American Elephants


A Query About the “Deep State.” Do These Public Servants Recognize the “Servant” Part of the Designation? by The Elephant's Child

It is becoming increasingly clear that the “Deep State” has some significant problems. Career Civil Servants seem to frequently forget the “servant” part. Kimberly Strassel of the Opinion Page in the Wall Street Journal takes it on:

The “deep state”—if we are to use the term—is better defined as consisting of career civil servants, who have growing power in the administrative state but work in the shadows. As government grows, so do the challenges of supervising a bureaucracy swelling in both size and power. Emboldened by employment rules that make it all but impossible to fire career employees, this internal civil “resistance” has proved willing to take ever more outrageous actions against the president and his policies, using the tools of both traditional and social media.

So are they a problem? Do they understand that they work for us, not for what they think would be good? Highly paid, a “swelling bureaucracy.” Interesting essay, do read the whole thing. Are they our public servants or do they have more elaborate self images?



Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Ethiopian P.M. Abiy Ahmed by The Elephant's Child

The highly acclaimed child climate leader, Greta Thunberg, 16-year-old  leader of the youth climate movement about skipping school to protest can return home to Sweden, with  the success of addressing the Congress and the United Nations. Her sponsors have suggested that she was denied the Nobel Peace Prize (which is awarded by Norwegians) because Norway is one of the world’s largest oil and gas exporters. Improbable.

The earth has been warming and cooling for millions of years. The current warming is nothing out of the ordinary. There have been far warmer years in the past and far cooler years as well. Please note the long list of climate panics in my previous post. There is no planet emergency, it’s all hype, intended as an attack on capitalism, as the Secretary of the IPCC has admitted.

The Nobel Peace Prize went to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for his substantial efforts in brokering peace between his country and neighboring Eritrea. For decades Ethiopia and Eritrea were one country, Eritrea seceded in 1991. Families separated, unable to reunite, violent conflict at the borders cost more than 80,000 lives in the span of just two years. That would seem to be more of an accomplishment than getting kids to skip school to march for saving the Earth from a non-existent climate threat.



What We Have Been Reading Today by The Elephant's Child

Here’s What We’ve Been Reading Today:

From William Voegeli, at Law & Liberty: “Do Americans Want to Be Involved in Local Governance?” He analyzes the choices offered to him on the most recent ballot, and the problems involved in keeping up and keeping well informed.

From The Babylon Bee, the satirical website that mostly makes more sense than the real world. “All Democrats Drop Out of Presidential Race Since The World is Ending from Climate Change and There’s No Point

From Breitbart : Watch Live–One Year Later; Leftists March on Scotus to Impeach Kavanaugh It’s quite clear, they never thought he was guilty of abusing women, Since he is a Conservative, they feared he might vote against their abortion rights, and thought impeaching him the only way to get him out of there.

Also from Breitbart, “While Democrats Pursue Impeachment, President Trump Builds Impressive Record of Accomplishments.”

From American Thinker, Nancy in the swamp of despond.”

From the New York Post: “Sorry, Dems: It’s OK to ask for foreign help in a criminal justice investigations

From National Review: “What We Love About America: An Introduction



Avoiding Their Responsibility In Favor of “Click Bait” by The Elephant's Child

The American press is so focused on what we are calling “click bait” or celebrity that they do not notice commentary from scholars or scientists or experts in one field or another, in favor of reporting what some has-been from Hollywood has to say, that it is a big choice in reporting. A recognizable name is favored over important ideas every time. Robert DeNiro is famous for something other than his usually foul mouth, but I cannot remember what, nor dredge up any reason why anything he has to say would be of interest.

This kind of emphasis is why President Trump refers to the “fake media” as well as why the media is so offended at his categorization. This is why we have to listen to the inane comments from AOC, but have to search out commentary from highly regarded climate scientists. I don’t care what anyone from Hollywood has to say about anything at all. I’ve pretty much given up any interest in movies because of their dumb politics. If I am in need of pure entertainment, I’ll look for old movies or movies from Britain. I have seen some notice that movie attendance is way off. They have only themselves to blame. I don’t post my opinions so much to complain, but for others who think the same way, to know that they are not alone.



Understanding Climate Panics, and Why They Occur by The Elephant's Child

The big thing to remember in all climate writings and excess, is that the climate of the earth has been changing for millions of years. It has been far warmer in the past during the Medieval Optimum, when wine grapes grew in England and wheat in Norway, and society flourished. It has also been far cooler during cold spells, such as the Little Ice Age in the 1800s, remembered as “1800 and Froze to Death.”

Climate panics take place regularly, for there are vast numbers of pessimists out there who don’t bother to do their required homework, and get all excited when someone appears in a polar bear suit, or in the case of Vegans — eats meat. Sure that fossil fuels are the source of planet doom (and that Oil and Gas companies are not only rich (the bad are usually rich) but destroying the world with CO2 )emitted by our nasty habit of driving cars and so on and so on. To the contrary, CO2 is plant food, and is greening the world. to such an extent that it can be seen from space. It is feeding the hungry with bountiful crops.

