American Elephants


President Trump Goes to India by The Elephant's Child

Of course, the obligatory visit to the Taj Mahal, a stunningly beautiful building built of white marble. It is a mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra.

It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan who reigned from 1628 to 1658, to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Muntaz Mahal, and also contains the tomb of Shah Jahan himself. It is the centerpiece of 42 acres that contains a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall. Muntaz Mahal died while giving birth to their 14th child in 1631. Her death left the emperor heartbroken, and his hair was said to have turned grey overnight. The construction began in 1632.

Here are the pictures from the President’s visit It’s fun to scroll through them. There’s a picture that’s my favorite of a man mounted on a camel, man and camel decorated lavishly with flowers. The camel seems to be smiling in a funny grin, and the gentleman riding him is carrying a Tuba, which he obviously plays at some point.

When you reach the end, do not click on the <2 or 3> which is just a repeat of what you already saw, unless, of course you want to see it all again.



It Makes No Sense, No Sense at All! by The Elephant's Child

From Hot Air, by Kevin Williamson:

Trump’s wrongdoing is real and significant, but Pelosi et al. never had the moral credibility to make a persuasive impeachment case against him or the political juice to get it done. Democrats were talking about impeachment before the man was ever sworn in as president, and they remain emotionally dependent upon their preposterous tale about Russians on Facebook throwing the election to Trump. (The Russians, for their part, wanted paralyzing chaos and to destabilize the United States politically — Mission Accomplished, Ivan.) The Democrats would have been far better off simply telling the truth about Trump’s failings and challenging him at the polls rather than presenting this as an apocalyptic drama that cannot wait for an election and resolution on ordinary democratic terms. Apocalyptic dramas are pretty hard to sell when unemployment is low, and it is possible to exaggerate the sins of even Donald Trump.

From Hot Air by David Harsanyi:

While civility is an imperative in a decent society, we can’t ignore that Trump’s coarseness has also helped reveal the liberal establishment’s incivility and disdain for anyone who refuses to adopt its cultural mores. I’m sorry, I have a hard time taking etiquette lessons from people who can’t raise any ire over the Virginia governor’s casual description of euthanizing infants but act as if every Trump tweet should trigger his removal from office through the 25th Amendment.

So while I don’t like Trump any better today than I did when writing those critical pieces, I do live in the world that exists, not the one I wish existed. And that world has changed. What I didn’t foresee when writing about Trump’s candidacy was the American Left’s extraordinary four-year descent into insanity.

Most people grew up in a neighborhood where everyone else was much like themselves. They never knew anyone who was significantly different. I didn’t grow up in a neighborhood, but in the country where the closest neighbors were a mile or more away, and nothing like me at all. But here are two Conservatives who don’t like Trump, and yet have trouble with the Left’s Trump Derangement Syndrome. Williamson finds Trump’s wrongdoing real and significant. ?? Harsanyi doesn’t like him because of his coarseness, Yes, Trump responds directly to attacks, and responds in kind. Anybody remember LBJ?
Well government is hard, and the people often do not like their governors, but Trump’s accomplishments would seem to outweigh at least some of the dislike. And yes, the Democrats had decided to impeach him even before he was elected. Trump’s accomplishments in office are amazing and truly welcome.

Yet: “Trump’s Average Unemployment Rate is the Lowest in Recorded History.” There are more women working than at any time in history, and more women currently working than men. The Washington Examiner follows up with “It’s still possible the economy will decline in time for it to hurt Trump in the election. And the Trump presidency has been polarizing for many other reasons. ”

At Powerline, Steven Hayward quotes Joel Kotkin:
For much of the last seventy years, economic growth has lifted the quality of life in Europe, North America, and East Asia, providing social stability after the violent disruptions of World War II. Today, however, many of the world’s most influential leaders, even in the United States, reject the very notion that societies should improve material wealth and boost incomes given what they believe are more important environmental or social equity concerns. . .
Can anyone out there make sense of all this for me? I thought a president was someone you elected to accomplish things and make the economy better.


These Are Interesting Times Indeed! by The Elephant's Child

I think the ancient Chinese curse is “May you live in interesting times.” I may be mistaken because I didn’t look it up but depended on my memory. Well, they are interesting indeed. President Trump acted on an opportunity to get one the world’s worst terrorist leaders, and our national media erupted in horror, completely forgetting that our embassy in Iraq had been attacked, or ignoring this inconvenient bit. The information was correct, we were able to hit Quassam Soleimani and eliminate a terrorist dedicated to attempts to harm the United States and our military at every opportunity.

