American Elephants


Words of Wisdom for Today: by The Elephant's Child

Andy McCarthy has been invaluable as a source for this whole special prosecutor episode, as he has served as a federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, and can explain what’s happening.

Kevin Williamson also has a sharp eye and mind for searching out the reality of a situation:

My own belief is that this was never about removing Trump from office, though of course hamstringing him or humiliating him would have been very satisfying to Democrats. This seems to me to be more about Democrats continuing to tell themselves a comforting fairy tale about why they lost in 2016, and where they really stand politically. Getting cheated out of an election hurts a lot less, psychologically, than getting beat fair and square by Donald Trump — and it does not demand a lot in the way of reconfiguring priorities or rethinking stances. Which is to say, the Democrats’ current commitment to grasping at straws in this matter is, politically speaking, the best news the Trump campaign has had in weeks, the report itself notwithstanding.</>

American Thinker posted a quote from Victor Davis Hanson that beautifully captures the essence of the Notre Dame tragedy in France:

After 800 years, we were the steward of this iconic representation of western civilization, Catholicism, Christendom. And of all the years, 2019, at the height of our sophistication and technology, I’m not blaming the French or anybody, but we were found wanting and we didn’t protect this icon. And we don’t build them anymore.
There’s great churches and cathedrals that go up all over the world, but, Laura, they are in Poland. They are in Cairo. They are in the Ivory Coast, they’re in Brazil, they’re in India. It’s almost as if the places that are less affluent without the technology of western Europe and the United States are like we used to be. They still believe in transcendence. They still believe in something other than this world.

And so it’s going to be very hard in our society to ever build a cathedral again, much less to repair them, because we don’t believe in what they represented. And it’s ironic, because we don’t like the past. We are at war with the past. We tear down monuments. We don’t build cathedrals. We erase names. We say to Father Serra or Christopher Columbus, you don’t live up to our standards of race, class, and gender, moral superiority. Shame on you.



We’re Living In a Golden Age Of Clean Energy by The Elephant's Child

The Green New Deal is not only a silly unserious proposal that has nothing to do with the environment but that to which they supposedly aspire, has already been accomplished by free market capitalism. Not in the wind farms where turbines may or may not be turning, but this is Seattle – and the solar cells aren’t doing anything either, it’s raining, and will be for the rest of the week. Where it has been accomplished is in the Permian Basin, the Bakken Formation, and the Marcellus Shale. The Fracking revolution and plentiful natural gas has meant we are living in a golden age of clean energy. As Jim DeMint has written today:

The natural gas revolution, made possible by both the discoveries of new reserves and the development of technologies to extract it from previously inaccessible deposits, has helped the United States cut pollutant emissions by 70 percent over the last three decades. Despite adding almost 100 million people to our population since 1990, an increase of 30 percent, even total carbon emissions have increased by only 2 percent. Greenhouse gas emissions are not just rising slowly. They are actually falling in recent years.

The left has long said we need to treat climate change and environmental protection as the moral equivalent of war. If that is true, where are the celebrations now that it is a battle we are finally winning? Why? Because when the facts do not fit with the liberal political narrative, they often print the narrative as fake news. Progressives said we need to find new, clean sources of energy to get us away from coal and oil. Well, we have. Natural gas is clean.

According to the climate group Carbon Brief, natural gas use has cut 50 percent more emissions than wind and solar power combined. Gas also has negligible local pollutants, 50 percent less carbon emissions than coal and 30 percent less than oil. What is not clean is the record on the left of opposing the development of natural gas-rich regions and the infrastructure such as pipelines that needed to further lower the costs of energy to consumers and the environment.

Somehow the Left operates on emotions and feelings – not so much on facts. What facts they need or find are meant to develop the feelings. I don’t quite understand how they think, but it doesn’t seem quite useful. but probably that’s just me. Very strange. Natural gas is a fossil fuel, by the way, but fossils are not involved.



Strange Times and Getting Stranger and Stranger by The Elephant's Child

It is getting remarkably weird out there. Have you noticed? College students are deciding what speakers will be allowed on campus, what professors are allowed to say in the classroom. When I was in college, students were often sent on home to get their heads around the fact that they were there to study and learn, not to run the school, but perhaps I date myself.

It seems that the workers at Amazon have told management that Amazon should boycott the Big Oil companies, I guess to save the environment, but the environment is not disturbed by the oil companies, and the products that Amazon sells, arrive on transportation powered by the oil companies, and a significant number of the products they sell are made from petroleum products. Besides, the globe has warmed all of about 2.2° F. in the last 40 years. But somehow “climate change” has become the world’s most serious problem. Must poll well.

I suspect this is a matter of what polls well for the Democrats. Victor Davis Hanson’s column today pointed out that the sudden appearance of the “reparations” for slavery theme seems to be related to a fear by Democrats of a movement of blacks towards Trump in response to the decrease in black unemployment and the FIRST STEP act to cut back on the numbers of blacks in prison. Obviously the better approach would be to give black citizens free money because their great grandparents (or great-great) were slaves? Do people really think that way? Well, free money is always popular.

