American Elephants


Happy Easter! by American Elephant
April 5, 2015, 10:06 am
Filed under: History, News, Religion | Tags: , , ,

Matthew 28:1-10

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”



Some Days the “Information Age” Is Really Troubling by The Elephant's Child

Do we have too many aspiring reporters chasing too little real news? To much news and they can’t sort out the important from the trivial? Or only that the loons are now in charge? The “deal” that was supposed to emerge from the negotiations in Lausanne by today isn’t going to emerge so they were going to put it off for one more day, but then somebody in the White House said Eeew, tomorrow is April Fools Day. Very bad political PR, and so they decided to put the deadline off till June.

The Governor of Connecticut, Dan Malloy, responded promptly to the Religious Freedom kerfuffle in Indiana by banning any travel to Indiana, apparently unaware that his own state of Connecticut has long had a similar RFRA law. And nobody has bothered to read the law, but only act on others’ talking points.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, who is gay, declared religious liberty protections that exist in 30 states as “dangerous” and the sure path to a semblance of “days of segregation and discrimination marked by ‘Whites Only’ signs on shop doors, water fountains and restrooms.” RFRA simply established the balancing test that courts must apply in religious freedom cases. Which indicates only that Mr. Cook has no idea what the laws actually say, and yet Apple happily sells their products in countries where homosexuality is illegal, and is punishable with the death penalty. ISIS throws gays off the roofs of tall buildings, but they may be too busy killing people to buy iPhones.

One of Hillary’s campaign supporters came up with a list of words that may not be used in reference to Hillary because they are ‘sexist’ and got a day’s worth of attention, but Hillary is running to be the “first woman president” while emphasizing that her particular qualifications are her work for women’s rights and for girls.  Seems as if there is some disconnection here, but nevermind, she has wiped her server of anything that might be incriminating.

The Washington Post reports that by a 2 to 1 margin, Americans support the notion of striking a deal with Iran that restricts the nation’s nuclear program in exchange for loosening sanctions, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds.   Huh? What was the question?

Q: Thinking now about the situation with Iran – would you support or oppose an agreement in which the United States and other countries would lift major economic sanctions against Iran, in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program in a way that makes it harder for it to produce nuclear weapons?

Apparently unmentioned was the notion that the “best deal” would be to extend to one year the time it would take for Iran to perfect a nuclear bomb.

Mohammad Reva Naqdi, head of the Basij militia unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards turned up to reassure the world that “erasing Israel off the Map” is very much on the table on the eve of the P+5 nuclear talks, and will never be negotiated away as part of any nuclear deal with President Obama.

John Kerry, Energy Sec. Moniz and Wendy Sherman did not rise from their chairs and say, well we’ll just have to put some extremely severe sanctions back on and walk out, but offered to continue talking till June, and what else could we give up to get a deal—any deal?

Breitbart is reporting that an Iran deal has been reached after a long night session, and details are to come, or it’s not a final accord, or?

Iran under the Mullahs believes that Armageddon is much to be desired because it will ring about the return of the Mahdi, the Messiah, which will be followed by total bliss, or paradise. Yet that remains unmentioned in the ‘news’ at all.

One story contradicts the other. What is Real?

Strange Day



The California Governor’s “Crusade” to Stop Climate Change by The Elephant's Child

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California Governor Jerry Brown, speaking Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said that Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) was “unfit” to run for the presidency  because of his views on climate change.

That man betokens such a level of ignorance and a direct falsification of the existing scientific data,” he said. “It’s shocking, and I think that man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office.”

Brown said that there should be urgency to deal with climate change.”I think this almost has to be at the level of a crusade.”

Host Chuck Todd asked if California’s four-year drought was directly attributable to climate change, but then the climate zealot responded “Well they say the scientists know more about it, but I will tell you this. There is research that says there is a connection between the current drought and the extreme weather in the east and other parts of the world. The UN has said that 40% of the world is suffering from a water shortage.”

But somehow the cold and record snow levels in eastern cities like Boston have persuaded the governor that the planet is heating up?

Well what I mentioned is to particularize a particular storm or absence of rain in a given week, you can’t tie that into the buildup of the presence of carbon dioxide, methane and other green house gasses. We know there is some connection and we know that this drought is just the kind of things that are absolutely inevitable that in the coming years and decades. And it builds up slowly. That’s the challenge. And it becomes irreversible.

