American Elephants


Peaceful Protest? Haven’t Seen One Yet. by The Elephant's Child

Well. Take a nation full of cranky people tired of being cooped up by the Covid-19 virus shutdowns, not being able to get what they ordered from the grocery store because other people are apparently hoarding, kids at home going crazy because there is no school, and they are bored, and can’t even go to the park,  college kids home from the universities without summer jobs, everybody pours out into the streets to have a nice peaceful protest.

We know it is a peaceful protest because the media have told us every few minutes that it is a “peaceful protest” as we watch the riots online. You can watch as the “peaceful protesters” beat on the windows of the music shop until it finally gives and they push their way through to reemerge with free brand new guitars which seem to be the most popular instrument. Watch the protesters set Police Cars on fire, looters breaking into every shop that promises to have goods worth stealing, rioters wanting to tear down everything to demonstrate their personal anger, over the death of someone they don’t know. Officials at every level are virtue-signaling like crazy for fear that someone will blame them. They hardly know how to respond to the demands. Abolish the Police Force, Get rid of the mayor. Kill the Pigs!

Sunday has been another day of violence and protests. How much of it is a result of the nation’s college kids home from school, unemployed, confined by the Covid-19 shutdown remains to be seen, but the protesters do seem to be of that general age. Their universities have taught them all sorts of socialist nonsense and they don’t even understand the Constitution, let alone our history. We fought a war over slavery and eliminated it.

Undoubtedly just a coincidence. Minneapolis suffered a lot of damage, buildings burned down, the Third Precinct, home to the police who encountered George Floyd was burned as were many of the adjacent buildings if I understand what I read.

The answer the rioters have come up with is to abolish the police. Just not have police anymore, then we won’t have all this trouble with bad policemen. Brilliant. Why didn’t we think of that before? If we just get rid of the police, then they cannot arrest innocent Blacks and put them in prison. Black lives matter! Easy solution.

The Democrats in Congress are now busy drafting “the most sweeping national police reform bill in  history,” which essentially will give the activists all their little hearts desire. So there you go, what more could you possibly want?

A little crisis going on, and you find out just what your public officials are made of, and it’s not pretty. Pay close attention, for if they behave badly in this situation, you can’t expect much in another and should perhaps look for better representation. The Democrats in the House are determined to demonstrate their outrage too, they might lose some black votes if they don’t.



Have You Heard About “The Equality Act”? by The Elephant's Child

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“While Europeans are accustomed to being ruled by presumed betters whom they distrust, the American people’s realization of being ruled in the same way shocked this country into well-nigh revolutionary attitudes. But only the realization was new. The Ruling Class had sunk deep roots in America decades before 2008.

America’s disease is all the more deadly for being bipartisan. Republican and Democratic office-holders and their retinues share  similar presumption to dominate, and show fewer differences in tastes, habits, opinions, and sources of income among one another than between both and the rest of the country. They think, look, and act as a class, almost a caste.”…

That excerpt comes from Angelo M. Codevilla’s 2010 book The Ruling Class.

In that line of thought, I was interested to learn that last week, Democrats introduced the Equality Act, a measure that would ensure gender ideology – i.e., transgender bathrooms, forced preferred pronoun use, and biological men playing women’s sports, etc. – is cemented into federal law.

H.R. 5, which was introduced with 239 co-sponsors, states its purpose is to “prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and for other purposes.”

Prohibiting discrimination and promoting equality sound virtuous, but many serious opponents — including a coalition of conservatives, feminists, lesbians, and Christians — are warning Americans the Equality Act is dangerous legislation that will do anything but create equality. In fact, the measure would likely force American women throughout the country to relinquish their rights to privacy, safety, and the ability to compete in sports “equally.”

Monica Burke of the Heritage Foundation summed up the likely effects of the Equality Act with the observation at the Daily Signal that “it actually would promote inequality by elevating the ideologies of special-interest groups to the level of protected groups in civil rights law.”

Concurrently, it seems that British Police are investigating a Catholic mother after she used the “wrong pronoun” for a transgender person.  According to the Telegraph, Catholic journalist Caroline Farrow “allegedly used the wrong pronoun when referring to “transgender rights activist Susie Green’s “transgender daughter.” Green filed a complaint with the police. Farrow will face a recorded interview with police to determine whether she committed a “hate crime.” She is also being investigated for a possible hate crime under the malicious communication act, an offense that carries a maximum two-year prison sentence.”

So is this the ultimate denouement of the Democrat’s long, long effort to make the Republicans the “racist” party?  It was Southern Democrats who imported slaves from Africa. It was Southern Democrats who seceded from the union to protect their ‘peculiar institution,’ fought a long and bloody war to preserve slavery. Democrats have been twisting themselves into pretzels to find proof, that anyone would believe, that Donald Trump is a racist.

