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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How Do You Solve A Problem Like Human Nature? by The Elephant's Child

There are faint signs that perhaps the tensions involved over the debate about “globalism” and “national sovereignty” may be clearing a bit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that European Union (EU) member states must be prepared to transfer their powers over to Brussels at such a debate.

“In an orderly fashion, of course” Merkel said, as she explained that Germany had given up some of its sovereignty in order to join the EU, but national parliaments were in charge of deciding whether or not sign on to international treaties.

The CDU (Christian Democratic Union) leader said that trust and the willingness to compromise are essential in discussing the controversial UN migration pact, which the debate has continued to divide her own party.

Some important allies are pulling out of the agreement – Australia has left saying they will not risk their ‘hard won’ success in controlling their own borders. Trump has said no, and others are trying to figure out where they stand.

Chancellor Merkel accused critics of the Global Compact for Safe and Orderly Migration of “advocating ‘nationalism’ in its purest form.” She paraphrased her French counterpart Emmanuel Macron who recently claimed that “patriotism is the exact opposite because nationalism is treason.” Europe must surrender national sovereignty she said, to Brussels over “foreign affairs, migration, and development, as well as an increasing part of our budgets and even fiscal resources.” She also called for the creation of a real, true EU army and she stated that only through globalism can the world see peace.

This is an old, old argument — even on the original Thanksgiving we celebrate — can’t we all just get along? Well, no we can’t. It is now and always has been a pipe dream. And on throughout world history. The first humans probably started dispersing because they couldn’t get along together and were fighting about the kill that Roku dragged home for dinner, or who was going to get the choice piece of meat. You probably noticed in all the talk about happy family get-togethers for Thanksgiving dinner, there was also a lot of talk about how to deal with Uncle Harry who was a far Left Trump hater, or Uncle Ralph who was a bigoted Conservative.

The concept of a perfect society, or utopia, is as old as humanity. That is really the origin of communism and socialism and Nazism. They believed they were creating the perfect system. Here in America the Utopian Movement gained traction in 19th century America when thousands of people formed communities hoping to improve on existing society. The heyday was between 1820 and 1860. One of the remaining groups from that period is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or the Mormon Church, founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith. There was also the Oneida Community in upstate New York, the Shaker Movement, Brook Farm, a utopian community in Massachusetts.

We have had a lot of movements for “world peace.” There was the “war to end all wars” followed by the League of Nations”, followed by the rise of socialism with Mussolini and Hitler and World War II and the United Nations and the Cold War and another bunch of wars and Angela Merkel ought to be aware that the odds are quite definitely not in her favor.

In the present, Europe is suffering from Merkel’s invitation to all the unhappy people from the Middle East and Africa to migrate to Europe in the mistaken idea that Europe’s problem of declining birthrates and lack of young people to do the scut work and boring jobs would be solved by migration. Instead they got an invasion of Moslems whose religion demanded that those who did not submit to Allah should be killed. The migrants were welcomed all over Europe with gifts of food and clothing, flowers and song. The migrants were happy to accept the gifts, complained bitterly about the accommodations provided, and wanted to be supported by European generosity. They have instead proved willing to burn cars, rape any available women and girls, and engage in occasional shootings, and their communities have become dangerous ‘no-go’ districts. Merkel has just still not given up on her ideas of utopia.

In spite of all the Never-Trumpers, the deranged ‘celebrities’ in a constant search for the nearest microphone, and the newest “Democratic-Socialists”, plain old free-market capitalism in a constitutional republic seems to work better than anything else. The news of the day is not usually about how peaceful and happy the nations of the world are, but about their quarrels. Quarreling remains human nature, and we seem to be stuck with it.



Good News for Our Australian Friends! by The Elephant's Child

uluru-Northern-Territory-Australia

Good news from our friends in Australia. The Northern Territory there has enough natural gas to supply Australia for 200 years or more. It is comparable to the shale resources that have revolutionized the American energy sector, according to Resources and Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan.  And maybe even twice that.

Such abundant gas should enable Australia to reduce its current high energy prices, which were the fault of southern states preventing development, Senator Canavan told an NT Resources Week conference in Darwin.

The NT government lifted a ban on the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing to access onshore gas this year, which is banned in Victoria and much of NSW.

Geoscience Australia estimates the NT has about 257,000 petajoules of shale gas to meet Australia’s demands for 200 years, Senator Canavan said.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said he had been told by energy companies that figure could be doubled with the Beetaloo Sub-basin.

Have no clue what “fracking” is? Most people don’t or they wouldn’t be claiming that fracking is going to pollute their drinking water. Here’s a article from Popular Mechanics with a dandy illustration. Here’s the history of Fracking from Oil Price. Here’s a post from Morning Consult that points out the science to allay fears.

If you are curious about Russian influence, you should know that the Russians have indeed been trying to influence the United States, but by supporting fears of fracking and supporting environmental activists. The Russian economy relies heavily on their supplies of natural gas which they sell to European nations. They certainly don’t want American energy wealth to bring down their prices.

I have never been to Australia, but my mother has. She was raised in a little mining camp in Idaho, where her father was a doctor. Many of the prospectors she knew came from the gold rushes in Australia. After my dad died, she flew up to Point Barrow where she had an offer to teach school, but got married instead. When she got back from Alaska, she tooled off to Australia to see the gold fields there. She kept losing her camera, her purse and nice Aussies took good care of her. She was a fearless woman.



