American Elephants


Hate Speech, Protected Speech, Free Speech: Think About It. by The Elephant's Child

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The furor over Brexit continues to heat up, and polls waver back and forth. A telling article on the 14th of May pointed out a central issue of concern about the European Union. ‘The President of the unelected executive arm of the EU has vowed to block all right wing populists from power across the continent, shortly after acquiring the power to exert “far reaching sanctions” on elected governments.”

If this seems reminiscent of the Left’s current efforts to stamp out free speech, with the need for “safe spaces” on campus to avoid hearing any disagreeing speech; or the group of attorneys general who want to go after “climate deniers”  in the interest of shutting down those who do not worship at the altar of global warming, and getting a big windfall from suing Exxon Mobil; or the effort to simply shut down free speech or do away with the First Amendment, you’re absolutely correct.

Attorney General  Loretta Lynch announced that she would release a censored version of Omar Mateen’s 911 calls , omitting any mention of ISIS. She said she didn’t want to “further [Mateen’s] propaganda. (Obama-Clinton U.S l Resolution Against Negative Speech about Islam.) Broadly ridiculed, DOJ reversed course.

Most graduations are over, but the season had its usual numbers of graduation speakers who were protested, rejected, or insulted.  I find it hard to imagine that the snowflakes are so unmannerly that they refuse to hear someone who has ideas with which they are not familiar.

U.S. Internet giants Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc., Google and Microsoft Corp pledged to tackle online hate speech in less than 24 hours as part of a joint commitment with the European Union to combat the use of social media by terrorists.

Beyond national laws that criminalize hate speech, there is a need to ensure such activity by Internet users is “expeditiously reviewed by online intermediaries and social media platforms, upon receipt of a valid notification, in an appropriate time-frame,” the companies and the European Commission said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

We hear the term “Hate Speech” far more than “free speech.” “Hate speech” is just another Leftist weapon to attack anyone who offers a different opinion.  Only today, a student called in to Michael Medved’s talk radio show to speak about his professor who would not allow differing opinions in student papers. Unfortunately this is increasingly common. During the 1960s Liberals fought for the right for political demonstrations on campus in the fabled “Free Speech Movement.” Well, time moves on and minds change. Now the Left wants to put people behind bars for any speech that disagrees with standard Liberal talking points.

The other nations in the Anglosphere have vestiges of free speech, but not so much. It is, to be completely accurate, a very hard idea for people to understand. People are all for free speech until someone says something to which they take exception, then it’s hate speech, or they shouldn’t be allowed to say that, or just demand that they shut up. We used to have Polish jokes, and French jokes, and Norwegian jokes, but now it’s all “diversity” and “racism”and  “gender identity.”

We all have to think through what is meant by free speech. It is expressed in the First Amendment  as forbidding Congress from making any law that abridges freedom of speech, and adds freedom of the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

You can’t shout FIRE in a crowded theater. You can still punch someone who insults your mother in the nose, but you may get hauled in for battery. If you are paying attention, you will find an example of why it is so important—every single day. Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn disagreed publicly with Stalin and spent eleven years in the Gulag Archipelago as a result. He was one of the lucky ones.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the Bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”     Ronald Reagan



A Presidential Visit to Yosemite National Park by The Elephant's Child

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On Father’s Day, many families want to do something special for Dad. Those who planned a trip for the day to Yosemite National Park, were out of luck. The Park was closed to visitors most of Father’s Day. The presidential family arrived and departed from a Yosemite meadow on a Marine One helicopter. The entourage arrived in a 40 car motorcade. The visit was covered with more pictures by Britain’s Daily Mail. The British seem to be highly amused by America’s presidential motorcades and elaborate scheduled events.

Roads in the park and the entrances and exits were shut down for hours. Visitors already at the park found their movements restricted and even hiking trails were Restricted. The lower Yosemite Falls was closed to the public. He made a speech (to his entourage, Park Rangers? ) to tout his administration’s environmental record and to warn Americans about the danger of climate change.

The biggest challenge we are going to face in protecting this place and places like it is climate change. Make no mistake, climate change is no longer a threat it is a reality.

It has been warm over the last few weeks, and Obama was sure that the meadow where they landed was drying out because of global warming. Melting snowpack has the falls in the park at their fullest.  “Fires are raging across the west right now … all while it’s still really early in the season.” he said, but climate change has nothing to do with wildfire. But then the president is still warning that Manhattan would be “underwater”unless action is taken on climate change.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) whose district includes Yosemite, had a classic rejoinder:

With his comments about global warming, I would point out that if his speech had been given on this very spot 12,000 years ago we would be under a 3,000-foot sheet of ice. So global warming has been going on for a long time, long before the invention of the SUV.

Yosemite is a deservedly popular national park with over a million visitors every year and has many of the problems of a big city. President Bush avoided visiting popular venues while he was president, and was roundly criticized when he did not land in New Orleans during Katrina — which he did because he knew how disruptive a presidential visit is and didn’t want to mess up the rescue efforts. Is the Secret Service overdoing the motorcades and opulence of a presidential visit ? I don’t know, it seems excessive, but we want our president protected. Presidential motorcades disrupt traffic for hours, wherever they go, but part of that is the press.

The first family did Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico on Friday, which is also something special to see.



Who Are You Going To Believe? And Why? by The Elephant's Child

196725_5_Via American Thinker.



Focusing on the Anger of the People! by The Elephant's Child

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The temper out there is quite remarkable, remarkably nasty to be precise. Our current election campaign is quite the nastiest I can ever remember, and anger seethes through the comments of even the most staid columns.

Britain is in the same spot with the battle over BREXIT —Britain’s upcoming vote over whether to exit the European Union or stay in.  Only Britain has a scheduled vote, but there is plenty of rumbling in other European nations who are not happy with the influx of migrants, and the response of their governments. The future is uncertain and the people know it and are not pleased with the preparedness.

It’s hard for most Americans to imagine that they would choose to stay in. We’re not much on unelected government passing down laws to regulate our lives, and having no ability to even say ‘Hey Wait a minute! You can’t do that.’ Well, they can and do.

Bureaucrats are the same all over the world. They discover power and that, pushed for, there is no end to the power they can accrue to themselves. They start out intending to do right by the people, and end up establishing a dictatorship, and enriching themselves and their friends and relatives. When people start out promising hope and change, you’d better inquire a bit more deeply into exactly what they mean by the pretty slogans.

We were lucky to be founded by men brought up under English Common Law and the Magna Charta. and all too familiar with the Wars of Religion, but they were soon busy with trying to survive and build communities and deal with wild animals and the native people. A number of the earliest settlers returned to England to fight in the English Civil War with Oliver Cromwell.

In a world run mostly by the divine right of Kings, or Caliphs, or Sultans, or Czars — Democracy and Liberty were an enormous shock to the system, and few expected it to last. The French tried with their bloody Revolution, and ended up with the Napoleonic Wars.

It is particularly interesting then, that the Left, the radical Left, is so determined on eliminating democracy in the name of complete control. It is fairly clear when they want to send “deniers” to prison on RICO charges for disagreeing with their idea that global warming is a huge crisis, when they want to do away with the Second Amendment, as well as the rest of the Constitution, reject patriotism and its traditions — like the Pledge of Allegiance, support open borders and reject our immigration laws.

I have been startled at the way the leftist media speaks the same leftist ‘talking points’ all at once, in the same words with the same exact punctuation, but I never realized what I was seeing and hearing until I posted the video below about “It’s Just What ISIL Wants.” They do it all the time, and we don’t really notice. But that is a very different kind of journalism than we expect in a free country! You can think of dozens of different subjects in which they have tried to set the agenda by repetition of precisely the same words. That is not thought, nor is it journalism — who hands our the talking points? Think Progress?

We have a generation or two of ambitious youngsters who have signed on, not to accurately report events, but to put a label on things before the ordinary person has time to think it through — in the goal of changing the world. I can remember it being reported that the journalism schools were producing young reporters ambitious to change the world. I should have paid more attention. That is really the problem, isn’t it? We are just not paying close enough attention.



My Very First Broken Bone! by The Elephant's Child

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This is the first time, despite my advanced age, that I have ever had a broken bone. Right foot, 5th metatarsal, spiral fracture. I get a fancy ski boot with all sorts of Velcro and canvas and buckles that I apparently have to wear for months and months. It lets me walk on my injured foot, which makes life easier. No cast, for which I am grateful.

I didn’t even break a bone when my horse pitched me off trying to show off her ability as a cutting horse. She was pretty good. I wasn’t all that much as a cutting horse rider.



The Strange Narrative in Which Obama Lives by The Elephant's Child

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President Barack Obama bitterly attacked Donald Trump for challenges to his presidency for not taking the threat of radical Islamic terrorism seriously enough. (Do too! Do Too!)

“Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away, Obama said. This is a political distraction”

He described the attacks on him as “yapping” and denounced ‘Politicians who Tweet and appear on cable news shows.”

