American Elephants


It’s a Dark Mood, and Getting Darker… by The Elephant's Child

The country seems to be simply — fed up. Fed up with the culture wars, fed up with the biased media, fed up with being lied to, fed up with hypocrisy, fed up with overregulation, fed up with people who are “offended” way too often. Fed up with the language police, and the food police, the thought police, and the opinion police, and fed up with worry and being fed up.

Victor Davis Hanson asked that today. “Is the World Becoming Fed Up?” A great pushback is awakening here and abroad, but its timing, nature, and future remain mysterious. He enumerates the fed-upness that he sees.

At the Federalist, Tom Nichols writes “The New Totalitarians Are Here,” Totalitarians want their rule, and their belief system, to be accepted and self-sustaining—even if it takes bludgeoning every last citizen who disagrees.”

Ben Domenech and Robert Tracinski write “Welcome to Culture War 4.0: The Coming Overreach” which explains how we got here, but suggest that we turn the culture war into a culture competition, which is slightly more positive.

Along the same lines, the Z Man posted “The Rachet.” He says “I’m not sure reality ever catches up with Progressives. They simply exhaust themselves and go into a dormant phase for a while. It is the ratchet effect. The Progressive push begins and we get a series of clicks until finally some push-back and the advance is arrested. The core holds for a while and then the advance begins again. Click, click, click and then another pause.”

Glenn Reynolds said the “Declaration should still wake the powerful up at night.”More than complaints about a king, the Declaration of Independence was a justification for rebellion that applies today.

So if you’re feeling irritable and, well, fed up — you’re not alone. There’s a whole lot of us out there.



Pin the Tail On the Donkey! by The Elephant's Child

Over the Fourth of July weekend in Chicago, 30 people were shot in 8 hours overnight. A 7 year-old boy and two men were killed. The Confederate flag has been withdrawn from store shelves and public display because it has suddenly been decided that it is a racist symbol and might offend someone. No one is particularly offended by 30 people being shot in a city with very strict gun control. Chicago has not had a Republican mayor since 1931.

Even before the Baltimore riots, gun violence was up more than 60% compared with last year. Protesters from Ferguson were reportedly sent to Baltimore by a George Soros associated group. There were 32 shootings over Memorial Day weekend.  Baltimore has been run by Democrats since 1967.

In Milwaukee, homicides were up 180% by May 17 over last year. Shootings in St. Louis were up 39%. robberies 43% and homicides 25%. St.Louis Alderman Joe Vacarro said “Crime is the worst I’ve ever seen it” in a May City Hall hearing. Milwaukee’s last Republican Mayor left office in 1906, St. Louis’s last Republican Mayor left office in 1949. Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

Murders in Atlanta were up 32% as of mid May, Democrat Mayors have run Atlanta since 1942.

What has happened is a relentlessly dishonest campaign against law enforcement, which the Wall Street Journal called “the Ferguson Effect,” beginning with Trayvon Martin, who was pictured as an innocent young boy in a hoodie, instead of the huge violent young man, and extending through one innocent young black man after another, with out-of-control violent policing supposedly at fault.

Shooting incidents were up 500% in East Harlem, 100% in South Central Los Angeles. And in many cities, police are afraid to confront suspects for fear that they will be attacked or wrongly accused of misbehavior. Cops are not perfect. There are bad apples. There are racists, but the majority of police across the country are trying to keep the peace and forestall crime. Attacking the police, making poor neighborhoods believe that they cannot trust the very people who are trying to protect them is a vast disservice. When that protection is lessened or withdrawn because police are fearful for their own lives, crime and murders go up and trust drops even more.



“Damn That Flag!” by The Elephant's Child

ConfederateFlagShooting

Re-blogged from Never Yet Melted

Seven people were killed this morning when a Confederate flag walked into an Alabama shopping mall and started shooting.

According to local reports, the flag entered Cherrywood Mall outside Huntsville armed with two AK-47 assault rifles, a P 228 handgun and several grenades. It immediately proceeded to unload its ordinance on unsuspecting shoppers.

