American Elephants


James Mattis Once Wrote a Letter on the Importance of Reading by The Elephant's Child

29firstdraft-mattis-tmagarticlePresident-Elect Donald Trump has announced his choice of Retired Marine General James Mattis to be his Defense Secretary, to wide acclaim. Mattis is widely respected in the military, loved by his troops, and is an outstanding choice.

The Daily Caller published a famous letter today that General Mattis wrote on the “importance of reading and military history for officers” “who found themselves too busy to read.” His response to the lack of time went viral, with good reason. It’s a clear testament to the General’s character, and a good lesson for all of us.

The problem with being too busy to read is that you learn by experience (or by your men’s experience), i.e. the hard way. By reading, you learn through others’ experiences, generally a better way to do business, especially in our line of work where the consequences of incompetence are so final for young men.

Thanks to my reading, I have never been caught flat-footed by any situation, never at a loss for how any problem has been addressed (successfully or unsuccessfully) before. It doesn’t give me all the answers, but it lights what is often a dark path ahead.



Boo Hoo! They Lost! We Won. Riots in the Streets! by The Elephant's Child

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ABC News on the radio is talking about the protests, and counting up the popular vote for Hillary, with apparently no understanding of how an American election works.  We really need to make plain to the media just what their role as “the fourth estate” is. They are not supposed to be the cheering section for their personal preferences.  If they got into the news business to change the world, they need do some serious re-thinking. If that’s their choice, they need to sign on with a political campaign, and forget trying to be a news media star.

The protests are supposedly because Hillary won the popular vote, and thus she should have won the election.  That’s Not the way it works. See the video on the Electoral College. This is the fifth time in American history when the candidate who won the election lost the popular vote. Here’s historian John Steele Gordon:

The first time this happened was 1824. Then, there were four candidates. John Quincy Adams won 30.9 percent of the popular vote to Andrew Jackson’s 41.4 percent. But neither received a majority in the Electoral College, and the decision went to the House. The fourth candidate, eliminated from contention, was Henry Clay–the Speaker of the House and as wily a politician as this country has ever known. He threw his support to Adams, who was elected by the House. Adams then made Clay his secretary of state, a move that Jackson called a “corrupt bargain.” Four years later, Jackson clobbered Adams, winning 56 percent of the popular vote to 43.6 percent for Adams.

Do read the whole article, it’s not long, but the history is quite interesting. Here’s another.

The protests are something else, however. The pre-printed signs come from International A.N.S.W.E.R. They are advertising for ‘activists’ on Craig’s List, and will pay protesters $15 an hour.

Front Page Magazine: “The Communists Behind the Anti-Trump Protests” by John Perazzo

The Daily Caller:Anti-Trump Protests Funded By Left-Wing ‘Charity'” by Peter Hasson

Commentary: “Democrats Embrace Their RadicalismBy Noah Rothman

Front Page Magazine: “The Left Responds to Trump Win BY Ranting about “White People”

 



Happy 241st Birthday to the United States Marine Corps by The Elephant's Child

And a Happy Veterans Day too!



How Could Hillary Possibly Govern? by The Elephant's Child

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Hillary cannot stop lying. Today she was in Florida telling listeners that they could count on her to defeat ISIS  because she was in New York on 9/11 and saw the planes hit the towers. Except, no, she wasn’t. She was in the Senate and there’s a picture of her out on the Capitol steps, singing “God Bless America” with the rest of the Senate, and an interview with her on video at 8:00 PM that night.  She is always the hero of some strange movie running in her head when she dodges sniper fire in Bosnia, named after a famous mountain climber who didn’t become famous until years later. Tried to join the Marines!

The lies weren’t really important, and it makes her look silly when she is caught out. It’s compulsive, but creepy. And so much worse when her lies are exposed, than if she had been truthful in the first place.

But how is she possibly going to govern? She is not liked, even by Democrats. Who would trust her? Listening to her screech is beyond painful. She has a truly unpleasant voice. How would she get her appointments through Congress? Are they people she owes? Do they have something on her? How does she interact with other heads of state?

The entire world is watching this campaign unfold. Some news appears in the British papers before anyone here gets it.

The Clinton Foundation has been under investigation by the FBI for over a  year, and is ongoing. It is reported that indictments are likely.

More to come from Wikileaks, more news from the FBI, Justice, State, and the Wiener household, I guess. It’s beginning to seem like the script for a thriller rather than just an ordinary American election that we have every four years. What next? Unfolding.



Can You Trust the Press? Should You? by The Elephant's Child

Here’s Judith Miller, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. speaking for Praeger University.  And the answer is No.  They have squandered that trust with their own partisanship and misrepresentation. I’m not at all sure that they recognize the loss of trust at all. Smug. Remarkably smug.



Barack Obama, Keeping Us Safe From Those People He Won’t Describe Because it Might Offend by The Elephant's Child

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*Click to enlarge

It doesn’t always take a long-winded discussion to explain just what is going on in our world. Michael Ramirez strikes again!



