American Elephants


Seventy Six Reasons For American Exceptionalism! by The Elephant's Child

Buzz Feed Has a marvelous list of “76 Reasons Why America is The Greatest Country In the World,” is not to be missed: Here’s a sample

5. WE’RE THE BEST AT TROLLING OTHER COUNTRIES

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“I baked this cake for my co-workers on Canada Day”

 

16. ROAD LEGAL

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Extra special full on patriotism for our 238th Fourth of July!
Great good Humor!



America Still Free, Still Beautiful! by The Elephant's Child

Another Kind of Child Abuse! by The Elephant's Child

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There are many things wrong with our public schools, a good percentage can be traced to the fact that our school administrators—the principals — are idiots. The damage done to little kids in the name of “zero tolerance” policies mounts up.

A 5 year-old kindergartner in Surprise, Arizona was told to pull down his pants on the playground by another kindergartner. This is not a remarkable happening. The other kid told Eric Lopez that if he didn’t pull them down he would pull Lopez’ pants down for him.

Eric Lopez pulled his pants down, as instructed, and was hauled off to the principal’s office and forced to sign a “sexual misconduct” form. Eric, a bright little kid, knows his letters so he signed. So now he has a label and a file that will follow him for the next 12 years. Eric did not know, and nobody told him— was that he had a right to have his mom present.

His mother didn’t find out until after the forced confession. She has since filed significant paperwork to appeal the label attached to her son of “sexualized minor.” Oh please! These are some people that are supposed to have some familiarity with kindergartners. They’re only 5 years old! They don’t have any  idea what a “sexualized minor is.”

The Dysart Unified School District insists that it was simply following standard procedures in the case of “indecent exposure.”

Read that line again. This is “indecent bureaucratic behavior.” This is follow the rules, even when  you know that the rule is absurd, and makes no sense, and you are damaging a five-year-old child and his family.

How did we get to the point where bureaucrats are so fearful of unpleasant consequences for not following the rules exactly as stated, even when some tiny mote of reality must exist in the bureaucratic brain that this is really, truly, monumentally stupid?

In a world where a kid gets expelled from school for biting a pop-tart into a shape resembling a gun — or the State of Idaho, if you turn it barrel-up—it’s clear that we have slipped a cog.  Actually the pop-tart looked a lot more like the state than it did like a  gun. Similar educational bureaucratese pops up frequently. We have all seen way too many examples.

Lenore Skenazy has a blog about “Free Range Kids,” and has written a book by the same name.  I was a free range kid, as were my children. The nonsense is fairly new, and quite ‘progressive.’



Monday Morning Cute! A Black Rhino Calf Born in the Miami Zoo. by The Elephant's Child

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On Sunday, May 25th, a Black Rhinoceros was born at Zoo Miami. This little girl weighed  122 pounds. Black Rhinos are highly endangered as they continue to be poached at alarming rates in Eastern and Southern Africa.There were once over 100,000 running wild in Africa— within the past century, those numbers are down to an estimated 5,000. They are killed for their horns which are prized in some eastern cultures for medicinal purposes and as status symbols. Sad.

Here she is with mom. Check out all the babies at zooborns.

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I Took Monday Off! by The Elephant's Child

Sorry about the absence of blogging yesterday. A graduation in the family. Lovely to see all those happy young faces, to hear what they’ve accomplished and where they are going next. A future math teacher, a hopeful singer (good voice), three future ballerinas, a cellist, and one headed for a school of Midwifery, among others. We wish them all the very best.

Nice ceremony, smaller school, lots of ‘follow your passion’ and way too much ‘social justice.’



It’s George Herbert Walker Bush’s 90th Birthday Today. Happy Birthday Mr.President! by The Elephant's Child

Bush 41, celebrated his 90th birthday in his own remarkable fashion — he jumped out of an airplane. In this case, a helicopter. He has lost the use of his legs, so he made the jump in tandem with Sergeant First Class Mike Elliot, who guided the parachute to a graceful landing in the Bush front yard at Kennebunkport.

Carl Cannon pays tribute at Real Clear Politics:

George Herbert Walker Bush, the second son of Prescott and Dorothy Bush, was born on this day in 1924, which means that the spring he turned 18, his nation was at war. Poppy Bush, as he was called, had just earned his high school diploma at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass, where captained the baseball team and earned a reputation as a handsome and friendly class leader.

