American Elephants


If It Weren’t So Serious, It Would Be Funny! by The Elephant's Child

The progressive temper-tantrum is getting really tiresome, but all that kicking and screaming is devolving into some kind of weird suicide pact.  When President Trump rejected the Paris Climate Treaty, which had never been ratified by the Senate, “the states of California, New York and Washington have announced that they will unilaterally and illegally enter into a foreign treaty rejected by the President of the United States.”

The Constitution is very clear about this. “No state shall enter into any treaty.” Governor Cuomo of New York has been equally clear. “New York State is committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Accord regardless of Washington’s irresponsible actions.”

Cuomo’s statement conveniently comes in French, Chinese and Russian translations.

“It is a little bold to talk about the China-California partnership as though we were a separate nation, but we are a separate nation,” Governor Brown of California announced.

That’s Daniel Greenfield. He added:

The Climate Alliance of California, New York, Washington, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, Virginia and Rhode Island looks a lot like the Confederacy’s Montgomery Convention. Both serve as meeting points for a secessionist alliance of states to air their grievances against the Federal government over an issue in which they are out of step with the nation.

That’s as effective as the media’s vast confidence that the Comey hearings today would provide the necessary evidence to impeach the President. Or these states’ confidence that offering sanctuary to illegal immigrants would prove that they really are good people who welcome immigrants of all kinds from all places. The scientific evidence shows clearly that by 2100, the Paris Climate Accords would have made no observable difference in the climate. But feeling good about yourself is the important thing. That’s why events like Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester resulted in a vast outpouring of a mountain of flowers and lots and lots of candles, which makes no observable difference in the safety of British citizens. Heather MacDonald explained:

The candlelight vigils didn’t work. After the Manchester Arena suicide bombing in England last month, liberal pundits suggested “mass vigils” and “community solidarity” as a counterterrorism response. The most important imperative, according to the media intelligentsia, was to signal that the West’s commitment to “diversity” and “inclusion” was intact.

Unfortunately, the three Islamic terrorists who used a van and knives to kill another seven civilians and critically injure dozens more in London on Saturday night were unmoved by the “diversity” message. Witnesses described the killers frantically stabbing anyone they could reach, while shouting “This is for Allah”; one witness said that a girl was stabbed up to 15 times.

The “candlelight vigil” counsel has been more muted after this latest attack, though the New York Times has predictably advised the candidates in Britain’s upcoming elections not to succumb to “draconian measures” or to do “just what the terrorists want” by undermining democratic values.

In a second article from City Journal, Heather MacDonald writes of “The Left’s Unilateral Suicide Pact: After the Manchester bombing, liberals once again avoid the obvious—that Islamic terror in the West is an immigration problem.”

A rethinking of immigration policies is off the table. Nothing that an Islamic terrorist can do will ever shake the left-wing commitment to open borders—not mass sexual assaults, not the deliberate slaughter of gays, and not, as in Manchester last week, the killing of young girls. The real threat that radical Islam poses to feminism and gay rights must be disregarded in order to transform the West by Third World immigration. Defenders of the open-borders status quo inevitably claim that if a terrorist is a second-generation immigrant, like Abedi, immigration policy has nothing to do with his attack. (Abedi’s parents emigrated to Britain from Libya; his immediate family in Manchester lived in the world’s largest Libyan enclave outside Africa itself.) …

The fact that second-generation immigrants are not assimilating into Western culture makes immigration policy more, not less, of a pressing matter. It is absurd to suggest that Abedi picked up his terrorist leanings from reading William Shakespeare and William Wordsworth, rather than from the ideology of radical Islam that has been imported into Britain by mass immigration.

Myron Magnet echoes Heather MacDonald’s concerns.” Governments, he reminds us, exist to keep citizens safe in their streets and cities from foreign or domestic violence”

Start by naming the enemy, as Donald Trump and Theresa May finally have done, after eight years of Barack Obama’s dereliction of duty for refusing to utter the simple words, “Islamist terrorism.” As numerous pundits—notably Andrew C. McCarthy, successful prosecutor of the 1993 Islamist World Trade Center bombers—have explained, Islamism, a large subcategory of Islam, is not only a religion but also a political ideology that aims at world domination, so that treating it as if, like Christianity or Judaism, it preaches only individual salvation or virtue is mistaken at best, willfully blind at worst.

You have perhaps noticed that there are only two positions regarding immigration. You are expected to favor all immigration because “we are all immigrants”, and if you don’t, it’s Islamophobia, Nativism, Fascism of course, and Nationalism. Other epithets when they seem to fit. We have a million and a half people who wish to become Americans who have applied properly, paid their fees and are patiently waiting for their turn to immigrate. I fail to understand why illegals, who are breaking the law, should take precedence over those who are following the law. We are a sovereign nation, we have immigration laws, and there is no reason why they should be suspended because Democrats want more immigrants who might vote for them.

