American Elephants


There are Some Serious Objections to Obama’s Presidential Center. by The Elephant's Child

Back in mid-October, I posted a picture of former President Obama’s proposed presidential library in Chicago. It was to be built on the South Side of Chicago, and to do some neighborhood revitalization as well as be a park, a hub for artists like Springsteen, Chance, and Spike Lee. A lagoon would have paddle boats and skating in the winter, and Michelle wants a sledding hill, something she always wanted as a kid.

It is apparently not going to be a presidential library, but a celebration of Obama, and the papers and records will be somewhere else. The tall building looks like a takeout bag for a Chinese dinner, but I don’t know who the architect is. It has morphed from  a library into a 20 acre “private center.” The supposition is that the city will quickly approve it, since Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel used to be Obama’s Chief of Staff.

Well, not so fast. Behind the scenes, a heated battle is taking place.

Here’s our bottom line. If the Obama Foundation wishes to construct this center on Chicago’s South Side, that’s fine, but not on parkland held in public trust. The University of Chicago, which orchestrated the winning bid for the project, has plenty of land on the South Side that they could and should use. Instead, they’ve been adamant since day one that they must have historic public parkland for the purpose,” Charles Birnbaum, president and founder of D.C.- based nonprofit, the Cultural Landscape Foundation, told the Washington Examiner in a written statement Saturday.

There are other groups: Friends of the Parks, Jackson Park Watch, Openlands, National Association for Olmsted Parks, Save the Midway, Landmarks Illinois, and Preservation Chicago, all of whom have raised serious concerns about the project. Also 200 faculty members from Obama’s former employer, the University of Chicago, issued a formal letter stating its opposition to the presidential center being built at this location.

The Obama Foundation Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. will have to get approval from the Environmental Protection Agency under the National Environmental Policy Act and this is now the Trump administration’s EPA.

The problem is that this is historic parkland, originally designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted, Sr., and Calvert Vaux (New York’s Central Park fame), designed in 1871 and Olmsted wrote in 1895 that the Museum of Science and Industry was intended to be the only “dominating object of interest in the park. There was another Section 106 compliance review in 2012, and officials decided it should not be touched. They said the remaining defining characteristics such as the overall plan depicted on the 1905 map must be respected.

The Obama Foundation has made dozens of changes including road closures within the park, a revamping of the landscaping, and a redesign of the main building which is now 23 stories tall. Since the presidential papers are to go somewhere else, the 23 story building must have some other purpose, like classrooms for teaching community organizing or for instruction on the effort to ‘fundamentally transform the United States of America’. That one didn’t work out so well.

If this seems like a continuation of the theme of power and how it corrupts, you are correct.

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“Speaking Facts in Polite Company” Scandalized the Left by The Elephant's Child

Ahhh! The Agony of the Left. President Trump accurately described some of the troubled countries of the world, though apparently not in the words claimed, and the Left erupted in fury, attempting to attach the probably crude designation of a country to the citizens thereof and thereby make a moderate insult into a racist one. Or something like that. Anyway it was enough to occupy the media’s hours, because they don’t seem to know enough about the real world to do actual news. What do they teach in journalism schools these days anyway?

The most accurate and effective riposte came from Andrew Klavan, which is great fun as well as being completely accurate.

Nothing scandalizes a leftist like the truth. Point out that women and men are different, that black Americans commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime, that most terrorist acts are committed by Muslims, and the Left leaps to its collective feet in openmouthed shock, like Margaret Dumont after a Groucho Marx wisecrack. This is racism! This is sexism! This is some sort of phobia! I’m shocked, shocked to find facts being spoken in polite company!

No one is really shocked, of course. This is simply a form of bullying. The Left has co-opted our good manners and our good will in order to silence our opposition to their bad policies. The idea is to make it seem impolite and immoral to mention the obvious. …

Here in the states, the First Amendment has so far allowed old-fashioned American loudmouths to fight the system whenever they could find ways around our monolithic corporate media. But the Empire of Lies is quick to strike back. Google/YouTube now stands charged by multiple accusers of singling out conservative voices for censorship, “fact-checking,” and demonetization. Hidden-camera videos released by Project Veritas this week show Twitter employees conspiring to “shadow ban” conservatives on their system. On campus, intelligent conservative speakers of good will like Ben Shapiro, Charles Murray, and Cristina Hoff-Somers have faced violent protests meant to shut them up.

No person of importance on the right seeks to silence anyone on the left. The Left, on the other hand, is broadly committed to ostracizing, blacklisting, and even criminalizing right-wing speech.

The Manhattan Contrarian takes on the same general problem—the utter insanity of the Left, quite effectively. And calls out the “Yale psychiatrist” who in contraindication to the rules of her supposed profession feels free to diagnose  someone she has never met, or goofy columnists who don’t even need any qualifications whatsoever.

Scott Adams. creator of Dilbert sums it all up nicely by noting that President Trump has earned the “Highest Presidential Approval Level of all Time.” The most important Presidential Approval Poll is the Small Business Optimism Index, which has hit an all-time high.

The lesson of 2017 is that better policies make for better economic results,said Duggan. “The evidence is overwhelming that small business owners pay close attention to Washington, and that federal policies affect their decisions on whether to hire, whether to invest, whether to grow inventory, and whether to seek capital.”



Sissel Kyrkjebo: Jeg synger julekvad (In Dulci Jubilo) by The Elephant's Child



“In The Bleak Midwinter” by Norwegian Soprano Sissel Krykjebo by The Elephant's Child
December 24, 2017, 1:15 pm
Filed under: Entertainment, Heartwarming, Music | Tags: , ,

The lovely and world famous Norwegian soprano with the remarkably clear voice sings Christmas carols.



A Little Rousing Joy by The Elephant's Child

David Hobson “Carols by Candlelight”
Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne Australia
Monday, 24th December 2012

(Go ahead, enlarge this one to full screen.)

And once again the scene was changed,
New earth there seemed to be.
I saw the Holy City
Beside the tideless sea.
The light of God was on its streets,
The gates were open wide,
And all who would might enter,
And no one was denied.
No need of moon or stars by night,
Or sun to shine by day;
It was the new Jerusalem
That would not pass away,
It was the new Jerusalem
That would not pass away.

I post this every year—because I like it!

It’s an outdoor performance, because it’s summer there



In the Bleak Midwinter, for the Winter Solstice by The Elephant's Child
December 21, 2017, 9:36 pm
Filed under: England, Freedom, Heartwarming, Music, Politics | Tags: , ,

For the winter solstice, the first day of Winter, and for my father’s birthday.  I miss him.



Simon’s Cat by The Elephant's Child
December 5, 2017, 6:24 am
Filed under: Entertainment, Humor, YouTube | Tags: , ,

This was a post from 2010 that I ran across in the archives, and laughed so much I thought I’d post it once again. Enjoy

Simon Tofield is a British animator who obviously has a cat. Or perhaps cats, plural. In any case, he appreciates the idiosyncrasies of the species.

We, at American Elephants, have two cats, who sleep next to the keyboard. We do not believe in the dog/cat argument which is nonsense. Sensible dogs and cats get along just fine. We love dogs too, and horses, and bunnies and birds. We even enjoy watching the raccoons through the window, but not close up. They hiss when they don’t like you.




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