It seems that Alexa and her compatriots are always listening and recording what you say. No privacy any more. Siri is Apple, and I don’t know who all the sisters are. Seems like the Chinese control of their citizens may presage our future.



Listen Carefully to What These People are Saying! by The Elephant's Child

Interesting to watch and listen to the vast bunch of Democrat candidates for the presidency out trying to raise money and interest roughly a year ahead of the first official notice of their existence. What becomes apparent is that they associate only with other Democrats, otherwise they wouldn’t be so oblivious to the real interests of the American people.

On Friday, in Iowa, Robert “Beto” O’Rourke proposed that:

If we allow farmers to earn a profit in what they grow, if we allow them to contribute their fair share in combating Climate Change by growing cover crops, allowing the technologies that invest in precision tilling and farming, capturing more of that carbon out of the air is another way in which they can make a profit.  Keep those farms together, pass them on to the next generation, and allow them to provide us our food and national security, our independence from the rest of the world, our ability to provide for the rest of the world.

I’ll bet that one went over well with Iowa’s farmers, who probably are vastly more concerned with keeping the federal government’s nose out of their farmland and their crops. Beto would “allow” them to make a profit! Since farmers spend  goodly amount of their time outdoors, actually daily aware of the climate, they’re probably not all that concerned about climate change, as the people in city apartments are.

Democrats are remarkably clueless about economics. They are convinced that Republican tax cuts are just give-aways to the rich, and it makes them furious. They will raise the wealthy people’s taxes the minute they get their proper control of government back. One would think that they might notice the booming economy, the dramatic drop in the unemployment rate, but somehow it never penetrates.

Clearly the Supreme Court needs fixing. Pete Buttigieg, the South Bend mayor and Democrat presidential candidate offers his view. Packing the Court is good, but it needs more than that:

We definitely need to do structural reform on the Supreme Court. Adding justices can be part of the solution but not in and of itself, it’s not enough. It’s neither necessary nor sufficient. What we’ve got to do is depoliticize it and one solution that I’ve been discussing in recent weeks is structuring it with 15 members but five of whom can only be seated by a unanimous consensus of the other 10.

They seem to have decided that they do not like not being in control, and they are going to fix things so it never happens again. I think we need to pay attention to what these people are saying as they seek higher office and campaign donations. It’s revealing, and scary that citizens who are running for the highest office in the land could have so little understanding of how things work, and why our government is structured the way it is.



News Flash ! It’s All Trump’s Fault! by The Elephant's Child

Politico Magazine had an “interesting article” today, under the heading Law and Order: “Yes There’s a Crisis on the Border. And It’s Trump’s Fault.” I don’t usually read Politico, but I was interested because I thought the president was doing a pretty good job against long odds.

The authors had held office in border and customs work in the Obama administration, so perhaps there are some um, partisan feelings, or resentment  of criticism of their terms in office.

Donald Trump has made border security and immigration enforcement a rallying cry of his campaign and the centerpiece of his presidency. But now, as the effects of his immigration policies have become measurable, it is clear to us—three people who have worked on the issue in previous administrations—that Trump is the worst president for border security in the last 30 years.

The border is currently overwhelmed with increasing numbers of migrants, in particular Central American asylum seekers. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reported that 66,450 persons were apprehended between the ports of entry in February, the highest monthly total in a decade. Projections for March are even worse—exceeding 100,000—with experts concerned that monthly totals could exceed 150,000 in the coming months. CBP is reassigning officers from the ports of entry, which are critically understaffed, to help Border Patrol with the crush. CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan has said the immigration system on the border is at “the breaking point.” In response, the president threatened to close the border altogether to legal crossings, a threat he walked back on Thursday and replaced with a “one-year warning” to Mexico.

Despite the administration’s attempts to shift blame for the chaos, make no mistake: It is Donald Trump himself who is responsible. Through misguided policies, political stunts and a failure of leadership, the president has created the conditions that allowed the asylum problem at the border to explode into a crisis. The solution to our current border troubles lies in reforming the U.S. asylum system and immigration courts and helping Central America address its challenges—not in a “big beautiful” wall or shutting down the border. Yet effective action on these issues has been missing. And the president has now so poisoned the political well with his approach that there is little hope of meaningful congressional action until after the next election. Unless the administration changes course, the immigration crisis will only continue to worsen.

These three gentlemen seem to be unaware that people in Honduras and Guatemala are being instructed in their home countries that they can get into the United States if they can get across the border and turn themselves in to the Border Patrol immediately and ask for asylum. They’re told just what to say. These are not people in need of any kind of asylum. It’s a phony request.

