American Elephants


The Wheels of Justice Grind Slowly, Very Slowly. by The Elephant's Child

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As I understand it, the customary and legal reason for a special investigation and a special prosecutor is the discovery of a crime that requires investigation, finding the evidence and charging those who committed the crime.

In this occasion, somehow we got it all backward. A special prosecutor was appointed to find a crime, and then charge somebody with it. In this case there was no known crime. The Left did not like or approve of President Trump, so Mr. Mueller was charged with finding a crime so someone  (preferably President Trump) could be charged. Mr. Mueller has assembled a team of his former associates to investigate, all of whom were not only Hillary supporters, but apparently Hillary donors as well.

Mr. Mueller seems to have settled on Paul Manafort because of something totally unrelated to the election. His team broke into the Manafort house in the middle of the night, ransacked it, frightened the Manaforts and carted off computers and stuff to investigate. The formal permission to conduct such a raid was apparently issued several days after the raid had already taken place. Which seems a little odd.

If after all this time and all these insinuations and threats, they can’t seem to find a crime, it’s possible that there wasn’t one, as they were told in the first place. But I’m not a lawyer, just a civilian, so perhaps I don’t understand these things.

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Dr. Jordan Peterson Went to Australia by The Elephant's Child

Dr. Jordan Peterson went to Australia in Mid March to give a series of lectures. Here he meets with  John Anderson, who was a Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the rural-based National Party of Australia from July 1999 to July 2005. John Anderson has a marvelous voice. The conversation is passionate, deep, and powerful, and about deep things, essential things, like the meaning and purpose of memory, what is going wrong in the present and what we should do about it, how the Left is going wrong, and what is the wrong. And how do you do right?

Powerful stuff. It’s a long video, and you will want to have the freedom to listen to the whole thing, and then perhaps, listen again. Why is history so important, and why are our children not learning history, and how will they survive in our world if they do not. When is the last time you had a conversation like this? I thought so.



There Are Always Consequences. That’s How Life Works. by The Elephant's Child

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In his speech, Dennis Prager mentions the bad ideas of the Left, and rates the Self-Esteem Movement as possibly their worst idea ever. Back in 1945 Dr. Spock published his “Baby and Child Care” for the generation of the mothers of the Baby Boom when the fathers of the baby boom came home from World War II. “He began his book with the reassuring words:”Trust Yourself”, but as Kay Hymowitz wrote,”Not that he believed it.” For some it was a bible, others simply found it to be a comfortable reference. So when Nathaniel Brandon published a path-breaking paper in 1969 called “The Psychology of Self-Esteem” that argued that feelings of self-worth were a key to success in life, new parents were ready for advice, since they had been raised on Dr. Spock.

The American school system was ready for the”key to success in life” and  his big idea soon became the hot new thing in education. The California Legislature, always ready to be the leader, even established a “Self-Esteem Task Force” for the state’s schools. Competition was frowned upon. Soccer coaches quit counting goals and gave out trophies to everyone. Criticism was replaced with praise, even when undeserved. In Britain, which usually follows our fads, Author Melanie Phillips wrote in her book All Must Have Prizes in 2003;

 Alas, the latest pronouncement from those in charge of our exam system is truly beyond satire.

Their new idea for boosting examination success is to abolish the very idea of failure, along with the difference between the right and the wrong answer to a question.

Overpraising does not work. Kids know when they deserve praise, and false praise makes them become cynical about the undeserved praise they receive. They perform better with skilled and serious criticism rather than empty praise.

Seventy-six-million Americans were born between 1946 and 1964— the biggest generation ever, anywhere, and they became known as the Baby Boom. Tract houses, bomb shelters, hula hoops, an economic boom, assassinations, Rock and Roll, Vietnam, and protests. Society had a hard time dealing with the numbers of the Boomers—they were simply unprepared. The Sputnik Generation, the Pepsi Generation, Love Generation, Protest Generation, Woodstock Generation. The sheer numbers demanded, and got, attention. Great Expectations by Landon Jones  (1980) was a marvelous study about how society and the numbers interacted. They’re not through with us, as their retirement is playing hob with Social Security, Medicare and elder care as the first Boomers turn 73.

Boomers moved all over, and so did their children. New parents didn’t always have a parent  close by for advice. College and graduate schools admissions became harder. Unemployment went up, divorce went up.

In 1996, Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters teamed up with local police to develop an early warning system to help find abducted children. AMBER stands for Americas Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response was created as a legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hageman, who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington,TX and then brutally murdered. Other states and communities soon followed suit, and the idea was adopted, but that too had consequences.

