American Elephants


Life Is Uncertain. Don’t Be Afraid to Take Charge. by The Elephant's Child
March 2, 2012, 6:33 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

This was a post from Small Dead Animals, a Canadian blog.

Reported in the U.K. Daily Mail:

41-year-old Simon Burgess was feeding swans in a shallow pond in Walpole Park in Gosport, England last year when he suffered an epileptic seizure and fell unconscious into the water. Twenty-five emergency personnel arrived on scene but Burgess remained floating face down, twenty-five feet from shore, for over half an hour after the first responders arrived.

Even though they could all swim, the first fire crew to arrive hadn’t been ‘trained’ to enter water higher than ankle-deep. Instead they waited for ‘specialists’ to arrive to retrieve his body. They had decided Mr Burgess must surely be dead because he had been in the water for ten minutes. When a policeman decided to go in anyway, he was ordered not to. A paramedic was also told not to enter the water because he didn’t have the right ‘protective’ clothing and might be in breach of the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992.

The tragic incident made headlines around the world, held up as a shocking example of ludicrously risk-averse Britain. And it prompted a coroner to demand that fire, police and ambulance services improve training to prevent a repeat.

The paper discovered that:

  • The ‘ankle-deep’ rule was meant for fast-flowing water and is taken from guidelines drawn up to deal with floods.
  • Other rescue agencies believe people can survive submerged for much longer than ten minutes – some will still try resuscitation at 90 minutes.
  • The incident happened despite  a previous reassurance from the Health and Safety Executive that firefighters would not face prosecution if they performed acts of heroism that break rules.
  • Mr Burgess could have been reached within two minutes of emergency crews arriving at the scene – as proved by our reporter who went into the lake and waded 25ft to the spot where his body had been floating.
Political correctness is a blight on western nations. You must not offend anyone, you must obey the rules and regulations down to the last comma. The most remarkable thing is that we don’t seem to know what to do about it. We mostly recognize it as a great mistake, we snort and cluck over the stupidity, but what do we do? Nothing. It infects all bureaucracies, large or small. Human Resource departments are a source and are boosters. It involves “Don’t blame me,” and “It’s not my fault,” and “I followed the rules.”

We need a big dose of taking responsibility. The world does not end if you say “I made a mistake.”


No Recovery in Sight. Let’s Raise Taxes. by The Elephant's Child

One basic, large type entry in the Republican rulebook is that you don’t raise taxes in a recession. You try to ease the pressure on business and individuals so they have more freedom to grow and hire. And history has taught us that it works. It worked for Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan and George W. Bush.  But President Obama is a Democrat, and a radical one at that. All that talk about not raising taxes on anyone earning less than $250,000, is just that — talk.

Yesterday, in an attempt to pacify those who are angry about higher gas taxes, the president called for higher taxes on the oil industry. He is attempting to blame the oil industry for high gas prices, and the rich, and the Koch brothers and Republicans in general. Translation: “Don’t blame me, it’s not my fault. Any first year Economics 101 student can tell you that if you raise taxes on the oil industry, the price of gasoline will go up — not down.

Obama also tried to claim that Republicans who oppose eliminating the tax breaks for the oil industry are puppets of the oil industry.

“You can either stand up for the oil companies, or you can stand up for the American people,” Obama said. “You can keep subsidizing a fossil fuel that’s been getting taxpayer dollars for a century, or you can place your bets on a clean energy future.”

There is no clean energy future, at least not any time soon. Corn ethanol has only very small environmental, price or energy benefits, and the unintended consequences on food prices are large and negative. Inflation in the cost of food is up by 8% and rising. The current E10 blend requires 4% more fuel than gasoline, and costs the consumer an extra 13 cents per gallon. Other biofuels and Biodiesel are flops, biodiesel is non-existent, but required by the EPA.The president tried to sound enthusiastic about algae, but that is not only 30 years away, but unlikely.

President Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget proposal explicitly claims a $1,561 trillion tax hike over 10 years, as reported by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The actual numbers of his proposed tax hikes are $2,006.000,000,000 — 2 trillion, 6 billion — over the next ten years.  These are policies to allow the president to continue spending like a drunken sailor.

America is experiencing the slowest recovery since World War II. In every previous recession employment had fully recovered within four years. Now payroll employment remains 4% below the number of workers employed when the recession started in December of 2007. Obama alternately talks about the vigorous recovery and whines that he needs more time to fix things because it’s really, really hard. Raising taxes is not the answer.

(click to enlarge)



Ooops! General Motors Lays Off 1,300 Volt Workers by The Elephant's Child
March 2, 2012, 3:32 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Election 2012, Energy | Tags: ,

General Motors has temporarily suspended production of the Chevy Volt, troubled electric car, the company announced on Friday. They are halting production for five weeks, presumably to allow demand to catch up with inventory.  This means laying off, temporarily, 1,300 employees.

A GM spokesman said that production will resume on April 23. “We needed to maintain proper inventory and make sure that we continued to meet market demand.”

They’re getting lots of help. President Obama wants to raise the subsidy to $10,000 per car and make it an immediate price reduction instead of a tax credit of $7,000. President Obama also gave the Volt a vote of confidence in a speech to the UAW this week, and promised to buy a Volt “five years from now, when I’m not president anymore.”

California decided to allow the Volt to qualify for High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, which also should help a little.And of course the price of gas should help.

If you remember, back when Obama was bailing-out the car companies instead of allowing the normal bankruptcy laws to operate, GM did not want to produce the Chevy Volt. They didn’t think it was ready for prime time, but marketing expert Obama insisted.

Sales in February were up a little from January. I’m not sure what the sales figures mean — are those the cars GM has sold to dealers, or are they the cars that have been purchased by consumers? Dealers have cut way back on their allotments, and are not seeing much enthusiasm in the marketplace.

GM has argued that the debate about the Volt has become too political. GM CEO Daniel Akerson told Congress “We did not develop the Chevy Volt to be a political punching bag, We engineered the Volt to be a technological wonder.”

The odds of the taxpayers being paid back for the bailout have not increased, but then you didn’t really expect that they would, did you.



This is Elphaba. Friday Morning Cuteness! by The Elephant's Child

Good Morning!  This is Elphaba, a baby Aye-aye who was born November 29 at the Duke Lemur Center. She is one of the many baby animals featured at Zoo Borns, a website that features all sorts of animals being raised in the world’s zoos to save endangered species.

Aye-ayes are considered one of the most unusual primates. It is nocturnal, lives in tropical rainforest, and has a very specialized diet, consisting mostly of the interior of Ramy nuts, nectar from the Traveller’s Palm tree and some fungi and insect grubs.  They are known to raid coconut plantations and have been seen eating lychees and mangoes.

This is a great website to visit, especially after a bad meeting. Who can resist cute baby animals, and http://www.zooborns.com has pages and pages of cuteness. In addition to the baby wolves and lions and gorillas, all sorts of animals that I had never heard of. Have you ever seen a baby forest buffalo? Or a baby Bongo? Be careful though, you can get lost in the pictures and spend hours.

 




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