to by the mess their high-minded demonstrators always leave behind.

Do read this short piece by George Neumayr at Hot Air: “The Left’s Flirtation with Trumpicide” which is directly applicable.



Tucker Carlson Goes All In on DC by The Elephant's Child

I have enjoyed Tucker’s take on all sorts of subjects, but I had not heard him before in a speech, a fairly long and absolutely brilliant speech to the International Association of Fire Fighters. He explains Trump, the Republicans, the Democrats and the atmosphere, habits and situation in the nation’s capitol. It’s not pretty. And Tucker is very good.

This just seems to be a day when videos offer more than the written word. I guess nobody has written anything brilliant at all today. Some days are like that.

The Democrats’ role is to drum up enthusiasm for voting in what they consider their base. This election has really scared them. They are slowly realizing how much power they have lost and how empty their bench is, how old their leaders are, and how much it all went wrong when they were expecting another triumph. Did you see any mourning by Democrats at the shooting in Alexandria at a supposedly bi-partisan baseball game for charity? Did you see Twitter after Scalise was shot? Many felt that he deserved it because he was a racist and KKK enthusiast, I guess because he is from Louisiana? They all deserved to have been shot because they were Republicans. That is simply not sane. It’s not even American. It like something out of Stalin’s Gulag. And alarming.



Ivar Glaever, Noble Prizewinner for Physics trashes the Global Warming psuedoscience. by The Elephant's Child

Dr. Ivar Glaever, Norwegian-American physicist and Nobel prizewinner says that global warming is basically a non-problem, and resigned from the American Physical Society. Here he carefully explains why, as Climate Depot reported:

Thank you for your letter inquiring about my membership. I did not renew it because I cannot live with the (APS) statement below (on global warming): APS: ‘The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.’

Giaever announced his resignation from APS was due to the group’s belief in man-made global warming fears. Giaever explained in his email to APS: “In the APS it is OK to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible? The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this ‘warming’ period.”

Naturally the true-believers and those who are deeply invested in the usefulness of a panic about a climate crisis, have tried to discredit every word. The claim that “97% of scientists agree” is equally bogus. Please note that we are concerned about a potential increase of 0.8º C — not a full degree, but 8/10ths of a degree.  Run for the hills!

 



Trying to Make Sense out of a Senseless Day by The Elephant's Child

What an appalling day. We have worried about the Left’s irresponsible language and baseless accusations as calling for violence. Top that off with Kathy Griffin’s severed head, and the Shakespeare in the Park’s Trump assassination as truly deplorable attempts at some kind of poorly thought out dark humor.

Do you recall the campaign in 2008? Democrats fell in love with Barack Obama. He was tall, slim, nice looking with a good looking family, and best of all — he was black, which absolved the Democrats of their past history of slavery. They wrote songs to him and about him. There were portraits and posters—thousands of posters. “Yes We Can,” “HOPE, “and “CHANGE.”Chris Matthews had a thrill running up his leg. Obama had been in the Illinois Legislature where he mostly abstained from voting, and then in the U.S. Senate, where he mostly rushed around trying to get in every picture of a successful passage of a bill. No noticeable accomplishments.

I don’t think that the Democrats this time, fell in love with Hillary. There just wasn’t that kind of enthusiasm. But they expected her to win without any problem. They were assured of retaining power, and that’s what mattered. Did they just not notice that a great many Republicans thought Hillary should be prosecuted for her defiance of federal  law? For using the taxpayers for her personal piggy bank? That she was a compulsive liar? Apparently not.  I don’t think they had given Donald Trump much consideration, because they were so confident of winning it all. And then he won. It was unthinkable. Impossible in the normal course of things. Losing all the way down to dogcatcher level. It could not be ordinary voting. It had to be something BIG. Obviously Russia. Collusion. Obstruction. They lost not just the presidency, but statehouses, Congress. How were they going to get it all back? Their leaders were all old. Mostly in their 70s. The Republicans in Congress were in their 40s. Kamala Harris, the new one from California, got to be on camera in the Sessions Hearings and was slapped down by the chairman for being rude and refusing to let the Attorney General  answer.

The whole Russia thing appears to be just wishful thinking. Something might turn up, but there’s nothing to impeach Trump for. That seems to be why some nutcase from Illinois wanted to kill himself some Republicans. They want him impeached right now. No crime, no reason? Impeach him for being Trump, the epitome of being awful, he will kill us all, destroy everything. Treason. Resist!

Look, Presidents and Presidential candidates are just ordinary people, with an extra-large dose of self-confidence or self-regard, who have managed to gather some supporters and raise some money. Nobody is entitled. This is not royalty and they work for us, not the other way around. If they do a good job, we will honor them, and if they manage to make the world a little better we will applaud as well. They will go down in history in the list of presidents, and most of us have forgotten the ones who were in office before we were born. There are very few who have been outstanding, but we can always hope.

Donald Trump has orange hair, he tweets, and he says rude things about those who are trying to bring him down. He is getting rid of regulation that has been crippling business, and the economy will improve as a result. He is trying to make the American people safer from Islamic terrorism, as we watch children in England and Europe being killed with suicide bombs. That sort of thing doesn’t penetrate the resistant mind. They are theoretically furious about health care, with no understanding that ObamaCare was going broke and wouldn’t be there for them anyway. They don’t make sense at all.

This post was put up at the Huffington Post, and then withdrawn, but I managed to get a cached version. It’s a remarkable example of the Progressive mind of the “resistance”.

—”Impeachment is No Longer Enough: Donald Trump Must Face Justice

—Then there’s the case of an Antifa activist who was arrested in Harrisburg PA after she deliberately stabbed a police horse in the neck with a flagpole with a nail in the end of it. Who does something like that?

The Fusion PartyAs usual, Victor Davis Hanson does the best job of explaining what is going on.

Pandemonium Can Be a Revivifying Purgative”another from Victor Davis Hanson, always clarifying.

Useless IdiotsLeftists decry President Trump as a fool, but their antics show who the real clowns are. by Stefan Kanfer at City Journal.

Incitement to ViolenceThe Left has raised America’s political temperature to the boiling point. Seth Barron at City Journal




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