I believe firmly that we are being dumbed down by the internet and social media. We are being taught that we are to be informed by snappy headlines or tweets, and do not pursue the entire subject for lack of time and energy. You have to read the whole thing, not just the headline. Tweets may be interesting. but are not intended to pass on knowledge. The danger of an ill-informed public is extreme.



Defining Reality, Or Explaining What is Really Going On by The Elephant's Child

Clearly it is time to explain what is really going on. One gains enormous wisdom by staring at the blank walls of a very fine hospital. So somewhere between a second civil war and an impeached president, or the election (this time) of good old Hillary, there must be, somewhere, some clarity. Elections are always contentious, but this is ridiculous.

We are in a battle over defining reality. To quote Daniel J. Boorstin, the late Librarian of Congress and notable historian at the University of Chicago, in The Americans: the Colonial Experience:

We have too long been told that a “unified” scheme of knowledge is required to give meaning and unity to society; that men have a greater sense of sharing values and of working to a common end if they are united by a grand overarching system of thought; that somehow an articulate and systematic philosophy is likely to provide such a system of shared meaning. The stock example is, of course, the Middle Ages when such theologians as Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus constructed monuments of speculative philosophy. that has become an unexamined commonplace that a more unified philosophy will produce a more unified society, that ours  would be a better and more meaningful  world if we in America possessed such systematic and “unifying” thought.

But is this really true? It may have seemed so in earlier societies where the frame of meaning was supposed to be accessible only to a priestly or ruling class. Could it remain so in a modern literate society where most people would be expected to understand the purposes of the community? One cannot unify such a society by mere concepts, however refined and subtle, however vivid to a few philosophers or theologians. “The attempt to bridge the chasm between multiplicity and unity is the oldest  problem of philosophy, religion, and science.”

You may have noticed that “the ruling class” is not in particularly good grace at present, a problem rather than a solution. They are unaware of their predicament, are unwilling to give up the slightest bit of their cherished power.

Those who supposedly report on the society and the people and the ruling class assume that, instead of accuracy, their task is to get attention by featuring what celebrities or politicians may have to say, not because it might be of interest, but because the celebrity or politician might have a bit of click bait interest to promote the career of the reporter. Their interest is not in attempting to describe reality, but what, instead, might be sensationalized. They’re not on our side either. Which President Trump grumbles about as “fake news”. Which in turn infuriates the press, because they differently define their assigned task.

It’s only human nature to wish to advance one’s self, to look for what is readily available rather than work hard, but there you are. The current debates and argument is over the nature of reality, which is up in the air, struggling to be properly defined.



Are We All Just Getting Dumber? Or More Informed? by The Elephant's Child

The University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center in an annual survey found that one in every five Americans cannot name a single branch of the government.

The center released its annual Annenberg Constitution Day Civics Survey on Thursday, and found that about 2 in 5 American adults accurately named the three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial.

  • 39 percent named all three branches
  • 14 percent named two branches
  • 25 percent named one branch
  • 22 percent couldn’t name any branch
  • 1 percent refused to answer

The center notes that the percentage of people who could name all three branches “is the highest in five years, statistically the same as the prior high of 38 percent in 2013 and 2011 and a substantial increase over last year, when 32 percent could do the same.”

According to the center, the survey also found that people who took civics classes in high school, or were regular consumers of news, were more likely to know the answers to the survey questions.

That’s fairly startling, if accurate. National Review noted that the Democrats on stage for their debate Thursday night demonstrated that they are not qualified to hold forth on immigration policy because they have no idea what our immigration policy is. Joe Biden announced proudly that “we didn’t put children in cages” though all the pictures of children in cages come from the Obama administration. Andrew Yang announced that he would return immigration to the level it was during the Obama administration, which is exactly where it is right now. But one should know what the annual level of immigration is within a couple of hundred thousand, and whether it has gone up or down. These are people who supposedly want to be President.

In the past few weeks, Democrats have focused on the chance of a recession (hopefully), but steered clear of any mention of the current economy. You have probably read enough to know why they have.

I suspect that as a society, we are getting dumber. We get our news by surfing through the internet, reading a headline here and there, reading a few words of an article and deciding it’s too long, or not interesting enough, and moving on the the next bright object, as it were. And then we think of ourselves as well informed citizens, but are we actually? Is the nature of the Internet making us shallower and less informed? Scary thought, but plausible.

August reports from the Commerce Department and BLS show excellent economic results that continue to exceed MSM expectations.  Retail sales climbed by 0.4 percent twice what analysts had predicted, and highlight retail sales strength year over year. Employment up for everyone. Need for food stamps dying. Unemployment for all in very low numbers.




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