American Elephants

The Last Plane to Leave Afghanistan by The Elephant's Child
August 31, 2021, 7:27 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

We have formally pulled out of Afghanistan, apparently leaving large numbers of Americans behind, with no plans to rescue them. Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed that the U.S. left hundreds of Americans behind in Afghanistan, in a speech at the White House on Monday evening.

He said that the U.S will continue to help Americans and Afghan allies leave Afghanistan following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country. The U.S. has suspended its diplomatic presence in Afghanistan and transferred that presence to Doha, Qatar. Diplomats stationed in Doha will “coordinate engagement and messaging to the Taliban” moving forward. Just what that bunch if gobbledygook actually means is beyond me, apparently nothing much.

Blinken said: “We will continue our relentless efforts to help Americans, foreign nationals, and Afghans, leave Afghanistan if they choose” Blinken said, adding that the U.S. made extraordinary efforts to give Americans every opportunity to depart the country.” Pretty talk, is there any actuality behind it?

Around 6,000 “self-identified” Americans have left Afghanistan, Blinken said. He did not estimate how many U.S. green-cardholders or Afghan allies remained in the country. Americans and Afghans faced significant hurdles in reaching the airport. An attack by ISIS-K killed 13 American soldiers and close to 200 Afghans at the Airport on Thursday.

The Taliban have said that the last U.S. warplanes have left the airport. Liz Shield at Morning Greatness, on Monday, said that the Taliban offered the U.S. control of Kabul, but Biden turned it down. Even when you are trying really hard to keep up, it’s difficult. President Biden’s ratings continue to decline, to no one’s surprise.

The Afghans who are being bought to this country will be located in “swing districts” so that when they quickly become citizens,their votes will be useful. Joe Biden may not be doing so well at the governing bit, but he is still a long-term politician and a Democrat. The Democrats goal is to be in charge. One would hope that “being in charge” meant something, but apparently it’s just about control.

The Biden administration has told Refugee Organizations to prepare for the arrival of up to 50,000 Afghans without visas. It is not clear just how many Afghan refugees will have “Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) allowing them benefits such as food assistance and healthcare. SIVs are available to Afghans involved in US operations for at least a year and who are facing a credible threat of danger according to the State Department.

Those who are arriving have apparently not been “vetted”, which I thought was supposed to be important. There are so many unanswered questions. For the Taliban, it is supposedly a religious war, because their Islamic religion is so important to them. My view of Islam comes mostly from James Clavell’s “Asian Saga”, the late James Clavell’s series of six novels about different parts of Asia. He was a wonderful storyteller, and I recommend his books highly. Hard to put down kind. But as a guide to the Islamic religion by an outsider, possibly not authoritative, but still fascinating. Back in the real world, it would be helpful to have a better understanding of their religion for which they fight.

The Golden Age of Stupidity by The Elephant's Child
August 29, 2021, 9:25 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

A column in today’s Wall Street Journal carries the title “You Are Living In the Golden Age of Stupidity”. The subhead suggests that “The convergence of many seemingly unrelated elements has produced an explosion of brainlessness.” That sounds about right. It is accompanied by a picture of several people carrying signs “Medical Choice is a Human Right”, “No Forced Injections,”and “Say No to Vaccine Mandates” Good Grief!

The injections are not to protect you, you saps. They are meant to be a step towards protecting the whole country from a world wide pandemic. In the U.S. so far, there have been 39,343,501 confirmed cases of Corona virus and 648,054 deaths. That is very big deal indeed, a lot of dead Americans. They are not trying to protect you, but the people you might infect, and kill. Your personal indignation at having to submit to a vaccination, in that light, does not count for much. That’s why they are calling it a worldwide pandemic, why countries are trying to keep people from other countries who might not have as high standards for vaccination — out.

P.S. We were warned, early on, to avoid touching our face with our hands to be safe. Probably a good idea.

Why Were We in Afghanistan in the First Place? by The Elephant's Child
August 29, 2021, 6:44 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , ,

Apparently there are a number of people out there who do not understand why we were in Afghanistan in the first place.

