American Elephants


Ooops! They Did it Again! by American Elephant
November 25, 2007, 8:02 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: ,

Christmas Shopping

For weeks the “mainstream” media have been telling us this would be the gloomiest, doom-iest holiday season for retailers since the Grinch stole Christmas.

They referenced the housing market. They cited polls that said Americans think the economy is tanking, but they didn’t cite the same polls that also show an overwhelming number of Americans say their own personal financial outlook is good to excellent. In other words, most people are doing very well, but they think everyone else is doing poorly.

Gee, I wonder where people could have gotten that impression!

This is, keep in mind, the same “mainstream” media that has been shocked, SHOCKED I say, each time US economic performance has exceeded their predictions — as has happened (not coincidentally) with virtually every economic report since President Bush took office.

Go figure.

But don’t go telling little Billy and Susie that Santa won’t be coming this year just yet…

As it turns out, retailers didn’t exactly board up their shops and move into tenaments as one might have expected after reading stories like these. On the contrary, they kicked off the holiday season with a very robust 8.3 percent increase in total sales over last year.

No doubt the mood over the Christmas Blend at the NYT is very dour indeed.

An excellent reason to go out and buy a few extra Christmas gifts in and of itself!



The Knee Bone is Connected to the Blog Bone by American Elephant
November 15, 2007, 4:30 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Total Knee Replacement

Sorry for the light posting of late. My mom has just had her knee replaced.

The surgery went famously, but I’ve been busy visiting her in the hospital and preparing for her transition home. I will try to keep up with normal blogging as best I can. But if the next few days are light, you’ll know why. I hope you’ll forgive me and continue to stop by.           



Happy Veterans Day! by American Elephant
November 12, 2007, 10:24 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Thank you to all who served our nation. We are all in your debt. Happy Veterans Day!

Happy Veterans Day



Top Democrat Blasts Democrat Party Over Partisan-Driven Foreign Policy by American Elephant

Senator Joe Lieberman

Says Democrats are betraying principles, poisoning politics, and undermining America’s interests for partisan gain.

The man the Democrat party so respected and admired that they made him their Vice-Presidential nominee just a few short years ago, has leveled a scathing rebuke at the Democrat party for abandoning the principles of Truman, Roosevelt and Kennedy, betraying America’s interests and poisoning the American political atmosphere for political gain. He has blasted the Democrat base for their hate-driven “paranoia…delusion and deception.”…

In other words Senator Lieberman (who was overwhelmingly re-elected by his home state of Connecticut despite an attempt by radical leftists to throw him out) has admitted what all Republicans and thinking-independents have known for a long time — Democrats intentionally changed their position on Iraq for partisan gain when the going got tough and have since done everything in their power to undermine the war effort and tear apart the country for their own political gain:

“Since retaking Congress in November 2006, the top foreign policy priority of the Democratic Party has not been to expand the size of our military for the war on terror or to strengthen our democracy promotion efforts in the Middle East or to prevail in Afghanistan. It has been to pull our troops out of Iraq, to abandon the democratically-elected government there, and to hand a defeat to President Bush.

Iraq has become the singular litmus test for Democratic candidates. No Democratic presidential primary candidate today speaks of America’s moral or strategic responsibility to stand with the Iraqi people against the totalitarian forces of radical Islam, or of the consequences of handing a victory in Iraq to Al Qaeda and Iran. And if they did, their campaign would be as unsuccessful as mine was in 2006. Even as evidence has mounted that General Petraeus’ new counterinsurgency strategy is succeeding, Democrats have remained emotionally invested in a narrative of defeat and retreat in Iraq, reluctant to acknowledge the progress we are now achieving, or even that that progress has enabled us to begin drawing down our troops there.

Part of the explanation for this, I think, comes back to ideology. For all of our efforts in the 1990s to rehabilitate a strong Democratic foreign policy tradition, anti-war sentiment remains the dominant galvanizing force among a significant segment of the Democratic base.

But another reason for the Democratic flip-flop on foreign policy over the past few years is less substantive. For many Democrats, the guiding conviction in foreign policy isn’t pacifism or isolationism—it is distrust and disdain of Republicans in general, and President Bush in particular.

