American Elephants


A Query About the “Deep State.” Do These Public Servants Recognize the “Servant” Part of the Designation? by The Elephant's Child

It is becoming increasingly clear that the “Deep State” has some significant problems. Career Civil Servants seem to frequently forget the “servant” part. Kimberly Strassel of the Opinion Page in the Wall Street Journal takes it on:

The “deep state”—if we are to use the term—is better defined as consisting of career civil servants, who have growing power in the administrative state but work in the shadows. As government grows, so do the challenges of supervising a bureaucracy swelling in both size and power. Emboldened by employment rules that make it all but impossible to fire career employees, this internal civil “resistance” has proved willing to take ever more outrageous actions against the president and his policies, using the tools of both traditional and social media.

So are they a problem? Do they understand that they work for us, not for what they think would be good? Highly paid, a “swelling bureaucracy.” Interesting essay, do read the whole thing. Are they our public servants or do they have more elaborate self images?



What We Have Been Reading Today by The Elephant's Child

Here’s What We’ve Been Reading Today:

From William Voegeli, at Law & Liberty: “Do Americans Want to Be Involved in Local Governance?” He analyzes the choices offered to him on the most recent ballot, and the problems involved in keeping up and keeping well informed.

From The Babylon Bee, the satirical website that mostly makes more sense than the real world. “All Democrats Drop Out of Presidential Race Since The World is Ending from Climate Change and There’s No Point

From Breitbart : Watch Live–One Year Later; Leftists March on Scotus to Impeach Kavanaugh It’s quite clear, they never thought he was guilty of abusing women, Since he is a Conservative, they feared he might vote against their abortion rights, and thought impeaching him the only way to get him out of there.

Also from Breitbart, “While Democrats Pursue Impeachment, President Trump Builds Impressive Record of Accomplishments.”

From American Thinker, Nancy in the swamp of despond.”

From the New York Post: “Sorry, Dems: It’s OK to ask for foreign help in a criminal justice investigations

From National Review: “What We Love About America: An Introduction



The September Unemployment Rate by The Elephant's Child

I continue to be convinced that Democrats are desperately trying to take control of the national dialogue, not just control of the government. They are sure that Republicans are bad people who favor the rich. The Rich are clearly bad people, because nobody should have more money. Money should be fair, and equally distributed to all. AOC recently remarked that no one should have a billion dollars. Where does that poisonous ignorance come from?

“All men are created equal” means that we are born as plain ordinary squalling babies, and there’s some luck of the draw involved. Some families are more prepared than others to set their babies on a path to greater success, but that is no guarantee of much of anything. Some are born into perfectly terrible circumstances and decide they are going to succeed — and step by step they do, while others ignore their opportunity and blame others for their lack of success, and hate anyone who has become rich because it’s not fair. Go figure.

We all can probably name several billionaires. The computer industry has made a lot of very rich people. Do you carry around their names, seething at the idea that they have so much money? Or is it the simple idea that hating the rich is supposed to rile up the voters and if you keep reminding Democrat voters that Republicans are once again giving tax cuts to the rich, they that will get their side to the polls?

I don’t get it. I have no special animus for Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg. It would perhaps be nice never to worry about bills, and perhaps nice if you could just satisfy any wish by writing a check, but that might get a little boring as well.

The facts are a little simpler. When you let taxpayers keep a little more of their own money, you give them the freedom to hire someone, create a new business, expand their business, or even if they just spend it, it goes into the economy creating more prosperity.

President Trump’s tax cuts have meant that the September unemployment rate has fallen to 3.5%. as payrolls have risen by 136,000. The jobless rate has dropped 0.2 percentage points to 3.5% – a 50-year low. Let me repeat that. The unemployment rate has fallen to a 50 year low — since 1969.

Do people sit around seething over the idea that someone has way more money that they do? I think people feel good about working to earn a living and care for their families. I think most workers want to do a good job, and want to take pride in the work they do. I believe that the Left thinks that fostering hate of the rich will serve their aims. Don’t allow that poisonous campaign.



Defining Reality, Or Explaining What is Really Going On by The Elephant's Child

Clearly it is time to explain what is really going on. One gains enormous wisdom by staring at the blank walls of a very fine hospital. So somewhere between a second civil war and an impeached president, or the election (this time) of good old Hillary, there must be, somewhere, some clarity. Elections are always contentious, but this is ridiculous.

We are in a battle over defining reality. To quote Daniel J. Boorstin, the late Librarian of Congress and notable historian at the University of Chicago, in The Americans: the Colonial Experience:

We have too long been told that a “unified” scheme of knowledge is required to give meaning and unity to society; that men have a greater sense of sharing values and of working to a common end if they are united by a grand overarching system of thought; that somehow an articulate and systematic philosophy is likely to provide such a system of shared meaning. The stock example is, of course, the Middle Ages when such theologians as Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus constructed monuments of speculative philosophy. that has become an unexamined commonplace that a more unified philosophy will produce a more unified society, that ours  would be a better and more meaningful  world if we in America possessed such systematic and “unifying” thought.

But is this really true? It may have seemed so in earlier societies where the frame of meaning was supposed to be accessible only to a priestly or ruling class. Could it remain so in a modern literate society where most people would be expected to understand the purposes of the community? One cannot unify such a society by mere concepts, however refined and subtle, however vivid to a few philosophers or theologians. “The attempt to bridge the chasm between multiplicity and unity is the oldest  problem of philosophy, religion, and science.”

