American Elephants


Is Google Being Run by Human Resources? by The Elephant's Child

We seem to have a society being run by the Human Resources Department. At least that’s what the flap at Google appears to be about. Diversity and inclusion. But just what is diversity, and why is it important? It clearly is the correct mix of skin color and ethnic origins, and gender too, of course. More complicated now as we seem to have increasing numbers of possible genders, since gender is no longer attached to your natal distinction, but rather to what you feel like today.

Does the number of skin colors have to match the skin colors of the world, or only the country or the city in which you operate? And, for example, if you have Asians represented, is that enough or do you need each Asian country represented? There aren’t all that many Mongolians in our country. But what does any of this have to do with skills, and abilities, information, education, personality, politics, temperament and the ability to do the job required? When you start actually having to explain the meaning of diversity, it all begins to fall apart.

Victor Davis Hanson’s column “The Problem of Competitive Victimhood” gets right to the heart of the matter.

Many working-class voters left the Democratic Party and voted for a billionaire reality-TV star in 2016 because he promised jobs and economic growth first, a new sense of united Americanism second, and an end to politically correct ethnic tribalism third. …

Recent scholarly studies, here and abroad, have found that the aggressive effort to win government preferences for particular ethnic and religious minorities descends into “competitive victimhood.” In other words, such groups battle each other even more than they battle the majority.

After all, who can calibrate necessary government set-asides and reparations for a century and a half of slavery, for ill-treatment of Native Americans, and for descendants of victims of the Asian immigration exclusionary laws, of segregation, of the unconstitutional repression of German citizens during World War I and of Japanese-American internment during World War II?

In another paradox, immigrants came to and stayed in America because they saw it as preferable to their abandoned homelands. Romanticizing a forsaken culture that one has already decided offered far less opportunity and security than America is incoherent.

Democrats have largely pinned their hopes on competitive victimhood. Nancy Pelosi is fundraising on “Trump’s Immoral Border Wall.” It seems that protecting our border is immoral. Sanctuary City Portland was attempting to prevent ICE from deporting the illegal immigrant accused of raping a 65 year old woman after being previously deported something like 20 times. He stole her car as well. Others attack little kids of 10 or 12. Sanctuary Cities attract illegals. Leftists want the extra population when it’s time for the census, which will get them another representative in Congress. Concern for the victims doesn’t measure up to political needs.

So diversity seems to be one of those noble goals — stamping out prejudice, and all that — that doesn’t hold up to closer inspection. It’s just another round of politically correct nonsense.  Sounds good on a list of goals for Human Resources though.

 

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Who Voted For Donald Trump Anyway? by The Elephant's Child

construction-worker-hard-hatFirst it was Hillary with her sneering reference to “the Deplorables,” then others began to speak of the “uneducated white working class.” Almost sounds like the old line about “poor white trash.” So who did vote for Trump? The media has insisted that it’s people who worked in dying industries and have lost their jobs. Both Bill and Hillary actually expressed their contempt for coal miners— on the stump. The media talks about manufacturing jobs that are ending and will never come back.

On October 20, 2008, Senator Barack Obama declared “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” President Obama set about fundamental transformation. First they transformed key institutions, shifting power from the people’s sovereignty, ignoring the Constitution and separation of powers, to a centralized administrative state, where an elite exercised executive, legislative and judicial powers without the consent of the people or their elected representatives. The progressive worldview bases its civic morality on the centrality of ascribed group identity and group consciousness, particularly race, ethnicity, and gender. Group interests get priority. Professor John Marini  writes:

The new, transformed civic morality of the progressive narrative also divides Americans between dominant or “oppressor” groups—whites, males, native-born, Christians, heterosexuals—and victim or “oppressed” groups—racial, ethnic, and linguistic minorities; women; LGBT individuals, and “undocumented” immigrants. Progressive politics doesn’t seek the national interest or the common good. Its purpose is to promote “marginalized” or “oppressed” groups against “dominant” or “oppressor” groups.

“This strategy,” Marini notes “requires the systematic mobilization of animosity.” Progressive identity politics, camouflaged under the rubric of “diversity,” is “a new kind of civil religion,” he says. Its enforcement takes the form of political correctness, carried out by the administrative state and private sector bureaucrats and activists within those institutions of a politicized civil society progressives have captured, which includes the media, universities, schools, major corporations, and even, apparently, professional athletic associations.

