American Elephants


Same Old, Same Old Rush Hour Struggle to Get to Work on Time! by The Elephant's Child

A couple of days into the New Year, and in spite of all the hype, things don’t seem all that much different, or do they? Back to the same old battles with the morning rush to get to work on time. But other countries have the same rush to get to work, but what they have to accept as routine is just a little bit different.

A Notable Reminder: It could be a lot worse!



Patrick Moore, the Sensible Environmentalist by The Elephant's Child

Patrick Moore was one of the founders of Greenpeace, and deeply interested in saving the world’s whales when Japan was increasing their interest in whaling. Japanese whalers have for many years exploited a loophole in the founding treaty of the International Whaling Commission which allows whaling for ‘scientific research’. Whaling was a major industry, peaking in 1846 to1852 for whale oil, spermaceti oil and whalebone for ladies corsets. (think Moby Dick). The Japanese have announced a return to whaling in July of this year.

Moore came to environmentalism because of who he is and where he was born, and left Greenpeace because he is an honest man. He believes firmly that science and environmentalism can go together. He is not impressed with the Green New Deal, to put it mildly.



Pearl Harbor Day December 7, 1941 — 77 Years Ago by The Elephant's Child

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Sailors and others try to get good viewing spots to witness the surrender of Japan USS Missouri
Japanese Diplomat Toshikazu Kase, who was part of the official delegation surrendering to General Douglas MacArthur, above, on the deck of the battleship Missouri, wrote about the surrender:

Here is the victor announcing the verdict to the prostrate enemy.  He can impose a humiliating penalty if he so desires.  And yet he pleads for freedom, tolerance and justice.  For me, who expected the worst humiliation, this was a complete surprise.  I was thrilled beyond words, spellbound, thunderstruck.

It took 3 years, nine months and eight days.  Pity, and sorrow, but no apologies.

The numbers of those who actually remember Pearl Harbor are declining as the greatest generation passes away. Big events loom large in the lives of those who were alive at the time, and then slip gradually into that broad category of history. But it is important to understand how those big events changed history, and changed the world. Knowledge and understanding may help us avoid mistakes and untoward reactions when something happens in our lives.



pearl harbor and the legacy of carl vinson by The Elephant's Child


U.S. Navy Photo: USS Carl Vinson

Seventy-seven years ago on December 7, 1941, carrier planes from  the Imperial Japanese fleet attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in a surprise attack on the home of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. It was followed a few days later by an attack on the Philippines.

The surprise attack on the fleet killed 2,402 Americans, sank or submerged 19 ships, including eight battleships damaged or destroyed. Just four days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.

Victor Davis Hanson writes today of the contribution of one Democratic Congressman from Georgia, Carl Vinson. Do read the whole thing.

The Japanese fleet had missed the three absent American carriers of the Pacific Fleet. Nonetheless, Japanese admirals were certain that the United States was so crippled after the attack that it would not be able to go on the offensive against the Japanese Pacific empire for years, if at all. Surely the wounded Americans would sue for peace, or at least concentrate on Europe and keep out of the Japanese-held Pacific.

That was a fatal miscalculation.

The Japanese warlords had known little of the tireless efforts of one Democratic congressman from Georgia, Carl Vinson.

For nearly a decade before Pearl Harbor, Vinson had schemed and politicked in brilliant fashion to ensure that America was building a two-ocean navy larger than all the major navies of the world combined.

If you have a history buff on your gift list, get them a copy of Dr. Hanson’s brilliant new book: The Second Word WarsIf you’re feeling generous, add With the Old Breed by Eugene Sledge.

This should be a good reminder to consider carefully who you are electing to serve in Congress. It matters.



The Timetables of History by The Elephant's Child

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1933An Unusual Year

Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States dies
Edouard Daladier becomes Premier of France
Adolph Hitler appointed German Chancellor
U.S.Congress votes independence for Phillippines
First U.S. Aircraft Carrier “Ranger” is launched

The Reichstag Fire in Berlin
F.D. Roosevelt inaugurated as the 32nd President of the United States
Frances Perkins appointed Secretary of Labor, first woman in the Cabinet
Hermann Goering named Prussian Prime Minister
Goebbels named Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda

Boycott of Jews begins in Berlin
Japan withdraws from the League of Nations
Hitler granted dictatorial powers
Dachau opened
21st Amendment to the Constitution repealed (Prohibition)
Fiorello La Guardia elected Mayor of New York City

The Army of the United States was 137,000 men. (The French Army was 5 million)



The Differences between the Political Parties Couldn’t be Clearer. by The Elephant's Child

I posted this piece in November of 2013, and not all that much has changed.

What is the difference between Republicans and Democrats?  I suspect that most people don’t really know. Republicans  are usually pretty clear about what we believe, and can express it clearly — that’s why we argue so much. It’s a big-tent party that welcomes Conservatives, Tea Party people, Libertarians, “mainstream” Republicans, Independents, and all sorts of people who are deeply interested in a single issue. Republicans don’t usually conform to current talking points as Democrats do.

Republicans are committed to principles, Democrats admit that they don’t have any, and react to events as they occur, which they believe is a superior way of thinking.

Republicans worry about debt and taxes, economic growth, and individual liberty. Democrats’ care about winning. When they win, they have the power to tax and spend which will enable them to win the next time.

Republicans believe in low taxes, because the money belongs to individuals who, on the whole will use it far better than the government would. Free people and free-market capitalism. The decisions of the mass market will usually be far better than the decisions of the enlightened few.

Democrats believe in government money. It is money they are entitled to spend because of taxes which are paid by rich people who don’t deserve it. (At some point you have enough money). When they leave government “service” they will move to lobbying or NGO’s or corporate boards, or other well remunerated positions. It’s a good life.

Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Charles Schumer and Max Baucus have never done anything but government. No private sector experience at all. I haven’t had time to go through the rest of the list, but I would expect a lot more of the same. So they do not understand profit and loss, nor risk, nor meeting a payroll— any of that stuff. They seem a little weak in the math department as well. And economics? Any bets?

So these are the people who believed they could write a successful health insurance program for 330 million people to replace the world’s finest health care system. They believed they could convince ordinary Americans that it will cost less and be a vast improvement over what they had. They knew perfectly well that it would take some convincing. We got a lot of convincing, direct from their President and all his minions.

And there is not any part of it that can be believed. They tell you that they care about you, but unfortunately — they lie.

No change. We just get called more names, and they’re not even creative ones.



An Historic Timeline: Leaving Out Quite a Bit by The Elephant's Child

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I am fond of making timelines for my own information, to help me understand the order in which things happened, which it turns out, matters. Here’s one:

The Norman Invasion, Battle of Hastings 1066 : “William the Conqueror”
Magna Charta 1215
Black Death 1348-1350
The Renaissance 1350-1600
Hundred Years War  1337-1453 (France: Crecy, Portiers, Joan d’Arc)
War of the Roses  1455-1485  Lancaster v. York
First Watch invented  1502
Martin Luther 1517, Calvin 1532, John Knox 1541, – The Reformation
Spanish Conquest 1519-1535
Henry VIII 1534  Breaks Away from the Catholic Church
First Western Entry to Japan  1542
The Armada  1588
Elizabeth I Dies  1602
The English Civil War 1642-1660 Roundheads v. Cavaliers, Cromwell
American Revolution 1776-1781 (Yorktown)
Washington’s Farewell  1783
Napolean Bonaparte coup -proclaimed emperor 1799
Napoleonic Wars 1804-1815
Waterloo 1815
Crimean War 1853
Darwin Origin of Species  1859
American Civil War  1861 – 1865
Canada becomes Dominion  1867
Boer War 1899 – 1902
Russian Revolution  1903 – 1917
Irish Potato Famine  1846
Irish Free State (Dominion Status) 1922

………………………..Little Ice Age circa 1450 – 1850

……………Yes, It’s an odd quirk, and I obviously left out quite a bit.




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