American Elephants


Obama Goes to Australia, Offends Everybody. by The Elephant's Child

There didn’t seem to be much news from President Obama’s trip to Australia for the G20 meeting. The media made a lot of his climate accord with China at his previous stop in Beijing. The commentary recognized that Obama set a path for America to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by 2020, and China would go ahead building coal-fired plants at a tremendous rate until 2030 when they might start paying attention to their emissions. The general assumption is that China will pay no attention the agreement anyway, but Mr. Obama seems to believe it to be a great accomplishment.

President Obama ruffled feathers by demanding to make a speech to young people at Queensland University, where he offended everybody with what they called “an ill-informed, insulting speech from Barack Obama about climate change, the Great Barrier Reef and coal.”

The U.S. Embassy carefully had advised the president not to couch his climate change comments in a way that would be seen as disobliging to the Abbott government. “Historians of the US-Australia relationship are unable to nominate a case of a visiting president making such a hostile speech to the host government.” Heads of State just don’t go to other countries and insert themselves into political debates in that country.

Queensland is a coal mining state. Mr. Obama said that climate change “here in Australia” means “longer droughts, more wildfires”  and “the incredible natural glory of the Great Barrier Reef is threatened.” Well, no it doesn’t, but it has been a contentious point in Australian politics. Climate change does not cause wildfires, nor does it harm the Great Barrier Reef.

Prime Minister Abbott has been critical of Obama’s Green Climate Fund, and points out that the “four-fifths” of the developed world that had used fossil fuels to develop could not deny “the other fifth” access to coal to generate electricity for the hundred million people who were without it.

Queensland officials are so angry at Mr. Obama’s remarks about the Great Barrier Reef and his attack on coal production in a resources state that they are considering a formal complaint. Informal messages were sent to the U.S. delegation that the president’s speech was not in keeping with that of a guest and ally.

Hopes for a positive G20 summit meeting crumbled abruptly when Obama called Vladimir Putin a jackass. At a joint press appearance President Obama blurted “Everyone here thinks you’re  a dick.” Mr. Obama then unleashed a ten-minute tirade at the Russian President.

Look, I’m not just talking about Snowden and Syria,” Mr. Obama said. “What about Pussy Riot? What about your anti-gay laws? Total jackass moves, my friend.”

As Mr. Putin narrowed his eyes in frosty silence, Mr. Obama seemed to warm to his topic.

“If you think I’m the only one who feels this way, you’re kidding yourself,” Mr. Obama said, jabbing his finger in the direction of the Russian President’s face. “Ask Angela Merkel. Ask David Cameron. Ask the Turkish guy. Every last one of them thinks you’re a dick.”

Mr. Putin released  a terse official statement reading, “I should be afraid of this skinny man? I wrestle bears.”

After one day of meetings, the G20 nations voted unanimously on a resolution that said perhaps everyone should just go on home.

The American press, for the most part simply reported that Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper told Putin that he wasn’t sure about shaking Putin’s hand, and Putin “should get out of Ukraine.” For Obama’s tirade I had to go to the Daily Mail and Zero Hedge.  Interesting omission.

ADDENDUM: I ‘m told that the conversation between Obama and Putin comes from a parody in the New Yorker last year, and has inadvertently been picked up by many bloggers as accurate. Apparently it is not. I apologize. It seemed to fit right in with his speech that so offended the Aussies. That was quite real, and reported in the Australian newspapers, as well as in the text supplied by the White House. Mr. Obama has seemed particularly angry since the election, and short tempered, but that’s just the view from partial glimpses.

 



A Legacy of Shame by The Elephant's Child

There is little doubt that within a matter of days, President Obama will issue executive orders that will grant amnesty to numbers of illegal aliens currently in the United States. He would prefer the discussion to be about reforming our “broken immigration system,” but no one has done so much to “break” our  existing laws as this president.

Immigration officers and Border Patrol officers are being told to ignore laws they have been charged with enforcing. The administration has essentially invited the influx of “unaccompanied children” from Central America, and instead of sending them promptly back, they have farmed them out all over the United States, insisted they be enrolled in public school, get welfare, and the results have been outbreaks of Enterovirus D68, measles, tuberculous. The administration has been careful to deny that illegal immigrants have any connection to disease outbreaks —but then it seems to be more than a coincidence. Some legacy.

