American Elephants


Oh Swell, Now We’re All Going to Jail. by The Elephant's Child

Under a recently introduced bill in the House of Representatives, H.R. 1966, bloggers would face up to two years in prison if they “harass” public figures by criticizing them in a “severe repeated, and hostile” manner, and thereby cause them “substantial emotional distress.”

Will someone please explain to me why Leftists cannot stand to have anyone disagree with them and feel that disagreement must be prevented by law?  Isn’t freedom of speech the first and most important of all our rights in America?  Political speech, especially, is protected by the Constitution.  Did they never read the Constitution?  Do they know no history?

Greg Pollowitz goes on to explain:

U.C. L.A. Law Professor Eugene Volokh, the author of a First Amendment treatise, has concluded that the bill is unconstitutional. …As a federal appeals court noted in DeJohn v. Temple University (2008), “there is no harassment exception to the First Amendment’s free speech clause.” Speech that causes emotional distress can be protected as the Supreme Court made clear in barring a lawsuit by Jerry Falwell over an offensive parody.

Did no one read about Mark Steyn’s experiences with Canada’s human rights nazis?  Did the travails of Salman Rushdie make no impression?  Do people not realize how precious our Bill of Rights is?



Happy Earth Day! But don’t tell me any good news. by The Elephant's Child

Happy Earth Day!  Steve Hayward, author of the Index of Leading Environmental Indicators (14th edition) which mostly consists of the good news.  Today, at NRO,  he points out his favorite tidbit from this year’s edition:

Elizabeth Rosenthal reported in the New York Times of a recent estimate from the Smithsonian Institution research in Central America suggesting that “for every acre of rain forest cut down each year, more than 50 acres of new forest are growing in the tropics on land that was once farmed, logged or ravaged by natural disaster… The new forests, the scientists argue, could blunt the effects of rain forest destruction by absorbing carbon dioxide, the leading heat-trapping gas linked to global warming, one crucial role that rain forests play.  They could also, to a lesser extent, provide habitat for endangered species.”  The next sentence, however, has a drearily predictable beginning: “The idea has stirred outrage among environmentalists,” not because it might be untrue, but because it might blunt support for “vigorous efforts to protect native rain forests.”

Mr. Hayward adds: “Imagine, Environmentalist outrage over potentially good news.”  But then they have a lot of outrage over good news.  The news that the globe is cooling, not warming, has sent them into paroxysms of fury.  Suggest, correctly, that the Arctic and Antarctic have the normal amount of sea ice, or that  polar bears are just fine and adapting to cooler and warmer weather just as they have done for at least 130,000 years, and you have a berzerker on your hands.  They are not interested in good news — or perhaps it’s just that their definition of what is good news is different.



Endless environmental wars and ongoing battles. by The Elephant's Child

We have posted this video before, but it bears repeating.

S.22— The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009: failed 282 – 144 (2/3 required for passage.)

It authorized the Secretary of Interior to study, establish, and redesignate numerous National Parks, National Wildernesses, National Heritage Areas, National Trails, National Scenic River designations and codifies the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS)….

It is comprised of over 165 separate bills introduced in the 110th Congress.  Senate leaders created an omnibus bill to circumvent “holds” Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) placed on a number of these individual bills because he believed they would authorize wasteful spending, block energy development, and infringe on property rights.

KEY CONCERNS:

  • Blocks millions of acres from new oil and gas leasing, logging, mining, and all other business activity in these areas.
  • Eliminates 1.2 million acres from mineral leasing and energy exploration in Wyoming alone — withdrawing 331 million barrels of recoverable oil and 8,8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas from domestic energy supply.
  • Designates more than 2 million acres of land as wilderness areas; permanently eliminating human access for energy exploration or recreational opportunities.
  • Eliminates a proposed terminal site for importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Massachusetts by designating a river that runs through a city as “wild and scenic.”
  • Authorizes $5.5 billion of new discretionary spending over five years and $900 million of direct spending.
  • Makes collecting fossils an illegal activity, subjecting thousands of hobbyists to 5 years in federal jail.

