American Elephants

The Wonderful and Amazing Terraced Pools of the World: by The Elephant's Child

Here is a wonderful photo-essay of terraced pools around the world.  I had no idea there were so many in such a variety of places. Above are the pools at Havasu Falls on the Havasupai reservation reached from the Grand Canyon in Arizona. There are regular pack trips down and back, or you can hike.

The other American terraced pools are at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. Some of the world’s pools are quite amazing and look somewhat unearthly.

Here is the collection:

Your Federal Government At Work! by The Elephant's Child

FEMA disaster recovery centers that were supposed to provide shelter, food and assistance to hurricane victims shut their doors because more weather is expected. Mayor Bloomberg said that residents in the low-lying portions of Staten Island and the Rockaways were advised to leave ahead of the nor’easter, but the evacuation was not mandatory.

The food distribution centers, a lifeline for those without power, heat and water for more than a week wold only be operating until noon Wednesday, Mayor Bloomberg announced. And FEMA packed up and left.

Here are pictures of the disaster left by Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge.

The Most Depressing Morning — Ever. by The Elephant's Child

Republicans are angry and trying to understand what went wrong. We thought we had momentum and believed that Romney would be able to create the jobs that are so badly needed. Republicans need some time to think through what happened and why. Lots of initial hysteria.

After the three debates, I think the Republicans felt that they held a winning hand and wanted to avoid unnecessary controversy. Republicans are always inclined to be too damn polite.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, is a skilled demagogue. He was out at every campaign appearance telling the American people that recovery was just slow because George W. Bush had created such a disastrous financial crisis, but things were recovering slowly and getting better all the time. He had created 5½ million new jobs, saved the auto industry, created a new clean green energy economy, decimated al Qaeda, and yes — he killed bin Laden.

Republicans, the bad people,  were trying to take away women’s right to contraceptives and right to abortions. He saved women’s right to equal pay by signing the Lily Ledbetter law. And his surrogates worked hard to remind voters that Republicans were racist — which was obvious in their code words and disrespect for the President. He could have accomplished so much more were it not for the racist Republicans blocking him at every chance. And Mitt Romney was an out-of touch rich man who shipped jobs overseas.

Every word in those two previous paragraphs is a lie, except Obama did sign the order for the SEAL raid on bin Laden’s hideaway.

If you repeat a lie often enough, it will be accepted as truth. It is a standard technique of demagogues. George Bush did not cause the financial crisis, and tried 17 tunes to get a recalcitrant Congress to rein in Fannie and Freddie, but Barney Frank and the Democrats refused to even consider it. The recession was the result of the housing bust and the sub-prime mortgage crisis. The recession ended in June of 2009. The economy would have recovered, if Obama had not, with every policy driven us back towards recession. The economy is not recovering. Obama did not create 5½ million new jobs, but only somewhere around 300,000, and massive layoffs are coming. As economist Alan Reynolds explained:

Barack Obama does not understand economics and apparently refuses to listen to those who do.

The “War on Women” was all a lie. No president can deprive any woman of either contraceptives or abortions — that is up to the Supreme Court. Women’s right to equal pay has been established law for 60 years. The Lily Ledbetter law does not change that at all, but is payback for trial lawyers, offering them more business. Mitt Romney is a good and honorable man, deeply concerned about the state of the economy and the rampant unemployment, who believes that he could help to turn the economy around. He is one of the nicest, kindest men you could ever meet.

And there’s the problem. Republicans did not take on the demagogue directly, did not directly refute Obama’s falsehoods, because they were reluctant to really attack. Voters apparently believed what Obama delivered with a dazzling smile. Every word Obama uttered was celebrated, enhanced, embroidered by his fawning media who for the most part quit practicing journalism years ago.

The Benghazi scandal should have put an end to the Obama administration. Far, far worse than Watergate which ended a presidency, but much of the electorate has never even heard of Benghazi. The fawning media has avoided any mention of it. Exit polls supposedly suggest that the public trusts Obama more on foreign policy, while his policies have left the Middle East in shambles, and demonstrated that no Americans in harms’ way can look to their own government for help or protection. Stunning.

Obama won reelection no mandate, and without ever telling the American people what he wants to do in a second term. Though that is clear. He will try to do what he didn’t get done in his first term, and complete the transformation of America into a socialist country. The Republican House of Representatives will resist, and he will attempt to put his program into effect by going around Congress. He has no respect for the separation of powers, and does not feel restrained by the Constitution or by the laws passed by Congress.

The stock market has given Obama’s win a huge thumbs down, dropping by over 300 points. Massive layoffs are coming due to ObamaCare, Obama’s defense cuts, Obama’s War on Coal. Huge tax increases are coming as Obama insists on “taxing the rich” which will decrease tax revenue, and damage any potential job creation.  The EPA will attempt to establish “cap and trade” through regulation. And ObamaCare will kick in on January 1, with new taxes and more job losses.

It is unlikely that Obama will make any effort at bipartisanship. He has been the most divisive president ever, making no attempt to work with Republicans at all.

I despair for the country. I think we’re in for a very bad time.

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