American Elephants


A Little Inspiration for a Chilly October Day by The Elephant's Child
October 11, 2017, 10:33 pm
Filed under: Education, Freedom, Heartwarming, Military, The United States

Admiral William R. Raven, 2014 Commencement address
 University of Texas at Austin.

It’s not Commencement season, but this excerpt from Admiral Raven’s address to University of Texas grads, is a particularly memorable one. And inspirational. Commencement addresses always strive to be memorable, to give new graduates encouragement for their first steps into the real world. New graduates are usually so wound up with finally getting to that point, wearing the caps and gowns, having parents and family in the audience. It’s a pretty big deal in a student’s life. I don’t know about you but I can’t remember who the speaker at my graduation was or what he said.

This one is memorable.

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Steve Scalise Returns to the House by The Elephant's Child

Steve Scalise returned to he House of Representatives where he is part of the Leadership to an emotional outpouring. He was shot on June 14th at the annual Congressional Baseball Game by a deranged Bernie Sanders supporter, demonstrating the depths to which our political scene has fallen. He is Majority Whip, from Louisiana’s 1st District. It’s been a hard recovery for the shot shattered bones, and he is still using crutches 3 months later, but he’s had most of the country rooting for his recovery.



Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria, and Politics by The Elephant's Child

I just read, carefully, two posts that so clearly demonstrate the essence of what is going on in America right now, that I want to call them to your attention and ask you to read them in their entirety. Won’t take you long.

The first is from Investors Business Daily, an editorial, titled “Media Ignore Puerto Rico Devastation, then Blast Trump for Not Tweeting About It — Sad” They did ignore it. I have been following the hurricanes, with so many right in a row, and the media interest had moved to football. Their interest quickly shifts to the very latest.

Patrick Poole captured the tweets of the typical media lefty. (just skim them)
By Monday FEMA (Federal Emergency Management)tweeted that ten thousand + federal staff were on the ground in Puerto Rico doing search and rescue, restoring power and moving commodities.

FEMA press release detailed some of the relief headed towards Puerto Rico:

  • Six commercial barges transported and delivered meals, water, generators, cots, and other commodities to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • An air bridge is established, flying three flights per day to St. Croix, each carrying approximately 33,000 meals.
  • The logistics support ship SS Wright arrived carrying more than 1.1 million meals, and nearly one million liters of freshwater.
  • Two shipping barges with 1.2 million liters of water, 31 generators, and more than 6,000 cots arrived in St. Thomas.
  • Two additional shipping barges loaded with food, water, and emergency relief supplies are en route to the Caribbean Sea from Florida.
  • Millions of additional meals are being flown to Puerto Rico from staging areas in Kentucky and Florida.
  • The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is transporting a shipment of 124,000 gallons of diesel fuel to Puerto Rico, with arrival in the coming days.

It may not be obvious to the media, but one of the difficulties in getting supplies to Puerto Rico is that it’s an island 1200+ nautical miles from Miami, the closest major U.S. port. Here are pictures of the devastation.

The Defense Department has dispatched about 2600 troops to help Hurricane Maria victims in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. A Hospital ship is on the way. The carping in the tweet storm continues, clearly from people who know nothing whatsoever about rescue operations. 10,000 is not enough. Where are the distribution centers?

If you remember, President Bush flew over New Orleans right after Hurricane Katrina, but did not land, because a presidential presence disrupts everything, and he didn’t want to cause more problems for rescue workers. The media crucified him for it, claiming uncaring, callous, irresponsible — which was completely incorrect, but the media take mostly stuck.

President Obama used Hurricane Sandy devastation as a photo op to show him hugging marina owner Donna Vanzant who had just lost everything. He promised FEMA aid, federal help, and she believed him. Never heard from either FEMA or the president nor any government help. The picture convinced much of the public of the compassionate nature of the President. Obama knew how to set up good photo ops.

The United States is usually right there as soon as possible when there is a natural disaster. Israel is even better with quick arrival of skilled emergency teams. Both are already helping in Mexico City’s dreadful earthquake.

Puerto Rico is in terrible shape financially, having declared bankruptcy, after decades of Democrat management. ( It adds up to about $20,000 a person) Democrats are just not good at budgets, economics, or financial management, as is easily demonstrated in the states with Democrat governance. See New York, California, Connecticut, Maryland, and cities like Chicago and Baltimore.



The Best Fourth of July Speech by The Elephant's Child

Calvin Coolidge’s Famous Fourth of July Speech

About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.



Aaargh! I overdid it. But the sun came out! by The Elephant's Child

The weather gods decided to allow the sun to come out for the weekend, and undoubtedly I’m not the only one suffering from trying to do all the things in the yard that didn’t get done because it was raining all winter long. I overdid it, and my back is reminding me every time I move.