In this regard, the Democratic foreign policy worldview has become defined by the same reflexive, blind opposition to the President that defined Republicans in the 1990s – even when it means repudiating the very principles and policies that Democrats as a party have stood for, at our best and strongest…

First, several left-wing blogs seized upon the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, offering wild conspiracy theories about how it could be used to authorize the use of military force against Iran.

These were absurd arguments. The text of our amendment contained nothing—nothing—that could be construed as a green light for an attack on Iran. To claim that it did was an act of delusion or deception.

On the contrary, by calling for tougher sanctions on Iran, the intention of our amendment was to offer an alternative to war.

Nonetheless, the conspiracy theories started to spread. Although the Senate passed our amendment, 76-22, several Democrats, including some of the Democratic presidential candidates, soon began attacking it — and Senator Clinton, who voted for the amendment. In fact, some of the very same Democrats who had cosponsored the legislation in the spring, urging the designation of the IRGC, began denouncing our amendment for doing the exact same thing…

there is something profoundly wrong—something that should trouble all of us—when we have elected Democratic officials who seem more worried about how the Bush administration might respond to Iran’s murder of our troops, than about the fact that Iran is murdering our troops.

There is likewise something profoundly wrong when we see candidates who are willing to pander to this politically paranoid, hyper-partisan sentiment in the Democratic base—even if it sends a message of weakness and division to the Iranian regime.

For me, this episode reinforces how far the Democratic Party of 2007 has strayed from the Democratic Party of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and the Clinton-Gore administration.

That is why I call myself an Independent Democrat today. It is because my foreign policy convictions are the convictions that have traditionally animated the Democratic Party—but they exist in me today independent of the current Democratic Party, which has largely repudiated them.” [read more] Continue reading



Weather Channel Founder: Global Warming “Greatest Scam in History” by American Elephant

Storm Clouds

As you may have already heard, the founder of the Weather Channel, an eminently qualified meteorologist in his own right, John Coleman, has come out blasting “man-made global warming” as, “the greatest scam in history“:

It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM. Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data to create an illusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental whacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the “research” to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus.

Environmental extremists, notable politicians among them, then teamed up with movie, media and other liberal, environmentalist journalists to create this wild “scientific” scenario of the civilization threatening environmental consequences from Global Warming unless we adhere to their radical agenda. Now their ridiculous manipulated science has been accepted as fact and become a cornerstone issue for CNN, CBS, NBC, the Democratic Political Party, the Governor of California, school teachers and, in many cases, well informed but very gullible environmentally conscientious citizens. Only one reporter at ABC has been allowed to counter the Global Warming frenzy with one 15 minute documentary segment.

I do not oppose environmentalism. I do not oppose the political positions of either party. However, Global Warming, i.e. Climate Change, is not about environmentalism or politics. It is not a religion. It is not something you “believe in.” It is science; the science of meteorology. This is my field of life-long expertise. And I am telling you Global Warming is a non-event, a manufactured crisis and a total scam. [read the whole thing]

It’s gotten pretty good coverage in the conservative blogosphere (and very little in the mainstream media naturally), but given the overwhelming volume of hysterical “man-made global-warming” propaganda from Al Gore and his ilk, and liberal’s Stalinist penchant for silencing all who disagree, I think it’s important that dissent from the alarmist narrative get as much publicity as possible.

If you were unaware that there is a great deal of science-based dissent from the “man-made global warming” mantra, then I encourage you to research the issue. PlanetGore on National Review, JunkScience.com, and Senator James Inhofe’s blog (Inhofe is the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works) are excellent starting points. For more in-depth study, I invite you to read, Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years, by Dennis Avery and Fred Singer, an invaluable resource documenting the multitude of holes and outright contradictions in the anthrocentric global warming arguments.

There are a great many other excellent, authoritative resources — far too many to list. I encourage you to seek them out, because the doomsday narrative pushed by envirowhackos and the liberal media is contradicted by solid science.



