Elephants Never Forget?

Received via e-mail:
I’m  not going soft, but sometimes I like these heartwarming stories, and this one truly is amazing.

In  1986, Dan Harrison was  on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern  University.

On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant  standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Dan  approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant’s foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it.  As carefully and as gently as he could, Dan worked the wood out with his  hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.

The  elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments.  Dan stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled.

Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

Dan never forgot that elephant or the events of  that day.

Twenty years later, Dan was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenage son.  As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of  the creatures turned and walked over to near where Dan and his son Dan Jr. were  standing.

The large bull elephant stared at Dan, lifted its front foot  off the ground, and then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the  encounter in 1986, Dan couldn’t help wondering if this was the same elephant.

Dan summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way  into the enclosure.
 
He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in  wonder.

The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Dan’s legs  and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

I’m thinking that it probably wasn’t the same elephant.

Iran Nuke Watch

A couple of items relating to this:

Iran says it will not discuss suspending uranium enrichment

Iran on Saturday reiterated that it will not discuss halting uranium enrichment ahead of the arrival of a top international envoy expected to propose new incentives aimed at encouraging Iran to do so.

“The issue of suspension cannot be discussed any more, we have passed this point and it is not relevant. Iran’s position is clear on this point,” government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham told reporters.

“The government view is that the issue is over,” he added in reaction to a new report by UN nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The IAEA on Monday expressed “serious concern” that Tehran was still hiding information about alleged studies into making nuclear warheads, as well as defying UN demands to suspend uranium enrichment.

Based on past performance, would any rational person expect anything else from them? Not!

Not to fear…according to our good buddy in the Kremlin, this is no problemo:

Iran not seeking to build nuclear weapons: Putin

Iran is not trying to acquire nuclear weapons but Tehran should avoid “irritating” its neighbours, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Saturday in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde.

Putin, who was in Paris for two days of meetings with President Nicolas Sarkozy and other French leaders, said there was no indication Iran was building its own nuclear arsenal, but he admitted that Iran’s compliance with investigations by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was still a “point to be resolved.”

D’ya think?

Asked if Iran was trying to acquire nuclear weapons, Putin replied: “I don’t believe so. Nothing indicates it.”

Of course, there’s nothing to indicate that they aren’t going to try to score a little nukie, either. Considering the source here, the Chief is NOT reassured at all.

The Huckster Spouts Off: LIBERTARIANS the REAL Threat to GOP!

Huckleberry hates freedom

The Chief KNEW that there were real problems with the Huckster. This reported statement illustrates the point, from a posting that Arkie Mike made on The Huffington Post (? Not exactly a conservative forum there!):

“The greatest threat to classic Republicanism is not liberalism; it’s this new brand of libertarianism, which is social liberalism and economic conservatism, but it’s a heartless, callous, soulless type of economic conservatism because it says ‘look, we want to cut taxes and eliminate government. If it means that elderly people don’t get their Medicare drugs, so be it. If it means little kids go without education and healthcare, so be it.’ Well, that might be a quote pure economic conservative message, but it’s not an American message.”

The Chief found this at the OC Register’s Orange Punch site, which went on tho point out the following:

So libertarians are unAmerican? Actually, the Huckster completely misstates what libertarianism is about. We don’t advocate kids going without education, but a free system — which will lead to kids getting a far better education than the one they get in the government schools Huckabee loves. We believe in freedom, not government coercion.

Huckabee makes clear what modern Republicanism is all about: paying for government, which explains his support for massive tax increases. The Huckster does make a good point when he explains: “My experience in Arkansas was, a lot of the so-called conservatives said ‘Let’s cut the budget.’ But they wanted to add prison sentences, they wanted to eliminate parole, they wanted to have harsher sentences for various crimes. And I said ‘OK, that’s fine, but that’s going to be expensive. So which do you want?’ You can’t have both, or you do what the federal government has done, and this is where I think Republicans have been especially irresponsible. Their approach has been [to] just kick the can down the road and let your grandkids pay for it.”

Yes, Republicans such as George W. Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger keep spending, but increase the debt rather than raise taxes. That’s a good point, but Huckleberry agrees with Democrats: increase spending AND increase taxes. It’s honest, any way, but the libertarian alternative — finding market solutions, reducing government, increasing individual responsibility — is far more fair and sustainable.

The Chief fully concurs with that concluding paragraph. ’nuff said.

