American Elephants


Gohmert: “We Have A Conspiracy Remaining Afoot in the Department of Justice.” by The Elephant's Child

Congressman Louis Gohmert (R-TX) on Fox News Channel “America’s News HQ” on Sunday, said that if anyone interfered with the 2016 presidential election, it was not the Russians, but the Department of Justice.

He specifically named former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former FBI Director James Comey.

Gohmert referred to Comey’s testimony last week before the Senate Intelligence Committee where he said Lynch had told him to refer to the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information as a “matter,” rather than an “investigation,” even though Clinton was under investigation.

 



The Dakota Access Pipeline Is Now Delivering Light, Sweet Crude Oil by The Elephant's Child

The Dakota Access Pipeline was big news all over the world last fall, and I devoted eight posts to the elaborate protests. Progressives and progressive celebrities rallied to the opportunity to protest, held marches and raised over a million dollars on social media. Thousands of people traveled to North Dakota and the Standing Rock Reservation to join the main protest camp. It was the final mile of the 1,200 mile long pipeline that was the center of everything. Lots of blather about saving our sacred water and that sort of thing. All noise, no content.

The Obama administration drummed up a new environmental study that would have taken around two years to complete and was announced by an Assistant Secretary of the Army who overruled the Army Corps of Engineers recommendation that the pipeline be approved, just a couple of days before President Trump was inaugurated. On February 7th, the new Trump administration ended the study, approved construction, and a few weeks later the police arrived to clear out the mess left by the protesters.

It was some mess!  It took 240 rollout dumpsters and more than a million dollars to clean up the debris left by the protesters, including some abandoned dogs and puppies, who were rescued. If progressives are  so sure that they care deeply for the environment, are they oblivious to the fact that their actions belie their smugness.

The 1200-mile long pipeline is transporting light, sweet crude oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to a distribution point in Illinois and the Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline on down to the Gulf Coast. Energy Transfer Partners said they have commitments for about 520,000 barrels of oil daily. This is more direct, cost-effective and far safer and environmentally responsible than the alternative modes of transportation like rail and truck.



Correcting and Adding a Bit by The Elephant's Child

Please notice the corrections to the Climate post, and to the Kathy Griffin Story below. The first was a careless misstatement. The Kathy Griffin addition is apparently just what Lefties do when caught in the act. They don’t do bad or unpopular things, they’re just being picked on because they’re women.

Hillary just had a bad case of complete inability to accept blame for her election loss, which—aside from Russian interference—was also misogyny. Goodness, I’ve been a woman all my life, and it never occurred to me to blame all men for my failings. I thought they were due to my mistakes. Is that what those silly women’s marches were all about?



History Is What Happened In The Past by The Elephant's Child

I have been distressed at the attempts to rename buildings, tear down statues and monuments, and in general to make any history that doesn’t meet today’s more refined sensitivities — just disappear.  One of the greatest problems for historians is that people have often destroyed the evidence that tells us of their times, and they have to guess at what really happened. We live in an age of political correctness, the party line of the day, and the politically correct are trying to expunge any evidence of those in the past who did not agree with today’s notions. Of course, for most it is simply a campus fad that sweeps from one college to another. Protesting is the in thing, and if they can’t find anything else to protest, perhaps the donor of a building once owned a slave so the building should be torn down.

Today we mostly universally agree that slavery is and was a very bad thing, But before somewhere around the mid 18th century, slavery was the norm. Many college students are astonished to find out that slavery existed in other places besides the United States. Because we ended the slave trade, had a great Civil War and freed the slaves and are such an open society the world is familiar with America and slavery. Because of that history present day virtue seekers are anxious to destroy all traces of the Confederacy. New Orleans is currently engaged in a great battle to tear down statues and monuments.

They are wrong. Millions of Americans today have ancestors who fought for the Confederacy.  Two of my great great uncles lost their lives fighting for the Union with Grant, and two lost their lives fighting for the Confederacy, one in the battle around Richmond and the other at Snicker’s Gap. The Southerners were brothers, the Union soldiers were members of families who had established a station of the underground railroad in their meeting house. To be interested in the stars and bars or the Confederate battle flag does not insinuate a fondness for slavery, only an interest in history.

Max Boot, writing at Commentary, approves of the actions of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu in tearing down statues honoring Confederate war heroes. He finds the idea of honoring the losing side of the war disgraceful, and believes that Army bases in the Southern states named after Confederate generals should be renamed.

Historian John Steele Gordon, also writing at Commentary, deeply disagrees. “The Past is a Foreign Country” is his headline, and he says “Subjective and fleeting standards are no way to judge.” I’m with Mr. Gordon. If I am deeply interested in both sides of the Civil War and its effects on the nation, it does not indicate approval or disapproval. The past is what happened. So much of the artifacts of the war were simply destroyed, or thrown away, that what we can know about the war is diminished.

