American Elephants


Sources For Everything You Need to Know on Constitution Day by The Elephant's Child

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Where can you get a copy of the United States Constitution? The Cato Institute has dandy pocket Constitutions — 3½” x  5″ for $4.95 each, or 10 copies for $10 — including the Bill of Rights and all the amendments. Make sure each of your kids or grandkids have their own copy, and that they read it.

Birthdays or Christmas, get them a copy of An Empire of Wealth: The Epic History of American Economic Power by John Steele Gordon. It explains why things happened the way they did, and why a free people, whose freedoms are guaranteed by the world’s greatest constitution, are the envy of the world.

Here’s a list of the 20 questions kids ask most on Constitution Day.

Here’s a list of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention who signed the Constitution into law, and a brief biography of each one, and of the three Delegates who refused to sign.

Here’s a brief 10 question quiz to test your basic knowledge of the Constitution, and if you don’t excel, refer back to where you get a copy.

Don’t forget that the Constitution was preceded by the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. The Library of Congress has an excellent overview of the Articles, and  you can read the Articles of Confederation at Yale’s Avalon project to see why we needed a do-over. And here are copies of The Federalist Papers, in many different editions.

Progressives don’t really like the Constitution, as their aim is a socialist paradise of some kind with themselves in charge. Free people and Free Markets just don’t fit into their vision, and apparently they don’t read enough or keep up with the news enough to grasp the long dismal histories of socialist countries — evidenced by Obama’s efforts to make nice with Cuba, or the current situation in Venezuela where the people are starving. Or North Korea, Russia, China, Vietnam, etc., etc. They always believe that those other people just didn’t do it right. That, in itself is a very basic reason to bone up on the Constitution, if you value being a free person in a free country.

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Happy Constitution Day! by The Elephant's Child

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Today is Constitution Day, September 17, celebrating the ratification of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787.  If you are unfamiliar with the day of celebration, you may be forgiven, for it was only established in 2004, and to further confuse matters, if it occurs on a weekend it is celebrated in schools and government offices on the closest weekday, so they supposedly celebrated yesterday. Check with your child if you have one in school.

The law establishing the American federal observance was created with an amendment by Senator Robert Byrd to the Omnibus spending bill of 2004, and mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions, and all federal agencies provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on September 17, 1787. It is also Citizenship Day, commemorating the coming of age or by naturalization, of those who have become citizens. (What? You’re not a citizen until you turn 18?)

Iowa schools started celebrating in 1911, and there’s a long history of attempts to make it a national celebration, which aren’t really important anyway. What is important is that a recent survey determined that most college students had no idea who James Madison was, or why he was important. And were astonished to learn that slavery was not practiced only in the United States. No idea of Muslim raids on the British Isles to capture British slaves, or of Muslim slave traders caravans up from ‘darkest Africa’, nor of  American Indian slaves. Schools across the country have become very lax in the teaching of American History. And our college students have no idea why the Constitution is a big deal. Oddly enough, the institution that makes the most of American history and the study of the Constitution is Hillsdale College, which receives no federal funding at all. Here is Dr. Larry  P. Arn, President of Hillsdale College explaining why they study the Constitution.



“Political” Medicine vs. Real Medicine by The Elephant's Child

At Powerline, Steven Hayward addressed the difference between “political” medicine and real medicine:

From Russell Baker’s review of Joseph Lelyveld’s new book His Final Battle: The Last Months of Franklin Roosevelt in the current issue of the New York Review of Books:

Everybody seemed aware that the president had a medical problem of some sort, but nobody knew precisely what it was. Political medicine differs from medical science because news of a physical sickness may quickly produce a terminal political ailment.The usual treatment in FDR’s day was to lie about it, and if that was impractical, to pretend it was merely a trifling seasonal ailment, a touch of bronchial discomfort perhaps, left over from last winter’s touch of flu. “Good as new in a day or two” was a common prognosis from doctors too scared to speak truth to ailing politicians.

