American Elephants


“We Need Some Muscle Over Here” She Cried! by The Elephant's Child

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You remember Melissa Click, I’m sure.  She was an assistant professor of communication at the University of Missouri in the fall of 2015 when student protests brought the education process to a screeching halt. Screeching was what brought Melissa to national attention when she attempted to stop a student photographer from taking pictures of the protests: “We need some muscle over here” she cried, and the unflattering picture went viral.

The student protests rocked the school, forcing the resignation of the UM System President Wolfe and Chancellor Loftin. And last week the UM Board of Curators fired Professor Click. But it wasn’t really the board that fired her, it was the action of prospective students and their parents, donors, and alumni — all expressing their dismay with their checkbooks.

The University of Missouri announced in fiscal year 2014 that it had set an outstanding fundraising effort of $164.5 million. They were so pleased with their success that they announced a new fundraising campaign “Mizzou: Our Time to Lead,” last October 8, with a goal of raising $1.3 billion by 2020. The campaign began on October 9th.

Mizzou was also the first campus disordered by disruptions last fall. It was homecoming weekend, and protesters blocked the homecoming parade route, blocking the then-president Tim Wolfe’s car to a halt. Then the UM football players announced they would demonstrate their support for a graduate student’s hunger strike by refusing to play another football game until Wolfe resigned. Some graduate students were protesting the school’s ending their health insurance coverage (which the school said was forced by ObamaCare). But the basic cause of the protests seemed to be perceived racism, which may have been a hoax.

In November, both the President and Chancellor were forced from office, and at the same time, the video of Professor Click hit social media. It showed her attempting to grab the journalism student’s camera, and shouting “Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here” Click shouted to the protesters. “I need some muscle over here.” A communication professor’s forgetting the First Amendment rights of a student journalist seemed to be the last straw for the people of Missouri.

In January, it was reported that student applications had dropped 14 applications, or 5 %, and graduate students’ applications plunged 19%. And worse the Columbia campus received a 7 .7 percent drop in high-scoring SAT and ACT applicants, and out of state applications had dropped by 25% from the previous  year. In state annual tuition is $9,433 and out-of-state students pay a full $24,460, a real blow to the school’s budget.

Then last week, UM announced that new pledges and donations in December—the key month for donations — had fallen by $6 million. The UM Board of Curators announced that Professor Click had been fired. She had been on suspension with pay since the end of January. There are questions about her dismissal and due process from FIRE and the AAUP (American Association of University Professors).

The important thing here may be the public rebuke directly from their pocketbooks — which is unmistakable. Will the public backlash  to Mizzou be carried out at other schools as well? What about the effects of outside agitators from earlier protests like Ferguson and Baltimore, from #Black Lives Matter, Acorn, Organizing for America and other groups trained in “community organizing?” Many of the so-called “racist” incidents have turned out to be hoaxes.

And isn’t it interesting that protests spontaneously develop on one campus after another on supposedly unrelated causes. Harvard Law is going to dump its seal, which contains the crest of a 18th century slave owner. Yale president Peter Salovey has promised to “build a more inclusive Yale, one without isolation and hostility.” What seems to me more disturbing is the resignation of presidents and administrators, and their failure to simply send the students home.  It seems that the students with their foolishness are in charge, and how did that happen?

Yesterday, I saved a piece from Reason.com on student activist demands at Western Washington University in Bellingham. WWU students want” an entire academic college dedicated to breeding social justice activists, separate residential safe spaces for racial groups, and a student committee charged with policing offensive speech.” That, I thought, is carrying the political correctness a bit too far. But then today, I couldn’t find where I had saved the piece, and tried Googling it, and quickly got proof that protests are just another regular thing at WWU, and probably safely ignored. It’s easy to get students all fired up, over not much of anything.  It’s not so easy to get administrators to act responsibly.



