American Elephants


Tucker Carlson on DACA: ” A Rare Voice of Honesty” by The Elephant's Child


Since posted, this video has been determined to be “private” and only available to those who have permission. It was a marvelous compilation of Democrats who had been issued talking points, one after another referring to any questioning of the DACA petitioners to be cruel and so they did, obediently. Cruel, cruel, cruel. Sorry we missed it. It was the most obvious presentation of Democrat “talking points” I’ve seen.

The whole immigration problem can be summed up by a video. The Left has learned their propaganda skills well, and understands that if you keep repeating something often enough, pretty soon people will start to believe it. And it works. The progressive leadership sends out “talking points” or in other words the word or words to be repeated endlessly. Republicans (or at least some Republicans) understand this and capture them in action. But they capture them as a sort of joke—”Look, they’re doing it again, the stupid fools” but then they don’t fight back beyond that. So the folks who don’t follow the news that closely, or watch the right videos are swayed by the repeated words.

I’m delighted that Republicans seem to understand the propaganda tricks, but could they possibly stand together and denounce them? Or beat them at their own game?

Leftists want to fix, or at least improve, human nature. “We are the World”, open borders, global government, can’t we all get along, no more wars, love and kindness, fight to save the world from global warming, end disease, help the poor, make everybody equal, and so on and so on.

Human beings are by nature tribal. It used to be just those who were blood related, or lived in  tribal territory, but as we have grown and spread out, we simply form our own little tribes. Tribes of those we went to school with, or work with, or who root for the same football team, or share a love of chess or gardening, belong to the same clubs, or who live in the same neighborhood. We want to be with people who share our same interests or history. Doesn’t mean we don’t like or want to associate with others. Many are temporary—people we used to work with, or those who have plainly left our tribe. Being human, we don’t like everybody we meet. It’s not prejudice, it’s just being human, and you can’t “fix” it.

The Left uses the idea of tribes as a pejorative. Same for “the Rich,’ or corporations, or Wall Street, or Banking, or Guns — the list is quite long. Making everybody equal, of course, doesn’t include themselves, because someone has to have the power and run things. Doesn’t hold up well under  close examination.

We change over time as we learn and grow, responding to events in our lives. You undoubtedly have friends or relatives who have strikingly different political opinions, and in trying to avoid a fight, you don’t spend as much time with them as you did in another time.

On the other hand, the latest pejorative for the Left is “white supremacists,” which is supposed to be the underlying cause for any opposition to open borders or wanting a wall, or opposing sanctuary cities, or opposing ObamaCare. The fact of “white supremacists” is clearly demonstrated by the fact that there are more white people in this country than any other particular skin color, though it is expected that the total of those who are not “white supremacists” will be greater than the number who are “white supremacists” sometime in the near future, and that will be ever so much better?

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As I Was Saying: Human Nature 101. A Required Course. by The Elephant's Child

If you accept or tolerate bad behavior you will get more of it.

Headline from Breitbart: “Exclusive—Women Nationwide Cut Up Nordstrom’s Cards, Plan Boycotts After Political Decision to Drop Ivanka Trump Line.”  It would have been cheaper to hire some extra guards.

This is a strange political season. Democrats were absolutely confident that they could expect another four or eight years in charge of the government and the country, with Hillary. Because people seemed to like President Obama they thought it was a home run. They didn’t pay attention to the vast numbers of people who believed the country was going in the wrong direction. Democrats lost not just the White House, but straight down the line to city councils. And they lost to a man with an orange complexion and funny hair who often said rude things.

The latter is probably more important to Progressives because they are more superficial in their thinking. They are unconcerned about the threat from Islamic terrorism, and had no problem with the Obama administration’s refusal to use the term. They are unconcerned with graft and Hillary’s use of an illegal private email server that left top-secret State Department communications open to any enemy who cared to look. Progressives care about control. It is essential that they remain in charge, and they were gobsmacked by the loss of power. They have no bench of promising, well known young candidates.

The University of California, still mopping up after an estimated $100,000 damage, already has one of the organizers speaking out to call the Berkeley Riot “Stunningly Successful” and warns of a repeat if Milo returns to the college. “We are happy with the results,” Ronald Cruz, a former student,  told the Chronicle. “We were able to meet Mr Yiannopoulos’ fascist message with massive resistance.”

I would be surprised if he tries to after his humiliating defeat,” he declared. “But if he wants to be defeated again, he will be if he tries.”

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the damage to downtown Berkeley was around  $400,000 – $500,000. Pre-orders for Milo’s book Dangerous were soaring at Amazon.