The Leftist states are not just attempting to secede, but unfortunately they’re not very good at economics either. They are furious that the new administration is attempting to get rid of ObamaCare, and plan to adopt single-payer or completely socialized medical care on their own.

Vermont, Colorado , New York and California have so-called “single payer” health care proposals far enough along to have some serious numbers  about incremental costs above and beyond the existing state government expenses for things like Medicaid. In every case the incremental costs came in at more than all the revenue from all existing state taxes, so enacting single-payer would require more than doubling existing state taxes.

There are lots of people who believe that there is lots of “government money” without realizing that the government has no money of it’s own, only what it collects in taxes.

Connecticut is close to bankruptcy. California cannot afford her useless high-speed train to nowhere, and attempting to add single-payer health care, is going to add California to the list. The sunshine state is already over $1 trillion in the hole for employee pension underfunding. They don’t call Jerry Brown “Governor Moonbeam” for no reason. Illinois, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts and New Jersey  are not far behind with underfunded pensions.

Temper tantrums  are one thing, but secession, thwarting the law, bankruptcy, and attempts to illegally enter into a foreign treaty and to promote violence simply because you lost an election is going too far.

 



June 6, 1944, D-Day. Piper Bill Millin Pipes The Invasion Forces Ashore by The Elephant's Child

Bill Millin, Lord Lovat’s personal piper, is pictured here ready to jump from the ramp of the landing craft into the icy water of Sword beach on June 6, D–Day, 1944.  Lord Lovat is thigh-deep in the water just to the left of Bill Millin’s arm.  As the Telegraph obituary says: “As the Cameron tartan of his kilt floated to the surface he struck up with Hieland Laddie.  He continued to pipe even as the man behind him was hit, dropped into the sea and sank.”

Millin said “I was so relieved of getting off that boat after all night being violently sick.  When I finished, Lovat asked for another tune.  Well, when I looked round — the noise and people lying about shouting and the smoke, the crump of mortars, I said to myself  “Well, you must be joking surely.” He said “What was that?” and he said “Would you mind giving us a tune?” “Well, what tune would you like, Sir?” “How about The Road to the Isles?” “Now, would you want me to walk up and down, Sir?” “Yes, That would be nice.  Yes, walk up and down.”

And that’s what Bill Millin did, walked up and down the invasion beach at water’s edge, blasting out a series of tunes.  Bodies of the fallen were drifting to and fro in the surf.  Soldiers were trying to dig in and, when they heard the pipes, many of them waved and cheered — though one came up to Millin and called him “a mad bastard.”

For many soldiers, the piper provided a unique boost to morale.  “I shall never forget hearing the skirl of Bill Millin’s pipes” said One, Tom Duncan, many years later.  “It is hard to describe the impact it had.  It gave us a great lift and increased our determination.  As well as the pride we felt, it reminded us of home and why we were there fighting for our lives and those of our loved ones.”

After the Great War the War Office had banned pipers from leading soldiers into battle after losses had become too great. “Ah, but that’s the English War Office,” Lovat told Millin.  You and I are both Scottish and that doesn’t apply.”  Millin was the only piper on D-Day.

Millin died on August 17, aged 88.  He piped the invasion forces on to the shores of France, unarmed apart from the ceremonial dagger in his stocking.  The mayor of Colleville-Montgomery, a town on Sword Beach , has offered a site for a life-size statue of Millin opposite the place where he landed on D-Day.  The statue is due to be unveiled next year. His pipes are in the Scottish War Museum.

Bill Millin’s personal account of D-Day is found here, and the Telegraph’s obituary is here. Millin has been justly famous in all accounts of the D-Day invasion, especially his courageous march across Pegasus Bridge at the crossing of the Orne.  This may have been the last time that a Scottish piper led Scottish troops into battle.



One of the Great Speeches by The Elephant's Child



Remember the Men of D-Day, June 6, 1944 by The Elephant's Child
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Major Werner Pluskat in his bunker overlooking Omaha Beach had heard nothing from his superiors. He was cold, tired and exasperated. He felt isolated. He couldn’t understand why there had been no reports from either regimental or division headquarters. …Once more he swung the artillery glasses over to the left, picked up the dark mass of the Cherbourg peninsula and began another slow sweep of the horizon. The same low banks of mist came into view, the same patches of shimmering moonlight, the same restless white flecked sea.Behind him in the bunker his dog Harras, was stretched out asleep. Nearby,  Captain Ludz Wilkening and Lieutenant Fritz Theen were talking quietly. Pluskat joined them. “Still nothing out there,” he told them.” I’m about to give it up. But he walked back to the aperture and stood looking out as the first streaks of light began to lighten the sky. He decided to make another routine sweep.Wearily, he swung the glasses over to the left again. Slowly he tracked across the horizon. He reached the dead center of the bay. The glasses stopped moving. Pluskat tensed, stared hard.Through the scattering thinning mist the horizon was filling with ships — ships of every size and description, ships that casually maneuvered back and forth as though they had been there for hours. There appeared to be thousands of them. Pluskat stared in frozen disbelief, speechless, moved as he had never been before in his life. At that moment the world of the good soldier Pluskat began falling apart. He says that in those first few moments he knew, calmly and surely, that “this was the end for Germany.”      Cornelius Ryan: The Longest Day



