American Elephants


Let’s get real. Drill. by The Elephant's Child

ANWR coastal plain

If you believe, as I do, that the price of gasoline at the pump is high largely because the Democrats in Congress have for decades refused to allow us to drill for our own oil reserves; you must let Congress know how you feel. A good percentage of members of Congress do not buy their own gas, or their own groceries, and have no appreciation for the pressures on the family budget.

Contact your representatives and senators by going to: www.house.gov or www.senate.gov, click on representatives or senators, and you can find them by clicking on your state. Be polite, but firm. You have no idea how many excuses they can come up with. They need to hear from you. Write, call, e-mail. If you think that a congress that cannot even manage their own dining room can run refineries, you are really living in cloud cuckoo land.

The Democrats are deeply in debt to the environmental organizations, and pressured to do their bidding. There are no viable environmental ideas to avoid drilling. Rigs on the outer continental shelf cannot be seen from the beach. Fish love the drilling platforms as catch around the Louisiana rigs attests. The area of ANWR where they want to drill is not a “pristine wilderness”, but mosquito-laden mudflats. Go to Google Images, and enter ANWR coastal plain ( be sure to include “coastal plain” which is where they want to drill, not the beautiful part of the wildlife reserve) and investigate for yourself. The caribou love the pipeline from Prudhoe, for they can rub up against the supports and scratch. The drilling area is the size of an airport in an area the size of South Carolina, and would see activity only in the winter when wildlife is absent.

Above all, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is not the cause of global warming, and there isn’t really any reason to restrict it. If it increases, it makes plants grow faster, and is a good thing.

Remember that the planet has not warmed in the last decade — at all. In the past five years, it has cooled. Nobody knows what this means for the future, but if we are in for a real period of cooling, which is possible, we are going to need more energy, and not just for our SUVs.



Um…Can we talk? by The Elephant's Child

Is there something wrong with a good argument? How do you progress if your ideas never have to stand up to a challenge? Our country was founded on the idea of vigorous debate.

Those who wrote the new Constitution of 1787 and those who supported it could foresee that a clear vote against it in the State ratifying conventions could doom the experiment in democratic government in its infancy. As constitutions go, it is a short document, encouraging debate in every clause. “Each House may determine the Rules of the Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour; and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.” What greater invitation to debate could you have?

Alexander Hamilton, in an effort to win over his home State of New York, began a series of essays explaining and defending the Constitution. These were published in New York City newspapers under the pseudonym Publius. Two other advocates of this new form of government, James Madison and John Jay, added their contributions. The efforts of these three men resulted in The Federalist Papers, an analysis of the Constitution and an enduring classic of political philosophy. And, perhaps most of all, it was an invitation to discussion and debate.

Discussion and debate were different in a time when books were somewhat rare and there was no radio, no television, and communication with other towns depended on a fast horse. Today we are deluged with printed material, and constant commentary from instant messaging to town hall meetings. We are in communication with the entire world. There is no shortage of ability to debate, and now that we are in a campaign for the Presidency of the United States, there are formal debates — Obama was just complaining about 21 debates — and yet…

The debates are curiously lacking in substance. There are serious matters that need discussion. The foolish effort to put the world’s food into our gas tanks, the curious reluctance to drill for the oil that we know is there. The notion that to increase gas mileage we only have to make a law. There is the strange, gullible belief that there must be some other viable form of energy out there that will solve all our problems, and the closest we can get to real substance is threatening the oil companies and offering to temporarily remove the gas tax for the summer. Could we talk sensibly about nuclear power? Could we discuss the portion of ANWR that was set aside for drilling? Instead we are talking about re-negotiating Free Trade pacts, an insult to our allies. We are pretending that manufacturing jobs have been lost, not to technology, but to NAFTA, which has been a benefit to the three countries involved, and nobody really wants to re-negotiate.

Two candidates are advocating socialized medicine, which has never worked anywhere. Could we debate? Not a chance. Can we talk about the value of cutting the capital gains tax, or reducing corporate taxes to the level of other countries? Can we talk about whether highway funds should be used for other projects? How about importing medicine from other countries? How about a discussion about terrorism, or don’t we believe in that any more. Could we discuss the belief that climate change is a natural phenomenon? Don’t make me laugh.

You could come up with your own list of subjects that need to be discussed, and probably few of them are matters that are part of the current campaign.

Those who disagree with the opinions held by the Left are to be silenced. They will be attacked, smeared, accused, repudiated, denounced. What they will not be — is debated. Yet every advance made by humanity is made through trial and error. We learn by discussing and arguing. We learn from mistakes.