Following the riot in Berkeley, Mayor Jesse Arreguin repeatedly smeared MILO as a “white nationalist” and declared that he would not be welcome back in the city, while several celebrities and news outlets expressed support for the riot, including Hollywood director Judd Apatow, who deleted his tweet shortly after, and Fusion, who smeared MILO as a “Nazi” and praised rioters before also deleting their tweet.

So rioters are welcome in any American city, will not be disturbed in their vandalism. Free speech is not permitted. The usual epithets of Nazi, fascist, Hitler etc. are applied to a speaker, not to the criminal behavior which is completely tolerated—because they’re mad that they lost the election.

Janet Napolitano might take notice that the University of Missouri  lost so many prospective students because of protests and rioting on campus that they have had to shut down dorms and struggle with sharply declining revenue. Parents took their kids and their money elsewhere.

Americans are not accustomed to major businesses playing politics. Donations by participants are expected.  But corporations encouraging their workers to demonstrate or protest against the president? Refusing to do business with the daughter of the President of the United States? Surrendering to political threats? Unacceptable.

When there is a riot and no one stops it, rioters are not put in jail for disturbing the peace — you have given power to the rioters. Next time it will be worse.



Memo to Peter E. Nordstrom & Janet Napolitano, Re: Human Nature 101 by The Elephant's Child

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When confronted with young thugs ( I do observe the Che tee shirt and “We need Socialism”sign, and probably Mexican flag). In the case of the University of California at Berkeley, the Black Bloc who threaten to, or  do create havoc when you surrender immediately to their silly demands, you will get more of the same behavior. If they can bully you into dumping a supplier, what will they bully you into next, Mr. Nordstrom? Mrs. Napolitano, you have taught the Black Bloc that you are so frightened of them that you will stand down your police force and let them do whatever they want. Human Nature 101. They will.

Businesses who engage publicly in politics are apt to find that their customers are just as able, or even more, to engage in politics as well, and take their business elsewhere for a very long time.

This time the Black Bloc and Anarchists have learned that a little breaking of windows, setting fires and scrawling signs on buildings, or destroying banks will get little, if any response—they’ll be back to do even worse. It’s clear that they enjoy creating havoc.

In Seattle, the anarchists turned out to disrupt the World Trade Organization Meeting. They were successful. Now, every time there is something to protest—surprise, there they are again.

In his last hours as president, Barack Obama pardoned 78 federal prisoners and commuted the sentences of 153 others. Most were convicted of drug crimes —selling and trafficking, not being caught with a joint. At least one of them is already back behind bars, being found with a couple of pounds of cocaine. Nice going, Mr. President. Obviously, anyone convicted of a drug crime is convicted because of “racism,” not because of anything they did.

The reason we have laws, courts and prisons is not because we are a bunch of meanies. It’s because the bad behavior of a few hurts ordinary citizens, and we want to prevent more bad behavior, and hopefully teach those who behave badly not to do it again.

Incentives matter—because ordinary people respond to them. Plain human nature.  Wise to keep it in mind.

P.S. Probably not Nordstrom regulars. It’s the rest of us who are.



Human Nature is Fixed, Unchangeable and Immutable by The Elephant's Child

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Every form or progressivism bases itself on the claim of a special, “scientific” knowledge of what is wrong with humanity and how to fix it. The formula is straightforward: the world is not as it should be because society’s basic “structural” feature is ordered badly.

In one version or another it always boils down to the fact that they don’t like human nature. (Why can’t they be more like — Us?) The quotation is from an essay in the current Claremont Review of Books by Angelo Codevilla. Progressives, Communists, Socialists, in all their forms find human nature deeply flawed, and believe that they can fix it. For our current crop, the avenue seems to be “diversity.”

When they have made everybody equal and all neighborhoods are diverse, and schools are diverse and everybody believes exactly the same diverse things, then there will be no more problems like wars, and high crime rates in the cities run by progressives. The administrative state will take care of keeping the diversity diverse.

Christiana Figureres, Secretary General of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, cheerfully admitted not long ago, that they weren’t really interested in saving the Earth from a climate disaster, but that it was their best chance of ridding the world of Capitalism.

Steven Hayward quoted a paragraph from Boston University law professor Gary Lawson, in a 1994 Harvard Law Review article “The Rise and Rise of the Administrative State.”