It does rain a lot in Seattle, particularly in April. A surprising number of cloudbursts, when the sky just opens and the rain comes down in buckets. And when we finally get a clear, sunny day, well, it happens every year,



The American Left and the American Right: Is It War? by The Elephant's Child

In some ways, it’s really quite amazing that we can talk to our progressive friends. We don’t speak the same language and we definitely don’t define words in the same way.

They speak emotion and future and purification of the human race, we speak of Constitution and laws, economics, innovation and opportunity. They talk endlessly about fairness and diversity. But we don’t mean the same thing, for example, by diversity. For the left it means skin color, ethnicity, country of origin—surface things. Conservatives are interested in diversity of ideas, interests, habits and history, hopes and dreams. The left is terminally interested in gender, to the disadvantage of everyone, and all of its variations which must be noted, celebrated and paraded and now joined forever in shared bathrooms. Conservatives recognize two genders descended from Adam and Eve with the same characteristics those two started with. Conservatives celebrate and respect family. The left tries to destroy it.

There are remarkable numbers of useless phrases in circulation: clean energy, sustainable development, renewable energy, fairness, income inequality, normative framework, undocumented citizens and of course multiculturalism — the NYT recently came up with “incorrect promise.” Some of these constructions are meant to change minds and actions.

Grocery stores celebrate all thing organic,which means quite specifically that they must be grown and fertilized with manure, not chemicals.  Technically it’s all nitrogen, but real animal poop has the extra advantage of possibly infecting you with e-coli. Consider how it is supposed to effect the quality of the sheets for your bed if the cotton from which they were woven was fertilized with steer manure? Organic is pure bunk, and costs about 30% more.

College students are so sensitive to language that they cannot bear to hear ideas or thoughts expressed which disagree with their own ideas.  Free speech is a term that has specific First Amendment meaning for Conservatives, but I’m unclear about just what the Left thinks it means.

The most recent idiocy is perhaps cultural appropriation, which became a big deal on some campus with the idea that large hoop earrings were a cultural appropriation, and should be rejected. This is perhaps the silliest idea they have come up with. Bruce Bawer said it nicely:

For two centuries, America accomplished something that should have previously seemed impossible: the creation of a brand new national identity by individuals who, forsaking old loyalties and joining to make new lives melted away ethnic differences. Hector St. John Crevecour (Letters from an American Farmer) described Americans as “a new race of men” a race that paradoxically had nothing to do with race.” In 1944, Gunnar Myrdal marveled at the fact that Americans of every ethnicity, religion and color shared a more “explicitly expressed system of general  ideals” than the people of any other country in the Western world.”

Lots of cultural appropriation — and good for us.



The Other Side of Hate Speech — In Israel. by The Elephant's Child

From The Jerusalem Post:

“Sometimes we are privileged to meet rare and inspiring people, people whose life experiences are so different from our own that hearing about them provides us with a new understanding of the human spirit, a new way to see things, and a new way to think. Yahya Mahamed is one such person. Tall, dark and slim, the first thing one notices about him is his smile.”

“I grew up in Umm el-Fahm, the third-largest Arab city in Israel. It’s a very problematic place. The Islamic Movement runs the municipality. This means they have power over everything: schools, services, who gets hired… and they are very anti-Israel. ISIS logos and swastikas are common,” he says.

“Violence is the norm in Umm el-Fahm,” he continues.
“Bullets are shot into the air, and several people have been hit by them. The police aren’t where they need to be. If they were, it would greatly improve quality of life and safety for the city.” It would also help dispel the accepted view that the job of the police is to oppress the residents, he adds.

Mahamed was raised to perceive Israel as an oppressive, evil regime. “I remember being a child and watching television with my mother. The only thing on was Palestine, Israel oppressing Palestine, Israelis killing Arabs, Arabs killing Israelis. Nothing else. My whole world was the conflict; in school, on TV, in the community. I was an Arab and therefore a

Mahamed’s story is a fascinating glimpse into the world of the Middle East. He identifies as a proud Israeli Arab. He was given the illusion that one could have either Israel or Palestine but not both. He was taught that Israel only existed because it took land from the Palestinians.  That he was given no education, only propaganda. He was taught in school that Hitler did a good thing and left a small group of Jews alive so that the world would know why he killed the rest. In the Israeli town where he grew up, there is no one to give an alternative viewpoint.

Do read his whole story. He is only correcting what even Israeli Arabs are taught—with the facts. And he takes his story around the world with him in spite of the death threats and danger. He remains in his Arab-Israeli town, but he removes the ISIS graffiti and the swastikas because they normalize terror and hate.”We need to take away the hate” he says. An inspiring young man.

Learning what we don’t know is important.




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