American Elephants


Assigned Reading by The Elephant's Child

The new American history by Wilfred M. McClay has had excellent reviews and I’m giving it as Christmas gifts, but I haven’t read it yet.

Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story

Another I like is John Steele Gordon’s

An Empire of Wealth:
The Epic History of American Economic Power

Essential:
The Black Book of Communism
Crimes, Terror, Repression

Communism
A History
By Richard Pipes

The Black Book is huge, over 700 pages, Richard Pipes book is small at 160 pages, but dense. Read both.

It’s clearly time to know a lot more about China than we do. The unknown story of:

MAO
by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday

Two from Bernard Lewis:

The Middle East:
A Brief History of the Last 2000 Years

What Went Wrong
The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East

And I like this:
Voices of 1776
The Story of the American Revolution in the Words
of Those Who Were There
by Richard Wheeler

And let me add:
1491
New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
By Charles C. Mann



Americans Are Getting Dumber! Here’s Proof. by The Elephant's Child

I wrote a couple of days ago a post about people seeming to get dumber. When you read quite a bit of opinion, you become sure of it. Rasmussen, the big polling company, said today that, and I quote, “Democrats really don’t like America and think it’s time to move on from the culture that got us here,”

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that just 38% of Likely Democratic Voters believe American society is generally fair and decent. Fifty-one percent (51%) say it’s unfair and discriminatory.

By comparison, 74% of Republicans and unaffiliated voters by a 49% to 36% margin view American society as fair and decent.

Look, let’s get back to basics. You should have learned by the time you are five or six, at least,that Life Is Hard. You fall down and get hurt, you don’t like the food your mother made you eat. You can elaborate far beyond that. Bad marriages, people you love die, disappointments, problems, failure, owing money, illness, disease. It’s just not all sweetness and light. With time, you can get the good stuff to outweigh the bad and shrug off the rest of it.

It’s not just Twitter, though they are a problem. How many pictures have you seen of young people seated somewhere, each and every one interacting with their phone, ignoring those around them? ‘Social Media’ but not much is social about it. We’re told that our young people in college think it would be fine to change our form of government to Communism.  They reached 18 years of age and know nothing? Nothing at all. We are deeply in trouble.

Adam Schiff is basking in his moments of fame, and trying desperately to hype up his moment. A Vice President of the United States has used his position to get his kid a job on a foreign country’s Energy Company’s Board of  Directors at an enormous salary of $83,000 a month, for which he has no qualifications whatsoever, and we are supposed to think it’s all about his father (the former Vice President of the United States) being a rival for the 2020 election? Perhaps Mr. Biden had no felonious intent, and just thought it was nice that these people wanted his son on the board because they liked him and…Sorry, there is no way that does not smell to high heaven. Yes, we know that former government officials get big payoffs from the private sector, book deals, fancy estates, from those looking to use the influence of a big name. But that’s not the way it is supposed to be. We honor our past presidents, even the ones we didn’t  like.

George W. went on home and led outdoor trips for wounded vets, and painted their portraits.  After it was discovered that Harry Truman was living off his army pension and little more, and had the integrity to avoid post-presidential money grubbing, Congress increased presidential pay significantly and a pension was provided so that future presidents were protected from any possible penury.

The news from the Trump presidency is pretty outstanding. Did you know that? The increases in median household income under Donald Trump are very large. Based on Census Bureau monthly data, from January 2017 when Donald Trump entered office through August 2019, middle-class household incomes have risen from $61,000 to an all time high of $66,000 — in 2019 dollars, adjusted for inflation.

The left freaked out for understandable reasons. They are especially agitated because median household incomes have risen by $5,000 under Trump, compared to $1,100 in seven years under President Barack Obama. The data also undermines the case against Trump. Elizabeth Warren likes to say in every speech, “The middle class has been left behind by Trump’s policies.” That’s flat-out wrong.

The self-proclaimed “fact-checkers” on the left went to work to try to discredit the numbers. This includes The Washington Post, PolitiFact and others.

As an aside, we have a big problem in America when the “fact-checkers” are all playing for the liberal team. A case in point is the liberal PolitiFact, which used the screaming headline “Trump’s Shaky $5,000 Boast.” The Post gave Trump two Pinocchios for claiming these income gains and said “Trump Inflates His Economic Record.”

A standard complaint is that these numbers are assembled by a private organization called Sentier Research. But the two Sentier statisticians who analyzed this month’s Census Current Population Survey — a gold mine of economic information — are probably the most knowledgeable people in the country on this data.

Stephen Moore, whose commentary this is, goes on to show how the media has tried to spin this news. If you are interested in liberal spin, this is an excellent example. Do they really just want to get Trump out of there before anyone catches on to what an outstanding job he is doing? You might also enjoy The American Mind’s explanation of the Culture War 2.0, and the changing Rules of Engagement. It’s a 12 minute read, they say.  (I told you, they are having to go to great lengths to get unwilling people to read, and we are getting dumber. ) We have to read to get informed, to know what is true and what is not, and how we are being manipulated. We have to fight back.

“Occasio-Cortez Dismisses Fears Democratic Party Moving Too Far Left: “We Are Bringing the Party Home” Yesterday’s headline at Breitbart.

 



The Marxist Lie of White Privilege: Dr. Jordan B. Peterson by The Elephant's Child

We’ve been hearing a lot about “White Privilege” lately, with the Democrats’ shift from collusion to race, race, race. Interesting to find out where it all comes from.



