American Elephants


The Evil Donald Trump Is Yanking Innocent Children from the Arms of Their Parents, and other Fables from the Left. by The Elephant's Child

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A leading Democrat spoke out this week to say that they needed Obama because they didn’t have anyone else — I assume meaning anyone else who was so popular, or perhaps anyone who could defeat Trump—I have no idea. The Obama administration is not coming off too well in the wake of the FBI and the Inspector General’s report.

But clearly, the Trump administration is in deep trouble. They are yanking innocent little children from the arms of their parents at the border, depriving them of their parents and putting them in detention for no reason except that Trump is Hitler reincarnated. Or at least that is what most Leftist websites are shrieking. Forgive me, but we’ve heard this “innocent little children” vocabulary before, applied to the DACA children who were brought here “through no fault of their own,” “against their will,” eager for “a chance at college.” Pure propaganda to arouse emotions.

The requirements were only that they came to the U.S. before their 16th birthday, be under 31 by June 15, 2012, enroll in school or get an honorable discharge from the military. The fraud rate for these simple requirements is estimated to be 40 to 50%. Only 49% have a high school education, 24% are functionally illiterate, another 46% have only “basic” English ability, and the rest are school dropouts. For every DACA recipient who joined the military (about 1 in 1,000), 2 have committed serious crimes. At least 1,500 are gang members (as of Feb. 2017, but by August 2017 the number had increased to 2,139. American taxpayers have already funded “resettlement” of 13,000 unaccompanied minors who managed to enter the United States. Those who claim to be age 17 and under must be accommodated in staying here while their cases wind their way through a years-long process of evaluation.

But Democrats are told to be up in arms about Trump taking innocent little children away from their loving parents and putting them in prison. Fact: Illegal immigrants are criminals, breaking immigration laws by entering the country illegally. There is a legal way to become a citizen. Criminal illegal immigrants are detained. It is not acceptable to imprison their children as well.

HHS took news media on a tour of a facility in El Cajon, California where migrant children are being sheltered while separated from their parents. (follow the link for pictures) The facilities are comfortable, providing lodging, meals, clothing, medical care, They get English lessons, trips to the zoo, museums, parks. No, they are not being put in “cages,” that was the Democrat charge last week, when they rounded up pictures of children in cages. Turned out the pictures were from the Obama administration, which actually did put kids in cages, and New York magazine also reports the Obama Administration handed child migrants over into the custody of human traffickers after neglecting the most basic checks on these “caregivers,” failing to discover if they were relatives or sex traffickers.

Democrats count heavily on the “talking points” they are given, which are meant to rouse up emotions, but to provide just barely enough information to allow them to know anything real about the situation. This is the source of much of the “fake news” which is unfortunately all too pervasive. Nancy Pelosi cleared it all up with her statement to CNS News. (short video here) Which is an unintended gift to the GOP. “She informed the world.” to quote Tom Lifson “that she doesn’t care about Americans. “That is not the point. ” The point is the hurt feelings of illegals when they are called “Illegal.” You have seen the signs in the pictures of protests “No Human Being is Illegal.”

It really simplifies the world when you can just rely on the talking points that you are given by your betters, and don’t have to do a lot of tiresome reading or thinking. Keeps life delightfully simple, and when the talking points really arouse you to action, you can go to a protest with your friends and shout and feel important.

 

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The Big Singapore Meeting: Big Breakthrough or Waste of Time? by The Elephant's Child

President Trump has gone to Singapore, had a good meeting with Kim Jong Un of North Korea, and returned home to the utter consternation of the media. They were eager for some kind of catastrophe. Trump is too new, too ill-informed about international affairs not to have made a complete mess of it. Here, from the White House, is the joint statement of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at the Singapore Summit. (You might find it fun to look up the Democratic People’s Republics of the world and see just who they are, and how they’re doing.)

The agreement is not all that much. They agree to try to make peace. They agree to try to commit to de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and they will commit to recovering POW/MIA remains. Nancy Pelosi threatened that the Senate would have to confirm it. It’s not a treaty, Nancy, there’s nothing to confirm. They had a meeting and agreed to try to do a little more.

President Trump said that the entire effort was dedicated to Otto Warmbier, the young American who made the mistake of taking a propaganda poster in Korea, whereupon the Koreans threw him into prison, brutally mistreated him and when he was released, he barely got home before he died.

