American Elephants


What is Social Justice? Is There Any Such Thing? by The Elephant's Child

One wonders at the rise of enthusiasm for Socialism. Where does this come from?  Do people know nothing about the history of Socialism and how it works out? No understanding of the crisis of Venezuela? Or how the people there are literally starving in a country that was once the richest in South America?

Are they misled by talk of “social justice”? There is, by the way, no such thing. We humans are a quarrelsome lot, and you can’t overcome the difficulties of being a member of the human species easily. Democrats, with Bernie and Elizabeth Warren pushing socialism, seem to fail to recognize just where that path leads.

The human search for perfect social equality has gone on since the beginning of time. Do people actually rise in the morning hoping that might be the day when they are finally equal? Equal to what? Or Whom? I simply don’t buy it. Not everyone even wants to be rich. People want to care for their family, to have a good job that they like, at least part of the time. They want to have a nice home and be free of debt, and raise their children to be good citizens and succeed at whatever profession they choose. Some do want to be rich and some achieve it. But is it the overarching dream of many? I suspect not. People do want accomplishment, and success, and arriving at goals.

Democrats seem particularly driven by the idea of equality. They want to make everyone equal, and their policies move in that direction. They talk a lot about social justice, and more about the rich who do not deserve to be rich, and big corporations and their CEOs who do not deserve to be rich. I have wished for some things I do not have, that I cannot afford, as I’m sure you have as well. Did you get out of bed this morning yearning to be equal?  Didn’t think so.

Even for those who do want to be rich, and are working to create a business that they hope will succeed and make them richer, I suspect it is the succeed part that drives them, not the riches. Building a successful business is a worthy endeavor, and building it  is the scary and exciting part rather than the arrival at the finish.

So what is all this social justice? the social equality? Democrats’ push for equality sounds good in the abstract, but makes no sense whatsoever as a real goal. Think about that when those campaigning for an office ask for your vote. What they want is to be in charge, and have the opportunity to control your lives.



The Left Have Become a Bunch of Ideological Extremists by The Elephant's Child

Fascinating article today at The Federalist: “25 Reasons Today’s Left Has Become A Bunch of Ideological Extremists” with the subhead “Anyone who denies the existence of an influential, mainstream, radical left in America today doesn’t have any idea what the word ‘radical’ means.”

They went from, “Ask not what your country can do for you” to demanding a universal basic income provided by your neighbor.

They went from, “I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it” to “speech is violence.”

They went from talking about a crisis at the border to saying anyone who believes there is a border crisis is a racist.

It’s 25 reasons, and interesting and unfortunately true.  How about “They went from working to get drugs out of schools to working to get drag queens and Planned Parenthood into schools. Do read the whole thing. It’s an eye-opener to see how they are changing our understanding of the way things work. Nobody seems to really care about what is true any more. There is a radical left, and what they do in the guise of being ‘nice: and ‘kind and generous’  isn’t exactly what we had in mind.



Businesses Beware! You Are Not There to Teach Us How to Think! by The Elephant's Child

One of the most disturbing trends at present it the urge to be “woke”— currently defined as “alert to injustice in society, especially racism. “we need to stay angry, and stay woke”, or “I was sleeping, but now I’m woke.” from a dialect called AAVE. The Urban Dictionary defines it as “a person who pretends to be of greater intelligence than he or she in fact is.”

From the Witherspoon Institute’s Public Discourse: “How Woke Capitalism Corrupts Business”

One of the more disturbing trends to emerge throughout the business world is “woke capitalism.” Whether it is Nike recalling Betsy Ross flag-emblazoned shoes because it was counseled by activist advisors that the flag represents slavery, or almost 200 CEOs of major firms signing a full-page New York Times advertisement describing laws restricting abortion as “bad for business,” corporate America is rapidly aligning itself with progressive causes.

The reasons for this are manifold. Those active in commerce or who teach in business schools inhabit the same sentimental humanitarian milieu as the rest of us. There’s no reason why they should be less susceptible to this culture than anyone else. No one should be surprised that many business leaders consequently believe that their companies should aggressively promote the progressive agenda, ranging from gender ideology to radical curtailments of religious freedom.