AlGor Invited to Face Inconvenient Truths

Czech President Klaus ready to debate Gore on climate change

Czech President Vaclav Klaus said Tuesday he is ready to debate Al Gore about global warming, as he presented the English version of his latest book that argues environmentalism poses a threat to basic human freedoms. “I many times tried to talk to have a public exchange of views with him, and he’s not too much willing to make such a conversation,” Klaus said. “So I’m ready to do it.”

Klaus was speaking a the National Press Building in Washington to present his new book, Blue Planet in Green Shackles – What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?, before meeting with Vice President Dick Cheney Wednesday. “My answer is it is our freedom and, I might add, and our prosperity,” he said.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for AlGor to step up to the podium. The Chief predicts he will stay far away from Klaus to avoid having his beautiful theory mugged by a merciless gang of vicious facts.

Oh well. It’s fun to imagine, anyway.

Bear Facts not Recognized by Enviros

SUE, SARAH, SUE

NY Post Op-ed: Spot-on!

The polar bears are doing just fine, thank you very much. So says Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who announced last week that her state would sue to block Washington from listing the animals as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.

And it’s a good thing, too – because the new bear-population protections mask what may be the most serious threat to American economic might in decades.

Say what? The point is…

The polar bear, you see, marks the first species on the “threatened” list whose supposed predicament is linked directly to global warming.

The current Alaskan polar-bear population may be near an all-time high, but Interior Department computer models – such as they are – project widespread melting of the polar ice the bears need to hunt.

And that’s a big problem, given the near-limitless powers embedded in the Endangered Species Act.

So what could this do?

The act, for one, requires the department to ensure that “all actions authorized, funded or carried out” by all federal agencies aren’t likely to “result in the . . . adverse modification of habitat” of listed species….because polar bears are now imperiled by global warming (officially, anyway), any carbon emissions anywhere in the country could conceivably be judged an illegal threat to their habitat.

EEEYOWWW! This gives the thermonuclear option to enviro-wackos.

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, of course, has promised a measured application of the new protections. Problem is, that might not be his call. As George F. Will pointed out in these pages last week, the door is now open for a federal judge to use polar-bear safety to attempt to manage nearly the entire US economy….but the fact remains that any move to reduce US carbon emissions must be seriously and deliberately weighed against its economic costs.

And that’s a job for the elected representatives of the people – not an unaccountable gaggle of judges and bureaucrats who, in the end, answer only to their own predjudices.

Jumping Frog Fails to get off the Ground

Skydiver’s record attempt fails as balloon leaves without him

Sacre bleu! French jumper’s attempt meets with a SERIOUS setback…it’s almost funny how it happened.

A retired French paratrooper’s daring bid to skydive from the edge of space came to a farcical end when the balloon that was to take him almost 25 miles up drifted off without him.

Ooops!

After two decades of preparation and $20 million of investment, Michel Fournier, 64, could only look on helplessly as the helium balloon lifted off from North Battleford airport in the Canadian state of Saskatchewan, leaving him stranded on terra firma in his pressurised capsule.

It’s unstated whether there would be another attempt.

UN Agency Shows Signs of Life!

IAEA: Iran may be withholding info in nuke probe

Iran may be withholding information needed to establish whether it tried to make nuclear arms, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday in an unusually strongly worded report.

DUH! D’ya think?

The tone of the language suggesting Tehran continues to stonewall the U.N. nuclear monitor revealed a glimpse of the frustration felt by agency investigators stymied in their attempts to gain full answers to suspicious aspects of Iran’s past nuclear activities. A senior U.N. official familiar with the investigation into Iran’s nuclear program said none of the dozens of agency reports issued in that context had ever been as plain spoken in calling Tehran to task for not being forthright. He agreed to discuss the report only if granted anonymity because he was not authorized to comment to the media.

Wonder if someone accidently used regular coffee there instead of the de-caf for them to admit there’s a problem.

Obamunism

Communists for Obama?

The satirical pseudo-neo-Stalinist site People’s Cube has this not very satirical, but spot-on examination of what happened with B.O.’s big Portland, OR rally last week…not quite what it was cracked up to be in the MSM.

Barack Obama’s massive pre-primary rally in Portland, OR, was aided in no small part by the appearance of an uber-hip band. Their gimmick? They start each performance with the Soviet national anthem.

It appears that many of the 75,000 “Obama worshipers” in Portland last weekend really turned up to see a free concert by an uber-hip Portland band, the Decemberists (see photo). Of course, the MSM didn’t report this fact because it might dampen the story of the new and wonderful miracle of the Obamessiah.

Most media reports were reminiscent of the style the Soviet poets used to glorify public appearances of the great Stalin. For example, Obama’s home paper, the Chicago Tribune, reported it this way:

They waited for hours under a warm sun, the line snaking for blocks and blocks through downtown. They packed onto the park lawn, from the makeshift stage to the waterfront and up to the street. They watched from a bridge overhead and from pleasure boats on the river, bikini-clad. They brought their parents and their infants. Some skipped work. Some wilted in the heat. A few jammed the streets afterward, hoping for a final motorcade glimpse. Fire department officials counted 75,000 in all, a record for the main attraction, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

Not a word about the popular Obama-supporting band — which is a shame, because it’s the most interesting development in this whole episode.

Not only do the band members love Obama’s message, but they also write lyrics that sound as if Michelle Obama wrote them — except, of course, for the lyrics of the most musically competent piece in the entire set, the Soviet anthem. Those lyrics were written by Sergei Mikhalkov, Stalin’s most trusted poet.

There are more of the gory details in the piece, including a H/T to the ORIGINAL Decembrists, who would have been appalled at the Bolshies. It’s worth a look, as is the PEOPLE’S CUBE site in general.

Memorial Day: Remember!

Profiles in Valor

As the Chief humbly recalls his own 26 years with the Naval Service, he constantly has the thought…”I wish I could do more”.

The accounts of these Iraq war Medal of Honor recipients illustrates circumstances when there was no more possible to do.

Take a pause, and read them.  (H/T to Patriot Post)

medal-of-honor.jpg

It is not surprising that many Americans no longer observe Memorial Day with reverence. Schools no longer teach civics, the courts exclude God (officially) from the public square, and the Leftmedia and malls “celebrate” Memorial Day with commercial sales.

Indeed, Memorial Day has been sold out by many.

Founding Patriot John Adams wrote, “I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than all the means…”

But is it?

Indeed it is.

Fortunately, millions of American Patriots still reserve Memorial Day to honor the service and sacrifice of our fallen countrymen, who donned the uniforms of our Armed Forces with honor and under oath to defend of our Constitution and the cherished liberties it embodies.

On 7 August 1782, General George Washington instituted the first formal military award of recognition for “any singularly meritorious action.” It was a purple cloth heart, the predecessor of the now-familiar Purple Heart, which is awarded to any member of our Armed Services who is wounded or killed in combat or combat-related actions. For this reason, the decoration carries the profile of George Washington.

But our nation’s supreme military award was instituted in 1861. That award is the Medal of Honor. (No, it is not the “congressional” Medal of Honor, and, no, it is not “won.”)

Some 3,400 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have been awarded the Medal of Honor “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.” Most have received this award posthumously.

On this Memorial Day, four young men who served in Iraq and Afghanistan will not be at the malls, nor will they be at the family barbecue.

These young men are not much different from others who have served in the past or those serving today in our nation’s Armed Forces but for the fact that they responded to extraordinary circumstances with extraordinary courage.

They are Corporal Jason L. Dunham, USMC; Master-at-Arms Second Class Michael A. Monsoor, USN; Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith, USA; and Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, USN.

Their Medal of Honor citations read:

Continue reading

Eyes of Texas Crossed by Pesky Legalities

Court: Texas wrongly seized sect children

In a ruling that could torpedo the case against the West Texas polygamist sect, a state appeals court Thursday said authorities had no right to seize more than 440 children in a raid on the splinter group’s ranch last month.

Even Texas courts can’t warp the law into accepting a principle of collective guilt: where a whole class of people are legally liable for alleged misconduct by a few.

The Third Court of Appeals in Austin ruled that the state offered “legally and factually insufficient” grounds for the “extreme” measure of removing all children from the ranch, from babies to teenagers. The state never provided evidence that the children were in any immediate danger, the only grounds in Texas law for taking children from their parents without court approval, the appeals court said.

Dang! Makes it kind of hard to keep a good witch-hunt going!

Google: Sauce for the Goose, not for the Gander

YouTube won’t take down all Islamist videos

A classic case of sauce for the ChiCom goose not being good for the US gander:

Google has refused a request from U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Ind.-Conn., to remove videos produced by terrorist groups from its video-sharing site YouTube.