Congestion and How to Solve It — or Not by The Elephant's Child
November 8, 2007, 9:21 pm
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Politics | Tags: ,

Traffic

I have never been to Boston, but I have heard of the famous (or infamous) “Big Dig”.  The impressions are scattered: ‘scandal’, ‘mismanagement’, ‘cost overruns’, ‘woman killed by falling roof tiles’, ‘boondoggle’.  Unseen, it is the first thing that comes to mind when government proposes a big infrastructure project.  How is the public supposed to judge?  We hear of studies and studies, cost estimates, engineering marvels and urban planners.  We recall the bridge in Minneapolis that collapsed.  We recall the vast amounts of gas taxes supposedly building and repairing our roads.  We wait, frustrated, in traffic. 

We are faced with these projects on the ballot.  Are we willing to tax ourselves to pay for the dreams of government planners?  Experience tells us that the costs they tell us about are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and a vastly larger, more threatening hulk drifts unseen beneath the surface.  Government officials dream of glorious stadiums, beautiful bridges, highways that free the commuter, and of course, “light rail”. 

Most American cities of any size had rail transportation. As people moved farther out from the central city, rail lines helped suburbs to grow, and commuting became a way of life.  There is, however, fashion in all things, even transportation.  San Francisco’s cable cars have survived as a national park.  Other rail lines fell out of fashion and were torn up.  Freeways were going to solve all traffic problems, but they just created more.   Enter HOV lanes, toll roads, and congestion.  Congestion is now to be solved by forcing people out of their cars and onto light rail or bike paths, or into apartments in the central city.  Or by more laws to put the newest, most fashionable idea into practice.  But does anyone know what they are doing?

Those who will participate in the construction of whatever edifice is planned will invest vast amounts of money to convince the voter that the project is an invaluable solution that will improve your life immeasurably.  Opponents make other claims.  Who do you believe, and how do you decide?

For most people, the way they vote on a large infrastructure project is determined by their level of frustration with the status quo.  It is possible to be more informed, and to demand better performance from our public officials.  Nicole Gelinas has written a splendid article on the “Lessons of Boston’s Big Dig” in the Autumn issue of City Journal.  The story suggests that we can invest in infrastructure and do it smart. 

Many of America’s think tanks have studied transportation, congestion, infrastructure, the potential of different fuels, the promise and problems of oil, and the dangers of congressional meddling. It is very worthwhile to do a little reading-up.  As an informed voter, you can hold your representatives to the straight and narrow, and perhaps prevent them from chasing temporary fads. 



Terrorism and Communism: Myth or reality? by The Elephant's Child
November 8, 2007, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Foreign Policy | Tags: , , , , , ,

Communism

In spite of 9/11, the first World Trade Center attack, Khobar Towers, the Cole, the London Subway bombers, the Madrid bombers, and dozens of attacks across the world there are still people out there who feel that we have an “inordinate fear of terrorism”, just as Jimmy Carter once accused of an “inordinate fear of Communism”.

Randall Hoven, writing at the American Thinker, takes on the inordinate fear of Communism and clarifies some of the myths and realities of the Cold War.

“To many people today, “communism” is just an old bugaboo–something crazy people used to fear some 50 years ago.  Crazy people like Joe McCarthy.  Or crazy people like John Nash in the movie A Beautiful Mind.  In that movie, Nash’s insanity was manifested in the belief that communists were spying on him.  (The real-life Nash’s schizophrenic hallucinations were of the more garden variety “space alien” type)  Hollywood has given us several films about the bad old days of the Cold War, from The Front and The Way We Were to The Majestic and Good Night, And Good Luck. “

Read the whole thing.



2008, The Return of the Republicans by American Elephant

Rudy Giuliani and John McCain

Jim Geraghty at National Review makes a point that I’ve been increasingly realizing of late: 2008 is not 2006. And despite the the mainstream media’s propaganda-blitz to the contrary — Democrats are not a shoo-in for the Presidency or even to hold onto congress.

Remember, after all, how Democrats came to power — no progress was being made in Iraq, the media was pushing wall-to-wall Tom Foley coverage, the conservative base was demoralized, and in perhaps the biggest pot-calling-the-kettle-black moment of all time, Democrats were promising to clean up the so-called, “culture of corruption.”

Instead, Democrats have taken more trips funded by lobbyists than Republicans, have spent billions more on earmarks than Republicans, and have spent the last 8-9 months usurping powers that the constitution does not grant them (commander in chief, foreign policy, administration hiring, etc.), trying to sabotage their country in wartime, and abusing their powers to launch over 300 investigations that have discovered absolutely zero wrongdoing and to try to legislate themselves into a permanent majority (amnesty, union card-check, “fairness” doctrine).