Uh huh, but there is no time for delay in combating climate change. He continued:

So you can’t just sit around and engage in rhetoric, because some of your donors and your constituents say ‘We want to make profit.’ The coal companies are not as important as the people of America and the people of the world. I think that this has to be almost at the level of a crusade to whip people up and take the steps intelligently, carefully, and nevertheless forcefully from this point going forward.

That is the voice of a zealot who gets what little information he has from leftist talking points, and turns it into matters of faith. He believes. He has never been interested enough to investigate and see what the scientists are saying and writing; nor has he any idea what his “crusade” could possibly consist of. Will banning fracking end the mild winters? Will eating less meat bring more rain and snow to fill the reservoirs? Will shutting down all the coal-fired power plants do anything except make people in colder areas freeze to death?

How about refraining from flushing all the Sacramento River water out to the ocean to save the river smelt, a tiny bait fish of no use to anyone? That might help the drought in the great Central Valley. You could raise the cost of water to encourage more careful use. How many water features are there in the California desert golf resorts anyway?

He’s done a marvelous job of sending California’s businesses, residents and jobs to other states, especially Texas. And he’s replaced the fleeing residents with illegal aliens, and making them comfortable with drivers licenses and welfare subsidies.

And just think what he could do with the funds that are designated for his high-speed rail connection between San Francisco and Los Angeles that is slower and cheaper than a flight. That line will not be completed for eighty years, when we’ll all be traveling by driverless vehicles on programmed roadways or pneumatic tubes or something.



Hee-Hee. The EPA Embarrasses Itself Again! by The Elephant's Child

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy proved to be remarkably clueless in a Senate hearing on her request for $8.6 billion to help in the fight against the horrors of climate change.

She claimed that the increased frequency of droughts due to warming, was due to mankind’s increased production of greenhouse gasses, notably carbon dioxide which the EPA seems to think is a pollutant.  CO² is a natural fertilizer for plant growth, essential to life on earth through the photosynthesis process, and since we exhale it with every breath—not likely a dangerous pollutant.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) told Ms. McCarthy that Dr.Bjorn Lomberg from the Copenhagen Institute and Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. of the University of Colorado had both written that we have had fewer droughts in recent years, and asked “Do you dispute that?”

Ms. McCarthy responded that she “didn’t know in what context he was making statements like that.” Context?

Dr. Pielke, a professor of Climate Science, told the Senate environment48.6 billion and public works subcommittee in July 2013, that droughts have “for the most part have become shorter, less frequent and cover a smaller portion of the US over the last century. “Globally, there has been little change in drought over the last 60 years. (There goes the theory that climate change is the reason for the rise of ISIS. Yes really, they were claiming that).

Sen. Sessions then asked Ms. McCarthy if we have had more or fewer hurricanes in the last decade? She responded that she could not answer because “it’s a very complicated issue.” Only if basic math is complicated. The last hurricane to hit America as strong as a category 3 or higher was Wilma, which hit Florida in October of 2005. Superstorm Sandy was barely Category 1. The damage came from a storm surge, not the hurricane winds.

The senator inquired about the increase in global temperatures. There has been very little if any increase in temperatures in the last 18 years—90% below what the computerized climate models predicted that temperatures would increase.  Ms. McCarthy replied that she didn’t know “what the models actually are predicting that  you are referring to.”

From the Administrator of the EPA, attempting to justify a request for $8.6 billion, that ill-informed knowledge of basic and widely circulated facts about climate change are pretty stunning, but not all that surprising.  For the zealots, global warming is a religion — a war that must be fought to save the earth and bring about that ‘better world’ that zealots are so sure is out there — somewhere.



It’s Not About Terrorism, It’s About the Lack of Opportunity by The Elephant's Child

Last night on Hardball on MSNBC, Host Chris Matthews interviewed State Department spokesgirl Marie Harf, who explained to viewers just why Obama’s attempts to deal with ISIS have been so ineffective.

Remember that Marie Harf, as a spokesperson, does not express her own opinion, but the opinion of her boss, Secretary Kerry, the administration and the president. So this is Obama ‘s foreign policy:

MATTHEWS: Are we killing enough of them?

HARF: We’re killing a lot of them and we’re going to keep killing more of them. So are the Egyptians, so are the Jordanians. They’re in this fight with us. But we cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs, whether…

MATTHEWS: We’re not going to be able to stop that in our lifetime or fifty lifetimes. There’s always going to be poor people. There’s always going to be poor Muslims, and as long as there are poor Muslims, the trumpet’s blowing and they’ll join. We can’t stop that, can we?

HARF: We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people…

It must often seem that conservatives are anxious to find anything that will reflect badly on Obama, but it’s the policies that are the problem, and I think Conservatives are seriously worried about national security, do not feel that the administration understands the problem, and fears that they want to make a deal with Iran, the evil state that sponsors the terrorism that we see in the world.

Conservatives are inclined to believe the “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” shouts of their officials. The “root causes” theme always has some appeal to the West, because it offers a simple, and simple-minded cure. But it never works and has been proven wrong over and over. Democrats just can’t bring themselves to believe in evil, except when applied to Republicans or anyone else who stands in their way.

And sorry, Marie. Wars are always won by killing the enemy, until they are so utterly defeated that they give up abjectly and permanently. Wars are not won with peace treaties, nor with amelioration of root causes. Wars are won by defeating the enemy. Mr. Obama is more concerned about global warming than the threat of Islamic terrorism, which he cannot even dignify by naming it.

The President does not know what he is talking about. He misconstrues Vladimir Putin, and does not know his history. He does not understand Iran, and does not grasp their intentions. He has surrounded himself with yes-men and women, and does not listen to disagreement. A president needs to have those who disagree with his policies around, so he can learn what the opposition thinks, and evaluate whether his own position is correct. He needs to be probing the best minds he can find, to learn and ponder ideas other than his own.

ADDENDUM:The jihadists recruited from Western countries are usually, according to studies, from comfortable middle class families, or well-to-do parents, who have been radicalized by charismatic preachers or recruiters. Poverty and lack of opportunity are not usually the problem.



Another Train Derailment: Thanks Green Activists! by The Elephant's Child

derailment  - credit Bob Aaron-WCHS(photo by Bob Aaron-WCHS)

A CSX train composed largely of tanker cars derailed this afternoon in Mount Carbon, West Virginia. Adena village, a neighborhood close to the derailment, was evacuated after one residence caught fire when a tanker car slammed into  a house and burst into flames.

One tanker car went into the Kanawha River, and some cars exploded. All but two of the 109 cars were tankers loaded with Bakken crude from North Dakota, headed to Yorktown, Virginia. At least 14 tank cars were reported to be on fire, and there is burning oil on the Kanawha. Some cars have exploded, and at least one sent a fireball at least 300 feet in the air.

Two water treatment plants have been shut down to prevent oil from getting into the water supply. Residents will continue to have water for the next 6 to 8 hours due to an emergency reserve supply.

Proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline keep reminding the environmental activists that oil trains have a record of derailing, sometimes with considerable lost lives,  and that a pipeline is immeasurably safer, but it doesn’t sink in. The oil will go to market, whether by pipeline, train or truck. We have many pipelines crossing the Midwest because they are safer and thriftier.

Our economy runs on oil, coal, natural gas and in some places—hydropower and nuclear energy. If we want an economy, and goods to supply the economy, we must have energy. Solar arrays and wind farms produce little energy, and must have 24/7 full-time backup from a conventional power plant. Sounded nice to depend on the sun and the wind, but it was always hooey, and a scheme to enrich favored cronies with government subsidies.

It was not known at the time of this report if anyone was injured or killed.



King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia Has Died at Age 90 by The Elephant's Child

saudiking

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia has died at the age of 90, according to a statement from the Royal Court.

Abdullah’s half-brother, Crown Prince Salman, who is 79 years old, was declared king and Prince Mugrin, 69, became crown prince. He became  governor of Riyadh Province in 1962 and ruled the province until 2011 when he became defense minister. He has played an increasingly prominent role in Saudi politics. He is known to favor close political and economic ties with the West.

Most of us know little about the very conservative desert kingdom. The modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded only in 1932. Abdullah had to steer the alliance with America through the 9/11 terror attacks. The kingdom was home to 15 of the 19 hijackers and many pointed out that the ideology of al-Qaeda stemmed from Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi interpretation of Islam.

When al-Qaeda militants began a wave of violence in the kingdom in 2003 aimed at toppling the monarchy, Abdullah cracked down hard. Security forces battled militants for 3 years, finally forcing them to retreat to Yemen. Abdullah had worked steadily to slowly modernize the kingdom. He was a strong supporter of education, building universities at home and increasing scholarships for students of both sexes.

He also moved to open greater opportunities for women to participate. He gave women seats on the Shura Council, an  unelected body that advises the king and government. Small steps, but big within the kingdom, where the Wahhabi clerics who hold near total sway over society and give the Saud family’s rule religious legitimacy. State-run TV has begun playing music, forbidden for decades. Small careful steps.

Abdullah had 30 children from around 12 wives.




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