American Elephants


No Access, No Posts. Disconnected. by The Elephant's Child
October 27, 2014, 8:28 pm
Filed under: Blogging, Domestic Policy, Environment | Tags: , ,

We have been without internet access all day. Water-main break a few blocks away where they are widening and redoing a major street. Just got access back. They must have cut a buried cable.

Big windstorm Saturday night, major branches down and enough fir cones to set up a Christmas store.  Drumming and crashing on the roof all night.



There They Go Again! Democrats Try to Shut You Up! by The Elephant's Child

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Friday night news dump. As the media went home for the weekend, the Democrats sneaked in a last minute proposal that the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) be allowed to heavily regulate political content on the internet. They have in mind sites like YouTube, blogs, and the Drudge Report. Why? You can go to YouTube and watch campaign commercials, and even worse, find things that President Obama and other politicians said in the past, and demonstrate their constant overweening hypocrisy.  There’s no telling what awful things you will find on blogs, and the Drudge Report is simply an aggregator of news from — the media.

The problem, of course, is the First Amendment to the Constitution, which protects freedom of speech, most especially political speech. We cannot be a free people without free political speech. First thing you know, they will put you in jail for criticizing the president, or shut your business down, or subject you to an IRS audit.

Obama FEC Commissioner Ann M. Ravel announced that the FED was preparing new regulations to give itself control over videos, Internet-based political campaigns and other content on the web. She insisted that “A reexamination of the commission’s approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long overdue.”

Well, not exactly. The First Amendment was made permanent back in December of 1791, and has served us very well indeed, although the totalitarian sector of the Democratic Party keeps trying to get rid of it.

Democrats really don’t like criticism or being disagreed with. They have trouble defending their ideas, because they just say things, and have never, never done their homework. Rather than studying up on a policy and its inevitable consequences, they just want to pass it into law, and think that if there are problems, they’ll just add some regulations or make more laws. Evidence for that statement? I give you ObamaCare.

The vision of the left is not just a vision of the world. For many, it is also a vision of themselves — a very flattering vision of people trying to save the planet, rescue the exploited, create “social justice” and otherwise be on the side of the angels. This is an exalted vision that few are ready to give up, or to risk on a roll of the dice, which is what submitting it to the test of factual evidence amounts to. Maybe that is why there are so many fact-free arguments on the left, whether on gun control, minimum wages, or innumerable other issues — and why they react so visceraly to those who challenge their vision. ………………………………………….Tom Sowell 1/22/2014

FEC Chairman Lee E. Goodman, a Republican, said that if regulation extends that far, then anybody who writes a political blog, runs a politically active news site or even chat room could be regulated. “I have been warning that my Democratic colleagues were moving to regulate media generally and the Internet specifically for almost a year now,” Goodman told FoxNews.com. “And today’s statement from Vice Chair Ravel confirms my warnings.”

FEC Vice Chair Ravel said:

Since its inception, this effort to protect individual bloggers and online commentators has been stretched to cover slickly-produced ads aired solely on the Internet but paid for by the same organizations and the same large contributors as the actual ads aired on TV,” she said. Ravel vowed to “bring together” people from “across the spectrum” next year to look at the issue.

This set off alarm bells, as it should.

“The FEC’s approach to free speech on the Internet should be hands-off,” Goodman said, urging the public to go to the FEC website to comment on the issue.



What Was Missing In Obama’s Foreign Policy by The Elephant's Child

From Defense analyst Nadia Schadlow writing at warontherocks.com — via the WSJ’s Notable & Quotable column Sept. 7, 2014:

President Obama’s commitment to reducing America’s reliance on the military instrument of power is well-known. It has been a constant theme of his presidency—from his first presidential campaign through his major speech on foreign policy at West Point earlier this year. It is therefore paradoxical that the administration’s foreign policy outlook and operational style have made use of the military instrument almost unavoidable. By failing to understand that the space between war and peace is not an empty one—but a landscape churning with political, economic, and security competitions that require constant attention—American foreign policy risks being reduced to a reactive and tactical emphasis on the military instrument by default. . . .

