American Elephants

Dawn of the Dead? by American Elephant
October 31, 2008, 1:16 pm
Filed under: Conservatism, Election 2008, Politics, Socialism | Tags: , ,

They don’t eat. They don’t sleep. They don’t think! They have no will of their own. They walk the Earth, in search of brains, with that dazed look in their eye.

You may have noticed I haven’t posted much of late.

Writer’s block.

I simply haven’t been able to figure out what to write. How do you appeal to the reason of those who aren’t reasoning? How do you persuade the unpersuadable? How do you get through to the walking dead?

But of course, you don’t. Obama supporters aren’t going to listen to reason. You can run through his math, and prove that it doesn’t add up. You can play audio of his disdain for the constitution and founding fathers. You can catalogue his shady dealings, radical ties and corrupt connections, or detail his disturbing attempts to prosecute and intimidate critics….

There is no persuading the Obamazombies.

But, I realized, there is a great deal we can do. We don’t need to wake the dead. We can beat them.

The media are working very hard, and very deliberately to convince you the election is over. You’ve probably heard many pundits say as much. “It’s over”, “Obama’s clinched it” — any story they can find to convince you your vote is pointless. They even run reports of a bookie in Ireland who has paid out on bets, conceding that “Obama’s already won”.

They’re doing it very much on purpose.

In 2000, they learned that by calling the election in Florida before polls were closed in the panhandle, they convinced thousands not to bother. They are applying that lesson now, trying to dispirit and depress Republican turnout.

Don’t listen to them. It’s deliberate, pre-meditated propaganda. The polls are close and getting closer. McCain and Palin have struck a chord by pointing out Obama’s redistributionist promises. The all important youth vote? The one’s that are supposed to be most motivated to turn out for “the One”? …John McCain now leads that demographic.

So don’t listen to Obama’s mouthpieces in the MSM. Do NOT be discouraged. Be absolutely sure to vote. Vote early if you can. Call your friends and family and make certain they vote as well. Call up your local McCain campaign, or the campaign offices of your local Representatives or Senators and volunteer to help them get out the vote.

Voter turnout will decide this election — it’s that close. All we need to stop 4-8 years of socialism, a drastic lurch to the left, liberal courts, the “Freedom to Choose” Act, “Card Check”, the “Fairness” Doctrine and electoral reforms intended to keep Democrats in power in perpetuity — is to ignore the media, don’t despair, vote, and help our candidates turn out the vote! If you live in a solid-red state or precinct, the campaign can give you a phone and you can help turn out the vote in a swing state!

If you’ve never done it before, volunteering for a campaign can be a little intimidating. There’s no reason it should be. It’s very easy. Call up, or drop by in these last few days, and ask how you can help. It’s not rocket-science. They’ll teach you everything you need to know. But it makes a very big difference!

Will Obama Gut the Military? by The Elephant's Child

“I’ve fought for open, ethical and accountable government my whole public life.”

Obama’s Dishonest War. by The Elephant's Child
October 30, 2008, 11:13 pm
Filed under: Election 2008, Iraq, Military, Terrorism | Tags: ,

Back at the Saddleback Church debate, Obama was asked by Pastor Rick Warren what was the most gut-wrenching decision he ever had to make and what was the process he used to make it?

Obama said:

The opposition to the war in Iraq was as tough a decision that I’ve had to make, not only because there were political consequences but also because Saddam Hussein was a bad person and there was no doubt that he he meant America ill.  But I was firmly convinced at the time that we did not have strong evidence of weapons of mass destruction and do we know how the Shiites and the Sunnis and the Kurds are going to get along in a post-Saddam situation”  What’s our assessment as to how this will affect the battle against terrorists like Al-Qaeda?  Have we finished the job in Afghanistan? And now as the war went forward, very difficult about how long do you keep funding the war if you strongly believe that it’s not in our national interest.  At the same time you don’t want to have troops who are out there without the equipment they need.

This was not what he said when he opposed the war.  He opposed the war because he represented a district that was opposed to the war, and it had no political consequences for him whatsoever since he was only a member of the Illinois state legislature. But his story has changed more than once.

