American Elephants


And A Quest For Freedom From Hong Kong by The Elephant's Child

On Thanksgiving evening, Hong Kong Protesters decided to sing the American National Anthem as a gesture of thanks for President Trump signing two bills into law on Wednesday that condemned China. When they finished with the Star Spangled Banner, they chanted “USA, USA, USA.”

Seems to me that we sometimes forget that our USA is about freedom. Perhaps I should capitalize that: Freedom. That plucky bunch who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 were searching for Freedom. They were followed by the Winthrop Fleet in 1630 who established the Bay Colony.

The early settlers who first pushed out from the coast, and those who were looking for more freedom pushed on across the Alleghenies, and more pushed on and on until they reached the other ocean.

Lewis and Clark, the Homestead Act, farmers taming wild prairie, always a push for  more freedom. We accept government gingerly, as a necessary evil, and try to keep it in line. All over the world, the people are pushing back against government and against those who would interfere with their desire to be free. It is simply basic human nature. It’s all very complicated, but if the United States of America stands for anything, it stands for a free people. We might do well to be a little clearer about that, so we weren’t taking other countries by surprise. They would know what to expect from us.

In any case, how can you help but sympathize with the citizens of Hong Kong, and wish them well.

This was intended to be published yesterday, but my computer had an attack of nervous prostration, and blushingly hid it’s face in it’s keyboard and refused to cooperate at all. I hope there will not be a repeat of such intransigence. I assumed, since the hour was late, that the network was engaged in a tidying-up exercise when they thought the world would be asleep.



Nationalism: Is it good or a bad thing? And What do we mean by Nationalism anyway?an? by The Elephant's Child

In a speech at Hillsdale College in October, Victor Davis Hanson talks about Nationalism. Is is good or bad — and what are the lessons from history? It’s fairly long, but worth every minute, if you are satiated after turkey and all the fixings, and don’t want to move for a while…  or save it for another day, but do watch it when you can. Lots of food for thought. important food for thought.



Mark Steyn And Guests Talk About the Climate by The Elephant's Child

Mark Steyn has had a court case hanging over him for ages, by the noxious Michael Mann, he of the “hockey-stick graph”, which, of course has no relation to the real world.  Interesting conversation. Enjoy.



The Left Have Become a Bunch of Ideological Extremists by The Elephant's Child

Fascinating article today at The Federalist: “25 Reasons Today’s Left Has Become A Bunch of Ideological Extremists” with the subhead “Anyone who denies the existence of an influential, mainstream, radical left in America today doesn’t have any idea what the word ‘radical’ means.”

They went from, “Ask not what your country can do for you” to demanding a universal basic income provided by your neighbor.

They went from, “I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it” to “speech is violence.”

They went from talking about a crisis at the border to saying anyone who believes there is a border crisis is a racist.

It’s 25 reasons, and interesting and unfortunately true.  How about “They went from working to get drugs out of schools to working to get drag queens and Planned Parenthood into schools. Do read the whole thing. It’s an eye-opener to see how they are changing our understanding of the way things work. Nobody seems to really care about what is true any more. There is a radical left, and what they do in the guise of being ‘nice: and ‘kind and generous’  isn’t exactly what we had in mind.



Politics, Politics and More Politics, Ours & Theirs. by The Elephant's Child

Politics. Many of our friendly nations are currently embroiled in politics. Our Democrats are trying for a do-over of the previous election, because they simply cannot get over the fact that they lost the 2016 election to the hated Trump.  Just why they hate President Trump so much remains a mystery, because he is doing a remarkable job of getting the economy back on track, which is what we elected him to do.

Canada is not entirely happy with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but he is going to keep his job and form a minority government. His Liberals are again the largest party, but have lost their parliamentary majority.

The British have a Prime Minister in Boris Johnson, but are embroiled in Brexit. From what I can tell, the people want out of the European Union, but the Parliament does not. The battle goes on, and on. Back in 2007, Valery Giscard d’Estaing was writing a Constitution for the European Union, and briefly looked at the American Constitution, but couldn’t handle all those freedoms, and rejected it outright as an example. Unfortunate.

The Israelis are having a crisis of sorts because Prime Minister Netanyahu could not form a government because of the (weird to Americans) way the Israeli government is formed. The Prime Minister gets elected, I think, and then has to create a government by getting all the other parties to agree to what he comes up with, or something like that. We all get accustomed to our own form of government and do not understand any other countries’ politics, which usually is just as complex as ours, and often more so.

South America is a mess, but since we don’t speak their languages, we don’t pay all that much attention. Odd, but I don’t know how many Americans could name the countries of South America on an unlabeled map. And of course, we always call ourselves “Americans” which undoubtedly annoys the citizens of Central and South, who are just as much “Americans” as we are.

