American Elephants


“Notable & Quotable” by The Elephant's Child

The Wall Street Journal included these lines from the Mayo Clinic’s online entry on narcissistic personality disorder in their “Notable & Quotable” column.

If you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may feel a sense of entitlement—and when you don’t receive special treatment, you may become impatient or angry. You may insist on having “the best” of everything—for instance, the best car, athletic club or medical care.

At the same time, you have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation. To feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make yourself appear superior. Or you may feel depressed and moody because you fall short of perfection. . . .

[The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5] . . . criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:

Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance

Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it

Exaggerating your achievements and talents

Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate . . .

Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner



Socialism Does Not Work. Not Anywhere Nor Any Time. by The Elephant's Child

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President Obama is back from Argentina, where he danced the tango, and announced that there was no difference between capitalism and communism, and his earlier visit to  Cuba, where he  plunged into the prickly issues of civil liberties and free elections — and announced pompously that “I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas”on his last day in Havana, and said “It is time for us to look forward to the future together.” He met with a group of Cuban dissidents, but they were clearly the not very dissidenty kind, since the secret police had put the serious dissidents back in prison.

He received some sharp criticism for a lack of concern for the attacks in Brussels, but said he preferred the reaction of Boston’s quick return to everyday business after the Marathon killings. He did make it back in time for a round of golf on Saturday though.

Nothing has changed in Havana. Cuba remains a prison state where the people live on a $20 a month allowance to buy their food, medical care and whatever else  they need. The old cars and crumbling buildings may look “quaint” to American eyes, but that’s all they have.

Cuba has passed their form of socialism on to Venezuela, in exchange for Venezuelan oil, and it’s all going swimmingly in Venezuela. They stand in line for hours to buy toilet paper. Inflation is well over 700%. Basic goods are unavailable.

Bernie Sanders gets irate when anyone compares his brand of socialism with current events in Venezuela, Bernie insists that he is speaking of Democratic Socialism, like Denmark, where Danes say life is really difficult since you can’t buy much, things are too expensive, and there’s nowhere to go because no one has a car. The Honda Accord, so popular here at roughly $22,000. costs $44,000 in Denmark.

Socialism does not work. It doesn’t work anywhere, nor at any time. Venezuela is on the verge of becoming a failed state. President Nicholas Maduro has called out the army to distribute lower wattage lightbulbs. The oil rich nation is not rich anymore now that the price of oil has dropped so far. The break even price for  Venezuelan oil is estimated to be $151 a barrel, and the current price for Brent crude is around $34. And the country is suffering from a drought, and little water in their hydroelectric dams. Everything imported is scarce, including basic medicines.  When the government asks you not to go to work for five days, to conserve power—you know your country is in trouble.

Maduro replaced Hugo Chavez after he died in 2013. Maduro was Chavez’s chosen successor, though he had no qualifications for the presidency. Typically of the successes of socialism, Hugo Chavez’s second eldest daughter, Maria Gabriella Chavez, is the wealthiest woman in Venezuela who has reportedly stashed away a cool $4,2 billion. Odd that a dictator’s daughter should amass so much wealth? That’s what socialism is all about. The leaders aren’t obligated to suffer along with the people.



President Obama Talks Big on Security, But the Facts Don’t Support His Arguments by The Elephant's Child

afghan-viewAdmiral James A. Lyons, USN Ret. wrote on Tuesday in the Washington Times that there is no justification whatsoever for removing Cuba from the list of states that sponsor terrorism. “Our intelligence clearly shows that Cuba was allowing and continues to allow Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy terror group, to maintain a command-and-control base on Cuban soil from which to conduct criminal, narco-trafficking and terrorist operations throughout the Western hemisphere.”

Regrettably, this leads to the sad conclusion that President Obama has lied again when he certified to Congress, as required by federal law, that Cuba could be safely removed from the U.S. list of nations that sponsor terrorism. Does anybody care that our president lied again over a matter that affects our national security? Where is the outcry from our congressional leadership over this travesty?

One of Mr. Obama’s campaign promises was that he would close the U.S. Naval Detention Facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Obama based this on the idea that keeping Gitmo to keep the world’s most dangerous terrorists, was used by al Qaeda and ISIS as a major recruitment tool. Our intelligence agencies keep a close watch on terrorist communications and recruitment, and there is no evidence that they have any interest in Gitmo.

Mr. Obama has for seven years prevented terrorists captured on the battlefields of Afghanistan from being sent to Gitmo. They are either transferred to foreign custody or just released so they can kill more Americans. President Obama prefers to kill them with drone strikes instead, but this makes them respected Islamic “martyrs” by dying fighting for Allah. This deprives America of sensitive intelligence that could have saved lives. Obama remains  convinced, against all evidence, that Guantanamo is where Americans torture poor Muslims  deluded into fighting “the Great Satan.”

Unfortunately, about 30 percent of those released from Gitmo, return to the battlefield, and are known to return to killing Americans. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have informed Congress that federal law prevents the U.S. armed forces from transferring al Qaeda and Taliban terrorist detainees from Gitmo to the United States.

President Obama’s restrictive rules of engagement forced on our combat forces have increased fatalities by 400 percent per year and wounded have increased by 378 percent per year. From 2001 to 2008 combat fatalities averaged 90 per year for a total of 630 U.S. military lost. Between 2009 to 2013,losses have jumped to a total of 2,292. The restrictive rules of engagement have had the effect of neutralizing our military capability while boosting the capabilities of terrorists.



Obama Searches Vainly for a Legacy in Cuba by The Elephant's Child

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Back when President Obama and Sec. of State John Kerry and Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz were negotiating the “Iran Deal” we read that President Obama wanted to go to Tehran and shake hands on the deal with the Ayatollah Khamenei. He apparently envisioned himself in the moment when Nixon opened China, or when Reagan went to Moscow — a defining moment of his presidency. That didn’t work out, so President Obama turned his attention to Cuba.

He would “normalize” relations between the U.S. and Cuba. When he traveled to Havana this week, it was, as the Wall Street Journal’s Mary Anastasia O’Grady reported,” an effort to extract concessions, not from Communist Cuba, but from the U.S. Congress. Mr. Obama said, when he first announced that he would normalize relations, that the U.S . embargo—which prohibits foreign direct investment in Cuba by Americans, credit for Cuba from U.S. financial institutions, and Cuban sales of goods to the U.S.—should be lifted.”

The dictatorship loves the idea. But Congress believes that before there are American investments in Cuba the regime ought to pay for the property it stole after the 1959 revolution, and ensure basic human-rights for Cubans. Since Congress still passes the laws in this country, Mr. Obama’s capitalism for the Castros remains uncertain until U.S. lawmakers capitulate.

The spectacle in Cuba, choreographed by the dictatorship is supposed to make Americans comfortable with the idea, and make Congress appear unreasonable. The Cuban regime has offered no concessions whatsoever, and said firmly that they have no intention of changing, but Obama believes that increasing trade will force Cuba to relent.

The president apparently does not understand that any payment for Cuban workers hired by an American company goes, not to the worker, but to the Cuban State, which pays the $15 or $20 a month to the worker, and keeps the rest to enrich the Castros and the Cuban regime. “U.S. hotel chains, for example, will become minority partners with the Cuban military, which owns the tourism industry.”

Obama’s policy has made changes in Cuba, just not what he expected.

Cubans are suffering a wave of terror –involving everything from thousands, upon thousands of arbitrary arrests by KGB-trained secret police to machete attacks by regime-paid mobs against peaceful women dissidents—surpassing anything seen in decades.

Cubans are risking their lives to flee Cuba at a rate unseen for decades.

President Obama made some remarks about ending the last remnants of the Cold War, but seem a little vague about the history. He has crowed about being the first American president to visit Cuba in nearly 90 years.

The Castro dictatorship’s alliance with the Soviet Union and the military standoff in 1962 over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles just 90 miles off the U.S. coast might well have ended in WWIII. That was a fairly big deal in history. The visit, and the ‘surrender’ of the American president is a coup for the Communist regime. As with Obama’s Iran Deal, what we get out of Obama’s Cuba Deal remains a mystery. There have been no concessions, and Raul Castro essentially told Obama that human rights in Cuba are none of his business.

But Leftists seem to see only the quaint American automobiles from the 1950s, and the old buildings without understanding why they are old and quaint.



There Is A Mysterious Mindset Here, But It Makes No Sense. by The Elephant's Child

barack-obama_1Before President Obama left for his Hawaiian vacation, in a meeting with news columnists, there was one quote that made the president look especially bad.

In his meeting with the columnists, Mr. Obama indicated that he did not see enough cable television to fully appreciate the anxiety after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, and made clear that he plans to step up his public arguments.