Ocasio-Cortez Has Made a Delusional Little “Green New Deal” Film by The Elephant's Child

Oh my word. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has made a little movie. It’s seven minutes long, and animated with quick watercolor sketches. The Federalist has posted it and I’ll introduce it with David Marcus’ comment:

In a new, seven minute animated video from The Intercept, narrated by and starring Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) we are transported, via an NYC to DC bullet train, into the future. It is 2028, and what a world it is. On the downside, Hurricane Sheldon at some point left significant portions of Miami underwater, but on the bright side, former oil workers are planting mangroves under the direction of Native American elders. No, I’m not making this up.

Well, how nice of this young woman to save us all from a free and prosperous future, if we just reject all that in favor of a new form of Communism called the “Green New Deal.” Named supposedly in honor of the Old New Deal that was such a dreadful time for America. FDR won the election in 1932, but when he was inaugurated in 1933, he had no clue what to do about it, and embarked on an extensive era of experimentation that extended the misery of the Great Depression for at least seven years longer than it needed to be,  according to UCLA economists Lee Ohanian and Harold Cole. But then, as I keep reminding, Democrats just don’t understand free market economics.

The little video is mostly a celebration of the supposed brilliance and forethought of the very new congresswoman herself. You can forgive careless errors, but attempting to impose such extensive stupidity on the rest of the country is a bit much. But then the twenty or so Democrat candidates so far (with another ten or so waiting in the wings) are doing a marvelous job of opening their mouths and disqualifying themselves from consideration.

Do watch the whole thing, it’s only 7 minutes long, and necessary to understand what the whole bunch of Democrats are willing to sign up for.  What totally unbelievable ignorance. There is a long, long history of panics and delusions, many of the early ones caused by diseases that were not understood as catching an infection from another person , but as the act of some demon, or often as the work of a witch, some poor innocent woman who was burned at the stake in an effort to make the illness go away.



The Reality of China Today by The Elephant's Child
April 6, 2019, 3:35 am
Filed under: Bureaucracy, China, Communism, Economy, History, Politics, Regulation, Terrorism

Here’s a not-to-be-missed article by Gordon G. Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China, from Friday’s edition of American GreatnessHe explains something about the reality of China today. It is an important issue, and we need to understand what they are about, and what they are up to. They are becoming a vast high technology society, and the world is depending on their manufactures and products. They are stealing our technology, and we are not very sure of their aims.

China today is a very tightly controlled society. Everyone is monitored, and to get benefits like taking a train trip one needs lots of good social credits which come from things as simple as obeying traffic lights and donating blood, and all sorts of “good behavior,” like getting the right amount of exercise. They are building high technology centers  everywhere, and clearly spending billions on high-tech infrastructure.

The article is called China’s Han Superstate: The New Third Reich. And do add American Greatness to your list of excellent websites.



Words of Wisdom for a Monday by The Elephant's Child
April 1, 2019, 3:59 am
Filed under: Capitalism, Communism, Economics, Economy, Free Markets, Freedom, History | Tags: , ,

Historians inescapably both write with the benefit of hindsight and shape the stories they tell. So history always appears much tidier and more dramatic to the reader than the events depicted seemed to those who lived through them day by day. Human beings have to live with a future that is always unknown while enveloped in the fog of mere existence that can be as hard to penetrate as the far better recognized fog of war.
……………………………………………………………………..John Steele Gordon
……………………………………………………………………..An Empire of Wealth

In sum, Communism failed and is bound to fail for at least two reasons: one, that to enforce equality, it’s principal objective, it is necessary to create a coercive apparatus that demands privileges and thereby negates equality; and two, that ethnic and territorial loyalties, when in conflict with class allegiances, everywhere and at all times overwhelm them, dissolving Communism in nationalism, which is why socialism so easily combined with “Fascism.” In recognition of this reality, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union abandoned the slogan, calling on all proletarians to unite.
………………………………………………………………………Richard Pipes
………………………………………………………………………Communism, a History

We don’t have a “profit system” – we have a profit and loss system, and the loss is the important part because it is a signal that company is badly managed and needs to do something about it.
………………………………………………………………………Milton Friedman



Clarifying the Nature of the Left by The Elephant's Child

From Andrew C. McCarthy’s book The Grand Jihad:

Neo-communism is leftism liberated by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Many newly believed the Soviet demise would be a cautionary tale for the left, warning against the hubris of big- government schemes to perfect man and society. The opposite instead is the case. David Horowitz, today’s most eloquent and incisive observer of the revolutionary left, the movement in which he was raised and which he turned on fiercely, offers a perfect diagnosis.

“Far from instilling humility in progressives…the collapse of socialism has revived their self-righteousness and re-energized their assault on the democratic West. The disappearance of the Soviet bloc has only one consequence of note.  It has lifted the burden of having to defend…an indefensible regime. Because the utopian vision is no longer anchored in the reality of an actually existing socialist state, the left can now indulge its nihilistic agendas without restraint.”

ibid: Today’s hard left is defined by what it is against: the United States, free-market capitalism, and any foreign policy premised on defending American interests or promoting individual liberty. Only this part of the agenda is concrete, leaving neo-communism elastic enough to strike alliances with any movement that shares it. What neo-communists are for, by contrast is a set of abstractions – “social justice”, “equality” , “redistributive rights”, the “rule of law” and of course “our values” the details of those can be worked out later once the more pressing imperatives of undoing the existing order has been realized.

Seemed like a good reminder.




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