Gosh, why does that sound familiar just now…



The Progressive Media Does Not Have to Do Journalism — They Do “Talking Points” by The Elephant's Child

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s computer was hacked recently, and what was clearly demonstrated were the talking points handed down to Progressives, so they would all say the same thing in the same approved words. This is how the Progressives change the language. In this case, the preferred words were about how to talk about Black Lives Matter.

This is another example of “the correct description.” Hillary collapsed as she left the 9/11 memorial event early, and progressives are trying to cover it up. She was taken to Chelsea’s apartment instead of to a hospital, as Secret Service regulations require, and she later revealed a letter from her personal physician saying she had recently contracted pneumonia. With pneumonia don’t you usually go to the hospital?

Which didn’t cover the overheating on a moderately warm summer day, or the coughing fits she has been having for months, or her fainting spells, the concussion, the blood clots on the brain — nothing to see here, just move along. But there she is hugging a little girl (pneumonia is contagious), now some of her campaign staff reportedly have pneumonia. If you think it’s serious, it’s sexism, because she is a woman.

Nobody is going to elect a candidate who does not have the basic physical condition to cope with the office, so they lie about it.  See President Woodrow Wilson, or President Franklin Delano  Roosevelt. This is why we have talking points. Cover-up, cover-up, cover-up. She will “Power Through.”



Executing an ISIS Executioner And Saving His Victims. Good Job! by The Elephant's Child

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In Sunday’s news:” A British Special Air Service marksman turned one of the most hated terrorists in Syria into a fireball by using a Barrett 50-caliber rifle to strike the fuel tank affixed to the executioner’s back.”

The shot, made from nearly a mile away, exploded the fuel tank killing the terrorist and three of his flunkies just before the jihadist was about to burn 12 hostages alive with a flamethrower. The ISIS butcher had been on a US “kill list” for several months. He apparently delighted in burning hostages alive, tied to stakes or thrown in cages before being torched.

The flunkies who were killed were a film crew planning to film the executions for recruiting purposes.

British and American Special Forces rescued the eight men and four women who were about to be murdered.



Look What I Found in Today’s News! by The Elephant's Child

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From today’s international news:

Iran threatened to shoot down two US Navy surveillance aircraft flying close to Iranian territory in the Persian Gulf over the weekend, the latest in a series of recent provocations between Iran and the US military in the region, three US defense officials with knowledge of the incident told Fox News.

On Sept. 10, a Navy P-8 Poseidon with a crew of nine and an EP-3 Eries with a crew of roughly 24, were flying a reconnaissance mission 13 miles off the coast of Iran, through the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman, according to officials who call the boundary Iran’s “black line.”Iran’s territorial waters—like all nations–extend 12 miles into the sea, according to international maritime law.

At some point during the flight, the Iranian military warned the two aircraft to change course or risk getting shot down.

From The Associated Pres via Popular Mechanics:

“Iran is Building a New Nuclear Power Plant”
It’s the country’s first new construction of this kind since signing the nuclear deal last year.

Iran began building its second nuclear power plant with Russian help on Saturday, the first such project since last year’s landmark nuclear deal with world powers.

The project in the southern port city of Bushehr will eventually include two power plants expected to go online in 10 years. Construction on the second plant is set to begin in 2018. The entire project will cost more than $8.5 billion, with each plant producing 1,057 megawatts of electricity.

So apparently Obama’s Iran Deal is just going swimmingly.

At American Thinker, Daniel John Sobieski reported on the fact:

Almost as soon as he took office, President Obama began a military purge not dissimilar to those routinely conducted by third-world despots, with the goal of eliminating voices that might oppose his withdrawing America from the world stage.  As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized:

We recognize President Obama is the commander-in-chief and that throughout history presidents from Lincoln to Truman have seen fit to remove military commanders they view as inadequate or insubordinate. Turnover in the military ranks is normal, and in these times of sequestration and budget cuts the numbers are expected to tick up as force levels shrink and missions change.

