American Elephants


Victor Davis Hanson Explains the Left’s Hypocrisy about Equality by The Elephant's Child

Well, professors at our universities have long seethed with not just envy but anger at CEOs in American industry. After all, you can read what their salaries are in the financial pages or in annual reports. Professors prefer to pretend that their concern is at the diversity of the salaries of the ordinary working stiff and the CEO. What really lights their fuses is that they, the professors, have Doctorates! PhDs! They are the scholars of the nation, the recognized elite.

Of course they do not recognize that CEOs are awarded their salaries by the corporate Board of Directors, in recognition of the profitability of the corporation itself, and in relation to the economy.

What if the elite professors in our nation’s universities had to demonstrate what their students have learned at the end of four years, in order to justify their salaries.” I rest my case.

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President Trump Has Announced that the United States Recognizes that Jerusalem is the Capitol of Israel. by The Elephant's Child

The nation of Israel designated Jerusalem as its capitol city in 1950. When President Trump announced that the U.S. government recognizes Jerusalem  as the capitol city of Israel and would begin preparations for moving our embassy there, the international community instantly had the vapors. And this is 2017. Roundly condemned as injurious to prospects for Israeli-Palestine peace and detrimental to America’s interests. The Middle East Forum reports:

Thus, the intense anger expressed by Palestinian and Arab leaders toward the proposed relocation isn’t rooted in concerns that Palestinian claims to disputed territory will be compromised. Indeed, it doesn’t appear to be rooted in any concerns of ordinary Palestinians. According to a recent poll, just 12% of Palestinians in the West Bank and 25% in Gaza consider the location of the U.S. embassy a “very important” issue.
As Marshall J. Breger, a professor of law at the Catholic University of America, explained in a 1994 Middle East Quarterly article, Muslim religious and cultural attachments to Jerusalem are not very deep. Contrary to mainstream media depictions of the city as the “third holiest” in Islam, Jerusalem is not mentioned by name in the Qur’an, was never visited by the Prophet Muhammad, and was never the capital of any Arab-Islamic polity.

Daniel Pipes concluded that “the Muslim interest is not so much in controlling Jerusalem as it is in denying control of the city to anyone else. Islam carries the expectation that a land once under Muslim control (Dar al-Islam) is an endowment (waqf) that must inevitably revert to Muslim rule.”

It’s fairly clear that there is no “Peace Process.” The Palestinians simply want the nation of Israel dead with all its inhabitants. Well, except when they need a medical operation for a stricken child, or someone needs some other skilled operation unavailable elsewhere.  Palestinian leaders have launched an aggressive campaign to delegitimize Israel  in the International world, culminating in a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in the west. The Obama administration’s turn against Israel gave a burst of approval for the delegitimation campaign. A good many in the West just do not want the Jews to have full control over the  “eternal city.” The growing Muslim population in Europe reflects the growing dependence of left-wing parties on the Muslim vote.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an unprecedented visit to Jerusalem last July, and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s foreign ministry officially recognized Israeli sovereignty over West Jerusalem in April. President Trump’s action is simply a recognition of the real world. Israel is a sovereign nation, and Jerusalem is its capitol. The image at the top is the American embassy in Tel Aviv.



Mark Steyn on Problematic Speech and Free Speech. by The Elephant's Child

Mark Steyn had a long legal battle with the Canadian Human Rights Commission nearly ten years ago about free speech, for the Canadian Human Rights Commission believes that free speech does not include words with which they disagree. They had the force of law behind them, and the descent into totalitarianism is not far behind.

It’s hard for some to realize that free speech actually includes words or statements with which you disagree, especially political words and thoughts. But if free speech means anything at all, you must defend speech that you don’t like. You may disagree, refute their arguments, prove that they are wrong, but they get to say what they believe. There are few things that are so damaging to American colleges and universities than attempting to create tiny spaces somewhere on campus that are “free speech zones.” There is nothing so offensive to those who are pushing  for complete control, silencing any opposition, as free speech. That’s always where the totalitarians start, by silencing opposing voices and shutting them down.

We’ve had a lot of riots and demonstrations on our college campuses the past few years, protesting speakers who might say something  they don’t want to hear, because it might disturb them. The list of invited speakers who have been shut down is not only long, but includes prominent speakers who have important things to say. It’s pretty clear that there are some professors who are more interested in indoctrinating than teaching. So understanding the battle and the threats to free speech is one of today’s most important lessons.



