American Elephants


So Why Do You Want to Be President, Anyway? by The Elephant's Child

Haven’t you often wondered just what it is that impels a person to seek the office of President of the United States?  Admit it.  You have looked at one candidate or another and snickered and wondered “what were they thinking?”

There is ambition, of course, and we can all identify the candidates with burning ambition.  But what makes them think that they are up to the challenge? Do they want to do, or do they want to be?  Hillary claims vast experience, since she lived in the White House with the President — which is about as plausible as a wife replacing a retiring C.E.O.  It may have been interesting and fascinating, but it wasn’t experience, at least as we usually define experience.

John Edwards had one term in the Senate, and one campaign for Vice President, and apparently fell in love with his ‘two Americas’ theme.  Barack Obama was in the Illinois State Senate, but no sooner did he take his seat in the Senate than he began campaigning to be President, and hasn’t been in Washington much since.  Thin resumes indeed. 

 Occasionally a candidate will be selected by a group of others who seek him out and urge him to run.  But every one of the current candidates on both sides is self-selected.  This, I think, makes our job of learning about a candidate harder.  Why do they want to be President, and why should we agree?

Here’s how I think you do it.  First, go to a candidate’s website, print out what you can find under ‘Issues’ or some equivalent title, and go over it with a fine tooth comb.  Make notes.  Do they seem to know what they are talking about, or are they just pandering — promising to give you stuff if you vote for them?  Do they have a grasp of the current problems in foreign affairs?  Do they understand the current threats to the security of the United States?  This, after all, is the primary job of the President.  Do they have a clue about economics?  They can ask Congress to pass laws to accomplish other items on their to-do list, but Congress doesn’t have to agree, and probably won’t. 

Second, look carefully at who the candidate has selected as advisers.  Do these people have good resumes on their own?  Obama, for example, speaks of hope and change and unity, yet his advisers are from the Carter Administration and advised what many consider the worst presidency in history. 

Third.  Pay far less attention to the candidate’s looks, what they say on the stump (after a while they all turn into demagogues, promising goodies and avoiding the really serious questions). 

If I had my choice, I would do away with the debates.  It’s silly, waiting for someone to sweat, or get angry, or trip over his own tongue.  I’d like to see a relaxed conversation about the state of the country and the world with all the candidates and an interesting, scrupulously non-partisan host, rather than a Sunday show host who is trying to get the candidates to embarrass themselves.  No stage and lecterns, but comfortable seats around a table.  I want to get to know the candidates, not trick them into saying something they didn’t intend.  Much of the mischief on the campaign trail is committed by the media — who are ever ready to pounce on anything that might make a more interesting story.

How would you  prefer to choose a candidate?  Are you satisfied with the way we do it now?



The New York Times is Lying to Your Face… by American Elephant

The news out of Iraq has been very good indeed — both military and civilian deaths have been drastically reduced, Iraqis are making significant political progress both at the local and national levels — a peaceful, stable Iraq seems more and more realistic all the time. Just the kind of news everyone should welcome.

Not the New York Times.

In fact, so distraught has the Grey Lady been over all the good news from Iraq, and the complete absense of any bad news for them to distort, exaggerate, and misrepresent, that they resorted to the only option left in their playbook — they decided to fabricate bad news instead.

So, last Sunday, the loathsome propagandists ran a huge front-page story (above the fold of course) smearing Iraq veterans as war-traumatized killers, coming home to spawn a nationwide epidemic of murder.

Town by town across the country, headlines have been telling similar stories. Lakewood, Wash.: “Family Blames Iraq After Son Kills Wife.” Pierre, S.D.: “Soldier Charged With Murder Testifies About Postwar Stress.” Colorado Springs: “Iraq War Vets Suspected in Two Slayings, Crime Ring.”

Individually, these are stories of local crimes, gut-wrenching postscripts to the war for the military men, their victims and their communities. Taken together, they paint the patchwork picture of a quiet phenomenon, tracing a cross-country trail of death and heartbreak.

The New York Times found 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after their return from war.

What the scum, and yes, these “journalists” and editors really are treasonous scum, at the NYT refuse to tell their readers, as any responsible journalists would do, was that despite their best efforts to show otherwise, according to the Times’ own figures, the rate of murders committed by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is far, FAR LESS than that of the general population! WAAAAY less.

John Hinderaker at Powerline does the number-crunching to put the blatant lie to the Times’ smear:

Do the math: the 121 alleged instances of homicide identified by the Times, out of a population of 700,000, works out to a rate of 17 per 100,000–quite a bit lower than the overall national rate of around 27.

But wait! The national rate of 27 homicides per 100,000 is an annual rate, whereas the Times’ 121 alleged crimes were committed over a period of six years. Which means that, as far as the Times’ research shows, the rate of homicides committed by military personnel who have returned from Iraq or Afghanistan is only a fraction of the homicide rate for other Americans aged 18 to 24. Somehow, the Times managed to publish nine pages of anecdotes about the violence wreaked by returning servicemen without ever mentioning this salient fact.

The figures prove not only are our veterans NOT the war-crazed, cold-blooded murderers the Times makes them out to be — but the veterans of the US military are the very safest, most honorable company you could ever possibly hope to keep!

I don’t care how you feel about the war — this kind of intentional, dishonest, smear should be unacceptable to all Americans. I am still livid 5 days after the story broke! And the NYT has been originating and propagating such lies and heinous distortions since the war began. They have leaked national secrets that have made us all less safe, and printed information they knew would put Americans in danger.

I will not link to any story in the NYT, especially not this one. They are not honest purveyors of news, they are activists with an agenda, willing to betray the truth and their country for their political purposes.

I want to do everything in my power to drive these reprehensible hacks, whom I truly believe to be treasonous, out of business. Not only are they lying to the American people about our military men and women, they are lying to the world. They have done great harm to our nation, our people and our men and women in uniform while they are fighting on the battlefield.

If you still subscribe to the Times, I hope you will cancel your subscription here, or by calling 1-800-NYTIMES. If you are not a subscriber, I hope you will join me in refusing to visit or generate traffic to their site.

If you are as outraged as me, I hope you will even consider contacting businesses like Starbucks and other restaurants, Doctors’ offices, hotels, stores and other businesses that purchase bulk quantities of, or subscribe to the NYT and telling them you would appreciate it if they would give their business to a more honest, less controversial publication.

Many of these companies, like Starbucks, choose to carry the Times over other, more reputable papers. You might remind them it makes good business sense to switch to a paper that doesn’t offend so many of their customers.




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