Made the president look more than a little out of touch. The Times quickly removed the passage. Add that to the claim that ISIL was “contained” only hours before the Paris attacks. He assured the public that his anti-ISIL strategy has hit a wall. “There’s only so much bombing you can do, he added, in a bid for sympathy about how hard he was working.

Yet it seems that only 25 percent of American bombing runs resulted in releasing at least one weapon. It appears that Mr. Obama really doesn’t want to hurt anyone, and the air force is scattering leaflets to warn the jihadis that they are about to be bombed. But we apparently cannot do much of anything more than we are doing to prevent mass killings in the West.

Mr Obama has been eager to share his plans for closing the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility. There are 107 jihadists at Gitmo. The president thinks that’s too many. Andy McCarthy firmly believes that’s not nearly enough. Two former detainees are leading the fight against the West in Afghanistan, and another, Ibrahim al Qosi has a leading role in al-Qaeda in Yemen.

I don’t believe that Americans are frightened of terrorist attacks. I think they are frightened that their government seems to have no understanding of the situation, no idea how to deal with it, and no idea how to protect the American people from more attacks. Clueless.

A truism about the Left is that they too often believe their own propaganda. Democrats were as frightened as the rest of us by 9/11, and most voted for the Iraq War. Three months into the march-up to Baghdad, President Bush declared the combat phase over. Once we were in control, the Left turned viciously against the war. Obama has insisted that he was always against the war, thought it was wrong, and clearly that became a part of his hasty pull-out from Iraq and, by failing to get a status of forces agreement, led to the rise of ISIS.

Obama’s response to terrorist attacks is, at best, odd. He’s much more comfortable with mass attacks, preferably with assault style weapons, and with a shooter who is clearly an evangelical. It was only in recent days that they decided the shooting in Chattanooga was really a terrorist attack.

The administration just doesn’t seem to get it. There is an odd disconnect, as if it all isn’t really that serious. Obama, I think, believes that the problems of the Middle East have arisen because of Bush’s war, and the presence of Israel. He believes that he can just turn over the Middle East and all its problems to Iran to handle, and we can depart and have nothing more to do with it at all. And it’s only the warmongering Republicans that are making his retreat from the Levant so slow. He believes that Iran would never use a nuclear weapon, and he has said so.

He wants to close Guantanamo, because he believes that the world thinks it’s a place where we torture enemy soldiers. Democrats believe that the prison’s existence serves as a recruiting tool for Islamist militants, though there is no evidence that this is so. He wants to give it back to Cuba, because there’s no other point in releasing detainees who will immediately go back to the fight. The Castros have no intention of relaxing their despotic control of the Cuban population, and intend to pass the prison state on to the next generation — still a prison state.

Obama wants to release “non-violent”drug-dealing prisoners from our jails, in spite of the fact that the significant drop in crime is clearly a result of their being out of circulation. This seems to be a gesture to the black community who are sure that their friends and relatives are only in prison because of police misconduct.

There has been a remarkable lot of agitating racial resentment, especially the assumption that any deaths are the result of police brutality. ‘Black Lives Matter’ activists have been busy on college and university campuses, along with community organizers from ACORN  and protesters from Ferguson and Baltimore. Surely you didn’t believe that this was simply political correctness gone amok. Poor kids have trouble coming up with actual reasons for their protest, and a lot of the racist incidents simply never happened. Democrats are afraid that the black vote that Obama drew, may not turn out for Hillary, unless they think Republicans are sufficiently racist.



Obama’s Astonishing Speech to the VFW by The Elephant's Child

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President Obama spoke to the VFW National Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Tuesday. It was an astonishing speech, in which Mr. Obama laid out his worldview more directly than he has previously done.

For too long, there had been a mindset where the first instinct when facing a challenge in the world was to send in our military — and we have the greatest military in human history.  But we learned, painfully, where that kind of thinking can lead — that rushing into war without thinking through the consequences, and going it alone without broad international support, getting drawn into unnecessary conflicts and spreading our military too thin actually too often would play into the hands of our enemies.  That’s what they wanted us to do.

And who paid the price?  Our men and women in uniform.  Our wounded warriors.  Our fallen heroes who never come home.  Their families, who carry that loss forever.

And so I said then that our brave troops and their families deserve better.  We cannot expect our military to bear the entire burden of our national security alone.  Everybody has to support our national security.

Translation: See, I’m more responsible than the hated Bush who got us into a war in Iraq. And if we cannot expect the military to bear the burden of national security, why do we have a volunteer military?

Mr. Obama has just announced (not in this speech) that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will no longer require incoming U.S. citizens to pledge that they will”bear arms on behalf of the United States” or “perform noncombatant service” in the Armed forces as part of the naturalization process.

And so today, we’re pursuing a new kind of leadership — a smarter, broader vision of American strength, one that relies not only on our outstanding military, but on all elements of our national power.  And that starts with the recognition that our strength in the world depends on our economic strength here at home.

At this point he goes into a lengthy explication of just how wonderful the economy is, how many jobs he has created. manufacturing booming, reducing dependence on foreign oil, affordable health care, and either he has a movie of his own wonderfulness running in his head or he is seriously delusional. He blames his cuts in our military forces on Republicans. But he did actually call ISIL a “barbaric terrorist organization,” though the attack in Chattanooga was, once again, caused by a “lone wolf.”

Real leadership, he says, means “having the courage to lead in a new direction, the wisdom to move beyond policies that haven’t worked in the past, having the confidence to engage in smart principled diplomacy that can lead to a better future.”

“That’s what we’re doing in Cuba, where the new chapter between our peoples will mean more opportunities for the Cuban people.”

The speech is long, but I would urge you to read it with a critical eye, to understand where he is really going and what he seems to believe. And to understand how he lies, and how carefully he presents his actions to a public for whom he has the utmost contempt.



Just Hang On, It Gets Worse! by The Elephant's Child

The messages from the Iran nuclear negotiation are mixed. Some informants say we are giving up all inspections in order to get a deal, the White House insists that this is not the case, but nobody believes Obama any more.

We are opening a consulate in Cuba, though Congress has refused any financing. Iran will honor an agreement not to develop nuclear weapons. Obama will walk away from the negotiations. ISIS is a JV team, Rachel Dolezal is black, Caitlyn Jenner is a woman, ObamaCare is working and popular, the polar ice caps are disappearing, but the military has been sent to measure them to see how fast. We are more respected around the world than ever before. What is one to make of all this? Reality is fleeting.

The best explanation for Obama that I have found is from Daniel Pipes at the Middle East Forum, which I will include once again:

As a man of the Left, Obama sees the United States historically as having exerted a malign influence on the outside world. Greedy corporations, an overly powerful military-industrial complex, a yahoo nationalism, engrained racism, and cultural imperialism combined to render America, on balance, a force for evil.

The Obama Doctrine is simple and universal: Warm relations with adversaries and cool them with friends.

Several assumptions underlie this approach: The U.S. government morally must compensate for its prior errors. Smiling at hostile states will inspire them to reciprocate. Using force creates more problems than it solves.

This is important, and it was confirmed today in the video below, by “Benjamin J. Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser to President Obama. He was the chief U.S . negotiator in the secret normalization talks with Cuba and has been a central player in the making of American foreign policy since 2009, both as key adviser and as the president’s chief foreign policy speechwriter.”

In this interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, national correspondent for The Atlantic, they discuss the worldview of President Obama, focusing on Cuba, the Iran talks, and the continuing crisis across the broader Middle East.

Valerie Jarrett has said that President Obama has just been bored all his life, presumably not having been sufficiently challenged. He had an adjunct job teaching constitutional law at University of Chicago Law School, but his students indicated that he taught mostly Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, which seems to be an advanced course in manipulating people to get them to do what you want them to do. That doesn’t indicate any particular deep study of the Constitution.

Obama appointed an extraordinary collection of Czars, and asks that his briefings come in the form of a short paragraph or two, with 3 choices of actions to take, and he’ll pick one. Other than that, he doesn’t want much contact with members of his administration and associates only with his small inner circle, when he’s not watching sports on TV or playing golf.

That kind of sums up what I have gleaned about what Obama does and why he does it. The mindset is so foreign to everything I know about Iran and Cuba that I find it almost impossible to absorb. I grasp his view of Iran, but I think he’s subjecting both America and Israel to  dangerous and immediate threat. Cuba, I just don’t get. We are offered nothing, and by encouraging tourism and trade, giving Cuba the freedom to resume their anti-American arms dealing and drug trade across Latin America. They have no intention of offering more freedom to the Cuban people. Raul Castro has said so.

Having lost control of Congress, Obama, never willing to engage with Republicans, has determined to just go ahead and do everything he wants to do. Kind of a nyaah–nyaah–just try to stop me! He will use executive orders, executive notes, just order things to be done. They always say that inside of every Liberal is a tyrant trying to get out. Or did I miss something when Senate Democrats are voting to repeal the First Amendment so they can suppress political criticism?




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