American Elephants


Here’s the Background of the Zero-Tolerance Policy at the Border by The Elephant's Child

Andrew Arthur is a Resident Fellow in Law and Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies (cis.org), an American think tank that studies immigration. They identify themselves as pro-legal immigration and anti-illegal immigration. It is an excellent source of dependable information. You can sign up for regular e-mails concerning their latest studies, or just list them with your favorite blogs, when you have questions about what is being reported in the media. And questions are well deserved.

This brief video is bout 3 minutes long. (horrible initial screen) It doesn’t even look interesting, but it is.

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The Professed Future of the Left by The Elephant's Child

Back in September of 2014, The Heritage Foundation hosted a panel discussion on the future of the Left entitled simply “Liberalism in America.” These are my notes. 

William Vogeli – “The fundamental assumption of the Left is the innate goodness of each person. This assumption means that they are seeking to undermine the Constitution, which is based on a very different version of human nature. The Constitution puts the three branches of government against each other, so that each will keep the others in check. The Constitution expects selfish ambition, and by expecting ambition, it legitimizes it – which is precisely what the Left does not want to do. The Left wants to supply not  just “the defect of better motives” but just better motives. Liberals want to set up a system that allows our latent goodness to “flourish” and the checks of our constitutional system can be discarded in favor of technocratic, centralized disinterestedness that allows each individual to live an authentic life of his choosing.

Kevin Williamson – In order to achieve this goal of a soft liberated citizenry the left will have to dominate and control more of society – a tendency that is already in evidence.

Ben Domanech – characterized the Left as having become a “protection racket” seeking to protect interest groups: unions, minorities, single mothers, from perceived threats such as the free market. A free society will always have winners and losers – Absolute equality and absolute liberty will always stand in tension. All people and their choices are equal and should be treated as such. Undergirding this statement is a moral agnosticism that necessarily undermines a self-governing republic based on rights. Liberalism’s appeal is to equality and security.



Who Are The Most Powerful People in Washington? by The Elephant's Child

Another great video from Praeger University. A look behind the scenes in Washington D.C. Congress has long passed off their administrative duties to the federal government bureaus. The administrative stuff takes time and effort away from trying to get reelected, and Congress has illegally passed their duties on to unaccountable bureaucrats, who have to come up with good ideas to earn their pay and demonstrate their value.

The result is millions of pages of unnecessary regulation that interfere with economic growth and prosperity. It’s much harder to get rid of unneeded regulations than it is to enact them.

Some federal agencies should be moved to the parts of the country that they are regulating. Why is the Agriculture Department in Washington D.C.? Why is it not in farm country, like Kansas?



How About A Little Good News for a Change? by The Elephant's Child

Trump Laughing

•According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) more than 3.5 million people have dropped off food stamps since President Trump’s first full month in office. When President Trump took office in February 2017, 42,134,301 Americans had been receiving benefits from the SNAP program, the federal government program responsible for giving out food stamps.  The most recent data shows that 38,577,141 Americans received benefits in September 2018.

•The United States murder rate in 2018 is projected to experience the largest drop in a half-decade. Between 2014 and 2016, the murder rate rose almost 25 percent across the country, not just in the major cities with major crime problems like Chicago and Baltimore. Compared to this time last year the murder rate could be down between four to five percent this year, the largest annual decline since 2013.

• The November employment report, released on the 7th, shows the economy added 150,000 jobs, well below the revised 237,000 added last month. But the unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent for the third month in a row, and the number of employed Americans again reached an all-time high of 156,795,000. The 13th record breaker under President Trump. (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says it’s because everybody has two jobs)

Not too many people out there calling attention to good news, so there you are.



Oh-oh! The “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration” by The Elephant's Child

Refugees

The European Union is in the midst of political turmoil over the United Nations pact on migration. There is a December 10 deadline when representatives from 180 UN member states will meet in Morocco, a Muslim-majority country in North Africa, to formally adopt the “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,” as the pact is called officially.

First, we need to get our terminology straight. Migration is not “Immigration.” Immigration is something legal according to the laws of the nation involved, and has to do with that nation’s borders. Who gets in, who can belong, and what is legal and what is illegal. Migration is about people deciding they want to illegally enter a nation other than the one to which they are native and to which they owe allegiance.

President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the global compact in September, and he was promptly followed by Austria, Croatia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. Belgium is only the latest country to have it’s ruling coalition near collapse over the dispute about migration. Europe has already had its fill of migrants, and it isn’t going well. They know what their elites are talking about, and they don’t like it.

