American Elephants


“Democratic Socialism” Indeed. No, It’s Venezuela by The Elephant's Child

WeThePeople-1250x650

The United States of America is a big messy country, full of wildly diverse opinionated people. The country itself is hugely diverse ranging from desert to mountain splendor. We are a nation built on an idea brought from the religious wars of Europe to form a new nation based on the simple idea of individual freedom.  All men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights the Declaration said, and among those are the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

What other country ever suggested that you should pursue happiness? We have lots of resident cranks who chafe at that and insist that we are getting the “created equal” part all wrong. We should be ensuring that everyone is equal. That’s government’s real job and we should buy you lots of stuff to make you equal.

Nobody promised that you would be equal, just that you could, from birth, strive to be whatever you choose—pursue happiness. We can’t guarantee anyone’s success either. Just pick up your ideas and your energy and see what you can do. Some people get a head start, born to great wealth, and make a colossal mess of the whole thing. Others start with nothing and become fabulously wealthy. The rest of us are somewhere in between.

But those resident cranks, promising to make everybody equal are always more interested in enforcing the equality bit than in actually being equal themselves. They want to be in charge. Oddly they remain unfamiliar with the long dreadful history of socialism, and just insist that those other people just didn’t do it right. Unfortunately those other people turn out to be Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Kim’s North Korea, Castro’s Cuba or Maduro’s Venezuela. Socialism does not work. Ever.

At American Thinker, Monica Showalter asked if Time Magazine, notable for the fake picture of Trump with a crying child ‘ripped from her mother’s arms’ would put a photo of a starving Venezuelan on its cover, too? You need to see the pictures. That’s Venezuela today. Someone should send a copy to “Democratic Socialist” Ocasia Cortez, the new star of the Democratic Party.

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An American Ally Assesses Our President by The Elephant's Child

The Wall Street Journal had a most interesting article titled “An Ally Sizes Up Donald Trump: When he says something consistently, it will happen. And his message is that America will remain a reliable partner, but don’t expect too much.” It’s by Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister of Australia, 2013-2015.  (subscription barrier)

The truth is that the rest of the world needs America much more than America needs us. The U.S. has no threatening neighbors. It’s about as remote from the globe’s trouble spots as is possible to be. It’s richly endowed with resources, including energy and an almost boundless agricultural capacity. Its technology is second to none. Its manufacturing base is vast. Its people are entrepreneurial in their bones. From diversity, it has built unity and an enviable pride in country.

In many respects, America is the world in one country, only a better world than the one outside. If it decided to live in splendid isolation from troubles across the sea, it would lose little and perhaps gain much, at least in the beginning. A fortress America would be as impregnable as any country could be.

 



Carbon Taxes Are Sheer Bunk! by The Elephant's Child

Governors and Legislatures are always tempted by the potential of new taxes. Having more money to do stuff that the people might like is usually a good way to get re-elected.  Of course sometimes people notice that their taxes have gone up sharply and governors and legislators get thrown out of office. It obviously helps if the new taxes are for a noble cause, like feeding the hungry or creating a new transportation system. But the economy is currently humming, and food stamp use has dropped sharply. New transportation systems or bridges or tunnels are always popular. Unfortunately legislators are not skilled planners, nor are governors and such projects seem always to cost millions or billions more than was promised. (See Gov. Jerry Brown’s High Speed Train to Nowhere). Probably most states have had some project that cost catastrophically more than intended.

Another boondoggle popular, particularly among lefties, lately has been a carbon tax. Tax greenhouse gas emissions to save the earth from climate change! Our very own governor Jay Inslee is anxious to pass a carbon tax, the legislature has not obliged, but greenies may have succeeded in putting it on the ballot as an initiative.“Carbon Tax” is a misnomer. It is a tax on greenhouse gas emissions, and would sharply raise the price of energy, which doesn’t just mean gasoline taxes, but would raise the cost of everything. A carbon tax is a tax on prosperity.

Real Clear Energy has published a careful analysis of carbon taxes. “According to a 2014 Heritage Foundation analysis, the creation of a $37-per-ton carbon tax  would lead to a loss of more than $2.5 trillion in aggregate gross domestic product, amounting to $21,000 in lost income per family by 2030.”

In addition a carbon tax would result in a loss of more than 1 million jobs, including 500,000 manufacturing jobs by 2030. And it would be a regressive tax, punishing the relative poor more than wealthier families because the poor spend more of their income on energy and goods for which energy is a key component. But saving the Earth from disastrous climate change? The best evidence suggests that humans are not causing dangerous climate change.

