American Elephants


Tucker Carlson Clears up the Trump Mystery by The Elephant's Child



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.



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.



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.



Assigned Reading by The Elephant's Child

The new American history by Wilfred M. McClay has had excellent reviews and I’m giving it as Christmas gifts, but I haven’t read it yet.

Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story

Another I like is John Steele Gordon’s

An Empire of Wealth:
The Epic History of American Economic Power

Essential:
The Black Book of Communism
Crimes, Terror, Repression

Communism
A History
By Richard Pipes

The Black Book is huge, over 700 pages, Richard Pipes book is small at 160 pages, but dense. Read both.

It’s clearly time to know a lot more about China than we do. The unknown story of:

MAO
by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday

Two from Bernard Lewis:

The Middle East:
A Brief History of the Last 2000 Years

What Went Wrong
The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East

And I like this:
Voices of 1776
The Story of the American Revolution in the Words
of Those Who Were There
by Richard Wheeler

And let me add:
1491
New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
By Charles C. Mann



Absolutely Entitled to Be In Charge! by The Elephant's Child

It is certainly clear that Democrats believe they are entitled to run things, to be in charge. Three years later, and they still have not gotten over it. “Entitled” seems to be the key word. They should be in charge – because they are morally superior. They are compassionate. They care.

Republicans clearly do not care. They make it clear every day. Desperate people looking for a better life, and Republicans want to build walls to keep them out. They want to send people to prison just for smoking a joint. They have this cruel police force called ICE that wants to track down immigrants living quietly in this country and deport them. They want to tell women what they can do with their bodies, and deny them health care when they need it most. They clearly do not really care about the people at all.

The earth is facing a horrible doom because Republicans won’t face facts and move to clean renewable energy, and stop the evil oil pipelines that are despoiling the planet, because they favor Big Oil companies instead of clean natural wind and solar energy. It’s very clear that Republican care far more about budgets and big corporations than they do about the American people.

If you just keep their moral superiority in mind, everything will become clearer and less argumentative. They are really trying to improve things. Just see what they are offering to do to improve your lives. Rein in those big corporations that are polluting the planet. Medicare for all, not just the old folks. Compassion for all.  Social Justice for all. More equality. More fairness. What more could you ask?



A Little Humor Can Punish or Deflate. A Good Sense of Humor is a Blessing. by The Elephant's Child

After President Trump announced the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, the Washington Post quickly came up with an unfortunate obituary. The Post’s headline for its obituary, apparently the second attempt was: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State, dies at 48. The Post is pretty political, but who would have believed they could come up with this gem? It has produced mockery across the internet. (They apparently had it better in the first place with “Islamic State’s terrorist-in-‘Chief”) Everybody that writes is out there re-writing obituaries for all the great villains of history.

David Burge: (Iowa Hawk) “Adolph Hitler, Austrian vegan activist and landscape painter dies at 56.

John Noonan: “Osama Bin Laden, spiritual leader and architect of lower Manhattan urban revitalization projects, dead at 54.”

Levi Gilbian: “Jeffrey Dahmer, amateur chef with a flair for exotic cuisine, dies at 34.

Stung by the mockery, the Washington Post switched its obituary headline to a third version. “Abu Bakr Baghdadi, extremist leader of Islamic State dies at 48” But then they go on to describe his background:

From his teens, he was fascinated with Islamic history and the intricacies of Islamic law. Acquaintances would remember him as a shy, nearsighted youth who liked soccer but preferred to spend his free time at the local mosque.

“He always had religious or other books attached on the back of his bike,” Tariq Hameed, an acquaintance from the same lower-middle-class neighborhood, told a Newsweek interviewer in 2014. The young Ibrahim disdained the Western clothes popular with Sammara young men, preferring the traditional prayer cap, beard and white dishdasha robe of the religiously devout, neighbors said.
He graduated from the University of Baghdad in 1996 and received a master’s degree in Koranic recitation from the Saddam University for Islamic Studies in 1999. Immersing himself in the arcane world of 7th-century religious codes, he grew increasingly conservative. Acquaintances remembered how the college-age Mr. Baghdadi took offense at the sight of men and women dancing in the same room during wedding celebrations.

Power Line noted that at approximately the same time when special forces were killing al-Baghdadi, Saturday Night Live was airing a sketch claiming that President Trump has been a boon to ISIS.

Sounds like most everybody got the mocking they deserved.




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