American Elephants


President Obama in Paris, Telling Fishy Stories About Alaska. by The Elephant's Child

720x405-R1245_COV_APresident Obama is in Paris, at COP21 the big climate meeting that is the successor to all the other failed climate meetings. Big hype, remarkable rhetoric, promises that will not be kept. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol was a grand plan to save the world, and failed in spectacular fashion. COP21 doesn’t even have such grand ambitions. The commitments, or lack thereof, by the nations have already been submitted and analyzed. The conclusion is that all the nostrums will add up to an effect on climate too small to be measured. All will congratulate themselves for doing something to Save the Earth. And they will make plans for their next big meeting. President Obama’s remarks at the first session included this:

Nearly 200 nations have assembled here this week — a declaration that for all the challenges we face, the growing threat of climate change could define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other.  What should give us hope that this is a turning point, that this is the moment we finally determined we would save our planet, is the fact that our nations share a sense of urgency about this challenge and a growing realization that it is within our power to do something about it.

He claimed that fourteen of the fifteen warmest years on record have occurred sine the year 2000, and 2015 is on pace to be the warmest year of all. Except there has been no net warming for 18 years and 9 months. The sun has gone quiet. NOAA made up temperatures for the vast areas of South America where there are no sources for temperature, and produced readings more agreeable for the president to take to COP21. Obama reported on his trip to Alaska last summer:

This summer, I saw the effects of climate change firsthand in our northernmost state, Alaska, where the sea is already swallowing villages and eroding shorelines; where permafrost thaws and the tundra burns; where glaciers are melting at a pace unprecedented in modern times.  And it was a preview of one possible future — a glimpse of our children’s fate if the climate keeps changing faster than our efforts to address it.  Submerged countries.  Abandoned cities.  Fields that no longer grow.  Political disruptions that trigger new conflict, and even more floods of desperate peoples seeking the sanctuary of nations not their own.

OMG the sea is swallowing villages. The permafrost is thawing and the tundra is on fire. Submerged countries! Abandoned cities! Fields that just don’t grow! More conflict and more people seeking sanctuary!  This is irresponsible nonsense. Visiting Alaska was clearly an unusual experience for Mr. Obama, and I believe I remember his being photographed holding a salmon, gingerly. A bit gullible out there in the Great Alone..

Were you ever out in the Great Alone, when the moon was awful clear,
And the icy mountains hemmed you in with a silence you most could hear;
With only the howl of a timber wolf, and you camped there in the cold,
A half-dead thing in a stark, dead world, clean mad for the muck called gold;
While high overhead, green, yellow and red, the North Lights swept in bars? —
Then you’ve a hunch what the music meant. . . hunger and night and the stars.
That’s Robert Service who was also inspired to flights of fancy in the Alaskan landscape. Here is Obama’s first speech at COP21. It’s worth reading at least part of it to understand the mindset. Never were so many whoppers told by a single head of state quite so publicly.  Embarrassing. Here he is with a small Alaskan salmon, which he didn’t catch himself.
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ADDENDUM: I am mistaken about the burning tundra. Apparently the tundra is usually burning in places. Fires are ignited by lightning strikes, and they smolder on for ages. They are neither caused by global warming, nor encouraged by it. I don’t want to get in trouble with any of my friends in Alaska.


The Real Hard Questions About Syrian Refugees by The Elephant's Child

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The question about Syrian refugees — is not a question of just how much empathy we have, nor is it about whether or not they are actually Syrian and actually refugees. President Obama insists it is all about compassion, and we are a nation of refugees, and rejecting widows and 3 year-old orphans is just not who we are as Americans.

At a moment in history when Paris has just been attacked by jihadists, and the example of supposed Syrian refugees are flooding Europe with the most dire results, we need to think very clearly about just who we are inviting in as refugees. There is, in spite of pious pronouncements from the State Department and Homeland Security, no way for us to screen those who seek admission. There is no effective government in Syria, and Syrian Americans say that one can buy any kind of credential they want or need in Syria if they can  pay for it.

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, writes that it is morally wrong to relocate refugees from the Middle East to the U.S. Welcoming refugees is not about making us feel good. The five year cost of resettling a single Middle Eastern refugee in the United States is conservatively estimated to be more than $64,000, compared with UN figures that indicate it costs about $5,300 to provide for that same refugee for five years in his native region.