Hong Kong and China are getting bloody. China is Communist, which works only for those at the top, and until they are overthrown. We have enough world history about what works and what does not to teach us all – how to go about doing government. The most passionate are always the least-informed, and sure that they have a better idea.

Apparently our colleges and universities are graduating a new class, sure that the answer to the problem of the rich is Socialism or Communism. They are, of course,  tutored by professors who discover that there are successful entrepreneurs who without the qualification of a PhD in something or other receive enormous salaries and benefits for keeping a corporation healthy and thriving. No Fair! If you wondered why a college education costs so much today, there you go.

President Trump is beginning to move governmental agencies out of the “swamp” and closer to the people they are supposed to be serving. Thus the Farm Bureau is moving to farming country which is excellent, but those who are being moved from cosmopolitan D.C. to farm country are not happy.  I think it’s a great idea.



Politics and Impeachment, the Constitution, and All That by The Elephant's Child

Politics is mostly an unpleasant subject wherever and whenever it is practiced. Making informed choices about matters of importance for the city or nation soon gets left in the dust as opinions become bandied about.

Then it gets down to who likes who and why and how dare you disagree with me. Passions are aroused. Demonstrations take place, and first thing you know fights break out, the police are called and so on and so forth.

We had an election in 2016. The Republican candidate was Donald J. Trump. The Democrat candidate was Hillary Clinton. Democrats were confident that Hillary would win easily. They were unaware that many people just did not like Hillary Clinton, and thought it was unlikely that she would do an acceptable job as president. She lost. Trump won. This has resulted in an enraged Democrat Party apparently loathing President Trump and vowing to do everything and anything to bring him down.

He supposedly has a Queens accent. His father was a builder, and sent him out early to work with construction crews, on building sites. To this day he is apt to stop and talk to construction workers on the street, and apparently likes them. This is unacceptable in other areas of New York? Dunno. I’m a Westerner. This, surely is not the cause of all the vile commentary out there. It is a  puzzlement.

It is quite clear that he is doing a good job for the country. Obama told us firmly that the economy would never again get over 2% growth, it was just no longer in the cards. Trump cut taxes, cut some government costs (but not enough) and has begun to move some large agencies out of Washington DC and closer to the areas they are supposed to serve, which has caused consternation among those who like living in Washington DC. The economy is booming, unemployment has reached historic lows. Manufacturing is increasing.  Growth is well over 3%, and more and more people are dropping off food stamps.

Some are finding fault with his campaign promises, for example, he said that he would build a wall on the Southern border and Mexico would help pay for it. With Congressional intransigence, the wall building goes slowly, and spokesmen can’t seem to see that Mexico is helping. They are turning people back at their Southern Border and also further along, offering less assistance to migrants. Did you expect Mexico to send President Trump a check? They did not do that.

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, has issued (twice) a demand: “Mr. President, You need to prove your innocence!” Um, Fifth Amendment? No person…shall be compelled to be a witness against himself?” And innocence of just what? You are having an enormous problem deciding what it is you think the President is guilty of, other than winning an election.

“If the president has something that is exculpatory — Mr. President, that means you have anything that shows your innocence — then he should make that known and that’s part of the inquiry,” Pelosi said, as The Week noted. “And so far, we haven’t seen that. But we welcome it.”

Pelosi then went on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday and told host Margaret Brennan that if Trump had “information that is exculpatory — that means ex, taking away, culpable, blame — then we look forward to seeing it.”

Sorry, Nancy, that’s not how we do it in a free American society. In her world, it’s Trump who must prove innocence, not Democrats who must find guilt.

Most, but not all, Americans were born in a neighborhood, usually among people very much like themselves, and they are surprised to learn that there are others who have different customs and beliefs.

Democrats believe firmly that they are morally superior. They believe that they are morally superior because they care — and Republicans don’t. They care about those who want to cross our borders illegally, and those who are hiding from ICE, those who are living here and working here illegally. Now they are campaigning to get those who are fleeing from climate change admitted legally as “refugees”, not to protect them from the ravages of climate change, but to count them in the next census and get their votes in the next election. The Left’s aims are not pure. They simply believe that they are entitled to be in charge, and they cannot stand being deprived.

 



Was Darwin Wrong About the Origin of Species? by The Elephant's Child

Perhaps you have noticed on the web, some remarks about scholars challenging Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Here they are with the Hoover Institute’s Peter Robinson, explaining their deviance from what has been scientific orthodoxy. This is a fascinating and very interesting video, probing some of the country’s sharpest minds, though as it happens when all were in Italy:David Berlinsky, David Gerlernter, and Stephen Meyer. Enjoy, it’s very much worth your time.




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