American Elephants


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.



I’m Getting Really Tired of My Government Lying to Me! by The Elephant's Child
June 24, 2015, 6:37 am
Filed under: Global Warming, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: , , ,

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told an audience gathered at a White House conference that “normal people.” not “climate deniers” will win the debate on global warming. This is not the first time she has said that distinguished scientists were  “not normal people.” And of course “deniers” is the usual crude leftist language.

McCarthy’s remarks came as she was talking about the reasons why the EPA put out a report on the negative health impacts global warming will have on public health. She said the agency puts out such reports to educate the public, not answer critiques from global warming skeptics.

Ms. McCarthy is an administrator, not a scientist, and it shows. The agency hasn’t yet been able to come up with the science on which their regulations are based. When questioned at hearings, she doesn’t have simple answers to simple questions. One of my personal irritations is the frequency with which they attempt to sell their power grabs by claiming the number of lives (usually children;s) they will save in the future because of their actions. That’s disgraceful, and pure hogwash.

More hogwash: The EPA has released a report claiming “global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will bring fewer extreme droughts, floods, storms and wildfires. The report claims cutting emissions would result in billions of dollars in benefits for the U.S. and save thousands of lives every year. Floods, storms and wildfires are not caused by climate, future benefits can’t really be predicted unless the computer climate suddenly developed astonishing new powers. Ms. McCarthy, like far too many federal bureaucrats is on a power trip to grab new responsibilities, more funding and a bigger agency. Here she goes again:

Regardless, the EPA says a global effort to cut emissions would result in about 70,000 fewer people dying from extreme heat and poor air quality in the U.S., less damage from flooding and storm surges on coastal properties and other weather events by 2100.

More interestingly, the EPA said global emissions cuts would mean an “estimated 40%-59% fewer severe and extreme droughts” in the U.S. by the year 2100. The report adds that in “the Southwest, the number of severe and extreme droughts is projected to nearly quadruple by the end of the century” if nothing is done. But with emissions reductions, “the incidence of drought is not projected to change substantially from present day.”

She added “We can save tens of thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars annually in the United States…” Hubris and hyperbole, and as I said — hogwash.

Speaking at a fundraiser in San Francisco on Friday, President Obama warned “Well within our children’s lifetimes, on our current pace, the oceans go up maybe two, maybe three, maybe four feet.”



You Voted for Republicans in 2014? The Community Organizer Strikes Back! by The Elephant's Child
June 22, 2015, 10:47 pm
Filed under: Economy, Education, Progressivism, Regulation | Tags: , , ,

According to the Obama administration, in too many neighborhoods “housing choices continue to be constrained through housing discrimination, the operation of housing markets,[and] investment choices by holders of capital,” information directly from the Housing and Urban Development  — “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) proposed rule.

Obama apparently believes that your neighborhood may not be inclusive enough, so he has instructed HUD to issue a new rule to force communities to diversify.

Under Obama’s proposed rule, the federal government will collect massive amounts of data on the racial, ethnic and socioeconomic makeup of thousands of local communities, looking for signs of “disparities by race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability in access to community assets.” Then the government will target communities with results it doesn’t like and use billions of dollars in federal grant money to bribe or blackmail them into changing their zoning and housing policies.

Don’t misunderstand, this is not about housing discrimination, which has been illegal since 1968. It is unlawful to deny you a loan or prevent you from buying a home because of your race, creed or color. Socioeconomic status is another matter, and should be. If you want to buy a nice house in the suburbs, you have to be able to afford it. Obama apparently believes that this is unfair discrimination by the “holders of capital.” Remember that Obama’s previous chosen occupation was as a “community organizer,” a job heavily invested in claims of “red-lining” and banks’ loan policies.

The effort calls for HUD to set aside taxpayer funds to upgrade poorer communities with amenities such as better schools, parks, libraries, grocery stores and transportation routes as a means of gentrifying those communities. It also calls for using grant money to build affordable housing in wealthy neighborhoods.

The Left is deeply engaged in the pursuit of “equality.” Their goal of a future utopia where everyone is equal and lives together in perfect harmony dominates their dreams and motivates their political aims. Communitarian ideals, though it doesn’t seem to penetrate that it has been tried and failed over and over from Lenin to Venezuela and the communes of the Sixties. Those people just didn’t do it right. The Progressives would.

There is clearly a natural urge for “community.” How often do you hear the term “the Black Community?” But many cities have a Chinatown, Seattle has a Norwegian community, and it was true from the beginning — up-country South Carolina was heavily settled by the Scots-Irish. My German immigrant ancestors settled in Germantown, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania itself was settled by Quakers, New England by Puritans. People who can afford it buy around a favored golf club, or buy waterfront around a lake. Are the rest of us harmed by that? Or does it drive a better economy that benefits everyone, with more people striving to succeed?