Dangerous climate change seems to exist only in computer models. Almost every testable projection made by computer models has been proven wrong. Sea levels are not rising at an unusual rate. Antarctica ice is growing, not melting. Scientists can show no species that have been lost due to climate change. There are droughts and rainy seasons. Hurricanes continue to cause damage occasionally. Measured temperatures are much lower than the computer models predict. And carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

We breathe in air, use the oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide—every human breath contains about 40,000 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Which if you remember photosynthesis from high school biology, plants use as a natural fertilizer and produce oxygen.  Greenhouses pump in something like 1,000 ppm (parts per million) of CO2 to help their plants grow, and you probably haven’t read of dead nurserymen being found in the world’s greenhouses. The use of fossil fuels has enriched the world, and increased human well-being.

Unfortunately alternative energy has proven to be mostly undependable and useless. The sun goes beneath the horizon each night and doesn’t shine many days. Clouds. Nor does the wind blow at the right speed for the most technologically advanced wind turbines to produce energy reliably. Germany tried to move to wind and solar, and arrived at energy poverty. Now President Trump is correctly blaming them for becoming dependent on gas pipelines from Russia (which could be cut off at any time) at the same time Germany expects us to defend them from Russia.



Does Europe Get Its Due On the World Stage? by The Elephant's Child
July 13, 2018, 8:48 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

The media are full of President Trump’s visit to Europe and to England. They were delighted with the offensive and disrespectful balloon in London, sure that the terrible Trump was going to permanently spoil our relations with the leaders across the pond.

America is a big open country, we hang all our linen out on the clothesline, so to speak, the clean as well as the dirty. Our news appears on the front pages of European newspapers, and our demonstrations on their television. Interestingly, the opposite is not the case. We may hear about big events on the continent, but for the most part, Americans don’t pay much attention. We know that Europe has had an invasion of migrants who cause some trouble, but frankly, we don’t know much about the state of affairs.

Victor Davis Hanson, in his latest essay for the Hoover Institution, clarifies the situation, explaining the big picture. He brings his deep historical knowledge to his evaluation, and it is valuable. Do read the whole thing and save it.

Yet in current foreign policy journals, a constant theme is European leaders who lament that Europe does not get its due on the world stage. Why would that be?

After all, if “Europe” is defined by the membership of the 28-member European Union, then it should easily be the world’s superpower. The European project now has an aggregate population (512 million) that dwarfs that of the United States (326 million). Even its GDP ($20 trillion) is often calibrated as roughly equivalent to or even larger than America’s ($19 trillion).

Historically, European geography has been strategically influential—with windows on the Atlantic, Baltic, and Mediterranean, the ancient maritime nexus of three continents. Rome is the center of Christianity, by far the world’s largest religion. Some of the world’s great nations—Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, and the United States—were birthed as European colonies. Some two billion people speak European languages, including hundreds of millions outside of Europe whose first language is English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French.



Democrats Hark Back to William Shakespeare for Inspiration by The Elephant's Child

Three Representatives in the House (Mark Pocan (D-WI), Pramilla Jayapal (D-WA) and Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) introduced legislation to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) confirmed earlier Thursday that he planned to schedule a vote on the bill.

The three Dems said if a vote comes to the floor, they will vote against it. Republicans were delighted with the opportunity to force Democrats to take a difficult vote. A lot of Democrat voters want ICE abolished because they don’t understand what ICE does and assumes they rip innocent children from their mother’s arms. ( No, that’s the Border Patrol) because they’ve seen the pictures of kids in cages (Those were Obama’s cages, not Trump’s). ICE are the police of immigration. They try to remove the illegals who have committed serious crimes from the country, like those who are sex-trafficking children, committing violence or bringing in drugs.

The GOP lawmakers said Democrats should be willing to show their constituents where they actually stand on the issue.

“Democrats have been trying to make July 4th about abolishing ICE, which is a radical, extreme position that would lead to open borders and undermine America’s national security,” House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) told The Hill. “I think it’s the wrong approach. I think everyone ought to be on record about where they stand on that issue.”

Republicans have blasted the legislation, arguing eliminating the agency would lead to an influx of human and drug trafficking as well as gang violence, and increase the country’s risk of being subjected to an act of terrorism.

I think this is a perfect example of Shakespeare’s idiom in Hamlet “hoist with his own petard” A petard is a small bomb used to blow up gates and walls when breaching the castle walls.

Shakespeare’s phrase, “hoist with his own petard,” is an idiom that means “to be harmed by one’s own plan to harm someone else” or “to fall into one’s own trap”, implying that one could be lifted (blown) upward by one’s own bomb, or in other words, be foiled by one’s own plan.

A little humor is always welcome, especially if it’s actually funny.