Because we are so reluctant to argue and debate, the public often does not understand what is involved in an issue. When the press departs from objectivity and becomes an advocate, they deprive the public of needed information. When arguments become emotional struggles to win at all costs, liberty is the victim. When someone is smeared instead of debated, it becomes harder to get citizens to stand up for what they believe.



A Movie Hollywood Won’t Make, and Liberals Won’t Watch by American Elephant

And one people should see. Especially liberals — if only they’d pull their heads out of the sand long enough.

This is the highly anticipated “Fitna”, a short-film (15 minutes) from Dutch politician Geert Wilders. As you may recall, the Netherlands has been besieged by violence from Islamic fundamentalists angry over cartoon depictions of Mohammad and criticism of Islam. This is his answer. He describes it as “a call to shake off the creeping tyranny of Islamization.”

YouTube cuts the film into two parts. Keep in mind, “Fitna” addresses Islamic fundamentalism and as such shows graphic violence. Powerful. Do watch.



The Audacity of Hype! by American Elephant

Even staunch liberals like Chris Matthews are beginning to realize that Barack Obama is all hype and zero substance. I imagine the Hillary camp probably pressured Matthews into this exchange with an Obama representative, but nonetheless I give Matthews credit for pointing out that Obama has accomplished absolutely nothing despite having been in elected office for years. (hat tip: James Taranto)



It’s the Sun, Stupid! by Emerald City Elephant

Polar Bears

File this one under more news you won’t hear from the mainstream media:

NEW evidence has cast doubt on claims that the world’s ice-caps are melting, it emerged last night.

Satellite data shows that concerns over the levels of sea ice may have been premature.

It was feared that the polar caps were vanishing because of the effects of global warming.

But figures from the respected US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that almost all the “lost” ice has come back.

Ice levels which had shrunk from 13million sq km in January 2007 to just four million in October, are almost back to their original levels.[read more]

Another envirowhacko scare tactic falls apart. The ice caps are not disappearing. In fact, while the arctic ice cap returns to normal, the antarctic ice cap is increasing in size:

Figures show that there is nearly a third more ice in Antarctica than is usual for the time of year.

This just weeks after another scientific study determined that the “models” environmentalists have been basing all their predictions on, can’t even accurately predict the current climate… which  means they can’t predict anything.

But you probably didn’t hear that one from the mainstream media either. And you won’t.



Media Bias Schadenfreude by American Elephant
February 15, 2008, 12:24 pm
Filed under: Humor, News, Politics | Tags: , ,

The New York Times Building

Due to plummeting sales, there will be 100 fewer “journalists” at the New York Times:

After years of resisting the newsroom cuts that have hit most of the industry, The New York Times will bow to growing financial strain and eliminate about 100 newsroom jobs this year, the executive editor said Thursday.

The cuts will be achieved “by not filling jobs that go vacant, by offering buyouts, and if necessary by layoffs,” the executive editor, Bill Keller, said. The more people who accept buyouts, he said, “the smaller the prospect of layoffs, but we should brace ourselves for the likelihood that there will be some layoffs.” [read more]

Naturally, being the NYT, the article is misleading. Apparently they can’t even tell the truth when reporting on themselves. Contrary to their claim that they have been, “resisting the newsroom cuts that have hit most of the industry,” for years, the Times actually laid off about 750 employees just two and a half years ago, including newsroom cuts at the NYT and Boston Globe.

I am usually loathe to take joy in others suffering, but it couldn’t happen to a more deserving group. Perhaps now they can find jobs more appropriate for their propagandist talents. Perhaps al Qaeda is hiring.



The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same by The Elephant's Child
February 12, 2008, 9:10 pm
Filed under: History, Humor, Pop Culture | Tags: , , ,

Winslow Homer

Like most Americans today, Civil War soldiers had a kind of love-hate relationship with the media, which in their case consisted of newspapers and illustrated weeklies like Harper’s, Frank Leslie’s and the Southern Illustrated News.  Soldiers often denounced the biases or inacuracies of these journals but could not stop reading them….Even more than the editorials or political news, soldiers read newspapers for war news, especially stories about their own units or accounts of battles in which they had fought.  But they were by no means uncritical readers — quite the contrary.  The notoriously exaggerated, distorted, partisan, romanticized, and in some cases fictionalized accounts of battles provoked increasing cynicism among soldiers. 

James M. McPherson, the great historian of the Civil War, is describing the military of 143 years ago, but as much as things change, some things stay the same.  He goes on to describe the drawings for the illustrated weeklies — the visuals that portrayed the battle descriptions in the newspapers.

Some of the woodcuts were superb, such as Winslow Homer’s drawings of life in camp, several of which became the basis for his earliest oil paintings.  But the depictions of combat by many of the illustrators, especially in the war’s early years, were so stylized and sentimentalized that soldiers ridiculed them.  Next to Homer, one of the best illustrators was Alfred Waud.  By the latter part of the war, Waud had learned how to draw realistic pictures of the chaotic, brutal, confusing reality of combat.  But earlier, for example, in a drawing of a Union charge at the battle of Fair Oaks, Waud depicted nearly five hundred men in a perfect line, every man running with the same leg forward, every bayonet leveled at the same angle and height.  When this issue of Harper’s Weekly reached camp, veterans of the battle howled with derision.  Cavalrymen alternately laughed and groaned at illustrations showing them riding straight at the enemy in perfect order at a gallop on fierce-looking horses while firing their carbines with one hand and waving their sabers with the other.

Not all members of the media today have much understanding of warfighting. The military has attempted to remedy that situation by embedding reporters with military units.  An understanding of history, however, would put a greater sense of balance in media reporting.  Some reading in history would benefit all of us who are too ready to condemn mistakes and attach blame.  Things are always far more complicated than they seem to non-participants and the terminally naive anti-war crowd.

The above quotations come from McPherson’s This Mighty Scourge, which I recommend heartily.  But consider also the Pulitzer prize winner, Battle Cry of Freedom, and Crossroads of Freedom.



Mild-Mannered Wednesday’s Political Hangover by American Elephant

For future reference, Super Tuesday is perhaps not the best day to spend setting up the new computer. We had a spike in traffic yesterday, people obviously looking in to see our predictions or take on which way the tsunami would wash — for which we are very grateful, and apologize for the lack of prognostication.

The reasons I didn’t post are several:

1. A bright shiny new computer with a big beautiful new monitor arrived on my doorstep and I couldn’t keep my hands off of it. (No doubt the timing of the delivery was a diabolical plot by liberals at UPS.)

2. Elephants never forget, and are therefore very insightful, but we are not, as yet, psychic, and therefore tend to shy away from predictions. And, in all seriousness…

3.  Since Rudy withdrew from the race, I have been doing a great deal of thinking and I simply hadn’t fully reached my conclusions yet. (I’ve gotten much closer, however. More on that in the next post.)

Here are  my observations of Super-Duper-Uber-Tsunami-Tuesday for what they’re worth:

First of all, if Obama wins the Democrat nomination and loses the general election — the mainstream media and the rest of the left will  gnash their teeth and tear at their hair for the next four years proclaiming how racist America is. Never mind that he is utterly unqualified — they see only his skin color, so they presume the rest of America sees only his skin color as well.

Fine.

In the interest, then, of equal standards and fair and balanced treatment, it must be said that since both Hillary and Obama are equally and utterly unqualified (the only distinctions between them being their genitalia and degree of pallor), then half the Democrat party is obviously racist and the other half blatant misogynists.

Secondly, McCain hasn’t won yet. It takes 1,191 delegates to secure the Republican Nomination. Senator McCain has only amassed 525. (The number he still needs to win? 666. Whether that’s amusingly coincidental or religiously significant is a judgement that rests far above my pay grade.)

The  longer and tighter the race between Obama and Clinton, the better for Republicans. The longer their battle lasts, the more damage they do to each other, and the more money they spend.

Both Ted Kennedy and Mr. Theresa Heinz-Kerry endorsed Obama. The media made a huge stink about the former. Yet Massachusetts went decidedly for Hillary.

Nanny Huckabee has obviously made some sort of deal with McCain. Mitt Romney was cruising toward a victory in West Virginia so McCain threw all his support behind Huckabee to prevent a Romney win. Huckabee hasn’t got a chance of getting the nomination. It is now clear he remains in the race as a spoiler for Mitt Romney.

I think its disgraceful politicking, but it just goes to further support all the claims by conservatives who have known and worked with him, that the Huckster is a mean-spirited, vengeful and corrupt politician.

Oh, and have I mentioned, this election season is far too long?



The New York Times is Lying to Your Face… by American Elephant

The news out of Iraq has been very good indeed — both military and civilian deaths have been drastically reduced, Iraqis are making significant political progress both at the local and national levels — a peaceful, stable Iraq seems more and more realistic all the time. Just the kind of news everyone should welcome.