For others, it’s just easier to go along to get along. Why risk your Wall Street job by telling the human resources manager that the firm’s commitment to “diversity” doesn’t appear to include a pluralism of political views? In some instances, corporate wokeness is all about placating militant progressives. But if CEOs think that liberals can be appeased, then they don’t know much about the contemporary left.

There is evidence that some businesses are responding to some consumers’ desires that their purchasing choices align with their political stances, as well as to pressures from institutional investors who have embraced liberal causes. But as companies such as Gillette and Dicks Sporting Goods have discovered, that often produces financial losses as a consequence of backlashes from consumers who hold different view.

Well, of course politicizing everything is such a splendid idea. Or rephrased, Progressives understand that herding American entrepreneurs and businesses into the pursuit of liberal concerns is an excellent pursuit. Many business leaders consider it the way of the future. We must critique woke capitalism clearly and strongly, remembering that a business exists to realize the particular economic ends that constitute its common good. They are not there to teach us how to think. Wave your Betsy Ross flag, if you have one. They couldn’t even get that one right. Tell a business when they get out of line, and take your trade elsewhere. Do read the whole thing. This is a trend that must be stamped out!



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?



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.



Another Admission, and the Same Old Socialist Dream by The Elephant's Child


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) annoying freshman congressperson, who has become click bait for the American media because she spouts such inane ideas that Democrats are a little embarrassed, and Republicans are fascinated with the level of ignorance. Unfortunately, everyone pays a little attention. She is the supposed author of the infamous “Green New Deal” to which most of the Democrat candidates have actually pledged support.

Today, AOC’s Chief of Staff, one Saikat Chakrabarti, in a conversation with Sam Ricketts, climate director for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) extra long shot presidential candidate admitted that the Green New Deal “wasn’t originally a climate thing at all — It’s a ‘change-the-entire-economy thing.”

Climate Depot noted: “This is another in a long line of admissions about the real motives behind climate “solutions”. Climate change is merely the latest env. scare being used to seek the same “solutions” of more central planning. Christiana Figueres, the secretary of the UN’s IPPC, admitted to reporters that Climate Change was their best opportunity to get rid of Capitalism.

Flashback: UN IPCC official Edenohofer admits UN seeks to ‘redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy’– ‘This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.’ – Flashback Nov. 2010: Watch Now: Climate Depot’s Morano on Fox News to discuss Edenhofer’s UN’s goal of ‘redistributing world’s wealth by climate policy

Rajendra Pachauri, former head of the UN IPCC panel also admitted that the purpose of the UN IPCC climate reports was to make the case so “that action is needed on climate change.” And he conceded in 2013 that the UN climate reports “do what the governments of the world want us to do. If the governments decide we should do things differently and come up with a vastly different set of products we would be at their beck and call.

Al Gore: U.S, Climate Bill will help bring about Global Governance

EU Commissioner: Global Warming Policy Is Right Even If Science Is Wrong – ‘Regardless of whether or not scientists are wrong on global warming, the European Union is pursuing the correct energy policies even if they lead to higher prices, Europe’s climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard’s has said.’  EU’s Hedegaard in 2013: ‘Let’s say that science, some decades from now, said ‘we were wrong, it was not about climate’, would it not in any case have been good to do many of things you have to do in order to combat climate change?.’

There’s more at Climate Depot.   The evidence shows that there is an enormous amount of fraudulent effort behind the push for a panic about the climate. Why do people believe so strongly that climate change is a problem, and not just what has been going on for millions of years — a climate that has been warming and cooling in long cycles of warm periods and ice ages. Warming produced the Renaissance and a great flowering of growth and change and knowledge. Ice ages are something different, and not nice at all. Currently it is a little warm, and the CO2 in the atmosphere is greening the planet. CO2 is fertilizer for plants (you learned that in Biology class). What that means is that more of the planet’s hungry people are getting enough food. You can see the greening from space, I am told.




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