American Elephants


Delusions of Leftist Activism: Jordan Peterson by The Elephant's Child

The delusions of leftist activism, and trying to explain it to one of the deluded. Global warming, and the poor soul is sure that New York City will be under water all too soon, and he wants to go out and protest and make somebody do something. And he does not grasp that is just what Jordan Peterson was talking about. It is all quite symbolic of just what is going on in our culture today. Everybody wants to be an activist. It’s fun to carry signs and shout with all your friends, and with your activism you can change the world. No you can’t. Changing something starts with learning the facts, and doing actual steps that alleviate some part of it. Shouting and waving signs means you want someone else to fix it. But who, and when and how? Jordan Peterson is, as always, delightful.

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Governor Jay Inslee Wants to Save the Children From Climate Change with A New Carbon Tax by The Elephant's Child

Oh my goodness. Our very own governor here in Washington state has announced in a tweet, that “we have just 59 days to do our part to save our children from an endless cycle of crop-killing droughts one year, and rivers spilling their banks the next. To save salmon from dying in ever warning rivers, and our forests from being reduced to plumes of ash.” dated 12:49 PM – Jan 9, 2018 (Interesting, My clock on my desk says it’s just 26 minutes past 10, What’s this future tweet?)

Governor Inslee is making a fool of himself once again. He’s all hot and bothered to get a Carbon Tax, which he thinks would be a good idea because he can’t be bothered to do his homework, which would mean reading up on the actual science instead of just getting ideas from Jerry Brown. A carbon tax might bring in some extra money, but it would accomplish nothing, nothing at all. The 59 days refers to the end of this legislative term and the amount of time the legislature has to pass his bill adopting a worthless carbon tax.

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is plant food. It has contributed to a vast greening of the earth, which is helping to feed hungry people around the world. It has no measurable effect on global warming in the next 100 years.  Global warming has meant so far that the earth is almost 1º warmer on average than it was in 1900, a century ago. Since the sun has gone quiet, worrying about a new ice age would be more appropriate. The planet is cooling. The arctic is not melting. And in case you were worried about them, the polar bears are just fine, and their population is growing.

The Washington State Supreme Court has said the state has to do a better job of funding its schools. Inslee’s plan would tax carbon dioxide emissions at $20 a ton in 2019 that would gradually rise at 3.5 percent above inflation each following year.

The governor’s office estimates it will raise $3.3 billion over the next four years. About $950 million would go to education programs, the rest would go toward green energy programs and research (waste of money unless it’s nuclear power) water infrastructure,(new dams? or going to stop dumping sewage in the Sound?) wildfire mitigation,  and some money would offset taxes or go to poor families. The plan could raise household electricity prices by 5% and gas prices by 10% according to official estimates.

The Wall Street Journal recently commented on Governor Inslee’s machinations. Not flattering. If you are a Washingtonian, you might want to read this, for the rest of you, never mind. Will the people of the United States learn something from the Left’s inability to successfully run anything? Probably not, but you might want to total up the cities run by Democrat administrations. It’s not a pretty picture.



Sometimes a Headline… by The Elephant's Child

Holman Jenkins column in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday was titled:
“The Long War on Donald Trump: The president is guilty of something. It’s Robert Mueller’s job to figure it out. “

That captures the whole thing so precisely that it made me laugh.



Are You Offended by Free Speech? by The Elephant's Child

Free Speech zones, small spots set aside where one can speak freely? Parents and alumni should let their colleges know that restricting freedom of speech is a non-starter. Universities are very aware of what has happened at Mizzou and Middlebury, Claremont and Evergreen to name a few, and they deeply, sincerely don’t want any big drop-off in enrollment nor in Alumni donations. Since they all belong to the same crowd, they are not really aware of how offensive contemporary colleges are to many, with outrageous tuition, and Marxist professors who consider themselves as the righteous ones, working to bring about a new and better world.

FIRE is a dandy place for your donations if you so choose. They take them to court, defend free speech and defend students caught up in the melee.



The Leader of the Free World by The Elephant's Child

The presidency has evolved into something that was not quite intended. George Washington felt a great responsibility and made a real effort to avoid any elements of grandeur. There were many who would have made him a King, but he resisted, and set the plain standard for future occupants of the office.

Today, we still don’t do grandeur, at least not in the European way. In contrast, other new countries have gone for presidents as we did.  We do, however, make a very big deal of our president as the leader of the free world, and the most important man. We watch every action of the president and of his family, approve or disapprove, love him or hate him. Yet we think of him as someone we picked to lead for four years, and if he does a fairly good job, we’ll give him another four. Then we want them to fade away. George W. did a particularly good job of working with the veterans he sent off to war, encouraging the wounded, honoring those who served.

We are told that those who unsuccessfully ran, but were not elected, never get over it. Harold Stassen kept running for years. That may account for John McCain’s attitude towards Trump. Al Gore concentrated on getting rich with environmental propaganda. But we had what ? —17 candidates when Trump got the nomination. Do they all still resent that they didn’t get the nomination? I’ve seen signs…

But we really don’t want to hear from past presidents, except on formal occasions. Perhaps each retiring president should be supplied with a copy of Winston Churchill’s Painting as a Pastime. George W. got a copy and has used the pastime to honor the veterans who served. Very nice. Good paintings too.

Perhaps someone could send a copy to Hillary?

 



12 Principles for a 21st century conservatism by The Elephant's Child

Jordan Peterson is a professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto in Canada. He also a clinical psychologist, and an important voice in today’s world. He is honest, and has thought deeply about what he says, and he thinks out loud and shares the process with you. His mind is well connected to his mouth, and he talks with his hands as well.

He clarifies the most basic things. Things that no one is making clear in our world as it is today. You will hear the audience burst into applause when they realize just how very basic those things are.

This is a very long video that is really worth your while. It might change your life. It is the answer to the previous video about how Sweden has gone so badly astray.

When you finally get down to the basic way things are, ask why they are that way.

(The introduction is way too long, you can skip some of it.)



The Teacher, The School System, The City Council, the Legislature. the Governor and Maybe Even the Courts Will Tell You the Schools Need More Money! It’s All Lies! by The Elephant's Child

What about America’s public education? There are a lot of complaints about K-12 as well. Many hope that Betsy DeVos, the newly confirmed Secretary of Education, can make a big difference in the schools that are failing our most-at-risk children in poor neighborhoods. She is a big proponent of school choice, which allows parents to choose where their child should go to school—something well-to-do parents do quite naturally without realizing that choice is not available to all. One of the great tragedies of the Obama administration was the president’s failure to support the nation’s capitol’s Opportunity Scholarships which have changed the lives of poor kids.

Most ordinary Americans support their community schools, and believe public education to be a good thing. Yet college professors are complaining that their incoming students don’t know anything. There was a small note of cheer this week when I ran across an article that said “Cursive Writing Is Making a Much- Needed Comeback in Schools.” Alabama and Louisiana passed laws in 2016 that mandate cursive proficiency in public schools, the latest in 14 states that require cursive. Fads, unfortunately, pass through the education system destroying everything in their wake. There is a generation out there who never learned cursive skills. They hold a pencil awkwardly, and write in big block letters.

Penmanship proponents say writing words in an unbroken line of swooshing l’s and three-humped m’s is just a faster, easier way of taking notes. Others say students should be able to understand documents written in cursive, such as, say, a letter from Grandma. And still more say it’s just a good life skill to have, especially when it comes to signing your name.

A remarkable amount of dross comes out of the schools of education. When computers arrived on the scene, they decided everyone would communicate with keyboards, and all kids needed was to learn “keyboarding.” You also have to learn how to read other people’s handwriting. I was lucky in that my father and an aunt had the world’s most execrable handwriting possible, and learning to cope with them made me pretty good at deciphering anyone’s scribbles.

The act of handwriting helps to fix the thought in the mind. You learn better if you write it down. That’s why people intuitively write lists, directions, rules and anything they want to remember. The more you write things down the better you will do in the memory department. This is an actual scientific fact. It’s all very nice to have things in 12 to 15 point type in a clear font, but the teeny keyboards you can pull up on your phone are not an improvement on a pencil and a scrap of paper. (If this kind of thing is of interest to you, try to get your hands on the 4 books by Richard Mitchell, beginning with “Less Than Words Can Say” or simply Google “Richard Mitchell underground grammarian,” and you will have access to his works)

“Diversity” is another fad that swept the schools. Children obviously couldn’t learn properly unless the classroom had a wide array of skin tones, ethnicity, countries of origin, language, etc., etc.  That schools were supposed to be about reading, writing and arithmetic, as they used to say, escaped the educators in the education schools. Teachers used to learn how to teach in “Normal Schools.” These were 2-year schools that covered the basics of grammar school. (There was also once a reason why they called it “Grammar” school) By the time kids got to high school, it was a bit more demanding so teachers gradually were required to have a college degree. Departments of Economics, Philosophy, Physics, that sort of thing, were apt to look down on Departments engaged in how to draw the letters of the alphabet on a blackboard, and unimpressed with PhDs in Education, which has made Professors of Education very sensitive, and apt to fall for the latest new thing.

Even more recent is the discovery that many black adolescent boys behave badly in school, and get sent to the principal, sent home or expelled more frequently than white adolescent boys. Obviously racism. And the cure is to just not expel or punish those who misbehave if they are black. If you know anything about kids, this is an invitation for more bad behavior. There is a rash of teachers being attacked in schools across the country. Science says successful students need hours of physical activity every day. They don’t get enough exercise. Boys particularly. But we have to protect children from physical dangers. Did you ever wonder where the teeter-totters went? Or what happened to the swings and the merry-go-round?

Parents trek to the schools for parent-teacher conferences and the teacher tells them how splendidly their kid is doing, and you assume all is well. But you have not learned the basic lesson of the schools. All problems are to be solved with more money. Class size is deemed to be a major problem, if the classes were smaller your kid would get more attention. More money. Even the courts have gotten into the money problem ordering states cough up equally for all districts everywhere. Some of the best schooling I ever had was in a one-room country schoolhouse with a very good teacher, a pump on the front porch, a stove in the classroom and two separate outhouses in the separate back corners of the property. It’s not the money, it’s not the playground (there wasn’t one, just fields) it’s not fancy equipment. It’s a skilled teacher. And the Schools of Education are failing, and it’s not their money either.

 




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