American Elephants

Dreams of the Great Air Battles of the Past. by The Elephant's Child
July 29, 2010, 9:30 pm
Filed under: Freedom, History, Military, Sports | Tags: , ,

This strange meeting of two generations took place in New Zealand in 2004.  A meeting of the most famous weapons from World War I and World War II:  A Sopwith Camel and a Spitfire, the latter flying almost at stall speed to keep in formation with the old timer.

“Real men don’t build ships in a bottle for a hobby.  Real Men get fools to remove the wheel chocks on the Sopwith Camel they built and then fly around with a Supermarine Spitfire.”

(h/t: The Borderline Sociopathic Blog for Boys)

Seventy-Six Million Americans: The Baby Boom Generation. by The Elephant's Child
July 29, 2010, 9:13 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, History, Politics | Tags: , ,

Today’s senior citizens often speak about “the War.” Younger generations may wonder “Which one?” but for the older generation, there is only one that is “the War”.  It changed everything, and after VE Day and VJ Day, when they all came home, no one had any idea how much change was yet to come.

After “the War,” returning veterans flocked to America’s colleges and universities to take advantage of the GI Bill, one of America’s better ideas.  It made it possible for the young men who had given so much, and lost so many friends in the war, to go to college on the taxpayer’s dime. And they signed up and they married the girl they had left behind, and off they went.

Colleges and Universities were unprepared.  Barracks and Quonset huts became dormitories and housing for married students.  Cartoons in the New Yorker showed graduating classes of masses of young men, and on the sidelines, the chairs were filled with young women — each with a baby in her lap or in an adjacent buggy. The United States had a population of 140 million, soon to expand in a generation that changed America, and is still changing it.

In February of 1946 , exactly 9 months after VJ Day, there were 206,387 babies born in the United States.  In May, there were 233,452 babies, in June the number had swelled to 242,302.  In October births had spurted to 339,499.  An all-time high of 3.4 million babies had been born in the United States — one every nine seconds.  In 1947, 3.8 million babies were born.

Demographers were unimpressed.  The rise in births was sudden…but a classic case of satisfying pent-up demand. …In 1946, the Census bureau director said that the U.S. population would  not reach 163 million until the year 2000.¹

In eleven straight years from 1954 through 1964 there were more than 4 million babies born each year.  By 1964, four out of every ten people in the United States were under 20 and there were more children under 14 than there had been people in the entire nation in 1881.

They grew up on steak and milk and Wonder Bread that made strong bones and good teeth.  Advertisers quickly discovered that American mothers had created the biggest market in history, and from that moment on the boomers were surrounded with products created just for them.  There were Slinkys and Silly Putty, skateboards and hula hoops.  They grew up with bomb shelters and the knowledge that their world could someday end in a flash of light and heat.  They revolutionized everything they touched.

Car companies churned out station wagons, developers built Levittown,  housing tracts sprang up all over the country, with fenced back yards and patios for the barbecue and cul-de-sacs where the kids could ride their bikes in safety.  Malvinia Reynolds wrote a song about “little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky” when she saw the sprawl of suburban houses in Daly City, California that “all look just the same.”

The country has been dominated by the baby boom ever since 1946.  There were simply so many boomers that what they did and thought and bought influenced everything.    There was rock music and there were protests, assassinations, Vietnam, flower children.  Businesses who catered to the tastes of the boomers grew and succeeded.  Journalists who wrote stories about the boomers always had an audience.  But they were also the over-crowded generation, standing in line for school, for lunch, for concerts.

And now the first boomers are turning 65 next year, eligible for Social Security and Medicare, and the numbers of seniors will increase exponentially until 2026.  This is the problem unaddressed by the stimulus bill,  ignored by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, by Barack Obama, by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and untouched by any other bill drummed up in the back rooms of Congress, or in the White House.

Citizens alarmed by the profligate spending by Democrats are indicating in the polls that the upcoming election will be a difficult one for Democrats.  Democrats have fiercely resisted any effort to reform entitlements.  Claiming that Republicans will take away old folks Social Security and Medicare may gain them some votes from credulous senior citizens, but we have run out of time.  Reform is possible that will not harm those who depend on these programs. The problem will not go away, it must be faced.  Pretending otherwise is a recipe for real disaster.

¹Landon Y. Jones: Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom Generation.

The Upcoming Publication of Radical-In-Chief. by The Elephant's Child
July 29, 2010, 6:30 am
Filed under: Capitalism, Freedom, Politics, Socialism | Tags: , ,

Nearly two years into Barack Obama’s term as president, people are still trying to figure out just who he is, and what his beliefs are.  He is unusually controlled and reveals little of himself.  It’s not like labels like “radical” and “socialist” have not been thrown around.  But I’m not sure how much meaning people attach to those labels anymore.

The schools don’t teach about Nazism, Fascism, Communism and Socialism.  Thirty-year-olds have no personal memory of Communism,  for they were only 9 when the Berlin Wall fell  in 1989.

Leftists have tried to label Hitler’s Germany as a “right-wing” government although Nazi is an acronym for National Socialism, and in many ways was indistinguishable from Communism.  Socialism never works.  Wherever it is tried — it fails. The radical dreams never work out.  The examples of the Great Famine in Russia, and the Gulag; China’s Great Leap Forward, and the laogai; Korea; Vietnam; Cambodia’s killing fields;  East Germany; Eastern Europe; Cuba; and now Venezuela.  I only include the specially bad examples here, but the left never learns.

Stanley Kurtz is a serious and careful scholar who researched Barack Obama’s associations with Bill Ayres of Weathermen Days, and with ACORN, so carefully during the last presidential campaign.  He now has a new political biography of President Obama.  It will be published on October 19, by Simon and Schuster.  Here is the information from the press release.

Part biography, part history, part detective story, RADICAL-IN-CHIEF reveals the carefully hidden tale of Barack Obama’s political past.  Stanley Kurtz, whose research helped inject the Bill Ayers and ACORN issues into the 2008 presidential campaign, presents the results of more than two years of digging into President Obama’s radical political world.  The book is filled with previously unknown information about the president’s past, tied together by a bold argument about what Obama’s deepest political convictions really are.

RADICAL-IN-CHIEF marshals a wide array of never-before-seen evidence to establish that the president of the United States is indeed a socialist.  Tracing an unbroken thread of socialist activities and political partnerships, from Obama’s youth through his community organizing days and beyond, the book confirms that the president’s harshest critics have been right about his socialism all along.

RADICAL-IN-CHIEF also exposes the truth about community organizers–the socialist beliefs they hold and hide, and how they trained and groomed a president.  Obama’s community organizer colleagues had a strategy for slowly and stealthily turning the United States into a socialist nation.  The Obama administration is carrying out that strategy today.

This book will forever change our national debate about who Barack Obama is.

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