Work permits for some up to 5 million illegals would be a terrible blow to our own unemployed who cannot find work. We have 46.5 million people on food stamps. How this remedies our “broken immigration system” is not exactly clear.

In China, Mr. Obama committed America to big cuts in greenhouse gas  emissions by 2025 and China will start to cut theirs sometime around 2030 or not in a completely meaningless treaty. Then in Australia for a meeting of the G-20, he demanded that Australia  follow the carbon deal he had made with China. Without a bit of scientific evidence he claimed that global warming “means longer droughts, more wildfires” in Australia. He repeatedly referred to the dangers that global warming poses to Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef — a canard used by Mr. Abbott’s opponents. Always helpful to go around the world insulting our warmest allies and bowing and scraping to our enemies. Obama believes that saving the country from the horrors of global warming will be one of the shining accomplishments of his legacy. It’s more apt to make his a laughingstock as his efforts prove to be an enormous waste of money.

Another American was beheaded by ISIS. On the last occasion, Obama made a brief public statement about Americans being beheaded by terrorists and then went off to pay 18 holes of golf, a stark revelation of character.

Mr. Obama insists that he doesn’t know Mr. Gruber, that he was just some “adviser who was never on our staff who expresses an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters is not a reflection on the actual process that was run.” But who seems to have made several million dollars for consulting on ObamaCare — which is clearly becoming more problematic by the minute, as cost goes up and quality care declines. Their great accomplishment was supposed to be giving insurance to those who had never had insurance before, but we learn that giving people access to Medicaid is worse for their health than doing without insurance.

Approval of ObamaCare ranks as 37% according to Gallup, while disapproval is up around 59%. Instead of regarding the result of the recent election as public repudiation of his policies (he did say that he wouldn’t be on the ballot, but his policies would) he’s quite sure it had nothing to do with him as he is the only one who was elected by all the people.

Old sayings often offer good advice. “If you find  yourself in a hole, stop digging!”



Congratulations Australia! by The Elephant's Child

Abbott, Tony Australia

Climate hysteria probably reached its peak in 2006-2009 in Australia. Labor  Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called man-made global warming “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time.” Even though average global temperatures hadn’t warmed since 1989, we were headed for an environmental catastrophe and only drastic changes to our way of life could avoid Armageddon. Dissent was treated with shock and derision.

Mr. Rudd set out to pass a cap-and-trade scheme in 2009, but the Aussies didn’t buy it. But then the rest of the world declined to sign up with expensive carbon reduction proposals at the Copenhagen summit, Mr. Rudd lost even more credibility. In 2010 Julia Gillard promised not to impose a carbon tax, but she still lost seats in parliament and  her coalition partners in the Greens persuaded her to push ahead with the unpopular levy of A$23 (U.S. $21.54) per ton of carbon. That further weakened Labor, and Tony Abbott won election last year on a platform of repeal of the tax. The Australian government’s own figures estimate the tax has added A$9.90 to the average household’s weekly power bill. (Think adding $40 to your monthly power bill here, and you see the objection.)

Cap-and-Trade Mr. Abbott argued, amounted to “a great big tax to create a big slush fund to provide politicized handouts, run by a giant bureaucracy.” He supported simpler, cheaper and more practical ways of creating a cleaner environment and most Australians realized that the cost of decarbonizing the economy outweighed any possible benefits. Australia’s Senate voted 39-32 last Thursday to repeal the carbon emissions price. Prime Minister Abbott told voters in a news conference after the vote:

Today the tax that you voted to get rid of is finally gone, a useless destructive tax which damaged jobs, which hurt families’ cost of living and which didn’t actually help the environment is finally gone.

Phillip Hutchings writes at Wattsupwiththat that:

Within minutes of the Australian parliament voting to scrap our carbon tax today, one of our major coal-fired electricity generators issued a profit warning announcement.

In this case, AGL Energy announced its pre-tax profits will fall by $186 million in 2014/15 solely due to the removal of the carbon tax. The majority of this is related to the very large, but inefficient Loy Yang brown coal station which supplies 30% of the power needs of the state of Victoria. It’s amongst the single biggest emitters of CO2 in Australia.

