American Elephants


Adventures in Finding a Trustworthy Repairman by The Elephant's Child

Sorry about the late and light posting. My refrigerator quit. ( Takes time to realize that it isn’t cooling anything.) Finding a repairman, going for ice for the cooler, throwing out things that had spoiled just takes time —way too much time, and it’s icky besides.

A new industry has sprung up — that of screening repairmen and examining their credentials. One organization that has been advertising on the radio as a source to go to for qualified people for any household need is big on the advertising, but completely lacking in the screening and credentialing department. They had blocks on their website for such things as accreditation, licenses, testimonials, etc. but few were even filled in. Beware! Another, you have to join to get their recommendations.

I went with Yelp, and was quite satisfied with their comments from users. And with the repairman, who was efficient and prompt.



Obama’s Failure to Be Represented in Paris Was Quite Deliberate by The Elephant's Child

Another day, another press conference. NPR’s Mara Liasson asked “The leader of France, your ally in this effort, has put a name on this ideology, which he calls radical Islam. “You have bent over backwards to not ever say that. There must be a reason.”

Josh Earnest launched into a long explanation of the reasons for refusing to use the term “radical Islam:”

The first is accuracy. We want to describe exactly what happened. These are individuals who carried out an act of terrorism and they later tried to justify that act of terrorism by invoking the religion of Islam and their own deviant view of it.

The second is, this was an act that was roundly condemned by Muslim leaders. Again, I am describing to you the reasons why we have not chosen to use that label, because it does not seem to accurately describe what happened.

We also don’t want to be in a situation where we are legitimizing what we consider to be a completely illegitimate justification for this violence, this act of terrorism.

This is beyond strange, but quite in line with Obama’s past statements, and leaves most Americans  puzzled — because it makes no sense, no sense at all. There are approximately 1.3 billion Muslims on the planet. Is it assumed that if you utter the words “radical Islam” they will all turn radical overnight and go to war with us? Every indication is that the majority of Muslims in the world are not violent, and do not approve of those who are, but are scared to speak out.

Over the past 12 months, Obama has turned loose 30 detainees from Guantanamo Bay, including 15 in the last month — most of them al Qaeda operatives, and he promises more to come. All of the remaining prison population of 127 could be released by the end of this year.

This suggests that Obama believes that he was elected as the anti-Bush, and his path to history is to end, or destroy everything that George W. did. If so, he’s misunderstood the Bush administration, and made a complete mess of it at best.

Al Qaeda in Yemen has claimed credit for the Charlie Hebdo attack. ISIS is already successfully recruiting among the Taliban in Afghanistan. Nearly 25% of released Gitmo detainees are back in the battle against us. The administration is trying to track down an al Qaeda terrorist released from Gitmo years ago and offering a $5 million reward for information and placing him on a global terrorist list. Wait! There is a global terrorist list? But….

We are under constant threat from radical Islam. Islam is a political religion, that determines how Muslims should live their lives, from government and laws to the most personal details of everyday life. The historic Muhammad allowed no dissent nor criticism, and those attempting it were killed. Muslim societies have not done well with the industrial revolution and capitalism part of modernity, and have fallen far behind.  The reaction to that failure has been, for some, to regard it as a failure to adhere closely enough to the true Islam.

Most religions have fewer restrictions on their adherents now than they once did. The early Americans were intolerant of Christmas celebration. Mormons once celebrated multiple marriages. Many Catholics use birth control, and fish on Fridays is no longer mandatory. Atheism is no longer a scandal. And diversity of belief is mostly celebrated in modern society rather than condemned.

Obama still seems to be clinging to the idea that America’s (his) victory over the organization behind 9/11 was disposative. He ended the War in Iraq, and ended the War in Afghanistan, and got Bin Laden. All done.

Yes there will be threats in the future, Obama acknowledged, but they will be smaller. …As we shape our response, we have to recognize that the scale of this threat closely resembles the types if attacks we faced before 9/11. …

In 2010,  a New York Times article noted that top White House officials “have made a point of dissociating Islam from terrorism in public comments, using the phrase ‘violent extremism’ in place of words like ‘jihad’ and ‘Islamic terrorism.’ …

So when the president chose not to attend the Paris march …the problem wasn’t a tin-ear sense of public relations. It was Obama’s actual attitude toward the terror threat facing not only Europe but the United States. We’ve dealt with the big stuff, Obama has declared, now let’s move on.

It has often seemed to me that Obama’s knowledge of history is remarkably thin. He is unfamiliar with matters of War, of the military, he attaches some importance to the fact that his grandfather served in ‘Patton’s army’, but has little knowledge of what that meant. Recently, in one of those occasional moments of candor he remarked that he spends most of his time watching ESPN.

Attorney General Eric Holder was actually in Paris on the day of the march, but chose not to attend.




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