American Elephants


The Paranoid Style of American Politics and the Left. by The Elephant's Child

In The Closing of the Liberal Mind: How Groupthink and Intolerance Define the Left,  Kim Holmes addresses the “paranoid style of American politics” as described by political scientist Richard Hofstadter in the 1960s.

Liberal populists, … are big believers in conspiracy theories. Hillary Clinton once spoke of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” against her and her husband, and she is not alone in her paranoia. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (whose financial disclosure reports showed her to be worth about $8 million in early 2015) believes businessmen, bankers, and the rich are irredeemably selfish and make decisions solely for their own benefit which hurts the poor. To many progressive liberals, opponents of same-sex marriage are not honest people guided by conscience, but malicious bigots out to do harm. American history is not a complex unfolding of events but a cynical conspiracy driven by rich white people whose only interest is to keep their racial and economic privileges. Since the “enemy” is in control of everything—the radio waves, the churches and the banks—they are thought to be all-powerful. It is perfectly acceptable to apply any means whatsoever to dislodge them from power. It is justice of the revolutionary sort, because according to the paranoid’s viewpoint, one’s political opponents  are simply too evil to be given  fair shake in the debate. They must not be merely opposed. Them must be silenced and removed.

Oh, come on! Surely that’s an exaggeration. Surely you have noticed that you are being called a “white supremacist,”

The city of Seattle, WA, has offered a class on “white fragility” to white people in order to explain white guilt and why white people cannot “handle matters involving race.”Lecturer Robin DiAngelo, who coined the term, is teaching the taxpayer-funded class for the city Office of Arts and Culture. She defines white fragility as “a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves.”

Critics say it is just the latest attempt at spreading white guilt, following in the footsteps of concepts such as “white privilege.”

From Richard Hofstadter:

Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated —if not from the world, at least from the theatre of operations to which the paranoid directs his attention. This demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly unrealistic goals, and since these goals are not even remotely attainable, failure constantly heightens the paranoid’s sense of frustration. Even partial success leaves him with the same feeling of powerlessness with which he began and this in turn only strengthens his awareness of the vast and terrifying quality of the enemy he opposes.

Unrealistic goals? I give you millions of jobs from repairing our infrastructure, or how about running the country on wind and biofuels? Or possibly handing control of the entire Middle East over to the Mullahs in Iran, so we can have peace. I’ll even bet that you can think of some other unrealistic goals.



They Say That 10% Of The People Will Say Anything! by The Elephant's Child

Public Policy Polling is a respected polling organization. They found in January that Americans have a higher opinion of colonoscopies than they do of Congress. That may be specious, and anything noxious would get the same result.  We do, however, have to remember that we elected them, and they are only human— which means they have real faults just like the rest of us. Just means we have to look at their qualifications a little more closely next time, rather than just their party affiliation.

PPP has just released a Conspiracy Theory poll. They” took the opportunity to poll 20 widespread and/or infamous conspiracy theories. Many are well known to the public, others just to the darker corners of the internet.” I picked ten to list here.

  • 37% of voters believe global warming is a hoax, 51% do not. Republicans say global warming is  a hoax by a 58–25% margin, Democrats disagree 11–77%, and Independents are more split at 41–51%.  61% of Romney voters believe global warming is a hoax.
  • 6% of voter believe Osama bin Laden is still alive.
  • 29% of voters believe aliens exist
  • 9% of voters think the government adds fluoride to our water supply for sinister reasons (not just dental health).
  • 20% of voters believe there is a link between childhood vaccines and autism, 51% do not.
  • Voters are split 44%–45% on whether Bush intentionally misled about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. 72% of Democrats think Bush lied about WMD, Independents agree 48–45%.  Just 13% of Republicans think so.
  • 14% of voters believe in Bigfoot.
  • 15% of voters think the medical industry and the pharmaceutical industry “invent” new diseases to make money.
  • 5% of voters believe that Paul McCartney actually died in 1966
  • 11% of voters believe the US Government allowed 9/11 to happen, 78% do not agree.

PPP surveyed 1,247 registered American voters from March 27th to 30th. The margin of error for the overall sample is +/- 2.8%. More results can be found here.

I grew up in the woods, and I do not believe in Bigfoot. I believe that “global warming” is a proven  fraud. I also grew up with the perfect amount of natural fluoride in the water, no dentist needed. And the headline came from a statement on the radio by a professor who has just written a book on unsolved mysteries (or conspiracies).



Russian Heat Wave and Fires Blamed on “Secret” U.S. Climate Change Weapon. by The Elephant's Child

Russia has had a bad time this summer with record high temperatures and forest and peat fires.  Now a Russian political scientist has claimed that the United States may be using secret climate-change weapons to alter the temperatures and crop yields of Russia and other Central Asian countries.

Andrei Areshev, deputy director of the Strategic Culture Foundation wrote in a recent article that: “At the moment climate weapons may be reaching their target capacity and may be used to provoke droughts, erase crops and induce various anomalous phenomena in certain countries.”

Publications throughout Russia have carried the article including International Affairs, a journal published by the Foreign Ministry and by the state-owned news agency RIA Novosti.

In the article, Arshev cited suspicions about the High-Frequency Active Aural Research Program (HAARP), funded by the U.S. Defense Dept. and the University of Alaska.  HAARP, long a target of conspiracy theorists, analyzes the ionosphere and seeks to develop technologies to improve radio communications, surveillance, and missile detection.  Arshev claims its true aim is to create new weapons of mass destruction “in order to destabilize environmental and agricultural systems in local countries.”

Mr. Areshev”s article also targeted an unmanned spacecraft X-378 , and orbital test vehicle the Pentagon launched in April.  The Pentagon calls it a prototype for a new “space plane” that could take people and equipment to and from space stations.  Areshev, alleges that the X-378 carries “laser weaponry” and could be a key component in the Pentagon’s climate-change arsenal.

The Pentagon could not be reached for comment.




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