An American Ally Assesses Our President by The Elephant's Child

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The Wall Street Journal had a most interesting article titled “An Ally Sizes Up Donald Trump: When he says something consistently, it will happen. And his message is that America will remain a reliable partner, but don’t expect too much.” It’s by Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister of Australia, 2013-2015.  (subscription barrier)

The truth is that the rest of the world needs America much more than America needs us. The U.S. has no threatening neighbors. It’s about as remote from the globe’s trouble spots as is possible to be. It’s richly endowed with resources, including energy and an almost boundless agricultural capacity. Its technology is second to none. Its manufacturing base is vast. Its people are entrepreneurial in their bones. From diversity, it has built unity and an enviable pride in country.

In many respects, America is the world in one country, only a better world than the one outside. If it decided to live in splendid isolation from troubles across the sea, it would lose little and perhaps gain much, at least in the beginning. A fortress America would be as impregnable as any country could be.

 



The “Ripped From Their Mothers’ Arms” Meme Is Sheer Bunk! by The Elephant's Child

I frequently say something about “doing your homework”, by which I mean that you can no longer count on the information from our national media to be either true nor accurate. You have to make an effort to find out if what you are reading is actually true. If you just repeat the talking points, you are not only dishonest yourself, you are aiding a program specifically designed to make you support a lie.

The current line of attack is that the Trump administration is “ripping vulnerable children from the arms of their mothers” at the border, because of Trump’s demand for a border wall. Obviously if you want a big wall to keep citizens of other countries from entering our country, you must be racist, homophobic, xenophobic, Hitler, and just plain mean.

We have just had a chorus from the former first ladies, who think it’s perfectly awful that we are “ripping vulnerable children from the arms of their mothers.” Let’s clear this up a bit.

If you are a nation, you have a right to decide who you will allow to move in. William Voegeli in The Pity Party explained;

“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.”

We allow asylum seekers to enter the country, but ‘asylum’ has a strict meaning. It means that you are escaping a government that wants to harm you for your religion, politics or ideas. It does not mean that you want to get away from an abusive husband, it’s about the government.  We have embassies  and consulates all over the world, where one can apply to immigrate to America. There are legal procedures and a long wait list, which is made long by “chain migration.” A citizen can currently “sponsor” all of his or her relatives. Mother, father, adult children, brothers. sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins. Our country believes that we can currently handle about a million new immigrants a year, who we help to find a residence, learn English and learn American History, find health care, get help in getting settled and help with their needs. Those who have legally applied, paid their fees, have often been on the wait list for years. Most of the numbers are used up by chain migration, and there is little room for those who just want to make their home and life here.

Contrary to our first ladies (who should have done their homework) children are not being “ripped from the arms of their mothers”. If the parent has entered the country illegally, they have committed a crime. They are detained. We have a law that says you can’t put a kid in prison with their parents. They are moved to facilities designed to help the children.  I have described this thoroughly in a previous post, 4 posts back beginning “the evil Donald Trump.” It is the law, and the Trump administration must obey.

The Obama administration, ignoring the law, admitted many “parents” and their children without checking them out, only to find that the “parent” was a trafficker, and what were really unaccompanied children were turned over to egg farms to work in slave conditions, chicken packing, and even sex work. And yes, the Obama administration did park kids in cages. Democrats were trying to use the photos against Conservatives, but the photos were clearly from the Obama administration, so that claim quickly vanished, and we moved to the “ripped from the arms” bit.

The Center for Immigration Studies (cis.org) is the most reliable source for information about immigration. They describe themselves  as pro-immigrant, anti-illegal immigrant. They work hard at providing accurate information for the public and for public official. Unfortunately, we have a lot of public officials who don’t do their homework either.



Globalization: The Dream and the Nightmare by The Elephant's Child

climate-change

Here I was, posting Jonathan Haidt’s commentary on Globalization, and I turned to American Greatness, and conveniently, there was Victor Davis Hanson, writing even more extensively about globalization.

After World War II, only the United States possessed the capital, the military, freedom, and the international good will to arrest the spread of global Stalinism. To save the fragile postwar West, America was soon willing to rebuild and rearm war-torn former democracies. Over seven decades, it intervened in proxy wars against Soviet and Chinese clients, and radical rogue regimes. It accepted asymmetrical and unfavorable trade as the price of leading and saving the West. America became the sole patron for dozens of needy clients—with no time limit on such asymmetry.

Yet what would become the globalized project was predicated on lots of flawed, but unquestioned assumptions:

The great wealth and power of the United States was limitless. It alone could afford to subsidize other nations. Any commercial or military wound was always considered superficial and well worth the cost of protecting the civilized order.

Only by piling up huge surpluses with the United States and avoiding costly defense expenditure through American military subsidies, could the shattered nations of Asia and Europe supposedly regain their security, prosperity and freedom. There was no shelf life on such dependencies.

Do read the whole thing. This is a major contention point with the Democrats in their current mental and moral breakdown. If we are going to fight back, we have to know what we are talking about.



Victor Davis Hanson: Germany and the Unwinnable WWII by The Elephant's Child

I have no idea how many books have been written on World War II. Many of them important, but Victor Davis Hanson has explained it. I gave my oldest son, who is really interested in the war, and has toured the battlefields in Europe,The Second World Wars for Christmas. He usually mutters about the somewhat conservative books I give him, but he made a special point of thanking me for it. He said it has made it all make sense, and he loved the book. So there are glimmerings of hope.

If you have not yet ordered the book, you’ll be glad that you did. The preface explains the title, and why Victor Davis Hanson was the correct one to tell that story. Memorial Day would be a good time to indulge.




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