On September 11, 2001, a group of terrorists who called themselves “Al Qaeda”, hijacked four American .commercial airliners, and crashed them in suicidal attacks into the World Trade Center North Tower, in New York, the Pentagon, the South Tower of the World Trade Center, and one ended up in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. .The Trade Centers collapsed, huge loss of life, around 3,000, including the ordinary passengers on the airline. The passengers on the plane that crashed in Shanksville had attacked the terrorists in the cabin of the plane and caused the crash there. If you don’t remember, there are historic videos available and you can refresh your memory. Shocking day, We pursued Al Qaeda to their origins in Afghanistan. That’s why we were in Afghanistan.

There are plenty of videos available on the incidents of 9/11, and if you do not remember, you should search them out. A date, as the saying goes, that will live in infamy. But also the reasons why we are currently in Afghanistan and just why it really is a big deal.

We seem to have another group currently, notably AOC and her little clutch, who make a lot of noise, but seem abysmally short of knowledge of history and custom. Even Utah Senator Mitch Romney chimed in to announce that “It is our National Character to welcome people who need asylum,” which is patent nonsense. Everybody that wants to get across our southern border to get a better job is pleading “asylum”, but unfortunately don’t qualify. Mitch has been around long enough to know better. He just wants to blame Trump who he doesn’t like.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken: by The Elephant's Child
August 28, 2021, 9:00 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , ,

President Joe Biden’s Secretary of State Anthony Blinken delivered remarks on Afghanistan yesterday at the State Department, he discussed the evacuation of Americans and the department’s calculation of “relevant numbers.” The numbers conflicted with earlier briefings, but they were characterized as “dynamic calculations.” The Secretary concluded that their efforts are a great success.

“Thus from this list of approximately 1,000, we believe that the number of Americans actively seeking assistance is likely significantly lower. Sort of blaming Americans who remain stranded for being stranded. Supposedly everybody has to be out by the 31st, but he added that “There is no deadline on our work to help any remaining American citizens who decide they want to leave to do so with the many Afghans who have stood by us over these many years and want to leave and have been unable to do so. That effort will continue every day past August 31st”. Daniel Greenfield notes that “The United States keeps making the mistake of treating Jihadist groups like representative of some legitimate government. Even aside from the fact that they are our sworn enemies, it’s like assuming that you can stop gang violence in Chicago by meeting with a top gang leader.” House Republicans have filed impeachment articles against Secretary Blinken.

So it’s all up in the air. Nobody knows what will happen, but it doesn’t look good. We seem to have Democrats who believe that all the troubled and unfortunates of the world are thus entitled to come to America and be offered asylum and a job and benefits and whatever else they might happen to need because they are troubled and unfortunate. Without any realization that taxpayers might not be willing to support the rest of the world arriving to be cared for at their expense.

Joe Biden is suffering from increasingly dropping approval ratings, understandably. I don’t know. A large percentage of people seem to get their information from TV news. occasionally watched. I’m of the opinion that our schools should be turning out students who are hungry to understand the world and what is going on, and have failed if they do not , but that may be just me.

ADDENDUM: Blinken said this morning that they believe that the Taliban will continue to allow people to leave after the August 31st deadline. I hope he’s right, but if so, why is there a “deadline”?

Democrats Just Want to Be in Charge! by The Elephant's Child
August 26, 2021, 1:37 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

Nancy Pelosi is confirming her position as the worst Speaker of the House in the history of the country. Democrats in Congress have just passed a law that would federalize America’s elections! No more state control.

Dumb! I would think this would be unconstitutional, but obviously we will see. Poor Democrats. They just cannot stand not being fully in charge! 245 years of the freest country on the face of the earth, and they want to revert to a communist-type dictatorship where they do not have to deal with other opinions that might disagree.

Unbelievable! Your state can no longer run your elections, but will turn them over to Joe Biden’s Department of Justice!

Well, we currently have a President who is not up to the job, a missing Vice President off hiding in Asia somewhere, And in Kabul, Suicide Bombings! At least 12 U.S. Soldiers killed. 60 dead, 140 wounded overall. Joe Biden has gone into hiding, no press conference, no State Department briefing today. Chartered airplanes leave Kabul with hundreds of empty seats. Republicans are demanding that Joe Biden resign, his incompetence is now costing American Lives. (That would leave the missing Kamala Harris as president!) Inflation is hitting a record high, and jobless claims are rising. Other than that…

I hate getting up in the morning and turning on the computer to find out that my country is falling apart!