In other words, each refugee we bring to the U.S. means that eleven others are not being helped with that amount of money. Mr. Krikorian uses the analogy of sending a luxurious one-man boat rather than twelve life jackets. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)  reports a $2.5 billion shortfall in caring for Syrian refugees in the Middle East. The five-year cost of resettling just 39,000 Syrians in the U.S. would erase the entire current UNHCR shortfall.

Europe has cut a deal with Turkey regarding refugees. Turkey will shelter more Middle Eastern refugees within its own borders so fewer of the will head for other European countries. Turkey, in return for tightening its border control, will get several billion dollars from the EU, and assistance in Turkey’s efforts to join the coalition of 28 countries. President Obama  wants to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees next year and every year thereafter. He says a “robust vetting process” will be in place. The State Department and Homeland Security obediently agree.

When questions about refugees from the Middle East arise, the word “Islamophobia”also arises. If you worry or object to a 10,000 yearly influx of refugees in perpetuity, you are Islamophobic and a bad person. Americans (excluding the college faculty) feel pretty strongly about free speech, even if college kids don’t understand. The kids are currently up in arms about words that might give offense. If they were properly taught, they would understand that a government that can put you in the gulag, or execute you for something you said—means that you are no longer free. You have no freedom at all. You are totally subject to the will of a bureaucrat who does not have your best interests at heart.

A little history should teach that is the rule in North Korea, was the rule in Stalin’s Russia, and in China, and in dozens of other socialist countries. In the Moslem religion, words that can be construed as insulting or denigrating the prophet get the death penalty. American college campuses have become a hotbed of politically correct speech. Kids have been driven out of school, their future ruined because someone took offense at something they said that  someone else considered politically incorrect. Here in America we have the First Amendment to the Constitution that protects your right to free speech. The amendment is always under attack from those who are ignorant of its meaning and those who have a wish to become tyrants and rule.

And there’s the rub. Sharia is classical Islam’s societal framework and legal code. “It involves the organization of the state, comprehensive regulation of economic and social life, rules of military engagement, and the imposition of a draconian criminal code.” This is from Andy McCarthy.  “Unlike the Judeo-Christian principles that informed America’s founding, classical sharia does not abide a separation of spiritual from civic and political life. Therefore, to rationalize on religious-liberty grounds our conscious avoidance of Islamist ideology is to miss its thoroughgoing anti-constitutionalism.”

“Sharia rejects the touchstone of American democracy: the belief that the people have a right to govern themselves and chart their own destiny. In sharia governance, the people are subjects not citizens, and they are powerless to question, much less to change, Allah’s law. Sharia systematically discriminates against women and non-Muslims. It is brutal in its treatment of apostates and homosexuals. It denies freedom of conscience, free expression property rights, economic liberty, and due process of law. It licenses wars of aggression against infidels for the purpose of establishing sharia as the law of the land.”

“Sharia is also heavily favored by Muslims in majority-Muslim countries. Polling consistently tells us that upwards of two-thirds of Muslims in the countries from which we are accepting refugees believe sharia should be the governing system.” Islam stands for submission. You must submit.

To the extent to which we are screening refugees, we are screening for terrorism, not adherence to sharia. We are not only vetting for the wrong thing, “we are ignoring the dynamics of jihadism.” The question is really “are we admitting Muslims who are apt to become violent jihadists after they settle here? (See Boston Marathon)

This is not meant to be alarming, but to approach the matter honestly. If people are worried, this is why. These are serious questions, and the administration is not interested in giving serious answers,  but in slandering those who dare to ask, because they want their way. Muslims are said to be reliable Democratic voters.

For Further Reading:

“Refugee Resettlement Is Immoral,”Mark Krikorian, National Review

“The Controversy over Syrian Refugees Misses the Question We Should Be Asking” Andy McCarthy, National Review

“Je suis…qui?”Charles C.W. Cooke, National Review: A visit to the Banlieues and Muslim immigrants in France.

The photo at the top is from Dabiq, the Islamic State magazine, of Syrian Refugees leaving for Europe.




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