Here is a page from the Smithsonian’s Civil War history that shows the uniform of the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry (Duryee’s Zouaves). Bet that would surprise you. Both sides had volunteer units that adopted Zouave uniforms based on an elite battalion of the French Army in Algiers in the colonial war of the 1830s. Follow the arrows on that page to see some of the other artifacts that the Smithsonian thought important to save.

John Steele Gordon ends his piece with these lines:

The country did a magnificent job of binding up those wounds, as the deeply touching pictures taken at the 50th-anniversary reunion at Gettysburg in 1913 testify. Now some people on their high horses want to pick open those wounds, for no better reason than so they can virtue signal their own moral superiority to those who lived in a different world and a different time.

It’s a disgrace. Historians, especially, should understand the profound truth expressed by L. P. Hartley in the opening line of his masterful novel The Go-Between: “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”



Manchester, Muslims, Migrants and the Middle East. by The Elephant's Child

Many of us have wondered why Europeans seem to have welcomed so many migrants from the Middle East. At first, they welcomed the migrants with flowers and food and housing, and even song. Whether this was simply a case of accepting at face value the term “refugees” or “migrants,” and believing that they must help the unfortunate, or just being terminally uninformed, I have no idea. In the wake of the Manchester attack, the thoughts of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble give a glimpse of the thought processes. The growing number of Muslims in Germany, he said, represent a learning opportunity rather than a threat.

“It is fanaticism, not only in Islam, that leads to terrible crimes,” he said, speaking on German public radio station Deutschlandfunk Wednesday evening, when asked about the Islamist attack in which 22 mostly young people, including an eight-year-old girl, lost their lives. …

“The world’s great religions all preach the message that one must look upon others as their sisters and brothers, and that one must live with the other because man cannot live alone,” Schäuble told presenter Christiane Florin.

“‘Islam is part of Germany’ is a sober, factual statement,” the minister remarked, commenting on sentiments voiced by Chancellor Angela Merkel on more than one occasion – which are not shared by the majority of Germans.

“Anyone who denies this denies reality and is therefore not suited to being a politician, because politics begins with the confrontation of reality,” he added.

The number of refugees in Germany who are capable of committing terrorist acts has quadrupled since 2011, the German Federal Criminal Police Office has said.

Security concerns have heightened in Germany after close to a million refugees arrived in 2015 from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and North Africa. Fears worsened when more than 1,200 women were reportedly assaulted in various German cities on New Year’s Eve in 2015.

Officials say there are 657 refugees capable of committing terror attacks and 388 potential accomplices in such attacks.

The Manchester attack has awakened British officialdom to the threat to their people, and armed military people are guarding the trains in Britain. Hungary has put up a wall, and is accepting no migrants. Other nations are having all sorts of trouble with the migrants who have arrived in their countries. France has ‘no go’ neighborhoods  where even the police will not venture, and numbers of attacks.

The new French President, Emmanuel Macron, wants Islam to have more room in France. Like many European leaders Macron seems to be convinced that the remedy for the demographic deficit and the aging of ethnic European populations is more immigration. Besides, they seem to be more worried about climate change. Macron claimed to be a ‘centrist’, but the outgoing Socialist President François Hollande has spoken of him as a “continuity”, not an alternative. His entire program is socialist. Lots of additional public expenditures, and climate change is defined as the “key issue for the future of the world.”

Our own Secretary of Homeland Security, General John Kelly, remarked today that “if we knew what he knows about terror threats in this country, we’d never leave the house.”

He was interviewed on Fox and Friends on Friday and said that the terror threat is “worse than we realize.” He pointed out four major terror attacks in the last week, by “more or less the same groups,” in Manchester, England, in Egypt where 28 Coptic Christians were slaughtered, on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines, and in Indonesia.

“It’s everywhere. It’s constant. It’s nonstop. The good news for us in America is we have amazing people protecting us every day. But it can happen here almost any time,” Kelly said.

Here’s Andy McCarthy:

Here is the blunt, inescapable fact: The United States is in a defensive war against what is imprecisely called “radical Islam.” The war proceeds on two tracks: the kinetic militancy of jihadists, and the cultural challenge of anti-Western, anti-constitutional Islamic law and mores. The ideology that catalyzes both tracks is sharia supremacism — the implementation and spreading of sharia, classical Islam’s societal structure and legal code, is the rationale for all jihadist terror and of all the Islamist cultural aggression that slipstreams behind it.

The dividing line is sharia supremacism. On one side of it we find patriotic, pro-American Muslims who are spiritually devout but reject the imposition of sharia on civil and political life; on the other, the Islamists — the sharia supremacists. The challenge posed by the latter is not merely that some percentage of them are jihadists; it is that as a population — or as enclaves that take hold in the West — they are assimilation-resistant, and their ideological havens will breed the jihadists of the future while stifling the Constitution in the here and now.

That is what we have to vet for. That is what the majority of the American people want: Muslims who embrace our way of life invited in, Muslims who threaten our way of life kept out. You can’t get there without subjecting Muslim aliens to more-extensive inspection.

What can we do? Try to be informed, and I guess, be ready with the candles and flowers.

 



Cultural Appropriation and Other Leftist Stupidity by The Elephant's Child

Sometimes news about America appears first in the British papers, in this case, the Daily Mail. Not big or even important news, but slightly embarrassing.  Two young women, friends from Portland, opened Kooks Burritos in Portland, Oregon. A taco truck. After a visit to Puerto Nuevo, Mexico last December, they learned the basics of tortilla making by talking to cooks and peeking into the windows of kitchens.

For the first few months, the weekend pop-up shop housed in an taco truck was a smash hit. It gained so much popularity, a local weekly newspaper decided to profile the entrepreneurial duo.

But that’s when the trouble started for Wilgus and Connelly, after quotes they gave to the Willamette Week led to them being accused of “stealing their success.”

Well, two white women and Burritos, a taco truck! You can guess what happened. The terminally ignorant cried out:

Cultural Appropriation!!!

Of course. This would more properly be referred to as “social contagion.” Idiots hear someone else claim “cultural appropriation” and want to be noticed for the first accusation directed at someone new. You apparently can’t be”woke” if you’re not indignant.

Interviewed by Willamette Week, they mentioned “peeking in windows” to learn how burritos were made, so they were also accused of stealing, and preying on Mexican women. Do read the article to see just how far this goofiness has gone. The shop closed. But the stupidity of the commenters and the emptiness of liberal language is thoroughly demonstrated.

The world is about “cultural appropriation.” We learn from each other. When the Pilgrims arrived in America, they survived that first 1620 winter with  corn ‘appropriated’ from the Wampanog—a food unknown to Europeans. You might find it of interest to look up “the Columbian Exchange” which lists all the foods appropriated by Europeans from America and European foods brought to the new world. It’s an extensive list. We’ve appropriated language, food, customs, fashion, weapons, wildlife, as has every other culture around the world, with the possible exception of some only lately discovered tribes on the upper Amazon, and they’re just getting started.

What is more troubling is the extent of social contagion. Ignorant people attacking strangers about whom they know nothing with accusations based only on having heard them used elsewhere, and they want to be indignant because being indignant is all the fashion. So it’s a state of perceived intellectual superiority to get all indignant about a couple of American girls making burritos. Social contagion also explains much of what passes for news these days, and the Trump Derangement Syndrome as well. Attempting to destroy history  by removing monuments, renaming buildings, ‘purifying the world.’ Or you could call it all a result of ‘community organizing.’



The American Left and the American Right: Is It War? by The Elephant's Child

In some ways, it’s really quite amazing that we can talk to our progressive friends. We don’t speak the same language and we definitely don’t define words in the same way.

They speak emotion and future and purification of the human race, we speak of Constitution and laws, economics, innovation and opportunity. They talk endlessly about fairness and diversity. But we don’t mean the same thing, for example, by diversity. For the left it means skin color, ethnicity, country of origin—surface things. Conservatives are interested in diversity of ideas, interests, habits and history, hopes and dreams. The left is terminally interested in gender, to the disadvantage of everyone, and all of its variations which must be noted, celebrated and paraded and now joined forever in shared bathrooms. Conservatives recognize two genders descended from Adam and Eve with the same characteristics those two started with. Conservatives celebrate and respect family. The left tries to destroy it.

There are remarkable numbers of useless phrases in circulation: clean energy, sustainable development, renewable energy, fairness, income inequality, normative framework, undocumented citizens and of course multiculturalism — the NYT recently came up with “incorrect promise.” Some of these constructions are meant to change minds and actions.

Grocery stores celebrate all thing organic,which means quite specifically that they must be grown and fertilized with manure, not chemicals.  Technically it’s all nitrogen, but real animal poop has the extra advantage of possibly infecting you with e-coli. Consider how it is supposed to effect the quality of the sheets for your bed if the cotton from which they were woven was fertilized with steer manure? Organic is pure bunk, and costs about 30% more.

College students are so sensitive to language that they cannot bear to hear ideas or thoughts expressed which disagree with their own ideas.  Free speech is a term that has specific First Amendment meaning for Conservatives, but I’m unclear about just what the Left thinks it means.

The most recent idiocy is perhaps cultural appropriation, which became a big deal on some campus with the idea that large hoop earrings were a cultural appropriation, and should be rejected. This is perhaps the silliest idea they have come up with. Bruce Bawer said it nicely:

For two centuries, America accomplished something that should have previously seemed impossible: the creation of a brand new national identity by individuals who, forsaking old loyalties and joining to make new lives melted away ethnic differences. Hector St. John Crevecour (Letters from an American Farmer) described Americans as “a new race of men” a race that paradoxically had nothing to do with race.” In 1944, Gunnar Myrdal marveled at the fact that Americans of every ethnicity, religion and color shared a more “explicitly expressed system of general  ideals” than the people of any other country in the Western world.”

Lots of cultural appropriation — and good for us.




%d bloggers like this: