American Elephants


Important Voices: by The Elephant's Child

William Voegeli, from The Pity Party:

” In contrast to America, countries like Canada and Australia treat immigration the way Harvard treats college admission or the New England Patriots treat the NFL draft as a way to get the talented that can benefit the institution and keep out the untalented.  Here in America, we increasingly treat immigration as if it were a sacred civil right possessed by 7 billion foreigners.”

Economist Dierdre McCloskey:

In the countries that most enthusiastically embraced capitalism, some two hundred years ago, real per-capita economic growth has increased by 1.5 percent annually. Owing to the miracle of compound interest, this increase has meant a 19-fold increase in living standards over the past two centuries, which, she contends, is a “change in the human condition” that “ranks with the first domestication of plants and animals and the building of the first towns.” … this enormous economic result has a cause that was cultural rather than economic. Humans did not suddenly become more acquisitive or creative. Rather “when people treat the marketers and inventors as having some dignity and liberty, innovation takes hold.” The new respectability of bourgeois life, the belief that the creativity of capitalism’s creative destruction more than offset its destruction, was the decisive attitudinal change that rendered human life in the past two centuries decisively different from what it had been throughout the preceding millennia.

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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.



Pearl Harbor Day December 7, 1941 — 77 Years Ago by The Elephant's Child

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Sailors and others try to get good viewing spots to witness the surrender of Japan USS Missouri
Japanese Diplomat Toshikazu Kase, who was part of the official delegation surrendering to General Douglas MacArthur, above, on the deck of the battleship Missouri, wrote about the surrender:

Here is the victor announcing the verdict to the prostrate enemy.  He can impose a humiliating penalty if he so desires.  And yet he pleads for freedom, tolerance and justice.  For me, who expected the worst humiliation, this was a complete surprise.  I was thrilled beyond words, spellbound, thunderstruck.

It took 3 years, nine months and eight days.  Pity, and sorrow, but no apologies.

The numbers of those who actually remember Pearl Harbor are declining as the greatest generation passes away. Big events loom large in the lives of those who were alive at the time, and then slip gradually into that broad category of history. But it is important to understand how those big events changed history, and changed the world. Knowledge and understanding may help us avoid mistakes and untoward reactions when something happens in our lives.



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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