American Elephants


Big Tech Efforts to Control Political Thought, Attacking Your Freedom. by The Elephant's Child
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Corporate leaders used to rise through the ranks, much like the military, through gradually getting promoted to higher responsibility, if you were worthy. The first mass produced personal computers didn’t appear until 1977, and I imagine it took quite a few years before they were common. Jack Dorsey sent the first message on Twitter on March 21, 2006, and it was 2010 when they unveiled “promoted Tweets,” ads that would appear in search results as a revenue source. So there’s not a long history of learning how to behave in the American corporate world. Heretofore corporations went to great lengths to stay out of politics, partly presumably, because it was assumed that their employees would have differing allegiances and party preferences.

As Josh Hammer wrote at American Greatness this week:

The increasing brazenness with which the various Big Tech behemoths distort their search algorithms to hide conservative viewpoints, undermine conservatives through “shadow banning” and weaponize the sanctimonious and self-serving “fact-checking” cottage industry to suppress conservative voices has long been clear to those of us who, to use the parlance of the day, are “very online.”That kind of common sense is no longer the case.

The American people are becoming aware of the Big Tech efforts to control conservative viewpoints, and they are not happy. The demands for the federal government to step in and break up these companies is growing increasingly common. Facebook and Twitter ganged up againstthe New York Post, founded by Alexander Hamilton, and is today the nation’s oldest continually operating daily broadsheet in galling fashion.” They broke an important story about Hunter Biden’s dealings with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, and his efforts to get Burisma people in contact with the “right” people in Washington DC through his connections with his father. The Post is one of the nation’s largest daily newspapers by circulation, and no one actually seems to be denying the Post’s reporting.

The Senate prepared to subpoena Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, but they hastily responded that they would be happy to be there without being subpoenaed. Our Constitution usually deals with what the government may or may not do, and only the 13th amendment deals with the private sector at all. There are quite a few of our representatives in Congress who have already spoken out on this matter, and they are well aware that they have the responsibility of dealing with threats to our liberty. Suppressing the views of one of America’s political parties in the run-up to an election isn’t going to work. If they were paying attention, they might have noticed that as a whole, America’s responsible corporate leaders were not out playing politics. There is a reason for that.

ADDENDUM: They also seem to have a major problem with their “fact=checking”. I don’t know how they have arranged it, but they might start with someone who is highly literate and widely read. The current office holders don’t know the difference between a “trusted source” and someone of the correct (in their minds) political persuasion. In short, the fact-checking is embarrassing.

I apparently misspoke. They still may be subpoenaed. That remains to be seen. It’s clear that there is a lot of anger out there at Big Tech, and they might do well to be very cooperative. Apparently many of their employees really hate Trump, so they’re stuck between the proverbial rock and…Did you ever hear, ever? of employees demanding that management conform to their political preferences? We have a lot of ignorance of history, of the Constitution, and ordinary good manners there.



Amy Coney Barrett Appears Before Congress by The Elephant's Child
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Another strange day as we move ever closer to the election. Amy Coney Barrett appeared before the Judicial Committee, beginning the first step towards confirmation. So naturally a bunch of women turned up outside in “Handmaiden” costumes in reference to Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel about women forced to be reproductive factories.  Unpleasant book, dumb idea, don’t bother reading it.

If you are attracted to the idea, Amazon  has “handmaiden” costumes for sale. Possibly in preparation for demonstrations? Halloween is coming up. As a demonstration against a candidate for the Supreme Court, it is not only beyond ignorant, but shows no understanding whatsoever of what a judge actually does, nor what the Supreme Court does.  We do need to get our schools teaching a little history and civics. Which means that if you have kids in public school, you need to pay close attention to what they are learning. There are a lot of examples out there of kids being instructed on who to support in the upcoming election, which is not a teacher’s job.

It would be highly improper for a prospective judge to indicate in any way their feelings about issues that might come before the court. Judges don’t rule on what they like and don’t like. They consider all the implications of the precise case before them and how it relates to the Constitution of the United States of America.

There were, of course, questions about Barrett’s religious faith. She is a practicing Catholic, Some find that worrying, The first Amendment states firmly: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. “

I copied the whole thing because we seem to be deep into First Amendment territory right now, especially the “peaceably to assemble” bit. That’s where all the descriptions in the press came from. Peaceful protest.