Why am I writing about a bill that failed to pass?  It is important to understand environmentalist dreams.  They range from a little strange to completely nuts.  The more ideological want to prevent the earth from being disturbed.  They want no energy extracted, no trees cut, no rivers dammed, no mines, no wells, no roads and no people.

They would prefer the Earth to have far less population, possibly none.  If we must have people, they would prefer that we all live in very dense high-rise cities, and the remainder of the country to be wilderness. We are not exactly talking common sense here.

Minor elements like farms to raise food, or energy to move the food from farm to market are really not in their plans.  It is Utopia, the original Eden, that they seek because they love Gaia, Mother Earth, and they want to be one with her.  A little real acquaintance with Mother Nature would be helpful, if painful.

At the end of World War II, entrepreneurs took advantage of surplus military goods to turn parachute nylon and aluminum frames into lightweight backpacks, tents and sleeping bags.  A vast industry sprang up, catering to the baby boomers and their parents.  A little short of money, people descended on the out-of-doors for camping vacations.  Friday nights in Los Angeles meant new freeways jammed with campers heading out — and it took a long time to get out of the city.

This lasted until the little darlings graduated from college and were faced with finding jobs.  Half of them opened outdoor stores, or manufactured freeze-dried food or all the clever lightweight gizmos that ornamented the stylish backpack.  Oversupply ended the boom in backpacking goods, and the craze was over, but not the idealization of nature.

There were plenty of ideologues to urge us on.  Rachel Carson warned of DDT and millions of African children died from malaria. We had ‘Earth Day.’  There was one token animal after another — harp seals and wolves, bald eagles, walruses, spotted owls, salmon and now polar bears, designed to make us send our money to the assorted “environmental” organizations who were devoted mostly to keeping us out of the forests and themselves in the courtrooms of the nation.  Lawsuits became the way to control the hoi-polloi, and keep them from annoying the wildlife.

All this might be tolerable, or just merely annoying, were it not that the earth has stopped warming about a decade ago, and is now cooling.  You may have noticed that it snowed in New Orleans, that ice from Lake Huron is piling up against Michigan houses, and the Dutch are skating on Holland’s canals again.

We laugh about the “Gore Effect:”  every time he turns up to make a speech, it snows.  But a quiet sun suggests that we may be in for increased cooling over the next 30 years — which means that we need more energy.  We need increased CO2 to help crops to grow in colder weather, and we need more energy to stay warm.  More people die from cold.

All of Obama’s overhyped wind farms and solar arrays simply cannot produce the energy we need. Wind and solar are not viable without vast government subsidy, and even then cannot begin to produce what we need. Attempting to put all our energy sources beyond our reach is national suicide.

The ideologically blinded are going to have to lose their rose-colored glasses and try to see where the real dangers lurk.  Feeezing to death in the dark is a hell of a way to die.



So, You Think a Nobel Peace Prize is Impressive? by American Elephant

irena-sendler

Much ado is made over Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. A highly coveted and ostensibly prestigious award;  we are supposed to be deeply impressed by the winners. But should we really be? Just how much is a Nobel Peace Prize worth?

Consider this…

A Lady Named Irena Sendler
By John Coleman

Recently a 98-year-old lady named Irena Sendler died.

During WWII, Irena got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an ulterior motive.

Being German, she KNEW what the Nazi’s plans were for the Jews. Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of her tool box she carried, and she also carried in the back of her truck a Burlap sack, (for larger children).

She also had a dog in the back of the truck that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog, but the barking covered the children/infants noises.

During her time and course of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 children/infants.

She was caught, and the Nazi’s broke both her legs and arms and beat her severely.

Irena kept a record of the names of all the children she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her backyard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it, and reunited the families. Most, of course, had been gassed.

Those children she helped were placed into foster family homes or adopted out.

Last year, Irena was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

She LOST.

Al Gore won for doing a slide show on Global Warming.

I’d say they aren’t worth spit.

Learn more about Irena Sendler at Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project.

(h/t ICECAP)



Huffpo Pals Around With Terrorists by American Elephant

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff79/freebirdny/PICS/features_ayers1-1.jpg

The new status symbol among freedom-loathing liberals everywhere? None other than Barack Obama’s own America-bombing, Stalinist mentor and partner in pro-communist education indoctrination reform, Bill Ayers.

The Huffpo’s got him! It’s the “in” thing.

He’s as lovely as ever. He says, were it up to him, he would have installed Noam Chomsky at State and his own murderous wife to head the Department of… wait for it… Justice! (But our “progressive” readers need not worry, he approves of Komrade Obama’s nominees just the same.)

His column is largely about education, and while he writes disarmingly of “democratic education” and teaching our children to “think for themselves,” his career teaching America’s educators how to teach proves he is interested in precisely the opposite: a radical all-encompassing propaganda campaign to brain-wash your children into believing that America and capitalism are evil and communism is good.

It’s no wonder the Huffpo wanted him!

A weekly column by Kim Jong Il is reportedly still in the works.



Criminalizing Political Speech, In America? by The Elephant's Child

There is an unpleasant streak in the progressive left of totalitarianism. You must not disagree with them. They will not tolerate dissent. Apparently unacquainted with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, if you say something that displeases them, you must be punished by law. And if the law won’t punish, then the laws must be fixed so they will eliminate the dissent.

Ralph Peters wrote recently in the New York Post that, after a lecture to the Marine Memorial Association, a reporter thrust a microphone towards him and asked if Peters thought he should be tried for war crimes for his columns in The Post supporting our military.

In theory, no one is more aware of the First Amendment to the Constitution than reporters. Do you suppose they just read the phrase “abridging the freedom of the press” and skip the rest? Or is it that they just don’t think about the Constitution at all.

Katrina van den Heuvel, editor of The Nation, said that when she interviewed Nancy Pelosi about her new book, she asked Pelosi “how could she take impeachment “off the table?”. “[Progressives] believe holding this administration accountable for its staggering abuse of power is essential for preserving our Constitution.”

At the Netroots Nation gathering in Austin, Texas, Byron York reported that Dahlia Lithwick of the Washington Post owned website Slate, described a panel discussion she had participated in on what is known as “the first 100 days of accountability”

We’re already falling into this trap of either positing Nuremberg-style war crimes tribunals, or nothing, immunizing everyone from John Yoo up and down…but everybody says there’s a lot of gray area in between that, and that accountability doesn’t necessarily mean Nuremberg, it doesn’t necessarily mean nothing, it means possibly a truth commission, possibly appointing a special prosecutor …

In this constitutional republic, there is no place for “truth commissions” or “gray areas.” This is Stalinism, pure and simple, and there is no place for it in any political party.

Lithwick went on to recommend a massive retrospective investigation of the Bush administration, going through every piece of paper, before moving forward. But she recognized that some might think such an action might be divisive:

We talked a lot about this notion that it’s bad for America , that it will rip America apart if we have hearings or we have criminal trials or if we have war crimes tribunals. And I think it’s really worse for America if we don’t.

These people are serious. Bush Derangement Syndrome has gone so far that people who disagree are to be eliminated. Tried, condemned and executed.

Lawyer and author Vincent Bugliosi has called for George W. Bush to be prosecuted for murder based on his decision to invade Iraq.  Mr. Bugliosi apparently has never read the “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq  Resolution of 2002″, or any of Bush’s speeches.  He is just overcome with BDS. 

In Canada, columnist Mark Steyn has been put on trial for quoting the words of an author in a commissioned book review, because a Muslim claimed the words to be offensive.  But they were not Mark Steyn’s words.  No matter.

Obama’s plan for imposing “Unity” on the nation after he takes office apparently includes a close look at war crimes trials for Bush Administration officials. Thomas Lifson notes an interview with Obama that appeared on a Philadelphia Daily News blog.

Obama said that as president he would indeed ask his new Attorney General and his deputies to “immediately review the information that’s already there” and determine if an inquiry is warranted — but he also tread carefully on the issue, in line with his reputation for seeking to bridge the partisan divide. He worried that such a probe could be spun as a”a partisan witch hunt.” However, he said that equation changes if there was willful criminality, because “nobody is above the law.”

We have heard James Hansen, NASA scientist, calling for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature because they were actively spreading doubt about the reality of global warming.  What!

Columnist Ellen Goodman wrote that “global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.” Imagine.  Disagreeing with computer climate models that have increasingly been proven to have no predictive value is the equivalent of denying that Hitler killed 6 million Jews.  You may believe something passionately, Ellen, but nobody is required to agree with you. And there is always the possibility that you are wrong.  Completely wrong.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has called climate skeptics “traitors”.  The Grist website called for Nuremburg type trials for those who do not adhere to the IPCC dogma.  NASA’s Dr. James Hansen has called for their trials for treason. 

Journalists have attacked Sarah Palin and her family with an unfathomable fury that puts the lie to any pretense of media balance or impartiality. They have no interest in fairness, they clearly want to destroy her.  Many of the accusations and speculations are so ugly that I will not repeat them here.

The founders believed that we should debate and argue.  They established three branches of government with differing responsibilities, and set the legislative branch the task of arguing and debating to determine the content of the laws that they passed. But silencing the opposition?  Bringing the opposition to trial for disagreeing?  And, in actuality, refusing to debate? 

As John Bolton wrote recently:

[T]he pernicious idea is that, based on their own moral self-evaluation, people can take the law into their own hands and determine who is a criminal.  At a minimum, this approach is intended to deny legitimacy in the public square to opposing points of view, and taken to the next level — the threat of physical force — is intended to intimidate those views into silence.  This is, in the worst case, the path first to anarchy and then to fascism.



Exactly Why Democrats are Dead Wrong on Detainees by American Elephant

The Supreme Court’s repugnant, extra-constitutional 5-4 Boumediene decision last week conferred on illegal combatants more rights than were given to even Nazi’s during WWII. It gave foreign born terrorists, fighting in manners violating the Geneva Conventions, and captured on the battlefield access to American civil courts. The most egregious usurpation of constitutionally granted war powers by the courts in our nation’s history.

Democrats were overjoyed with the decision.

As if in response comes this story from Britain:

Abu Qatada, the radical Islamic cleric described as Osama bin Laden’s “right-hand man in Europe”, has been released from jail after a judge ruled that there were no grounds to keep him in prison.

The decision to allow him to return to his home in London – where he will receive around £1,000 per month in state benefits – made a mockery of the government’s promise to crack down on terror suspects, and embarrassed the Home Office, which had pledged to deport Qatada to Jordan to face terror charges.

Qatada is not only known as “Bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe,” but is wanted in Jordan for terrorist activity and has been accused of inspiring the attacks on America because videos of his sermons were found among the possessions of Mohammad Atta and other 9/11 hijackers.

The same court that released him previously described him as

“a truly dangerous individual” who was “heavily involved, indeed at the centre of terrorist activities associated with al-Qa’eda”.

In other words, everyone knows he’s a terrorist, everyone knows he is dangerous, but the courts refuse to allow him to be extradicted and have now set him free.

This is precisely why the courts have no business whatsoever involving themselves in the war on terror. It’s a war, not a legal matter. Precisely why the constitution granted sole war making powers to the president, and to a lesser degree congress.

As if to emphasize the risibility of the decision, the court also specifically stated that Qatada is prohibited from receiving visits from Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abu Hamza, and… Osama bin Laden!

Phew. That’s a relief!



Science Explains Liberalism by Emerald City Elephant

Science explains Liberalism

First we learned that pot causes psychosis. Now researchers say smoking pot also shrinks the brain — particularly the hippocampus and amygdala which are involved with emotion and memory, and regulating fear and aggression. Bush Derangement Syndrome anyone?

Now I’d like you to do a little experiment of your own. Think of the most hysterical Bush hater you know… the ones who froth at the mouth and nearly burst blood vessels every time the President is mentioned. Got one in mind? OK…

They smoke pot don’t they?

…I’m just sayin!



The Man Obama Wants to Talk To by American Elephant

Amadenijad

…has just announced that Isreal will soon die and disappear.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted on Monday that Muslims would uproot “satanic powers” and repeated his controversial belief that Israel will soon disappear, the Mehr news agency reported. “I must announce that the Zionist regime (Israel), with a 60-year record of genocide, plunder, invasion and betrayal is about to die and will soon be erased from the geographical scene,” he said.

“Today, the time for the fall of the satanic power of the United States has come and the countdown to the annihilation of the emperor of power and wealth has started.”

Since taking the presidency in August 2005, Ahmadinejad has repeatedly provoked international outrage by predicting Israel is doomed to disappear.

“I tell you that with the unity and awareness of all the Islamic countries all the satanic powers will soon be destroyed,” he said to a group of foreign visitors ahead of the 19th anniversary of the death of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Yes, by all means Senator Obama, legitimize this crackpot terrorist by offering him unconditional meetings with the leader of the free world. Brilliant!

Barack Obama — useful idiot.

Meanwhile, John McCain absolutely slammed Obama on Iran in front of AIPAC:

“It’s hard to see what such a summit with President (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad would actually gain, except an earful of anti-Semitic rants, and a worldwide audience for a man who denies one Holocaust and talks before frenzied crowds about starting another,” McCain told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

He criticized Obama for seeming to suggest that Iran is trying to develop a nuclear program because the U.S. refuses to engage in presidential-level talks. McCain said the Clinton administration in particular tried to engage Iran for two years, even lifting some sanctions, to no avail.

“Even so, we hear talk of a meeting with the Iranian leadership offered up as if it were some sudden inspiration, a bold new idea that somehow nobody has ever thought of before,” McCain said as dozens in the audience laughed.

You can read the entire speech here.
 



Building a Religion! by Emerald City Elephant

Okay, I know we’ve been a little heavy on the YouTube videos lately, but these two really should be viewed together. The first is highly disturbing, the second a highly amusing commentary on the whole cult of Obama, dredging up an old Cake song to great effect. But watch both, they really do go together…



Tell it to the Marines! by The Elephant's Child

Speaking of war protesters, the anti-war loony left continually amazes in their crass ability to offend public decency.

The ever-yearning-for-attention Berkeley City Council had, I thought, crossed the line when they attempted to banish the Marine Recruiting Office from downtown Berkeley, and gave Code Pink a parking place directly in front of the office. That all dissolved in a fit of giggles when Code Pink Princess Medea Benjamin was spat upon by an angry veteran and she started screaming for help from — the Marines! Bwa ha ha ha!

It appears, however, that attacks on military recruiters are not isolated incidents, but an ongoing campaign by the left. Michelle Malkin details the attacks which have been taking place since 2003.

Now, on March 19, the Pittsburgh Organizing Group intends to evict the Marines from their Pittsburgh recruiting office, “and everything inside it, occupy the location and transform it into something useful for the community. We’ll also be bringing a movable cage in which to confine military recruiters until they no longer pose a danger to our friends and neighbors.”

Goodness. And who do you suppose will defend their right to freedom of speech and their right to demonstrate? And who will, if necessary, save their sorry butts? The Marines.

American Elephant Adds: Code pink and other anti-war activists spend a lot of time harassing, protesting and insulting our military men and women. Why not take a moment and write a short email to tell our armed forces just how much you appreciate and support them:

(Just click the “America Supports You” button, then click the button for “Thank the troops”. You can be as brief or as long-winded as you want. It’s not hard, and they’ve certainly earned it.)

America Supports You!



Impeach Cindy! by Emerald City Elephant

Cindy Sheehan

After all, she’s broken the law far more than President Bush ever has:

Judge Issues Bench Warrant for Cindy Sheehan

A bench warrant was issued Thursday for antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, who did not appear for arraignment Thursday in a Washington, D.C., courtroom to face charges related to her Sept. 10 disorderly conduct arrest on Capitol Hill.

District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Michael McCarthy issued the order to Sheehan around noon, a court spokeswoman said. The warrant says she is to be arrested and brought before the court. She also faces one count of unlawful assembly. [read more]

That she isn’t impeachable shouldn’t matter much — it’s not as if those calling for Bush’s impeachment understand or even care about either the constitution or basic civics to begin with.




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