“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Friday, December 02, 2016

The Bush - Clinton - Bush - Obama - Clinton Iraq Misery Continues

UN: Iraq Troop Deaths Soar With Mosul Invasion

Nearly 2,000 Iraqi Troops Killed in November Fighting

The first full month of Iraq’s Mosul offensive saw a precipitous rise in the already high monthly death tolls for combatants that have plagued Iraq in recent years, with the UN figures showing 1,959 Iraqi troops killed in the fighting, along with countless more wounded.
Between Iraq’s military, militias, and the Kurdish Peshmerga, some 50,000 troops invaded the area around Mosul. The Peshmerga is reporting that they lost a large chunk of fighters by themselves, with 1,600 killed and some 10,000 wounded since late October.
That of course is only a fraction of the overall death toll for the month of November, as some 2,227 ISIS fighters were also killed. Among civilians, the UN only counted 926 killed, but the figure is actually several hundred higher, with the UN continuing to exclude deaths in Anbar from their official figure.
All told, that puts the death toll at 5,719  for Iraq in November, which is roughly in line with October. the November figures show a six-fold increase in Iraqi troop deaths, with ISIS casualties on the decline.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz


  1. Excellent -

    Slovakia passes law to BAN ISLAM from being registered as a religion

    Slovakia is not wrong.

    Islam is much more than just a religion. Islam a comprehensive system — political, military, legal, religious and dietary.

    Unlike Canon Law, which pertains only to Catholics, and Jewish law, which pertains only to Jews, Islamic law asserts its authority over non-Muslims (which is why non-Muslims and secular Muslims are persecuted, oppressed and slaughter in countries under sharia law).

    The sharia dictates every basic aspect of human life. There can be no separation of mosque and state. Mosque is state.

    SLOVAKIA has passed a law which will effectively ban Islam from gaining official status as a religion, in the latest signs of a growing anti-Muslim sentiment across Europe.

    By Rebecca Perring, Daily Express, Dec 1, 2016 (thanks to Christian):
    The legislation hints at a dramatic changing attitude towards the religion in the past year across the continent, which has struggled to stem the escalating migrant crisis.The former communist state has fiercely resisted European Union (EU) efforts to cope with an influx of migrants travelling into Europe by turning its back on the bloc’s introduction of migrant quotas.But prime minister Robert Fico’s government has repeatedly said Islam has no place in Slovakia.Attitudes toward the religion appear to reflect fear of so-called Islamisation.Robert Fico
    Robert Fico has fiercely resisted EU migrant quotas

    Parliament adopted a bill sponsored by the Slovak National Party (SNS), which requires a religion to have at least 50,000 members, up from 20,000, to qualify for state subsidies and to run its own schools.The change will make it much harder to register Islam, which has just 2,000 supporters in Slovakia according to the latest census and no recognised mosques.The Islamic Foundation in Slovakia estimates the number at around 5,000.The SNS said the new law was meant to prevent speculative registrations of churches, such as the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which has amassed followers worldwide.SNS chairman Andrej Danko said:“We must do everything we can so that no mosque is built in the future.”


    Spray the thistles, so to speak, before they get deep roots, and go to seed.

  2. Sounds like the Kurds are doing the heavy lifting at Mosul.

    1. Meanwhile we have our own Mosul right here in Chicago -

      December 2, 2016
      Grim milestone: Chicago tops 700 homicides for the year
      By Rick Moran

      For the first time since 1998, Chicago has topped 700 homicides for the year, with a month to go that includes Christmas holiday and New Year's eve. Last year, there were 456 murders. An astonishing 4050 people have been wounded compared to 2699 last year....


  3. The mounting death toll in Mosul forces questions about the battle plan

    By Kareem Fahim, Missy Ryan and Mustafa Salim November 28


  4. 'Mad Dog' was practically my neighbor, and I didn't know it until right now -

    James Norman Mattis was born Sept. 8, 1950 in Pullman, Washington. He is a political Independent. In addition to the “Mad Dog” moniker, the nickname “Warrior Monk” has been applied to him. His reported radio call sign was "Chaos." Mattis co-wrote the military's counterinsurgency manual along with retired Army Gen. David Petraeus who is also under consideration for a post in Trump’s cabinet.