Is It Time for Candles and Teddy Bears or Time For Something More Serious? by The Elephant's Child

During Ariana Grande’s “One Love Manchester” benefit concert for the victims, Katy Perry attempted to say something helpful.

“It’s not easy to always choose love, is it, especially in moments like this… but love conquers fear and love conquers hate, and this love you choose will give you strength, and it’s our greatest power.

There was more, but this gets the gist. No. Love doesn’t conquer all. We have whole governments across the world who cannot speak clearly or accurately about Islamic jihad. We in the West had our wars of religion—an Inquisition, a Reformation, and the American Revolution and Constitution to end the rule of Kings and proclaim in our First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” That has not meant that everything has been completely peaceful on the religion front, but it has had an influence round the world. Still, Westerners have become hesitant to criticize any religion in any way, which makes us unprepared for suspicion or attack.

Andrew C. McCarthy is a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, He led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others who were convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and of planning a series of attacks against New York City landmarks. He also contributed to the prosecutions of terrorists who bombed U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He is a contributing editor of National Review. When he writes about Islam and Sharia Law, you want to pay attention. He has studied deeply.

His article today is especially worth your time and attention. It begins:  “Islamists want to impose sharia law on the West—which means all Islamists are ‘extremists‘ — The Western schizophrenia about radical Islam is on full display in Britain, in the aftermath of the latest jihadist atrocity, the third in just the past three months.”Please read the whole thing.

Our political elites have a hard time with it. They just don’t see immigration, refugees, or illegal immigrants as much of a problem. This is where European countries have been. Only 4% of Congressional Democrats think it’s much of a problem, four times as many Congressional Republicans do, but still only 16%. The American people are far, far more concerned.

After three brutal attacks, British officialdom have suddenly started paying attention. British intelligence agencies have identified 23,000 potential jihadis living in Britain, according to the Times of London on Saturday. Of this ‘pool’ of potential terrorists, 3,000 are suspected of posing an “imminent threat” and are being investigated accordingly. The other 20,000 have been involved with past investigations and are categorized as a “residual risk.

What a dreadful situation. Does it then take three attacks in short order, 22 dead kids, to make people sit up and take notice? Armed policemen are patrolling British streets again. Ramadan seems to be a significant time for attacks. Over at American Thinker, Ed Straker assembled a selection of  comments about Manchester and London Bridge from all over, and a variety of people, to demonstrate the utter vacuity of serious thought.

There isn’t much serious thought going on, especially in our universities. Lots of blather about “hate speech” and race. Suddenly, black students are demanding segregation, separate dorms and facilities, even separate graduation exercises. Students refuse to listen to noted scholars because they have been told that the speakers are racists or bigots or just shouldn’t be listened to, though in every case, students would have deeply benefitted by learning something new. So it isn’t just the language about Islam, it is a matter of language in general.  The problems at our colleges and universities are a matter of inability to identify what is going on or understand what an appropriate response might be.

Everybody is afraid of protesters or boycotts. Businesses don’t want to be known for taking a position that might prompt some adverse attention. On the other hand, some business executives want to be known as prominent  environmentalists, or prominent opponents of fossil fuels, or other hot button issues. Ordinary people have opinions too, and we don’t have to listen to unwanted lectures from those who supposedly want our business.

There are plenty of articles out there proclaiming the end of Europe as we knew it. They have signed their own death warrant by admitting so many “refugees.” They are discovering that the refugees who claimed to be “children” are not only not children but ISIS fighters. (You couldn’t tell?) In some countries like Sweden, so many women are attacked that the government tries to cover up, and they don’t seem to know what to do. They are trying desperately to find the correct pacifying language, to find a way to tamp the trouble down. Is it all too late?



Yes, The Climate Is Changing, Just as It Has Done for Millions of Years. by The Elephant's Child

After President Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accords, many lefties seem to be asking “But don’t you believe the climate is changing?” Of course the climate is changing. That is what climate does. You have perhaps heard of the Ice Age when much of America was covered with an ice sheet? Or the Little Ice Age from which  we have been recovering? Here is a simple graph showing the natural climate variability of the past 2,000 years showing the average of 18 non-tree ring proxies that coincide with known events in human  history. Note the decimal points. Water freezes at 32º Fahrenheit or at 0º Celsius. The chart shows temperature anomaly.

The Medieval Warm Period (900 to 1300 AD) was the finest weather known to man. Ice sheets, glaciers and sea ice contracted enabling sea exploration and settlements at higher latitudes. Villages and farms were established on Greenland and grain crops were sown and cattle and sheep were raised.   Cathedrals were built in Europe, and monasteries and universities. Population increased, food was more plentiful. The warming was global. The Little Ice Age began in the late 13th Century with a decrease in solar activity. There was crop failure, famine, disease, war and depopulation. The Little Ice Age ended around 1850 and it has been warming a little ever since.

A little increased Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere, a fertilizer for plants, makes progress in human well-being. The greening of the Earth feeds hungry people. Louis Pasteur’s germ theory and the principles of vaccination, pasteurization, and the cause of disease was a monumental advance. Then there’s Jenner( smallpox vaccine) and Lister( antiseptics) and Fleming(penicillin). Then there’s our own Norman Borlaug, father of the green revolution who is referred to as the man who saved a billion lives, with the development of high yielding crops. May I suggest that Liberal angst over President Trump’s exit from the misleading Paris Climate Accords is a wee bit misplaced?



Pelosi’s Partisan Pleadings by The Elephant's Child

Nancy Pelosi spoke at a rally in Dallas as the Democratic National Committee launched its “Resistance Summer,” a term that she had some trouble saying. She slammed the Texas law requiring cities to follow federal immigration law that prohibits “sanctuary cities”for protecting illegal aliens from being deported. Clearly, Democrats don’t have any problem with the crimes and murders being committed by illegals who flock to “sanctuary cities” believing that they can do as they please because the “sanctuary city” will not turn them in nor enforce the law. As usual, Democrats care about their own power. They have no interest in their fellow citizens who might lose their lives to criminal immigrants or jihadists. Empathy requires that they support immigrants and illegals.

She continued into a rant about Obama Care, claiming that it had helped ordinary people so much, and the Trump Health Care Plan would raise the cost of their health insurance so much many people would have to drop out. In 2009, the average rate for a family plan insurance policy under ObamaCare was $12,650.  When Obama left office the cost of a family plan insurance policy under ObamaCare was $18,142. That’s an increase of 23%, and the cost  has risen to 10% of an average worker’s income.

I was attempting here to give Minority Leader Pelosi, a taste of her own medicine, but I find I’m not up to the challenge. I can’t bring myself to call names and  misstate issues and hurl vile insults. I don’t call people, even my political enemies, “Hitler,” nor “racists”over their usual everyday nastiness. I just try to find the evidence that will show just what they are doing, and why.

DHS Secretary John Kelly was interviewed on Fox and Friends last Friday and said that “if we knew what he knows about terror threats in this country, we’d never leave the house.”

It seems that Democrat leaders are simply not concerned about illegal immigration (future Democrat voters) nor large numbers of immigrants and refugees. They have been told often enough that we are unable to vet “refugees” from Syria, that there are jihadists among them, that the leaders of ISIS and al Qaeda say that they are filtering their fighters into our country, but Democrat leaders are less concerned than their voters. It’s the same story for Republican leaders, although they are five times more concerned than their Democrat friends in Congress. Is this because of the heavy police presence in the nation’s capitol? Have they already forgotten the plane that smashed into the Pentagon? Or do they just feel above it all, too important to be concerned?

Republicans are more likely to be familiar with the news. Democrats are more likely to be more familiar with Democrat talking points, and to brush off any Republican concerns. The most interesting thing is how much more their voters are concerned and how unaware their leaders are of their concerns. Begins to explain November’s election.

I saw a post last week about how shocked Democrats were to find out that Republicans reciprocated their hate and upped it a bit. What, they hate us? How can that be? I don’t know about hate. Perhaps contempt is more accurate. They operate on talking points handed down from Think Progress, and never make the effort to find out if they are true. And it doesn’t matter. They care about scoring points and winning. The talking points have been poll tested to see what works. Strange world of politics.

They haven’t noticed that the accomplishments of the man they so despise are piling up. He had a very successful trip overseas, Melania was a star.  The economy is improving, industrial production registered its largest gain in three years, the business community is increasingly optimistic, with Small Business optimism in its 6th month of positive feelings, a streak not seen since the Reagan years. Initial unemployment claims are way down. Withdrawing from the Paris Climate accords was an excellent move, it would have done nothing for the climate and deeply harmed American taxpayers. Not bad, not bad at all.

 




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