American Elephants

Sensitivity Training 101: Andrew Klavan on the Culture by The Elephant's Child
September 11, 2012, 9:07 pm
Filed under: Islam, Middle East, Terrorism | Tags: , ,

Another Screw-Up At the Democratic Convention! by The Elephant's Child

Oh Ha ha ha, hee, hee.

On the last night of the Democratic National Convention, a retired Navy four-star took the stage to pay tribute to veterans. Behind him, on a giant screen, the image of four hulking warships reinforced his patriotic message.

But there was a big mistake in the stirring backdrop: those are Russian warships.

While retired Adm. John Nathman, a former commander of Fleet Forces Command, honored vets as America’s best, the ships from the Russian Federation Navy were arrayed like sentinels on the big screen above.

These were the very Soviet-era combatants that Nathman and Cold Warriors like him had once squared off against.

“The ships are definitely Russian,” said noted naval author Norman Polmar after reviewing hi-resolution photos from the event. “There’s no question of that in my mind.”

Naval experts concluded the background was a photo composite of Russian ships that were overflown by what appear to be U.S. trainer jets. It remains unclear how or why the Democratic Party used what’s believed to be images of the Russian Black Sea Fleet at their convention.

Some poor staffer screwed up. Acknowledgment and apologies will be a long time coming. One of the great terrors of all advertising people is that somehow when you misspell a word, it will be in a headline — on a billboard!

Using Russian warships as a background for a speech by a Navy Admiral, a former commander of Fleet Forces Command, honoring vets as a runup to the president’s speech, kind of falls into that territory. Fortunately for the unfortunate staffer, nobody but sailors would know the difference. But it’s still funny. Schadenfreude.


The Old Feeling of Dread Returns. by The Elephant's Child

Remembering the morning of 9/11 — a friend called and said “turn on your TV.” And I remember the absolute dread with which we watched — and watched.  We remember anniversaries here — tipping points, the moment something changed forever. Reading a lot of history does that to you.

From the AP today:

The U.N. atomic agency has received new and significant intelligence over the past month that Iran has moved further toward the ability to build a nuclear weapon, diplomats tell The Associated Press.

They say the intelligence shows that Iran has advanced its work on calculating the destructive power of an atomic warhead through a series of computer models that it ran sometime within the past three years…

The IAEA first outlined suspicions in November that Iran was working on calculating the yield of a nuclear weapon, as part of a 13-page summary of Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons work that it said was based on more than 1,000 pages of research and intelligence from more than 10 member nations.

We are innocent and ignorant in what indicates progress in Iran’s progress towards nuclear weapons, but deeply aware of the mullahs willingness to obliterate Iran if necessary in order to eliminate religions other than Islam. The Israelis find it a matter of concern, and they are serious people.

From AllahPundit:

First came the shouting match between Netanyahu and the U.S. ambassador. Then Martin Dempsey told an audience in London that he didn’t want to be “complicit” in an Israeli attack on Iran. The upcoming joint military exercise between the U.S. and Israel was then scaled back, and this murky report about the U.S. contacting Iran to distance itself from an Israeli strike appeared. Then came the floor fiasco at the Democratic convention over the platform’s Jerusalem language. Now this.

Our president, who considers himself an exceptional foreign-policy president, apparently because he lived in Indonesia for a while, and made speeches and bowed, and apologized to the leaders of many countries, outdid himself today, in response to another friend:

The White House has rejected a request by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet President Barack Obama in the United States this month, an Israeli official said on Tuesday, after a row erupted between the allies over Iran’s nuclear programme.

An Israeli official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that Netanyahu’s aides had asked for a meeting when he visits the United Nations this month, and “the White House has got back to us and said it appears a meeting is not possible. It said that the president’s schedule will not permit that“.

Well, Obama does have all sorts of fundraisers, and he has just scheduled an appearance on the Letterman show, and he doesn’t have time for the usual daily intelligence briefings. He’s only made it to some 43% of those, probably boring. He believes in talks, though there is little evidence of any success from any talks.

