American Elephants


About the Constitution and The First Amendment by The Elephant's Child

We talk a lot about Free Speech in America because we believe deeply in the First Amendment. I’m not sure that all of us are aware that it is solely directed at the government, not at us. You can say whatever you want, but it may get you expelled or censored or punched in the nose.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Europeans are free to say only what the courts allow them to say.

When he was 50, the prophet of Islam took as his wife Aisha, who was then six or seven. The marriage was consummated when Aisha was nine.

This is not a smear. It is an accurate account of authoritative Islamic scripture. (See, e.g., Sahih-Bukhari, Vol. 5, Book 58, Nos. 234–236.) Yet it can no longer safely be discussed in Europe, thanks to the extortionate threat of violence and intimidation — specifically, of jihadist terrorism and the Islamist grievance industry that slipstreams behind it. Under a ruling by the so-called European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), free speech has been supplanted by sharia blasphemy standards.

Mrs. S appealed, relying on Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. That provision purports to safeguard “freedom of expression” although it works much like the warranty on your used refrigerator.  It sounds as if you would be covered, but the fine print doesn’t follow through.

Article 10 starts out: Europeans are free “to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.”  Followed by the legal details: One’s exercise of the right to impart information, “carries with it duties and responsibilities.” What is called “freedom” is actually “subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties” that the authorities decide are “necessary in a democratic society,” including for “public safety” and for “the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others.”

Translation: Europeans are free to say only what they are permitted to say by the unelected judges of the European courts. Truth is irrelevant. As the jurists reasoned in the case of Mrs. S., a person’s freedom to assert facts must be assessed in “the wider context” that balances “free” expression against “the right of others to have their religious feelings protected,” as well as “the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace.”

In other words, you cannot say anything that might upset Muslims. Child marriage, violent jihad, the duty to kill apostates, the treatment of women as chattel, that sort of things. Doesn’t matter if these tenents are accurately stated or supported by scriptural grounding makes no difference. Reliance on what their scriptures say could be classified as “an abusive attack on the Prophet of Islam, which could stir up prejucdce and put religious peace at risk.

There is no free speech in Islam. Sharia does not merely forbid speech that insults or denigrates Islam; they regard as blasphemy – and punish viciously – any form of expression that places Islam in an unfavorable light. Enacting laws against child marriage would be tantamount to saying that Mohammed was in the wrong, and that is unacceptable. So child marriage, among other things, remains a major problem in Islamic countries. In Saudi Arabia, efforts to establish the marriage at age 15 and some hope to raise it to 18 have been rejected by sharia authorities.

As we have said before, Europe seems bent on committing suicide.

Here, the Left’s increasing reliance on feelings as the most important guidepost is worrisome, and their contempt for the Constitution is even more a matter for very deep concern.

Advertisements


“The Strange Death Of Europe” by The Elephant's Child

Here is another speech, a very good one, and important,by Douglas Murray.

Douglas Kear Murray (born 16 July 1979) is a British author, journalist, and political commentator. He is the founder of the Center for Social Cohesion and is an associate editor of The Spectator, a British magazine discussing culture and politics, and is the associate director of the Henry Jackson Society. (Yes, our own Scoop Jackson) Murray’s most recent book is The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam(2017).

Douglas Murray clearly identifies the strange case of the suicide of Europe, and how and why it is happening. The speech is a very real warning to America. We need to pay attention.

It’s all about guilt, the new theme of our Democratic Party, guilt for the misdeeds of our forbears, the shame of our past, and how (they think) we can redeem ourselves. Throw in political correctness and goofy feminism, racism, and a deep lack of understanding of history, with our Constitution, and  the overweening importance of power and control.



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.



A Study Reveals That 72 Terrorists Came From the Countries In Trump’s Travel Ban by The Elephant's Child

Trumpsigns-1

On January 27, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order 13769 which banned travel from seven countries, largely Muslim in population, that supported terrorism. Well! Huge Liberal outcry. He Can’t Do That! Lawsuits,! Liberal judges said no. Trump accused of racism, cruelty, etc., etc. Ninth Circuit judges said there is no evidence showing a risk to the United States in allowing aliens from these seven terror-associated countries to come in. Case went to Supreme Court.  June 26, Supreme Court upholds ban. You probably remember all of this. It was very noisy. But eventually we find out what it was all about.

Jessica Vaughn from the Center for Immigration Studies (cis.org) reported on a review of information compiled by a Senate committee in 2016 reveals that 72 individuals from the seven countries covered in President Trump’s vetting order have been convicted in terror cases since the 9/11 attacks. These facts stand is stark contrast to the assertions by the Ninth circuit judges who blocked the president’s order on the basis that there was no evidence.

In June 2016 the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, then chaired by now Attorney General Jeff Sessions, released a report on individuals convicted in terror cases since 9/11. The Obama administration refused to provide government records, so this came from open sources. The report found that 380 our of 500 people convicted in terror cases were foreign born.