Conservatives and Liberals think differently about war, and do so as a result of their differing visions of life.

Conservatives believe that mankind is imperfect: partly good, partly evil, prone to selfishness, greed, bad temper, cheating, crime, cruelty as well as all the good things.  Because man is imperfect, we cannot expect perfection and must look for ways to modify bad behavior, and prevent crime. But because man is imperfect, it will be a constant struggle, and you will need a certain amount of stoical resignation.

Liberals believe that man is perfectible, and the right government, the right laws, the proper controls will fix things, and if they don’t, then you have to fix the government and the laws.  Man is born an empty slate and is formed by his environment and his government and laws.  If the world is not what it “should be” then you have to fix it, by putting the “right” people in charge.

Conservatives believe that war is a natural part of mankind arising from man’s imperfect nature. And that we must try to manage those impulses and try to prevent war, although there have always been wars. We must learn more about how to sustain peace.  It is a slow process.

Liberals believe that war is a matter of misunderstanding or paranoid emotions that override rationality.  They feel the need to explain war and crime, rather than prevent it.

When we were attacked on 9/11, George W. Bush understood that we were looking at a long war with a radical part of Islam that yearned for a return to the days of the Caliphate and the submission of the free world to the rule of Islam. That though it would begin with the terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, the war would not end there. He said:

Now this war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion.  It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago;, where no ground troops were used and not a single American life was lost in combat.

Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes.  Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen.  It may include dramatic strikes visible on TV and covert operations secret even in success.

President Bush was looking ten years down the road and trying to see how to manage those “impulses.” Barack Obama, writing in the Hyde Park Herald a week after 9/11, presented the typical liberal response, trying to explain the “paranoid emotions:”

We must engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness.  The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers; an inability to imagine, or connect with the humanity or suffering of others.  Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion or ethnicity….Most often though, it grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.

This was a fairly typical response among the leftist liberal intelligensia. Many university professors penned similar paragraphs, and the farther left, the more similarity.

Former Ambassador Peter Galbraith has written that:

Along with Cambodia’s Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein’s regime was one of the two most cruel and inhumane regimes in the second half of the twentieth century.  Using the definition of genocide specified in the 1948 Genocide Convention, Iraq’s Baath regime can be charged with planning and executing two genocides — one against the Kurdish population in the late 1980s and another against the Marsh Arabs in the 1990s.

Yet Senator Obama continued to oppose the war to liberate Iraq, despite the fact that the U.S, had amassed a coalition of more than two dozen nations that committed troops to the war and had won unanimous approval for the UN’s Resolution 1441.

Once we were in Iraq, Sen. Obama did everything that he could, including voting against funding for the troops, to block efforts to win the war.  He insisted that the surge was failing long after it was clearly making progress, and he promoted a plan that would have withdrawn all troops by March 2008, which would probably have led to another genocide.

Senator Barack Obama was perfectly willing to lose the War in Iraq. There were obvious immediate consequences. But there are also long-term consequences for losing a war, as any examination of the history of the Vietnam War would demonstrate.  We are still seeing the consequences of Congress’ withdrawal of funds just when we were on the verge of winning that war.

Senator Obama seems to have the childish idea that the purpose of our whole effort should have been to get revenge on one man, Osama bin Laden.  This shows a profound misunderstanding of the history, the intelligence, the Middle East and America’s place in the world.

The Iraq war did not go smoothly.  Wars don’t.  A war is not a one-sided operation.  The other side gets a vote, and in this case there was more than one “other side”. There were bad decisions, and poor intelligence and a terrorist war that we had to learn how to fight.  Was it important? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes.  Is Barack Obama prepared to be Commander in Chief? Not if you care about your country.

Why is Barack Obama running against George Bush? Because he has no record of his own. by The Elephant's Child

Every Democrat speech includes the obligatory phrase “eight years of failed Bush policies.” This is the old “big lie” technique of propaganda. You repeat something often enough, and people will start to believe it. New York’s senior senator Charles Schumer, chairman of the senate Democratic Campaign Committee, has been in front of every available camera and microphone for the last eight years, bloviating on the “terrible economy”, at least until he caused a bank run and got caught at it.

