American Elephants


I Went Missing: Here’s Why by The Elephant's Child

Sorry about that! Microsoft decided to add a formal update, and it did not go well. Needed things disappeared, unneeded things were added, nothing worked, and it took a full day to just become functional again. Beyond my level of expertise. Didn’t miss much.

Democrats remain certifiably crazy in their search for something with which to impeach the bad orange man. They were quite sure that anything and everything he did would be extremely bad, but the economy seems to be booming, wages are up significantly. Unemployment is at record lows. They were sure they really had him when when he took the troops out of Syria, and left the Kurds unprotected, but the President reminded Turkey’s dictator Erdogan that Turkey was being left alone without a single ally in the Middle East, and the Middle East is not a calm settled area of peace and tranquility, and Turkey may have gotten the message. We’ll see.

I remain deeply unimpressed with the lineup of Democrat candidates yearning to be president. Bernie Sanders had the burden of advanced age right off the bat, wondering when advanced age becomes too advanced, but adding a heart attack probably eliminates him. Elizabeth Warren has moved into the lead, but she misses a central fact about Americans. The freedom we celebrate makes it possible for anyone with a great idea to become rich. And Americans are doing so all the time. Elizabeth Warren seems to believe that no one should be allowed to become rich, and she will promptly take away their money to give to those who need it more. Can’t come up with a more un-American idea than that. Democrats want to buy your vote. Conservatives want to preserve the ability to become rich – because you have a good idea.

Democrats aren’t impressed with their own array of candidates. They keep pushing some other choice — Michelle Obama, Hillary again. Even Chelsea. Hillary may yet jump in. She remains obsessed with being the first woman president.



Words, Words, Words, But Does Anyone Really Read Anymore? by The Elephant's Child

The conversation out there has become quite impossible. Rude, insulting, partisan, phony, uncivil. How did we get here? Everyone seems to be playing the old “can you top this” game. Can insults become offensive enough? Some were suggesting that it was a matter of attention. People just weren’t paying enough attention, and they didn’t understand what was really going on. I’m not convinced. But it started me off on a slightly different track.

I have been noticing that people don’t seem to read anything much – in depth. Snippets here and there. A few lines, and decide it’s not interesting enough. A headline here, a picture caption there and on to something else. Reading is complicated, much of the writing is lightweight. The internet world flashes words. A serious passage is interrupted with ads and pictures, The worst is a ad with a picture that is moving right in the middle of something that promised to be rewarding. Your concentration is always broken. Words and voices are competing constantly for your attention. While you are trying to read a short paragraph, a message appears about your incoming mail, and are you listening to the radio while you read? As you surf the web, are you actually learning anything at all? What do you do with longer pieces that promise to offer something worthwhile? Do you read it immediately to see if it is worth saving or just save it, and forget to read it later?

Think back to earlier days when new information was not so easily obtained. When there were town criers, when the telegraph finally crossed the continent. When books were scarce, and information only arrived occasionally. Now we are drowning in it, and view it with mild interest and often contempt. We suffer from a glut. The fact that it is no longer valued is exemplified by the proliferation of “fact-checking sites,” Back when information was slow and scarce, we probably believed it all because there was no competition. Do you know the history of our country? Do your kids know the history of our country? Or only Howard Zinn’s phony version?

Let’s say you are interested in China, because you have heard of the Hong Kong riots, and “Trump’s trade war”— how do you satisfy the urge to know more? Do you start with a Google search? Turn to Fox News or the Huffington Post or Drudge? You surely search for a source you trust, but why has that site earned your trust? And are they informed enough to have good information, and how much information do you need to find to satisfy the need to know?

I was an English major a hundred or so years ago, and I learned to read and read a lot. I know I read a lot more than my kids do, because I have more available time. Do you squeeze the news into your work day? Or does that wait till you get home? I suspect that in the “Information Age”, we may be dumber and more poorly informed than ever before. I think there are many who have never learned to read the hard stuff. What has Twitter done to our use of words and our understanding? Are our kids learning too much from computer screens instead of the printed page? Newspapers and magazines are clearly slowly dying. Do people subscribe to newspapers and magazines any more? Does anyone subscribe to a movie magazine or a People type magazine except for Doctors offices and hairdressers? Are any of your children real readers who get lost in a book? And how did they get that way? I think there is a big change here underlying our present world, and I’m not at all sure it is a good one.



Thomas Sowell On the Myths of Economic Inequality by The Elephant's Child

It’s Sunday, so perhaps you have more time to watch a little longer intellectual discussion of capitalism and freedom from Thomas Sowell, brilliant as usual. A splendid commentary on the general conversation out there today.

Sowell discusses his early life as a high school dropout and his first full-time job as a Western Union messenger delivering telegrams. He admits to flirting with Marxism in his early twenties as he first tried to grapple with the housing inequality he saw across the neighborhoods of New York City. Marxism, he says, was the only explanation he could find at the time. He went on to serve in the Marine Corps before continuing his education in economics at Harvard and earning a master’s at Columbia and a PhD at the University of Chicago.

Sowell’s first job after his receiving his PhD in economics was working for the Department of Labor, and he says it was there that he realized Marxism was not the answer. He argues that the government has its own institutional interests in inequality that cannot be explained through Marxism. He began to be discouraged by Marxism and the government in general and began searching for better economic ideas and solutions (the free market).