I’m including links to some articles that capture some of the ideas that explain what is going on. The first is “How Twitter Diplomacy Works” by Thomas Farnan. He begins:

President Trump this week will bust 68 years of diplomatic white paper inertia and meet the leader of a nation with which America has been at war since 1950. President Trump this week will bust 68 years of diplomatic white paper inertia and meet the leader of a nation with which America has been at war since 1950. …

Do read the whole thing.

The White House prepared for the meeting carefully. They learned that Kim was a big movie fan with a huge library of movie videos, and they prepared their own—which Trump played for the Chairman on an iPad. Scott Adams (Dilbert) discusses the video brilliantly here:

There has been some angry objection from Conservatives that Mr. Trump buttered up Kim, said he cared about his people, (but he doesn’t and he;s a brutal dictator and murderer. ) Yes, but refer back to the simple statement that we have been at war since 1950.

There are some underlying things that we just don’t know about. North Korea has been a subsidiary of China, and China’s Xi has ambitions. How North Korea fits into that we don’t know. Useful or annoyance? When Kim shot off this last batch of nuclear tests, something happened to his test site, and the mountain collapsed, but we don’t know how bad it was or what it means.

Our media wants to portray the whole thing as a colossal failure of one sort or another. They want Trump embarrassed, disgraced (TDS kicks in here) so you can’t rely on much that they have to say. They’re already going on about the failure of Trump’s G-7 meeting and how he insulted the Canadians etc. ,etc. Here’s some useful commentary on that: American Greatness: “Trump is Right: G7 Needs a Wake-Up Call on Trade.” From Investor’s Business Daily: President Trump Didn’t Sigh G-7’s Leftist Agenda—Smart Move”.

From The Wall Street Journal: Why Trump Clashes With Europe” (subscription barrier), and THE WEEK: “If Europe is serious about challenging Trump, it should actually challenge him” by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry.

This is not all that much reading, you will find it valuable. There are some important insights here. And keep that one phrase in mind: “68 years of white paper diplomatic inertia.”

 



Jordan Peterson: The Fatal Flaw In Leftist Thought by The Elephant's Child

One can assume that Jordan Peterson became a Clinical Psychologist because he was curious about what makes people tick, and when you get into that there are far more questions than answers. And so he became a professor and keeps studying and analyzing, and the Universities got all weird, and politics got all weird, and the Canadian government began to tell him what language he must use to describe human beings, and that annoyed him most fiercely. And so he has become a public figure with his speeches and videos and the rest of us are able to have the benefit of his thought, for which I am most grateful.  He’s good.



Victor Davis Hanson on the First Six Months of Trump by The Elephant's Child

A very odd and unappealing opening visual. Here is Victor Davis Hanson speaking at Hillsdale College about the Trump Administration and what is working and why and why not.  It’s a little long, but worth every minute. I am a great admirer of Victor Hanson. He thinks clearly, informed deeply by his studies in history and the classics to consider the big picture and how the little events of our times fit in.

It seemed to fit nicely with the absurd New York Times article posted just above. An excellent view of where we are and why. Enjoy.



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.”

 



D-Day, June 6, 1944. by The Elephant's Child

Every year, the remembrance of D-Day grows a little weaker, as it fades into history. A young man of 18 on June 6, 1944 would now be 92. There are not many left, and now it is only those who were children then who remember events as they were happening. I always post something about the anniversary, but many years it is just a repost of what I wrote a previous year. You can access them all by entering “D-Day” in the blank over Bob Hope’s head in the sidebar.  Last year’s post of a book review of “D-Day Through German Eyes” is interesting and the links still work.

They All Hate Us, Right?” was a post in 2008 about the French reenacters. I don’t know if they are still doing it, but it’s interesting simply because it points out that it isn’t just the current media who don’t know what they are writing about, it’s been going on for a long time. Piper Millin’s story is a good one as well.

One of my favorite stories I don’t know if I ever wrote about, but it is some real evidence of our common humanity. It concerns the photo which all of us have probably seen many times of the GI in the water on D-Day, huddled behind a beach obstacle, trying to avoid the rifle fire, and looking terrified, but determined. There are hundreds of men all across the United States who claim to have been that guy. Don’t give me any of your “toxic masculinity” nonsense. Men are useful far, far beyond their ability to open jars and eliminate scary spiders.

