American Elephants


Identity Politics Is A Huge Threat to Our Country by The Elephant's Child

I ran into this article on “Identity politics” and with all the terminology thrown around today, I realized I was not really sure what was meant by the term. so I looked it up. The formal definition is here. Powerline linked to a Heritage Foundation panel on the problem which I found completely fascinating. It’s  sharp look at what is going on in our world today, by several of the sharpest minds out there, who all consider this real problem but differently. Each of the panelists had 10 minutes, which they over ran, but the proposed time limit kept it shorter than it might have otherwise been. I think most of us are somewhat aware that we are hovering around the edges of a political civil war. It’s getting increasingly angry out there:

If you are going to solve a problem, you have to understand what it is first. There is a deep lack of understanding of ordinary human nature. Life is hard, you will make mistakes. You enjoy being with people who share your interests, whether it’s a knitting circle, or watching a football game. Selecting such a group is not prejudice against some other group or sexual identity. More women are apt to be interested in knitting, and more men are apt to care about a football game. Human nature.

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Mark Levin and Victor Davis Hanson: A Conversation Not to Be Missed by The Elephant's Child

I particularly enjoy listening to these two men separately, to have them together is a real treat. Two of our most valued intellectuals, talking about their concerns, which are my concerns as well, and perhaps yours as well.  Enjoy.



There Is A Natural Tendency Towards Tyranny by The Elephant's Child

Why are Democrats so angry? Why do they have such a hard time accepting defeat, or even accepting disagreement? They are indignant when we find fault with their statements or ideas. They call us racists, white supremacists, and they cannot think of words terrible enough to call President Trump. They call him a Nazi, they call him Hitler, with no justification whatsoever, except that they are furious that we disagree. There are a lot of tyrants in the world, but Trump is not one of them.

Hitler was a piker.  We rightly excoriate him for the mass murder of Europe’s Jews, for the concentration camps, for the death squads of the SS.  The Nazis populate hundreds of thrillers, movies, histories, and all sorts of scholarly work.  But we are probably more affected by the thrillers and the movies, for Nazis make fine villains with their boots and death heads and dramatically evil flag.  When frustrated lefties want to express their rage, they plaster Hitler mustaches and haircuts on photos of the objects of their anger.

Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic of China, qualifies as the greatest mass murderer in world history, according to a Hong Kong-based historian who had unprecedented access to official Communist Party archives.  Frank Dikötter is the only author to have deeply studied the Chinese archives since they were reopened four years ago.

Between 1958 and 1962, Mao’s state waged war on China’s peasants.  The nation was facing a famine and the systematic torture, brutality, and starvation and killing of Chinese peasants were comparable to the Second World War in its magnitude.  More than 45 million people were worked, starved or beaten to death in China over those four years.  A third of all homes in China were destroyed to produce fertilizer.  In one region, 13,000 opponents of the regime were killed in just three weeks.

It is indisputable that Mao himself and the Party leadership were afflicted with economic incompetence, wholesale ignorance and ivory-tower utopianism. It was called ‘The Great Leap Forward,’ but the misallocation of capital and resources were disastrous leaps in the wrong direction.  This is the toll for only four years.  The total is far above 75 million.

The Soviet Union, of course, was responsible for upwards of 25 million deaths of innocent victims, systematically butchered.  That policy of ideological hegemony found it a crime to be middle-class, of noble birth, a kulak, a Ukrainian or even a member of the Communist Party.  Mikhail Tomsky, head of the Soviet trade unions stated in 1927 :”We allow other parties to exist.  However, the fundamental principle that distinguishes us from the West is as follows; one party rules, and all the others are in jail.”

The fascinating thing has always been the Left’s attempts to consider Nazi Germany (the National Socialists) as a party of the right, and thus freely despised, but the socialist Soviet Union was long admired.  People still remark that the Cold War was unnecessary overreach. And they simply do not recognize the similarities between Hitler and Stalin.

There are the regimes of the Soviet satellite states of Eastern Europe, now free.  Kim Jong Il’s North Korean despotic captive state needs little more explanation than the famous nighttime satellite picture of the Korean peninsula with only one tiny light for Pyongyang and constant evidence of the starvation of the North Korean people.  At least 2 million dead.

Pol Pot’s Cambodian killing fields where the entire educated class were slaughtered — some identified only by the fact that they wore glasses — too, are explained by only a few pictures, and an estimated toll of at least 2  million innocent victims.  Communist Vietnam and Burma Myanmar add unknown numbers to the toll.

Latin America accounts for at least a 1½ million.  The bloody killer Ché Guevara enjoyed doing his own executions personally, and is celebrated by having his image on tee shirts and the fantasy of his romantic story told by Hollywood.  New wannabe communists keep popping up in South America, which seems to have a predilection for dictators.

One common theme that runs through all these destructive regimes is complete intolerance for disagreement. How can you possibly have free speech and yet be intolerant of someone else’s disagreement?