But what are these “failed Bush policies?” Let’s consider the history. The Clinton administration benefited from a technology boom that became a bubble. The stock market peaked and by the end of 2000 had declined by 8%, and GDP declined from 4.8 to 1.9 percent. Six weeks into the Bush administration the economy was officially in recession.

On the national security front, Saddam Hussein had kicked the weapons inspectors out of Iraq, and was in complete defiance of UN resolutions that he was obligated to obey. His military had fired at US Air Force planes that were patrolling the ‘no-fly’ zones. The US Cole had been attacked in 2000 by Islamists, killing 17 American sailors.

Then on September 11, 2001, just eight months after George W. Bush took office, Islamic terrorists attacked, killing nearly 3,000 civilians and brought down the twin towers and destroyed part of the Pentagon. Not an auspicious start for an administration.

By November the recession was officially over, and the economy never looked back. Under a Republican Congress and a Republican President the economy has grown at a healthy and sustainable pace every year until 2008, with unemployment averaging 5.2%, which is considered good.

Inflation-adjusted personal disposable income grew by 9% in the first six years under President Bush.  The real economy grew by about 20% since the President took office.

Imagine, this was an economy battered by the attacks of 9/11, battered by the devastation of Katrina, and in spite of it all it just chugs along. The Bush tax cuts helped greatly.  They raised the threshold so that way more people owed no taxes at all, and reduced the rates for everyone else, increasing the number of brackets from five to six.  The tax brackets are available here.  Please find the vast tax cuts for “the rich” that were somehow so unfair. Another example of the “big lie” technique in operation. The United States has the most progressive tax system in the world, and collects more income from the top 10 percent than any other country.

Though no one expected it at the time, President Bush has managed to keep us safe here at home for 7 years, while Islamist terrorists were attacking other countries, and attempting to attack us here.  Took a lot of vigilance to accomplish that.

If you look a little deeper than the bumper-sticker slogans from the Democrats, you will find that Guantanamo has been a model prison where no one except the guards was abused.  You will find that no one had any interest in listening to your telephone conversations unless you were chatting with someone in the mountains of Pakistan.  You will find that American troops were restoring schools, rebuilding water supplies, fixing power stations as well as trying to protect Iraqi civilians.

It does require a little effort to find sources like the Long War Journal or learn which reporters can be trusted, or how to find the Milblogs.  It is easier to simply repeat the daily sound bite.

It has been a great disappointment that President Bush has been unable to break through the mainstream media spin. He feels that history will justify him. I agree that it will.  He’s done a pretty darn good job.

Did you need a reason? Here’s a very good one. by The Elephant's Child

How can we get fair and honest elections? The media could help. by The Elephant's Child

Electoral fraud? Let me count the ways.  How about the “grubby little racket” of Obama’s online credit fraud.  There are default security checks on the computers that accept donations that prevent basic fraud like fake addresses, names that don’t match.  Apparently all those checks have been intentionally disabled. Donations from Mr. A Hitler of Berlin Germany, names such as Es Esh or Doodad Pro.

Or there are the scores of small online donations Mary T. Biskup discovered that had been made to the Obama campaign in her name even though she had not given him a cent. They added up to $174,800, obviously more than a little over the $2,300 legal limit.

Or the Obama campaign that claims “no ties” to ACORN; but a former staffer testified today that ACORN was provided a “donor list” from the presidential campaign.  Obama contributors who had “maxed out” under federal limits could be targeted to give to ACORN’s Project Vote.

No home? There are ways around the rules.  ACORN and the ACLU are anxious to be sure that the homeless can vote.  Apparently all you need is a park bench and a cross street.

We are a little sensitive to this kind of thing here in Washington State. Our election four years ago put a Democrat governor into office through a highly questionable election that involved ACORN as well as improper actions by election officials.

American Elephant Adds: I happen to think the very reason we are seeing such widespread voter-registartion fraud by ACORN in all the battleground states this year is because it worked so well in Washington in 2004. Fake registrations is the first step, miraculously “finding” enough ballots on election day to overcome any lead the opponent may have is the second. Remember, ACORN was convicted here in WA, and the ballots that put Christine Gregoire in the governor’s office were unsecured, in violation of election law. Look for ballots to be “found” on election day if there is any crucial state where Obama is behind.

