American Elephants


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.



Trump Is a Dictator and Other Democrat Language Excess by The Elephant's Child

Daniel Henninger had a splendid column in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. “Democrat’s assaults on the Trump presidency roll in like the ocean’s tides. But the one that landed on the beach today that deserves to go under the microscope. It is the notion that Donald Trump is a dictator.”

He rolls on through Attorney General William Barr’s refusal to appear before the committee after being slandered and ridiculed the day before, noting the other Democrats who piled on. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) raged that “If a Democratic President acted this way. Republicans would be calling him or her a dictator. Henninger added that this is progress. We’ve moved on from Trump-is-Hitler to mere dictator, which is discussable.

Nadler added that what is at stake in the standoff between President Trump and the Democrats is “the very system of government of the United States is “the very system of government of the United States, the system of limited power…”

Henninger asked “When in the past 20 years has a national Democrat invoked “limited power”?”

He added:

Of late, the Democratic left has adopted a familiar post election strategy: Taint elections they lose, and then delegitimize the opposition in the public’s mind to win the next election. …

America’s political left is impatient for power. It is frustrated it hasn’t been able to achieve its agenda on issues like health-care nationalization or climate policy through the normal legislative process, so it is trying to force it—by redesigning the political system to give itself power long enough to impose what it wants. In short, by dictating policy change.

To get there, the left is pushing to abolish the Electoral College and expand the Supreme Court. As power grabs go, these are pretty naked.

That’s quite clearly what today’s Democrats are up to. They would prefer to be running the country, saving us all from the horrors of climate change to secure their perpetual control. Pay attention to China’s electronic control of the Chinese people, and treatment of dissidents. The Uighurs, a Moslem segment of the Chinese people, are essentially in a concentration camp to be re-educated. Putin has
adopted the Chinese system of computerized facial recognition, which he is putting into force in Moscow. The Russians are apparently to be monitored as the Chinese people are. Total control would seem to be not far behind. Live correctly and behave properly, and the government will allow you to use the government facilities like trains and planes, and perhaps even travel. I suppose such control is so enticing for dictator types that it would be hard to resist. It is up to Americans to be alert to what is going on around the world, and what the implications are for our freedom.

I natter a lot about human nature, and trying to understand that which is just human nature and not subject to being “fixed.”. We are a highly imperfect species, and many cannot resist the attempt to grab for more power and control. Bureaucracy is an enemy, not our friend.



Democrats on the Campaign Trail Now Number 24. I think. by The Elephant's Child

Excellent news today. President Trump has another judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals over Democrat objections.  On Wednesday he got another victory with the confirmation of Kenneth Lee. He is slowly remaking the hard Left Ninth Circuit.

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China have escalated, but the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits has dropped even further. This suggests that rising tariffs and retaliation by China have not hurt American workers.  Claims were expected to decline to 219,000 but declined by 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 212.000 instead.

Attorney General William Barr has made it clear that he intends to restore his department’s credibility.  He has appointed seasoned U.S. Attorney John Durham to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation. If the Justice Department had done this two years ago the country would be in a better place. He gets credit for not calling him a “special counsel”. Mr. Durham is known not only as an experienced prosecutor, but as a straight arrow. He doesn’t bring prosecutions lightly, but is not afraid to hold the powerful to
account. Which is clearly what Democrats are worried about.

Special counsels are only supposed to be appointed when the Justice Department is too conflicted to investigate a matter. We had a Justice Department that for two years used the Mueller probe as an excuse to not comply with Congressional oversight. Americans expect accountability and transparency from their government. We’re finally getting them.

New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio entered the presidential race today, after imposing the “Green New Deal” on the city, to the outraged laughter of New Yorkers. He announced that he wanted to improve the job situation for American workers. Huh? Been there, done that. I guess Mr. DeBlasio hasn’t noticed. Obama apparently favors Beto O’Rourke, because he reminds him of himself. Still absorbed with number one. From Conrad Black, who knows a thing or two about journalism:

The last fact that the Democrats have not begun to deal with in the effort to unseat the president is his extraordinary success. The economic performance is phenomenal, and the pathetic attempts of President Obama to claim credit for the economic recovery, like his fatuities about “the magic wand,” will be mocked with vicious hilarity. The success of this president in proclaiming a border emergency and doing something about it will be noted.

So far, President Trump has built over 500 miles of border wall. The Democrats don’t understand that a majority of the American people want immigration controlled. The candidates vying for the Democrat nomination are uniformly anxious to not only eliminate the tax cuts which they see as giving money to the rich, but to raise taxes as well. Good luck with that one.

One never knows what to expect. Beto O’Rourke invited us along on his hair cut today, along with his camera crew. But then he posted the video of his teeth-cleaning as well. Is this an effort to show us that he’s just like us ? Like Elizabeth Warren’s “I think I’ll have me a beer?” Poking fun is way more enjoyable than serious criticism.  More richly deserved as well.

 



The Reality of China Today by The Elephant's Child
April 6, 2019, 3:35 am
Filed under: Bureaucracy, China, Communism, Economy, History, Politics, Regulation, Terrorism

Here’s a not-to-be-missed article by Gordon G. Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China, from Friday’s edition of American GreatnessHe explains something about the reality of China today. It is an important issue, and we need to understand what they are about, and what they are up to. They are becoming a vast high technology society, and the world is depending on their manufactures and products. They are stealing our technology, and we are not very sure of their aims.

China today is a very tightly controlled society. Everyone is monitored, and to get benefits like taking a train trip one needs lots of good social credits which come from things as simple as obeying traffic lights and donating blood, and all sorts of “good behavior,” like getting the right amount of exercise. They are building high technology centers  everywhere, and clearly spending billions on high-tech infrastructure.