Our problems with migrants have been much in the news in recent weeks, and it’s not over yet. Those seeking asylum have to meet certain standards. If they are fleeing persecution, they must apply for asylum to the first nation they come to. Mexico offered asylum to the migrants coming, waving their national flags, but there were not many takers. Their spokesmen said they were not seeking asylum, but just wanted jobs, something our media usually neglected to mention.  Nor did they define the difference between migrants and immigrants and the laws defining their status. Clearly there have to be some limitations, but the Left usually falls back on “globalism.”

Globalism is usually the answer of the elite to the perennial question “Why can’t we all just get along?” They are always quite sure that the next good law will fix things, which is nonsense. And a law that allows migrants to go wherever they wish is the height of absurdity.

Families have a hard time getting along, when you add in aunts and uncles and cousins, it gets even worse. Add neighbors, who perhaps have a constantly barking dog, or keep odd hours, you can add annoyances from your own experience. Move to the community level and you have public works, police, school boards, local business and traffic problems. A fair amount of the news in other countries consists of what’s happening in the United States€—of course the most scandalous, disrupting, celebrity linked news to be found. It’s partly because we hang all our news out on the proverbial clothesline for all to see, and they don’t.

That may have something to do with our difficulty in selling free-market capitalism to other countries. They have seen what they probably consider to be murders and riots and guns and scandal, without any understanding of the freedom that allows us to become the richest, most successful nation in the world, without understanding the U.S. Constitution and our system of government that was designed to protect our freedom, which allows us to invent, discover, and profit from what we can achieve. We can’t, you probably have noticed, even sell free-market capitalism to the Democrats. A fairly large percentage of them seem to be globalists, at least when it seems that might help them to get elected. And when you have a political party that is all about “feelings” it gets confusing. Aren’t we just mean when we turn away people (usually mothers and their children) who just are looking for safety. Yes, that’s why the migrant caravan put women and children at the front of the line, while the majority seemed to be young men of military age.

President Xi of China has a different way of controlling the population of his country. Everyone is electronically monitored at all times, and those who obey the laws, even crosswalks and traffic lights, get basic privileges, and extra points for donating blood or volunteering, that will allow them to use public transportation or travel by air or railroad.  Jaywalking will take away points. It might be wise to keep that in mind, for that has become an accepted (at least in China) method for control.

The elites are apt to fear freedom, because if you grant a lot of freedom to the people, who knows what they might do? They might even overthrow the elites.

ADDENDUM: I neglected to add that the “Global Compact for Safe Orderly and Regular Migration “which seeks to criminalize criticism of migration – is a dangerous effort to weaken national borders, to normalize mass migration, to blur the distinction between legal and illegal immigration and to suggest that people claiming to be refugees enjoy rights in countries where they have never before set foot. Nobody has been clamoring for this. This is a globalist power grab, and a project of the globalist elites. It is a UN power grab, and an effort to enhance the clout of the UN’s largest and most influential power bloc– the Arab and Muslim states. Criminalizing criticism is to a free-market capitalist country like ours, an anethma. This deal is not only absurd, but very bad news for the West, freedom, identity and security.



Why Do We Say “Remember Pearl Harbor”? It Was 77 Years Ago. by The Elephant's Child

ussarizona_pearlharbor-1941-e1354882107300
Every year on December 7, we say “Remember Pearl Harbor” but fail to point out why we should be remembering. John Steele Gordon in his essential history An Empire of Wealth: the Epic History of American Economic Power, outlines the state of the world then:

In a fireside chat on December 29, 1940, Franklin Roosevelt first used  a phrase that would prove enduring when he called upon the United States to become “the great arsenal of democracy.”
…..War had broken out in Europe on September 1, 1939, after German troops invaded Poland, and France and Great Britain stood by their pledges to come to Poland’s aid. Few Americans thought the Nazis anything but despicable, but public opinion in the United States was overwhelmingly to stay out of the conflict.  Many newspapers…were strongly isolationist. In 1934 Senator Hiram Johnson of California had pushed through a bill forbidding the Treasury to make loans to any country that had failed to pay back earlier loans.  That, of course included Britain and France.  On November 4, 1939, Congress had passed the Neutrality Act, which allowed purchases of war materiel only on a “cash and carry” basis.
…..Seven months later France fell to the Nazi onslaught, and Britain stood alone.  In the summer of 1940 Germany proved unable to defeat the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain and thus gain the air superiority necessary to mount an invasion across the English Channel. It tried instead to bludgeon Britain into submission with the blitz and to force Britain into submission by cutting off its trade lifelines across the Atlantic. It nearly worked. …
…..At the time American military forces were puny.  The army had about three hundred thousand soldiers—fewer than Yugoslavia—and was so short of weapons that new recruits often had to drill with broomsticks instead of rifles. The equipment it did have was often so antiquated that the chief of staff, General George C. Marshall, thought the army no better than “that of a third-rate power.” The navy, while equal to Britain’s in size, lacked ammunition to sustain action, and much of its equipment was old or unreliable.

Roosevelt realized what was at stake in terms of America’s own security, but he felt that Britain must survive long enough to hold the Nazis at bay while the U.S. rearmed and he was able to  bring the American people around to see where their own true interests lay. This was easier said than done.

On September 16, 1940 Congress approved the first peacetime draft in American history and 16.4 million men between the ages of 20 and 35 registered. But it specified that none was to serve outside the Western Hemisphere and that their terms of service were not to exceed twelve months. In 1941 Roosevelt was able to get Lend Lease through Congress, and after Pearl Harbor, isolationism vanished from the American political landscape.

Japan ran loose over the Pacific for the next six months, taking Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaya, Singapore, the Solomon Islands, the Dutch East Indies, and Burma while threatening Australia and India.

The rearming of America was one of the most astonishing feats in all economic history. In the first six months of 1942, the government gave out 100 billion in military contracts— more than the entire GDP of 1940. In the war years, American industry turned out 6.500 naval vessels; 296,400 airplanes; 86,330 tanks; 64,546 landing craft; 3.5 million jeeps, trucks, and personnel carriers; 53 million deadweight tons of cargo vessels; 12 million rifles,carbines, and machine guns; and 47 million tons of artillery shells, together with millions of tons of uniforms, boots, medical supplies, tents and a thousand other items needed to fight a modern war.

In 1933, the army of the United States was 137,000 men. The U.S. Army was 16th in size, in the world. The French Army was 5 million., but they had Germany next door. In May of 1940, Germany invaded France. We reinstituted conscription. By Pearl Harbor Day, the army was 1,640,000. With U.S. entry into World War II, the army expanded to 8,300,000 officers and men. About 5,000,000 served overseas. George C. Marshall was Army Chief of Staff for the whole war, and the author of the Marshall Plan.

By 1948, the army had declined to 554,000, and entirely unprepared for the Korean War. If I remember correctly, Victor Davis Hanson once said that History is about wars – what led up to them, the war itself, and the aftermath. The American people, always optimistic, are relieved to have it over, and expect peace to last indefinitely. If families cannot get along, and they can’t, neighbors can’t, city councils can’t and so on to every larger form of government. That’s why Globalism will never, never work.



pearl harbor and the legacy of carl vinson by The Elephant's Child


U.S. Navy Photo: USS Carl Vinson

Seventy-seven years ago on December 7, 1941, carrier planes from  the Imperial Japanese fleet attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in a surprise attack on the home of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. It was followed a few days later by an attack on the Philippines.

The surprise attack on the fleet killed 2,402 Americans, sank or submerged 19 ships, including eight battleships damaged or destroyed. Just four days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.

Victor Davis Hanson writes today of the contribution of one Democratic Congressman from Georgia, Carl Vinson. Do read the whole thing.

The Japanese fleet had missed the three absent American carriers of the Pacific Fleet. Nonetheless, Japanese admirals were certain that the United States was so crippled after the attack that it would not be able to go on the offensive against the Japanese Pacific empire for years, if at all. Surely the wounded Americans would sue for peace, or at least concentrate on Europe and keep out of the Japanese-held Pacific.

That was a fatal miscalculation.

The Japanese warlords had known little of the tireless efforts of one Democratic congressman from Georgia, Carl Vinson.

For nearly a decade before Pearl Harbor, Vinson had schemed and politicked in brilliant fashion to ensure that America was building a two-ocean navy larger than all the major navies of the world combined.

If you have a history buff on your gift list, get them a copy of Dr. Hanson’s brilliant new book: The Second Word WarsIf you’re feeling generous, add With the Old Breed by Eugene Sledge.

This should be a good reminder to consider carefully who you are electing to serve in Congress. It matters.




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