Pearl Harbor and the Legacy of Carl Vinson by The Elephant's Child

U.S. Navy Photo by Photographer’s Mate Third Class Dusty Howell

Today is Pearl Harbor Day. Seventy-six years ago, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and suddenly we were full participants in the war that had been raging in Europe and China. Those who were old enough to experience the war are dying off, and soon there will be no one who remembers. From the current state of our colleges and universities, they seem to be turning out students who know nothing about history at all.

Seventy-six 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.

The photograph is of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson



Another Criminal Illegal Immigrant, 20 Times Deported, This Time He’s Going to Prison Instead. by The Elephant's Child

A 31 year-old Mexican man convicted of kidnapping and sexually abusing two Oregon women was just sentenced to 35 years in prison in a Portland, Oregon courthouse. The first attack occurred early on the morning of July 24, when Sergio Jose Martinez entered the home through a window left open to cool the house. He bound and blindfolded the 65 year old woman, sexually assaulted her, stole her purse and car. She called police from a neighbor’s home. Police located the car and put it under surveillance.

While police were watching the car, Martinez was stalking his second victim in a parking garage. He approached her with a knife, made her get into her car, after she attempted to escape he grabbed her and slammed her head repeatedly into the pavement. The woman called for help, Martinez tried to steal her car and fled when it failed to start. Police caught him minutes later.

He had been freed from jail a week before the attacks in spite of an ICE request to hold him so the agency could take him into custody. Oregon became America’s first sanctuary state when it adopted a law in 1987 preventing law enforcement from detaining people who are in the United States illegally but have not broken other laws. Sergio Jose Martinez had previously been deported 20 times.

Here’s a map of the current sanctuary cities/counties/states, which gives you an idea at least. Reminds us of the electoral map, doesn’t it? There is probably no subject that arouses so much passion, so much misinformation, and so many myths.

The Program created by the Obama administration in 2012 granted work permits, identity documents, and relief from deportation to approximately 800,000 illegal immigrants. It granted lawless work permits to adult illegal aliens who claim to have come before age 16 to get Social Security numbers, drivers licenses, EITC eligibility and more.

The Entire illegal DACA program: (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is spoken of in language designed to elicit an emotional response.  They are “Dreamers.” “Brought here against their will,” ” little children,” “can’t be deported because they have no home in their country of origin,” and more. The cutoff age for the little children to get on the list was 31. A roundup of DACA ‘children’ turned up many members of MS13, the criminal Columbian gang. A survey of legal Mexican immigrants was opposed to any DACA amnesty.

The DACA program was designed to be a permanent attack on our nation, our laws and our freedom. Greater numbers of illegal immigrants will affect the census, which will give those states greater influence in the electoral college, will likely be Democrat voters, and give more power to the Democrats. Obama redefined deportation so that anyone refused at the border counted as being deported, even though they never actually got in. When you hear positive numbers on how many people were deported during the Obama administration, take it with a grain of salt.

We now have the “Diversity Visa Lottery.” You will notice the magic word “diversity.”  The Lottery enabled the Uzbek terror suspect’s attack in New York City. Sayfullo Sailpov is the fifth Diversity Visa Lottery recipient to be involved in terrorist acts in the United States. What about the wall? Here’s an interview with Jessica Vaughn on that very subject. It will be built. It is not only needed, but will essentially pay for itself in the reduced costs of illegal immigration.

The Center for Immigration Studies is a think tank centered on the immigration problem. They are pro-immigrant, anti-illegal immigrant, and an excellent source for information on any and all immigration controversies.

There are approximately 4.4 million people who have applied to immigrate to America the legal way. They are on a wait-list. I do not understand what the open borders people want, but it has become increasingly obvious that everything the Progressives do is about power and control. Free people, free markets, free choice, and free speech are just the beginning of the long list of what they oppose. They are annoyed by human nature, and quite sure if we just let them run things everything would be better. They believe in one-world government, I guess, as long as they are in control. Since they are the “elites,” their money and celebrity guarantee them the benefits of freedom, and they don’t care anything about ordinary people.

The people of Venezuela are slowly starving. Nicholas Maduro has been reduced to using food as a weapon to maintain his power. The protests have died down because if you don’t seem to be supportive of his rule, you don’t get any food, and the government controls the food, all of it.



