American Elephants


New and Exciting or Just Plain Tiresome? by The Elephant's Child

Here in Seattle, the “Occupy” people were rousted out of their tents and sleeping bags at 7:00 am, removed from Westlake Park, those resisting were arrested, and parks workers moved in to clean up. The assorted Occupy something-or-other protests continue to dominate the news, apparently largely because the mainstream media have been helping the Occupy movement all along.

MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan has warned occupiers that they shouldn’t issue demands: “the focus on simple shared principle  and intent to align with all who agree with that principle is a unique strength” he advised.  The rest of the unbiased media has been helping as well. You will not find mainstream media accounts of incidents of anti-Semitism, verbal abuse of Jews and signs like the ones cited by Investors: “Google the following: Wall St. Jews, Jewish billionaires, Jews & Federal Reserve Bank.”The Press has been attempting to magnify their significance. Of course, demonstrations provide some excitement and something different, but emails advising them what to say, is perhaps a little questionable?

The celebrities who routinely turn up at any demonstration are out in force.  They apparently see the Occupy protests as a counter to the Tea Party protests. But the Tea Party protests had time limits because the participants had to get back to their jobs, so they cleaned up everything and left the venue as tidy as it was before they demonstrated.

The Occupy spokesmen selected to speak seem earnest, sincere and remarkably ill-informed. They emote Marxist propaganda, undoubtedly learned in their universities and bleat about the horrors of Capitalism, without any grasp of what Capitalism is — which is simply Karl Marx’s name for the natural workings of the free market. Communism has been tried in one country after another at a cost of way more than one hundred million of their own citizens, executed in an attempt to make their brave new world work by force.

It is always interesting when a protest starts with some angry young people with cardboard signs and drums, then the anarchists turn up, Michael Moore turns up, and Susan Sarandon, then the communists arrive — especially the old line true-believers, and eventually the Nazis, and the homeless, and it gradually becomes an incoherent mess, well equipped with computers, cell phones, expensive tents, cardboard signs and drugs — and they expect us to accept their ramblings as “significant.”

There are somewhere around 330 million people in this country, each pursuing their individual self interest. There are trillions of financial transactions taking place each day. None of those take place without a willing buyer and a willing seller. We put a government in place to try to keep all that reasonably honest, safe and fair, without infringing on anyone’s liberty. And a bunch of kids who have taken on too much in student loans, and have no jobs, want the economy fixed so the rich people have to give them their money, so things are fair.

Steve Jobs is supposed to have left a 7 billion fortune.  How is that fair? Well, other than helping his company to develop those ipads and iphones and laptops that the protesters are using, and making his company the most successful in the world, why is it not fair? His contributions were large. What are the contributions of the protesters? Each one of them has the same opportunity to get a job, work hard and try to make something of themselves. Why is that not fair?

Zuccotti Park has a media center, and a kitchen center. Last night’s dinner was prepared by a dumpster-diving group.  It is a tourist attraction. I wonder how long it will continue to be fun? Probably just till the weather turns.



Friday Night News Dump: Monday Morning Confusion. by The Elephant's Child

— It’s all so confusing. There had been talk for weeks about CLASS, the long-term care benefit in ObamaCare,  primarily that it simply was not financially feasible. It wouldn’t work. So in the Friday news dump, the Obama administration admitted that it wouldn’t work and they were shutting it down. Congresspeople said that they’s better repeal it, because there would still be some provisions in effect. To which Obama objected and said no you can’t repeal the CLASS provision.

—The Iraq War was one of Obama’s main issues in the campaign.  He said he would work with military commanders and in consultation with the Iraqi government to end the war and bring the troops home—by the end of 2009.  Then everybody was supposed to be home by the end of last summer, except for some troops who were working with training the Iraqi military, and now everybody has to be home by the end of the year, except for those attached to the embassy.  Except today Obama said, no that’s not true, we’re still negotiating with the Iraqi government. But we are sending troops to Uganda to quell the Lord’s Resistance Army which has been wreaking havoc with guns and machetes over a wide swath of central Africa, except the troops we are sending can only use weapons in self-defense.

— Not all solar power companies have gone bankrupt, some are managing to stay in business thanks to renewable energy mandates from the states and restrictions on cheap energy. More than $7 billion in financing has gone to the solar industry to create a mere 250 permanent jobs, and taxpayers are on the hook for $28 million for each permanent job created. In California, Jerry Brown has approved legislation that requires all private and municipal electric utilities to get at least one-third of their power from non-fossil fuel sources by 2020.

That apparently doesn’t count the fact that the fossil-fuel sources have to keep going all the time to back up the times when the wind isn’t blowing at the right speed, and in the case of solar — night, and times when there are clouds. If wind and solar were viable sources of energy, they wouldn’t need mandates, and investment would be attractive. The renewable energy mandates are supposed to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050. Europe’s experience is that all their investment in renewable energy has not cut their emissions at all, possibly because the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rises from the oceans, not from SUV tailpipes.

—  Obama is back out on the campaign trail blaming Congress for not passing his jobs bill, which is not a jobs bill, but another stimulus, and ignoring the fact that it was Democrats who balked at passing his bill.  He complains that Republicans have no ideas about jobs, though the House and the Senate have each produced specific proposals, in writing. Mr. Obama can’t seem to understand that when the government pays for jobs to be created with taxpayer money, it is still a net drain on the economy. His campaign trip is also a net drain on the economy, as it’s being charged to taxpayers.  It’s not a campaign trip, you see, because he’s talking about jobs, which is a Presidential duty.

— It seems as if a lot of government spending would jolt the economy in some favorable direction,but such is not the case. When you raise taxes, you get less revenue.  When you lower taxes, you get a more productive economy and more revenue.  A lot of economics is counterintuitive.




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