This doesn’t even account for the fact that Democrats seem dead-set on nominating the most corrupt presidential candidate since, well, her husband. A woman who is married to an impeached president, who appointed an impeached federal judge to lead her campaign, and who is getting her national-security advice from a man who stole and destroyed top-secret documents to cover-up the incompetence, negligence and corruption of her husband’s administration. Indeed, Democrats seem hell-bent on nominating her despite the fact that we seem to be picking up with the Clintons right where we left off  — with them taking illegal campaign contributions from the Chinese!

No, 2008 is anything but a lock for Democrats.

Remember also that the American people elected Democrats to make things better, and poll after poll shows Americans approve less of the Democrat controlled congress than they ever did the Republican congress. Indeed, under Nancy Pelosi (Quinnipiac favorability rating: 22%) and Harry Reid (Quinnipiac favorability rating: 9%), this congress has marked the lowest approval ratings ever recorded. Compared to Democrat congressional leaders, President Bush’s Quinnipiac approval rating of 35% is downright stratospheric.

And then there is the Democrat agenda, which is increasingly at odds with the American people’s wishes.

Hillary just stepped in it big-time because she couldn’t come out and admit that she supports givng drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. Why couldn’t she? Because voters oppose giving illegals drivers licenses by more than a 3 to 1 margin.

Charlie Rangel, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, and the Democrat presidential candidates themselves have made it crystal clear that electing Democrats will guarantee monumental new tax-hikes.

Keep in mind also, that the surge in Iraq keeps working better and better. So much so that the GAO has declared it an official “trend,” and Democrats have opposed this winning strategy with gnashing teeth and slashing claws. And that Democrats, by playing to their pacifist base by denouncing military action against Iran have all-but promised they will practically give nuclear weapons to the mad-mullahs. This just after national polls show a majority of Americans would support military action to prevent the terrorist nation from going nuclear.

And finally, my fellow elephants, the “conventional wisdom” — which I think is neither conventional nor wise — that Democrats have 2008 locked up flies in the face of recent electoral history:

After the 1994 landslide “Gingrich Revolution,” Republicans thought Bill Clinton’s defeat in ’96 was all but a done-deal. Americans thought different. Defeated, they decided they weren’t going to do well in 98 and as such, some strong candidates decided it wasn’t the year to run. But the GOP did well in 98 and could have done even better had they not been so timid.

And Republicans are forgetting perhaps the most important point of all — that the media and the polls always say the Democrats are poised to win the next election when its this far out. Al Gore and John Kerry enjoyed the same type of early hype. But the closer the election gets, the more the American people are forced to examine the choice they are being offered, and in 2008 that contrast could be starker than ever. Democrats are almost unabashedly running a platform of socialism and retreat in the war on terror.

As Geraghty says,

Next year could be a surprisingly good one for the GOP, though it’s clearly not guaranteed. The party will need good candidate recruitment, message discipline, a clear, unifying agenda, and a bit of good luck. [read the whole thing]

But the 2008 election is hardly guaranteed to be the, “Democratic-Tsunami Part Two,” that the media are portraying it is destined to be.

I would also add that Republicans need to quit feeling gloomy, quit listening to the media and start contributing and volunteering. If we do those things, I think we stand a very good chance of not only holding our own, but doing very well indeed.

I think liberals are quite possibly in for a very rude awakening in November, 2008. And personally, I look forward to it most enthusiastically.



Cool Site of the Day by American Elephant
November 7, 2007, 2:54 am
Filed under: Pop Culture

Amazing paper cuttings and other works. Definately a site worth exploring.



The Will To Live by American Elephant
November 4, 2007, 5:03 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

The will to live. When does it begin?

…Are you sure?

Ieuan and Gabriel Jones

When doctors found that Gabriel was weaker than his brother, with an enlarged heart,and believed he was going to die in the womb, his mother Rebecca Jones had to make a heartbreaking decision.

Doctors told her his death could cause his twin brother to die too before they were born, and that it would be better to end Gabriel’s suffering sooner rather than later.