The [Federal Trade] Commission promulgates substantive rules of conduct. The Commission then considers whether to authorize investigations into whether the Commission’s rules have been violated. If the Commission authorizes an investigation, the investigation is conducted by the Commission, which reports its findings to the Commission. If the Commission thinks that the Commission’s findings warrant an enforcement action, the Commission issues a complaint. The Commission’s complaint that a Commission rule has been violated is then prosecuted by the Commission and adjudicated by the Commission. This Commission adjudication can either take place before the full Commission or before a semi-autonomous Commission administrative law judge. If the Commission chooses to adjudicate before an administrative law judge rather than before the Commission and the decision is adverse to the Commission, the Commission can appeal to the Commission. If the Commission ultimately finds a violation, then, and only then, the affected private party can appeal to an Article III court. But the agency decision, even before the bona fide Article III tribunal, possesses a very strong presumption of correctness on matters both of fact and of law.

Here’s Richard Epstein on “The Perils of Executive Power

One of the most disturbing trends in the United States is the relentless concentration of power in the federal government. Ever since the New Deal, the classical liberal vision of limited government and strong property rights has taken a back seat to a progressive vision of a robust administrative state, dominated by supposed experts, whose powers are largely unimpeded by legal constraints. Wholly apart from Congress, the new administrative state has adopted and enforced its own laws and regulations, and is defined by unilateral actions by the President and other members of the executive branch, all of which threaten the system of checks and balances built into the original constitutional design.

Obama’s agencies push flurry of ‘midnight’ actions

Federal agencies are rushing out a final volley of executive actions in the last two months of Barack Obama’s presidency, despite warnings from Republicans in Congress and the reality that Donald Trump will have the power to erase much of their handiwork after Jan. 20.

Regulations on commodities speculation, air pollution from the oil industry, doctors’ Medicare drug payments and high-skilled immigrant workers are among the rules moving through the pipeline as Obama’s administration grasps at one last chance to cement his legacy. So are regulations tightening states’ oversight of online colleges and protecting funding for Planned Parenthood.

Donald Trump has promised to wipe out as much of Obama’s regulatory agenda as he can, saying he will cancel “all illegal and overreaching executive orders” and eliminate “every wasteful and unnecessary regulation which kills jobs.”

So, there you go.



A Little British Humor: by The Elephant's Child

We’re Supposed to Argue and Fight: We Have Different Principles. by The Elephant's Child

Bruce Thornton has written an essay for the Hoover Institution “In Praise of Polarization.” Certainly complaints about the “polarization” of the electorate are to be heard everywhere. Many decry President Obama’s unfulfilled promise to bring us all together and lessen the dissent.

Norman Ornstein and Thomas E.Mann recently wrote “The partisan and ideological polarization from which we now suffer comes at a time when critical problems cry out for resolution, making for a particularly toxic mix.” The “consensus is clear,” says Thornton, “Problems need solving, but political polarization has paralyzed the government.”

This reflects a misunderstanding of what the founders intended, and a misunderstanding of humanity. Why would anyone think that we are suddenly all going to get along?

Such complaints about polarization reflect a misunderstanding of our political order. What we decry as polarization exists not because politicians are party hacks, but because citizens passionately disagree about fundamental, and sometimes irreconcilable, principles and beliefs that most public policies necessarily reflect. Nor are these conflicts always amenable to compromise, which requires at some level a betrayal or weakening of those beliefs. The conflict over slavery is the obvious example, a dispute that defied every legislative and political “compromise” and ultimately had to be resolved by a bloody civil war. The Civil Rights movement and the disagreement over the war in Vietnam are other examples of “polarization” much more divisive and violent than anything we are experiencing today. In fact, such fierce disputes are as prevalent in American political history as bipartisan compromise. Both are in the DNA of our political system.

I think that the proliferation of words and ideas that flow at us from the radio, TV, the internet, Facebook, Twitter, our iPads and soon our Dick Tracy wrist computers or implants. The Founders had some broadsheets and newspapers, but a Town Crier doesn’t convey the mix with which we are confronted.  I don’t think our brains are any better than theirs were — often I am sure that we have lost a great deal — but we are probably better at multitasking (I have a radio on as I type and read ) but what I gain in quantity, I certainly lack in clarity. At least, I imagine the Founders lives as less cluttered.

All that polarization that everyone worries about so much, is the way it is supposed to be. We have strong principles that aren’t really subject to bipartisan compromise. That’s why they provided us with an electoral process through which we could battle it out until the next time. That’s why we have these conventions —to lay out our ideas and unite over our agreements.

Do read the whole thing, it’s worth your time.

 




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