American Elephants


Trump Buries The Old-World Order by The Elephant's Child

Victor Davis Hanson had a new column up yesterday at the Hoover Institution’s “Defining Ideas” in which he explains our history in statecraft and diplomacy, and what he calls the Old-World Order, since the end of the Second World War, He explains how we got here and where we are today, and what the Trump administration is doing about it. It’s not long and I found it fascinating to have it all put together so concisely.

The present continuance of institutions such as the EU, NATO, UN, and others suggests that the world goes on exactly as before. In fact, these alphabet organizations are becoming shadows of their former selves, more trouble to end than to allow to grow irrelevant. The conditions that created them after the end of World War II, and subsequently sustained them even after the fall of the Berlin Wall, no longer really exist.

The once grand bipartisan visions of American diplomats such as Dean Acheson, George Kennan, George Marshall and others long ago more than fulfilled their enlightened promises. The U.S. in 1945, unlike in 1918, rightly stayed engaged in Europe after another world war. America helped to rebuild what the old Axis powers had destroyed in Asia and Europe.

At great cost, and at times in both folly and wisdom, the U.S. and its allies faced down 300 Soviet and Warsaw Pact divisions. America contained communist aggression through messy surrogate wars, avoided a nuclear exchange, bankrupted an evil communist empire, and gave Eastern Europe and much of Asia the opportunity for self-determination. New postwar protocols enforced by the U.S. Navy made the idea of global free trade, commerce, travel, and communications a reality in a way never seen since the early Roman Empire.

Do read the whole thing, you’ll be glad you did.

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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.



The Globalists Have a Major Blind Spot by The Elephant's Child

Here is Jonathan Haidt, talking on globalism and nationalism and why they are incompatible. There are some real problems with global thinking, and Haidt exposes them, one by one. We get remarkably confused as to what human nature is all about, and shifting psychology and changing generations and just where we get off track. It’s an interesting talk. Just slightly over 10 minutes. Big audience. April, 2018.

Jonathan Haidt is an American social psychologist and Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business. His academic specialization is the psychology of morality and the moral emotions. Haidt is the author of two books: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom (2006) and The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (2012). He is also the founder of the Heterodox Academy to support viewpoint diversity in academia: https://heterodoxacademy.org/ In this talk from Apr 2018, he talks about the generation after millennials,



The Future is Coming Whether We Welcome It Or Not by The Elephant's Child

My mail contained some startling notices. In the Netherlands, in  the city of Eindhoven, they are building a neighborhood of 3D printed houses. I saw pictures of a house they 3D printed here at a cost of around $3,600 (If I remember correctly) that looked attractive and like a normal house only very small. A whole new concept of neighborhoods and living. This one looks as if it was designed for migrants from a children’s book. Kids would love them. You can google 3D houses to see what’s being developed in this country.

Thinking about D-Day, I couldn’t help but wonder if we are going to have to do it again. The EU Government seems to think it will all go well as the migrants adapt and become Europeans. The Migrants seem to have no intention of assimilating, and just expect to take over in a generation or two, when they become the majority. Whether they want to eliminate the current Europeans is an unknown, but attacks seem to continue everywhere. The thinking of the EU government seems to have little to do with the ideas and interests of the people, with rare exceptions. See Victor Davis Hanson’s “Europe’s Vanishing Calm” at National Review.

It’s  now against the law in California to shower and do laundry in the same day. The Outgoing Governor Jerry Brown wants a few draconian laws passed as a parting gift to the state. This one is designed to help California to be prepared for future droughts and, of course, to help defray the effects of climate change. Governor Moonbeam remains a true believer. The mandatory water conservation standards will be permanent, not just in times of crisis.

But at the EPA, the valiant Scott Pruitt is doing some genuine cost-benefit reform. Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency rammed through an average of 565 new rules each year during the Obama Presidency, imposing the highest regulatory costs of any agency in the government. It pulled this off by arranging the supposed benefits to fit whatever cost they thought they could get away with. Regulations can impose severe costs on the economy. By adding “social costs” and “social benefits” Obama’s EPA added speculation about causing childhood asthma (scientists don’t know yet what causes it) which sounds good, and is hard to object to. Removing useless regulations has been a boon to commerce. The EPA has a statutory obligation to look at the costs and benefits of proposed rules, which were reinforced by executive orders and court rulings.

The EPA will take the first step today by issuing an advance notice of proposed rule-making. After weighing public input, EPA will propose a rule establishing an agency-wide standard for how regulations are assessed. The reform will make it easier for Americans and their elected representatives to see whether more regulation can be justified. At White House direction, the Trump EPA recalculated the “social cost” of prior regulations to include only demonstrable domestic benefits. The social cost estimates dropped to an average of $5 per ton of carbon from $36. The EPA had put the social cost of methane at an average of $1,100 per ton. The Trump EPA lowered that to $150 per ton. As they say, $1,000 here, and $2,000 there and pretty soon you’re talking real money. On his first day in office Mr. Pruitt said his goal was to protect the environment and the economy, and that “we don’t have to choose between the two.”

 



D-Day, June 6, 1944. by The Elephant's Child

Every year, the remembrance of D-Day grows a little weaker, as it fades into history. A young man of 18 on June 6, 1944 would now be 92. There are not many left, and now it is only those who were children then who remember events as they were happening. I always post something about the anniversary, but many years it is just a repost of what I wrote a previous year. You can access them all by entering “D-Day” in the blank over Bob Hope’s head in the sidebar.  Last year’s post of a book review of “D-Day Through German Eyes” is interesting and the links still work.

They All Hate Us, Right?” was a post in 2008 about the French reenacters. I don’t know if they are still doing it, but it’s interesting simply because it points out that it isn’t just the current media who don’t know what they are writing about, it’s been going on for a long time. Piper Millin’s story is a good one as well.

One of my favorite stories I don’t know if I ever wrote about, but it is some real evidence of our common humanity. It concerns the photo which all of us have probably seen many times of the GI in the water on D-Day, huddled behind a beach obstacle, trying to avoid the rifle fire, and looking terrified, but determined. There are hundreds of men all across the United States who claim to have been that guy. Don’t give me any of your “toxic masculinity” nonsense. Men are useful far, far beyond their ability to open jars and eliminate scary spiders.

Once again I want to urge you, if you have an interest in history or maybe more if you don’t, to buy and read Victor Davis Hanson’s The Second World Wars. Europe does seem, at present, to be slowly committing suicide. They are realizing that a good many of their migrants have no intention of assimilating and some of the countries are considering ways to block more migrants and if they can, to remove some who are already there. Here are a couple of brief excerpts:

The D-Day invasion of Normandy (Operation Overlord) was the largest combined land and sea operation conducted since the invasion of Greece by King Xerxes of Persia in spring 480 B.C. It dwarfed all of history’s star-crossed beach landings from Marathon to Gallipoli (April 1915). Normandy would serve as a model for large subsequent America seaborne operations from Iwo Jima (February 1945) and Okinawa (April 1945) to Inchon (September 1950). It made all prior iconic cross-Channel invasions in either direction—Caesar’s (55 BC), William the Conqueror’s (1066), Henry V’s (1415), or the 1809 British landing in Flanders—seem minor amphibious operations in comparison.  …

Over 150,000 Allied troops landed the first day on five British, Canadian, and American  assigned beaches, along with over twenty-five thousand airborne soldiers dropped behind German lines. Unlike possible spots in the Cotentin Peninsula or at Calais, the Allies believed that landings in Normandy would pose far more of a surprise, given the somewhat greater distance from Britain. More important, the expansive geography of the Normandy beaches would not box in the invading Allied armies on a confined peninsula or allow the  Germans to focus on a narrow front. Unlike the prior landings in Sicily and Italy, Operation Overlord had been carefully planned for over a year, drawing on the lessons from the Allies past amphibious problems at Dieppe, Sicily, Salerno and Anzio. New inventions and weapons were crafted for the invasion, from portable “Mulberry ” harbors to PLUTO (“pipelines under the ocean”) fuel lines laid under the English Channel and to Sherman and Churchill tanks modified  to uncover mines, cut barbed wire, provide pathways over the soft beaches, and bridge obstacles.

At this point I always have a flashback to the Robin Hood movie with Russell Crowe, when history deficient Hollywood had Robin headed for the beaches to prevent the landing of Henry V, and Henry’s troops were landing in Higgins Boats made out of driftwood, with the iconic front panel that drops down to allow the troops to run (or swim) for the beach. There were Higgins boats in the Lord of the Rings trilogy as well, but fortunately not so obvious. Andrew Jackson Higgins’ little plywood landing crafts played a big part in winning the war.



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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