Not the New York Times.

In fact, so distraught has the Grey Lady been over all the good news from Iraq, and the complete absense of any bad news for them to distort, exaggerate, and misrepresent, that they resorted to the only option left in their playbook — they decided to fabricate bad news instead.

So, last Sunday, the loathsome propagandists ran a huge front-page story (above the fold of course) smearing Iraq veterans as war-traumatized killers, coming home to spawn a nationwide epidemic of murder.

Town by town across the country, headlines have been telling similar stories. Lakewood, Wash.: “Family Blames Iraq After Son Kills Wife.” Pierre, S.D.: “Soldier Charged With Murder Testifies About Postwar Stress.” Colorado Springs: “Iraq War Vets Suspected in Two Slayings, Crime Ring.”

Individually, these are stories of local crimes, gut-wrenching postscripts to the war for the military men, their victims and their communities. Taken together, they paint the patchwork picture of a quiet phenomenon, tracing a cross-country trail of death and heartbreak.

The New York Times found 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after their return from war.

What the scum, and yes, these “journalists” and editors really are treasonous scum, at the NYT refuse to tell their readers, as any responsible journalists would do, was that despite their best efforts to show otherwise, according to the Times’ own figures, the rate of murders committed by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is far, FAR LESS than that of the general population! WAAAAY less.

John Hinderaker at Powerline does the number-crunching to put the blatant lie to the Times’ smear:

Do the math: the 121 alleged instances of homicide identified by the Times, out of a population of 700,000, works out to a rate of 17 per 100,000–quite a bit lower than the overall national rate of around 27.

But wait! The national rate of 27 homicides per 100,000 is an annual rate, whereas the Times’ 121 alleged crimes were committed over a period of six years. Which means that, as far as the Times’ research shows, the rate of homicides committed by military personnel who have returned from Iraq or Afghanistan is only a fraction of the homicide rate for other Americans aged 18 to 24. Somehow, the Times managed to publish nine pages of anecdotes about the violence wreaked by returning servicemen without ever mentioning this salient fact.

The figures prove not only are our veterans NOT the war-crazed, cold-blooded murderers the Times makes them out to be — but the veterans of the US military are the very safest, most honorable company you could ever possibly hope to keep!

I don’t care how you feel about the war — this kind of intentional, dishonest, smear should be unacceptable to all Americans. I am still livid 5 days after the story broke! And the NYT has been originating and propagating such lies and heinous distortions since the war began. They have leaked national secrets that have made us all less safe, and printed information they knew would put Americans in danger.

I will not link to any story in the NYT, especially not this one. They are not honest purveyors of news, they are activists with an agenda, willing to betray the truth and their country for their political purposes.

I want to do everything in my power to drive these reprehensible hacks, whom I truly believe to be treasonous, out of business. Not only are they lying to the American people about our military men and women, they are lying to the world. They have done great harm to our nation, our people and our men and women in uniform while they are fighting on the battlefield.

If you still subscribe to the Times, I hope you will cancel your subscription here, or by calling 1-800-NYTIMES. If you are not a subscriber, I hope you will join me in refusing to visit or generate traffic to their site.

If you are as outraged as me, I hope you will even consider contacting businesses like Starbucks and other restaurants, Doctors’ offices, hotels, stores and other businesses that purchase bulk quantities of, or subscribe to the NYT and telling them you would appreciate it if they would give their business to a more honest, less controversial publication.

Many of these companies, like Starbucks, choose to carry the Times over other, more reputable papers. You might remind them it makes good business sense to switch to a paper that doesn’t offend so many of their customers.



Katie Couric: Press Overwhelmingly Liberal, Biased and Ignorant by American Elephant

Katie Couric

In a rare moment of accidental honesty from the mainstream press, the anchor of the third largest network news broadcast admitted Tuesday that the mainstream news media are overwhelmingly liberal, uniformly biased and incredibly misinformed.

Addressing the National Press Club, Katie Couric made the astonishing admission that, “Everyone in this room would agree that people in this country were misled in terms of the rationale of this war.”

First of all, the National Press Club is one of the largest press organizations in the country — certainly a veritable who’s who of beltway journalism. If you report on Washington, you’re undoubtedly in the club.

With such a large and diverse membership, reporting to news audiences from sea to shining sea, one would theoretically expect their viewpoints to be as vastly diverse as those of the Americans they report to.

Theoretically. But we know better.

Couric not only freely admitted that every one of the hundreds of journalists at the luncheon held exactly the same viewpoint, but that it was common knowledge and so uncontroversial that it could be openly addressed:

Everyone in this room would agree…,”she said.

But not only did Couric admit that they all held the same opinion, she confessed what that opinion is:

“…that people in this country were misled in terms of the rationale of this war.”

And in doing so admitted that the press is overwhelmingly ignorant because that opinion is flatly, demonstrably, 100% contradicted by the facts.

There have now been three separate bi-partisan and non-partisan investigations that have looked at Iraq intelligence: the Senate Select Intelligence Committee Report on Pre-War Intelligence, the Robb-Silbermann Commission and the Dulfer Report (as well as the Lord Butler Report in the United Kingdom) — which interviewed everyone at every level of intelligence, from gathering, to interpreting to disseminating — all of which unanimously concluded that no one lied, no one misled, no one pressured, and no one “cooked the books.”

No, I take that back, the bi-partisan Senate report unanimously concluded that Joe Wilson is a bald-faced liar, but other than him, they all concluded that the intelligence and the processes may have been faulty, but that NO one lied.

And yet here we have Katie Couric brazenly admitting that everyone in the media believes otherwise. Are you beginning to see why Americans are so misinformed?

Furthermore, Couric claimed that among, “accepted truths,” was that the Bush administration erred by“disbanding the Iraq military.”

I’m sorry to break it to you Katie, but that’s not the “accepted truth” by a long shot.

We now know that the Iraqi police force — which never was disbanded — is so riddled with corruption that experts now argue the only chance we have to fix the police is to scrap them completely, i.e. disband them, and start from scratch. So the idea that disbanding the Iraqi army was a mistake is “accepted truth” only by liberals intent on criticizing President Bush without any regard for the facts.

And how can anyone expect the public to be accurately informed when the people disseminating the news are so woefully and willfully misinformed themselves?



How to end the Larry Craig controversy by American Elephant

mens room

It’s time to end this hullabaloo.

While the media broadcasts, “Larry Craig, Republican scandal!” 24 hours a day, there actually are important scandals and corruption getting swept under the rug (Hillary’s 157th campaign finance scandal, and Democrat 527, America Coming Together, illegally spending $137 MILLION to elect Demcorats.) The GOP needs to end this one yesterday — and I know just the way.

Craig’s resignation will not end the issue. Democrats and the media will continue to milk it for everything they can — whether Craig resigns or not. Already they are subtly, and not-so-subtly, suggesting that Craigs pervy indescressions in an airport bathroom are evidence of a corruptive nature that permeates the entire GOP. Of course its ridiculous on its face, but when has that ever stopped them before?

No, if Republicans want this one to go away, and go away immediately, there is only one thing to do — Senator Craig must switch parties.

The only thing Democrats prize more than attacking Republicans, is what they think it gets them — more power. If Craig were to declare himself a Democrat, this would go from a case of a lying hypocritical Republican being sleazy in a public bathroom and breaking the law to a case of privacy, homophobia and entrapment faster than you can tap your toe.

Of course i say this with tongue planted firmly in cheek, but you know it’s true.



Someone ought to tell CNN… by American Elephant

This is refreshing:

Two of the BBC’s most senior news and current affairs executives attacked the corporation’s plans yesterday for a Comic Relief-style day of programming on environmental issues, saying it was not the broadcaster’s job to preach to viewers. [more]

Someone really ought to tell that to CNN (and the rest of the American news media for that matter):Planet in peril

Planet in Peril

Planet in peril? There’s an objective title for you! Fresh on the heels of Christianne Amanpour’s fair and balanced comparison of Christians and Orthodox Jews to Islamofascist Terrorists.

Here’s how CNN describes Anderson Cooper’s upcoming “investigation”:

“CNN´s Planet in Peril takes viewers around the world in a two–part, four–hour documentary that examines our changing planet. This worldwide investigation looks at four key issues: climate change, vanishing habitats, disappearing species and human population growth.”

And CNN wants the viewers to feel involved in their latest piece of journalism activism:

Take action! When you want to help the planet’s ecosystems and wildlife, these are opportunities to Impact Your World. Do something!…

CNN.com is looking for your photos, videos or stories on how climate change is affecting the Earth. Tell us about what you are doing to improve the planet and how you are making your world a greener place.

Notice the poll on the home page where 55% of respondents believe that man is the “principle factor” in global warming, and an additional 26% say man contributes “a lot” to global warming, for a grand total of 81% who believe man plays a leading role in global warming. Eighty-one percent!

Propaganda, thy name is CNN!




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