President Trump Goes to Brussels. Gets Promises. We’ll See. by The Elephant's Child
July 12, 2018, 9:29 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, and the Democrats immediately fell apart. Terry McAuliffe claimed “the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh will threaten the lives of millions of Americans for decades to come”. DNC Chairman Tom Perez said “[Y]ou better believe that with Brett Kavanaugh on the bench, Roe v. Wade, affordable health care, labor unions, and civil rights will all be on the chopping block.” Well, no. The Supreme Court decides when a case is referred to them, whether it is or is not constitutional.

“Comedienne” Michelle Wolf said “God Bless Abortion” She stated ‘Look, access to abortion is good and important. Some people say abortion is ‘killing a baby.’ It’s not. It’s stopping a baby from happening. It’s like ‘Back to the Future’ and abortion is the DeLorean. And everyone loves DeLoreans.’”

No Michelle, abortion is not stopping a baby from happening. Birth Control is stopping a baby from happening, or abstinence, or not getting drunk, or just saying ‘no’, or keeping your clothes on. Abortion is not women’s health care, and you dumped your right to choose when you chose to get pregnant. But that’s just my opinion.

Then Donald Trump met with the other heads of NATO in Brussels, and suggested that European members were not meeting their own commitments to the defense expenditures supporting the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. President Trump mentioned that Germany was the richest country in Europe, and has just signed on with the Russians (from whom NATO is supposed to protect Europe) for very expensive supplies of Russian gas. And that German dependence on Russian Gas poses a major security threat to the West. It harks back to the time when the Soviet Union saw the growing green movement as the perfect way to undermine their enemies in the free West.

The United States defense spending for the security of the European countries is more than double what all the other NATO members spend, combined, on defense. U.S defense spending accounts for 72% of NATO’s total defense spending.  Click to enlarge.

Yes, we are a bigger and richer country, and can afford to pay more. We are not threatening the survival of the world. There are only five out of 29 countries that have met their commitment. We are paying for their defense, and losing billions on trade as well. NATO pledged to boost defense spending. From journalist Caroline Glick:

NATO was established in 1949. It was the second major organization, after the United Nations, which was formed in the aftermath of World War II. Like the U.N., NATO was envisioned as a means to secure the peace in the post-war era.

To a significant degree, NATO was established because the U.N. was not up to the task. At the outset of World War II, then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt envisioned the establishment of an organization whose goal would be to preserve the peace that would be secured through an Allied victory. Its establishment was agreed to by the key World War II Allies — the U.S., the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of China.

NATO was established because the U.N. was incapable of handling the actual strategic environment dominated by the Cold War. And they were successful, for the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. NATO intervened in the Yugoslavian civil war, twice. Now there is Turkey, increasingly hostile as Erdogan secures his dictatorship. What is lacking in all of NATO’s interventions has been a common sense of strategic purpose. France, Germany and Britain are working through the EU to preserve the Iranian nuclear deal from 2015, which did nothing to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Turkey’s achievement has been in preventing the alliance from moving to combat or defeat  the new common foe of all members but Turkey—radical Islam.

Times change and governments change and a common sense of strategic purpose becomes ever more distant. But no, Democrats. Trump is not attacking NATO, nor dissolving alliances, nor destroying the world. He’s actually doing a pretty good job. Grow up and try to recognize the real problems we face in an ever-changing world.

NATO countries agreed at a summit in Wales in 2014 to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense annually within ten years. Germany is spending 1.2 % of GDP on defense. It is promising to get to 1.5% by 2025. Rich Lowry notes that “the country should have been embarrassed after German troops—Panzergenadierbataillon 371, to be exact—had to use broomsticks instead of guns in a NATO exercise in 2014. But Germany evidently doesn’t embarrass easily.” German is the biggest economy in Europe and 4th largest in the world. Their aircraft have missing spare parts and many can’t fly. Tanks are not battle ready. And broomsticks instead of guns will not do.



The Belief System of the Anointed Explained by The Elephant's Child

Well, all is explained. Daniel Greenfield, real investigative reporter, explains why Trump Derangement Syndrome: More Democrats Believe in UFOs Than America”

58% of Democrats believe in UFOs, but only 32% are proud to be American. Only 37% of Republicans believe in flying saucers, but a full 80% are proud of their country.

Almost twice as many Democrats are willing to believe in being abducted by space aliens than in their country. Hillary Clinton had promised that if elected, she would find out the truth about the little green men and suggested that the planet had already been visited by aliens.

“Maybe we could have, like, a task force to go to Area 51,” she suggested.

The chair of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, John Podesta, an obsessive UFO buff, appeared on an episode of Ancient Aliens which claimed that Hillary Clinton was defeated to suppress the truth about space aliens.




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