Omar Mateen’s murder of 5o gays in an Orlando nightclub and wounding of as many others has a striking familiarity to the Fort Hood Massacre when Major Nidal Hassan, a U.S. Army Psychiatrist, fatally shot 13 people and wounded more than 30 others.

Both killers had been identified as dangerous and unhinged by those who worked with them. Their employers, the Army in the case of Nidal Hassan, and the Department of Homeland Security in the case of Omar Mateen knew that their conversation indicated “there’s something wrong with him” but the employer was unwilling to do anything about it because he was Muslim. Obama’s refusal to say the words “radical Islam,” or to allow anyone else to use the term, is so obvious to all that it approaches comedy. Obama’s instant reaction is always to find something wrong with American society, and to go for the standard Leftist approach: “We have to ban assault weapons“.

Weapons, from duded-up .22s to knives, baseball bats, pressure cookers, bomb-making materials, box-cutters, bows and arrows, are all inanimate objects, and require a human actor to put them to any use. The Left becomes hysterical about weapons, but refuses to deal with those who should not be allowed access to weapons. It’s the bad people, not the weapons.

If you remember, President Obama dismissed the Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence.” They even went so far as to deny VA benefits to those who had been wounded, and refused to award purple hearts.No medals for “workplace violence.”

The Boston Massacre, the beheading in Oklahoma, and the stabbings at UC Merced had nothing to do with firearms.The attacks in Paris and Belgium took place in locales with the some of the strictest firearm regulations anywhere.

The President sets the agenda. For the last seven  years, government officials have seen the suspicious activities of Muslims as the result of America’s Islamophobia, and our insults to the peaceful Muslim religion. Obama has taken the lead in encouraging Syrian refugees to settle in the United States.

A NASA Chief declared that one of the agency’s three primary missions was Muslim outreach. The director of National Intelligence called the Muslim Brotherhood “largely secular.” a top counterterrorism adviser praised jihad as a “legitimate tenet of Islam.” Obama has removed the requirement for new citizens to be available for national service if called upon. He said “We are to blame, not Islamic terrorism, for the Massacre.” He has said, in a video aimed at convincing migrants to pursue American citizenship that they didn’t need to assimilate. Government officials know who signs their paychecks.

I think that Obama lives in a different narrative, one in which he is the hero, wisely directing the American people in the way they should go. That it bears little relation to reality is beside the point. Because he is giving away citizenship to all comers, erasing the citizenship and border control laws, the newcomers will be reliable Democrat voters, and that’s what really matters, isn’t it?



Obama’s Ill Conceived Overtime Rule Gives Workers a Teeny Raise. Costs Companies Billions. by The Elephant's Child

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Government data released last Wednesday showed the number of private- sector job opening was at an all time high in April. But the companies doing the hiring took on the smallest number of people on a seasonally adjusted basis in nine months.  What?

The JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey) data the government released showed there were 5,2809,000 private-sector job openings  in April — 114,000 more than in March. The government report also showed that private-sector hires declined by 169,000 compared to March. Well no wonder eyes glaze over when reading government press releases.

With the private companies advertising so many job openings, why aren’t they filling the openings? The federal government has imposed vastly higher costs for employing people. It is not only more expensive, but it is more complicated as well.

President Obama’s new overtime rule was meant to help workers. Unfortunately too many government people have never worked in the private sector. The government’s new rule effectively turns millions of salaried workers into hourly employees. It won’t increase their earnings, but it will reduce their control over their schedules. Salaried employees get paid to do a job. Hourly workers must be paid overtime for working over 40 hours a week. What happens in real life is that in order to avoid lawsuits to overtime-eligible workers, many employers deny flexible work schedules to them, because it is a big legal risk. Hourly workers are more unlikely to move up to salaried positions. On Wednesday the government raised the overtime “threshold” test for salaried employees to $47,500 a year.  All salaried employees making less than that, no matter how advanced their job duties, now qualify for overtime. The Feds just thought they would give workers more pay by making more of them overtime eligible.

When Leftists are in charge of the economy, they usually make a mess of it. They assume that being “the best and the brightest”, their ideas are better but often they are simply transplants from academe who are entirely unfamiliar with business and how it operates. They have spent years envying the captains of industry who make unbelievable amounts of money, and they don’t even have PhD’s. What leftist academics fail to recognize is that the average term of a CEO is only 6 or 7 years, and they got there on the record of lots of successes. A CEO of a major corporation may oversee 20 divisions of 2o,ooo people each, and he has to report to the shareholders  every quarter. Silly academics can’t even tell protesting kids to knock it off.




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