American Elephants


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

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?

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

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 Why You Should Object To “Presidents’ Day” by The Elephant's Child

Today is officially President’s Day, in lieu of having to celebrate a birthday for each of the presidents, which is just silly. The people were delighted to have another 3-day weekend, and the unions could offer that to the people from whom they demand dues as a gift from them, or something like that. I’m an anti-President’s Day crank, and firmly believe that we should celebrate only Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays, unless someone turns out to be spectacular in some way, which is unlikely.

We’ve had a few very good presidents, and a lot of mediocre ones and a few really unfortunate ones. Presidents are merely normal human beings with ordinary human failings, who somewhere along the line got the bug to run for the presidency. Some, once infected, never get over it, like Harold Stassen and Hillary.

Today, as a few have reminded us, is a day that should live in infamy. It’s the seventy-sixth anniversary of the day Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066  in February, 1942, which rounded up about 120,000 American immigrants and American citizens of Japanese ancestry and sent them off to internment camps.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, people were afraid of an attack on the West Coast. Many regarded the Japanese-American population of California as a threat. They were forcibly removed to ten “internment” camps. Most lost their homes and businesses. Immigration from Japan had been banned since 1924, and all Japanese immigrants were ineligible for citizenship.

Some people of German or Italian ancestry were also detained or interred, but most were already American citizens. Some were removed from coastal security areas, but authorities soon decided that Italians were not a problem. President Reagan made a public apology with the signing of the Civil Liberties Act of 1998 which spoke to Japanese Americans and members of the Aleut community. President George H.W. Bush pledg   es to “take a clear stand for justice and recognize that injustices were done to Japanese Americans during World War II.

Some people writing about this today have attempted to make a parallel with President Trump’s exclusion of refugees from Islamic states where terrorism is supported with the Japanese American internment, which is silly, but not surprising in the current atmosphere. The Left is currently in favor of open borders because new immigrants are inclined to vote for Democrats, because they favor more government assistance.  The Left’s  only interest is in power, more voters and a larger body-count for the next census in 2020 so they can dispose of the Electoral College.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt is usually judged by academic historians to be one of our greatest presidents, presumably because he was president during World War II, and we won. He made a mess of the Depression with constant tinkering and it was far longer and more damaging than it would have been otherwise. And then there was Yalta.



“Energiewinde” Was A Flop That Has Driven Germans Into Energy Poverty by The Elephant's Child

Climate activists in this country looked to Europe, especially Germany, as a model of proper green virtue. Chancellor Merkel’s Energiewinde or energy revolution was supposed to solve the problem of carbon emissions. That’s solar panels and wind turbines.

People really familiar with solar panels and wind turbines, if they are not in the business of trying to sell them will explain that the problem is with the wind and the sun itself. The people selling wind turbines talk about capacity which is what a well functioning turbine will produce in the way of energy when the wind is blowing at just the right speed.

But wind doesn’t blow in the right speed steadily — it blows in gusts and puffs, steadily for a few minutes and then after a while some more puffs. Even someplace really windy. Go to White Sands National Monument sometime. Those great white sand dunes are produced by wind blowing a lot. (the mice and lizards there are white to match the dunes)

There aren’t a lot of really windy places that stay windy a lot of the time, but even those don’t meet the good flow that will match the ideal capacity that produces regular energy. Films of wind farms show some of the turbines turning and some not. Turbines break down, catch fire, malfunction, and that’s not included in the salesmen’s claims. Besides the turbines kill a lot of birds, everything from the big birds of prey like Eagles to tiny songbirds. What the decimation of the bird population will do to the environment is never mentioned.

Sunlight is more diffuse, and even in sunny places —which is where they site big solar arrays— there are clouds, moving through, cloudy days, rainy days. Clouds are not well understood in their relation to climate. If you are a summer cloud-watcher—lying on the grass and watching the clouds move by, you will notice that they are at different levels, affecting the sunlight differently.

I am by no means a climate scientist, but because I knew so little, it was clearly time to bone up. As far as I can tell, the officials who make the decisions about what to do about the climate—don’t do any studying up themselves, they just trust what others of their political persuasion say.

California Governor Jerry Brown is a true believer, who has laid his state’s problems with wildfires, flood and drought, water problems and winter and rise of the sea level, whatever on the issue of climate and an excess of CO2, and especially with President Trump’s excellent decision to fail to sign on to the Paris Climate accords. Brown was off on a ten day tour of European capitols on his way to the UN conference on climate in Bonn, to show how he and other west coast governors were ready to fight the global rise in temperatures, and possibly show how superior he was to the denier Trump, in case he might be called upon to run against Trump the next time.  Our Washington governor, another true believer, plans to try to pass a carbon tax now that Republicans lost control of the legislature.

If the Paris Climate Accords were fully adapted, climate scientists have made clear the effect on the climate by 2100 would be negligible. CO2 is what we exhale each time we breathe. It is a natural fertilizer for plants all over the world and much has been written about the greening of the planet, helping to feed the people of the world. What the Paris Climate Accords were intended to do was transfer as much wealth as possible from the worlds rich nations to the poor and developing countries. In other words it was never really about the climate at all.

But back in Germany, Chancellor Merkel has been unable to form a government. Energiewinde has not only cost far, far more than was planned, but delivered far less energy and put many a German household into energy poverty. People may not understand all the arguments about the climate and how it works, but when they can’t afford to keep their houses warm in the winter, they are not going to vote to continue freezing. Big idea, sounded good, but it didn’t work.



Natural Selection and the Character of the American People by The Elephant's Child

Never was there a more outrageous or more unscrupulous or ill informed advertising campaign than that by which the promoters for the American colonies brought settlers here. Brochures published in England in the seventeenth century, some even earlier, were full of hopeful over-statements, half-truths and downright lies. Gold and silver, fountains of youth, plenty of fish, venison without limit. How long might it have taken to settle this continent if there had not been such slick promotion. How has American civilization been shaped by the fact that there was a kind of natural selection here of those people who were willing to believe in advertising?

………………………………………………………..From Hidden History
………………………………………………………..
by Daniel Boorstin



Wind Turbines Do Have a Use Even When There’s No Wind by The Elephant's Child

I have written many times about the problem with wind turbines is the simple fact that wind does not blow all the time. It is too intermittent to be successful as a source of significant power.  I have learned that wind turbines are useful— even when the wind does not blow. Who knew?

This was a tweet from someone in Germany, but I lost it and cannot find his name. So thank you, I apologize for not adding your name.

Correction: It was a tweet from Damien Ernst in Liege, Belgium, who is a professor at the University of Liege. Wonderful picture, great sense of humor.



D-Day Through German Eyes by The Elephant's Child

In one of the posts on D-Day on and around June 6th, I came across a review of a new book, or rather 2 books on the German side of D-Day. The books are D-Day Through German Eyes and D-Day Through German Eyes—Book 2, by Holger Eckhertz. The author’s grandfather was a journalist for German news magazines during World War II. In the spring of 1944, prior to D-Day, he toured sections of the so-called Atlantic Wall, including the Normandy beaches, and interviewed soldiers from units in the area. About ten years later, he determined to track down the soldiers he had interviewed or at least someone from their units and interview them again about their experience during the invasion.

The books are apparently available only as E-books, and are in interview format, that is questions and answers—small vignettes of individual soldier’s experiences. The review isn’t long, and includes some surprising bits of information. The Germans did not expect an invasion at the Normandy beaches, the Allies had control of the air right from the beginning. The German troops were third rate troops, generally soldiers that because of a medical or psychiatric condition were no longer regular infantry, but there were also troops who had defected from the Soviets. They were surprised at the physical size of the American and Canadian troops, presumably because of better diet.

Do read the whole thing. It’s surprising and interesting.  It seems that the Germans were working on a thermobaric weapon — I had to look up the unfamiliar term.  A thermobaric weapon is a type of explosive that utilizes oxygen from the surrounding air to generate an intense, high-temperature explosion, and in practice the blast wave of such a weapon produces a typically significantly longer duration than a conventional condensed explosive. The fuel-air bomb is one of the most well-known types of thermobaric weapons. Fortunately, a stray Allied Bomb inadvertently destroyed to development works.




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