American Elephants

Homework, And The Difficulty of Being Human by The Elephant's Child


Here’s my philosophy such as it is. Being human on this earth carries with it all sorts of burdens. A lot of people put a great deal of effort into preparing you to deal with life. Parents, relatives, teachers, coaches, doctors, police, when you reach the age when you are supposed to take care of yourself, learn how to work, begin to contribute – you are supposed to have learned that you have to keep learning, and make an effort to be informed. The world is filled with misinformation and charlatans, dangers and the unexpected. To make the best of things, you have to do your homework.

That means that you may have to read hard stuff, you may have to find out for yourself, find out what  is true, who to believe and who to trust, and you will still get it wrong a good part of the time. The trouble with being an ordinary human being is that everyone else is too. We all have all the flaws and foibles of ordinary humanity, but some have more than others. Families can’t get along, and we often can’t agree with our spouses, or our children. So it is not always easy, and when you get to the contentious parts – like politics, or climate, or football for that matter, you may lose friends and cease influencing anyone.

Marc Morano, host at Climate Depot, has a new book out: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change, (Recommended) An excerpt from the script which was left out of the book has been published at WattsUpWithThat. It’s a look at the true-believers in Climate Doomsday just round the corner, and their rage at the rest of us — for failing to agree with them. You will find it curiously harks back to the election in 2016 and the insanity produced by the Trump victory. Same degree of mental derangement. It’s long, but worth your time for understanding the times we are living through. As I said, doing your homework.

Are You Fed Up? Or Do You Really Want More Information? by The Elephant's Child

Are you completely fed up with the immigrant detention story? Or do you want more clarity? I’m fed up, but keep trying to be sure I understand and can think and write competently about the whole thing.

Daniel Boorstin ( the former Librarian of Congress) wrote a now classic among his many books called The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America, 1961. Steven Hayward called it to mind yesterday. I cannot find my copy, but it’s buried in one of my bookcases. Here’s Hayward:

“Boorstin defines a “pseudo-event” as not merely a fact or real event that happened, but a fact or event that is made into “news” of a certain kind by a deliberate and artificial process. You might think of Boorstin’s analysis as no more than the Deep Theory of Public Relations (or as the first analysis of what we today like to call “fake news”), and many of the examples in the book come from the corporate world. Here is some of his description of the dynamics of a “pseudo-event”—see how many aspects of this you can make out in the present controversy:”

1.  It is not spontaneous, but comes about because someone has planned, planted, or incited it. Typically it is not a train wreck or an earthquake, but an interview. [More on this point in a moment—SH.]

2. It is planted primarily (not always exclusively) for the immediate purpose of being reported or reproduced. Therefore, its occurrence is arranged for the convenience of the reporting or reproducing media. Its success is measured by how widely it is reported. . .

3. Its relation to the underlying reality of the situation is ambiguous. Its interest arises largely from the very ambiguity. . .  Without some of this ambiguity a pseudo-event cannot be very interesting.

Steven Hayward accompanied his article with the shocking photo of an armed federal agent pointing his gun at Elian Gonzalez. That was the Clinton administration.

• Here’s a dandy list of photographs of Obama’s Illegal Immigrant Detention Facilities that the media won’t show you. It’s pretty shocking too.

• From David Harsanyi at The Federalist: “Democrats Have Zero Tolerance For Illegal Immigration Solutions.”

• From American Greatness: “Delusion About Detentions: On Family Separation at the Border.”

• From Quillette: “Zero Tolerance at the Mexican Border.”   Which includes a  graph to show just how many people are locked up in the United States.

• From Daniel Greenfield: “Illegal Aliens Fatally Separate American Parents and Children.”   It’s not just Kate Steinle by a long shot. Way too many children have been ripped from their families by illegal aliens.

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