With the assistance of Bush’s father, a future U.S. senator, Andover secured the services of Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson as its 1942 commencement speaker. One of his tasks, Stimson decided, was advising the 213 all-male members of the graduating class that they not rush off to war. Go to college first, he advised. Your country will still need you in three or four years — as officers.

But Poppy Bush had quietly acquainted himself with the men assigned to the U.S. Navy’s local recruiting office. And as he and his family filed out of Cochran Chapel on June 12, 1942, Prescott Bush asked his son whether Stimson’s speech had changed his mind.

“No, sir,” the young man replied. “I’m joining up.”

It was George Bush’s 18th birthday. Days later, he was in the United States Navy.

A year after that, he was flying combat missions against the Japanese, the youngest Navy flier in the Pacific theater. He would fly 58 missions and be awarded the Navy’s Distinguished Flying Cross. On the last of these missions, on Sept. 2, 1944, his plane was shot down. His two crewmen did not survive, but Bush was rescued by a U.S. submarine after floating for hours in the ocean.

As president, Bush went back to Andover, and he recalled what he remembered of Henry Stimson’s long-ago commencement speech. “He observed how the American soldier should be brave without being brutal, self-reliant without boasting, becoming a part of irresistible might without losing faith in individual liberty,” Bush said. “I never forgot those words.”

Here are “41 things about Bush 41″ that you probably didn’t know.


Monday Morning Cute. Her Name is Sydney. by The Elephant's Child

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This little female joey is an eight-month old Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat who has just begun venturing outside of Mom’s pouch. The Taronga Zoo is Australia is celebrating the arrival of the second joey in three years, a breeding success story that could also help the Critically Endangered  Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat. Her name is Sydney.
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They are notoriously difficult to breed. Compatibility and timing seem to be crucial, for the female in only receptive to the male for a 12-hour window. Other than that, forget about it.

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I have read about wombats, but never seen pictures of one. Our only marsupial in the United States is the possum, an unpleasant animal that we see occasionally here. They hiss, and they are definitely not cute.



Wednesday Morning Cute by The Elephant's Child

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The Denver Zoo is celebrating the birth of an endangered Malayan Tapir calf. He is named Baku, and he was born on April 29. Baku is the Japanese word for tapir. Baku are also supernatural spirits in Chinese and Japanese folklore who take away children’s nightmares and protect against evil.

Tapirs are most closely related to horses and rhinos, but they are similar in build to pigs. An adult stands more than 3 feet tall and can be 6 to 8 feet in length. An adult has coloration similar to an Oreo cookie with black front and back and a white or grey midsection. The young’s spots help them blend into dappled sunlight and leaf shadow of the forest which protects them from predators.

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The Malaysian tapirs are the largest of the four tapir species. They weigh between 700 and 900 pounds. They are excellent swimmers and spend much of their time in water.They can even use their flexible noses as snorkels!



Monday Morning Cute! Because We’re Partial to Elephants. by The Elephant's Child
May 5, 2014, 6:37 am
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Environment, Heartwarming, Humor | Tags: ,

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And a reminder that next Sunday is Mother’s Day.



A Somali Wild Ass Filly, Born at Zoo Basel in Switzerland by The Elephant's Child

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This charming young foal is a Somali Wild Ass named Lakisha. She was born at Zoo Basel in Switzerland. Zoo Basel is a world leader in the conservation of this Critically Endangered Species. She is the forty-first Somali Ass to be born and raised at this zoo since 1972.  Here she is with Mom, and as you can see, she’s full of energy!

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The Somali Wild Ass is a subspecies of the African Wild Ass. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are fewer than 1,000 African Wild Asses remaining in the wild. They are hunted for food and medicinal purposes, and compete with livestock for forage and sources of water. The Somali subspecies occurs in small populations in Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia.

 



A Thirteen-Year-Old Girl Hunting With Her Golden Eagle by The Elephant's Child

Here is a remarkable look at a thirteen-year-old Mongolian girl hunting with a golden eagle, from the BBC.  Beautiful photography, beautiful young Mongolian girl, and a glimpse of her school, and the beauty of Mongolia. Enjoy.



A Grand Tour of British Accents by The Elephant's Child

The voice is that of Andrew Jack, a dialogue coach.




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