Before there was AMBER, there were news reports of abducted children. Doesn’t take much of that before parents start monitoring their children’s activities more closely. We now have “helicopter parents” — moms who “hover”over over their children to protect them from the dangers of the world. Parents who allowed their children to walk to a nearby park were turned in to child protective services. “Play dates” have become fashionable, and children are walked to and from school.

Psychology Today has even published a report (2017) on “The Effects of ‘Helicopter Parenting'”, which is continuing into the college years as some parents call the school regularly to find out how their kids are doing and trying to make sure they will get into graduate school. All these trends, fashions, movements  have an effect and have consequences.

You can’t watch Dennis Prager’s speech and his comments on the Left’s Self-Esteem movement without thinking of the celebrated  “survivors” of the Parkland school shooting. CNN and Media Matters have used the very young David Hogg for their own purposes, which are banning guns and destroying conservative talk radio, as well as preparation for the midterm elections. This is the worst kind of child exploitation. They have taken the young man’s ill informed cause for gun control, and are using him as a puppet to attack Laura Ingraham by attacking her advertisers. When corporate heads follow the misguided lead of a 17 year-old kid, there will be some probably severe consequences for that as well.



Devin Nunes Reacts to the Inspector General’s Inquiry by The Elephant's Child

Pulling information out of the FBI and the CIA has been an interesting exercise. You can tell how frustrated Chairman Nunes is. They were absolutely sure that Hillary would win, and none of it would have to be covered up. The best laid plans …and all that.



California: A Failing Utopian Vision by The Elephant's Child

California is becoming the most watched state in the union. The worst-managed state. threatening secession, or division, insisting on whatever the rest of the country is doing, they will go in another direction. And Washington State is trying to follow in their wake,

Here’s Victor Davis Hanson trying to explain what’s gone wrong and why. Our most populous state, a sanctuary state, broke, and people and businesses are fleeing the state for anywhere where taxes are lower and housing costs are sane. People are living in motor homes, sheds, turning a single apartment into a dormitory. Facebook and Google are apparently building a new town to house their workers.



There Are Some Conversations That Shake Up Your Ideas. This Is One of Them. by The Elephant's Child

You probably remember Charles Murray’s speech at Middlebury College back in March last year, that essentially turned into a riot. This video was made about a week after the embarrassing incident. I had never seen it before, and found it to be not only fascinating but a little frightening.

We had lots of similar embarrassing occasions on college campuses across the country since, but the events all have a similarity. Students have no understanding of the meaning of the free speech clause in the Constitution,  and are unprepared to hear speech with which they do not agree, Dr. Murray, a noted political scientist, was invited to speak at the campus by Middlebury Professor and Political Scientist Allison Stanger.

One of the first sources to report on the melee was The American Interest should you need a reminder of what transpired. The involved students should have been disciplined, suspended, or just sent home, because there was no excuse for such behavior. Of course, that didn’t happen, with the confused situation on campus discourse today.As the National Interest story says: “If students (and especially professors…) want to criticize an author, they should read what he has written first.” Clearly, academic rigor has deteriorated, along with majors in things like English and History.

This video was made about a week after the events at Middlebury, but I had not seen it before. The comments by Jonathan Haidt, a Professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business, and Frank Bruni, an op-ed columnist at the New York Times, are a fascinating discussion about the Middlebury Melee and the problems of higher education that brought it about, and the implications of the event. It’s the implications that are important.

Clearly, students had no idea what a political scientist does, nor what Dr. Murray had written about, nor why his writings should be read, nor why his studies are important. How many (mostly conservative) speakers can you think of who have been similarly badly treated on today’s college campuses or banned from speaking in the time since that event?

A college campus is not a “community” it is a campus. The reigning meme seems to be “diversity” but diversity of thought and ideas just doesn’t enter into it at all. The acceptable ideas are that diversity is about race, sex, ethnicity, and representation of groups deemed marginalized, but there are “norms” that exclude all sorts of people. Elite businesses and universities assume that diversity and inclusion (D&I) is not only a means to excellence, but an end in itself. No one should be allowed to question that  evident truth. Community should not be disturbed by disagreement. Richard Epstein remarks:

Having chosen its members, D&I champions next embrace a message of “fairness and protection to all regardless of gender, race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation.” But rarely do they face up to the conceptual ambiguities and practical tradeoffs that this grandiose statement conceals.

And here is Thomas Sowell:

Nothing so epitomizes the politically correct gullibility of our times as the magic word “diversity.” The wonders of diversity are proclaimed from the media, extolled in the academy and confirmed in the august chambers of the Supreme Court of the United States. But have you ever seen one speck of hard evidence to support the lofty claims?

Although diversity has become one of the leading buzzwords of our time, it has a history that goes back several generations. In the early twentieth century, the principle of geographic diversity was used to conceal bias against Jews in the admission of students to Harvard and other leading academic institutions.

“Diversity” oddly, does not include diversity of thought or belief. Since there is little diversity among the administration and faculty of most universities, it should not be surprising that both campus and workplace are now considered “communities”, and since communities are supposed to be peaceful places where everyone is truly communal, the observation that they are becoming communes is obviously true, but unacceptable as a comment.

The tech industry, in particular, seems to be a source for much of the groupthink. Businesses seem to believe that they can become advocates for correct political thought, since as Hillary says so often, the places that did not vote for her were clearly ignorant deplorables who did not recognize correct enlightened ideas. Is this all a result of the idea that everyone should get a medal or a gold star and no one should be excluded? Of supervised play, and computers and social media where those who have improper thoughts or words can be blocked or unfriended? If you think about that process, it bears a striking similarity to what is happening on college campuses and in the workplace.

Our public schools are anxious to get all the kids computerized, as that seems to be the necessary element in education for the future. But maybe it isn’t. Maybe that’s why thoughtful people tell college students to avoid any class that has “studies” after its name. Maybe the idea of reducing or eliminating competition is faulty. Maybe everyone shouldn’t get a gold star. Maybe Nancy Pelosi’s call for open borders as opposed to any ideal of  “merit” in admission of immigrants is totally haywire. Canada and Australia admit immigrants by considering what skills or benefits they bring to their new country, much like the most selective schools do, or used to do. The video isn’t very long, but there’s a lot of food for thought there.



Here’s the Story Behind the National School Walkout by The Elephant's Child

Why am I not surprised? The same progressive groups that were behind the Women’s March to protest the election of Donald Trump, were the progressive groups that planned the “National School Walkout.” Students were asked to “walk out” of school for 17 minutes to “honor” the 17 victims. Instead of a memorial, the walkout became marches and protests to demand “gun control” and demonize any support for the Second Amendment and to blame the National Rifle Association for the “gun violence” in schools.

Sponsors on the Women’s March website are called “partners.” The two premiere sponsors were Planned Parenthood Foundation and the National Resources Defense Council. Others were SEIU, AFL-CIO, GLBTQ, ACLU, Occupy Wall Street, Pussy Hat Project, moveon.org, Center for American Progress, CODEPINK, Communist Party USA, Emily’s List, Human Rights Campaign, and the National Abortion Federation. And many others. The Leftists really like to organize, there are all sorts of little clubs, so you have backing for your protest, power in numbers, and financial backing from George Soros and his cohorts. You can feel good because you’re with “friends.”

—The new “Women’s March Youth Empower webpage” and its “Enough” anti-gun protest cover everything needed for a good protest that will get lots of press attention. The “toolkit” tells the kids that parent support would be helpful to influence the school.

—Suggested chants: “No More Silence, End Gun Violence,” “Guns in schools? We say NO, NRA has got to go,” “Enough is Enough.”

There’s a list of demands too. “We demand that Congress enact an immediate resolution declaring “gun violence” a public health crisis, and dedicating federal funding to research solutions and implement violence intervention programs. We demand Congress recognize all forms of gun violence, including violence committed by police.”

You didn’t think that this was a spontaneous outpouring of emotion from the kids, fearful of their own lives as they grieved for their compatriots in Florida did you?

Any kid’s danger of being shot in an attack on a school is approximately one in 641 million someone calculated. There is no such thing as “gun violence.” Guns are inanimate objects, and require a shooter and bullets, which require a license. More people are killed with fists, clubs of some sort, and pistols than what they are calling “assault weapons” or lately the Center for American Progress has sent out the talking point “Weapons of War.” Which is also nonsense, as military weapons are not available to citizens, unless stolen. What they like to call “assault weapons” are just ordinary rifles duded-up with scopes and fancy magazines to make them look more impressive. They still shoot the same bullet, one pull of the trigger at a time. The majority of gun deaths are suicides, mostly with handguns.

Some of the more ludicrous signs were “18th Century Laws Cannot Regulate 20th Century Weapons,”  and “De-Militarize the Police.” Locally, some students made speeches—one 16-year-old said, according to the local newspaper “When your leaders act like children and your children act like leaders that’s when you know change is coming.” Four years ago, she was 12. The whole purpose of the “walkout” was for an “out of the mouths of children” effect on the country.

The kids were truly sincere in their feelings, and unfortunately being disgracefully used by hard-left adults who couldn’t care less about the kids themselves. The kids were used as an emotional tool to influence the press for maximum attention and to influence people who were horrified by the Parkland attack and want to “do something.” What is dramatically missing from the whole national conversation is information. The loudest voices are the most ill-informed. Unfortunately, all the Left really wants is power and control, and they don’t care who they have to use to get it.




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