Obama Admin. Officials Scrubbed 1,000 Individuals From Terrorist Watch List by The Elephant's Child

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Judicial Watch announced today that it had obtained 183 pages of documents from the Department of Homeland Security. The documents reveal that the Obama administration had “scrubbed” the law enforcement agency’s “Terrorist Screening Database” in an effort to be politically correct in order to protect the civil rights of suspected Islamic terrorist groups. There have been charges that the Obama administration created an extensive “hands off” list, and data which was removed could have helped to prevent the San Bernardino terrorist attack.

Judicial Watch had filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)lawsuit filed on February 13, 2015, so it only took a year to pry documents loose. The suit asked for:

1. A copy of the Office of Inspector General for Homeland Security’s report regarding, concerning or related to a “hands off list” purportedly maintained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement) ICE US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) used to allow certain individuals to enter the United States, who had previously been denied entry or been made to undergo secondary screening by CBP based on terrorism connections.

2. Any and all records of communication to or from (DHS) Inspector General Charles Edwards from May 31, 2014 regarding the aforementioned OIG report.

“On May 6, 2014, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) released internal Department of Homeland Security emails revealing an alleged terrorist “hands off” list allowing individuals with potential terrorist ties into the United States. Allegations by former Customs and Border Patrol Officer Philip Haney spurred Senator Grassley’s and other congressional investigations.”

The documents confirm that nearly 1,000 terrorist suspect reports were modified. The DHS Privacy Office and DHS Security Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties “determined that individuals could only be ‘watchlisted’ based on an association with a known or suspected terrorist already ‘watchlisted’…not based on their affiliation with [REDACTED] (or any other [REDACTED] organization.

Senator Grassley previously released emails including a 2012 email chain between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection asking whether to admit an unnamed individual with ties to various terrorist groups. The person was believed to be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and a close associate and supporter of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, according to the email exchange obtained by Grassley’s office.

So, allegations by a former Customs and Border Patrol Officer who risked his career to spur congressional investigations, led to the Judicial Watch lawsuit, and now a major national security scandal.

Judicial Watch’s entire announcement is here. Political Correctness is doing a lot of damage to our country, and as far as I can see, there are no commensurate benefits anywhere.



The Progressive’s Guide to Political Correctness: by The Elephant's Child

George Will must have had fun with this one!



Sexual Assault, Rape, Islam, And Nothing To See Here, Just Move Along. by The Elephant's Child

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The reactions in Europe to the coordinated sexual assaults and rapes on hundreds of women in Cologne, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Berlin and a few other German towns, in Salzburg, and in Finland — deserves our close attention. The media covered it up. The police and town officials made excuses, or simply tried to ignore it. The Cologne police chief got fired, but the mayor has not yet resigned as she should. The cathedral square in Cologne, filled with nightclubs, bars and coffee shops is where locals have seen in the New Year for hundreds of years.

Britain’s Daily Mail reported:

The men, speaking Arabic and seemingly either drunk or high on drugs, moved around in large groups among a gathering of around 1,000 male migrants and deliberately targeted women. The men easily outnumbered the 190 police officers on duty, who were quickly overwhelmed.

In Cologne, 120 women reported assault, 50 women in Hamburg complained to police, in Berlin a tourist was assaulted by 5 men right in front of the Brandenburg Gate. Just a coincidence? Let’s not be totally gullible. The common thread is that the attackers were Mediterranean men of Arabic appearance and an immigrant background.

In Britain, Quadrant magazine reported in October, of Muslim sex gangs described by authorities as “Asian” in Banbury, Birmingham, Blackburn, Bristol, Burnley, Cambridge, Carlisle, Derby, Leeds, London, Manchester, Oldham, Oxford, Peterborough, Preston, Rochdale, Rotherham. Sheffield and Telford. The victims are under-age English girls, and the gangs are Muslim and traffickers. The press and broadcasters go out of their way to avoid any connection between the acts and the central practices of the religion of the malefactors, or even to name that religion. Referring to them as “Asian” is insulting, for Sikh and Hindu Punjabis in Britain do not commit rapes or assault children, but Muslim Punjabis do. The attacks are characteristic only of Muslims.

The Press and police and social workers have mostly been unwilling to to investigate, take action, or disturb ‘community harmony.’ The only common characteristic is the Muslim religion throughout Britain, Australia, Germany, and Scandinavia. In the Muslim communities, the victims did not matter because they were not Muslims.