Why are we leaving all sorts of military equipment for the Taliban? How about smashing the carburetors of all those Humvees we are leaving behind? Surely we still have some competent people somewhere in the federal government. If the British and the French can extract all their people safely from Afghanistan, why can’t we? They did send in their special forces to accomplish it. I was under the impression that we had special forces too. But they can’t go off on their own, someone in authority has to order it. And that would be?

What’s True and What’s Not? Strange Times! by The Elephant's Child
August 25, 2021, 4:49 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

The Pentagon has estimated there are more than 10,000 people outside the airport in Afghanistan ready to be extracted, adding that the numbers could change if more are able to reach “the point of extraction.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi scolded two congressmen who traveled to Afghanistan to see for themselves, saying the region is not safe, after she praised Biden for his handling of the war in Afghanistan.

Ron Klain at the White House is claiming over 80,000 evacuated from Kabul in approximately 10 days. He’s the one some people say is doing the president’s work for him. It is getting so weird out there that one does not know what or who to believe.

Received a mailer yesterday from Amazon fresh, Amazon’s new grocery store. Pretty standard grocery flyer, except that it didn’t bother to tell me where the store is! Obviously, I could go online to find out, but really! Their new name for their own special products is “Happy Belly” which I find totally offensive. I don’t know why, “belly” is not a word that I ever use, as it seems crude. But that may just be me. Probably will not shop at Amazon fresh. They are not getting off to a good start!

I grew up with Sears and Roebuck and Montgomery Ward mail order catalogs, which were huge, about 2″ thick and invaluable for those who lived in more remote parts of the country. Both are long out of business, as they did not adapt to the computer age well.

So I am long accustomed to mail-order. One would think that it would get much easier and smoother in the computer age. Three of my most recent orders were delivered to a Seattle address that I never heard of, so they have some serious work to do. With coronavirus, ordering by mail or online seems more advisable than going to a store, so their business should be up and operating smoothly. Uh huh. If you demand exacting standards from your workers, you are apt to get more correct work.

I feel less confident today in what I read, or hear, than at any time I can remember. Reporters like to get “celebrity” statements because a familiar name will act as “click bait” and get their piece read. If they would spend less time trying to track down a celebrity comment and more on digging in to the facts and finding out what is true and what is not, I would be more confident in reading “the news.”

President Joe Biden’s Declining Approval Rating! by The Elephant's Child
August 24, 2021, 3:24 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

President Joe Biden’s approval rating has dropped to 44%. I fail to understand why it is so high. He has been around the U.S. Government for a long time. He was first sworn in to the Senate in 1973, and served there until 2009, when he became Obama’s vice president. That is thirty-six years, then add on eight years in that role before he was elected to the presidency and inaugurated on January 19.

One would think this was enough time to understand the presidential office and what it entails, what the obligations to the American people are. He may not like the role at the moment, but he is the one who is responsible.

We can’t seem to get any straight answers about how many Americans remain in Afghanistan, nor how we are going to get them out. Jen Psaki, White House spokesperson, claims that Americans are not stranded in Afghanistan, but apparently neither she nor the president are actually aware of the problem, and have no ideas about possible solutions.

The French have sent their Special Forces in to extract French citizens, but that seems not to have occurred to our government. Vice President Kamala Harris, who should be at the White House, at least appearing to be at hand and working on the problems, is off in the Far East for unknown reasons, on an undescribed mission, feigning illness to avoid returning, I guess.

Americans stranded in Kabul who cannot get to the airport are pleading for help. The White House did not respond to questions from the press about whether he has seen the interview with Fatima today, nor to questions about whether he had a response to her pleas for help. No response, or just walking out of the room seems to be his answer. He’s had 44 years to understand the responsibilities of the office of the presidency. I don’t get it!

ADDENDUM: New report: Approval rating down to 41%.