Once again I want to urge you, if you have an interest in history or maybe more if you don’t, to buy and read Victor Davis Hanson’s The Second World Wars. Europe does seem, at present, to be slowly committing suicide. They are realizing that a good many of their migrants have no intention of assimilating and some of the countries are considering ways to block more migrants and if they can, to remove some who are already there. Here are a couple of brief excerpts:

The D-Day invasion of Normandy (Operation Overlord) was the largest combined land and sea operation conducted since the invasion of Greece by King Xerxes of Persia in spring 480 B.C. It dwarfed all of history’s star-crossed beach landings from Marathon to Gallipoli (April 1915). Normandy would serve as a model for large subsequent America seaborne operations from Iwo Jima (February 1945) and Okinawa (April 1945) to Inchon (September 1950). It made all prior iconic cross-Channel invasions in either direction—Caesar’s (55 BC), William the Conqueror’s (1066), Henry V’s (1415), or the 1809 British landing in Flanders—seem minor amphibious operations in comparison.  …

Over 150,000 Allied troops landed the first day on five British, Canadian, and American  assigned beaches, along with over twenty-five thousand airborne soldiers dropped behind German lines. Unlike possible spots in the Cotentin Peninsula or at Calais, the Allies believed that landings in Normandy would pose far more of a surprise, given the somewhat greater distance from Britain. More important, the expansive geography of the Normandy beaches would not box in the invading Allied armies on a confined peninsula or allow the  Germans to focus on a narrow front. Unlike the prior landings in Sicily and Italy, Operation Overlord had been carefully planned for over a year, drawing on the lessons from the Allies past amphibious problems at Dieppe, Sicily, Salerno and Anzio. New inventions and weapons were crafted for the invasion, from portable “Mulberry ” harbors to PLUTO (“pipelines under the ocean”) fuel lines laid under the English Channel and to Sherman and Churchill tanks modified  to uncover mines, cut barbed wire, provide pathways over the soft beaches, and bridge obstacles.

At this point I always have a flashback to the Robin Hood movie with Russell Crowe, when history deficient Hollywood had Robin headed for the beaches to prevent the landing of Henry V, and Henry’s troops were landing in Higgins Boats made out of driftwood, with the iconic front panel that drops down to allow the troops to run (or swim) for the beach. There were Higgins boats in the Lord of the Rings trilogy as well, but fortunately not so obvious. Andrew Jackson Higgins’ little plywood landing crafts played a big part in winning the war.



How The Diversity Bureaucrats Ruined the Universities by The Elephant's Child

I always pay attention to Heather MacDonald. She is an outstanding scholar who really digs into her subject. She is an expert on policing because she hangs out in police stations, talks to policemen and city council members and carefully studies the statistics.

She often writes or speaks about diversity, which is one of my hot buttons. I checked the archives to see how many times I had written about the subject, and was astonished to discover that I’d done so 13 times, the first in 2012. (Just enter “Diversity” in the sidebar over Bob Hope’s head)

You have probably noticed that “Diversity” seems to be a subject at the forefront of the news and conversation. It refers only to race, in spite of the clear fact that race relations, intermarriage, achievement of Blacks and Hispanics is probably better than it has ever been. Although “Diversity” refers only to race, it includes only Blacks and Hispanics. Native Americans are sometimes included when it seems appropriate, but the fact that most tribes captured slaves is never, never mentioned.

It is enough of a subject, however, that claiming Native American ancestry is occasionally helpful in seeking employment. Comanche and Cherokee are favored, Nez Perce or Clackamas not so much. Folks from India are very tech-savvy and besides, Indian food is delicious. Those of Chinese heritage have a different problem, their test scores are so high that if the Ivy League admitted all who qualify, there wouldn’t be places for the rest of us. Whether they are just smarter than we are or whether it’s because they have “tiger moms,” I don’t know.

The idea that “Diversity” is only about race and skin color is not just wrong, but abhorrent. We are all individuals with different attributes, abilities and interests. Theoretically education is supposed to help us develop those. The current theory seems to be that you will be better educated if you have the correct number of people of color in your class.




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