American Elephants


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 Is Not Addressing the Real Issues! by The Elephant's Child


This has not been the presidential campaign I would have chosen. These are not the candidates I would have chosen, but here we are. I heard on the radio today, a black woman who is deeply troubled by Donald Trump’s lack of respect for women — which seems to mean his lack of deference to Hillary because she is a woman — one who just accused his voters of being a “basket of deplorables,” bigoted, racist, intolerant. I guess Hillary will blame that misstep on her pneumonia.

Sorry, Hillary, believing in immigration laws and insisting on preventing the flow of illegal aliens is not bigotry, but common sense. It’s high time the President of the United States and his administration start to take terrorism seriously. The Jihadists do take it seriously, and want to destroy Israel and the United States, and are working seriously towards that goal, while we succumb to political correctness and being afraid to criticize Muslims. That is immediately controlled with cries of “Islamophobia.” The most important thing is never to offend?

Donald Trump is quite clearly not a racist, but that’s a charge the Left drags out in every election. Bill Clinton just snidely said “Make America Great Again” is racist. “If you’re a white Southerner, you know exactly what it means, don’t you,” he told voters in Orlando last Wednesday.“What it means is, ‘I’ll give you the economy you had 50 years ago, and I’ll move you back up on the social totem pole, and other people down.” What that means is that Democrats are fuming at Trump’s outreach to Blacks. They cannot defend their own appalling record at bettering black lives,

Democrats cannot run on the Obama-Clinton economy — a growth rate of 0.95% can’t really even be called a recovery. They can’t run on ObamaCare, which is about to collapse. (Hillary called it “one of the greatest accomplishments of President Obama, the Democratic party and of our country.”) Uh huh, prices are rising dramatically, as much as 50% in some areas, and health insurers are dumping the exchanges. The goal of ObamaCare as a way to switch to single-payer health care is absurd in the light of Britain’s NHS nearing collapse, and killing far too many of their patients. They surely cannot run on their defeat of terrorism and keeping America safe.

They’ve not got much left but the race card to run on. And that is not proving very successful as the black body count rises in Chicago, as the police step back. Heather MacDonald reported yesterday that in 2016, nearly 3,000 people have been shot in the city, an average of one victim every two hours. That’s not improving the lives of black Americans, nor is it something that can be blamed on guns.

“President Obama takes every opportunity to accuse police of racially profiling blacks and Hispanics. The media, activists and academics routinely denounce pedestrian stops and public-order enforcement—such as dispersing crowds of unruly teens—as racial oppression intended to ‘control African-American and poor communities,’ in the words of Columbia law professor Bernard Harcourt. Never mind that it is the law-abiding residents of High crime areas who beg the police to clear their corners of loiterers and trespassers.” MacDonald continues:

The media blame poverty, racism and a lack of government services for the growing mayhem. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson blames lenient prison sentences for releasing Chicago’s gun criminals onto the streets too soon. The Illinois Legislature’s Black Caucus, however, blocks any effort to mandate stricter sentences for gun-toting felons—in a sub rosa acknowledgment that the vast majority (80%) of Chicago’s gun criminals are black.

But neither Mr. Johnson’s lax-sentencing explanation nor the media’s systemic-injustice explanation aligns with the timing of Chicago’s surge in violence. Sentencing protocols did not weaken in 2015 when crime started rising. Nor did poverty or alleged racism grow worse. What did change was the intensity of antipolice ideology, driven by the Black Lives Matter movement, relentlessly amplified by the press, and echoed by President Obama.

The solution to Chicago’s violence is for at-risk kids to be raised by mothers and fathers. Until that starts, the only hope lies in police regaining control of the streets.

Denouncing the phony “Black Lives Matter” campaign which is designed only to make Blacks believe that Republicans are racist so they will vote for Hillary, would be a help, Their claims of police brutality are clearly false, but the violence stirred up makes the police pull back from the enforcement needed by innocent Black families.



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.



“It’s Because She Lies About It!” by The Elephant's Child

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Roger Simon was asked why Hillary’s health is an issue? He said “It’s because she lies about it.”

She has blamed her inability to remember about the classification of her emails, or whether she had any instructions about the security of emails or much of anything else about her emails. And she told the FBI that she didn’t recall, but I remember Rush’s long ago parody song— “I can’t remember, my mind’s like a blender, it’s jello, jello” Was that about Whitewater, or the cattle futures? I can’t remember.

I’ve always regarded lying as a particularly offensive trait. I had a boss for a while who was a compulsive liar. I caught on before senior management did, but they did discover it, along with some funny business with expense reports, and he was gone.

An excellent book about lying is Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life by Sissela Bok, that covers all the basics and all the excuses.  Recommended. Only 1¢ + shipping for used copies. Might be useful in the current context.

The thing is, if someone lies to you and you believe them, and you act upon that information — it is a pretty big deal.  And it is a big deal in the current political  campaign. The current administration has lied to us extensively, one department after another. The EPA, the IRS, if I had to list them all this post would be far too long. People are noticing, and they don’t like it, they don’t like it at all. Here’s Hillary:

Why? What does she get out of it?



The Pursuit of a Foreign Policy Legacy Is Not Going Well by The Elephant's Child

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Back at the beginning of his first term, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton announced a foreign policy “pivot” to Asia. The road of good intentions chose another direction, and the big events continued to happen in the Middle East. Civil war in Syria, the rise of ISIS with accompanying terrorism and brutality, regime change in Egypt and Libya, and the continuing Iranian quest for nuclear weapons and regional dominance are the problems that have dominated the news and Obama’s response to those events has comprised his foreign policy record, and it is not a record that makes much of a legacy.

Obama dismissed ISIS as a “JV team,” was angered by the coup in Egypt, made a botch of Libya with the help of his Secretary of State who dismissed the whole thing with “We came, We saw, He died” and a round of laughter, when reporters told her he was dead. It is slowly becoming clear Obama has lied extensively to the American people about his “Iran Deal.”

The Mullahs in Iran really had no interest in a deal. They are interested in destroying Israel and in destroying America, and do not intend to be delayed or restrained. Obama believes that they care about their people and will use the funds returned to make life better for Iranian families. He believes he can turn the Middle East over to the Persians to run, and remove all American interference in that part of the world, which will mean peace. He apparently believes that all the problems in that part of the world are Bush’s fault for invading Iraq, and he has no interest in being disabused of his fanciful notions.

You can’t build a foreign policy legacy out of trying to avoid any confrontation at all. Obama’s playing his last hand and betting on the  Paris Climate Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, by pretending they are not treaties, but some kind of deal that does not require the consent of Congress. But that has been his operating plan for some time.

So far on this trip, Obama has insulted Teresa May, Britain’s new Prime Minister, telling her that Britain would have to go the the back of the line for any trade deals since they didn’t pay attention when he told them to vote BREXIT down. Face-conscious China insulted President Obama by failing to provide the red-carpet stairway provided to all heads of state, forcing him to descend from the belly of Air Force One, a clear snub. Irwin Stelzer reported in the Weekly Standard:

When Obama raised the issue of China’s militarization of the islands it has constructed in the South China Sea, President Xi Jinping told him China would “unswervingly safeguard” its claims in the area. When the American president raised the issue of human rights, Xi told him not to interfere in China’s internal affairs. Perhaps the unkindest cut of all came when Xi praised the Paris agreement to limit carbon emissions, the issue on which Obama had come to take a victory lap, “It was under Chinese leadership that much of this progress was made.”

Xi was wrong on both of these counts: the Paris accord will not limit emissions, and China was a reluctant signatory to the agreement forged in Paris, largely by Obama, and whereas America agreed to drastic cuts in emissions, China made no such promise. All it agreed to do, at some date in the distant future—perhaps 2030 if that proves convenient—is to begin slowing the rate of increase of its emissions relative to the growth in the country’s GDP. Not a word about ending China’s financing coal plants in other countries—92 in 27 countries is the current count of the San Francisco-based Climate Policy Initiative, enough new coal-fired capacity to offset all the plant closures and emissions reductions planned in the United States for the next decade. No surprise that Xie Zhenhua, China’s senior climate change negotiator in Paris, says the deal struck there is “fair and just, comprehensive and balanced.”