Another Lefty Story Explodes and Dies. by The Elephant's Child
August 22, 2021, 9:03 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

If you are wondering why Nancy Pelosi was having a big fund-raising bash up in the Napa Valley, when there are so many questions in the press about Covid and spreading infection, looks like the answer may be related to the collapse of her story about the January 6 Invasion of the capitol that was a “direct attack” on the government of the United States by Donald Trump and his minions, and so on and so forth.

The FBI has investigated thoroughly, and has concluded that there was no conspiracy or coordinated effort behind the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. No organized plot to overturn the presidential election result, according to four current and former law enforcement officials.

Federal officials have arrested more than 570 alleged participants, the FBI at this point believes that the violence was not centrally coordinated by far-right groups or prominent supporters of then President Donald Trump.

“Ninety to ninety-five percent of these are one-off cases,” said a former senior law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation. “Then you have five percent, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages.” .

They found that the groups had aimed to break into the capitol, but they found no evidence that the groups had serious plans about what to do if they actually made it inside.. . .

But Nancy Pelosi said the events of January 6 were an “insurrection” and the gravest threat to American democracy since the Civil War. This narrative is the pretext for the Biden Administration to claim “domestic terrorism” as the biggest security threat facing the nation. And, of course it was the pretext for banning Trump from social media platforms because he incited the invasion. Don’t expect the Left to give up on this delicious story just because the FBI says it’s nonsense. It’s Politics.

China’s New Policies, Or the Wonders of Communism. by The Elephant's Child
August 22, 2021, 12:13 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

Breitbart headline this morning: “China Passes 3-Child Policy Into Law. Hoping To Reverse Demographic Decline.”

Several years ago, China was concerned about overpopulation. Demonstrating the wonders of a Communist top-down system, they passed in 1980 a 1 child per family policy, to be enforced, if necessary, with forced abortions or other methods. What happened was that with only one child to carry on the family name and support the parents in their old age, most people wanted a boy.

The result, which should not have been a huge surprise, was a society with Thirty-four million more men than women, and a major shortage of women of child-bearing age. 34 million men who would never find wives. Good for the prostitution industry, I suppose, but not so much for a healthy society. Why do you suppose they are now trying to remedy a “demographic decline”? Thirty-four million men who cannot find wives would seem to have some military implications, but I have no idea what they are. Invading Taiwan? Probable.

Demographer and senior fellow at the Center for China and Globalization in Beijing Huang Wenzheng told the South China Morning Post the new policy change is too little, too late.

“The amendment will help … however, its effects will be too limited to reverse the trend of fertility decline,” Wenzheng said. “The government should scrap population control altogether, instead of taking small steps forward.”

Afghanistan, the Taliban, and What We Know so Far, and What We Don’t by The Elephant's Child
August 22, 2021, 10:03 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

“The Taliban released a photo of themselves raising their flag in imitation of the iconic flag raising on Iwo Jima. And they also carefully released photos of themselves all with ice cream cones in imitation of President Biden. Odd-looking ice cream cones, but we understand the intended insult. They want us out of their country, we want them to behave like members of the world’s civilized community Joe Biden has managed to make a colossal mess of the whole thing, and the American people are not happy. Unprepared, didn’t know what to do, who to listen to, or how to handle the situation. Lots of calls for his removal from office, which would leave us with Kamala Harris as president. She has tried to escape the controversy with a visit to Vietnam, to look”official” I guess.

Inflation is showing up. Covid continues. Talk about booster shots, but no clarity yet. Who needs masks and when? Might help if the powers that be admitted that masks are uncomfortable, make you feel like you can’t breathe, and where are they really needed and not? In my life, it’s doctors offices that require masks, but then, I’m staying home and ordering groceries delivered. Have no idea about a booster shot, if it is needed, when, and so on. I don’t want to get infected, and I don’t want to infect anyone else, but give us straight information please.

I just try to read the news of the day, which is not really clear. I have major problems with the press. I am not interested in the Hollywood “celebrities” views of the world and/or politics. Lazy reporters know than attaching their story to a celebrity as “click bait” will insure more readers for their post, because a name is recognized. But I am deeply uninterested in what anyone who has been in a movie once or twice has to say about anything. They are “celebrities” because their name might be recognized, not because their thoughts have any value whatsoever. I might see them in a movie, but I have no interest in their love lives, their homes, their marriages and what they think about the world situation. Spare me! Maybe the American people care, I think it’s a lazy press that doesn’t bother to be informed on events in the real world.

