American Elephants

“Obama’s Last Lecture” by The Elephant's Child

President Obama delivered his final address to the U.N General assembly on Tuesday. I listened to a bit online, and decided to get the transcript, as I prefer to read it unadulterated. The Wall Street Journal headline over their commentary was “Obama’s Last Lecture,” and my immediate response was “Please God, Make It So.” President Obama started right off to tell the delegates just what an impressive difference he had made in the world and how very important it was. As  usual, it was all about him.

From the depths of the greatest financial crisis of our time, we coordinated our response to avoid further catastrophe and return the global economy to growth.  We’ve taken away terrorist safe havens, strengthened the nonproliferation regime, resolved the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomacy.  We opened relations with Cuba, helped Colombia end Latin America’s longest war, and we welcome a democratically elected leader of Myanmar to this Assembly.  Our assistance is helping people feed themselves, care for the sick, power communities across Africa, and promote models of development rather than dependence.  And we have made international institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund more representative, while establishing a framework to protect our planet from the ravages of climate change.

This is important work.  It has made a real difference in the lives of our people.  And it could not have happened had we not worked together.  And yet, around the globe we are seeing the same forces of global integration that have made us interdependent also expose deep fault lines in the existing international order.

We see it in the headlines every day.  Around the world, refugees flow across borders in flight from brutal conflict.  Financial disruptions continue to weigh upon our workers and entire communities.  Across vast swaths of the Middle East, basic security, basic order has broken down.  We see too many governments muzzling journalists, and quashing dissent, and censoring the flow of information.  Terrorist networks use social media to prey upon the minds of our youth, endangering open societies and spurring anger against innocent immigrants and Muslims.  Powerful nations contest the constraints placed on them by international law.

He hit all his favorite progressive notes: inequality, the one percent controlling all the wealth, beggar thy neighbors policies, injustice undermining people’s faith in the system, soulless capitalism,  the gap between rich and poor, and I loved this one: “with further investment in infrastructure and early childhood education and basic research, I’m confident that such progress will continue.” About infrastructure, remember there weren’t any shovel-ready jobs. It has been a dismal eight years, with no real recovery, an economy never reaching even a basic 3% growth, an economy burdened by excessive regulation, overreaching controls, and of course the constant pursuit of some way, any way, to stop the normal warming and cooling of our planet, on which he has squandered billions to no avail whatsoever.

On the other hand he’s for democracy, our democratic Constitution, our Bill of Rights and the ideals which let our ordinary  people organize and march and protest.  The American narrative, I guess. It was a lecture.

The speech is here if you want to read it.

Getting Straight Talk Out of Our “Elites” Has Become an Impossible Task. by The Elephant's Child

Bombs in New York and New Jersey, stabbings in a mall in Saint Cloud, Michigan. President Obama urged us not to go assuming it was terrorism and getting ahead of the police, but to allow them to search for answers. The American people, on the other hand, do not assume that bombs that injure 29 people in an upscale part of Manhattan and a railroad station in Elizabeth, New Jersey are just a curious event that could be anything — a birthday party joke, some new computer game with loud bangs.

New York Governor Andrew Como said on Sunday morning that it was “obviously an act of terrorism,” though so far there was no evidence of an international terrorist connection. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio got as far as calling it an “intentional act.” ISIS promptly claimed credit. Hillary got into accusing Trump of being provacative for saying “bombing,” though she’d just said it herself.

Only 2 days later, while the police are still efficiently figuring it all out,  arresting the bomber, and the slasher has been killed, Obama will lead a special summit on the need to take in more Syrian refugees. The FBI has politely said that it cannot vet every single refugee, which rephrased slightly, says they cannot vet any. To clear everything up, President Obama’s spokesman, Josh Earnest, earnestly explained that the U.S. is in a fight with the Islamic State, but it is a fight of words — not arms. “When it comes to ISIL, we are in a fight — a narrative fight with them.” A narrative battle, so the problem is just getting the correct words? No wonder nobody can say “terrorism” except ISIS.

If you wonder why Americans are so totally fed up, so angry, you just have to reread that narrative. The people call it ISIS, but the president insists on “ISIL.” Under the headline “The Mulish Stupidity of Clinton-Obama Counterterrorism” Andy McCarthy wrote:

Perhaps the only thing more sadly hilarious than watching the political class tie itself in knots over whether a bomb should be called a “bomb” and whether a terrorist attack should be called a “terrorist attack” is Clinton’s claim that ISIS is rooting for Trump to be elected president. Newsflash: Jihadists don’t give a flying fatwa who wins American elections, or even whether there are American elections.

Islamic supremacists and their jihadist front lines are in the business of killing Americans and supplanting our constitutional republic with sharia. To claim that they care about our elections is to exhibit ignorance about who they are, who they think we are, and what they seek to achieve.

ISIS has told us quite clearly why they hate us and why they fight us. Do you suppose Mr. Obama missed the message? Do they think they are fooling us with their careful language? Mulish Stupidity indeed.