There are groups in Honduras, Guatemala and Ecuador who are financing buses, in some cases, and sponsoring the caravans as well. There are smugglers who, for a fee, will get them to a spot where it’s easy to cross. According to our laws, we have to accept their request and give them a date for their court hearing, when they’re obliged to show up, if there is no room to detain them at the border, which has usually been the case recently. Usually they then vanish into the country, never to be seen again. Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer have made it quite clear that they have no intention to rewrite the asylum laws, nor to help President Trump in any way to stem the flow of illegals, who they expect to be voting in the 2020 election – for Democrats,

So it’s Trump’s fault for not changing the laws that only Congress can change? Is there anyone among the new migrants that actually has a valid asylum plea? Very unlikely. An effective border wall will not stop every incursion or border crosser, but it will help the Border Patrol immeasurably to do their job.

Is the Politico article embarrassingly phony? Of course. Fake news intended to damage the president’s efforts, by a partisan media. It’s pretty remarkable to see the amount this president has managed to accomplish with the Mueller investigation hanging over his every effort, and Democrats far from ready to give up or give in to any request. They hate him, they hate his economy, his tax cuts for the rich, Here’s Nancy Pelosi on GOP Tax cuts a while back. Democrats do not understand capitalism at all, nor how it works.

“This GOP tax scam is simply theft, monumental, brazen theft from the American middle class and from every person who aspires to reach it. the GOP tax scam is not a vote for an investment in growth or jobs. It is a vote to install a permanent plutocracy in our nation. They’ll be cheering that later. It does violence to the vision of our Founders. It disrespects the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, who are a large part of our middle class and to whom we owe a future worthy of their sacrifice. And it betrays the future and betrays the aspirations of our children. It demands, it morally demands a no vote from every member of this house of the people.”

And there’s the problem, clearly stated. We do not understand each other and have no desire to do so. We are not speaking the same language.



Political Parties and Their Understanding of the World by The Elephant's Child

It’s often hard to understand the divide between the two political parties. We don’t speak the same language, and we don’t always seem to live in the same world. The Left is interested in equality, fairness, control, power, and distributing blame. They care deeply about those who are not equal and want power specifically to redistribute that which needs redistribution in order to make everything fair.

The Right, in general, assumes that life is not fair, and that is not something that can be fixed. What you can do instead is to provide opportunity, and it’s up to those who chafe at not being equal to make the most of the opportunity offerred. Not everybody will make the effort, but life is hard, and there’s no way to make it fair for everyone, but it’s important to provide opportunity. This is not acceptable to the Left because it doesn’t fix things.

The Right understands that when you lower the taxes paid by businesses and the people who run them, it means they have more money to invest, to experiment, to create, hire and expand, which they promptly do, and the economy grows as new products hit the market, new businesses open, new plants open and hire workers, and the increased prosperity means that workers get raises which means they can buy things they’ve been wanting, and the economy grows.

The Left sees only tax cuts for the rich who do not need tax cuts because they are already rich, and seethes. Their unfortunates are still unfortunate, and they resolve that the first thing they will do when they regain power is to hit the undeserving rich with much higher taxes to help those unfortunates. To get control and keep it, they will need more dependable voters so they resolve to import them, by opening the borders for good workers for mowing their lawns and useful stuff like that.

In venues where they still have control, the Left will choose to raise the minimum wage so the workers will vote for them the next time, and they can feel good about helping the poorer workers. The owners of most restaurants cannot afford to raise the cost of their meals, so they lay off some of their workers, or cut back their hours. “New York City restaurants are eliminating jobs, reducing employee hours and raising prices due to the higher costs of the $15-per-hour minimum wage.”

A once-growing industry is contracting, according to an online survey conducted by the New York City Hospitality Alliance, an association representing restaurants in the city.

Last year, “full-service restaurants recorded a 1.6 percent job loss, which is the first recorded annual loss in two decades,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the trade group.

The Left is taken aback at the callous actions of greedy restaurant owners mistreating their employees, and vows to increase the taxes of the rich even more to provide more benefits to the poor and people who have been laid off or lost their jobs. They resolve to move closer to  a welfare state because it doesn’t cost much and provides so many benefits.

If people knew how much the present consumption of social benefits entails less prosperity in the future, the population would have a critical attitude towards the welfare state and politicians would have a harder time selling their fraud. Just as a society that ranks security over liberty loses both, a society that attributes a higher value to social benefits than to wealth creation ends up with neither wealth nor benefits.

So there you go. The problem is that we just don’t speak the same language at all.



It’s Hard to Believe That Anyone Could Believe in Socialism Today! by The Elephant's Child

There is so much history, so many horrible examples. How could anyone be so ill-informed? It probably starts with Republican tax cuts. The Democrats always sneer  “tax cuts for the rich!” and the rich do get tax cuts, and so does everyone else. The cuts for the poorer people are indeed smaller because they pay less taxes in the first place.The top 20% of earners pay 94% of all taxes paid. Of course they get a bigger percentage cut than the rest of us.

Boggles the mind to see how many people complain about the government, and then want to turn over to the government, all those unelected bureaucrats, our businesses, our worldly goods, and our way of earning a living. We cannot make even the simplest decisions about our lives, but have to leave it up to the government? It’s far worse than no toilet paper and no food. It’s having to eat the zoo animals, and then your pets.

There is no such thing as “Democratic Socialism.”




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