In addition to those killed, 23 people were injured and are currently being treated in area emergency rooms. Several are in critical condition and not expected to survive.

The flag’s motivations are uncertain at the moment. However, according to witnesses the flag did specifically target White people with Northern accents.

“The flag chased us down the hallway screaming ‘Die, Yankees Die!’, says Justin Anderson, a aeronautical engineer originally from New Hampshire. “Luckily flags don’t move very fast, so my girlfriend and I managed to outrun it.”

Complete story

Hysteria seems to come and go. It was not long ago that Chick-fil-A was being demonized and attacked because of the Christian values of its owners, and there were efforts to boycott the stores. One opened here a few weeks ago in the location of a former Denny’s and the drive-thru and parking lot have been so crowded that long lines of cars are choking up the intersection.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index named Chick-fil-A America’s favorite fast food place. The ACSI asked more than 5,000 customers their opinion on fast-food chains and compiled a list of the best and the worst. Chick-fil-A finished in first place with the highest score ever given to a fast-food chain. Good service and good food apparently trumps hysteria every time.

The one here is still messing up traffic.



There are Always Consequences, You Just Have to Learn to Recognize Them. by The Elephant's Child
June 26, 2015, 6:54 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Freedom, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: ,

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The Supreme Court has declared the Constitution meaningless, or at least the separation of powers. They are busy making law from the bench, which is not their function. Their job is to decide if a law in question agrees with the Constitution, not make up new and different emanations. In Australia, Canada and Britain, you can go to prison for expressing objectionable speech. Think about that.

The Left has long been at war with free speech. They often have really bad ideas, but they don’t like to be disagreed with, and they really and truly want you prevented from so doing. Hillary has said that when she becomes president, she will have a litmus test for Supreme Court candidates. They have to promise to repeal the Court’s Citizens United decision. Well, of course she would, it was a campaign piece critical of Hillary, but it was about free speech.

The Court has firmly said that corporate money spent on a campaign according to the election laws is free speech. The McCain-Finegold law  that limited spending on political advocacy by corporations and unions was unconstitutional. Lively political debate is supposed to benefit everyone. The Left was sure that Union spending was fine, but not corporate money. It all depends on whose Ox is getting gored.

Our Universities have become hotbeds of liberal thought, and they are teaching the current generation of students that they are little snowflakes who must not be offended. This falls under the “inside every liberal is a tyrant trying to get out” department. Nobody likes to be insulted or enjoys being offended, but suck it up kids.

Tyranny is a lot worse than merely being offended. Eventually that gets around to disposing of those who disagree. Today, it is the attempt to rename any campus buildings that were named for anyone who was a racist, that designation to be supplied by the “offended” kids. Be very careful what you wish for.

That said, the professors and administrators who allow and encourage such things as “microaggressions” and “triggering” should be fired.  You are not engaging in critical thinking (supposedly a goal of higher ed) but destroying clear thought. “Life is hard” our parents or grandparents tried to explain to us. Life gets a lot harder if you cannot distinguish between truth and falsehood, right and wrong, or reality and fantasy.



We are not their subjects. They work for us. by The Elephant's Child

A House Republican has introduced the SCOTUSScare Act which would make all nine justices and their employees join the Affordable Care Act’s healthcare law exchanges. It would only allow the federal government to provide healthcare through the exchanges.

Not going to go anywhere, but the policy of not applying laws inflicted on the rest of society, but not our representatives in the federal government, is problematic. Our elected representatives, including the president and all his appointees work for us. We are not their subjects. Ours is a government “of the people and by the people,” and when  you vote — keep that in mind.

Hillary’s refusal to answer questions, and rude telling one of the people to “just go to the end of the line” should give you pause.

Any law passed by Congress and signed by the president should apply equally to those in the government.