Mrs Jones decided to let doctors operate to terminate Gabriel’s life.

Firstly they tried to sever his umbilical cord to cut off his blood supply, but the cord was too strong.

They then cut Mrs Jones’s placenta in half so that when Gabriel died, it would not affect his twin brother.

But after the operation which was meant to end his life, tiny Gabriel had other ideas.

Although he weighed less than a pound, he put up such a fight for survival that doctors called him Rocky.

Astonishingly, he managed to carry on living in his mother’s womb for another five weeks – until the babies were delivered by caesarean section. [read more]



These are illegal? by American Elephant
November 4, 2007, 4:36 am
Filed under: Pop Culture, Science/Technology | Tags:

Then clearly we need to change some laws!

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 2 — One afternoon in early September, an architect boarded his commuter train and became a cellphone vigilante. He sat down next to a 20-something woman who he said was “blabbing away” into her phone.

“She was using the word ‘like’ all the time. She sounded like a Valley Girl,” said the architect, Andrew, who declined to give his last name because what he did next was illegal.

Andrew reached into his shirt pocket and pushed a button on a black device the size of a cigarette pack. It sent out a powerful radio signal that cut off the chatterer’s cellphone transmission — and any others in a 30-foot radius. [read more]

Now you know what’s on my Christmas list.

Until then, feel free to forward your friends, family and coworkers a copy of these Ten Commandments of Cell Phone Etiquette.



American Hero, Paul Tibbets, Dies at 92 by American Elephant
November 4, 2007, 3:10 am
Filed under: Foreign Policy, News | Tags: , , , ,

Paul Tibbets, Pilot of the Enola Gay

Paul Tibbetts is a hero.

Most often referred to as, “the man who bombed Hiroshima,” the pilot of the Enola Gay would be better remembered as, “the man who ended World War II,” for that is precisely what his famous mission accomplished, saving millions of lives.

The war against Japan had to be won, but the Japanese were prepared, and determined, to fight to the death. President Truman had approved invasion plans that conservative estimates conclude would have resulted in the deaths of approximately 1 million American servicemen and up to 10 million Japanese.

Paul Tibbets’ heroic mission, no matter what detractors say, prevented that much more horrific outcome.

He died in his home last Thursday at the age of 92. He is survived by his wife, three sons, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

It is shameful, however, that America has allowed its citizenry to become so misinformed and ignorant that Tibbets requested no funeral and no headstone lest protesters use his grave as a place to demonstrate. This man’s dire mission saved millions in what would have been a long, protracted and very bloody invasion. That our children are being taught differently by ignorant liberal activists and that we allow it is truly shameful.

Paul Tibbets should be buried and remembered with the highest of honors. America, and the world, owe him a debt of gratitude.

God rest Paul Tibbets’ soul. And may He bring comfort to his family and loved ones.

The following is an excerpt from The Los Angeles Times. I encourage you to read it in it’s entirety.

Boeing B-29 Flying Superfortress

By late summer 1942 — nine months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that thrust America into World War II against the Axis powers of Germany, Japan and Italy — Tibbets was flying some of the first U.S. bombing raids over German-held targets in Western Europe. Two months later, he led the bombing runs supporting the American landings in North Africa.

In early 1943, Tibbets was recalled to the United States to begin testing a new super bomber, the B-29. Within months, he was one of the nation’s most experienced B-29 pilots.

In September 1944, Lt. Col. Tibbets was summoned to a secret military conclave in Colorado, where he was told that he had been selected over dozens of other candidates to head a unit called the 509th Composite Group.

“My job, in brief, was to wage atomic war,” he wrote in his book, “Flight of the Enola Gay” (1989).

Tibbets searched for the perfect airfield to train his men and knew he had found it in Wendover, Utah. “It was remote in the truest sense,” he wrote. “Surrounding the field were miles and miles of salt flats.”

The arriving crewmen were told nothing about their mission, according to “Ruin From the Air,” a 1977 history of the project by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts.

“Don’t ask what the job is,” Tibbets told his men. “Stop being curious. . . . Never mention this base to anybody. That means your wives, girlfriends, sisters, family.”…[read more on Paul Tibbets’ historic mission]




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