Democrats in Congress were incensed that they were not consulted for their formal consent and approval, neglecting to consider that in such situations the President does not need to consult Congress, nor does he need their approval. He is the Commander in Chief. He gets to protect our Embassy, it’s staff, our military.

The Embassy is sovereign American territory, which was attacked. Soleimani has been a formally designated terrorist and terrorist leader since 2007. That this comes in the midst of an attempt to impeach the President with a Democratic Party that is consumed with their desire to get rid of the terrible Trump, leaves the Democrats in a sticky position. They cannot approve of anything Trump does at the moment, yet taking the opposing position puts them on the wrong side as well.

Some have pointed out the example of Benghazi and our embassy there, and the failure of our State Department to provide them with the needed security to prevent the death of the Ambassador, his aide and two former Seals working as government contractors. It was inexcusable.

What is disheartening is the response of the media who can’t put aside their partisan outlook long enough to report events as if they are journalists rather than just partisan Democrats.



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



Victor Davis Hanson on “The Case For Trump” by The Elephant's Child

This was first posted in May, this year. I think it’s time to review it once again, because there is so much here and it is so valuable. Please watch the whole thing, you’ll be glad you did. It’s a long conversation, but you can spread it out over several days if need be.



I Went Missing: Here’s Why by The Elephant's Child

Sorry about that! Microsoft decided to add a formal update, and it did not go well. Needed things disappeared, unneeded things were added, nothing worked, and it took a full day to just become functional again. Beyond my level of expertise. Didn’t miss much.

Democrats remain certifiably crazy in their search for something with which to impeach the bad orange man. They were quite sure that anything and everything he did would be extremely bad, but the economy seems to be booming, wages are up significantly. Unemployment is at record lows. They were sure they really had him when when he took the troops out of Syria, and left the Kurds unprotected, but the President reminded Turkey’s dictator Erdogan that Turkey was being left alone without a single ally in the Middle East, and the Middle East is not a calm settled area of peace and tranquility, and Turkey may have gotten the message. We’ll see.

I remain deeply unimpressed with the lineup of Democrat candidates yearning to be president. Bernie Sanders had the burden of advanced age right off the bat, wondering when advanced age becomes too advanced, but adding a heart attack probably eliminates him. Elizabeth Warren has moved into the lead, but she misses a central fact about Americans. The freedom we celebrate makes it possible for anyone with a great idea to become rich. And Americans are doing so all the time. Elizabeth Warren seems to believe that no one should be allowed to become rich, and she will promptly take away their money to give to those who need it more. Can’t come up with a more un-American idea than that. Democrats want to buy your vote. Conservatives want to preserve the ability to become rich – because you have a good idea.

Democrats aren’t impressed with their own array of candidates. They keep pushing some other choice — Michelle Obama, Hillary again. Even Chelsea. Hillary may yet jump in. She remains obsessed with being the first woman president.



Democrats Have Become Wild-Eyed Extremists! by The Elephant's Child

Elizabeth Warren  has reportedly been looking for ways to “establish her anti-Israel credentials with progressives who have come to see the destruction of the Jewish state as a non-negotiable cause.” And found it in targeting GOP fundraiser Elliot Broidy, and hiring  anti-Israel radical Max Berger as an aide.

Berger helped to found the IfNotNow organization that has devoted itself to damaging Israel’s reputation in the United States in the guise of seeking an end to Israel’s “occupation” of Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem. Pay no attention to Palestinian terrorism. Berger has previously said on Twitter that he “would totally be friends with Hamas” the Sunni Islamist fundamentalist group that engages in terror. This is a way to get support from radical anti-Israel groups? Well, so much for Ms Warren.

Look up Israel’s gifts to the world. The list is extensive. Did you know that we have cherry tomatoes (which have way better flavor that the ordinary tomatoes I get at the store) thanks to an Israeli kibbutz? Look for the Palestinian gifts to the world. Crickets.

I had no idea that the Democrat Party was so anti-Israel, nor why. Is it part of their weird Trump Derangement? Or have they always been bigots? They want to get rid of the private health insurance that covers 250 million Americans. They want to decriminalize illegal alien entry into this country. They want to provide health coverage to undocumented immigrants. They want open borders. The worst-run states in the country are run by Democrats. (Our Washington State Governor ranked dead last in fiscal management of his stat by the CATO Institute’s survey last year.) Democrat run cities are a mess. There’s a reason for that.




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