Global concerns come before national interests. American sovereignty should be surrendered to supranational authority, like UN treaties on the environment, children’s rights and the laws of war. Hillary promised her first 100 days would look for legislation to provide work permits for millions of border crossers and amnesty legislation. She supported all of Obama’s executive orders and plans to bypass Congress just like Obama did. Who could object to that?

Not just out-of-work uneducated working class. How about policemen who have seen their fellows gunned down by Black Lives Matter Marxists? Firemen, small businessmen whose businesses have been ruined with foolish regulation. Three of my favorite small businesses have disappeared. Hairdressers, crane operators, plumbers and electricians, landscaping contractors, builders, insurance salesmen. There are folks who found out they couldn’t keep their doctor, and the big jumps in cost for ObamaCare voided a lot of Obama promises. How about soldiers who returned from securing Iraq to see Obama waste their efforts and the efforts of their friends who did not make it back, by failing to secure the peace. Or veterans who, seeking medical help from the VA, found themselves unable to get a timely appointment or who saw friends die while on a wait list.

The list of people whose lives and occupations have been directly affected by blundering, backward, progressive ideas is long and growing, and not really accurately described by terms such as “the deplorables” or “uneducated  white working class.” The media is inclined to latch on to convenient catch-phrases, shorthand for people of whom they disapprove, add in political correctness and a goodly supply of empathy to show how caring they are, and you have our current journalism.

The media was shocked when Mr. Trump called in the leaders of the major news organizations to bawl them out for their campaign coverage.  The media executives agreed that the meeting would be off-the-record, and promptly described the event to the rest of the media. Reporters were shocked, but the people cheered. The underlying assumption from progressives and pundits was that “Trump’s voters were angry because the government was not doing enough for them, not that it was doing too much to them.” Big difference and big and important lack of understanding.

So the progressives continue to indulge their fury that Hillary, for whom they may or may not have voted, didn’t win and Trump did. Democrats are attacking Electoral College electors who are not committed by law — with death threats. Jill Stein, who attracted a teeny percentage of the vote, is attempting to lead a demand for a recount, though why she would have standing is a question.

The Left has frequently behaved badly when they have lost elections, but this year they seem to have exceeded all bounds. Democrats haven’t behaved this badly since Republicans told them they couldn’t own slaves any more.



Getting Straight Talk Out of Our “Elites” Has Become an Impossible Task. by The Elephant's Child

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Bombs in New York and New Jersey, stabbings in a mall in Saint Cloud, Michigan. President Obama urged us not to go assuming it was terrorism and getting ahead of the police, but to allow them to search for answers. The American people, on the other hand, do not assume that bombs that injure 29 people in an upscale part of Manhattan and a railroad station in Elizabeth, New Jersey are just a curious event that could be anything — a birthday party joke, some new computer game with loud bangs.

New York Governor Andrew Como said on Sunday morning that it was “obviously an act of terrorism,” though so far there was no evidence of an international terrorist connection. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio got as far as calling it an “intentional act.” ISIS promptly claimed credit. Hillary got into accusing Trump of being provacative for saying “bombing,” though she’d just said it herself.

Only 2 days later, while the police are still efficiently figuring it all out,  arresting the bomber, and the slasher has been killed, Obama will lead a special summit on the need to take in more Syrian refugees. The FBI has politely said that it cannot vet every single refugee, which rephrased slightly, says they cannot vet any. To clear everything up, President Obama’s spokesman, Josh Earnest, earnestly explained that the U.S. is in a fight with the Islamic State, but it is a fight of words — not arms. “When it comes to ISIL, we are in a fight — a narrative fight with them.” A narrative battle, so the problem is just getting the correct words? No wonder nobody can say “terrorism” except ISIS.

If you wonder why Americans are so totally fed up, so angry, you just have to reread that narrative. The people call it ISIS, but the president insists on “ISIL.” Under the headline “The Mulish Stupidity of Clinton-Obama Counterterrorism” Andy McCarthy wrote:

Perhaps the only thing more sadly hilarious than watching the political class tie itself in knots over whether a bomb should be called a “bomb” and whether a terrorist attack should be called a “terrorist attack” is Clinton’s claim that ISIS is rooting for Trump to be elected president. Newsflash: Jihadists don’t give a flying fatwa who wins American elections, or even whether there are American elections.

Islamic supremacists and their jihadist front lines are in the business of killing Americans and supplanting our constitutional republic with sharia. To claim that they care about our elections is to exhibit ignorance about who they are, who they think we are, and what they seek to achieve.

ISIS has told us quite clearly why they hate us and why they fight us. Do you suppose Mr. Obama missed the message? Do they think they are fooling us with their careful language? Mulish Stupidity indeed.

The Department of Homeland Security admits “mistakenly” granting citizenship to 858 immigrants from countries of concern to National Security.” These are our “elites,” who find it amusing when their champion, Hillary Clinton, calls us “the deplorables.” The same woman who in a commercial I hear several times daily says “We want an America where everyone is treated with respect.” The deplorables?  She also says that “Donald Trump is running a campaign based on insults.”  “The deplorables” — there you go.

What our President fails to understand is that his legacy, which he is working so hard to enhance, will be composed of the death-count of American lives lost as a direct result of his policies. As of October 2015, an estimated 75 percent of all the military deaths and about 90 percent of the injuries linked to the ongoing war in Afghanistan have occurred under President Obama’s watch. Refusing to recognize acts of terrorism, and engaging in a battle of  “narratives” instead, has consequences.  That will be his legacy.



Where Did Political Correctness Come From? by The Elephant's Child

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The term “political correctness” seems to have originated with Trotsky to describe the early Bolsheviks who were forced to adapt to constantly changing “correct” modes of Soviet political thought and it was later picked up by Mao, among others. Today it is the Unholy Left’s counter-narrative, a fascism of the mind meant to discourage independent thought and encourage lazy sloganeering: in other words, a political tool that has nothing to do with “morality,” “tolerance,” “diversity,” or “the arc of history.” It is simply evil. But to say it is a very great evil is to underestimate it. It goes against liberty in all her forms, which is precisely its object, although it cloaks itself in the folds of another bogus virtue, compassion. …

Subduing the freedom of speech is precisely the goal of the Jacobins of the Unholy Left, who cannot countenance any thought unmoored from policy prescriptions or social goals. Over the past few decades, they have waged a war, at first covert and now overt, on the First Amendment, trammeling it wherever they can: in campus “speech codes,” for example, or in social ostracism should a hapless renegade wander off the reservation and accidentally speak his mind.

Political correctness, for all its notoriety, has not received the full scrutiny it deserves, in part, because like everything else the Marxists touch, it wears a tarnhelm, a magic helmet—in this case, of kindness, politesse, and sheer righteousness. Busily formulating new lists of what can and cannot be said (lest it offend somebody, somewhere, either now or at some future date), and always in light of the Critical Theory imperative to be perpetually on the attack, political correctness’s commissars resemble no one more than Dickens’ implacable Madame Defarge in A Tale of Two Cities, clicking her knitting needles as heads roll into baskets.  Common words, common terms, even the names of venerable sports franchises come under fire as they march ever forward toward the sunny uplands of perfect totalitarian utopia.

From The Devil’s Pleasure Palace by Michael Walsh

 



Fighting Back Against Political Correctness: by The Elephant's Child

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Here is the most important article you will read this week, or for many weeks. Daniel Greenfield takes on the Republican Party and Political Correctness in a piece titled FIGHTING POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IN THE AGE OF TRUMP: Republicans must stand up to political correctness or lose”

When the left exploited the Charleston church shooting to begin a purge of Confederate flags that extended all the way into reruns of the Dukes of Hazzard, Republicans failed to defy the lynch mobs and even cheered the takedowns, some of which took place under Republican governors, as progress. Congresswoman Candice Miller, a Republican, announced recently that state flags in the Capitol featuring confederate insignia will be taken down due to the “controversy surrounding Confederate imagery”. The “controversy” is another term for the left’s manufactured political correctness.

There are legitimate positions on both sides when it comes to the Confederate flag, but the historical debate is not the issue. Just as it doesn’t matter very much that Harriet Tubman was a Republican. It matters far more that both moves were driven by the social media mobs of political correctness.

Culture wars are not about actual historical facts, but a tribal conflict over culture between clashing groups. This is a conflict in which it mattered a great deal that northeastern elites were lining up to get $400 tickets to see Hamilton, a hip-hop musical praised by many of the same Republicans who wouldn’t be caught dead watching reruns of the Dukes of Hazzard. That New York theater trend led to Southerner Andrew Jackson being displaced on the currency instead of New York’s own Alexander Hamilton.

We have always opposed political correctness, but also laughed at it as, well, stupid.  Our mistake. It is a serious matter.

This is not a battle over facts. It’s a cultural struggle over process. Political correctness is not actually a debate about the events of a past century, but about whether political and economic power should also translate into a cultural dominance so pervasive that it can reach out and strangle everything it dislikes.

Follow the link and read the whole thing. Print it out and read it again, and consider sharing it with your friends and family. You have noticed the attacks on free speech, the bizarre hatred for courses in Western Civilization, the insistence that “black lives matter,” but saying “all lives matter” will get you attacked.

While we are sneering at the latest PC, our freedom of speech is being attacked once again. One of the latest politically correct attacks is that of the attorneys general of a number of states attempting to get massive recompense from ExxonMobil under the RICO laws for denying that climate change is dangerous and life-threatening. Monuments and statues are being removed because the historical figures portrayed had views which we do not approve of today—the very history of our nation is being changed before our eyes. It is silly, but an exercise of power and control.

Add Daniel Greenfield to your personal list of must-read writers. He can be found at www.frontpagemag.com and at www.sultanknish.blogspot.com. “Political correctness isn’t just about politics. It’s about power. It’s about who has it and who doesn’t.”



Target Succumbed to the PC Wars And is Paying a Price. by The Elephant's Child

mrz042816_color-640x360Target announced in the last weeks of April that “transgender customers at its stores are welcome to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, the latest corporate reaction to a wave of legislation seen by critics as anti-LGBT.

“We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity,” the retailer said. “Everyone deserves to feel like they belong.”

More than a million consumers have pledged to boycott the retail giant after they announced an “inclusive” policy allowing customers to choose their own identity, and use the facilities of their choice. Their stock price has dropped from an opening price per share of $83.50 on April 19 to today’s $79.71.

Target is attempting to protect the feelings of an approximate 0.2% to 0.3% of the population who are psychologically troubled compared to women and girls who make up roughly one half of the American population, and an even larger percentage of Target customers. There have always been stray males who find some kind of excitement in getting into women’s bathrooms and/or fitting rooms. Children and young girls particularly need protection.  The Federalist listed some of Target’s errors:

  1. Single-Sex Bathrooms Weren’t Discriminatory Yesterday
  2. Target is Solving No Real Problem
  3. Some Men Will Exploit This Policy to Cruise Women’s Restrooms
  4. Target is Risking its Primary Clientele
  5. Gender Identity is Subjective

Gender dysphoria is closely related to other dysphorias like anorexia, which killed Karen Carpenter, bodily dysphoria which leaves sufferers believing that one of their arms or legs should not be there.

There is the case of a man who believed that he really was a cat, and had tattoos, piercings and surgery to get his desired look, another became a devil with horns. It is a psychological problem from which some sufferers eventually recover, or are helped with medical care. To turn it into another weapon in the feminists’ gender wars is deeply unfortunate and unfair to those who suffer. It is clearly not a matter of “choosing one’s identity.” Anorexia is not a joke, and sufferers may die unnecessarily without care.

ADDENDUM: Frisco TX police are seeking the public’s help in identifying a man who was peering over the wall of the changing room and taking cellphone pictures of her. The girl told her parents and Target employees, but the man had already left the store.

ADDENDUM II: thinkprogress: “No, Transgender Protections do Not Justify Men in Women’s Restrooms. A State Agency Just Said So.”

ADDENDUM III: Attorney John Hinderaker takes on the politicization of the Justice Department in general, and the Obama Justice Department’s “Insane Attack of North Carolina” in the bathroom and  locker room matter, in particular.



“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.




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