The real problem is that Muslims believe in their own superiority and supremacy over others. They hate Israel and India because these are lands that they believe are —theirs by right of conquest. Over a millennium ago conquering Muslim armies detached Palestine along with the rest of the Middle East from the Christian world. Likewise the Muslims invaded India, subjugated the Hindus and forcibly converted many of them. Now the Jews have returned to their ancestral land and the Hindus are masters of their own country and “impudent” enough to want to reclaim their own history. According to Muslim doctrine no country that was once under Muslim rule can ever finally escape from it. What is happening in Britain is that the Muslims are fighting out their foreign conflicts on our territory against our Hindus and our Jews, two groups who have made an unparalleled contribution to the prosperity and intellectual life of our society. We have an overriding duty to defend them.

People in public office have a deep resistance to being accused of Islamophobia, or racism or any other offense against the reigning political correctness in our current society. They might be called unpleasant names, lose their jobs, be demoted, have a black mark against their names — or lose an election. How did we get here? I don’t think ordinary Americans care at all about being politically correct, yet our schools and our governments at all levels are obsessed. Is it the finger-pointing of the press?  As far as that goes, why does the press seem to have less and less understanding of events in the world?  Just asking.

ADDENDUM: Breitbart reports that a peaceful protest in Cologne by the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of Europe (PEGIDA) today turned violent as German police turned water cannon against the demonstrators. 143 police officers had been turned out to stop the migrant rape of the previous night, 1500 officers were turned out to stop the anti-rape protest. Elsewhere, protesters were accused by some officials as “racists.” Protecting the establishment by accusing those who protest establishment inaction of being at fault— in other words blaming the victims.

 



It May be Possible that the Majority of College Students Are Not Protesting, But Trying to Learn Something in Difficult Circumstances by The Elephant's Child

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Katie Pavlich reports on a new poll of college students by the Young America’s Foundation and conducted by Inc./Woman Trend which shows that the majority of students reject the absurd microaggression, triggering, politically correct, goofy gender neutral pronouns.

Sixty-two percent of students did not believe that professors should have the right to downgrade students for failing to use “gender inclusive” language like “humankind” in preference to men and women instead of “mankind.” That gets us into the “personholes” in the street instead of “manholes” which proves what silly territory this is. They didn’t go for the use of pronouns like “ze,” “zir,” and “xyr,” either, but not by nearly a large enough majority.

Nearly 7 in 10 students rejected Black Lives Matter. Given recent acts of violence against police officers, the Black Lives Matter movement has cultivated an anti-police culture.

Fifty percent of students prefer smaller government, and twenty percent more prefer free enterprise  than prefer socialism. That’s a little encouraging. Colleges may face a big backlash when parents wake up to what their kids are being taught and what they are paying outlandish fees for.



But Appearances! What Might People Think? What If They Blamed Us? by The Elephant's Child

San-Bernadino-Shooting-AerialTashfeen Malik, who with her husband carried out the massacre in San Bernardino, CA, passed three background checks by U.S. immigration officials as she moved from Pakistan to the United States. She had made many posts on social media about her support for violent jihad. She said she wanted to be part of it. So why…?

It seems, according to a whistleblower’s comments to ABC News that once again, political correctness  has trumped common sense.

Fearing a civil liberties backlash and “bad public relations” for the Obama administration, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson refused in early 2014 to end the secret U.S. policy that prohibited immigration officials from reviewing the social media messages of all foreign citizens applying for U.S. visas, according to a former senior department official.

“During that time period immigration officials were not allowed to use or review social media as part of the screening process,” John Cohen, a former acting under-secretary at DHS for intelligence and analysis. Cohen is now a national security consultant for ABC News.

One current and one former senior counter-terrorism official confirmed Cohen’s account about the refusal of DHS to change its policy about the public social media posts of all foreign applicants.

A DHS spokesman said that a review of the broader policy is underway.