The Department of Homeland Security admits “mistakenly” granting citizenship to 858 immigrants from countries of concern to National Security.” These are our “elites,” who find it amusing when their champion, Hillary Clinton, calls us “the deplorables.” The same woman who in a commercial I hear several times daily says “We want an America where everyone is treated with respect.” The deplorables?  She also says that “Donald Trump is running a campaign based on insults.”  “The deplorables” — there you go.

What our President fails to understand is that his legacy, which he is working so hard to enhance, will be composed of the death-count of American lives lost as a direct result of his policies. As of October 2015, an estimated 75 percent of all the military deaths and about 90 percent of the injuries linked to the ongoing war in Afghanistan have occurred under President Obama’s watch. Refusing to recognize acts of terrorism, and engaging in a battle of  “narratives” instead, has consequences.  That will be his legacy.

Why World War II Matters — Victor Davis Hanson by The Elephant's Child

Here’s a fascinating lecture by Victor Davis Hanson on why World War II matters. It ended 71 years ago, ancient history. The very last of those who served in the war are nearly all gone, and even those who really remember are passing on. How do we make those to whom it is ancient history, who may not even know who was fighting or why they were fighting or why it matters understand?

Dr. Hanson, Central Valley farmer, college professor, military historian, columnist, author and fellow at the Hoover Institution is presented here by the Hillsdale College History Department. Enjoy. It’s well worth your time.

Another Reminder That Those Determined to Attack Us Often Succeed. by The Elephant's Child

In the meantime, the latest news reports an explosion in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, where 25 people were injured and sent to hospitals with injuries, though the Fire Department reported than none seem to be life-threatening. This was preceded by a pipe bomb explosion in Seaside Park, New Jersey, just before a charity 5K race to benefit Marines and sailors.

Not workplace violence.

Compassion Is All Very Fine, But Common Sense Wins Every Time by The Elephant's Child


The Obama administration has planned to admit 110,000 refugees to the United States during the next fiscal year, a 57% increase over the 70,000 refugees admitted in FY 2015. Only 36% of the American people believe we should admit any Syrian refugees at all.

Americans have watched the surge of migrants into Europe and the subsequent terrorist attacks, rape and sexual attacks on women and girls, and the problems the Europeans are just beginning to learn about.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel was at first extremely welcoming, and many Syrian refugees are refusing to work saying that they are now the guests of Angela Merkel and they don’t have to work.

Turns out many of the Syrian refugees in Europe are not from Syria and are not even “refugees.” Chancellor Merkel has recently admitted that she was mistaken, and the polls don’t look good for her continuation in office. The European Union has been very politically correct, with emphasis on compassion as a virtue. People at first came out with flowers and food to welcome the migrants. After the discovery that they were indeed somewhat dangerous, complained about the housing and food provided, executed terrorist attacks, most notably in France, and regarded sexual gratification as an entitlement, Europeans began to lose their enthusiasm.

We cannot vet refugees from Syria. There is no government to which we can apply. Syrian passports are easily copied and widely available. For many, the simple opportunity to move to a more prosperous country is very appealing, and for others, the welfare and free goodies are the defining element.

A professor of economics at the University of Munich has said that 65% of Syrian refugees are “functionally illiterate — they fail to have basic reading and writing skills in accordance with international standards.” 73% have dropped out of job training classes.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, more than 90% of Syrians applying for refugee status are approved despite the lack of any ability to verify their identity. The Federal government is going to spend $4,6 million to give “emotional wellness” to refugees. The Department of Homeland Security is allegedly refusing to release an immigration study “pinpointing the number of illegal immigrants who successfully sneak across the southern border” because it might help Donald Trump’s campaign.

Since 2013, the Obama administration has allowed 300,000 criminal aliens to return to the United States because their home countries will not take them back. Hillary Clinton had the power to stop it cold, but chose not to. CIS estimates that it costs twelve times as much to resettle refugees here rather than in a neighboring country in the Middle East. The wealthy Arab-Islamic countries near Syria aren’t accepting refugees because of “security concerns.”

The Center for Immigration Studies ( is a think tank devoted to the issue of immigration. They are pro-immigration and pro-immigrant, but they want immigrants to be legal. It is a very useful website for all things concerning immigration and immigration law. It’s an enormously complicated matter.

George Soros, who backs the Democratic Party with major funding, believes in completely open borders. Apparently so does Hillary, who Trump has accused of wanting to resettle 1 million in her first term. At the other extreme are those who want the flow of immigrants completely stopped.  Which does not bode well for much in the way of compromise.

Every time we offer amnesty, it is an open invitation to the world that we have open borders and they are welcome. One can favor admitting legal immigrants and even refugees. Our laws favor those refugees who face religious persecution, and getting immolated in a cage by ISIS would seem to be a major incentive, but President Obama rejects admitting Christians as the law requires.

For the most part, once refugees are admitted, they’re on their own. Homeland Security has no idea where they are, nor how they are doing. nor does anybody else except for the school districts that have to provide for them, and the police departments who cannot get any help in deporting them because of “sanctuary cities.” By failing to deal with jihad and terrorism, President Obama has created the backlash all by himself from Americans, who do follow the news.

Happy Constitution Day! by The Elephant's Child

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.

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

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.

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