American Elephants


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



What We’ve Been Reading Today! by The Elephant's Child

From Newt Gingrich, at the Fox News Network:

“Bye Democratic Party–You’re being Transformed into an anti–American engine of radical change.”

Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential candidate debate was one more reminder that we are living through the death of the Democratic Party. It is being replaced by a new Democratic-Socialist Party.

Imagine that any candidate had agreed with President Barack Obama’s original 2008 position that “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage.”

Or imagine that a candidate had defended ObamaCare as the solution to health care in America.

When the last two Democratic presidents can no longer be defended by the men or women hoping to become the next Democratic president, something profound has happened.

From PJ Media by Rick Moran:

 “Justice Party-Endorsed Candidate Thinks it’s a Great Idea to Disarm Police”

Jamaal Bowman, a candidate for Congress looking to defeat incumbent Bronx Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) has some unusual ideas on how to make his New York district safer—disarm the police.  uh huh.

From Fox News Network:

“Victor Davis Hanson: We’re finally discovering the ugly truth  about China and the harm it has caused”

In these times of near civil war, Americans agree on almost nothing. Yet sometime in 2019, almost all of America finally got “woke” on China.
For years, our leaders had yawned about Silk Road neo-imperialism in Africa and Asia, and gross abuses of human rights against Chinese religious minorities and political dissidents.

Almost every assumption Washington made, both by Democratic and Republican administrations, was logically flawed at best. And at worst, these calculations were a weird mix of conservative commercial greed, liberal political correctness and shared screwball naiveté.

From PJ Media:

“Court Strikes Down Obama Rule Forcing Doctors to Perform Transgender Surgery”

On Tuesday, a district court judge struck down the Obama administration’s since defunct mandate forcing doctors to perform transgender surgery regardless of their religious convictions or conscientious objections. The mandate handed down by Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), ironically did not apply to Medicare and Medicaid or to military doctors because the government’s own research showed that transgender hormones and surgeries can be harmful.

From Fox News Network:

Andrew McCarthy: “The trivialization of impeachment is serious –– It has consequences that threaten liberty.”

Our system is based on a separation of powers, because liberty depends on preventing any component of the state from accumulating too much authority – that’s how tyrants are born. For the system to work, the components have to be able to check each other. The federal and state governments have to be able to check on each other.: The federal and state governments must respect their separate spheres, and the branches of the federal government must be able to rein in a branch that oversteps its authority.

The steady federal encroachment on state authority has created an imbalance that probably cannot be rolled back. I want to focus on the collapse of inter-branch checks in the federal government.

From Powerline :

Paul Mirengoff: “Doral, Here We Come”

“The next G-7 summit, which is due to be held in the U.S., will take place at Doral, the luxury resort Trump owns in Florida….
According to Mulvaney, Doral was added to the list of about a dozen facilities for consideration at Trump’s suggestion. The decision as to which facility on the list to select was made by a White House team after visiting and analyzing each facility.

Mulvaney said that Doral will host the G-7 at cost. In other words, Doral will make no profit off of the event. If the White House is true to its word, the participating nations, and presumably the media outlets that cover the conference, will save a fair amount of money.

Democrats and their media pals are blasting Trump for this decision. They have not demonstrated, however, that Doral will make money or that there was an available alternative facility that would have been as desirable as Doral in terms of accommodations, location, etc. … reporters complained that even if Doral does not make a profit, holding the G-7 there will enhance Trump’s “brand” or at least make it more visible. I doubt it. Trump’s brand is about as visible as it can get. The public’s view of the Trump brand – whether positive or negative –is surely fixed by now.



Is Communism Once Again Rearing Its Ugly Head? by The Elephant's Child

The current bunch of Democrats remaining in the contest for the Democratic nomination continue to astonish in their very odd understandings of America and Americans. How Bernie Sanders can remain on the list with significant support while professing Socialism as the solution for the government of the United States of America is astounding.

Supposedly one out of three millennials (31%) say they are a democratic socialist or a socialist and would identify as either, according to a poll. The poll found that nearly half of all millennial Democrats (48%) identify as democratic socialists or socialists. The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation found that 50 percent of American millennials view socialism or communism as the ideal political ideology. Our colleges and universities have a lot to answer for, raising up a generation of ignoramuses.

Nazism is an accusation thrown around by the Left at President Trump and his supporters. They apparently fail to understand that Nazism was just another form of socialism. But it remains a choice insult because of the known death toll from the Holocaust:

Between five and six million Jews. More than three million Soviet prisoners of war. More than two million Soviet civilians. More than one million Polish civilians. More than one million Yugoslav civilians. About 70,000 men, women and children with mental and physical handicaps. More than 200,000 gypsies.

Nazism came to a distinct end with the defeat of Nazi Germany. But the death toll from communism encompasses many countries and many regimes. Socialism often turns directly into real communism,  depending on the party’s will for ever more complete control.

Communist regimes did not just commit criminal acts, they were criminal enterprises in their very essence; on principle, so to speak, they all ruled lawlessly, by violence, and without regard for human life.

This is from The Black Book of Communism. It offers a rough approximation, based on unofficial estimates to give some sense of the scale and gravity of these crimes.