There are important books coming out, people who are really in the know speak, one can study up and be as informed as the world situation permits. I am concerned because so many Americans clearly do not make the effort. An informed citizenry is our best defense of our country. Let your representatives in Congress really represent you by telling them what you believe and want them to do. They won’t know unless you let them know what you believe. You can even effect the mindset of your representatives who are from the other party. They want to be reelected, it’s a cushy and influential job, and they usually want to keep it.

We have a president who is not dealing well with the situation in Afghanistan. Under his direction, his cabinet and the military are not dealing well with the situation in Afghanistan. I was re-reading a book about the Civil War this morning. It was James M. Mc Pherson’s This Mighty Scourge, which gets into the Generals who fought the war. He wrote: “Grant proved his physical courage under fire many times in the Mexican War as well as in the Civil War. So did many others. But as Grant noted the willingness to take responsibility and to make decisions — which Grant called “moral courage” — was much rarer. It embraces a readiness to take risks and to accept the possibility of failure, for without the risk of failure there is little chance of success — Fear of failure caused paralysis of will and evasion of action by several Civil War Generals — most notably George B. McClellan, Grant and Lee were the preeminent Civil War commanders because more than any others they were the ones willing to take the highest risks. Grant had known failure. He started the war with a lowly position and no reputation. As his biographer Brooks Simpson notes, “perhaps he was not afraid of failure because he had encountered setbacks so many times.”

I just found that an interesting sidelight on our present situation.

Halp! by The Elephant's Child
August 20, 2021, 6:35 pm
Filed under: Politics

I posted the picture just below as a portrayal of the vehicles we were being forced to leave behind in Afghanistan. But I have to admit that I don’t know what they are. Is this a more modern substitute for a tank? Looks highly mobile, heavily armored, and has the turret for a machine gun. But I am abysmally ignorant.

The military is contemplating destroying the equipment we left behind. I read that it included helicopters as well. I am not well-informed on today’s modern military and their equipment. Comments from anybody more informed than I am gladly welcomed.

Leaving Equipment for the Taliban. by The Elephant's Child
August 20, 2021, 1:18 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

According to Breitbart, a majority of Americans now say that Biden is not up to the job. 51% of Americans believe that others are making the decisions for him.

Yesterday was a day about Afghanistan. We have messed up rather badly. I think they got the embassy staff all out, but apparently about 10,000 Americans still remain there and they are in danger. Military cannot supply enough planes? Can’t decide who has priority? The Wall Street Journal reminded us that Pakistan is 50 times more dangerous than Afghanistan. They have nuclear weapons, and 200 million people, many of whom are cheering the Taliban victory in Afghanistan. Don’t forget that Islam is a major religion and has ardent followers, who hate unbelievers.

We left behind millions of dollars worth of American military equipment ranging up through helicopters. We have not really enough planes to extract all the Americans there, so extracting all our equipment was out of the question. The attempts to get our people out are ongoing. The administration is now weighing airstrikes to destroy the equipment .

Today, White House spokesperson Kate Belingfield (?) said that the administration still did not know how many Americans were in Afghanistan. U.S. troops are not venturing beyond the airport to find our people and give them safe passage.

George Stephanopoulas in an exclusive interview with President Biden asked him “Do you believe the Taliban have changed?”

President Biden responded: “I think they’re going through sort of an existential crisis about to they want to be recognized by the international community as being a legitimate government.” So there you go, it’s just an existential crisis.

There’s some talk of forcing Biden to resign, but then that would leave us with Kamala Harris, who is oddly, in Vietnam. Distance? Dunno. The strange thing about all this is that most of the questions are about the actions of our own government, not what the Taliban has done. Congress will be looking for some answers, I suspect.

We are all looking for answers.

The vehicles are Humvees. I knew the term, but didn’t know what it described. A more modern and much more useful version of a jeep.

%d bloggers like this: