American Elephants

Would You Do It Or Wouldn’t You? by The Elephant's Child
April 25, 2012, 7:50 pm
Filed under: Entertainment, Fun n Games, Sports | Tags: ,

This is the Insano (well named) Water Slide in Brazil’s’Beach Park. It is 41 meters high — the height of a 14 story building. You go down at a 105 kilometer/hour speed. Looks popular! It is the world’s tallest water slide.  You may click to enlarge and see the scary descent even bigger. The landing is not shown.

(h/t: Vanderleun)

Supreme Court Takes a Dim View of Obama’s Immigration Law Claim by The Elephant's Child

Arizona has had a major problem with illegal immigration, and the Obama administration’s reluctance to enforce immigration laws. So Arizona decided to enforce federal immigration laws themselves. They just wanted the Immigration laws on the books to be enforced.

The Arizona law requires law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally and check with federal officials to verify. They would also write new state penalties for illegal immigrants who try to apply for jobs.

The Obama administration sued, arguing that those provisions conflict with the federal government’s own role in setting immigration policy.The government argued that it’s fine when it’s on a limited basis, but having a state mandate for all of its law enforcement is essentially a method of trying to force the federal government to change its priorities. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said the federal government has limited resources and should have the right to determine the extent of calls it gets about possible illegal immigrants. These decisions have to be made at the national level. (I love the argument about limited resources).

The justices took a dim view of the administration’s claim that it can stop Arizona from enforcing immigration laws.  They told the government lawyers that the state appears to want to push federal officials, not conflict with them.

“It seems to me the federal government just doesn’t want to know who’s here illegally,” Chief Justice John Roberts said at one point.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), a critic of the Arizona law, said that if the court does uphold the state’s law, he will introduce legislation to overturn that decision and grant the federal government sole control on immigration matters. That legislation would also overturn a 2011 Supreme Court case that upheld a separate Arizona law that requires all businesses in the state to check employees’ legal status using E-Verify, the federal government’s electronic verification system.

Illegal immigration looks a little different in Washington D.C. where Hispanic votes are especially important to those who divide the electorate into voting groups; and in Arizona where illegal immigration is rife and the drug war just across the border is killing citizens.

The decision will come down in June.

The Global War on Terror is Over! The State Department Said So. by The Elephant's Child

The State Department has declared that the global war on terror is over and won.  Figures. Obama takes full credit for winning the Iraq war and bringing the troops home, and for ending the Afghanistan war.  Obama always believed that the whole thing was about al Qaeda and Osama’s involvement in 9/11.  Once Osama was dead, we had our revenge and it was all over.

The anonymous “senior State Department official who works on Mideast issues” told the National Journal recently “Now that we have killed most of al-Qaeda, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al-Qaeda see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism.”

Those legitimate means of expression are going well. The illusion that those who are looking for the triumph of Islamic fundamentalism now see “legitimate means of expression,” now that Moammar Gadhafi in Libya and Hosni Mubarak in  Egypt are gone, simply do not grasp the difficulty of cultivating anything even approaching Western style values of liberty in traditional Islamic lands. The Taliban is regaining control in Afghanistan, Iran is still industriously building a nuclear weapon for its ruling ayatollah which it promises to use to destroy Israel and the U.S. And Bashar Assad,  much celebrated by Liberals for his modernity and western outlook, ‘unexpectedly’ turned into a butcher.

The Arab Spring was so promising, and Mohamed Morsi is leading in Egypt’s presidential race led supporters in a chant “The Koran is our constitution, and Sharia is our guide!”

Michael Rubin of AEI, in his introduction to a paper presented to the Counter Terror Expo 1012 says:

The fight against terrorism is no closer to success today than it was a decade ago when, in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks, President George W. Bush declared a Global War on Terrorism, The problem is not simply that Western agencies are outfoxed by state sponsors of terror and trans-national groups, but rather that Western governments and international organizations continue to suffer self-inflicted wounds. These include a failure to reach consensus on what terrorism is, political correctness that leads Western officials to downplay or ignore the religious component to terrorism; the legitimization of terrorist’s grievances; and a failure to recognize that diplomacy often does more harm than good.

Ambassador John Bolton remarked that:

Obama sees American strength as provocative. He believes its nuclear arsenal is excessive, and hence worthy of reduction, without fearing in any way that shredding the nuclear deterrent might actually have profoundly deleterious consequences not only on US national security, but on security and stability in the world as a whole. He sees his presidency causing “the tide of war” to recede in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, just as his tenure will mark “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow”. Dramatic reductions in military budgets, and the consequent devastating reductions in force levels, capabilities and weapons systems, apparently do not trouble him even slightly.

The Left has a hard time with ideas about war and peace. They regard peace as the natural state of the world, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. They see wars as largely the result of American warmongering and intransigence— and due to a lack of proper diplomacy and friendliness.There are always those on the left who are sure that unilateral disarmament will promote world peace.

The Right, in general, understands that flawed human nature means that some will always seek power, demand that their ideology be imposed on all, and that a strong defense can be the best way to prevent war and sustain peace.

Americans hate war, and are always sure that as soon as the most recent war is ended that there will be no more trouble in the world.  The military is downsized, the “Military-Industrial Complex” declines, the spent-up equipment from the last war is not replaced, and though we mean to keep a strong deterrent —there are always other nice things to do with the money. And when the next war comes along, because we are perceived as weak, we are never, never ready.

John Bolton points out that Obama’s timidity risks the world’s Security. His excellent essay is worth your time, for clear thinking and analysis.

In 2009 Obama said: “I’m always worried about using the word ‘victory,’ because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur.” Of course, it wasn’t Hirohito who surrendered on the Missouri‘s stout deck, but the revelation of Obama’s mindset is telling. Conceptually, a world of no victories may warm the hearts of social democrats, but it is insufficient for the defense of America. Nonetheless, November may well tell us, in more ways than one, whether America will remain America, or whether it has become better suited to being a junior member of the European Union.



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