The “Arab Spring” was not what you would call a freedom festival, and the Muslim Brotherhood has triumphantly taken over Egypt and  Libya in spite of all our help.He’s continuing the aid to Egypt, and he’s even invited Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi to the White House. But he doesn’t have time for Benjamin Netanyahu.

In the meantime mobs in Egypt have gone bonkers as only Islamist mobs can, stormed the U.S. Embassy, torn down the flag, and a mob in Benghazi attacked the embassy there, one American dead. It seems that there is some filmmaker making a movie which is disrespectful of Mohammed, and excerpts appeared on YouTube. The U.S. Embassy in Cairo responded to the attack on sovereign American territory and the death of an American in Benghazi forcefully. The press release:

U.S. Embassy Condemns Religious Incitement

September 11, 2012

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

This is not surprising, for Barack Obama is not a foreign policy wonk. Not knowledgeable. Not interested. Short on history, ours and theirs. Appears to our enemies as a weak, passive administration, but regards himself as having great foreign policy expertise.  And there are some who actually believe him. I don’t know why they would.

Remembering 9/11 by The Elephant's Child
September 11, 2012, 1:31 pm
Filed under: Freedom, History, Military, The United States

From Insta Pundit, a passage from Lee Harris’s Civilization and It’s Enemies

Forgetfulness occurs when those who have been long inured to civilized order can no longer remember a time in which they had to wonder whether their crops would grow to maturity without being stolen or their children sold into slavery by a victorious foe.

They forget that in time of danger, in the face of the Enemy, they must trust and confide in each other, or perish.

They forget, in short, that there has ever been a category of human experience called the Enemy. And that, before 9/11, was what had happened to us. The very concept of the Enemy had been banished from our moral and political vocabulary. An enemy was just a friend we hadn’t done enough for — yet. Or perhaps there had been a misunderstanding, or an oversight on our part — something that we could correct. And this means that that our first task is that we must try to grasp what the concept of the Enemy really means.

The Enemy is someone who is willing to die in order to kill you. And while it is true that the Enemy always hates us for a reason — it is his reason, and not ours.

This memorial was made shortly after the attacks. It remains very powerful.

Yoo Hoo, Mr. Obama: Here’s the Real GST Steel Story by The Elephant's Child

We’ve had the Joe Soptic story in which a sad man who had lost his wife and his job wanted to blame it all on Mitt Romney, who had already left the company. The Democrats tried this theme several times to no great effect.

Mitt had already left the company to save the Utah Winter Olympics. The Democrats seem to have a problem with the truth. They’re just so anxious to find something, anything, to discredit Mitt Romney, especially his career with Bain Capital. Mitt Romney had a sterling career with Bain. They saved a lot of companies, not all, and helped many to prosper and grow.

That’s pretty tough competition for a failed presidency and a failed community organizer.

The Defense Dept. Will Buy Volts, Instead of Military Equipment, to Make Obama Look Good. by The Elephant's Child

Today, GM’s Volt electric car is much in the news because GM is losing up to $49,000 on every Volt it builds.( This doesn’t sound right!) They have sold only 13,500 Volts this year, 33.75% of it’s 40,000 goal. Even at that, hardly anyone wants to buy one. Such a dilemma. The “Optics” are very bad for Democrats who have just proclaimed GM being “alive” as one of the Obama administration’s great triumphs.

GM’s reluctant initial investment in the Volt was over $1 billion. Since it’s release on the market, the company has spent even more trying to re-engineer the vehicle to keep it from catching fire when charging overnight. Most inconvenient for the buyers who were apt to lose their garages as well as the car.

But not to worry, the Obama administration is going to help out General Motors again by buying up its struggling line of electric cars for the Department of Defense to “green up” the military, at the Volt’s baseline price of $39,995.  The DOD plans to buy 1,500 Volts for $60,000,000 + tax. This is not an addition to the DOD budget, so it will displace some other military equipment purchases. Brilliant, positively brilliant.  And, of course add in the amount that GM is losing on each car. Obama simply can’t stop spending, nor sending good money after bad.

GM is investing $10.5 million in their Florida retirement community that will run entirely with Volts — instead of golf carts? Burn up the old folks?

They told us that math wasn’t Obama’s strong suit, but really…

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