The CIS center has obtained a copy of the information compiled by the Senate subcommittee. The report contains names of offenders, dates of conviction, terror group affiliation, federal criminal charges, sentence imposed, state of residence and immigration history.  72 of the individuals named in the Senate report, country of origin was one of the seven countries included in the vetting order.
• Somalia: 20  • Yemen: 18  • Iraq: 19  • Syria: 7 • Iran: 4  • Libya: 2  • Sudan 1

•Total 72

These immigrant terrorists lived in at least 16 different states, with the largest number from the terror-associated countries living in New York (10), Minnesota (8), California (8), and Michigan (6). Ironically, Minnesota was one of the states suing to block Trump’s order to pause entries from the terror-associated countries, claiming it harmed the state. At least two of the terrorists were living in Washington, which joined with Minnesota in the lawsuit to block the order.

Thirty-three of the 72 individuals from the seven terror-associated countries were convicted of very serious terror-related crimes, and were sentenced to at least three years imprisonment. The crimes included use of a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit a terror act, material support of a terrorist or terror group, international money laundering conspiracy, possession of explosives or missiles, and unlawful possession of a machine gun.

It’s the usual story. Big outcry from the Left. Liberals don’t know what they are talking about, they just object. When they are proven wrong, or make big mistakes, it just all vanishes down the memory hole.



Sometimes You Have To Deal With Hard Questions by The Elephant's Child

GettyImages-56751036-420x315

America, we have a problem. It is mostly a problem of definitions. Defining words and what they mean. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has gone to Britain to badmouth the United States of America. She slammed U.S. efforts to secure the border and told the BBC that the immigration policies of President Donald J. Trump “makes it very hard for America to tell Europeans what to do if we can’t figure out how to be more humane ourselves.”

One would expect more from a former Secretary of State. Sorry, Mrs. Albright, We cannot open the borders of the country to everyone who might wish to come. Europe is slowly coming to the same realization. The problem is with words ( and the understanding of words) like “humane,””empathy.” “compassion,” “charity,” “mercy.” Above all, it is a misunderstanding of radical Islam. It is easy to babble on about generosity and fellow-feeling, but laws require specifics.

It is not “compassionate” to suggest that we should open the borders to all the 7+ billion people of the world. Oh, you didn’t mean that? Then specifically how many do you think we can admit without creating hardship and death for current American citizens? Potential immigrants are not all nice people. The 1st duty of the federal government is to protect American citizens.

Angela Merkel is backtracking as fast as she can to save her administration, by putting some restriction on immigration. She agreed to set up “transit camps for migrants at the border, and to eventually turn some of them away,” Now she’s got to convince Austria and Hungary who “must agree to take back some of the migrants in order to satisfy the Bavarian partners in her own government.”

Observers (like us) read the news of rapes, murders, child sexual grooming, attacks on citizens, bombs and knife attacks, and acknowledge that it means the Suicide of Europe.  Under current situations, Europe will be Islamic not too far in the future.

We are confronted with a religion —Islam—that in its purest form, demands that its adherents kill anyone who does not submit.  Did you miss the pictures of our journalists being beheaded? Apparently Kathy Griffin did. Protesters in Iran risk being put to death for their apostasy.  Islam— demands that homosexuals be thrown to their death from tall buildings or off cliffs, or anyone that seems to not be obedient. They are also fond of stoning unbelievers or those who have strayed in some way.

America was settled by immigrants fleeing the religious wars of Europe, and searching for somewhere where they could have freedom of religion. Even today our Supreme Court is regularly deciding questions about freedom of religion. Democrats are expressing horror at the possibility that a potential judicial nominee might be Catholic and not favor abortion.

This is a different question than the simple idea of freedom of religion, and nobody wants to face up to hard questions. There are people like Ayan Hirsi Ali who have escaped (literally) from Islam. There are many people who have explained the Moslem religion, and too many who parrot the phrase “Islam is a religion of Peace” without understanding. Our Reformation was so long ago (1517-1648) that the word is now being used for a new line of women’s clothes.  Cute.  And the office of Secretary of State is used to get former opponents out of the way.



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.”

 



Here’s What Obama Had to Say About The Iran Deal Back Then by The Elephant's Child

LV_20131029_LV_FOTOS_D_54392535175-992x558@LaVanguardia-Web

I was looking in an old notebook, and ran across a couple of quotes I had jotted down from President Obama about the Iran Deal: I won’t testify as to their accuracy, as it’s clear I was scribbling fast. I can hardly read my writing.

“It shows what we can accomplish when we lead from a position of strength, and a position of principle. When we unite the international community around a shared vision, and we resolve to solve problems peacefully.”

Well, that sounds like Obama, doesn’t it? I can’t remember who it was who described him as “a real good talker.”

“With this deal, we cut off every single one of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapons program, and Iran’s nuclear program will be under severe limits for many years.  Without a deal these pathways remain open, there would be no limits on Iran’s nuclear program, and Iran could move closer to a nuclear bomb.”

Sounds like Obama alright. That worked out well.




%d bloggers like this: