American Elephants

Happy Easter! by American Elephant
April 12, 2009, 10:03 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: ,

Easter thoughts by Renaissance Guy, and the Anchoress.

Big Hollywood proposed the five best films for Easter, while Captain Ed takes a poll.

Iraqis celebrate Easter via Michelle Malkin.

Easter for bunny-hating hunters (bunny lovers: consider yourselves warned), and child-hating bunnies.

And finally, for the political, rememberingEaster… in America… in betterdays.

Happy Easter to the Phillips family, and to the rest of us too. by The Elephant's Child
April 12, 2009, 6:39 pm
Filed under: Politics

Captain Richard Phillips has been returned to American custody, Somali pirates are fewer in number, and the Phillips family is having a very Happy Easter.  Best wishes to the Phillips family, and thanks to the U.S. Navy Seals for a job well done.

The Maersk Alabama and its 20 man crew were on a U.S. flagged  17,000-ton unarmed merchant ship, bound for Mombasa, Kenya, carrying a cargo of emergency food.  Piracy has been happening off the coast of Somalia because it is a failed state.  It is situated near a confluence of two major strands of international sea-going traffic, the Suez Canal and the Cape of Good Hope.  Piracy has been happening because the world has allowed it to.

The world has has trouble figuring out what to do.  The usual huffing and puffing from the human rights people, confusion about jurisdiction,  the Law of the Sea Treaty, confusion about lawful and unlawful combatants, and confusion about the law in general.   A headline in Reuters put it like this: “Pirates Pose Annoying Distraction For Obama.” One announcement said that “The FBI is preparing criminal charges against the Somalian pirates. Obama’s serial apologizing across the world for America’s previous show of strength did not breed confidence.  But the White House correctly noted that this was a time for resolve.

Obama ordered the Destroyer Bainbridge to the area, and the assault ship U.S.S. Boxer.  The President had given standing orders for a rescue effort if Captain Phillips life was in danger.  He was absolutely correct.

Numerous commentators have pointed out that the only recourse is to arm the merchant ships.  The area is too large, and protection by the military is cost-prohibitive.  The confusion about the legalities involved was demonstrated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton  who instinctively converted the Somali piracy into mere “criminal activity.”  Andy Mc Carthy, at National Review Online, caught my eye with a simple statement:

The “rule of law” is not a civilized alternative to the use of force.

Think that one over.  He went on to explain further that:

What makes possible global trade, which turns into American wealth, which turns into unparalleled American largesse, is American might — American might and an American commitment to use that might as necessary to ensure a civilized global order.

“Civilized” is a much-misunderstood word, thanks the the “rule of law” crowd that is making our planet an increasingly dangerous place.  Civilization is not an evolution of mankind but the imposition of human good on human evil.  It is not a historical inevitability.  It is a battle that has to be fought every day, because evil doesn’t recede willingly before the wheels of progress.

There is nothing less civilized than rewarding evil and thus guaranteeing more of it.  High-minded as it is commonly made to sound, it is not civilized to appease evil, to treat it with “dignity and respect,” to rationalize its root causes, to equivocate about whether evil really is evil, and, when all else fails, to ignore it — too purge the very mention of its name — in the vain hope that it will just go away.  Evil doesn’t do nuance.  It finds you, it tests you, and you either fight it or you’re part of the problem.[…]

The Americans on the Alabama, like the Americans of Flight 93, didn’t wait for the international community to send the pirates a strong letter.  They saw evil, they took it on, and as a result they took their ship and their lives back.  The president may not think the United States is a particularly exceptional country, but you cn be Islamic radicals on land and sea noticed that dealing with a U.S. crew is an exceptional experience.  There remains something in the American character that won’t slide so easily into the straitjacket.

The whole article is available here.  Do read the whole thing. There’s a lot of food for thought there.

Please Pardon our Mess! by American Elephant
April 12, 2009, 6:36 am
Filed under: Blogging | Tags: ,


What the heck just happened???

Well, with it being a holiday weekend, and our 300,000th visitor and all, I thought it was about time to unveil our new look.  Many of you have mentioned how difficult it is to read white text on a dark background — and of course, you’re right. So that was the major reason for the new theme, but I also wanted to tinker with the look.

I still have tinkering to do and ideas to try, but nothing anyone would notice until its done.  At the very least, reading American Elephants should be a little easier on the eyes. I plan to continue changing the Header image from time to time as I have in the past. The Easter elephants are only temporary.

Two minor problems you may encounter for a little while:

1. hyperlinks in older posts will still be in white text as they were under the old theme, and

2. images in older posts may appear too large for the column.

But we will update those as quickly as we are able.

Please let us know how you like the new look, and how it works for you! If it is easier or harder to read, easier or harder to navigate, etc…If you like the old theme better, let us know. (I saved all the old code in case everyone hates the new look)

We are always looking to improve.  My hope is to make American Elephants more interesting and informative, but also more fun to read and visit. Please let us know what you like and what you don’t — it helps us improve. You can comment below, or use the contact link in the sidebar.

300,000! by American Elephant
April 12, 2009, 6:04 am
Filed under: Blogging, Cool Site of the Day | Tags:

Sometime yesterday, we had our 300,000th visitor to American Elephants! It may seem like chump change to all those big brutish blogs out there, and is probably quite the yawner to most, but we couldn’t be more happy! Well, yes we could, we could have a million visits — that would make us happier — or a million DOLLARS! Now we’re talking, baby! But of course, then Obama and the Democrats would just confiscate it and buy condoms for kindergartners or some such silly socialist thing. Sigh.

But back to the topic at hand…

Thank you!

We love our tiny, but steadily growing little blog, and most of all, we love you for coming by! We love your comments and conversation!

When we get our millionth visitor, we’re talking prizes! But until then, a modest little celebration seems in order…

A Simple (but brilliant) Plan. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama’s new science adviser told the Associated Press in his first interview since being confirmed last month that the idea of geoengineering the climate is being discussed.

Geoengineering is, for example, shooting particles into the air — essentially making an artificial volcano; or using artificial trees to suck carbon dioxide out of the air and store it.

Cooling the atmosphere at a time when the planet is rapidly cooling might not seem like the best of ideas.  Turning a temporary cooling into an ice age?  Absolutely brilliant, but then that is what they are doing to the economy, isn’t it  — turning a temporary downturn into a lengthy depression?

But to follow the logic, Mark Roth, over at American Thinker, points out that if it is desirable to shoot pollutants into the earth’s upper atmosphere in order to reduce the supposed effects of the sun’s rays on global temperatures, then:

“I can’t believe” Mr. Roth said, “that these genius scientists have so completely missed the obvious solution — remove pollution controls from automobiles. This will accomplish a few things all at once:

  1. put sulfur in the atmosphere;
  2. reduce the cost of manufacture of cars;
  3. reduce the sales price of cars;
  4. increase the gas mileage and improve efficiency; thereby
  5. reducing operating costs; not to mention
  6. reducing national oil and gas consumption; which in turn,
  7. reduces the costs of production and delivery of goods and services; which among other things,
  8. reduces the cost of food and electricity; which
  9. allows for increased spending for travel and dining out, which…”

“We would save the costs of fueling and replacement of the ICBMs slated to launch debris into the atmosphere, thereby avoiding an increase in the defense budget for necessary replacements, although it could be argued that Obama, seeing no need for missile defense, would not regard replacement as necessary, so that saving would have to be deferred to a future administration.”

This is such a superb insight, and so fitting, that I could not resist reprinting the whole thing.  The original is here. Save the planet (from non-existent warming), save the auto industry, save the economy all in one grand fell-swoop, as well as thoroughly embarrass the Obama administration for not thinking of it before they spent all that money.

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