The article is called China’s Han Superstate: The New Third Reich. And do add American Greatness to your list of excellent websites.



The State of the Union Speech by The Elephant's Child

Oh excellent, excellent and most excellent. President Trump gave his best speech yet. Democrats were all prepared to go on and on about his lying and bragging. Not going to work. He explained his accomplishments for the country, why they needed to be done, and how they are working. He explained his hopes for the country and for the world, and asked for their help in getting it done.

I saw Nancy Pelosi all in white, but it took a while to realize that all the Democrat women were in white, symbolizing something or other. I apparently missed the explanation. I thought they were imitating Cuba’s Women in White, with their usual lack of comprehension of Communism, but I understand that they were thinking of themselves as “suffragettes” who nobody remembers and have nothing to do with white clothes as far as I can remember. I’m female, but definitely not a feminist, and find them  embarrassing. They seemed to have lot of trouble figuring out when to stand and when to sit, when to smile and when to scowl. Speaker Pelosi seemed to have big chunk of lemon in her cheek which she bit down on in the more stressful moments. (The cheering, the shouts of USA, USA!)

Chuck Schumer said that Stacey Abrams was a wonderful speaker, so I was interested but completely unfamiliar with her. I guess nobody checked on what she was going to say. Yea Unions! Boo depriving the people of their votes? Huh? Nice family stories, but utterly ill-informed about what is happening in the United States, except for Democrat propaganda. Little children in cages and all that. Seems like a nice lady. She tried to make a big deal out of the government shutdown, which was an inconvenience, but ruined no one’s life. I’m afraid that she was chosen as the first African-American woman to give the response to a State of the Union speech. Democrats think like that. The actuality of what is said isn’t that important.

Really funny to listen to the media’s comments pre-speech. Senator Schumer’s anticipatory comments were an absolute disgrace. He should be ashamed. There is really no place for that. Schumer has been in Congress since 1981. The venom of the Left knows no bounds.



Weaponized Words: Language is Today’s Disruptive Technology by The Elephant's Child
pexels-photo-1309899Charles Hill explains that language is arguably the most fundamental human tool. In history, at certain times, when language has undergone major changes, it has disrupted the world order. This is such a time.

“A language revolution is under way, propelled by an eruption of electronic communication technologies that, while enhancing productivity, are also creating social and political chaos. The e-revolution in communication is challenging, even threatening, the conduct of responsible governance. Thanks to digital technologies, marginal sociopaths are being empowered to organize and act collectively as never before; dictatorial regimes are perfecting powerful tools to monitor and suppress entire populations; and instantaneous popular judgments on political issues are beginning to overwhelm representative government as designed by the founders to avoid the chaos-producing “direct” democracy of premodern societies. …

Today’s social media distort this relationship. Instant communication by way of platforms such as Twitter makes it possible for individuals to immediately express the slightest emotionally disruptive and damaging reaction to events or ideas to a worldwide audience. Opinions and private outbursts once perceived as self-harmful blunders, resolved by improving one’s repressive subconscious mechanisms, are now instantly exposed to multitudes in a permanent form. Civilization depends upon the time and ability to contain such eruptions; the “discontents” created by acts of self-control are the price of civil society. Were every discontent expressed, the public sphere would collapse as “all communication, all the time,instantly produces a surrounding effect. As the astute columnist Peggy Noonan wrote, we are agitating and exciting the unstable sector of the population, a sector that increasingly grows larger, a Pandora’s box of once-subconscious partisan venom breaking open as no one becomes able to suppress the slightest discontent.

As the individual is “liberated” by the ability to promulgate unconstrained feelings in every direction, the governing regimes of the world are gaining new powers of surveillance, intrusion, and control over their populations. The 2011 “Arab spring” uprisings were considered at first to be made possible by the new language-spreading technologies in every young person’s hand; it was widely agreed, at the time, that such tools of expression would be beyond the abilities of dictators to control. Such an assumption was foolhardy; the Arab spring was crushed in a few short months as the old powers—colonels, hereditary monarchs, strong-armed clans with puppet “parliaments”—regained control even as they were assaulted by even more ideologically autocratic radicals claiming religious dominion.

“For the rest of this essay, go here.

Strange times. We are already seeing the dictatorial regime in China increasingly controlling the lives of ordinary citizens. And here at home we are seeing the journalism profession being transformed by partisan politics into something unrecognizable as a profession or a purveyor of truth. Our universities are indoctrinating rather than educating our children.



China’s Future and Current Megaprojects by The Elephant's Child

China has more than 400 companies making inexpensive tiny electric cars called LSEVs for Low Speed Electric Vehicles. The price starts at about $1,000. U.S.
Not exactly for long road trips, I guess, but interesting for around town.

I ran into this while looking at the tiny electric cars. China seems to be going all out to modernize and make the most of technology in every way. I’m not sure what the time span for all this to be built is. When we start talking about a big “Infrastructure” project here at home, it becomes a very big deal, and
everything seems to cost too much.

How are the Chinese managing to pay for all of this? We know they do a lot of stealing technology and plans, but they clearly have fine architects and builders and technology people.

This was originally published on February 9, 2016, so it’s nearly three years old, but fascinating.  China is a very centrally controlled country. People are tracked wherever they go, and earn points (or lose them depending on their actions), if you lose too many cooperative good points, you can’t travel or enjoy many ordinary privileges.

Do click on the link just above. When people start talking about “control” we need to understand fully what is meant by the word and the urge. I find it extremely scary.




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