There is a human instinct for associating with like-minded people. Consider the retirement communities, where golf-carts are the usual transportation, and escape from loud rock music is welcomed. and homes for senior citizens where health care is part of the deal. Does low-income housing fit into the gated community in the name of diversity? Is a massive influx of immigrants or welfare recipients into a highly regarded school district called for in the name of correcting good schools in the name of discrimination?

The final regulations are due out this month and HUD is pitching them as a plan to “diversify” America. “HUD is working with communities across the country to fulfill the promise of equal opportunity for all,” a spokeswoman for the agency explained.

The House has passed an amendment to the Transportation Housing and Urban Development Bill that prevents HUD from implementing their AFFH regulation, which has been issued in preliminary but not yet final form by the Obama administration. “AFFH repudiates the core principles of our constitutional system by allowing the federal government to usurp the zoning powers of local governments. Over time it would transform the way Americans live urbanizing suburbs and Manhattanizing cities,” according to Stanley Kurtz. This may well become a campaign issue. Anything to get the Iran deal off the airwaves. This represents the death of the neighborhood.

Obama wants to reengineer your neighborhood.” by Marc A. Thiessen, Washington Post

“Inside Every Liberal is a Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out: The Death of the Neighborhood” by Arnold Ahlert, Front Page Magazine

“Ultimate White House trolling: Obama to “diversify” wealthy neighborhoods” by Jazz Shaw, Hot Air



Only in America. Progressive Talking Points Trump Common Decency Every Time by The Elephant's Child
June 20, 2015, 10:27 pm
Filed under: Politics, Progressivism, The Constitution | Tags: , ,

“Once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun. … We as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.” Barack Obama

What I find most interesting is the extent to which the Left depends on their customary talking points. “Only in America are innocent people killed with guns. We have to ban all guns.” America, you see, is a bad country to the Left: slavery, inequality, poverty, the Indians, corporations,inequality, greed, cruelty, war, torture, discrimination, inequality, diversity, and of late, microaggression and triggering, and, of course, offensive speech of all kinds. They are Progressives, which implies that they are progressing towards something — which seems to be an egalitarian utopia where they are in charge.

But President Obama, speaking angrily about the massacre at the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, knew perfectly well that this type of mass violence does indeed happen in other advanced countries. When Behrigh Anders Brevic killed 75 people in Norway in 2011. Mr. Obama went to the Norwegian embassy to express his sympathy and the sympathy of the nation. When two gunmen entered the office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and murdered 11 people and injured 11 more, killed a police officer, and another killer murdered five more in a kosher market and wounded eleven, the heads of state of most advanced countries went to Paris and marched in solidarity with the French. Obama skipped that one, perhaps because he didn’t want to be seen condemning Muslims when he was trying to make a deal with Iran.

The shootings in other advanced countries in recent years:*

Behring Anders Breivik killed 75, 2011, Norway
Mohammed Merah killed 7, 2012, France
Genildo Ferreira de França killed 14, 1997, Brazil
Michael Robert Ryan killed 16, 1987, UK
Eric Borel killed 15, 1995, France
Friedrich Leibacher killed 14, 2001,Switzerland
Christian Dornier killed 14, 1989, France
Ljubiša Bogdanović killed 13, 2013, Serbia
Derrick Bird killed 12, 2010, UK
Robert Steinhäuser killed 16, 2002, Germany
Tim Kretschmer killled 15, 2009, Germany
Wellington Menezes de Oliveira killed 12, 2011, Brazil
Bai Ningyang killed 12, 2006, China
Juhani Matti Saari killed 10, 2008, Finland
Huanming Wu killed 9, 2010, China
Ahmed Ibragimov killed 41, 1999, Russia
Ami Popper killed 7, 1990, Israel
Antoní Blažka killed 6, 2013, Czech Republic

Looking back a little further, there is the Holodomor in 1930s Ukraine, the Rape of Nanking, the Holocaust, the Bataan Death March, to mention only a few of the larger unpleasantnesses in advanced countries. Why would the presidential mind turn directly to Leftist political talking points? Because advocating gun control demonstrates empathy, which leaves the Right as the party that does not care — a popular accusation of the Left, but suggesting that bad things only happen in America, because Americans don’t follow the prescriptions of the Left, is pretty common too.

Progressive  progress toward greater equality leaves Republicans or conservatives defending inequality. Republicans don’t believe that you can make people equal, except in the Constitutional sense of equality of opportunity and equality before the law. Or to put it differently, Republicans recognize imperfect human nature. Some of us are smart, some are not, some are beautiful, some are not. Some are talented, some are not. Some are crooks, some are not. Progressives seem to believe that imperfect human nature can be fixed, with wise regulations and management by themselves. As is often said, inside every Leftist is a tyrant trying to get out. They want to control, to regulate, because smart people like them, who went to the right schools and think the right thoughts can better organize America to be more — progressive.