Robinson and Sowell discuss Sowell’s written works, his ideas of racial and economic inequality, the state of the United States today, and much more.



The Media Misses Badly. And A Lesson in Successful Advertising by The Elephant's Child

This has been a day of extraordinarily bad behavior by the Left, provoked, as Joy Behar admitted, by Catholic kids wearing MAGA hats because the women on The View hate Trump and want him gone. A wee bit of Honesty.

It’s hard to remember that only a couple of days ago, the controversy was all about Gillette Razors and their attack on men and “toxic masculinity.” Turned out that the art director was a radical feminist well known for her hatred of men. The puzzle was why on earth a famous razor company  would approve such a commercial, but it seems that many businesses in our current climate have never learned the lessons of time and experience and do not have the sense to recognize that a wise business dealing with the American people does not choose to do politics instead of business, nor chooses to alienate half the country and all of their customers.

A competitor recognized the opportunity presented. And good for Barbasol.

And even a watch company saw a chance to speak out at Gillette idiocy!

Companies invest a lot of money in their advertising, hoping to please potential customers. Consider this a lesson in how it is done.



Some Facts About Immigration, Legal and Illegal, and The Numbers by The Elephant's Child

Jessica Vaughn from the Center for Immigration Studies (cis.org) discusses the “caravan” on the Neil Cavuto Show, and tries to get across some of the immense problems involved.

CIS identifies themselves as being pro-legal immigrants, and anti-illegals. It’s a good site for learning about what’s going on with immigration and what the problems we face are. Careful research by authorities.

President Obama spiked legal and illegal immigration to a record level of 1.75 million in 2017—by accepting one migrant for every two young Americans who entered the workforce in 2017. That huge inflow matched the record set by Bill Clinton in 1999. Obama’s wave of legal immigrants, illegal migrants and visa workers rose from 1.1 million in 2009 to 1.75 million in 2017.

That same year roughly four million Americans turned 18 and entered the workforce. That four million included the children of immigrants as well as the children of illegal migrants. Many of Obama’s migrants went home when their work visas ended or when they were deported, but the total inflow added more than 5.2 million migrants to the US population from 2010 to 2017, according to federal data prepared by the Center for Immigration Studies.

The inflow included 1.1 million Asians, 1.1 million Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, 680,000 people from the Caribbean, and 480,000 people from South America. From 2010 to 2017 Obama also imported 680,000 people from Muslim-majority nations, even though Islamic theology urges believers to attack Americans. That inflow enlarged the Islamic population of the United States by 31 percent, CIS says.

The inflow includes many temporary workers. This keeps roughly 1.5 million white-collar, multi-year, visa-workers in U.S. jobs formerly held by graduates of American universities.  President Donald Trump has blocked business pressure for expansion of the H-2B visa-worker program and directed the H4 EAD visa-worker program be ended.

Obama’s inflow also helped elect Donald Trump.

The 2014 border crisis was triggered by Obama’s encouragement of Central American illegal migration. The crisis wrecked bipartisan plans to push an amnesty through Congress.

Obama’s pro-migration policies helped stagnate Americans’ wages in a depressed economy while providing windfall gains to the real-estate owners, retails, and investors who gained from the extra workers and consumers.

President Trump’s pro-American stance has resulted in employers hiring more Americans at higher wages, with the highest wage-gains going to those Americans hit hardest by Obama’s surge. Newly released data show 2016 tied with 1999 as the highest single year of immigration in U.S. history with the arrival of 1.75 million new immigrants, both legal and illegal.We are seeing what is happening to Europe with the massive flow of illegal migrants and the crime brought by them.
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Joe Biden Explains FBI Investigations by The Elephant's Child

Here’s Joe Biden, a bit younger back in 1991, during the Clarence Thomas hearings, explaining that FBI investigations, such as the one demanded today of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, do not reach conclusions. That’s not their job, nor how they do things. Embarrassing to Democrats to have us dredge up ancient evidence, but there it is. The FBI investigates, but they do not reach conclusions.

Democrats really hate it when we do this. They have no concern about consistency, and hate it when we make fun of them.



Jordan Peterson: The Fatal Flaw in Leftist American Politics by The Elephant's Child

What is political extremism? Professor of psychology Jordan Peterson points out that America knows what right-wing radicalism looks like: The doctrine of racial superiority is where conservatives have drawn the line. “What’s interesting is that on the conservative side of the spectrum we’ve figured out how to box-in the radicals and say, ‘No, you’re outside the domain of acceptable opinion,'” says Peterson. But where’s that line for the Left? There is no universal marker of what extreme liberalism looks like, which is devastating to the ideology itself but also to political discourse as a whole

. Fortunately, Peterson is happy to suggest such a marker: “The doctrine of equality of outcome. It seems to me that that’s where people who are thoughtful on the Left should draw the line, and say no. Equality of opportunity? [That’s] not only fair enough, but laudable. But equality of outcome…? It’s like: ‘No, you’ve crossed the line. We’re not going there with you.'” Peterson argues that it’s the ethical responsibility of left-leaning people to identify liberal extremism and distinguish themselves from it the same way conservatives distance themselves from the doctrine of racial superiority. Failing to recognize such extremism may be liberalism’s fatal flaw.




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