American Elephants

Awash In an Ocean of Politically Contrived Nonsense! by The Elephant's Child
May 20, 2015, 9:46 pm
Filed under: Politics


In his speech to the graduating Coast Guard Cadets today. the president expressed his belief that the most serious national security threat to our nation is climate change. This time he went on at some length to explain his views. He apparently sees the Coast Guard as having a special concern with climate change because of rising seas.

His speech tells us that he is surrounded by people who tell him what he wants to hear. “Our analysts in the intelligence community know that climate change is happening.” (well, yes the climate is always changing. No one denies that.) But if our analysts in the intelligence community think that our greatest national security challenge is climate change — we need a new intelligence community.

The science is indisputable. The fossil fuels we burn release carbon dioxide, which traps heat. And the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are now higher than they have been in 800,000 years.  The planet is getting warmer. Fourteen of the 15 hottest years on record have been in the past 15 years. Last year was the planet’s warmest year ever recorded.

Our scientists at NASA just reported that some of the sea ice around Antarctica is breaking up even faster than expected. The world’s glaciers are melting, pouring new water into the ocean. Over the past century, the world sea level rose by about eight inches. That was in the last century; by the end of this century, it’s projected to rise another one to four feet.

If this is what is being taught to the cadets, we’re in trouble. If our president understands so little about the threat of Iran’s nuclear program, emphasized by Saudi Arabia’s announcement that they are purchasing nukes off the Pakistani shelves means a nuclear arms race in the Middle East is on. He calls ISIS a JV team, Seems ready to turn the Middle East over to Iran to manage, but he’s worried that many of our military installations are on the coast.

Do read the whole speech, which is here. Almost everything in the speech is just plain false, and it doesn’t take much of a search to prove it. The climate refugees of whom he speaks may be those hardy souls who are likely to be evacuated from Antarctic bases because the sea ice is so thick that supply ships cannot reach them, and they are having to be supplied by helicopter. The warming and cooling of the earth is determined by the sun, not the carbon dioxide we exhale.

Climate Depot takes on the job of rebutting the president’s farcical speech. Scientific studies, data and history, and simply the daily news refute his claims. I borrowed Climate Depot’s photoshop above. The real problem is far larger than the multitude of errors in his speech, but what it says about the current administration that the president can be so poorly informed and be so sure that the whole apparatus of the government not only agrees with him about the problems, but backs his assessment of the dangers to our national security.

If so, that is really scary!

As The World Turns, Altering and Illuminating the Affairs of Men: by The Elephant's Child
May 20, 2015, 7:53 pm
Filed under: Middle East | Tags: , ,

TEHRAN — Iran’s supreme leader, The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed on Wednesday that he will not allow international inspection of Iran’s military sites or any access to Iranian scientists under any nuclear agreement with world powers. He told military commanders that Iran will resist “coercion and excessive demands” from America and other world powers.

The negotiators from Iran and representatives of the six-nation group —the U.S, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — have launched a new round of talks in Vienna focused on reaching a final deal that halts Iran’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of economic sanctions. “The two sides,” the AP says, “reached a framework agreement in March and hope to work out a final deal by June 30.” It’s just that President Obama’s description of the ‘framework agreement’ and Iranian officials’ description of the “framework agreement” didn’t seem to have much of anything in common.

The White House called the collapse of Ramadi, the largest city in Anbar province in Iraq, a “minor setback” and claimed that we are still succeeding in Iraq.The Pentagon reported that ISIS seized large amounts of American weapons including tanks, artillery pieces and Humvees when the Iraqi troops abandoned Ramadi. ISIS is reported to be now operating in Malaysia.

A Russian spy plane was photographed in British airspace over Lancashire, not far from a NATO monitoring station and a factory that makes military planes. As tensions rise  between Moscow and the West, American planes are patrolling the borders between the Latvian countries and Russia.

President Obama spoke to the graduates at the Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut. He said:.

And this brings me to the challenge I want to focus on today — one where our Coast Guardsmen are already on the front lines, and that, perhaps more than any other, will shape your entire careers — and that’s the urgent need to combat and adapt to climate change.

As a nation, we face many challenges, including the grave threat of terrorism.  And as Americans, we will always do everything in our power to protect our country.  Yet even as we meet threats like terrorism, we cannot, and we must not, ignore a peril that can affect generations. …

Perhaps we need to take a harder look at our intelligence operations. There are too many people telling the president just what he wants to hear. Or perhaps the problem is even more serious.

ISIS Has Occupied Palmayra, And Draws Closer to Damascus. by The Elephant's Child
May 20, 2015, 6:15 pm
Filed under: Middle East | Tags: , , ,


The saga of Palmyra has not ended. ISIS militants have reportedly captured the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra on Wednesday as Syrian officials evacuated civilians and scrambled to keep priceless antiquities from falling into barbarian hands. Syrian activists said that Syrian soldiers were seen fleeing the area.

Authorities have rushed to remove hundreds of statues to safe locations, Syria’s antiquities chief said. But Palmyra has a museum and large monuments that cannot be moved. The city dates back to the Neolithic, it was first noticed as a caravan stop for travelers crossing the Syrian Desert. It is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and in the annals of the Assyrian kings, and eventually the Roman Empire. Given ISIS path of mindless destruction authorities are fearful for the Temple of Ba’al, an ancient theater and its famous colonnade. ISIS counts complete destruction of sites of of historic and religious importance. But there have been 50,000 people there who are being evacuated.

Experts have also warned that militants have smuggled priceless artifacts out of the country for sale on the black market to fund the terrorists’ army. ISIS blew up and bulldozed Nimrud.

Interesting that they revel in the destruction, yet recognize the value of the artifacts on the black market. It’s all right if others possess the evidence of past civilizations, they just don’t want any in their territory.

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