American Elephants


Explaining the Trump Derangement Syndrome:

All is explained. Or at least a goodly part of all. Economist Mark Perry refers us to an article by Jeffrey A. Tucker last May in FEE. All good things eventually become clear, but the path may be a little tangled. Dr. Perry offers a condensed version:

For the center-left crowd, all their hopes and dreams are bound up with particular political processes, outcomes, and institutions. The state is their favorite tool for all the good they aspire to do in this world. It must be protected, guarded, defended, and celebrated. The illusion that the government is not a taker but a giver and the source of all good things must be maintained. The gloss of the democratic process must be constantly refurbished so that the essential sanctity of the public sector can be constantly cited as the highest calling.

The center-left has at least one hundred years of work and resources invested in the state’s health, well-being, reputation, and exalted moral status. Nothing must be allowed to threaten it or take it down a peg or two. Any failures must be deemed as temporary setbacks. The slightest sign of some success must be trumpeted constantly. The population must be subjected to unrelenting homilies on the essential holiness of the public sector.

They believe so strongly that they can make the world a better place through the managerial state that it has become their religion. It’s their very core! The president is supposed to at least pretend to be the high priest of the statist religion. That’s his job, according to this outlook.

Everything seemed to being going so well under the Obama administration, which was so earnest, so decorous, so civil. He was funny, smart, respectful of process, and sincere in his pronouncements. He ran on hope and change but governed as the person who kept hope for a new freedom and any radical change at bay.

Trump has profoundly disturbed the balance(click here for the rest)

We keep wondering just what spurs the Trump Derangement Syndrome. This is not a bad diagnosis.

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“Climate Change” Will No Longer be a National Security Threat


The Trump administration will reverse course from the Obama administration policy which considered climate change a national security threat. The new National Security Strategy to be released on Monday will balance the idea of energy security with economic development and environmental protection.

“U.S. leadership is indispensable to countering an anti-growth, energy agenda that is detrimental to U.S. economic and energy security interests. Given future global energy demand, much of the developing world will require fossil fuels, as well as other forms of energy, to power their economies and lift their people out of poverty.” a draft of the National Security Strategy said.

President Obama made climate change, and the burdensome regulations that accompany its focus, a primary focus of his administration, including in his National Security Strategy released in 2015. “[W]e are working toward an ambitious new global climate change agreement to shape standards for prevention, preparedness, and response over the next decade,” that report said.

Here’s what the National Security Strategy said in 2010, when “climate change” first made its appearance in national security planning.

nss-2010-climate

John Holdren, who was Obama’s Science Advisor, had long been fearful of man’s effect upon the planet. He was deeply concerned about overpopulation earlier, and when climate change emerged as a potential problem, he adopted that concern as well, and passed it on to Obama.

The Navy and Coast Guard can go back to their ordinary responsibilities. And the rest of us can go back to worrying about the chemicals in our food and whether our cell phones will give us brain cancer.



Victor Davis Hanson “The Second World Wars”, Part 2
December 13, 2017, 6:43 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

Here’s the second interview with Victor Davis Hanson on his new history of “The Second World Wars.” The first is here.   That “S” on Wars is quite deliberate. The men fighting on Guadalcanal had little in common with the tankers at el- Alamein or those in Burma or in the hedgerows of Normandy. A great gift for any military man or history buff. And even some women have actually enjoyed studying  history.



The Trump Jobs Boom is Real

There were 228,000 jobs created in November. Joblessness is at a 17 year low of 4.1% and wages are going up. President Trump’s focus on tax cuts and deregulation is very good for the job market. It’s the strongest it’s been since 2000. The number of people employed is up by 1.87 million. Up for minorities, up for women, men and low-income folks. The only group that is doing notably worse is—teenagers.

It’s not hard to figure that one out. There have been significant minimum wage hikes around the country. Hiring a teenager means that you have to train someone in how to work, how to work at that job, how to relate to customers, how to make change, all the little tasks that make up most entry-level jobs,

Unions were out marching a while back with their signs: “Fight for Fifteen”. The Seattle area was a demonstration venue. The city of SeaTac (the Seattle Tacoma Airport) has lots of motels, restaurants, hotels, fast food places. They voted for a $15 minimum wage. Hotel maids got their $15, had to start paying for parking, paying for lunch. Some lost their jobs, or worked fewer hours, but privileges like free meals, vanished. Most workers felt that the rise in the minimum wage was a negative event. Taking on someone who needed a lot of training to get up to speed just wasn’t going to happen.

In Seattle it has meant that many marginal small businesses have gone out of business. And the same thing is happening across the country.

Manufacturing has rebounded. The economy has added 189,000 jobs in the past year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics points out that at the same time federal government employment is down by 3,000. The Trump people have been removing unneeded regulation as fast as they can, and it is a boon for business. The Democrats have been out there shrieking “Tax Cuts for the Rich”— but that isn’t what is happening. Wages are rising faster in the lower income ranges than the higher ones. The Media, of course, has tried to portray Trump as a friend of the elites and an enemy of working people, but that is just wrong. Good tax cuts are on the way and that should keep growth going for a long time yet.

If you have teenagers, there are a lot of skills you can teach them at home. How to talk to customers, how to make change and count it back, How to clean the table and how to clean a bathroom. How to sweep up. Those simple tasks can be useful skills.



Victor Davis Hanson Explains the Left’s Hypocrisy about Equality

Well, professors at our universities have long seethed with not just envy but anger at CEOs in American industry. After all, you can read what their salaries are in the financial pages or in annual reports. Professors prefer to pretend that their concern is at the diversity of the salaries of the ordinary working stiff and the CEO. What really lights their fuses is that they, the professors, have Doctorates! PhDs! They are the scholars of the nation, the recognized elite.

Of course they do not recognize that CEOs are awarded their salaries by the corporate Board of Directors, in recognition of the profitability of the corporation itself, and in relation to the economy.

What if the elite professors in our nation’s universities had to demonstrate what their students have learned at the end of four years, in order to justify their salaries.” I rest my case.



President Trump Has Announced that the United States Recognizes that Jerusalem is the Capitol of Israel.

The nation of Israel designated Jerusalem as its capitol city in 1950. When President Trump announced that the U.S. government recognizes Jerusalem  as the capitol city of Israel and would begin preparations for moving our embassy there, the international community instantly had the vapors. And this is 2017. Roundly condemned as injurious to prospects for Israeli-Palestine peace and detrimental to America’s interests. The Middle East Forum reports:

Thus, the intense anger expressed by Palestinian and Arab leaders toward the proposed relocation isn’t rooted in concerns that Palestinian claims to disputed territory will be compromised. Indeed, it doesn’t appear to be rooted in any concerns of ordinary Palestinians. According to a recent poll, just 12% of Palestinians in the West Bank and 25% in Gaza consider the location of the U.S. embassy a “very important” issue.
As Marshall J. Breger, a professor of law at the Catholic University of America, explained in a 1994 Middle East Quarterly article, Muslim religious and cultural attachments to Jerusalem are not very deep. Contrary to mainstream media depictions of the city as the “third holiest” in Islam, Jerusalem is not mentioned by name in the Qur’an, was never visited by the Prophet Muhammad, and was never the capital of any Arab-Islamic polity.

Daniel Pipes concluded that “the Muslim interest is not so much in controlling Jerusalem as it is in denying control of the city to anyone else. Islam carries the expectation that a land once under Muslim control (Dar al-Islam) is an endowment (waqf) that must inevitably revert to Muslim rule.”

It’s fairly clear that there is no “Peace Process.” The Palestinians simply want the nation of Israel dead with all its inhabitants. Well, except when they need a medical operation for a stricken child, or someone needs some other skilled operation unavailable elsewhere.  Palestinian leaders have launched an aggressive campaign to delegitimize Israel  in the International world, culminating in a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in the west. The Obama administration’s turn against Israel gave a burst of approval for the delegitimation campaign. A good many in the West just do not want the Jews to have full control over the  “eternal city.” The growing Muslim population in Europe reflects the growing dependence of left-wing parties on the Muslim vote.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an unprecedented visit to Jerusalem last July, and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s foreign ministry officially recognized Israeli sovereignty over West Jerusalem in April. President Trump’s action is simply a recognition of the real world. Israel is a sovereign nation, and Jerusalem is its capitol. The image at the top is the American embassy in Tel Aviv.



Sometimes a Headline…

Holman Jenkins column in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday was titled:
“The Long War on Donald Trump: The president is guilty of something. It’s Robert Mueller’s job to figure it out. “

That captures the whole thing so precisely that it made me laugh.




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