    Out here in the boondocks we grow the best people anywhere.

    1. Eminently quotable, he is known for his many “Mattis-isms.” Among them are "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet," and "I don't lose any sleep at night over the potential for failure. I cannot even spell the word."

      Quotes like this aren't original with 'Mad Dog'.

      We all knew these sayings in the 2nd grade.

    2. We were all taught literally dozens of such sayings, all handed down from the original farming settlers in the area.

      Only the strongest survived, and those that did didn't know how to spell, or the meaning of, the word 'failure'.

      Since I know now that 'Mad Dog' is one of us, I can't help but be pleased he'll be looking out for us as Secretary of Defense.

    3. Yes, he'll even be looking out for America's city slickers too....

  5. .

    We were all taught literally dozens of such sayings, all handed down from the original farming settlers in the area.

    Only the strongest survived, and those that did didn't know how to spell, or the meaning of, the word 'failure'.


    There is speculation that this is how the term 'dumb hick' came to be.

    Previously, I had thought this deficiency was restricted to English majors but now farmers in general or at least those in the northwest are accused of this weakness by one of their own.




    1. .

      Looks like a case of natural selection. Able to survive by scraping a living out of the earth but dumb as a rock.



    2. The dumb ones died out fast. Only the intelligent survived.

      That's why there are so few Polish in the area.

    3. .


      Your comment simply proves my point.


    4. A message from my very attractive and intelligent assistant:

      Pierdol sie ty jebany norweski ignorancie!!! Czy to wystarczajaca obelga od malo inteligentnego Polaka?

    5. .

      Come on, Deuce. If he doesn't know how to spell and doesn't know the definition of a simple word like 'failure', how can he be expected to understand the insult or the beauty of the prose?


    6. To whom is the message directed ?

      Cannot be to me.

      I'm Swedish, not Norwegian.

    7. .

      It's just difficult to tell you guys apart.

      Sound familiar?

      The people who lived northeast of the Roman Empire spoke languages similar to modern German. These "Germanic tribes" included the Vandals, Lombards, Alamanni, Goths, Franks, and Burgundians. Most of the tribesmen did not know how to read, but unlike the Huns, they tended to farms and were not nomadic.


  6. .

    Regarding Mosul, it's reported that the resistance the coalition is facing comes as a surprise. They had anticipated that because there were many in the city providing the coalition info on ISIS positions and movements that when the attack began there would be a popular uprising against ISIS in the city. It didn't happen.

    It is also reported that because of the allied death toll, the coalition are currently reviewing whether ROE need to be relaxed to allow more extensive bombing which could significantly add to the civilian death toll.

    Were the bombing to increase, it would be interesting to see how John Kerry squares the circle given his condemnation of the Putin/Assad bombing in Aleppo.



  7. We were all taught literally dozens of such sayings, all handed down from the original farming settlers in the area.

    The original settlers, there being no schools built yet, practiced the oral tradition of learning.

    They could all recite the entirety of Homer, for example, from memory, and the entire body of Hindu religious works, and not just the short 700 verse Bhagavad Gita, but the entirety of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

    At times, when some of the ancestors would get going good, and the recitations from memory continued for three or four weeks, without a break.

    All the old farmers in the area would have a camp out and listen to these epics recited by our folks with the remarkable memories, and the wisdom from the ancient oral traditions lived among them like a healthy beating heart.

    While 'back east' in those days people were beginning to read the ads sections of The Detroit Press, the headlines, and even some of the short propagandist editorials.

    All the old ones could too recite all of the Bible....and the Constitution of the USA....

    1. .

      They could all recite the entirety of Homer, for example, from memory, and the entire body of Hindu religious works, and not just the short 700 verse Bhagavad Gita, but the entirety of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.


      Stop it, you're killing me.


    2. .

      And how big was that fish again?



  8. .

    Let them eat cake.

    Specifically, let them eat Jean-Georges Warm Chocolate Cake.

    But let them start with Young Garlic Soup with Thyme and Sauteed Frog Legs.

    Let them follow that with Diver Scallops, Caramelized Cauliflower and Caper-Raisin Emulsion.

    And let them proceed to Niman Ranch Lamb Chops with Mushroom Bolognese and Pecorino, as well as Dry Aged Prime Sirloin with Citrus Glazed and Roasted Carrots, Miso Butter and Dill.

    That’s what President-elect Donald Trump and Mitt Romney ate when the billionaire met Tuesday night with Mr.

    Damn, that billionaire business sounds like a pretty good gig.


    1. Indeed.


      Caramelized Cauliflower and Caper-Raisin Emulsion

      does indeed sound like a great way to get one's fruits and veggies.

    2. If ever I was a billionaire, let alone a millionaire?

      A simple steak, dry aged, cooked on a cast iron skillet, with nothing but kosher salt and pepper, and a nice single malt MacCallum 18 year old scotch.

      You can keep your frog legs and such.

    3. In fact that's what I am going to have tonight.

  9. .

    Another reason it may take Trump a long time to complete his campaign promises even if he chooses to do so.

    Deluged Immigration Courts, Where Cases Stall for Years, Begin to Buckle


  10. The Battle for Mosul, Lara Logan:


    1. They say there are only `1,500 of them, but the sure raise a lot of shit.
      All members of the suicide pact.

    2. In October 2012, Logan delivered a speech before the annual luncheon of the Better Government Association in which she sharply criticized the Obama Administration's statements about the War in Afghanistan and other conflicts in the Arab world. In particular, Logan criticized the Obama Administration's claims that the Taliban was weakening in Afghanistan, calling such claims "a major lie" made in preparation for ending the U.S. military role in that country. She also stated that she hoped that the United States would "exact revenge" for the 2012 Benghazi attack, in which U.S. diplomatic personnel were attacked and killed in Libya

  11. Lara Logan, UK Rape Gangs, and Europe’s Muslim Mob Sex Assaults

    In enabling the mass molestation of its female citizens by Muslim migrants, and yet insisting on increasing Muslim immigration, Europe and England have condemned their women, their culture, and ultimately their future to a long, horrific gang rape.

    Consider the 15-year epidemic of Muslim rape gangs in the UK. From “British Girls Raped by Muslim Gangs on ‘Industrial Scale,’” by Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, March 17, 2015:

    Nearly 400 British girls as young as eleven are believed to have been sexually exploited by Muslim rape gangs in Oxfordshire over the past 15 years, according to a chilling new report. It charges local officials with repeatedly ignoring the abuse due to a “culture of denial.”

    The scale of the abuse in Oxfordshire, a county in southeast England, mirrors similarly shocking accounts of the sexual exploitation of white British girls by Muslim gangs in Bristol, Derby, Rochdale, Rotherham and Telford, and implies that the problem is not isolated, but endemic…

    [The report documents how] local authorities could have stopped the abuse as early as 2005, but failed to do so because they refused to take the girls’ complaints seriously…

    …and “for fear of being thought of as racist.”


  12. Monastery of St. Matthew

    Can't find any recent news about this place.




  13. House Rejects Obama, Passes $611B Defense Bill by Wide Margin

    The Obama administration on Thursday declared its support for requiring women to register for the military draft, a symbolic but significant shift that reflects the U.S. military's evolution from a male-dominated force to one seeking to incorporate women at all levels.


  14. With 'Mad Dog' now on The Team, I'm not worried about any of this - I'm more concerned about the chat with the Pakistanis -

    Wow: Trump becomes first president-elect to speak to leader of Taiwan since 1979; Update: She called me, says Trump


    Share on Facebook 31 31 SHARES
    Two questions. One: Who initiated the call? And two: Did he understand the significance of what he was doing when it happened?

    Not sure about the answer to the first question. I’ve got a guess about the second.

    Donald Trump risks opening up a major diplomatic dispute with China before he has even been inaugurated after speaking on the phone on Friday with Tsai Ying-wen, the president of Taiwan.

    The telephone call, confirmed by three people, is believed to be the first between a US president-elect and a leader of Taiwan since diplomatic relations between the two were cut in 1979…

    “The Chinese leadership will see this as a highly provocative action, of historic proportions,” said Evan Medeiros, former Asia director at the White House national security council.

    “Regardless if it was deliberate or accidental, this phone call will fundamentally change China’s perceptions of Trump’s strategic intentions for the negative. With this kind of move, Trump is setting a foundation of enduring mistrust and strategic competition for US-China relations.”

    Trump’s spokesman also confirmed that the call happened. The U.S. maintains unofficial relations with Taiwan but hasn’t conducted official diplomacy since the end of Carter’s administration, as a concession to maintaining good relations with China. Not even Reagan or the “cowboy” Dubya risked antagonizing the Chinese by breaking with that protocol of “ambiguity.” Trump speaking to Tsai will be taken as a signal, intended or not, that the U.S. disputes Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan. “So what?” some Trumpers will say. Trump’s been bashing China for years; he’s openly threatened a trade war with them many times. They already know he’s antagonistic. Right — on trade. But a challenge to their sphere of infuence is next-order stuff. Will China, hearing this, be more inclined to make a move on Taiwan down the road? And if they do, is President Trump going to send in the Marines to try to hold them off? If you’re going to pick fights with China, pick your spots carefully. Also, why would Trump want to alienate the Chinese right out of the box when he knows already from his discussions with Obama that North Korea’s nuclear development is soon going to pose a very big problem for the United States? China is the only diplomatic lever the world has to (sort of) control Kim Jong-un. They’re not going to care as much about minimizing a threat to the U.S. if the U.S. is threatening their claim to Taiwan.

    Even more weirdly, Trump got elected by running as the closest thing to a mind-your-own-business candidate on foreign policy among the GOP’s field of interventionists. He’s the NATO skeptic, the guy who questions why the United States bears more responsibility for limiting other major powers’ spheres of influence than countries in the region who are most threatened by expansion of that influence. Now here he is knocking on China’s door by chatting with Taiwan. What?

    Back to that second question, though. Does Trump even understand that the goodwill calls he’s fielding from world leaders have nuances like this? Before you answer, read this report on his recent chat with Pakistan’s prime minister.

    In a remarkably candid readout of the phone call, the Pakistani government said Mr. Trump had told Mr. Sharif that he was “a terrific guy” who made him feel as though “I’m talking to a person I have known for long.” He described Pakistanis as “one of the most intelligent people.” When Mr. Sharif invited him to visit Pakistan, the president-elect replied that he would “love to come to a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people.”…

    1. The breezy tone of the readout left diplomats in Washington slack-jawed, with some initially assuming it was a parody. In particular, they zeroed in on Mr. Trump’s offer to Mr. Sharif “to play any role you want me to play to address and find solutions to the country’s problems.”

      That was interpreted by some in India as an offer by the United States to mediate Pakistan’s border dispute with India in Kashmir, something that the Pakistanis have long sought and that India has long resisted.

      So the bad guys in China are on edge now … but so are the good guys in India, apparently because Trump hasn’t learned the rules of diplomatic politesse yet and probably isn’t being briefed by the State Department before each call. If he has a thought-out strategy to change U.S. policy towards Taiwan, that’s one thing. (Although you’d think he’d wait two months until Obama’s out of office to implement it, rather than stick the current administration with it.) If he’s just winging it, though, that’s something else. One of Trump skeptics’ biggest worries about him on foreign policy during the campaign was that he’d accidentally paint himself into a corner by saying something undiplomatic without carefully considering it and then be forced to stand by what he said purely as a matter of saving face. We may be in that position already. If the president of China calls him and demands an explanation, what does he say? “Gee, I had no idea I was supposed to do that”? They’ll think he’s an idiot. “I meant to do that” might be his only option, even if it’s untrue. Which means the Cold War (hopefully only cold) with China begins on day one.

      Oh well. Dubya once said something cowboy-ish about Taiwan early in his first term and that got cleaned up. Presumably this will too, especially if it was Tsai who initiated the call with Trump rather than vice versa. (Did she cold-call him at Trump Tower knowing that he’s inexperienced and wouldn’t realize that he’s not supposed to chat with her?) Besides, the Chinese owe Trump a favor: Once TPP is dead, they’ll be the major economic power in the Far East instead of the U.S. Cutting him a break on a phone call with Taiwan is the least they can do to say thanks.

      Update: Not clear yet if State huddled with Trump before the call, but I’m going to guess no: “The White House was not told about Mr. Trump’s call until after it happened, according to a senior administration official.”

      Update: If you’re looking for evidence that this was no accident, here’s a recent story about Reince Priebus meeting with President Tsai in October of last year. Priebus’s appointment as chief of staff was described by Tsai as “good news for Taiwan” a few weeks ago. (Another quote from the same story: “Tsai also reiterated Taiwan’s determination to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership during the meeting — a prospect that looks increasingly unlikely under a Trump administration.”)

    2. And here’s circumstantial evidence of a different kind that the call was deliberate…

      View image on Twitter
      View image on Twitter
      Bradford Pearson ✔ @BradfordPearson
      I'm sure Trump's call to the Taiwanese president is totally unrelated to this. http://shanghaiist.com/2016/11/18/trump_taiwan_expand.php …
      2:00 PM - 2 Dec 2016
      689 689 Retweets 469 469 likes
      Update: Like I said, Trump will have no choice but to insist that he took the call knowing full well the effect it would have on diplomacy with China, whether that’s true or not. Bearing that in mind, here’s something from the Taipei Times about Trump’s deliberation before the call:

      Trump reportedly agreed to the call, which was arranged by his Taiwan-friendly campaign staff after his aides briefed him on issues regarding Taiwan and the situation in the Taiwan Strait, sources said.
      “Taiwan-friendly campaign staff” was a reference to Priebus, I assume. According to Wikipedia, the Taipei Times has “a pro-Taiwan independence editorial line.” That raises another risk from the call:

      Matt O'Brien ✔ @ObsoleteDogma
      Biggest risk of Trump's Taiwan call isn't pissing off China. It's giving Taiwan the idea that we'll support them more than we actually will.
      3:35 PM - 2 Dec 2016
      151 151 Retweets 277 277 likes
      Is President Tsai walking away from this bold show of outreach by Trump believing that the U.S. is prepared to do more for her and Taiwan than it really is if she now ends up in a confrontation with China?

      Update: Note to China:

      Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
      The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!
      4:44 PM - 2 Dec 2016


  15. Looking as pleased as the father of a newborn babe, the Sun smiles upon Earth -


    Space Photo

    1. The Sun may be pleased that the Democrat Party is coming apart at the seams....

  16. 'Howlin' Howard' Dean drops out -

    Howard Dean drops out of DNC chairman race to avoid divisiveness



    Frank Scarn
    "Something else must have happened here but Dean isn’t saying what that is."

    Keith Ellison told Dean that he'd go "full Muzzie" on him, and decapitate him.

  17. Idaho Elevator Report:

    Nigel Farage spotted at Trump Tower today.

    Nigel is under death threats these days.

    He is leader of Brexit.

  18. Doug ?

    A mystery dude, lives in a lava tube. Only Republican in Hawaii, lives in perpetual danger, but not in fear, comes from nobles of the agricultural sort.

    Got out of California while the getting was still good....

    1. Often called 'Pineapple' here....

    2. Often called, affectionately, 'Pineapple' here.

      Also known as 'The Magnificent Maui'.