*list from Wayne Laugesen, Colorado Springs Gazette



There’s a Time for Politics, and There’s a Time to Just Shut up. by The Elephant's Child

America is shocked and horrified at the massacre in the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. People reacted with sorrow and shame that such a thing should happen at a peaceful prayer meeting.

It’s hard to find the right words to express sorrow and offer comfort for there is no comfort. Republican candidates on the campaign trail quickly cancelled their scheduled events, Senator Lindsey Graham flew back to South Carolina.

President Barack Obama quickly politicized the event. “We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun,” Obama said, adding “At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.” Um, tell that to Charlie Hebdo. Or perhaps the 2011 massacre at a summer camp for the youth division of the ruling Norwegian Labour Party. Anders Brevik massacred 69 young people. Just before that he had packed  a van with an explosive mixture of fertilizer and fuel oil. The explosion killed eight people. Germany has had more attacks on schools than we have. But don’t miss a chance to make a political point.

Hillary also called for gun control, while heading for a bunch of fundraisers. Obama, having made his point, headed out to California  for a $16,700 per person fundraiser in Pacific Palisades. Later he has another one in Beverly Hills. On Friday he has an interview with Marc Maron, then flies up to San Francisco for the U.S. Conference of Mayors followed by another couple of fundraisers. Obama frequently tells us how important empathy is to him.



Hillary’s Second Stab at Getting Her Campaign Off on the Right Note! by The Elephant's Child

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If you are a Democrat, you are expected to be aroused by income inequality, social justice, a deep envy of the rich, and believe that being required to show photo identification in order to vote, as you do to get on an airplane, cash a check, enter the Justice Department building or hundreds of other places that want you to prove that you are who you say you are, is somehow deeply unfair. And in this age of ISIS and cyber war, envy is the most important thing on the menu.

Republicans, on the other hand, are mean, want to unlawfully enrich the wealthy, especially if they are CEOs of corporations, and don’t care about the poor, the middle class, or especially women. Hillary, in view of the revelations of Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash, you might want to forgo trying to blame the Republicans for enriching the wealthy.

Hillary had the second introduction of her campaign this weekend at New York City’s Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. She suggested that she would fight “four fights” for the American people, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the Four Freedoms. I’m really sick of politicians claiming they are going to fight for me — they know it’s hooey, I know it’s hooey. Hillary is going to fight to make the economy work for “everyday” Americans, strengthen families, maintain our leadership for peace security and prosperity and fight to reform our government and revitalize our democracy. Uh huh. I doubt that many have any idea what the “four freedoms” are, nor really know who FDR was. A baby born the year FDR died would be 70 this year. But perhaps that doesn’t seem so long ago to Hillary.

Hillary likes to think of herself as “a fighter.” She apparently wants to fight for even bigger and more authoritative government because she wants to tell American companies how they are to run their businesses and how much they are to pay their workers and what benefits they are to offer. That doesn’t sound like America or free markets  to me.

It was really kind of an embarrassing speech, full of old, tired and phony Democrat talking points, light on awareness of the problems that face America today. She said silly things like ” Prosperity can’t be just for CEOs and hedge fund managers. Democracy can’t be just for billionaires and corporations” Well, her son-in-law, Chelsea’s husband, is a hedge fund manager, and they just moved into a $10.3 million New York apartment.

Hillary claimed at least nine or ten times that Republicans cut taxes for the wealthy and left the Middle Class to suffer from the greed of the rich. Oh please. No Republican has ever proposed cutting taxes just for the wealthy. . But if you’re trying to redistribute the wealth, you can’t admit that.There was the bit about women earning less than men, (Equal Pay Act passed in 1963) But it remains a talking point for Democrats largely as a sop to trial lawyers, who love to get women to bring class-action claims. Hillary’s campaign workers are mostly unpaid “interns.”

No country is better prepared to meet emerging threats from cyber attacks (tell that to the OPM). She will support a constitutional amendment to undo the Supreme Court Citizen’s United decision, corporations can’t make unflattering movies about Hillary.  She will fight back against Republican efforts to disempower young people, poor people, people with disabilities and people of color.

Time magazine has a transcript, if you want to read what she said. I certainly didn’t want to hear her. But when you read the speech, the full splendor of the timeless words sinks in. She needs a new speechwriter rather badly.



Quotation of the Day from Theodore Dalrymple by The Elephant's Child

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Theodore Dalrymple is the pen name of British psychiatrist Anthony Daniels. He was, for many years, a psychiatrist who treated the poor in a slum hospital  and a prison in England. One of his books, (essential), is Life At The Bottom: The Worldview that Makes the Underclass. (2001)  in which he suggests that long term poverty is caused, not by economics, but by a dysfunctional set of values, one that is continually  reinforced by an elite culture searching for victims. This culture persuades those at the bottom that they have no responsibility for their actions and they are not the molders of their own lives.  He writes often at City Journal, where he is an editor and a  fellow at the Manhattan Institute.




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