I am simply trying to point out that American society is built on argument, debate and dispute.  We try to persuade, present evidence, show examples and convince.  When that fails, we  look for more evidence and more persuasive materials.  Our disagreements are worked out through messy, argumentative political campaigns, where we use all the tools available to us to win the argument.

In all of this there is a temptation towards tyranny.  A temptation to hate those who see the question differently.  A temptation to forcibly stop the other side of a question from disagreeing with our ideas. That’s where the Left has landed. Hollywood celebrities cannot wait to get to a microphone or to Twitter to call us names because we dared to disagree with them.

The founders wisely provided three separate divisions of government to provide checks and balances on each other.  But the initial rendering of the Constitution all too soon showed cracks — in spite of the clear designation that “we the people” gave certain rights and duties to the government — people were being imprisoned for criticizing the government. So the Bill of Rights was enacted to make crystal clear the protection of political speech and disagreement, as well as our other rights. Why is that so difficult to understand?

 



“Enemy of the People” Or Just Failing to Do Their Assigned Job. by The Elephant's Child

The removal of Jim Acosta’s Press Credential has become a very big deal for the Democrats, they have turned it into a “talking point” which they hope to use to denigrate President Trump, of course. That CNN’s Acosta behaved very badly indeed in trying to hijack a Presidential Press Conference was a disgrace. Still chafing from the suggestion that the press was not truthful and “the enemy of the people” he wanted to disagree with the President because he called the migrant caravan an “invasion,” so he took it upon himself to argue with the President and tell him that he was wrong, while hogging the press conference and the ability to ask questions.  Extraordinarily rude.

Reporters are there to ask questions of the President, and get him to clarify his answers, but not to take control of the press conference. Acosta, having had his turn, refused to turn the microphone to a White House Intern, assigned to pass it on to another reporter waiting for his turn. He didn’t choose to give it up, and there’s disagreement over whether or not he shoved her, or just yanked the microphone away. Obviously a matter of earthshaking political concern. Mr. Acosta, if he cared to investigate the opinions of many Americans, might be astonished to learn that a vast majority of the public are concerned about the extremely partisan reporting by the media, and angry about it.



The Three Values That Make America Great by The Elephant's Child

Another great new video from Prager University



Jay Inslee’s Carbon Tax is On the Ballot. by The Elephant's Child

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Governor Jay Inslee’s clever carbon tax got national recognition today, as it was written up in the Wall Street Journal. The subhead reads: “The referendum shows the main goal isn’t reducing CO² emissions” What? What?

If Democrats retake Congress in November, a national carbon tax is likely to be part of their agenda. A referendum in Washington state next month is a test of public support. (my italics) It is correctly Initiative Measure No.1631 concerns pollution  (cute tag line)

Two years ago nearly 60% of Washington voters rejected a ballot initiative to impose a “revenue neutral” carbon tax. Green groups opposed the referendum because it wouldn’t generate money for environmental largess. Businesses said it would destroy jobs and increase energy prices, which is true.

Democrats are very fond of taxes on things that make it sound like they are saving the Earth from the horrors of climate change. In California they used the proceeds from cap-and-trade revenue on their fabled bullet train to nowhere that is pauperizing much of California. Also funded low-income housing and public transit, and handouts for the greenies.

We already have the third highest gas prices in the country after Hawaii and California, so the tax would raise those only by 13 cents a gallon in 2020 and 59 cents a gallon by 2035, doesn’t sound too bad until you start out adding how many gallons it takes to fill up your car or cars. Since we rely heavily on electricity from our dams in the Columbia, electricity rates would rise more modestly.

The National Economic Research Associates analysis estimates that the tax would cost Washington households an average $440 in 2020, and would reduce the state’s economic growth by 0.4% over the next two years. So the referendum requires that 10% of revenues must be spent on reducing energy costs for low-income residents. That more or less admits that the cost will be significant, does it not. $50 million must go to support those who work in fossil fuels. Our refineries process crude from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale.

Some of the emissions would be exempt from the tax, including “energy-intensive trade-exposed” industries like aluminum production, agricultural diesel oil and fossil fuel — and fuel purchased by local and state governments. Can’t have a tax that costs the government union jobs. That suggests that all the state bureaucrats will get to fill up at the state’s free pumps, doesn’t it? See the post below for a rating of the nation’s governors. Jay Inslee comes in dead last, with a solid F.

The discredited IPCC is still babbling about a climate apocalypse, and estimates a global carbon price of between $135 and $5,500 per ton would be necessary to save us all. That’s not going to happen, but neither is the climate apocalypse. If you recall, Christiana Figueres, the General Secretary of the IPCC let the cat out of the bag a few years back when she admitted that the goal was not to save the planet, but to end Capitalism.

The Journal is more concerned that if the referendum passes, liberals will see a green light to pass carbon copies in other states. Here the whole deal is a thinly disguised grab for more revenue for the politicians in Olympia.



Tucker Carlson on “Imaginary Left-Wing Mobs” by The Elephant's Child

In case you missed this episode of the Tucker Carlson show, here it is. It seemed appropriate. This is a very strange time we are living in.




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