Call it ScotusCare! The Supreme Court Does Legislating From the Bench. by The Elephant's Child

The Supreme Court announced their decision in King v, Burwell. Conservatives are dismayed at the Court’s complicity in rewriting the Affordable Care Act. President Obama has been threatening the court for days attempting to cow the Supremes. What influence his threats had is not known, but hopefully is is none. Nevertheless, Chief Justice Roberts bypassed the separation of powers, and decided to help the Democrats out by assuming that the law didn’t mean what it said, and he would fix it by rewriting it. Essentially what he did the last time around. Rewriting the words of Congress to mean what they would have to say to make the law work — is making law.  The Supreme Court is supposed to decide whether the words as written are Constitutional, that’s the judicial function. Justice Antonin Scalia, dissenting, called it “somersaults of statutory interpretation” but it is legislating, not judging.

Holman Jenkins got it right:

By one standard no government program can fail, and that’s the standard being applied to ObamaCare by its supporters: If a program exists and delivers benefits, the program is working.

The polls do show that 74% of ObamaCare’s eight million enrollees are satisfied with their plans, because 87% of them are getting taxpayer subsidies that amount to an annual $3,312 per recipient, which is a pretty good deal for the recipients, not so much for the taxpayers. Oddly enough, those who are basically in good health, but just need flu shots or treatment for some minor deal, a broken arm, a sore throat are pretty pleased with their health care.Taxpayers who find that their premiums are going up 20% – 30%. or who find out their deductible has gone up to $6,000 aren’t so happy, because they are paying their premiums and their full medical bills besides. Jenkins again:

The right question about any program is whether the benefits justify the expenditure of taxpayer money. ObamaCare’s cheerleaders provide not cost-benefit analysis but benefit analysis—as if money grows on trees or is donated by Martians or can be printed in limitless quantities by the Fed. …

In the meantime, however, no worthwhile thoughts about ObamaCare, pro or con, are to be heard from people who count a program as a success just because Americans enjoy receiving benefits at the expense of other Americans.



When Will They Ever Learn? When Will They learn? by The Elephant's Child
June 24, 2015, 8:52 pm
Filed under: Economy, Democrat Corruption, Taxes | Tags: , ,

Basic Economics. Connecticut is one of the worst states in the country when it comes to business taxes. The state is now looking at another round of business tax hikes. With their latest budget, the Connecticut legislature has now increased business taxes five times since 2011, forcing companies located in the state to pay the fifth highest tax rate in the nation.

With the latest increase, accountants will be working overtime to deal with the new budget that includes nearly $2 billion in tax increases, including a $700 million increase in business taxes.

Bright politicians know an opportunity when they see one. Governors Mike Pence of Indiana and Greg Abbott of Texas pay attention. Republicans both, the governors have written to the corporate leadership of GE, Aetna, and Travelers, inviting them to tour their states and investigate the tax advantages that Connecticut can no longer provide.

Bloomberg reported that Abbott’s letter boasted of a $3.8 billion tax-cutting package approved by the Texas legislature in May that included a 25 percent cut in the business franchise tax. That alone would save companies in Texas a total of $2,5 billion in the next ten years.

Pence wrote that “Businesses in Indiana grow with confidence, while businesses in high-tax states like Connecticut operate in fear of seeing their piggy banks raided,” wrote Pence. “On behalf of 6.7 million hardworking Hoosiers, we are constantly meeting with companies around the world that are choosing Indiana and enjoying an instant spike in earnings. With Connecticut taxes skyrocketing, it’s important to remind businesses that Indiana is here to help as a state that works.

Fifty percent of Connecticut residents in a poll over the last year said they would leave the state if they could, but they can’t sell their houses because nobody wants to move in because of taxes.

Legislative leaders Sharkey, Looney and Duff ( sorry, I couldn’t resist) Senate President is Martin M. Looney, Majority Leader Robert Duff and Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey, were all pleased with their budget which contains major property tax relief and long term investments in transportation. “A brighter tomorrow will start with this budget today” said Gov. Malloy.

Texas and Indiana are standouts in the nation for their low taxes and successful economies. We’ll see how many Connecticut businesses decide to relocate..




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