The Debate: Did We Learn Anything Useful? I Suspect Not. by The Elephant's Child

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treigger-waringTonight’s debate was held at Hofstra University. The sign of the times sat outside the debate hall: “Trigger Warning: The event conducted just beyond this sign may cause triggering and/or sensitive material. Sexual violence, sexual assault and abuse are some topics mentioned within this event. If you feel triggered, please know there are resources to support you.”

Nothing much that should be “triggering,” but it was pretty depressing. Hillary was very, very rehearsed. The ideas she expressed were standard Leftist boilerplate, unadorned with a single original thought or idea.  There was one, which was clearly planned to become a talking point —”Trumped-up Trickle-down Tax cuts.” She dredged up the talking point Democrats used 36 years ago from the Reagan Campaign, without the slightest understanding of just what she was talking about.

There are basic economic facts that the Left simply cannot grasp. •Poor people do not create jobs, rich people do, because they have spare money to invest. •Raising the minimum wage is a guaranteed unemployment plan for beginners in the job market. •Equal pay for women has been settled law since 1963, and Hillary didn’t have anything to do with it then or now. Nor is there anything in that law that needs fixing. It’s simply a pander for votes.

Hillary wants to raise the estate tax to 65%. Getting those nasty rich people. The thing is the very rich arrange their affairs so they can avoid unnecessary taxes. They can hire the best lawyers and the best accountants, and set up Foundations that allow them to shelter money, just like Hillary and Bill have.  The people who get stuck with higher estate taxes are the small farmers and owners of small businesses. The “estate” is entirely invested in the farm or the business, and when a big estate tax is levied, it has to be sold or divided up to pay the taxes — and the results are another blow to the middle class, and doesn’t really effect the rich at all.

Donald Trump is not a practiced debater. The openings left by Hillary’s rehearsed comments were enormous, and Mr. Trump did not take advantage of the openings as he might have.

It’s clear that many people simply do not understand what the fuss about her emails is. Let’s state it clearly. Required by law to preserve all of her emails on a State Department secure computer, she set up her own computer in her home, on a private server run by some computer “security” company in Colorado. Her reasons seemed to be her paranoia, that people might learn that she was selling speeches by her husband, and access to the State Department and herself for donations to the Clinton Foundation. The “security” company had no security clearances of any kind. Nor did Hillary’s lawyers who advised her on security matters.

The debate question about Cyber-Security was a huge opening, for Hillary’s computers were clearly hacked, Secret and Top Secret documents and even more highly classified documents, through her carelessness and greed were made available to our enemies all over the world.

She was not allowed to use a Blackberry because it was not secure, but she had, over time, some 15 of them. The reason for the rules and regulations was the simple fact that many of our most secret documents cross the desk of the Secretary of State. Hillary’s wanton carelessness has endangered our country, the people who work for the government, and our policies. And she lied about it, over and over. This is a foreign policy disaster that will harm our country for many years. Hillary’s goal was graft, pure and simple. What use is an important government job if not to enrich yourself and your family?

Hillary attacked Donald Trump for “stiffing” people who worked for him, and not paying the amount they were due, making much of the fact that they might be small businesses, counting on his reputation. Hillary had two employees at Benghazi, whose security force was cut from 34 officers to just 6. In the face of rising danger, they begged for more security, which was not forthcoming. They were murdered, and Hillary went to bed. Two former Seals, working for the CIA were trying to hold off the terrorist attack and begged for help. Central Command was ready to respond, but was told to stand down. Then Hillary lied about it to the parents of the men who had been killed. And to the public, claiming the whole thing was not a terrorist attack, but a protest against a YouTube video made by a Coptic Christian that insulted Mohammed, that nobody saw, and nobody cared about. The maker of the video was thrown in jail to rot on false charges until the attention of the news media had turned to other things. That’s quite an example of bad character.

Donald Trump is not an experienced debater, nor is he a polished speaker. But those are usually not considered qualifying characteristics for the job of President. Honesty and character are. We have somehow arrived at a moment in time when trust has broken down. One federal agency after another has become enmeshed in scandal. The IRS, the CIA, the FBI, the VA, EPA, the BIA, BLM. DOJ, DOI, the list goes on and on.

Barack Obama told the country that he learned about Hillary’s email scandal from the press, as he has learned about so many other scandals, and he didn’t even know Hillary’s email address. It appears from leaked emails that he wrote emails to Hillary regularly, under an assumed name.

Hillary is an experienced and congenital liar. She lies about silly unimportant things to make herself look better (the sniper-fire at the airport in Bosnia), and she lies about major things that do matter. She lies about her health, she lied about her emails, she lied about her accomplishments, she lied about leaving the White House “dead broke,”she has lied about her duties at the State Department, she lies about Trump, she lies about the Clinton Foundation. She’s not a very good liar, because she usually gets caught at it. People just assume that what she says is neither accurate or credible.

The trouble with liars is that if you assume them to be truthful as a matter of principle, sooner or later you end up acting on information from that person, and that’s how you learn who and what they are.

In personal matters, it’s just a disappointment. In matters of State, it can be the life or death of the country. We have been lied to extensively on the Iran Deal, and that is going to come back to bite us. We have been lied to extensively about Syria. About Iraq and about Afghanistan.




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