The Senate will not ratify the treaty. Even if all the nations who have signed actually implemented their plans, it would reduce the growth of emissions only about half as much as the claimed 3.6º Fahrenheit which some scientists claim would reduce drought, floods, and other catastrophes which are not caused by increases in temperature. The Coalition of the Least Developed Nations agreed to go along because the rich nations agreed to give them at least $100 billion, but no one has started raising any money yet anyway. The panic about climate occurs only in the computer programs of the climate scientists who depend on climate panic for their jobs, their grants, and their reputations.

Obama  apparently insulted the new Philippine president who then called President Obama the ‘son of a whore,’ so in general the big G-7 meeting didn’t go too well. Obama is off to Laos as the first U.S. President to visit that country.

ADDENDUM: Reports in from Laos, and snippets of President Obama’s speech, suggest that he’s up to his old tricks of apologizing for his country  with little understanding of what actually went on in Laos, which was not as he suggests indiscriminate bombing. He actually said:

Over nine years — from 1964 to 1973 — the United States dropped more than two million tons of bombs here in Laos — more than we dropped on Germany and Japan combined during all of World War II.  It made Laos, per person, the most heavily bombed country in history.  As one Laotian said, the “bombs fell like rain.”  Villages and entire valleys were obliterated.  The ancient Plain of Jars was devastated.  Countless civilians were killed.  And that conflict was another reminder that, whatever the cause, whatever our intentions, war inflicts a terrible toll, especially on innocent men, women and children.

Our planes were bombing the Ho Chi Minh Trail to prevent supplies coming down that trail to kill American troops from reaching Vietnam. It was a  purposeful effort to save American lives, not indiscriminate and trying very hard not to kill civilians. Ask anyone who was there.



Once Again, Free Markets Work Their Magic by The Elephant's Child

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Let’s turn to some really good news:

This year marks the 25th anniversary of liberal reforms in India that led to the dismantling of many socialist economic policies and the end of the draconian License Raj.  Liberalization has changed life for many in India over the past couple of decades, although much more remains to be done. Just the middle class alone has exploded from 30 million people in 1991 to 300 million in 2014.

So this is a good occasion to tell the story of perhaps the most unexpected beneficiaries of these reforms: the rising Dalit millionaires. In recent years, many thousands of so-called “untouchables,” or Dalits, members of the lowest group in the Indian caste order, have risen out of poverty to become wealthy business owners, some even millionaires.

Westerners are often unable to grasp just what it has meant to be born into a caste of the poorest of the poor without hope of ever moving out of the caste. Caste was determined by birth, and being born an untouchable meant a lifetime of being trapped in low income “dirty” jobs. Marriage could only be within a caste, and there was no hope of advancement for one’s children. Systematic discrimination locked in place for generations.

The opening up of production processes to market forces created new opportunities never before possible. “Starting small and scraping together resources and capital, many of these Dalits now run business empires that actually provide employment to upper caste members.”

There is Thomas Barnabas who was born into a family of bonded laborers, all eight of whom lived in a one-room house. Thomas recalls being thrown out of an upper caste friend’s home as a child after eating and drinking there because he was “untouchable.” They then proceeded to purify and wash the floor where he sat and threw away the dishes from which he ate.

Thomas saw the unmet demand for the processing of industrial waste that was generated by large corporations like Dell, Samsung and Mercedes that had set up manufacturing plants in India after liberalization. He now owns an industrial waste recycling and disposal business that has an annual sales revenue of $2,3 million, and employs 200 people, including many from upper castes.

Do read the whole thing. Shows what can happen with free markets and free people. Not perfect by any means, but improving.

Meanwhile, back in the Americas, thousands turned out, with their pots and pans, crying “We Are Hungry!” in Venezuela and chased President Nicholas Maduro down the street. Only last week some broke into the zoo and killed a starving horse for the meat. Socialism sometimes sounds good, but it is always a lie.




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