Yet what has happened to our officer corps since President Obama took office is viewed in many quarters as unprecedented, baffling and even harmful to our national security posture. We have commented on some of the higher profile cases, such as Gen. Carter Ham. He was relieved as head of U.S. Africa Command after only a year and a half because he disagreed with orders not to mount a rescue mission in response to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi.

The list goes on of outstanding officers asked to leave before what would normally be their expected tenure.

I have no current connections in the military, so I can’t speak to the clear meaning of all this, but I do remember my history, and Iran has been at war with us since 1979. And I have never been able to understand the Iran Deal and what Obama thinks it will accomplish.

Unrelated? From the Daily Caller: “John Kerry’s State Department Funneled MILLIONS To His Daughter’s Nonprofit.”

More than $9 million of Department of State money has been funneled through the Peace Corps to a nonprofit foundation started and run by Secretary of State John Kerry’s daughter, documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation show.

The Department of State funded a Peace Corps program created by Dr. Vanessa Kerry and officials from both agencies, records show. The Peace Corps then awarded the money without competition to a nonprofit Kerry created for the program.

Investors Business Daily had a few words to offer on that one.



The Campaign, Such as it Is, Drags On, With Occasional Incidents by The Elephant's Child

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It’s been a bad few weeks for Hillary. Her health has become a serious question. She is the oldest person the Democrat Party has ever nominated. Her collapse yesterday was blamed on a recently diagnosed case of pneumonia which may have been chosen to cover  her extraordinary coughing fits. Pneumonia is contagious. Unfortunately Hillary lies so much that one can no longer believe much of anything she or her retainers say.

Hillary so desperately wants to be president. She was furious when the people would not allow her to be co-president with Bill. But it has always seemed that she wants to be, not to do. She wants the power and prestige — the amenities, the deference, the luxury and opulence. That’s what the email scandal has been all about, is the extraordinary lengths to which she would go to use her office to enrich herself and her family.  What she  has suggested she wants to do on the campaign trail is simply a package of the same things Obama has done, only more so.

It takes an incredible lack of understanding of the American economy to even suggest free college education. The absurd cost of an education is in good part due to governmental interference. You respect the things you have to work for, and the harder you have to work, the more you care. It is going to take an extraordinary effort to put the country back together in the wake of Obama.

The world is a very dangerous place right now, and Obama’s strange progressive idea of fundamentally transforming the United States of America into something more modest, just another country, less militarily capable, always seemed mostly related to the anti-American ideas of liberal Europeans. That seemed not just weird, but wrong.

How much has Obama’s spending added to the national debt (which just cruised past $19 trillion)? There are so many ways of calculating that it’s hard to tell. This post gives three different ways of calculating. The leftist press excuses all and blames Bush. I’ll use Zero Hedge, who isn’t interested in blame, but economics, writing on February 1, 2016.

Hillary fell some months ago, had a severe concussion, with blood clots on the brain, and took months to recover. Some are suggesting that she has Parkinsons, a suggestion that has come from several people. Some are suggesting that the DNC needs to replace her. The lapdog media is leaping to her defense, though even the most defensive are suggesting that she needs to release her medical records. She doesn’t get to use sympathy for pneumonia as an excuse for calling Republicans racist, intolerant bigots. She is not a victim.

We don’t know quite what to do with candidates who seem unhealthy.We expect a lot from our presidents, and those who remember their history recall President Wilson’s stroke and his wife being president for him in his last term. We mostly like our presidents better at the beginning than in their final years. We expected more and they just turned out to be ordinary flawed human beings who make big mistakes.

The opposing party readily exposes every lapse of judgment. But surely we have a right to expect that a president comes to office knowledgeable in American history and about the current world situation. Familiar with economics and loving our country and its people, and with some kind of idea about who are the outstanding people in their field and who they want to help them with the task ahead. We’ll see.




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