Yet it was due to get $242 million of “Government assistance” under the carbon tax arrangements this year. Most of which found its way to the bottom line.

 



The Aussies Are Having Border Problems Too. by The Elephant's Child

We are not alone. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) is now picking on Australia for not inviting uninvited immigrants to stick around. After an assessment at sea, 41 Sri Lankans were rejected by the border patrol and handed over to the Sri Lankan authorities.

I always find it fascinating that our friends in Russia can take the most severe actions and nobody criticizes, but when one of the world’s freest nations dares to insist that their borders mean something and that  you need permission to enter, all hell breaks loose.

Australians welcome immigrants as we do. But there is a legal way to do it. You go to an embassy and tell them you want to immigrate. It may take some time, but you will be welcome when the time comes. We just don’t have room for all the people in the world who want to live in a free country. We cannot handle all the claim jumpers currently bidding for our compassion. The U.N. should butt out.



Some Week! Is This What We Have Come To? by The Elephant's Child

invasion-650x368

I recommend this article and the video that accompanies it for your edification.  Those who managed and directed the disgraceful spectacular organized for a number of world leaders and small numbers of elderly veterans returning for a last look at Sword Beach, the beach where the British landed in 1944, have a lot to answer for.

The article enumerates the lip service the Western world pays to the sacrifices of military veterans and what they suffered so the rest of us might live free of such suffering.

Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson confirmed that another 18 veterans can be added to the death toll, now 35, of those who died because of a culture of callous indifference to the needs of veterans put on wait lists that never resulted in appointments. Cover-up and hidden or discarded lists to ensure that administrators got their bonuses and promotions. Bad publicity, not ended by jettisoning the VA secretary.

To get that off the front pages, the President announced the swap of five Taliban terrorist commanders for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, which the administration assumed would be an heroic story of the return of a Taliban POW to the arms of his family. The White House once again tried to distract from a major scandal by instituting another major scandal. When the “honor and distinction” suggestion surfaced, Bergdahl’s platoon comrades confirmed that he had deserted his post, a court-martial offense at best. When that one didn’t work, administration nit-wits tried attacking the members of Bergdahl’s platoon as “psychopaths,” Think Progress asked “Did Sergeant Bergdahl desert the Army or did the Army desert him?” Some spin!

Notice has gone out to the military overseas about the heightened danger of kidnapping as a result of Obama’s trading 5 Taliban leaders for the American deserter. Even Taliban leaders said they would be looking for more Americans to kidnap.

Some week! Capped off with a weird  ceremony where hundreds of performers descended on Sword Beach, where they gesticulated and gyrated in something that was intended to be evocative of the struggles endured by the soldiers who slogged their way across the battlefields of Europe. The level of crass obliviousness that dreamed up this display is hard to fathom.

The high point of the video is the expression on the face of Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth as she watched the performance. That was a royal “what the hell?” expression if I’ve ever seen one. People should not forget that Princess Elizabeth enlisted and served with honor and distinction herself when her country stood alone against Nazi Germany.



Monday Morning Cute. Her Name is Sydney. by The Elephant's Child

6a010535647bf3970b01a73dbc2f26970d-800wi
This little female joey is an eight-month old Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat who has just begun venturing outside of Mom’s pouch. The Taronga Zoo is Australia is celebrating the arrival of the second joey in three years, a breeding success story that could also help the Critically Endangered  Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat. Her name is Sydney.
6a010535647bf3970b01a73dbc3060970d-800wi
They are notoriously difficult to breed. Compatibility and timing seem to be crucial, for the female in only receptive to the male for a 12-hour window. Other than that, forget about it.

6a010535647bf3970b01a73dbc306a970d-800wi
I have read about wombats, but never seen pictures of one. Our only marsupial in the United States is the possum, an unpleasant animal that we see occasionally here. They hiss, and they are definitely not cute.



“Shenandoah” by David Hobson by The Elephant's Child

David Hobson, Australia’s favorite tenor, sings “Shenandoah” from his album “Endless Days.” He is aso an award winning composer, and does his own arrangements.




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,214 other followers

%d bloggers like this: