American Elephants


Why Are We In These Strange Times? by The Elephant's Child

This is a fairly long video, but very worth your while. Dr. Hansen explains the Obama Administration, the election, and why we seem to have entered such a surreal period.

Democrats have lost elections before, but never so completely or thoroughly. They have never before reacted so badly, nor hated so viciously, nor demonstrated their hatred so tastelessly.

Who could ever have dreamed of a Kathy Griffin and her pretend ISIS decapitation, and now she’s back, apologizing for her apology. Undoubtedly her audience would not accept her regret and she is emboldened. Pity. One assumed she could not get more disgusting.

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Where Did These Violent Protests Come From? by The Elephant's Child

How did we get here? Democrats have lost elections before, and engaged in some mild excess, but now they seem completely deranged. We had a brief hiatus from the dramatic evidence of the failure of our schools and universities to acquaint our students with the Constitution and the meaning of free speech, let alone manners and deportment. Faculty have exhibited themselves as instigators and the administrators have established that they are not only not the adults in the situation, but it didn’t occur to them to mete out punishment for wretched excess.

In my day, which admittedly was a while ago, miscreants were promptly sent home, and I do mean promptly. And good luck about returning.

So — How did we get here? Is this stuff contagious? In a way, it is.

Democrats have lost power in a very big way, and seeking power is at their very essence. They’re old. Their ideas are not only stale, but they don’t work. Their former president, who did massive damage to the country, is not retiring graciously to let the next president have his turn, but actively and admittedly trying to destroy his successor.

Each loudmouth, and there are many in Hollywood and on TV, oddly enough many are “comics”— seeking the limelight and an audience — readily available in the form of our very partisan media, ready to celebrate every and any disturbing word. Surely you have noticed that if you removed the “he said”, and “she said” from the news, there wouldn’t be much of anything left.

Comics get brownie points for saying something rude, which gives permission to the next person at the microphone to top that, which in turn gives more permissions and so on, and so on. So you have Kathy Griffin holding up a bloody facsimile head of the President of the United States supposedly chopped off as ISIS might do, and the poor thing doesn’t even understand that she has committed an unforgivable faux pas that will be talked about and reviled for years to come. She’s back in today’s news congratulating Kaepernick for “his activism.” They never learn.

It’s Can You Top This time. Permission has been given. Black Lives Matter, a Marxist bunch, attempts to make The Racism, Sexism, theme the top priority, and Antifa goes for violence. Even speech that disagrees with you is not “hate speech.” Invited Conservative speakers are shouted down and attacked because it is too much for tender ears to hear “hate speech” which is defined as anything conservative, because Conservatives are known to be racist, sexist, homophobes etc, etc.

The media are demonstrating their partisanship or general ignorance, I’m not sure which. Remember Ben Rhodes description of his regular contacts with the media for the Obama administration:

“Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

It is catching. Each excess gives permission to do the same only better, bigger, more excessive. So now we have corporate CEOs talking their political views as the top official of their company. Not smart. Why a business would want to offend at least half of their customers is a mystery, Stock down. Sales down. CEOs gone.Half the American people no longer interested in the business or their products. Some business reporters could not understand why any CEO would be willing to serve on an advisory council with the hated President of the United States. (Probably because President Trump was interested in cutting taxes for business and removing troublesome regulations?)

Sports teams managed to offend a large percentage of the American people. Unnecessary if they had done their homework. Real damage to their sport. In fact most of these excesses arise because of the ignorance of the people committing the error.

The remedy? Courses in the United States Constitution. Nobody seems to be familiar with the document. A familiarity with the Declaration would be in order too, after Chuck Todd proved on Meet the Press, for all to see, that he was completely unfamiliar with the “all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator” line.

College administrators need to grow backbone, and administrate. That’s what the big salaries and honorifics and outrageous tuitions are all about. Sports millionaires will quickly learn about their mistakes, as many endorsements depart. Professors who are urging the miscreants on—just stop it. Try to prepare students to be decent citizens.



Bill Whittle With a Little Historical Fact by The Elephant's Child

On Tuesday, President Trump held an impromptu press conference at Trump Tower. When he was asked about the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia,he branded the members of the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists and Antifa activists as “criminals and thugs.” The leftist media, promptly went ballistic. AP insisted that the antifas were just “protesting” the white supremacists, which is why they arrived with baseball bats, axe handles, and clubs.

The Associated Press wants the public to believe that Trump’s statements were a disaster:

The president’s comments effectively wiped away the more conventional statement he delivered at the White House one day earlier when he branded members of the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists who take part in violence as “criminals and thugs.”

The president’s retorts Tuesday suggested he had been a reluctant participant in that cleanup effort. During an impromptu press conference in the lobby of his Manhattan skyscraper, he praised his original response to Charlottesville and angrily blamed liberal groups in addition to white supremacists for the violence. Some of those protesting the rally to save a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee were “also very violent,” he said.

The leftist media went on to claim that the brave Antifa members were like the young GIs who invaded Normandy on D-Day to fight fascism. We had a strong hunch that the current herd of leftist reporters were more than a little wanting in their knowledge of history. It’s not just Trump Derangement Syndrome extremism, it’s sheer ignorance.



What is Fake News? by The Elephant's Child



City vs. Country—The Same Old Story by The Elephant's Child

People who don’t pay a lot of attention to political news, and there are lots of them, often wonder about the real difference between parties. There are many who at least claim that they vote for the man, not the party. I ran across a good example in Politico Magazine. I had no idea that Politico had a magazine. Short piece by the editor, one Stephen Heuser, to introduce their “Cities Issue” — “One Nation, Divided by Density”

Pick a city in America, any city. Chances are it’s younger, more diverse and more educated than the countryside around it—and way, way more liberal. The resurgence of the city has been one of the most striking reversals in modern America, as the bleak streets of the 1970s have turned into magnets for a new kind of young, hyperconnected professional, and even wealthy retirees flocking back from their suburbs. It has also created a widening split in a country now wondering what “indivisible” is really supposed to mean.

If you were to pluck a person at random out of the fictional city on our cover, odds are overwhelming that you’d find a Hillary Clinton voter. (In real life, there are big cities—Boston, Washington, San Francisco—where not a single precinct went for Donald Trump.) If you toured the rural landscape below, you’d find nothing but Trump signs in front yards. Politics has become another symptom of a growing cultural gulf. Think pickup trucks vs. subway cars. Church vs. brunch. Diner coffee vs. single-origin beans roasted by a guy selling vinyl LPs. We are one nation, divided by density.

The new president exploited that divide with the genius of someone who understood cities from the inside and was willing to sell them out. It worked, but at what cost? Rural America needs cities to thrive. Cities depend on the people and land around them, more than they like to think. The modern city might feel like a kind of island in a global archipelago, a nucleus of prosperity and avocado toast, but urbanites can no longer afford the smug assumption that the future is theirs. You can smell the fires outside the walls.

Do read the whole thing, there are only 4 more short paragraphs.

It wasn’t just Hillary calling small town and rural America “Deplorables”— it’s what the Left believes. (We’re smart and you’re dumb.) You see it in the media constantly.  The Left does not understand human nature, doesn’t like it, and wants to fix it. They will fix it with other people’s money, giving alms to the poor, food stamps to the hungry, and sending all black children to college. It’s just socialism, as Margaret Thatcher said, “sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money.” So when they run out of money, they expect to have converted everyone to Democrat voters, by giving them stuff.

Smart people don’t have to be “educated” to be knowledgeable. Lots of people graduate from college and remain remarkably ignorant. Silicon Valley billionaires may be technologically brilliant with things cyber, and not very bright about the rest of the world. There are lots of people with degrees in rural America, and there are lots of  prosperous cities in flyover country.

Mr. Heuser goes on about city people and the “creative class”— Lefties like to think of themselves as “the creative class.” They either don’t notice, or don’t care about the wreckage they leave in their wake. In any case, if you are feeling annoyed by the Left, this is quite a splendid example of just why you find them so completely annoying.



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.



Where is the Left Going And What Do They Want? by The Elephant's Child

I ran across my notes from a panel discussion on where the Left is going, back in the fall of 2014, and it’s still of interest.

“The left is intellectually dead, and where it is headed toward is authoritarianism.”That was Kevin Williamson, roving correspondent for National Review.

William Voegeli of the Claremont Review of Books argued that “The fundamental assumption of the left is the innate goodness of each person.  This assumption means that they are seeking to undermine the Constitution, which is based on a very different view of human nature. The Constitution pits the different branches of government against each other so that each will keep the others in check.”

As James Madison put it in the Federalist, “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition,” and the Constitution supplies the “defect of better motives” through such balancing.

The Constitution, in other words, expects selfish ambition, and by expecting ambition, Voegeli noted, it legitimizes it—which is precisely what the left does not want to do. The left wants to supply not the “defect of better motives” but rather just “better motives,” Voegeli said. Liberals want to set up a system that allows our latent goodness to “flourish,” and the checks of our constitutional system can be discarded in favor of technocratic, centralized disinterestedness that allows each individual to live an authentic life of his choosing.

“The object is not to have one’s own way so much as to have a way that is one’s own,”




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