Think Universal Healthcare is Desirable? Think again. by The Elephant's Child

Universal healthcare A Canadian says be careful what you wish for.

A friend living in the USA tells me that one of the great attractions for voters leaning toward Barack Obama is his plan to deliver universal health care.  Canada is often mentioned as a paragon of the socialized health care model in the pitch for the Utopian dream; what is seldom mentioned is that the dream is often more like a nightmare….

Canadian hospitals are filthy bacteria-infested places where perhaps hundreds of people die painful and needless deaths because doctors can’t be bothered to wash their hands.

No one can tell you how many people die of C. Difficile each year because tallying the numbers may be politically embarrassing.  A lawsuit is under way against one hospital where 91 patients died in less than 2 years from C. Difficile.

Read the whole brief article. It includes a table that explains the ‘wait times’ for medical procedures in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province. And why so many Canadians come to the U.S for treatment.

You might refer again to this post, which explains why it cannot work in the long run.

“Spreading the Wealth Around.” Good Idea? by The Elephant's Child
October 28, 2008, 7:33 pm
Filed under: Economy, Election 2008, Liberalism, Politics, Socialism | Tags: , ,

“Redistribution of wealth” is a phrase that has made Joe the Plumber famous and caused the mainstream press to pruriently investigate every aspect of his life.  It caused three TV stations to be banned by the Obama campaign because they were impertinent enough to ask Sen. Biden about redistribution of wealth and socialism.

KYWTV, Channel 3 in Philadelphia, a station serving Wilmington DE has been banned because Sen. Biden doesn’t like tough questions.  WFTV in Orlando has also been banned, for Barbara West asked the kind of probing questions of Joe Biden that the mainstream media refuses to ask.  And then there is Angela Russell of CBS Channel 3 in Philadelphia who also asked about “spreading the wealth around.” You can’t even ask!

Sweetness & Light has gathered together some of the reflections of the founding fathers on redistribution here.

“Redistribution of wealth” or “spreading the wealth around” is, of course, a socialist idea, designed to help those who are less fortunate.  Oddly enough we already have a very progressive tax system.  Over 30% of those at the bottom of the income groups currently pay no taxes at all.  And Americans are the most generous people on earth, not only giving more of their income to charity, but giving of their time as well.

The assumption is that the only reason people are poor is strictly a matter of money, which it is not.  Studies have shown that if one graduates from high school, doesn’t get married until they have graduated from high school, and waits to have a child until they are married, they will do fine in our society.  I should add stay away from drugs. We do better if we help kids to finish school, and that does not have to be a government program.

Somehow, it is hard for people to understand because it is usually couched in terms of “fairness.”

I shamelessly borrowed this from the folks at geeeeZ.

I don’t know who wrote this, but it sure works…….

Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read “Vote Obama, I need the money.” I laughed.

Once in the restaurant my server had on a “Obama 08” tie, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference–just imagine the coincidence.

When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept.

He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need–the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I’ve decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient deserved money more.

I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.

or just a fools game?

Here is what Barack Obama had to say on a call-in radio show in 2001:

You know, if you look at the victories and failures of the civil-rights movement, and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to vest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples. So that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at a lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it, I’d be okay, but the Supreme Court never entered into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.

And uh, to that extent, as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution — at least as it’s been interpreted, and Warren Court interpreted it in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties: [It] says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.

And that hasn’t shifted, and one of the, I think, the tragedies of the civil-rights movement was because the civil-rights movement became so court-focused, uh, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change. And in some ways we still suffer from that.

Free people are generous because they have the choice of what to do with the funds that they worked hard to earn.  Even poor people value the money they earn themselves far more than they do handouts.  Making people dependent on handouts destroys ambition, pride and even, Senator Obama — hope.

Here’s something worth a few minutes of your time. by The Elephant's Child

National Review Online has been featuring the Hoover Institution’s “Uncommon Knowledge”, a TV show in which scholar and host Peter Robinson interviews interesting people.  The current video is an interview with Thomas Sowell about one of his most famous books A Conflict of Visions.  In the book, Dr. Sowell explains the ideological origins of political struggles.  Controversies in  politics arise from many sources, but the enduring conflicts over generations show a remarkably consistent pattern.  Issues like criminal justice, income distribution and war and peace reflect radically different visions of the nature of man.

It’s a wonderful series, and well worth a bit of your time.  The entire interview is divided into five sections, so you can watch one at a time, briefly, or settle down to watch the whole thing at the end of the week.

Promises? Obama Will Need to Raise $4.3 Trillion! by The Elephant's Child

The new president, whoever he is, will face a budget deficit of at least $1 trillion, possibly much more according to economist Alan Reynolds writing in the Wall Street Journal.

Senator Obama has nevertheless promised to devote another $1.32 trillion over the next 10 years to several new or expanded refundable tax credits and a special exemption for seniors, according to the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution’s Tax Policy Center (TPC). He calls this a “middle-class tax cut,” while suggesting the middle class includes 95% of those who work.

Mr. Obama’s proposed income-based health-insurance subsidies, tax credits for tiny businesses, and expanded Medicaid eligibility would cost another $1.63 trillion, according to the TPC.  Thus his tax rebates and health insurance subsidies alone would lift the undisclosed bill to future taxpayers by $2.95 trillion — roughly $295 billion a year by 2012.

But that’s not all.  Mr Obama has also promised to spend more on 176 other programs, according to an 85-page list of campaign promises (actual quotations) compiled by the National Taxpayers Union Foundation.  The NTUF was able to produce cost estimates for only 77 of the 176, so its estimate is low.  Excluding the Obama health plan, the NTUF estimates that Mr. Obama would raise spending by $611.5 billion over the next five years; the 10-year total (aside from health) would surely exceed $1.4 trillion, because spending typically grows at least as quickly as nominal GDP.

A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.  Altogether, Mr. Obama is promising at least $4.3 trillion of increased spending and reduced tax revenue from 2009 to 2018 — roughly an extra $430 billion a year by 2012-2013.

Mr. Obama’s proposed tax hikes on “the rich” would probably not raise more than $30-35 billion according to Mr. Reynolds, but Mr Obama claimed that he has “laid out how I’ll pay for every dime — by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens.” Mr. Obama dreams about increasing corporate tax collections by more than 25% just by closing “loopholes” and complaining about “foreign tax havens.”  In today’s climate this looks even more unbelievable, as profits are falling, banks have cut or eliminated dividends, and who has any capital gains?

Mr. Reynolds adds that “the campaign has said that an Obama administration would look for other sources of revenue.” Even if he dips deep into the taxes of the middle class, he would still come up short.

You might want to keep this in mind.

How Much is A Trillion? by The Elephant's Child
October 26, 2008, 7:24 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
  • A million seconds is 11.5 days.  A billion seconds is 32 years.  A trillion seconds is 32,000 years.
  • A tightly-packed stack of new $100 bills totaling $1 million would be about 4 feet high.  A billion dollar stack of $100 bills would be 4,000 feet high, or 3 Sears Towers stacked on top of each other.
    A stack of $100 bills totaling $1 trillion would be 789 miles high or 144 Mr. Everests stacked on top of one another.
  • In 2007, Microsoft generated $51 billion in revenue — sales, not profits.  To reach a trillion dollars in revenue, we’d need 20 Microsofts.
  • A box that holds a case of copier paper will hold about $72,000 one-dollar bills.  It would take 1.4 billion boxes to hold a trillion dollars.
  • With $1 trillion, everyone living in America in 2008 could have 1,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies.                                          (from

Still Undecided? Fred Thompson Makes the Choice Crystal Clear by The Elephant's Child
October 25, 2008, 9:18 pm
Filed under: Conservatism, Economy, Election 2008, Foreign Policy | Tags: , , ,

Fred Thompson has some important words for Americans.  Give him a few minutes:

The transcript of this video is here, should you want to keep it or share it. There is a button for emailing the video at the end.

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