A former senior counter-terrorism official, who participated in the 2014 discussion, said, “Why the State Department and Homeland Security Department have not leveraged the power of social media is beyond me.”

“They felt looking at public postings [of foreign U.S. visa applicants] was an invasion of their privacy,” the official told ABC News. “The arguments being made were, and are still, in bad faith.”

The whistleblower said “It was primarily a question of optics. There were concerns from a privacy and civil liberties perspective that while this was not illegal, that it would be viewed negatively if it was disclosed publicly.”

The obsession with political correctness, social justice, appearances rather than doing the right thing is breathtaking. There is no such thing as “social justice.” There is only one kind of justice which is enumerated in the laws of the United States, the Constitution, the actions of the courts and the laws of the states. How anyone feels about the laws is irrelevant.

Political correctness deals with what other people think. Also irrelevant. The Left is awash in political correctness, and as we have recently seen, so are our colleges and universities. Appearances again refers to how something looks to others. What is missing here is truth, legality, accuracy, dependability, honor, reliability, honesty — that sort of thing.

Conservatives often complain the those on the Left are concerned only with feelings. If you feel that it’s not fair that someone can say things that you disagree with, that someone earning more money than you do just isn’t fair, or that it’s not fair that someone earns only the minimum wage, you’re probably a Leftie. The missing factors, truth, or dependability play out in the Left’s lack of concern for graft, self-enrichment with public money, casual treatment of national secrets, lying to the public, which are common on the Left.  That sort of stuff is not a big deal, or it’s just what everybody does.

I’m pretty big on  the truth, legal and reliable bit. There is a moral dimension to truth and lying which involves the intent to mislead. We act on the information we receive, and the consequences of being misled can be dire indeed. When the president misleads the nation, it is a very big deal. When the Democrats’ anointed nominee is under investigation by the FBI, for putting top-secret documents on her own computer, exposed to any hacker,  is known to be a compulsive liar, and not only lied to the parents of the Americans killed in Benghazi, but then denied the lies she told them — we are deep into the weeds. There’s a reason why the economies of Democrat-run states are in the toilet. Yet such things are not supposed to matter.

If our country is being run on the basis of appearances and political correctness, and we are being misled about it all, we are in very deep trouble indeed.



If You Can’t Call a Terrorist a Terrorist, Just What Can You Call Him? Or Her? by The Elephant's Child

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On November 12, President Obama said ISIS had been “contained.”The very next day ISIS launched a deadly attack in Paris that left 130 people dead. There appears to be a scandal developing within the intelligence community about the suppression of intelligence, or the disregard of intelligence about the rise of ISIS that did not fit the view of the Obama administration. a new report says there’s unprecedented isis mobilization-in-the-us According to Townhall, George Washington University’s Program on Extremism released a report that showed “unprecedented” ISIS related mobilization in the United States.

Seventy-one individuals have been charged with ISIS-related activities since March 2014. Fifty-six have been arrested in 2015 alone, a record number of terrorism-related arrests for any year since 9/11.   […]

The profiles of individuals involved in ISIS-related activities in the U.S. differ widely in race, age, social class, education, and family background. Their motivations are equally diverse and defy easy analysis.    […]

ISIS-related radicalization is by no means limited to social media. While instances of purely web-driven, individual radicalization are numerous, in several cases U.S.-based individuals initially cultivated and later strengthened their interest in ISIS’s narrative through face-to-face relationships. In most cases online and offline dynamics complement one another.The spectrum of U.S.-based sympathizers’ actual involvement with ISIS varies significantly, ranging from those who are merely inspired by its message to those few who reached mid-level leadership positions within the group.     […]

The 71 indictments are merely the tip of the iceberg, as U.S. authorities estimate that the number of individuals linked to ISIS is much larger. Our researchers identified a few dozen individuals with reported ISIS links who have not been charged. Similar to those in the legal system, the “At-Large” cohort have no common profile.

Among them, for example, are three teenage girls from the suburbs of Denver, two Somali-American sisters aged 15 and 17, and their 16-year-old friend of Sudanese descent. The trio lived a normal and comfortable life among their unsuspecting families and peers.

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