USSR: 20 million deaths
China: 65 million deaths
Vietnam: 1 million deaths
North Korea: 2 million deaths
Cambodia: 2 million deaths
Eastern Europe: 1 million deaths
Latin America: 150,000 deaths
Africa: 1.7 million deaths
Afghanistan: 1.million deaths
The international Communist movement and Communist parties not in power: about 10,000 deaths

You might conclude that there is some sort of pattern here, and that perhaps regarding it as an ideal political ideology is beyond ignorance, and approaches insanity.



Victor Davis Hanson Explores the Strange Mythical Trump That Liberals Have Created Out of Whole Cloth by The Elephant's Child

Excellent article at American Greatness (amgreatness.com). Victor Davis Hanson explores the strange mythical Trump that Democrats have devised for themselves in order to explain the horrors of the last election. They have completely lost contact with reality.

Candidate Trump never really wanted to be president. His entire amateurish and buffoonish candidacy was designed only to enhance his brand. Once he was unexpectedly elected, Trump was more shocked than anyone, and quickly sought to maximize his profits from the Oval Office. Thus, followed the constant progressive evocation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution to prevent chronic Trump profiteering.

In reality, the Trump empire reportedly has declined by nearly $1 billion in net value, aside from the tens of millions of his own money that Trump spent on the 2016 campaign. Trump’s business interests are the most thoroughly investigated of any recent president in memory. Obama and the Clintons made millions from their presidencies; Trump may well end up losing billions.

Hanson takes a hard look at the strange mysterious Trump creation that Democrats have lodged in their minds. We were right all along. They have completely allowed their emotions to run away with them and the result is remarkably foolish and bears little resemblance to reality. Do read the whole thing. You’ll enjoy it.



Best Read of the Day! by The Elephant's Child

Victor Davis Hanson takes on President Donald Trump and the 2020 election. So what about the Trade War, impeachment, China, oil and gas, climate change, the economy?



Is Big Tech Going to Control Our Elections? by The Elephant's Child

A very liberal professor warns that Google has manipulated voters,and can manipulate them far more in the 2020 election.

Dr, Robert Epstein explains what happened in the last election and the potential for Google to manipulate votes by manipulating search results. Scary.

When you need to search, use Duck Duck Go. They don’t track you.

Facebook has just been fined $5 billion, which is apparently the maximum the law allows, but is a drop in the proverbial bucket for Facebook which earned many more billions this last year.

Ted Cruz has been holding hearings on the misbehavior of Big Tech, and Congress is hearing plenty from their constituents. The monitoring of the citizenry in China is an alarming example of what is now possible, and what Big Tech knows about us is disturbing as well.

I don’t know that I have ever been aware before of business companies playing politics. not just in their advertising attempts, but actually getting into national politics. Apparently Conservatives are not welcome at Google, as James Damore showed us. And supposedly the rest of that bunch as well. One would think that they would know better, but apparently not. Write your congressperson if you are concerned. Congress does not as yet have a clear understanding of the public attitude nor understanding of what is going on.



The Stakes in the Battle for Hong Kong are High by The Elephant's Child

We normally have a number of readers from Hong Kong. We do have readers from all over the world, which always surprises me, though I welcome it enthusiastically. But our Hong Kong readers have apparently been out in the streets for the last three days, and they’re not through yet. Americans aren’t really much aware of what is going on in that part of the world. Here, Dr. Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee does a good job of explaining the issues.

You probably noticed when President Trump threatened Mexico with some significant tariffs if the didn’t make an effort to help out with the immigration crisis, the ever-so-responsible Media erupted with cries of “Trade Wars” and all the disaster to our people and our country if the despicable Trump was stupidly starting a trade war. Of course, he was not. He was giving the Mexicans a nudge, pointing out that they were creating a serious problem for us with their lax treatment of migrants, and that if they wanted to e stubborn about it, we had some consequences available that they would not like at all. Mexico promptly decided that being helpful was probably a good idea. Now the press is claiming that we are trying to start a Trade War with China, which is not true either.

And that really has not much of anything to do with the eruptions in Hong Kong. Claudia Rosett, splendid international reporter, does an excellent job of explaining the stakes.

In Hong Kong’s huge protest over a proposed law that would allow extradition from the territory to mainland China, there is far more at stake than “confidence” in the integrity of Hong Kong’s legal system, or the health of Hong Kong’s economy — important though those both are. The real showdown going on in Hong Kong has long been between despotism and democracy, between tyranny and the Free World. And whether we, the free people of America, and our allies, choose to think of it this way or not, the reality is that the showdown now taking place in Hong Kong will shape our future as well.

For two reasons, the people of Hong Kong — in their efforts to stop this ruinous extradition law — deserve the strongest support we can muster. One reason is quite simply that it is the right thing to do, though in international politics that is often a backseat priority. The other reason– perhaps more compelling to those inclined to think of Hong Kong as a faraway foreign place and none of our business — is that it is a high-risk precedent for the Free World to abandon its own. It invites aggression by the likes of China (and Russia, Iran, North Korea, etc.) against us and our allies. Which is what it will boil down to, if the U.S., the U.K. and other democratic powers do not find some way to buttress the demands of Hong Kong’s demonstrators. It is vital that Washington persuade Beijing and its satrap in Hong Kong, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, that it would be wise to scrap this proposed law, and moronic –or at least astoundingly expensive — to push it through.




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