A ban on travel from a few Middle Eastern Countries that have supported terrorism, they tried to make into a general racist ban on people with slightly darker skin. They’ve tried to make the crisis of illegal immigration at our Southern border into something racist. Everything is now supposed to be about “Diversity” which supposedly means that every group of people must include the correct proportions of skin colors compared to their numbers in society. All group photographs must be correctly diversified. That is not working sufficiently to ease their fears that some blacks might move to the Republican Party. Harvard, for example, is now being sued by Asian students with outstanding SAT scores who are not accepted because it would mean that Harvard had too many Asian students and not the correct “diversity.”

Did you wonder why “white supremacy” has suddenly popped up as a bad thing? It possibly has something to do with Democrat’s fear that they may be losing some of their black voters. There are well known black Republicans. There is a “walk away” movement. Democrats consider themselves the real Ruling Class, and they must be in control. That’s why “white supremacy”, that’s why Trump must be a racist, that’s why opposing open borders must be racist, and why the Democrats introduced the Equality Act last week. If you don’t want to reach the point where you or I might be hauled off to be interrogated by the police for “misgendering” someone as having committed a hate crime, you might want to contact your congresspeople, or urge the President to get out his veto pen.



“Virtue Signaling” Explained and Demonstrated by The Elephant's Child

This new era when everybody is a victim and everybody else has to prove how virtuous they are by emoting with the proper passion is getting remarkably tiresome. Tucker Carlson discusses “virtue signaling” which is one of those recent additions to the lexicon, in this audio from his program. Other than those who are doing the “virtue signaling” I don’t know if anyone is actually impressed.



History Is What Happened In The Past by The Elephant's Child

I have been distressed at the attempts to rename buildings, tear down statues and monuments, and in general to make any history that doesn’t meet today’s more refined sensitivities — just disappear.  One of the greatest problems for historians is that people have often destroyed the evidence that tells us of their times, and they have to guess at what really happened. We live in an age of political correctness, the party line of the day, and the politically correct are trying to expunge any evidence of those in the past who did not agree with today’s notions. Of course, for most it is simply a campus fad that sweeps from one college to another. Protesting is the in thing, and if they can’t find anything else to protest, perhaps the donor of a building once owned a slave so the building should be torn down.

Today we mostly universally agree that slavery is and was a very bad thing, But before somewhere around the mid 18th century, slavery was the norm. Many college students are astonished to find out that slavery existed in other places besides the United States. Because we ended the slave trade, had a great Civil War and freed the slaves and are such an open society the world is familiar with America and slavery. Because of that history present day virtue seekers are anxious to destroy all traces of the Confederacy. New Orleans is currently engaged in a great battle to tear down statues and monuments.

They are wrong. Millions of Americans today have ancestors who fought for the Confederacy.  Two of my great great uncles lost their lives fighting for the Union with Grant, and two lost their lives fighting for the Confederacy, one in the battle around Richmond and the other at Snicker’s Gap. The Southerners were brothers, the Union soldiers were members of families who had established a station of the underground railroad in their meeting house. To be interested in the stars and bars or the Confederate battle flag does not insinuate a fondness for slavery, only an interest in history.

Max Boot, writing at Commentary, approves of the actions of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu in tearing down statues honoring Confederate war heroes. He finds the idea of honoring the losing side of the war disgraceful, and believes that Army bases in the Southern states named after Confederate generals should be renamed.

Historian John Steele Gordon, also writing at Commentary, deeply disagrees. “The Past is a Foreign Country” is his headline, and he says “Subjective and fleeting standards are no way to judge.” I’m with Mr. Gordon. If I am deeply interested in both sides of the Civil War and its effects on the nation, it does not indicate approval or disapproval. The past is what happened. So much of the artifacts of the war were simply destroyed, or thrown away, that what we can know about the war is diminished.

Here is a page from the Smithsonian’s Civil War history that shows the uniform of the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry (Duryee’s Zouaves). Bet that would surprise you. Both sides had volunteer units that adopted Zouave uniforms based on an elite battalion of the French Army in Algiers in the colonial war of the 1830s. Follow the arrows on that page to see some of the other artifacts that the Smithsonian thought important to save.

John Steele Gordon ends his piece with these lines:

The country did a magnificent job of binding up those wounds, as the deeply touching pictures taken at the 50th-anniversary reunion at Gettysburg in 1913 testify. Now some people on their high horses want to pick open those wounds, for no better reason than so they can virtue signal their own moral superiority to those who lived in a different world and a different time.

It’s a disgrace. Historians, especially, should understand the profound truth expressed by L. P. Hartley in the opening line of his masterful novel The Go-Between: “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”




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