American Elephants


The People Are Getting Fed Up With Uncontrolled Immigration by The Elephant's Child

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There are bits of good news from Europe, from Austria in particular. Chancellor Sebastien Kurz, the guy our own German ambassador recently called a rockstar when suggesting that there is something of a more conservative resurgence in Europe. Well, of course that had the lefty news media having fits. An insult to Chancellor Merkel, interfering in elections. Ambassador Grenell said that he wanted “to empower other conservatives throughout Europe and that there is a groundswell of conservative policies that are taking hold because of the failed policies of the left.”

The bureaucrats of Europe are not happy with us. See the Paris Climate agreement, which would have accomplished nothing whatsoever for the climate, except to transfer large amounts of American taxpayers’ money to developing African states and help to keep their migrants at home. We’re also demanding that the Europeans keep up with their NATO and military readiness obligations, and they don’t want to.

Austrian Chancellor Kurz will be closing more than half a dozen mosques and ejecting dozens of Imams suspected of supporting radical theology, along with the disbanding of other Islamic organizations. They may expel up to 60 Turkish-funded imams and their families, and a hardline Turkish nationalist mosque in Vienna.

Ankara denounced the move, and Turkey’s presidential spokesman tweeted that ‘Austria’s decision to close down seven mosques and deport imams with a lame excuse is a reflection of the anti-Islam, racist and discriminatory populist wave in this country.’

Austria is a country of 8.8 million people with roughly 600,000 people of Turkish origin, including 117,000 Turkish nationals. Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has shown extensive signs of wanting to become another Middle Eastern dictator or tyrant, and referred to Kurz as “this immoral chancellor.” In the last year’s elections, both coalition parties called for tougher immigration controls, quick deportation of asylum-seekers whose requests are denied and a crackdown on radical Islam. Sounds a little familiar. The bureaucrats may want to keep doing business as usual, but the people are getting restless. Sebastien Kurz is a fresh voice, and a determined one.

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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.”

 



“The Great German Meltdown:” Victor Davis Hanson by The Elephant's Child

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I am troubled by serious essays about the suicide of Europe, but then I’m troubled by the European Union, by Brussels, and most of all by German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s foolish invitation to the migrants of the world. When I worry about the future, I worry about Europe, as you have probably noticed. One country after another reports (or avoids reporting) about their problems with Moslem migrants. Burned cars, riots, rapes, murders, but what is the most troubling seems to be a refusal to face and deal with reality, and a reluctance to let anyone else know about the problems they face.

Fortunately, Victor Davis Hanson is often there to clarify the problems. He writes for the Hoover Institution about The Great German Meltdown

Every 20 to 50 years in Germany, things start unraveling. Germans feel aggrieved. Ideas and movements gyrate wildly between far left and far right extremes. And the Germans finally find consensus in a sense of victimhood paradoxically expressed as national chauvinism. Germany’s neighbors in 1870, 1914, 1939—and increasingly in the present—usually bear the brunt of this national meltdown.

Germany is supposed to be the economic powerhouse of Europe, its financial leader, and its trusted and responsible political center. Often it plays those roles superbly. But recently, it’s been cracking up—in a way that is hauntingly familiar to its European neighbors. On mass immigration, it is beginning to terrify the nearby nations of Eastern Europe. On Brexit, it bullies the British. On finance, it alienates the southern Europeans. On Russia, it irks the Baltic States and makes the Scandinavians uneasy by doing business with the Russian energy interests. And on all matters American, it increasingly seems incensed.

Certainly, Germany has done some unbelievably strange things in the last ten years. In a fit of fear, after the Japanese Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor meltdown in 2011, and in a huff about climate change, Berlin more or less abruptly junked traditionally generated electrical power and opted for inefficient and unreliable “green” renewable wind and solar—despite the less than Mediterranean nature of its climate and warnings of the financial downside. The result is that electricity costs have climbed 50 percent in recent years and are among the most expensive in the developed world—and electricity itself is sometimes scarce. In response to shortfalls in power generation, the German energy industry for now is looking at solutions like coal-fired plants, buying nuclear-generated electricity from its neighbors, and cutting deals with Vladimir Putin for natural gas. In other words, Germany spiraled from the one extreme of green idealists to the other of dirty coal, while counting on others to export their electricity into Germany.

Oh do read the whole thing, and read the comments too. Here, for once, they are polite and thoughtful. Lots of us are concerned. But the Europeans don’t seem to have a very clear view of their own problems, or they don’t want to admit that they have problems, or they refuse to face the problems themselves. I don’t know, but suggesting that migrants be trained as truck drivers seems so completely wacko that I simply do not understand. Perhaps the American media seems just as strange to the Europeans. They are very interested in our goings-on. The media has become a poor representation of events here, is the European media equally partisan and politicized? Do we seem to them so unaware of our own problems?



The Many Ways Europeans Are Committing Suicide by The Elephant's Child

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When German  Chancellor Angela Merkel opened Europe’s borders to over one million Middle Eastern and African immigrants in 2015, it became clear that the vast majority of them were unskilled. She pushed a program of training the migrants to be truck drivers.

In 2016, two prominent German driving associations rejected Merkel’ suggestions. Three months later a Libyan failed asylum seeker named Anis Amri stole an articulated lorry, killed the Polish driver and drove it into a Berlin Christmas Market—killing eleven and injuring more than 50 people.

Economics Minister Buchholz, from the libertarian Free Democrats (FDP), said: “With this imaginative and praiseworthy initiative, the Logistics Organisation and the German Red Cross are building a bridge between the integration of refugees and the fight against the shortage of skilled workers.”

The programme heads maintain that refugees will be screened for residency rights and work permits as well as for minimum language skills; however, figures released this week revealed 80 per cent of Germans distrust the government’s screening after the Bremen immigration office was found to have wrongly granted 1,200 migrants refugee status.

Before the Christmas Market attack, a Tunisian-born French resident drove a 19 ton cargo truck into a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day on July 14th, 2016, killing 86 people and injuring 400.

On April 7th, in 2017, a rejected Uzbek asylum seeker drove into a shopping area of pedestrians in Stockholm, Sweden, killing 5 and injuring 14 others.

More than half of the terror plots in Germany have involved asylum seekers or migrants since 2014 and the beginning of the migrant crisis.

A recent poll has found that 80% (79.9%) of Germans distrust the rulings of the Government Migration Agency. Possibly something to do with the dandy idea of building a bridge between the integration of refugees and the fight against the shortage of skilled workers.  And possibly because the Bremen immigration office was found to have incorrectly granted 1,200 migrants refugee status. Applicants will be screened for residency rights and work permits, and for language skills. Nothing was mentioned about screening for terrorist impulses.

 



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

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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.



President Trump Disposed of The Destructive Iran Deal by The Elephant's Child

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Everyone, by now, knows that President Trump blew up the Iran Deal. Do people understand that it was not a treaty? It was undertaken unilaterally. President Obama was never able to pull together any kind of consensus. There was no real accountability. Even as Iran was pushing one demand after another, a number of U.S. senators explained to the despots that such a deal could easily be scuttled. Nearly every Republican candidate for the presidency in 2016 promised to withdraw or renegotiate the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”

Obama likely didn’t believe the GOP would regain the presidency — and if it did, he probably couldn’t conceive of a situation where a president would dare back out of a non-proliferation agreement, however flawed. And, as many problems as I do have with Trump, I can’t imagine that any other Republican would have withstood the unrelenting political pressure that was likely exerted, not only from allies but also from business interests at home, either.

The President had the prerogative to walk away from the agreement at any time, whether or not Iran was found in violation of the IAEA. The Iran Deal did nothing to safeguard against the production of nuclear weapons. We even had to ask permission to inspect.

We also know that after Trump’s speech making the case for withdrawal, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani claimed that Iran would be “prepared for enrichment in the next weeks.” Which is a weird thing for a nation that has completely given up its desire to obtain nuclear weapons to say. Then again the idea that this agreement, as promised by so many in Obama administration, snuffed the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions was absurd all along.

Iran is continuing to develop a ballistic missile program to deliver those weapons. The Boeing deal is off. The United States can reinstate sanctions, and we can target any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons. European nations will probably try to salvage the deal, as they have irons, so to speak, in the fire with profitable business to do with Iran.

Iran can come back to the table. The administration’s demands for a new agreement are wholly reasonable: Stop developing ballistic missiles that are meant to deliver nuclear weapons; Stop supporting terrorist groups around the Middle East that undermine U.S. interests and those of our allies — in Syria, Lebanon, Palestinian territories, Yemen, etc; Stop publicly threatening our ally Israel with destruction; Stop threatening freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea; Stop fueling the civil war in Yemen; Stop cyberattacks on the United States; Stop kidnapping Americans.

Is there something unreasonable about that? People probably thought that those things were part of the deal. They weren’t.

We can now target Iranian aggression. No more pretenses. We can target Iran’s terror regime through economic means. We can support the human rights advocates in Iran, and maybe do something useful.

I don’t know that any other candidate could have withstood all the silly guff from the leftist media, who are far stronger in anti-Trumpism than in either common sense or history. Donald Trump just did a difficult, but very good thing.

 



Only Yesterday in New Zealand by The Elephant's Child

Hillary is back on her world whine tour. In New Zealand yesterday, she told an Auckland audience that Michelle Obama was “so right” when she blasted women for not electing Clinton and said female politicians are held to a higher standard than men.

“The more professionally successful we are, the less people like us,” Clinton said. “Historically, people like me when I’m serving a supporting role… But the minute a woman, at least in our country, stands up and says ‘I’d like a chance to lead’… everything changes.”

I don’t think the Logan Act applies, but one usually doesn’t go abroad, even to an ally, and badmouth her own country. But then Hillary has never had a self-esteem problem, just a profound lack of self-awareness.

As Secretary of State, Hillary managed to kill her own ambassador and his aide by ignoring his pleas for help in a situation of increasing danger. That neglect also resulted in the death of two former SEALs who were trying to protect the embassy staff. Then she tried to palm it all off on a poor Coptic Christian man who had made a film that nobody saw. Sent him off to prison.

Insisted that we should abandon any support of Ghadaffi, who admittedly was a bad guy but was keeping the lid on in Libya, got him killed and turned the nation into a terrorist hellhole. Lied about her trip to Bosnia to enhance the story of her own bravery, by claiming that her plane had to spiral in because it was so dangerous, when there were photos of her greeting children on the tarmac at the airport. Drinks too much, has a mouth like a sewer, and keeps falling down. I could go on, but plenty of people are fully aware of Hillary’s “qualifications.” The problem is that so many are unaware.

Our presidents are just ordinary men, who have risen to the responsibility of the office, or not, with all the failings of ordinary men. The same would be true for women. They all make mistakes, some small, some occasionally momentous. Sometimes we get one of really good character, and more often we don’t. Takes some extra chutzpah¹ to run for that office.

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¹Chutzpah is a Hebrew word that has been adopted into Yiddish and then English. Chutzpah has been defined as audacity, insolence, impudence, gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, incredible guts, presumption and arrogance. Yet something essential about chutzpah is missing from all these words.

Chutzpah can be destructive and ugly or vital and fantastic, but never in-between.




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