American Elephants


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.



Tucker Carlson’s Outstanding Takedown of Democrat Hypocrisy by The Elephant's Child

The best of Tucker Carlson is this epic takedown of Democrat hypocrisy, not to be missed. This is getting right to the basic elements of the ongoing crisis at our Southern border. Donald Trump has proposed to send to sanctuary cities the asylum-seekers who under current law must be admitted to the United States while they await adjudication of their claims for asylum.

Asylum has a clear definition under law, and historically a little over 33  percent of those claims are denied. Which is why when claimants are given their court date for their asylum hearing, most vanish into the country to increase the illegal immigrant population. Would be immigrants in their home countries are instructed on just how to turn themselves in to the Border Patrol immediately after getting across the border, and specifically what to say to request asylum.

Statistics released in May 2018 showed 697,777 cases pending before 334 immigration judges, or almost 2,090 cases per judge. When an illegal fails to show up, an in absentia removal order is issued.

Democrats want open borders to get higher population numbers in the 2020 census, which they believe will increase their numbers in the House of Representatives. Do not misunderstand. Democrat activists want control, permanent control.They do not want the constant threat of Republican governance hanging over them. That’s why all the “racist, white supremacy, Hitler, toxic masculinity, reparations” verbiage. They object to the words “illegal alien”— illegal simply means “not according to the law”. We are a nation of laws and to come here legally, one applies and if accepted, waits their turn. The term “alien” means owing their allegiance to the country of which they are a citizen. There’s nothing derogatory in the term, just fact.

Leftists rely on language to accomplish their goals. That’s why we are now a “nation of immigrants” not a nation of citizens, children are “ripped from their mother’s arms” although the child may not belong to the family. Potential border-crossers are told that having a child with them will increase their chances. There is evidence that some children are being recycled across the border, that is, pretending to be the child of one illegal family, then when they get in, sent back across the border to be the child of another illegal. Of course there are also the “children in cages” pictures from the Obama administration being circulated for those who don’t pay attention to the news, to try to blame it on Trump.

I hope the president will follow through on his threat to send the illegals to those cities that have declared themselves “sanctuary cities” so they can experience the costs of additions to the welfare rolls, numbers of non-English speaking kids added to the schools, that the rest of the country is now paying for.

In The Pity Party, William Voegeli wrote:

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 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.



Suggested Reading for Clarifying the Mind by The Elephant's Child
  • From Victor Davis Hanson:”The New Nihilism:” Summing up the Democrats’ response to President Donald J. Trump, and his many, many accomplishments. Not a pretty picture.
  • From Steven Camarota of CIS: “On Immigration, Trump Needs to Focus on the Numbers” For all the talk about the border, the biggest issue is not welfare or illegal immigration per se; it is the total number of immigrants settling in the country ,legally or illegally. Democrats focus on amnesty, Businesses push for ever more guest workers, and the media happily supports both. The national interest and his political future depend on the numbers.
  • From Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner:Border apprehensions jump 84 percent, 606,000 expected this year” a surprising surge. Again, it’s the numbers.
  • From Andrew R. Arthur of CIS:Notes on a Deal I Haven’t Seen: The Pitfalls of Compromise” The fundamental issue behind all of this is the request for crucially needed infrastructure along the border. I mean fences, walls, barriers, drag roads, cameras, sensors and any number of other tools needed by the 18,600 Border Patrol agents who man the 1,954-mile southern border.

We assume that the illegal border-crossers come from Mexico and Central America, many come from the Middle East as well.



Did You Know That the U.S. Is the World’s Largest Oil Producer? by The Elephant's Child

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Do most people recognize that the United States has recently become the world’s largest oil producer? We have passed both Saudi Arabia and Russia as U.S. crude production has surged 20% in a year – and nearly tripled in the past decade. For nearly sixty years, OPEC has dominated the world’s oil markets by setting production quotas among its 15 members. In 2014, OPEC flooded the market with oil to try to break U.S. drillers who were pouring cash into innovation while they were already in debt. Seems like we knew what we were doing.

As oil prices fell below $40 a barrel in 2015 and 2016, many wildcatters folded or were absorbed by larger producers. The survivors became more efficient. They put technology to work, using drones with thermal imaging to detect any leaks along the line. Productivity went up. Over just the last five years, production per rig has more than tripled in the Permian basin and actually quadrupled in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale. The Bakken rig count has fallen by 70% and yet output has increased by a third.

In late 2015, the Republican Congress expanded the market for shale oil by lifting the export ban on crude oil in exchange for Obama’s demand to extend renewable energy tax credits.The biggest constraints on U.S. production have been distribution problems, but three new pipelines are expected to come online next year, capable of delivering 2 million barrels to the gulf coast and in 2020 two more pipelines will be completed.

The big news is that the U.S. Geological survey reported recently that the Permian’s Delaware basin holds more than twice as much oil and 18 times as much natural gas as the Midland region.

Barack Obama is claiming credit for the shale boom. (Why are we not surprised?) The Tax reform last year opened Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the Interior Department scaled back unneeded protections for the sage grouse, which allows drilling on nine million acres in oil-rich states. Last month at Rice University, Obama said “You know that whole suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer . . . that was me, people.” It must be hard to see the hated Trump administration get credit for expediting pipeline and terminal permitting and opening new federal land to drilling, but there you go. Can’t have it both ways.

OPEC countries and our own politicians should  take notice that America’s new energy prosperity comes from industry innovation, the importance of private property, and the wonders of the free market. We call it Free-Market Capitalism.

Confused by all the talk about “Fracking”? Here’s an excellent history and explanation from the oil industry.




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