Amy Coney Barrett is a splendid nomination, and will be an excellent addition to the Court.



The Debate. What was said and what was not. by The Elephant's Child

We had our first debate last night, and it was an “interesting” experience. The two candidates bring different qualities and experience to the fray, Donald Trump is the current president and has a record, which is pretty impressive. Best economy going. Brought peace to the Middle East, with three nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. Outstanding economy for black Americans, with excellent employment, and boosts for black entrepreneurs with new opportunity zones. We’ve also had protests, riots, destruction, damage to businesses and looting in the name of “Black Lives Matter” and “Antifa” both of which seem to be Communist inspired. It’s hard to get one’s mind around all that has gone on and sort it out.

Democrats were set on a Hillary Clinton win, and the brownie points of electing the first woman president. When that didn’t work out, they seem to have gone a little bit over the hill. Joe Biden, as the Vice President for the first Black president, seemed to be better than the vast array of unknowns who ran for the nomination.

All of this underscores that the great scandal of 2016 wasn’t Russian collusion. It was the unleashing of America’s premier law enforcement agency against a presidential campaign based on Russian disinformation midwifed and financed by the Clinton campaign. The public is finally getting the truth about the FBI’s malfeasance, and Messrs. Barr and Durham deserve credit for exposing it.’

An FBI agent who played a lead role investigating Michael Flynn told the Justice Department there was never evidence of wrongdoing by the retired general or Russian collusion by President Trump, but the probe was kept open by Special Counsel Robert Mueller because his team had a “get Trump” goal, according to an explosive interview released Friday

Democrats were so anxious to get rid of the horrendous Trump that they have lost all sense of right and wrong, and what is acceptable. Their effort continues. Now it’s “white supremacy”, and when that fades away for lack of any proof whatsoever, they’ll come up with something else. I believe they are talking about impeaching him once again. This is just wrong.



In a Contentious Time, a Search for Truth and Honesty by The Elephant's Child

Democrats are undoubtedly studying late into the night, to find a way to disrupt President Trump’s naming of a candidate for the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. They are considering a new impeachment trial or two, whether this brings back the Russian horde is not known. One supposes that Russians rate higher on the really terrifying terrorists than those from other countries. After all the Russians are known for suddenly poisoning people right on the street.

They supposedly are considering just walking out, boycotting as it were, to delay the inevitable. Speaker Pelosi apparently has a couple of impeachments up her sleeves, she clearly feels that most everything Trump has done is grounds for impeachment, and considers it an excellent way to get the nomination of anyone over and done with. Almost anything will do because what they want is delay, so that it becomes too late to advance a candidate before the election.

They speak in generalities, and of course what the Supreme Court is all about is insisting that matters of law follow the Constitution. And of course at that point what is it that they really meant when they wrote the Constitution?  I assume that by this time you are as sick of all the nonsense as I am and want them to just get on with the business of the government. The Constitution is quite clear. When there is a vacancy, the President may nominate a successor, who is to be approved by the Senate. Simple and clear.

The difficult part is that Amy Comey Barrett, who seems to be the leading candidate, is a practicing Catholic. The great fear is that she might rule on Roe v. Wade, the abortion bill, passed and in effect, but could be brought before the Court again. This is an immeasurably contentious bill. Many women feel that nobody else has any right to tell them what they may or may not do with their bodies. Others see abortion as the murder of a real baby. When things are in such dramatic opposition, there is no comfortable middle ground. And of course religion has strong opinions.

In this day and age, when preventive measures are readily available, if one does not want to bear a child, it seems incumbent on them to use preventative measures. Responsibility is required. No one should have to bear a child conceived by rape, but just how you sort that out is difficult. There are a lot of couples who are unable to bear children and desperate to adopt.

There are many areas that are equally contentious matters. Look at the current furor about the police. At one end of the scale is Chicago, which seems to have some violent neighborhoods and a significant weekly death toll. Some seem to think that the police are so violent and corrupt that they must be eliminated, and others who know of too much drugs and street crime in their cities want more police protection.

Your best source for sorting things out is Heather MacDonald, a serious scholar who goes to the source and digs out the real statistics, as opposed to what is more sensational and reported on the news. You can find her at the Manhattan Institute, or City Journal, or her many valuable books : The War on Cops, The Burden of Bad Ideas, Are Cops Racist?, and The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan Than Today’s.  All invaluable.  Or just type her name into your search-bar.



Well Yes, You Could Call the Whole Thing a Train Wreck! by The Elephant's Child

Clearly the Democrat Party has gone stark raving bonkers. They firmly believe that they are supposed to be in control of the federal government and clearly Donald Trump is an aberration. Not supposed to be that way. They were destined to have the first woman President of the United States, and they still haven’t recovered and are still desperately trying to find a way to get rid of the evil Donald Trump. They keep dragging up the Russians, but the facts simply don’t support their efforts. I’m beginning to think that they were so fixated on electing the First Woman President, that they have simply gone a bit off the rails. Those “Firsts” on the record are very important to Democrats.

Their hatred for President Trump has surpassed all norms. Bob Woodward, longtime journalist, features himself as an investigative journalist, with many left-leaning books to his credit about any scandal he can hype. He, of course, doesn’t like Donald Trump. So this time, he blames President Trump for the Corona-19 virus and every death it caused. If you are going throw accusations around, might as well pick a biggie.

I live currently in a Seattle suburb. The first American exposure and death from Covid-19, came to the next suburb just north of my house. Apparently someone carrying the disease returned to relatives in a nursing home directly from Wuhan, China. Everyone contacted by that person contracted the disease and most died. President Trump slapped a freeze on flights from China immediately. Vast outcry from the Left. Bigot, Racist, etc, etc, etc. Trump gathered up the most informed advisers he could find, Dr.Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in January of 2020, and Dr. Rebecca Birx, and listened closely to their advice. State Governors demanded help, they needed ventilators, Trump pushed American auto makers to shift some production to making ventilators, Governors demanded more hospital beds, Trump sent two US Navy hospital ships, and military hospitals were set up in parks and stadiums where there was room. Masks were needed and produced. The record goes on with the President trying to meet every new need, and shut down that which was not safe. Impossible to control everything that was going on. New York Governor Cuomo directed ailing elders to be treated in senior care homes, and caused vast numbers of deaths of the elderly. Cruise ships that had someone infected on board became death traps. Lots of deadly mistakes were made as we learned about the disease. Mr. Woodward, a small former journalistic star, has betrayed his profession and whatever honored journalistic career he once had, with a partisan attack that is just a partisan lie. Shame on him.

Now we have the battle of the Supreme Court. Democrats are outraged that with Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death, President Trump will, as the Constitution requires, name a new justice for the Senate to approve. Democrats are threatening to impeach Trump once again, for any reason they can think up, anything to keep him from naming a new candidate to replace the late Justice Ginsberg. He has no right to do this when there’s an election coming up in two months, and Biden might win, and then he would appoint a left-leaning candidate.

The Constitution is just fine, until it doesn’t support what you want to do. Naming a potentially conservative justice to the Supreme Court just means the Democrats will have to pack the court and expand the number of justices so they can be in control. They are Democrats and entitled not to be troubled by some hillbilly backwoods bunch of Conservatives, who just don’t understand the way it was meant to be.



There is Now a Vacancy On the Supreme Court by The Elephant's Child

The Professional Democrats are panicking. They are deeply afraid that President Trump might offer a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Ginsberg, Justice Ginsberg supposedly issued a request before she died that she not be replaced until after the election, but that’s not something she gets to choose. The Professional Democratic Celebrities are out in full voice demanding that her wishes be honored. Which is nonsense. The President of the United States has the duty to replace the Justice.

Perhaps I should explain my language choices here. I speak of Professional  Democrats, by which I mean those who have no other profession than being an elected Democrat or an appointed Democrat. What their other experience or job in life occurred before they became an office-holder has no bearing on anything, they are now a guaranteed Democrat vote. Others may have had some other career  as a farmer, an academic, a lawyer and that experience validates their advancement to professional status, and their knowledge of their particular field contributes to their government status.

We also have Professional Celebrities. A celebrity is someone whose name is known, and because their name is known, an article in the press may get your attention. The designation of “celebrity” mostly just gathers up those who have good press agents, though these days the media itself acts as press agent. Having a “celebrity” comment on your idea gives it a slight boost in potential readership. Jane Fonda comes to mind. She is capitalizing heavily on her celebrity status these days. I know she is the daughter of Henry Fonda who was a celebrated actor. She has apparently been in some movies herself, but I have never seen one. nor would have any wish to. I remember that in the time of protests against the Vietnam War she went to Hanoi and sat on a cannon to celebrate her protest, and I scratched her off any potential list of anything at that time. She is now a professional Democrat.

Just who President Trump will nominate is unknown. I hope there will not be any kind of echo of the disgraceful behavior of the Professional Democrats in the confirmation hearings for Justice Kavanaugh. Their politics should not matter as much as their understanding of the Constitution, and the reasons for the solutions to the cases that come before the Court. Clarence Thomas has been a great Justice, some others I might mention, not so much.

I believe I have read that President Trump has a good list of excellent potential candidates.It’s their minds and knowledge that matter, not today’s politics. Unfortunately hot-button issues are apt to get in the way, like abortion and trans-gender politics, that we know about and others yet to come.



What Do You Mean “Free” ? by The Elephant's Child

Americans put a lot of emphasis, when thinking about what being an American means, on being free. But what precisely they mean by “free” is not really all that clear. Socialism promises equality .If we just adopt Socialism we will all be “equal” which, of course is nonsense.  Whatever qualities you may possess, they are probably not the same as those the guy standing next to you possesses. So what is it we have in mind when we celebrate being “free”?

I think perhaps the important point is the freedom to rise. We can strive to become whatever it is that we want to be or become, and work towards that goal, with whatever effort and skill we can muster. There are no guarantees that we will make it, but we are free to keep trying, or to change goals, or even to give up.  If you consider what life was like for ordinary Englishmen in 1620, they had a lot of incentive to try for something better, and were willing to risk a lot to try for it. Rising out of their station in life may have been possible for the elites or the educated, but inventions, new ideas, growing, prospering, not so much.

If I asked you to sit down with a pencil and paper and list the Americans who have risen from obscurity to unbelievable wealth, you would be able to come up with quite a few names. It’s commonplace. That’s why I was so taken with the story of the young black man in Columbus Ohio, who had walked three miles every day to the public library that offered homework help. Some sneered at the “3 miles every day” but that extra effort got him acceptance from 22 different colleges and universities for admission. That story didn’t seem to get much attention, but given a few years he will either be heading a large corporation or performing surgery in a major hospital. Whatever he wants. That is the real meaning of being free. If you are a parent of school children, you might want to point that out.



File Under Useful Hints: by The Elephant's Child

You may or may not have noticed my new favorite word: feckless. I probably saw someone else use it, and though I knew (sorta-kinda) the meaning, looked it up to be accurate.

Feckless: lacking initiative or strength of character, irresponsible. synonyms: useless, worthless, incompetent, ineffective, inept, good for nothing, ne’er do well, lazy, idle, slothful, indolent, shiftless, apathetic, aimless, unambitious, unenterprising, no good, no account, lazy.

With elections coming up, it may be a remarkably useful word, at least to tuck in the back of your brain when deciding whether to support a candidate or a city council or not.



Making Headlines Is Not Always A Good Thing by The Elephant's Child

See the source image

How utterly embarrassing, when your city government makes the national news, and becomes an object of ridicule. Portland and Seattle are setting bad examples for the rest of the country.  On Sunday, thousands of Seattleites turned out to “Defend the Police” in the face of the rabidly leftist majority on the city council’s efforts to defund the police. Today, Chief Carmen Best, a 28 year veteran of the Seattle Police Force and the first Black woman chief of police in the nation, resigned in the face of lack of support.

Other communities across the country that have “defunded” the police are seeing mass retirements, and major increases in crime. New York City is another example. Mayor de Blasio cut back on policing, and New York City has had a surge in shootings and other violent crime in the middle of the Covid crisis, according to the Wall Street Journal. Newt Gingrich said “crime skyrockets as Mayor de Blasio sides with criminals against cops.” Shootings are twice the rate of last year, 821 incidents of gunfire, and 1000 victims so far this year. It’s hard when you have to be on the right side of Black Lives Matter so you won’t be criticized, and discover that the police really did matter and that good policing is what kept violent crime down. Fear of being called “racist” has clearly been a powerful motivation.

There are, and certainly will be consequences. People will look for safer places to live and do business. Police will resign if they do not have the support of the community. Police are resigning or taking early retirement all over the country right now. And there will be consequences. An increase in crime means the job of being a policeman becomes more dangerous. So you want a new and inexperienced force? The sheer stupidity boggles the mind.

Elections are coming up this fall. Hopefully voters will take a hard look at 2020 so far and decide what is working, and what is not. Promises to be an interesting year. Americans may have to learn the hard way just why the police are there, and what they do for the people and the community they serve so courageously.

ADDENDUM: I forgot to mention that the Seattle City Council in it’s wisdom has also laid off 100 policemen. We’ll see what the consequences of that turn out to be.



Much Ado About Nothing, or Something Like That by The Elephant's Child

Carmen  Best, Seattle Chief of Police, has had protesters discover her home, and her neighbors turned out to shoo them away. Protests continue in Portland and Seattle, but it’s pretty clear that it is now about the fun of rioting and protesting, rather than actually having something to riot about.

Black Lives Matter doesn’t lead naturally to protesting at the Chief of Police’s house when the Chief is Black. I really believe that not very much of the rioting and protesting over the past weeks, the destruction of property and pulling down of statues has been far more about emotion and destruction than any actual principles. If there is some sort of goal behind all the hoopla, some urgent need for change, it is not at all apparent.

In Portland they burned Bibles and American flags in the street. Somewhere else, a statue of the Virgin Mary was burned, and even AOC, who thrives on media attention, made a fool of herself by attacking Father Damien, Hawaii’s Catholic martyr who gave his life to ministering to the leper colony on Molokai., and eventually died of the disease himself.

I’m not sure what the proper terminology is, “getting all worked-up” more or less covers it. Reaching an emotional state that demands action. Possession.  Common sense departs. Like little kids having a temper tantrum. A spanking and sent to bed without any supper usually cures that. When it is adults who should know better, it’s another matter.

The Seattle City Council has gone along with the police defunding to suggesting a “civilian-led police department,” personally I prefer one led by someone deeply knowledgeable about crime and punishment and keeping order, but apparently that is not fashionable today.

Over the weekend, the press reported the usual round of shootings in New York and Chicago and other trouble spots. No suggestions for improving the situation. So there you go.



Everything You Wanted to Know About Peaceful Protests by The Elephant's Child

Peaceful protests! peaceful protests! peaceful protests!: If you wondered why the violence you are seeing online in Portland particularly, and in Seattle, the boarded up small businesses with the broken windows, the graffiti emblazoned on statues and buildings, walls and streets is somewhat inaccurately described as “peaceful protests” it’s really quite simple. The First Amendment reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

As long as they can keep the protests “peaceful”, the Feds are disrupting them illegally, and can be blamed with all the insults and vile language, legitimately.

That’s why Attorney General William Barr was called before Congress to testify today before Jerry Nadler’s House Judiciary Committee. Mr. Barr is not a pushover just because he’s been asked to testify, and made mincemeat of several questioners. There are many videos of the committee testimony available.

And here’s the video that Congressman Nadler did not want the committee or the newspeople to see:



Long Beyond Demonstrations, But Why? by The Elephant's Child

Antifa is out rioting again in downtown Seattle. There must be something both enticing and in some way rewarding, or fun in rioting. At least it seems to be popular, and the young people keep doing it. I say young people, because in the videos of rioting I see, I don’t see any real adults, except the policemen.

I can sort of understand looting, the idea that since nobody is paying real attention and guarding stuff, it’s free to grab something and make off with it. That was pretty much disproven here in Bellevue when looters broke into the biggest regional shopping center to loot the expensive stores. A lot of people were standing around outside and filming the excitement, and got pictures of the looters emerging from the Square with wastebaskets and garbage cans full of their loot.

The Bellevue Police Department took advantage of the films, and have tracked down a large percentage of the looters, and charged them–23 was the last number I saw, but I’m sure it’s much greater now.

What mystifies me is that people across the country and in Europe decided that looked like a fun thing to do and started rioting and tearing down statues in their countries. Is there no sense in the back of youthful brains that these are bad things to do, probably against the law, and potentially will get one in trouble? Is there a latent hunger there to do something really bad if one does not expect to get caught?

Or does “the abolition of the United States as we know it” sound appealing to the ignorant and unwashed? What do I know? I’m merely an ordinary law-abiding citizen to whom all of this is something of a mystery. Strange times, and I don’t pretend to understand. That “abolition” part is worrying.




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