American Elephants


Why Do We Say “Remember Pearl Harbor”? It Was 77 Years Ago. by The Elephant's Child

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Every year on December 7, we say “Remember Pearl Harbor” but fail to point out why we should be remembering. John Steele Gordon in his essential history An Empire of Wealth: the Epic History of American Economic Power, outlines the state of the world then:

In a fireside chat on December 29, 1940, Franklin Roosevelt first used  a phrase that would prove enduring when he called upon the United States to become “the great arsenal of democracy.”
…..War had broken out in Europe on September 1, 1939, after German troops invaded Poland, and France and Great Britain stood by their pledges to come to Poland’s aid. Few Americans thought the Nazis anything but despicable, but public opinion in the United States was overwhelmingly to stay out of the conflict.  Many newspapers…were strongly isolationist. In 1934 Senator Hiram Johnson of California had pushed through a bill forbidding the Treasury to make loans to any country that had failed to pay back earlier loans.  That, of course included Britain and France.  On November 4, 1939, Congress had passed the Neutrality Act, which allowed purchases of war materiel only on a “cash and carry” basis.
…..Seven months later France fell to the Nazi onslaught, and Britain stood alone.  In the summer of 1940 Germany proved unable to defeat the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain and thus gain the air superiority necessary to mount an invasion across the English Channel. It tried instead to bludgeon Britain into submission with the blitz and to force Britain into submission by cutting off its trade lifelines across the Atlantic. It nearly worked. …
…..At the time American military forces were puny.  The army had about three hundred thousand soldiers—fewer than Yugoslavia—and was so short of weapons that new recruits often had to drill with broomsticks instead of rifles. The equipment it did have was often so antiquated that the chief of staff, General George C. Marshall, thought the army no better than “that of a third-rate power.” The navy, while equal to Britain’s in size, lacked ammunition to sustain action, and much of its equipment was old or unreliable.

Roosevelt realized what was at stake in terms of America’s own security, but he felt that Britain must survive long enough to hold the Nazis at bay while the U.S. rearmed and he was able to  bring the American people around to see where their own true interests lay. This was easier said than done.

On September 16, 1940 Congress approved the first peacetime draft in American history and 16.4 million men between the ages of 20 and 35 registered. But it specified that none was to serve outside the Western Hemisphere and that their terms of service were not to exceed twelve months. In 1941 Roosevelt was able to get Lend Lease through Congress, and after Pearl Harbor, isolationism vanished from the American political landscape.

Japan ran loose over the Pacific for the next six months, taking Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaya, Singapore, the Solomon Islands, the Dutch East Indies, and Burma while threatening Australia and India.

The rearming of America was one of the most astonishing feats in all economic history. In the first six months of 1942, the government gave out 100 billion in military contracts— more than the entire GDP of 1940. In the war years, American industry turned out 6.500 naval vessels; 296,400 airplanes; 86,330 tanks; 64,546 landing craft; 3.5 million jeeps, trucks, and personnel carriers; 53 million deadweight tons of cargo vessels; 12 million rifles,carbines, and machine guns; and 47 million tons of artillery shells, together with millions of tons of uniforms, boots, medical supplies, tents and a thousand other items needed to fight a modern war.

In 1933, the army of the United States was 137,000 men. The U.S. Army was 16th in size, in the world. The French Army was 5 million., but they had Germany next door. In May of 1940, Germany invaded France. We reinstituted conscription. By Pearl Harbor Day, the army was 1,640,000. With U.S. entry into World War II, the army expanded to 8,300,000 officers and men. About 5,000,000 served overseas. George C. Marshall was Army Chief of Staff for the whole war, and the author of the Marshall Plan.

By 1948, the army had declined to 554,000, and entirely unprepared for the Korean War. If I remember correctly, Victor Davis Hanson once said that History is about wars – what led up to them, the war itself, and the aftermath. The American people, always optimistic, are relieved to have it over, and expect peace to last indefinitely. If families cannot get along, and they can’t, neighbors can’t, city councils can’t and so on to every larger form of government. That’s why Globalism will never, never work.

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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.



Our Colleges Are Teaching the Wrong Lessons by The Elephant's Child

Heather MacDonald warns that our colleges are breeding hate and intolerance on our college campuses, and it’s going to be bad for our society. On the Mark Levin show, she warns that students are taught to hate. The bureaucracy is teaching hate, and kids are learning that lesson. They have a delusional idea that they are victims of an oppressive society, and it is leading to a potential civil war.



Questions Without Answers: Where and What is Reality? by The Elephant's Child

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I don’t know if there has ever been a time when reality was so much in question. What’s true and what’s not.  The new federal climate report comes out and climate scientists call it “tripe”–”embarrassing” – “systematically flawed” and said the key claim comes from a study funded by Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg. The climate scientists who assume they can program the world’s climate into a computer and get accurate answers about what will happen in the next hundred years have too much faith in computers. (GIGO)

The nation’s farewell to President George Herbert Walker Bush was alternately a celebration of the life of a war hero and a patriot and a good man, and a rebuke to the current president, and the current president and Melania were rebuked by Hillary, but Jeb said the President couldn’t have been nicer.

In Britain, Brexit is damaging to the nation and the European Union, and alternately, it is necessary for Britain to get out from under the control of the European Union, and the migrants may be a huge problem or not at all.

In France, Prime Minister Macron wants a big carbon tax to lower their efforts to damage the climate, and the people don’t want any carbon taxes and don’t plan on having any. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says it is inevitable that climate governance will create economic, social and racial justice. There will only be benefits, and no costs to passing a raft of new climate change laws. Others laugh at her.

Whatever the subject, opinion varies, which is normal, but opinion has become truth, and is not to be doubted. Google has been shown to be eliminating conservative truth and favoring their own leftist leanings. President Trump has said firmly that he is a nationalist, by which he means he loves his country and favors it. The President of France, Emmanuel Macron rebuked U.S. President Donald Trump for putting the interests of U.S. citizens above the demonstration of moral values, and said that nationalism is a bad thing.

The media in this country is conducting a war on President Trump, who they consider an illegal president to whom they are opposed, but clearly he is the legally elected and widely approved President of the United States. President Trump wants to build a wall on the Southern border to prevent the influx of illegal aliens. California has Sanctuary Cities and is, I believe, a sanctuary state.

Forest fires are caused by alternately poor forest management  or global warming, as stated by President Trump or California Governor Jerry Brown. We can determine the truth to the extent that we agree with one side or another, but over and over, there is no widely accepted truth.

This is the reality exposed by the technology giants, who are supposedly emanating only truth, and eliminating “hate speech”, but what is called “hate speech” depends on which voices attract the most valuable clicks. Hollywood celebrities, who have only the fact that we may recognize their faces or names to attest to the worth of what they say, are free to use all the “hate speech” they want because being celebrities they will have lots of followers, which means a lot of clicks for the website. So “Truth” is not what is approved by the websites that claim to be impartial judges of truth and falsehood, but the impartial judges lie as well.

Electoral Fraud is widespread, or simply does not exist. It is hardly surprising that so many are claiming that we are on the brink of a civil war. Truth is fiction, Animal Farm is real, and Maisie Hirono (D-HI) urges Democrats to consider “heart over mind. Don’t tell everybody how smart we are.”

The ceremonies for the mourning of a past president and the long, long lines of people waiting in the cold for a chance to pass by the catafalque suggested to many that President H.W. Bush was the last of the patricians, when everybody agreed on right and wrong and true and false. Of course they didn’t agree then, but the times have changed and we have organizations like Snopes and the SPLC, PoliFact, NewsBusters, the Media Research Center to tell us what is true and what is not, and they deliver falsehoods, and the atmosphere out there is far worse than it ever was.



A Fond Farewell by The Elephant's Child

The coverage of the memorials and funeral for a former President of the United States has been a time of looking back, trying to understand the history, celebrate the long life of what almost everyone agrees was a very good man. There are, of course, many Democrats who can’t manage to be polite or decent, because George H.W. Bush was a Republican.

President Bush was what is called a “patrician”– someone from the American aristocracy. An American aristocracy is an odd notion, for the sense of the word implies”noble birth”, but we don’t do that here. He was, however, the son of a senator, the father of another president, but also the father of another governor, so there is an aristocracy of public service.

President Donald Trump has been excoriated as “unqualified” to be president, because he has neither held public office nor served in the military. President George H.W. Bush not only served in the military, but flew a torpedo bomber in the very nasty Pacific War,  got shot down, survived in a tiny rubber raft, got picked up and went right back to flying and bombing.

Qualifications to be president are quite straightforward: you have to be a natural born citizen, have attained the age of 35, and been resident in the United States for fourteen years. We have had some four star generals: Washington, Grant, and Eisenhower, and others who had noted military service: Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, and a few others, but not all of the presidents were military men. Abraham Lincoln served for just three days. Joe Biden just announced that he is the most qualified person to be president. So there you are. Michael Avenatti announced that he isn’t running after all. But the line of Democrats who are just dying to run grows apace.

So in spite of being a country where anyone with the correct minimal qualifications is entitled to run, we seem to want our president to be someone special. We nitpick their every utterance, criticize their demeanor, their decisions, their behavior. George Washington set the standard. The people were willing to proclaim him King, but he would have none of it, and when his term was done, he just went on home.

There always seems to be a sort of itch to put them on a pedestal. Perhaps that is why the Democrats are so eager to have the first black, the first woman, the first (pseudo) Native American, and there’s Kamala Harris as not only being black – but also female. One can just be grateful for the 35 year-old qualification or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would be running.

The country has hung out their flags, stood in long cold lines to have the chance to walk by the catafalque in the Capitol Building to mourn the passing of a good and kind man. I can appreciate all the other stuff, but I do marvel at the man who celebrated his 90th birthday by going skydiving.

Rest in Peace.



Chicken Little in Full Cry: “The Sky is Falling, the Sky is Falling” by The Elephant's Child

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In a press release, the World Meteorological Organization said:

The long-term warming trend has continued in 2018, with the average global temperature set to be the fourth highest on record. The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, with the top four in the past four years.’

The BBC and others picked up on that and said:

Climate change” Last four years are the ‘world’s hottest”

And the Guardian:

“Past four years hottest on record, data shows.”

 

As you can see a graph tells a very different story. The past decade has a climate change contribution but what elevates the past four years above the previous ones is an El Nino event, the strongest one on record. As we have said many time before an El Nino is not a climatic phenomenon, it is weather. What’s more, after its peak in 2016 the global temperature has fallen by around 0.4° C. The past four years being the warmest on record is true, but it has been primarily due to the 2015/16 super El Nino.

Warmest on record? Not exactly, the WMO got weather and climate mixed up. For the full commentary, go here.

It is fascinating that in the information age, when we supposedly have access to anything and everything in the way of information, it is so hard to figure out just what the truth is.  What is not politicized, seems to be printed in sheer ignorance.  Politics trumps Truth every time. We should make a little more noise about facts and truth. Google employees apparently wanted to ban any Conservative commentary, yet are happy to connive with the Chinese government in suppressing the freedom of China’s citizens to complete control. Apparently those who have spent their lives so far learning technology issues, have neglected to learn any history, or read the Constitution, or learn the nature of the free enterprise system.




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