American Elephants


Happy Constitution Day! by The Elephant's Child

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Today is Constitution Day, September 17, celebrating the ratification of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787.  If you are unfamiliar with the day of celebration, you may be forgiven, for it was only established in 2004, and to further confuse matters, if it occurs on a weekend it is celebrated in schools and government offices on the closest weekday, so they supposedly celebrated yesterday. Check with your child if you have one in school.

The law establishing the American federal observance was created with an amendment by Senator Robert Byrd to the Omnibus spending bill of 2004, and mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions, and all federal agencies provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on September 17, 1787. It is also Citizenship Day, commemorating the coming of age or by naturalization, of those who have become citizens. (What? You’re not a citizen until you turn 18?)

Iowa schools started celebrating in 1911, and there’s a long history of attempts to make it a national celebration, which aren’t really important anyway. What is important is that a recent survey determined that most college students had no idea who James Madison was, or why he was important. And were astonished to learn that slavery was not practiced only in the United States. No idea of Muslim raids on the British Isles to capture British slaves, or of Muslim slave traders caravans up from ‘darkest Africa’, nor of  American Indian slaves. Schools across the country have become very lax in the teaching of American History. And our college students have no idea why the Constitution is a big deal. Oddly enough, the institution that makes the most of American history and the study of the Constitution is Hillsdale College, which receives no federal funding at all. Here is Dr. Larry  P. Arn, President of Hillsdale College explaining why they study the Constitution.



“Political” Medicine vs. Real Medicine by The Elephant's Child

At Powerline, Steven Hayward addressed the difference between “political” medicine and real medicine:

From Russell Baker’s review of Joseph Lelyveld’s new book His Final Battle: The Last Months of Franklin Roosevelt in the current issue of the New York Review of Books:

Everybody seemed aware that the president had a medical problem of some sort, but nobody knew precisely what it was. Political medicine differs from medical science because news of a physical sickness may quickly produce a terminal political ailment.The usual treatment in FDR’s day was to lie about it, and if that was impractical, to pretend it was merely a trifling seasonal ailment, a touch of bronchial discomfort perhaps, left over from last winter’s touch of flu. “Good as new in a day or two” was a common prognosis from doctors too scared to speak truth to ailing politicians.

Gosh, why does that sound familiar just now…



The Progressive Media Does Not Have to Do Journalism — They Do “Talking Points” by The Elephant's Child

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s computer was hacked recently, and what was clearly demonstrated were the talking points handed down to Progressives, so they would all say the same thing in the same approved words. This is how the Progressives change the language. In this case, the preferred words were about how to talk about Black Lives Matter.

This is another example of “the correct description.” Hillary collapsed as she left the 9/11 memorial event early, and progressives are trying to cover it up. She was taken to Chelsea’s apartment instead of to a hospital, as Secret Service regulations require, and she later revealed a letter from her personal physician saying she had recently contracted pneumonia. With pneumonia don’t you usually go to the hospital?

Which didn’t cover the overheating on a moderately warm summer day, or the coughing fits she has been having for months, or her fainting spells, the concussion, the blood clots on the brain — nothing to see here, just move along. But there she is hugging a little girl (pneumonia is contagious), now some of her campaign staff reportedly have pneumonia. If you think it’s serious, it’s sexism, because she is a woman.

Nobody is going to elect a candidate who does not have the basic physical condition to cope with the office, so they lie about it.  See President Woodrow Wilson, or President Franklin Delano  Roosevelt. This is why we have talking points. Cover-up, cover-up, cover-up. She will “Power Through.”



The Campaign Is Not Addressing the Real Issues! by The Elephant's Child


This has not been the presidential campaign I would have chosen. These are not the candidates I would have chosen, but here we are. I heard on the radio today, a black woman who is deeply troubled by Donald Trump’s lack of respect for women — which seems to mean his lack of deference to Hillary because she is a woman — one who just accused his voters of being a “basket of deplorables,” bigoted, racist, intolerant. I guess Hillary will blame that misstep on her pneumonia.

Sorry, Hillary, believing in immigration laws and insisting on preventing the flow of illegal aliens is not bigotry, but common sense. It’s high time the President of the United States and his administration start to take terrorism seriously. The Jihadists do take it seriously, and want to destroy Israel and the United States, and are working seriously towards that goal, while we succumb to political correctness and being afraid to criticize Muslims. That is immediately controlled with cries of “Islamophobia.” The most important thing is never to offend?

Donald Trump is quite clearly not a racist, but that’s a charge the Left drags out in every election. Bill Clinton just snidely said “Make America Great Again” is racist. “If you’re a white Southerner, you know exactly what it means, don’t you,” he told voters in Orlando last Wednesday.“What it means is, ‘I’ll give you the economy you had 50 years ago, and I’ll move you back up on the social totem pole, and other people down.” What that means is that Democrats are fuming at Trump’s outreach to Blacks. They cannot defend their own appalling record at bettering black lives,

Democrats cannot run on the Obama-Clinton economy — a growth rate of 0.95% can’t really even be called a recovery. They can’t run on ObamaCare, which is about to collapse. (Hillary called it “one of the greatest accomplishments of President Obama, the Democratic party and of our country.”) Uh huh, prices are rising dramatically, as much as 50% in some areas, and health insurers are dumping the exchanges. The goal of ObamaCare as a way to switch to single-payer health care is absurd in the light of Britain’s NHS nearing collapse, and killing far too many of their patients. They surely cannot run on their defeat of terrorism and keeping America safe.

They’ve not got much left but the race card to run on. And that is not proving very successful as the black body count rises in Chicago, as the police step back. Heather MacDonald reported yesterday that in 2016, nearly 3,000 people have been shot in the city, an average of one victim every two hours. That’s not improving the lives of black Americans, nor is it something that can be blamed on guns.

“President Obama takes every opportunity to accuse police of racially profiling blacks and Hispanics. The media, activists and academics routinely denounce pedestrian stops and public-order enforcement—such as dispersing crowds of unruly teens—as racial oppression intended to ‘control African-American and poor communities,’ in the words of Columbia law professor Bernard Harcourt. Never mind that it is the law-abiding residents of High crime areas who beg the police to clear their corners of loiterers and trespassers.” MacDonald continues:

The media blame poverty, racism and a lack of government services for the growing mayhem. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson blames lenient prison sentences for releasing Chicago’s gun criminals onto the streets too soon. The Illinois Legislature’s Black Caucus, however, blocks any effort to mandate stricter sentences for gun-toting felons—in a sub rosa acknowledgment that the vast majority (80%) of Chicago’s gun criminals are black.

But neither Mr. Johnson’s lax-sentencing explanation nor the media’s systemic-injustice explanation aligns with the timing of Chicago’s surge in violence. Sentencing protocols did not weaken in 2015 when crime started rising. Nor did poverty or alleged racism grow worse. What did change was the intensity of antipolice ideology, driven by the Black Lives Matter movement, relentlessly amplified by the press, and echoed by President Obama.

The solution to Chicago’s violence is for at-risk kids to be raised by mothers and fathers. Until that starts, the only hope lies in police regaining control of the streets.

Denouncing the phony “Black Lives Matter” campaign which is designed only to make Blacks believe that Republicans are racist so they will vote for Hillary, would be a help, Their claims of police brutality are clearly false, but the violence stirred up makes the police pull back from the enforcement needed by innocent Black families.



The Campaign, Such as it Is, Drags On, With Occasional Incidents by The Elephant's Child

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It’s been a bad few weeks for Hillary. Her health has become a serious question. She is the oldest person the Democrat Party has ever nominated. Her collapse yesterday was blamed on a recently diagnosed case of pneumonia which may have been chosen to cover  her extraordinary coughing fits. Pneumonia is contagious. Unfortunately Hillary lies so much that one can no longer believe much of anything she or her retainers say.

