American Elephants


Secret World Bank Report: Biofuel Caused Food Crisis by American Elephant

Add rising food prices, riots and hunger to the long list of casualties of “environmentalists”:

Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% – far more than previously estimated – according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian.

The damning unpublished assessment is based on the most detailed analysis of the crisis so far, carried out by an internationally-respected economist at global financial body. [read more]

As we have noted before, in addition to causing high food prices, shortages, hunger, and suffering, they are much worse for the environment and they are driving species to the brink of extinction. If you haven’t already, call your federal representatives and demand that the government stop subsidizing biofuels. And contact your local governments as well: if they are anything like mine, they are using biofuels in government vehicles in an effort to be “green.”

And keep this tragedy in mind when politicians tell you they want to do something to stop global warming.



We want you to speak English… by The Elephant's Child

Yesterday, Obama’s comments to an Hispanic audience about speaking English were widely discussed. The context of Obama’s remarks seemed to be that there is something negative about demanding that immigrants learn English. Here is what Obama said:

You know, I don’t understand when people are going around worrying about “We need to have English — only.”They want to pass a law, “We want English — only.”

Now I agree that immigrants should learn English. I agree with that. But understand this. Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English — they’ll learn English — you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish.

Obama’s assumption that all immigrants learn English is incorrect. Many do not take advantage of English classes on offer. But that is not the point. English is the language of commerce in this country, and people who cannot speak English correctly are handicapped in the job market, and in their financial dealings.

But there is a far more important point, made particularly by Daniel Boorstin.

No nation ever believed more firmly that its political life was based on a perfect theory. It was given to us by our first settlers and the Founding Fathers, and is continually embodied in the American experience. We celebrate the United States as the Land of the Free. We believe in American Independence, American equality, American liberty and American democracy; in sum, the American Way of Life. And it is embodied in this special land. The American Myth tells the story of ordinary people moving into an extraordinary land, and in overcoming the challenges of the frontier, they were changed, transformed. The ordeal in the wilderness created the American — free-thinking, optimistic, tough, open and self-reliant.

What we ask of new immigrants is that they become Americans, accept our history as theirs, our values and our way of life. We give no special honors to those who have been here longer. The American whose ancestors came with the Winthrop fleet, or across the land bridge from Siberia or through Ellis Island share the very same American way of life as the newest citizen from El Salvador or Ethiopia.

They must stop being citizens of Mexico or Britain or El Salvador and become Americans. Equal Americans. And part of that is speaking the American language. Not for our convenience as Obama suggests in The Audacity of Hope:

And, if I’m honest with myself, I must admit that I’m not entirely immune to such nativist sentiments….When I’m forced to use a translator to communicate with the guy fixing my car, I feel a certain frustration.

But as a necessary part of becoming an American, they must learn our common language, for we want them to become full participants in American life.

Obama is thinking (again) of foreigners’ impressions of America. How tacky of us not to speak several languages as our European betters do. But Europeans can travel a few miles and be in another country where another language is spoken. Many Americans learn a foreign language in school, yet never have the experience of having to speak it, and it soon fades away.

English is best learned in school by immersion, not by treating English as a “second language”. Liberal ideas of “multiculturalism” are naïvely intended to celebrate all cultures as equal. Helping new immigrants to remain apart, living in their own neighborhood, speaking their old language, observing their old customs may seem kind. The problems that Europeans are having with immigrants who do not assimilate, and who want to impose their old customs and laws on their new country, are a direct result of misguided and meaningless “multiculturalism”.

The United States has done a surprising job of assimilating newcomers. We are, after all, a nation of immigrants. What is astonishing is the intensity of patriotism among new citizens created by this simple fact.

We must understand, when the left pushes “multiculturalism”, that it has nothing to do with cultures, and everything to do with politics. Americans know this instinctively. 83% say getting immigrants to speak English is a higher priority than creating a “bilingual” America.



Dear Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid… by The Elephant's Child

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi

In the heat of a Washington summer, and the heat of debate, you may have forgotten something. I know how the deference of aides, the eagerness with which newsmen cluster around to hear your words, and the regal surroundings of the capitol can lead members of Congress to feel that they are something pretty special. It is easy to feel like something of a chosen elite; but you must remember that you are our servants, responsible to all of us, not just to the organizations who sent you the most campaign funds.

That alone may count for a good portion of your terrible approval rating, the worst approval rating that has ever been measured for any organization as long as Gallup has been measuring. 12%. Only half of that — 6% approve of Congress “a great deal”. Whew!

What you have forgotten is that all those public lands that Americans want opened to oil exploration don’t belong to you. They belong to American taxpayers. As does any oil that is found. 75% of Americans oppose the ban on offshore drilling.

Well, you’re off for a Fourth of July vacation. Have a nice time, enjoy the fireworks, and perhaps…listen to your constituents.



Progressive Thinkers or Mindless Sheeple? by American Elephant

You decide:

(h/t Mind of Mookie)



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!



CONFIRMED: Conservatives More Honest Than Liberals by Emerald City Elephant

Multiple studies confirm what we have long known to be true: conservatives are far more honest than liberals. Liberals lie more, they cheat more, they steal more, they bear false witness more.

We consider this a dog bites man story, but the results are overwhelming:

[T]here is a striking gap between the manner in which liberals and conservatives address the issue of honesty.

Consider these results:

Is it OK to cheat on your taxes?  A total of 57 percent of those who described themselves as “very liberal” said yes in response to the World Values Survey, compared with only 20 percent of those who are “very conservative.” When Pew Research asked whether it was “morally wrong” to cheat Uncle Sam, 86 percent of conservatives agreed, compared with only 68 percent of liberals.

Ponder this scenario, offered by the National Cultural Values Survey: “You lose your job. Your friend’s company is looking for someone to do temporary work. They are willing to pay the person in cash to avoid taxes and allow the person to still collect unemployment. What would you do?”

Almost half, or 49 percent, of self-described progressives would go along with the scheme, but only 21 percent of conservatives said they would.

When the World Values Survey asked a similar question, the results were largely the same: Those who were very liberal were much more likely to say it was all right to get welfare benefits you didn’t deserve.

The World Values Survey found that those on the left were also much more likely to say it is OK to buy goods that you know are stolen. Studies have also found that those on the left were more likely to say it was OK to drink a can of soda in a store without paying for it and to avoid the truth while negotiating the price of a car.

Another survey by Barna Research found that political liberals were two and a half times more likely to say that they illegally download or trade music for free on the Internet…

And that’s just the beginning. The column goes on from there with many more similar results. Read the full article here. And I think the author is correct that it is liberalism itself that causes liberals to have such a deficiency in honesty. Being told truth is relative has consequences. Being told you are entitled to things that arent yours has consequences. Bad ideas beget bad behavior.

After the ceaseless barrage of lies and false accusations from liberals for the past 7 years, it’s particularly refreshing and welcome to have objective proof of just how much more dishonest they really are.



Democrats give Americans lesson in REAL Fascism by American Elephant

When oil company executives are getting the better of her in Congressional hearings on the price of gas, Democrat Maxine Waters loses it, and accidentally lays it all on the line…

Nor is this an anomaly. We’ve heard this theme before…

Despite the rantings you hear from ignorant liberals about “fascist” Republicans and Bushitlerchimpy — whatever it is they say — this is what fascism really looks like: dictatorial government, centralized control of private enterprise, repression of all opposition (the promised “fairness” doctrine). The very definition of fascism.

These people are not joking! They already want to nationalize health care. I have suspected for a long time, given their demagoguery of the oil companies, that this is coming if they get the chance.

They won’t do it in one bold stroke: they know the people wouldn’t accept it. But they will do it stealthfully, incrementally. One bill at a time, demonizing Republicans for not caring all the while. But they will do it.

So, strap yourselves in! If Obama or Hillary take the White House and Democrats increase their control of Congress, this country is in for a drastic lurch to the left — and drastically more expensive and less available energy.

Lord, help us!



Conservatives are happier people! by The Elephant's Child

Who would argue against freedom? We’re Americans, and freedom is our birthright, isn’t it? Surprisingly, a lot of people argue against freedom. Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein have a new book out in which they suggest the term “libertarian paternalism” as an alternative to “socialism”. They don’t quite say that, but it clearly is what they have in mind. The book is Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness which Roger Kimball describes thoughtfully at Pajamas Media.

Professors Thaler and Sunstein want to increase the likelihood that people will make the correct decisions that are in their own self interest by giving them little “nudges” here and there. The “correct decisions” are, of course, those that the professors choose. Oddly enough, Liberals seldom grasp the idea that they are infringing upon your freedom. They are only doing it for your own good!

Freedom is, to be sure, frightening. There is no telling what values someone will choose to hold. Decent and well-meaning guardians of values were horrified by the monstrous principles of the Declaration of Independence. It is, of course, out of fear that the guardians preach the inculcation of values, fear of knowledge and thought.

Richard Mitchell

The current crop of Democrats have been telling us, over and over, for months, how completely miserable we are. We have no hope, we are losing jobs, losing income, we cannot get ahead for they keep moving the bar, and we are in the worst depression since the Great Depression. This comes just at the time that economists are declaring the housing crisis over, employment rebounding, growth returning, and the “recession” probably at an end. What a sour bunch.

In the current issue of City Journal, Arthur C. Brooks has an essay Free People Are Happy People, which is based on his new book Gross National Happiness, ” In fact,” he says, “evidence shows that freedom and happiness are strongly linked. But what kind of freedom makes Americans happiest? And what can government best do to promote freedom and help us pursue happiness, as is our inalienable right?”

Freedom and happiness are highly correlated, then; even more significant, several studies have shown that freedom causes happiness….

The data and evidence don’t prove that all kinds of freedom bring equal happiness, or that more freedom is always better than less. For example, what about economic freedom? Pundits and politicians on the left often tell us that a free economy makes for an unhappy population; the disruptions of capitalism make us insecure, and we would prefer the security of generous welfare programs and national health care. But for most people, it turns out, that isn’t true.

Liberals are not happy with this book. (Why am I not surprised) Both book and essay suggest that the Conservative emphasis on liberty makes for happier people. Rejecting the welfare state and rejecting big government pay off. Religious freedom and faith produce happier people. Property rights, freedom to operate a business, trade with other nations (are you paying attention Speaker Pelosi?) ease of investment — all are elements that add to national happiness.

But down inside, you knew that, didn’t you? Freedom is our inalienable right, and free people look to the future with optimism. It’s the people who insist that we are miserable, that the current government is the worst ever, that the country is headed in the wrong direction — and once we feel bad enough, promise that they will make us feel better. They will do all sorts of wonderful things for us, as soon as they raise our taxes, diminish our freedom and take away our liberty — well, then they’ll help us, give us hope and change things. It’s just that the change they have in mind isn’t quite what freedom-loving people had in their minds.



I’m Afraid These Children are the Future… by Emerald City Elephant
April 22, 2008, 1:29 am
Filed under: Education, Humor, Liberalism, Pop Culture | Tags: , , ,

Remind me never to have surgery done by a University of Colorado graduate. Or anything else for that matter.



Only Because Obama Hasn’t TALKED to Them Yet! by Emerald City Elephant

Obama's Childish Foreign Policy

From the Washington Post:

THREADED through the reports of progress in Iraq by Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker last week was the story of a larger failure: the inability of the United States and its allies to contain the growing aggressiveness of Iran. Since Gen. Petraeus and Mr. Crocker last reported to Congress seven months ago, Iranian-backed militias and “special groups” in Iraq have evolved from a shadow force into the largest remaining threat to U.S. forces and the Iraqi government. It was Iranian-supplied rockets that slammed into the Green Zone in recent days and Iranian-trained militants who stiffened the resistance to Iraqi government forces trying to gain control over the southern city of Basra. [read more]

Never fear! HOPE is here! If only Obama would TALK to them!

Good thing al Qaeda isn’t in Iraq!



Fueling Famine: The Biofuel Disaster! by The Elephant's Child

Food Protests in Mexico

We have warned about the dangers of subsidizing ethanol production. We have spoken of food riots in Mexico, and Egypt and Vietnam. Orangutans are being killed in Indonesia to make way for palm-oil plantations to feed Europe’s demand for biofuel. In Haiti, five people were killed in protests last week over a 50% rise in the price of food staples in the past year. People are going hungry.

Inflated corn prices encourage farmers to divert more acreage to corn which means they plant less soy and wheat, which drives up the price of those commodities. According to the Washington Times, the aggregate price of wheat, corn, soy oil and soy meal in the U.S. will be $61.7 billion higher in the 2007-2008 crop year than it was in 2005-2006.

Our Congress is promoting famine in the third world because they can’t be bothered to seriously study what they are doing with their subsidies.

If famine and hunger and food riots will not move people to action (and millions of deaths from malaria didn’t seem to bother anyone enough to authorize the use of DDT), there is some news that may spur action.

Drought conditions in parts of Australia and New Zealand where malting barley is grown may mean that Beer will be in short supply, may be more expensive, and may taste different. In the US, hops will be in short supply due to fungus problems, or perhaps to more land being turned over to grain production. Perhaps a shortage of beer will spur letters to Congress.




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