“Senator Lieberman stated his belief, in a letter sent today, that all videos mentioning or featuring these groups should be removed from YouTube — even legal nonviolent or non-hate speech videos,” the statement said. “While we respect and understand his views, YouTube encourages free speech and defends everyone’s right to express unpopular points of view.”<

Yeah, right. That’s why they are complicit in helping build and maintain “the Great Firewall of China” restricting access to content deemed objectionable to the ChiCom dictators of the People’s Republic. Why be troubled by a little bug-bear like consistency, one way or the other?

Science, Intelligence, Design, and Glowbull Warming

How are these things related? If you have a little bit of time, and are willing to think, read this:

Intelligent Conversation

In a world where a snob like Michael Moore and a smug manipulator like Al Gore can win Oscars for “documentaries” that play fast and loose with the truth, it’s ironic that Ben Stein’s Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which makes a serious effort to tell the truth about a problem that’s seriously damaging our civilization, not only won’t get nominated for an Oscar but will certainly be attacked as anti-scientific.

This is the opposite of the truth, or very nearly so. Ben Stein’s film project was to expose the way rigid insistence on Darwinist dogma is expelling not only brilliant individuals but also truth itself from the public conversation of science.

This is one of the best discussions of these issues that the Chief has encountered…well worth the read.

California judges?…’nuff said.

California’s top court legalizes gay marriage

California’s Supreme Court declared that gay couples in the nation’s biggest state can marry – a monumental but perhaps short-lived victory for the gay rights movement Thursday that was greeted with tears, hugs, kisses and at least one instant proposal of matrimony.

The Chief supposes it would be a cheap shot in this context to describe California as the land of fruits and nuts…so I won’t go there.

Also, in all due fairness, it must be noted that there were threee justices who opposed this ruling for various reasons: kudos to them!

Next event: a push to amend the Califunny Constitution to remove the whole thing from the reach of the activist judges.

Candidate doth protest too much!

Obama says Bush falsely accused him of appeasement

Barack Obama accused President Bush of “a false political attack” Thursday after Bush warned in Israel against appeasing terrorists – early salvos in a general election campaign that’s already blazing even as the Democratic front-runner tries to sew up his party’s nomination.

Hmmm. Must be hitting pretty close to the target to get a jump out of Obama so fast.

Hey B.O. – if the shoe fits, wear it!

Chickens Coming Home to Roost

GOP Stunned By Loss in Mississippi

In a major blow to national Republicans, a Mississippi congressional seat that once voted for President Bush by a twenty-five point margin elected a Democrat on Tuesday. Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers beat out Republican candidate Greg Davis, the mayor of Southaven, by a 54%-46% margin, a spread that several Republican strategists on Capitol Hill characterized as a startling wake-up call for a party in dire straits.

Too many RINOs, too few principles. Given a choice between the Donks, and the GOP version of Donk-lite, the real thing wins every time.

If the GOP’s alleged leadership doesn’t get some cojones and return to the principles that fueled the Reagan revolution, then the party will go the way of the Whigs, and something else, more willing to take a stand on the principles that were behind the establishment of the American republic…and if it’s not politically correct…then f-em if they can’t take the joke.

Border Breakdown Escalates

Violence in Mexico spills across U.S. border

“It’s almost like a military fight,” Ahern said Tuesday. “I don’t think that generally the American public has any sense of the level of violence that occurs on the border.”

Why not? Oh, yeah…the MSM won’t report on the situation…it might generate a backlash against the feckless lack of border security that seems to be the administration policy!

As the cartels fight for territory, this carnage spills over to the U.S., Ahern said – from bullet-ridden people stumbling into U.S. territory, to rounds of ammunition coming across U.S. entry ports.

U.S. humvees retrofitted with steel mesh over the glass windows patrol parts of the border to protect agents against guns shots and large rocks regularly thrown at them. At times agents are pinned down by sniper fire as people try to illegally cross into the U.S.

Where’s General “Black Jack” Pershing, now that we really need him?

Or more to the point, where’s someone in the Administration with enough integrity to live up to their oath of office… you know, the bit about “…defend…”??!!

The Road to Serfdom via Bureaucracy

E-who? The EU power game has begun

The more the Chief watches the EU political machinations, the more queasy the stomach gets.

This account of the sort of political dealing going on surrounding the EU should seem familiar to one familiar with history…similarly complex dealing is an old Euro tradition…the Borgias, deMedicis, Hapsburgs, and the Court of Louis XiV at Versaille all too readily come to mind as precedents of the type. Of course there ARE differences, obviously…this stuff is more reminescent of more recent efforts at Europen unification that took place in the 30′s-40′s.

On the other hand, the former examples of this sort of back-channel political intrigue were in essence family enterprises,,,and in that way at least still had a touch of humanity involved, unlike the administrative regime that is currently evolving in a direction that seem to lead in the direction of the soul-less administrative self-absorption of latter-day Adolf Eichmanns.

ChiCom Crap Stuff Zaps US Troops?

Families demand answers in Iraq electrocutions

Here’s another one to add to the litany of ChiCom garbage foisted off on us, which has ranged from bad ped food, adulterated or faked food additives (for humans), toxic toys, etc.

Three years and three months before Ryan Maseth stepped into a shower Jan. 2 in Baghdad, an Army safety specialist identified electrocution as a “killer of soldiers.”

Still, when the 24-year-old Shaler Green Beret turned on the faucet, water flowed from a pump powered by an improperly grounded electrical system manufactured in China. Borne on water, an electrical current surged through the pipes, out of the shower head and into his body. His heart stopped.

Maseth’s electrocution, the latest of 14 among service personnel in Iraq since 2003, set into motion a series of events to determine how and why these deaths occurred.

McCain Learns nothing since Immigration Bill Debacle

McCain to attend convention of ‘reconquista’ group

back during the primary season for the GOP, Sen. John McCain noted that he had learned from his experience of getting politically worked over within the Republican Party in relation to the so-called “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” bill that went down in flames.

Sen. John McCain, the de facto Republican presidential nominee, announced today he will attend the national convention of La Raza, a radical Hispanic lobby tied to the movement to reconquer the Southwestern U.S. that was part of Mexico before the Mexican-American War that ended in 1848.

Looks like he still seeks to align with those who have the attitude of “Borders? What Borders? We don’t need no steenking borders!”

At this rate it’s getting harder and harder for the Chief to contemplate holding his nose and voting to McCain…in spite of the opposition’s consisting of a contest between the Stalinist and Trotskyite wings of the Party.

Maybe McCain’s been hitting the Absolut.

ChiCom Olympic Preps Continuing…

Senator: China plans to spy on Olympic hotel guests

So what’s the news here?

A Senate lawmaker accused the Chinese government on Thursday of ordering U.S.-owned hotels in China to install Internet filters that can spy on international visitors coming to see the summer Olympic games.

Sen. Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican, made the charge at a Capitol Hill news conference where he and other lawmakers denounced China’s record of human rights abuses and urged President Bush not to attend the opening ceremonies in Beijing.

HAH! Fat chance of Bush not kowtowing to Beijing – unfortunately.

“This is wrong, it’s against international conventions, it’s certainly against the Olympic spirit,” Brownback said. “The Chinese government should remove that request and that order.”

Olympic spirit? Is there such a thing any more?

Brownback said he has seen the language of memos received by at least two U.S.-owned hotels. He declined to name them, and said he obtained the information from two “reliable but confidential sources” in the hope that public pressure would persuade the Chinese government to back off the demand.

Public pressure? Affecting the ChiCom regime? Only on a frigid day in hell.

The senator called China “the foremost enabler of human rights abuses around the world” and said the Chinese government is turning the summer games into “an Olympics of oppression.”

HEAR, HEAR! The Chief heartily concurs, but without surprise…the ChiComs are still…the same bunch that killed off some 10′s of millions of their own people in the name of the Glorious Chairman Mao’s Revolution. What’s a bit of surveillance compared to that? A mere bagatelle! A nothing!

Carter’s HAMASS Buddies: Jews Killed Themselves in Holocaust

Hamas Adds ‘Sinister Twist’ to Holocaust Denial

Although Holocaust denial has long been a common theme among Palestinians, Hamas has added a ‘sinister twist,’ claiming that the Jews themselves devised the Holocaust to exterminate the disabled and handicapped among them so they wouldn’t be a burden to the future State of Israel.

The documentary, which aired on Hamas Al-Aksa television on April 18 – two weeks before Israel marks Holocaust Remembrance Day on Thursday — was translated by the Palestinian Media Watch and can be found on YouTube.

The only thing more bizarre than this is the spectacle of the apparently demented ex-Presidential peanut farmer shaking hands with the butchers of HAMASS…a burned-out moonbat, indeed.

Blog Note

As you may have noticed blogging has been a bit sparse lately…lots of stuff going on with school this time of year, plus fighting off a couple of late spring blizzards (!) here in eastern South Dakota, most recently last Friday, has had a certain…disruptive effect here.

There’s been the usual ration of insane news lately, however, and the Chief is definitely still hangin’ in there…