Hillary so desperately wants to be president. She was furious when the people would not allow her to be co-president with Bill. But it has always seemed that she wants to be, not to do. She wants the power and prestige — the amenities, the deference, the luxury and opulence. That’s what the email scandal has been all about, is the extraordinary lengths to which she would go to use her office to enrich herself and her family.  What she  has suggested she wants to do on the campaign trail is simply a package of the same things Obama has done, only more so.

It takes an incredible lack of understanding of the American economy to even suggest free college education. The absurd cost of an education is in good part due to governmental interference. You respect the things you have to work for, and the harder you have to work, the more you care. It is going to take an extraordinary effort to put the country back together in the wake of Obama.

The world is a very dangerous place right now, and Obama’s strange progressive idea of fundamentally transforming the United States of America into something more modest, just another country, less militarily capable, always seemed mostly related to the anti-American ideas of liberal Europeans. That seemed not just weird, but wrong.

How much has Obama’s spending added to the national debt (which just cruised past $19 trillion)? There are so many ways of calculating that it’s hard to tell. This post gives three different ways of calculating. The leftist press excuses all and blames Bush. I’ll use Zero Hedge, who isn’t interested in blame, but economics, writing on February 1, 2016.

Hillary fell some months ago, had a severe concussion, with blood clots on the brain, and took months to recover. Some are suggesting that she has Parkinsons, a suggestion that has come from several people. Some are suggesting that the DNC needs to replace her. The lapdog media is leaping to her defense, though even the most defensive are suggesting that she needs to release her medical records. She doesn’t get to use sympathy for pneumonia as an excuse for calling Republicans racist, intolerant bigots. She is not a victim.

We don’t know quite what to do with candidates who seem unhealthy.We expect a lot from our presidents, and those who remember their history recall President Wilson’s stroke and his wife being president for him in his last term. We mostly like our presidents better at the beginning than in their final years. We expected more and they just turned out to be ordinary flawed human beings who make big mistakes.

The opposing party readily exposes every lapse of judgment. But surely we have a right to expect that a president comes to office knowledgeable in American history and about the current world situation. Familiar with economics and loving our country and its people, and with some kind of idea about who are the outstanding people in their field and who they want to help them with the task ahead. We’ll see.



What Precisely IS Social Justice? by The Elephant's Child

Justice is what is embodied in our Constitution and our body of law, as it is administered by the courts. Calling redistribution of wealth “justice” is a little hard to take. May be a rallying cry for the self-interested (who did you think was going to do the redistributing?)

The people (Progressives) who shout the loudest about “social Justice” are those who want to be in charge, and have no interest or intention in having their wealth redistributed. They want to feel virtuous by taking the wealth of the rich and giving it to the poor. How about a world in which we try to improve conditions for all, which is what we have been doing successfully for several hundred years, or did you think that the world’s dictators had a better idea?



“It’s Because She Lies About It!” by The Elephant's Child

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Roger Simon was asked why Hillary’s health is an issue? He said “It’s because she lies about it.”

She has blamed her inability to remember about the classification of her emails, or whether she had any instructions about the security of emails or much of anything else about her emails. And she told the FBI that she didn’t recall, but I remember Rush’s long ago parody song— “I can’t remember, my mind’s like a blender, it’s jello, jello” Was that about Whitewater, or the cattle futures? I can’t remember.

I’ve always regarded lying as a particularly offensive trait. I had a boss for a while who was a compulsive liar. I caught on before senior management did, but they did discover it, along with some funny business with expense reports, and he was gone.

An excellent book about lying is Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life by Sissela Bok, that covers all the basics and all the excuses.  Recommended. Only 1¢ + shipping for used copies. Might be useful in the current context.

The thing is, if someone lies to you and you believe them, and you act upon that information — it is a pretty big deal.  And it is a big deal in the current political  campaign. The current administration has lied to us extensively, one department after another. The EPA, the IRS, if I had to list them all this post would be far too long. People are noticing, and they don’t like it, they don’t like it at all. Here’s Hillary:

Why? What does she get out of it?




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