Class? I’ll Take The “Working Class” Over “The Elites” Any Day by The Elephant's Child

Sociologists like Charles Murray try to understand the people by dividing them up into groups, sometimes by race or ethnic origin, sometimes by class, sometimes by educational attainment, sometimes by income brackets, sometimes by political party. It’s done so that they can get some general ideas by comparing people who have similarities, to see how they are different.

The problem at Middlebury College was the invitation of Dr. Murray to speak. The Southern Poverty Law Center took issue with the idea that he used race as a way to compare and contrast some groups of people. Obviously Dr. Murray was a racist to divide people up by race. You can’t expect a bunch of  today’s college students, to understand how and why Sociologists study  people. They didn’t.

Since Election Day, Democrats have been dividing people up by class. The enlightened and well-to-do city folk naturally voted for Hillary Clinton who was destined to be the first woman president. The working class whites voted for the despicable Trump, obviously because they didn’t know any better.

Working class whites are conceived as those who work in small factories at routine jobs which they hate. They read little, do not have a college education, don’t make very much money, are poorly informed, and inhabit small town America. I’ve seen variations of this description over and over. I’ve even seen drawings of them, bellied up to a bar, drinking beer, exhausted after work. I just don’t recognize these people.

I came from small town America, or rural America if you prefer, and this description doesn’t apply to the people I know. There are people whose forbears came to America with the Puritans and recent immigrants who don’t speak English well. There are doctors and lawyers who prefer a rural practice. There are teachers who can match any scholar who prefer teaching in rural schools. There are ranchers who run hundreds of head of beef, big orchards that supply the demand of the Japanese for good apples who understand international trade quite well.

The pace of life may be a little slower, but there’s time to enjoy the seasons, to get some real reading done. To enjoy life in America. To assume that because people live in the rest of the country rather than in the coastal cities they are somehow less intelligent, poorer, work with their hands, or machines, and live somehow underclass lives is a gross mistake, but that’s what is going on. It may surprise some of our “elites” but a lot of the American people in the rest of the country don’t have a lot of respect for city people, nor for the denizens of Silicon Valley.

So pay no attention to the Democrats. They have no idea who the American people really are, they have no understanding of them, so it’s no wonder they are still posing as “the resistance” and attempting to demean those who have the gall to disagree with them.

The picture at the top is close to where I grew up. The local mountains are considerably higher than anything in the Adirondack chain, though we didn’t think of them as particularly high. If you have this in your back yard, so to speak, why would you want to live in a city with homeless camps under the freeways, safe injection sites for addicts, and an hour’s commute just to get home to your small apartment?

Democrats don’t like the folks on the other side of the aisle. They have been calling us names forever, aside from the regular racist, sexist, homophobe. populist, fascist, they refer to the America outside the coastal cities as “flyover country,” “redneck country”, “hillbilly country,” “the sticks.” “hicksville”, and they are quite sure that all the intelligent people live in the great coastal cities where everyone who matters lives and works.  The most famous slur, of course, was the 1976 New Yorker cover  that just skipped all the messy stuff between 9th Ave. in New York and the Pacific Ocean. It just doesn’t matter in the Leftist scheme of things.

Too bad because there are a lot of wonderful Americans out there in the heartlands. A little knowledge of history would help too, but that isn’t fashionable either. Western Civilization  is no longer taught in most universities, and the curriculum doesn’t deal all that much with American history. At least it seems not to be a required subject.

I guess all the protesters from the Vietnam War who got deferments by staying in school, have become the tenured professors of today, and they are hard at work destroying American higher education.

*Changed the phrasing of the headline to more accurately reflect my meaning.



The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers by The Elephant's Child

I don’t know how familiar Americans are with the story of their own Navajo Code Talkers who served in the Untied States Marine Corps in the Pacific theater in World War II, but it is a proud and fascinating story. Early in the war in the Pacific, it became clear that the Japanese had broken our military codes. We had used Native American speakers in World War I with some great success, but the Germans were not about to leave themselves vulnerable. They infiltrated reservations across the United States to learn the languages. The Navajo reservation in the Four Corners area of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico is remote, beautiful, but not easily penetrated.  Here is their story.

These are two different treatments of the Code-Talker history. The first is longer, but all in one story. The second comes in three parts. When you have time you might want to watch both.

In July of 2001, President George W. Bush decorated 29 Navajo Code Talkers, They were represented by the four remaining code-talkers. Belated, but welcome recognition. It’s an important story.

We make a lot of mistakes in this country, a lot of trial and error, but eventually we usually manage to get it right. If you have some young people in your family, do share. They need to know a little history too.




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