American Elephants


A Tragic Accident Takes the Lives of Polish Leaders. by The Elephant's Child
April 10, 2010, 7:33 pm
Filed under: News | Tags: , ,

Polish President Lech Kaczynski was flying with his wife from Warsaw to Smolensk for a ceremony to commemorate the loss of the cream of Poland’s officer corps in the Katyn Forest massacre in 1940. The plane crashed, killing all 97 aboard.

The Tupolev Tu-154 clipped the trees and went down in fog near the Smolensk airport.  There were no survivors. Those killed included the governor of Poland’s central bank and many senior officers in the armed forces.

After the Russian invasion of Poland in World War II, some 22,000  prisoners of war were executed  in the Katyn Forest.   Those executed were mostly Polish officers, police officers, public servants and intellectuals who were shot on Stalin’s orders and buried in mass graves.

Families of those killed at Katyn were also on board the plane.  Poland has declared a week of national mourning as citizens flocked to lay flowers and light candles outside the Presidential Palace in Warsaw.

ADDENDUM:

David Satter writing in the Corner tells the story behind this tragic accident.  It’s a complicated and tragic story, and attempts to change or hide history don’t always work.  The truth, as they say, will out.



Does Anyone Understand U.S. Foreign Policy? (Can We Please Have the Cowboy back?) by The Elephant's Child


Here is an excerpt from Liz Cheney’s speech at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. She went on to say:

In the era of Obama, American allies have their loyalty met with humiliation, arrogance and incompetence. The shabby reception Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu received in Washington a few weeks ago — being treated as an uninvited guest at the White House — was disgraceful. President Obama must not understand the most fundamental point about US-Israeli relations — the world is safer when there is no daylight between America and the state of Israel.

Afghan President Karzai, whose support we need if we are going to succeed in Afghanistan, is being treated to an especially dangerous and juvenile display from this White House. They dress him down publicly almost daily and refuse to even say that he is an ally. There is a saying in the Arab world: “It is more dangerous to be America’s friend than to be her enemy.” In the age of Obama, that is proving true.

Israel is our strongest ally in the Middle East and one of our strongest and most important allies in the world. Barack Obama is playing a reckless game that could have deadly consequences if he continues on the path of diminishing America’s ties to Israel. Israel is not the only ally to have felt Obama’s wrath — last year the Obama Administration pulled the rug out from under leaders in Poland and the Czech Republic by abruptly canceling a missile defense system they had committed to host. We did so because the Russians complained.

Presidents of both parties have tried to maintain strong alliances with other democracies.  It is very strange to have a president who tries so hard to distance himself from our most loyal allies to demonstrate — what? He made great effort during the campaign to sneer at Bush’s relations with other countries, suggesting that he was going to vastly improve our relationship with the world.  Cheney’s critique of Obama’s Iran policy is hard to dispute, given the mullahs’ actions over the last year.

Ultimately, the only way diplomacy will succeed in halting Iran’s nuclear ambitions is if the mullahs understand, beyond a doubt, that America will take military action if they don’t comply peacefully. No enticements can work — there is nothing the international community can offer Iran that is worth more to them than a nuclear weapon. And watered down sanctions carry their own danger — they buy time for Iran while imposing no cost. The dangers grow to us and our allies with every hour we waste.

It’s hard to figure out just what the Obama administration conceives of as the ideal American foreign policy.  The Obama campaign argued that the Bush administration was damaging our stature in the world, and with new sensitivity, Obama would forge new ties around the world.  So the damaged relationships were apparently with those deemed by the Bush people as belligerents, like Russia, Iran, Cuba, Syria, Venezuela and the Palestinian refugees.

Victor Davis Hanson today offers four possible alternative explanations for Obama’s foreign policy — and more importantly, points out the consequences that await.  It’s not a pretty picture.  I hope we can turn it around before it is too late. This is today’s must read. Don’t miss it.



Obama “restoring science to it’s rightful place”… by American Elephant
April 10, 2010, 5:24 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Junk Science, News, Politics | Tags: ,

…one space-heater with a feather-duster taped to it at a time:

The federal government has been slapping “energy-efficient” ratings on products that don’t even exist — including a bogus space heater with a duster stuck to it and an alarm clock supposedly powered by gasoline.

These fake products were submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy for approval as part of an undercover investigation by the Government Accountability Office.

The office wanted to see how easily the feds could be duped, since the Energy Star program used to identify products as energy savers serves as a guide to businesses looking for such modern marvels and the basis for millions of dollars in incentivizing tax credits — including $300 million from the stimulus.

The products fooled the federal government three out of four times. Of the 20 products submitted for approval, 15 were given the thumbs up. GAO reported that the federal government generally did not ask for critical evidence to back up its claims about how energy-efficient — or real — its bogus products were. [read more]

It turns out that when Democrats talk about “restoring science to its rightful place,” they mean corrupting it and lying about it in order to grow government. Or, in other words, pretty much the same thing they do with everything else.



More Hypocrisy from the Obama Administration. by The Elephant's Child
April 10, 2010, 4:56 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Education | Tags: , ,

The Obama administration decided recently to go to war over the use of interns by for-profit corporations, which I delved into here.  One of the hardest problems for young people is getting those first few lines on a resume, and they are often happy to work for free just to get some valid experience.

Personnel departments often are not particularly impressed with a diploma; they want some solid evidence that a young person knows how to read, write and how to follow directions and how to work.  If companies are forced to pay these interns, fewer students will be offered internships.  The administration is attempting to create an image of unpaid interns exploited by Big Business, another demographic of victims falling prey to capitalism.

Mr. Obama’s “Organizing for America” offered internships to help elect the president during the campaign, and still are offering unpaid internships today.  The Summer Organizing program doesn’t offer a stipend, food or transportation.  It also notes that “Summer Organizers will be required to work 40 hours a week.”

If an intern volunteers for such an internship it is no less exploitative  if it is in a political campaign than if it is for a for-profit company.  Hypocrisy is hypocrisy, it doesn’t change its nature if it is labor for “the One.”



The Clinton Legacy: by American Elephant
April 10, 2010, 4:13 pm
Filed under: Liberalism, Politics, Pop Culture | Tags:

Young adults think oral sex isn’t sex.




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