You may have noticed that “the ruling class” is not in particularly good grace at present, a problem rather than a solution. They are unaware of their predicament, are unwilling to give up the slightest bit of their cherished power.

Those who supposedly report on the society and the people and the ruling class assume that, instead of accuracy, their task is to get attention by featuring what celebrities or politicians may have to say, not because it might be of interest, but because the celebrity or politician might have a bit of click bait interest to promote the career of the reporter. Their interest is not in attempting to describe reality, but what, instead, might be sensationalized. They’re not on our side either. Which President Trump grumbles about as “fake news”. Which in turn infuriates the press, because they differently define their assigned task.

It’s only human nature to wish to advance one’s self, to look for what is readily available rather than work hard, but there you are. The current debates and argument is over the nature of reality, which is up in the air, struggling to be properly defined.



Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jog. by The Elephant's Child

I arrived home late this evening with reams of instructions, medications, with two of my sons who are my supporting angels and my daughter, and some words of advice for those who think that what we need to improve American health care is “Medicare for All” at a reported cost of something in the vague vicinity of $16 trillion a year, would or could improve anything. You need a little more serious reading in basic economics.

A splendidly-run local hospital is full of busy people endeavoring to help you recover, but that means tubes and tubes and tangles of tubes and people prodding you every few minutes with this test or another, more shots and more punctures, and buzzers and horns that go off every few seconds to alert the more knowledgeable to the misdoings of the less knowledgeable. Horrible places, good outcomes don’t come either cheap or easy.

Thank you all for your good wishes. Do whatever your physician has been telling you to do, and avoid the results of your neglect. Although how you identify a potential appendix attack is unknowable.

Look, Human beings are a quarrelsome lot. Families have a hard time getting along. We need governments to manage our societies for us, but America got it more right than most,  by suggesting that governments are not the revered superior beings of our societies, but rather our political servants. In other words, They are supposed to be thinking of us as the folks they work for but they seem to mostly think that their job is how to make their lives easier and more comfortable and important by controlling how inconvenient we are.  As we grow up and learn a little history, there are a lot of splendidly bad examples that should teach us enormous economic lessons.

We need our bureaucracies, but they are the enemy. Control them. Governments have no money of their own, and everything they do for you, the cost comes out of your pockets.

(Revised one sentence for clarity in next-to -last paragraph.)



Victor Davis Hanson Writes on Today’s University by The Elephant's Child

Victor Davis Hanson wrote yesterday for American Greatness about the decline and fall of the American University, an essay with the subhead “The damage that the modern university has wrought has now outweighed its once-positive role.” Ouch!

Dr. Hanson is not only a noted historian, but he has long been a college professor in an American university, though in recent years he has been a fellow at the Hoover Institution.

It certainly sounds like an article one would want to avoid if they were about to send a potential victim off to begin a college career. However, knowing the hazards helps to avoid them or prepares you to do battle as the case may be.

The rest of us need to know and understand what is going on in our universities, and how young people are being mis-educated, and overcharged. Can’t help to change things if you don’t understand what you are fighting against.



Sixteen Year Old Greta Thunberg Has Arrived in America to Address the UN on the Horrors of Climate Change by The Elephant's Child

Democrats have, in the modern era, always insisted that Republicans, those backwoods folk who live in the hollows of  Arkansas, or the woods of Idaho, are racists or Nazis, or whatever boogie-man they can devise. Democrats are destined to be in charge of the important things, like the country, [and major cities like New York, Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle] simply because they are morally superior.

Democrat-run cities don’t hold out a lot of promise for allowing them to be in charge of much of anything. You should probably keep that in mind when you vote. That said, they are now down to 10 Democrat candidates for the next debate, and there will be only one, not two.

Our governor, Jay Inslee, has dropped out. His campaign was entirely about Climate. But ordinary people are not convinced. He is clearly a true believer, and it is looking as if our state is going to go entirely to renewable resources for energy. Wind and solar, which do not produce dependable power, and Washington state still has renewable hydropower, though we’ve pretty much run out of places to dam. Look for regular blackouts.

We apparently do not need facts in order to be concerned about climate. There’s a worldwide outcry and those most passionate fight to see just how many years we have left. I suspect that few have ever studied up to see what the cries of Climate Change are all about.  And as they cry passionately that we have only 12 years left, their information is as ephemeral as 16 year old Greta Thunberg’s insistence that she can (in complete refutation of science) see the molecules of CO² in the air. A little child will lead us, I guess. She has arrived by sailboat in  America to address the United Nations.

I am concerned with the amount of nonsense out there. I think that our reliance on computers has us accustomed us to too much news in snips and bits. The long reads of background and history and development get passed by, and our understanding because of that lack, is even more incomplete. When there are voices shouting Climate panic and suggesting that the earth is going to end in a very few years, there are lots of people who will take that as fact, and order their lives accordingly, without ever studying up.

It is quite possible to determine who are the experts and who are the phonies, and what is established and what is simply fashionable conversation. Whenever there is a Climate demonstration, there’s usually someone in a polar bear costume to elicit pity and warm feelings, but the polar bears are just fine and multiplying nicely according to Susan Crockford who is the expert on polar bears. But that is how it works today




%d bloggers like this: