American Elephants


Your Federal Government at Work, Making Stupid Regulations. by The Elephant's Child

Today is the deadline for U.S. retailers to unload any unsold baby cribs that don’t meet the federal government’s new safety standards.  There are something like 117,000 cribs that are headed to the dump.  Oddly enough, they have never been declared unsafe.  They are not considered unsafe, a hazard to children, or subject to recall.  They simply do not meet the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s latest safety test. Any cribs that are unsold by today must be destroyed and sent to landfills.  Perfectly good, perfectly safe cribs must be destroyed because some bureaucrats decided that drop-side cribs don’t meet the new paperwork.

The new safety regulations essentially prohibit drop-side cribs, and make retrofitting unused models very difficult.  The new safety regulations are apparently unconcerned about millions of American mother’s backs!  Been there, done that. The whole reason that drop-side cribs were invented is that lifting a heavy, wet baby in and out of a crib is very hard on the back, and I’m fairly tall.  Short moms are out of luck.  Retailers, in a sour economy, stand to lose at least $32 million according to the commission’s own estimates.

A related regulation applies to daycare providers, requiring that all cribs — regardless of age or condition must be replaced by December 28, 2012.

The commission was following a congressional mandate to update safety standards. The 100,000 number represents the inventory of  just five retailers, so it may be vastly underestimated. The commission had the option to extend the deadline to spare businesses the hit in a down economy, but the Democrat-controlled commission refused to move the deadline.

This administration just cannot stop imposing new and damaging regulations on business. And Obama wonders why employers aren’t hiring.  Look in the mirror, Mr. President.



This Is Why I Rant! (In Case You Were Wondering). by The Elephant's Child

I write a lot about Obama’s clean green energy policies, the EPA, wind farms, solar arrays, electric cars, high-speed rail, and twisty lightbulbs, dishwashers that don’t get dishes clean,  washing machines that don’t get clothes clean, restrictive shower heads and other federal restrictions on free Americans.  You can search the Constitution, which spells out those tasks that we assign to the government, and find not one single word delegating the job of regulating these things to the federal government. And the powers not granted to the federal government are reserved to the states and the people.

It is not, however on a Constitutional basis that I object to administration policies, though that is certainly a reason to complain. I rant because these policies are political in nature, accomplish nothing worthwhile, and are extremely burdensome to the economy and to  the American people.

Back in the 1970s the fear was global cooling, a new ice age, nuclear winter, and overpopulation.  Everything was going to hell, a frigid hell. We weren’t going to have enough food to feed the burgeoning population of the world.  Even China’s one-child population-control policy got its start in 1979.  But the new ice age didn’t come, nuclear winter didn’t come,  and quietly going on in Mexico and America was a green revolution in agriculture, increasing yields of the basic food grains — wheat, rice, barley and corn. Worldwide, people have fewer babies.

Well, Rachel Carson —Silent Spring— pesticides, DDT, the EPA, Smog, the Great Cranberry Scandal, Thalidomide, Alar, environmental activists, an environmental “movement”, Greenpeace, the WWF, Environmental Defense Fund, the Sierra Club, Wilderness Society, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Nature Conservancy and hundreds and hundreds of others. The environmental movement is huge, and ranges from groups that envision a pleasant return to the Pleistocene to vegans and animal rights organizations, as well as eco-terrorist groups like ELF, ALF, Earth First!, Direct Action, and Sea Shepherds, not to mention the late Unibomber.

As with most movements that begin with people concerned about something-or-other, they have a way of growing into passion, radicalism and power-seeking.  In general, the environmental movement doesn’t like modern society, doesn’t like capitalism, thinks there is some special distinction between that which is natural and that which is unnatural? artificial? not natural, and is subject to fuzzy thinking. They are supported by the true-believers, the naive, and major foundations.  Which brings us to global warming.

Once the fear of global cooling died out, there was more interest in climate. I’m not going into the history of the climate scare, but it was noticed that the earth seemed to be warming slightly at the same time that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was increasing. Some scientists pointed out that the increase in global temperature (very slight) preceded the increase in CO2 and CO2 could not be causative, but other scientists pointed out that their computer programs, into which they had entered everything known about climate, clearly stated that everything was going to hell, and the earth was overheating and we were all going to die. Well, who are you going to believe — the folks with the most modern technology or those who claimed that there was no reason to be concerned?

Ozone hole, acid rain, Cuyahoga river on fire, harp seals, animal extinction, snail darters, the hockey stick, glaciers melting, seas rising, Al Gore, Arctic melting, polar bears, Kyoto Protocol, the IPCC, The Inconvenient Truth, and greenhouse gases, in no particular order.

Is it any wonder that the public has been somewhat confused?  Governments suddenly wanted to make all sorts of changes — enormously expensive changes in our lives — and nobody was answering the real questions — like what is the right temperature? Is the climate we have right now the right one, or is the Medieval Warm Period which they say was the finest climate known to man (and way warmer than now) the right one?

The scientists that get sneered at as “deniers” and “skeptics” based their claims on evidence in the real world.  The global warming alarmists are basing their claims on — computer programs that can’t seem to “predict” today’s climate.  The reporters in the media who have done so much to bring us the alarming news about the perils of global warming formed their own “Society of Environmental Journalists” where they learn how to write about the environment, not from scientists, but from each other.

I grew up in the foothills of the Rockies, surrounded by National Forest and BLM land at an altitude of a little over 4000′. Weather was a matter of daily concern, floods , lightning strikes, snowslides,  in ways that are simply not encountered by city people. My dad often had to get up in the middle of the night to plow when it looked like the snow was going to be too deep to plow in the morning.  We lost four buildings to flood one year. Ian Plimer, the celebrated Australian geologist, said that rural people were not apt to be alarmed by global warming, in his experience. And I’m not.

And apparently Barack Obama believes in global warming (or does he?) and wants to be the president who brings America into the 21st century with an economy humming along on clean energy.  After all, wind and solar are free, and natural, and fossil fuels are dirty and unnatural (?),and must be stamped out.

Instead of trying to put people back to work,  Obama  has worked hard to cut back in every way our “dependence” on fossil fuels.  We will learn to like electric cars, and ride high speed rail. We will accept more government regulation of our use of energy and water, and more control of the way we live.  We can assume that Obama really believes that the planet is warming alarmingly and he is going to be the one who saves the world.  Or, perhaps he really believes that the country will hum along on free, clean energy, and America will be the shining example for the world, and he, our very 21st century leader will be celebrated as “the One”. Or maybe it’s just a power-grab.

It just makes no sense to me. We have all sorts of evidence from other countries and from our own that wind energy does not live up to the claims of promoters.  Solar energy is an expensive way to heat water.  The problems are not in 21st century technology, but in the nature of wind and sun. The clean energy society may sound splendid in late-night bull-sessions, but it doesn’t pass muster in the real world.

Real world problems of deficits, budgets, debt-ceilings and spending need real attention.  The economy is being destroyed while this president plays golf and chases airy-fairy dreams. That is why I rant.




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