The tactical mindset that dominates national security decision-making prioritizes military means over political ends and confuses activity (such as the bombing of enemy positions) with progress. Because the use of military force is not connected to operational plans for subsequent political consolidation, the United States vacates the space between war and peace. And because they cannot match American military power directly, it is in this space—battlegrounds of perception, coercion, mass atrocity—that America’s enemies and adversaries prefer to operate.

“the space between war and peace is not an empty one—but a landscape churning with political, economic, and security competitions that require constant attention.” I love it when someone calls to our attention something seemingly obvious to which we pay little attention, and changes the pattern of our thought.

Excellent website. Add warontherocks to your  choice website list!



August 30: Bumbershoot Weekend in Seattle by The Elephant's Child

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Sorry about the light blogging. Labor Day weekend here is the time of Bumbershoot, a festival of umbrellas? It is, not surprisingly, raining. This is the greater Seattle area, and that’s what it does here. But, music, entertainment, food, vast crowds, and all the hippies come out of the woodwork — great fun for festival lovers.

Blogging is light because I went out yesterday to refill the suet feeder upon which all my woodpeckers, pilieated and flickers, depend. The clay soil was wet and slippery as all hell, and I went flying. No broken bones, but a remarkably sore backside. Standing is fine, sitting is fine, and sleeping is fine. It’s getting from one position to another that is troublesome.



A Must-See Collection of Historical Photographs. by The Elephant's Child

Here is a fascinating display of historical black and white photographs — colorized for modern eyes. Up until the 1970s color photography was somewhat rare and the color prints did not always age well anyway. Admitting my vast age, I was far more familiar with black and white photos than color, and as far as that goes, the color was not always accurate, so I can’t quite understand the idea that “colorizing” old photos “gives us our only chance at seeing what the world really looked like back then.” But it is a theme I have heard often, so it must be true for those for whom black and white photos are — weird.

The colorizing is beautifully done. You will enjoy these 53 historical photos.



Some Words of Wisdom on Free Contraceptives: by The Elephant's Child

I liked this excerpt from Betsy”s Page:

It’s amazing how much like those 19th century nativists decrying the influence of Catholics in America some liberals are sounding these days as they pick out that the five justices who formed the majority in the Hobby Lobby decision are Catholics. Suddenly, Catholic-bashing is creeping into liberal analysis of Supreme Court decisions that liberals don’t like. It really has been amusing to hear all these nice liberals bemoaning the use of the Religious Freedom Reformation Act when it was a law passed with near unanimity and signed into law with great self congratulation by Hillary Clinton’s husband. Suddenly, liberals no longer like the idea of finding a balance between the reach of the federal government and people’s individual religious beliefs if it interferes with their desired policy goals.

And all this for the goal of forcing employers to provide employees free contraceptives. It has always struck me as rather strange that that is the one prescription that the administration wants to insist should be provided at no cast to insured employees. Think of all the possible medicines that they could have chosen to be provided for free – prescriptions for heart problems, cancer, diabetes, asthma, HIV, or psychiatric treatments. But none of those were considered worthy of mandating that they be provided free of cost. Only contraceptives. Not covered with a deductible or for a certain percentage. Nope, absolutely free. I would love to have a reporter ask Obama why didn’t they have similar mandates for other medical needs? I think it was all done deliberately so that they could take advantage of the opposition that they knew would arise in order to gin up their phony cries about a war on women.

Hobby Lobby is a retail chain with nearly 600 stores. Their beginning wage is $15 an hour. They pay for their employees health care, including most contraceptives. They exclude only four abortifacients. Contraceptives are available at a month’s supply as low as $3.97, online, I believe. And the prices go up from there. Free, which means the taxpayers, including all the women past menopause have to pay for them. I think Democrats just don’t get the meaning of “free” as they use it.

 



Seventy Six Reasons For American Exceptionalism! by The Elephant's Child

Buzz Feed Has a marvelous list of “76 Reasons Why America is The Greatest Country In the World,” is not to be missed: Here’s a sample

5. WE’RE THE BEST AT TROLLING OTHER COUNTRIES

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“I baked this cake for my co-workers on Canada Day”

 

16. ROAD LEGAL

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Extra special full on patriotism for our 238th Fourth of July!
Great good Humor!




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