American Elephants

Meet David Warren, Canadian Journalist, Someone You Should Get to Know. by The Elephant's Child
October 2, 2009, 3:22 am
Filed under: Cool Site of the Day, History, Humor, Literature


Whenever I chance upon something special, I want to push it on everyone, demanding that they appreciate promptly what I have so enjoyed. In this case, I want you to meet an old friend because I know you will like him, and  to point out his work which I find constantly interesting.

My enthusiasm is for the columns of Canadian journalist David Warren. He is a wonderful writer, always surprising, always forcing his readers to view the world in new ways.

In an essay written earlier in September entitled “At Sea“, he begins with an eight month long thunderstorm 3,000 kilometers across, drops in briefly at the Jet Propulsion Lab at NASA, and travels along the Arctic shores of Russia, with a feint towards global warming.  And ends up with the tale of a misdirected pigeon, a “stupid greedy unthankful bird” far out at sea.  A tour de force.

“Anti-anti” examines the Obama administration’s decision to cancel the U.S. missile defense shield installations in the Czech Republic and Poland.  And takes up the question of what Russia might offer in return. Anyone confused by the pronouncements of our own mainstream media will appreciate his clear analysis.

Bookmark his website.  Visit it frequently, and when you have time, explore his archives.  You will be glad you did, especially if you appreciate the English language.

Is Obama waiting for Blair? by American Elephant
October 2, 2009, 1:54 am
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Military, National Security, News | Tags: , ,

Update: Welcome Red State Readers!

Thanks to Moe Lane for the link! While you’re here, we hope you’ll have a look around our humble little blog and tell us what you think.

Obama has taken ownership of the war in Afghanistan. Since the presidential campaign, he has characterized it as the good war while he calls the Iraq war (despite liberating 24 million people, and turning an avowed enemy and a rogue dictator into a democratic ally) a mistake.

Meanwhile, things have not been going well in Afghanistan of late. Restrictive rules of engagement are getting our troops killed while the president hems and haws about what to do.

On the one hand, the loss will be Obama’s — he cannot blame it on President Bush — and no president wants that kind of legacy. On the other hand, our allies continue to leave the theater, and Obama’s base, the left, have finally gotten the courage up to admit that their prior support of the Afghan war was always a lie (Imagine that!) and they want to bail on that war as well.

With that in mind, come two headlines today:

White  House: Obama to take ‘Next several weeks’ to review strategy and,

Tony Blair to head the EU within weeks.

Now we all know Tony Blair has his head on straight about both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and resolutely so. Is Obama then waiting for Blair’s leadership to give him the political cover to send more troops to Afghanistan? Or are the stories unrelated, and Obama simply finds himself too busy trying to secure Olympic contracts for his Chicago cronies and seizing the American health-care system for his union thugs to bother himself with little things like terrorism, al Qaeda, the Taliban, and our troops lives?

Let’s hope it’s the former.

Time will tell.

Extraordinary Adventures in Bureaucracy. by The Elephant's Child
October 2, 2009, 1:15 am
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Freedom, Law | Tags: , , ,

• The AP reported on a letter sent to Lisa Snyder, a suburban mom, by the Michigan Department of Human Services. She was warned to stop watching her neighbors’ children while they waited in the mornings for the school bus. Ms. Snyder was kind enough to do this as a favor for her friends who are working mothers.  Preliminary reports do not indicate whether the warning letter was backed by possible criminal penalties.

• Small-time entrepreneur and inventor Krister Evertson of Wasilla, Alaska was arrested at gunpoint by SWAT-clad FBI agents.  He was unaware that he had to put a federally mandated sticker on his otherwise lawful UPS package.

• A few years ago, Kay Leibrand, a 63 year-old grandmother was arrested by police at her home of 30 years in Palo Alto, California.  She had failed to meet some bureaucrat’s ruling on how high her hedges should be.

• Retiree George Norris, 66 years old, had his house ransacked by armed agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  His home-based business was cultivating, importing, and selling orchids.  He ended up serving two years in prison, finally getting free of federal supervision last December — at the age of 71, for what amounted to paperwork violations.

In July, a bipartisan hearing was held by Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) and ranking member Louie Gohmert (R-TX), where both Krister Evertson and George Norris’ wife Kathy testified.  Scott is Chairman of the subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, so I suppose that’s it, though it seems a little excessive for a missing sticker and incorrect  paperwork.

What is clear is that poorly drafted legislation or overbroad laws can be used to turn ordinary Americans law-abiding lives into a police-state nightmare.   Lawmakers need to spend as much time eliminating bad laws and making sure that the new laws that they are drafting cannot be used so irresponsibly against innocent people.

Jennifer Granholm, Michigan’s Governor, has quickly called for amendments to the law that her Department of Human Services used to threaten Lisa Snyder for not having registered as a daycare with the state.

Thanks to “The Foundry” at the Heritage Foundation for this story.

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