American Elephants


Nevermind ISIS or Russia, Fixing Global Warming is Much More Urgent! by The Elephant's Child

The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, which is silly enough, but he wants to do it without ratification from Congress. One little problem:

Under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.

To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path.

How interesting that someone who liked to proclaim himself a scholar of Constitutional Law, should, after swearing an oath on the Lincoln Bible to “the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” be so determined to get his own way that he is willing to defy the Constitution in case after case. It is more than ignoring his oath, it is a matter of character. This is a man who cannot be trusted because he does not keep his word.

The New York Times casually notes that President Obama ignored the legislative process in his domestic climate-change agenda as well.

In seeking to go around Congress to push his international climate change agenda, Mr. Obama is echoing his domestic climate strategy. In June, he bypassed Congress and used his executive authority to order a far-reaching regulation forcing American coal-fired power plants to curb their carbon emissions. That regulation, which would not be final until next year, already faces legal challenges, including a lawsuit filed on behalf of a dozen states.

Doesn’t matter who disagrees with him, he’s right and you are wrong. He is the President of the United States, and he cannot be opposed.

Does anyone believe that the president has spent even five minutes studying up on global warming or climate change? He’s probably talked to Al Gore, and Science Advisor John Holdren, and all his backers and bundlers who have gotten rich off of the taxpayer money he has poured into energy scams and failed renewable energy projects. But actually looking into the science? Not a chance. Global Warming is for the Left the best chance of establishing social justice in the world. They believe because the Left believes. It is a religion, a matter of faith. As James Delingpole says:

First, they are determined to misrepresent this as a party political issue – in which ignorant, ideologically motivated, Big-Oil-funded Republican “denialists” are willfully and perversely obstructing the perfectly sensible climate policies fully supported by all Democrats. This wasn’t true in 1997 when the Senate voted down the first attempt at a binding international climate treaty – Kyoto – by 95 to 0. It isn’t true today.

Second, it refers to “established climate science” as if – to quote Al Gore – the science on global warming were “settled.” This was a risible notion even at the height of the global warming scare back in 1992 during the Rio Earth Summit when for a period global mean temperatures were actually rising but when scientists couldn’t agree why. It is even less plausible now, given that as all half-way serious scientists – alarmists and realists, alike – now acknowledge there has been no global warming in over 17 years.

Climate change, or global warming, does not even show up on the list of concerns of the American people. I don’t know if “naming and shaming” will convince anyone. The American people aren’t all that impressed with the United Nations either.



“Economic Patriotism” Is Plain Old Nonsense. by The Elephant's Child

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Democrats are not happy with President Obama, and they are trying desperately to change the subject from things like ISIS, and Russia, and foreign policy in general, ObamaCare, immigration, the miserable economy, and jobs, and jobs and jobs.

Their natural inclination is to focus on those things which arouse people’s passions, so naturally they are freaking out about Burger King’s plans to merge with Tim Horton’s Canadian coffee and donut chain and move to Canada. “Economic Patriotism” they cry, and moral panic and sheer rage that an American business would consider relocating for the simple reason of paying taxes. Obviously it’s time for my favorite quote from Walter Wriston:

Capital will go where it is wanted and stay
where it is well treated. It will flee from manipulation
or onerous regulation of its value or use and no
government power can restrain it for long.

The business of business is to make a profit. Liberals always want to impose other rules on business. They are deeply suspicious of the whole idea of profits. They are outraged at CEO salaries. Proper people work in service jobs, like government, or for foundations, or righteous causes or universities. Liberals are really quite conflicted about business. They were outraged by the Citizens United decision. And even more so by Mitt Romney’s claim that corporations are just people. On the other hand, they get enthusiastic support from some businesses like Google, or Facebook, but that’s different.

The problem isn’t just that America has the highest corporate taxes in the world, but that America collects taxes on the income earned in other countries., though those other countries collect taxes as well. Because they distrust business in general, Liberals have little hesitation in finding new and better ways to tax business.

Total tax costs are 46.4% lower in Canada than in the U.S. Is it really a surprise that Burger Kind wants to move there? Burger King would still pay their full taxes on income earned in the U.S. but their taxes on income earned in Canada would be taxed at Canadian rates.

The number one issue among American voters is unsurprisingly — jobs. If you vigorously try to maximize the taxes that American businesses pay, they will hire fewer people. If you raise taxes on business, they raise the cost of the goods or services they sell, or reduce their expenses, by cutting the number of people they employ.



Sorry! Your Politician Does Not Care About You. by The Elephant's Child

The exit polling from the 2012 election showed clearly that people voted for Barack Obama because they believed that “He cares about people like me.” This was closely related to Hurricane Sandy, and I believe the picture of President Obama comforting Donna Vanzant who had just seen her marina totally destroyed, influenced a lot of people. Mr. Obama promised her prompt help from FEMA and that he would make it all better. But she never heard from FEMA, nor from the President, or anybody else.
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The picture, however, went viral.

I hate to bring you bad news, but politicians do not care about you. The better ones care about “the people” in general, but generous donors in particular. They care about the big businesses in their districts, influential people in their party and in the opposition, but we ordinary folk are, at best, merely a statistic. They care about those who are important for some reason, particularly those who have given campaign contributions or are clearly in a position to make a donation, or are important enough to influence others.

Maybe, if you are an activist who seems to have a large number of voters behind you. I know, I know. We’d all like to believe that those in whom we invest so much hope really mean it. You could design an embossed letterhead suggesting that you are an officer in an organization for (or against) your politician’s favorite issues, that might get some attention. Phone calls, at least allow you to talk to a human, however lowly. Visit his/her office in your district with your request or complaint, but sugar catches more flies than vinegar.

It’s nothing personal. They have their big donors and all the members of their delegation, the press (local and national) the members of the committees on which they serve, their opposition, and all the members of the House or the Senate as the case may be to worry about. They don’t know you from Adam, expecting attention is futile. The idea that “I voted for you” and now I expect, at the least, a response to my email, is also futile. Going to every town hall meeting held in your district might improve the situation slightly, but don’t bet on it. They shake a lot of hands, and remember few.

But, your opinions may be tabulated (or not). They need feedback, but there’s no guarantee they will pay attention. But if  you are well-informed and your call or email or letter is short and to the point, it may get through. Even volunteering in their campaign may not help. Your chances are better if your expectations are low, and your determination is very high.



Do Dead Birds Matter? by The Elephant's Child

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Let’s see. We are capturing the energy of the sun because it’s free, and replaces nasty coal-fired power plants that produce CO² because the CO² we exhale with every breath is poisoning the earth and causing global warming which causes the seas to rise, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, bad weather, carbon pollution and…Oh wait, it doesn’t? CO² is a natural fertilizer, causes plants to grow and resist drought. That part, at least, is true.

California’s massive Ivanpah solar power plant has 350,000 mirrors which bounce sizzling sunlight to the tops of three 40-story boiler towers, heating steam for turbine electricity generators. Temperatures near the towers can reach up to 1.000 degrees Fahrenheit, heat certainly sufficient to fry a fowl.

Workers in those “green jobs” at the state-of-the-art solar plant call the birds that fly through the concentrated solar rays — “streamers.” Birds ignite in midair with a smoke plume, instant barbecue. Federal investigators saw a bird burn about every two minutes. One environmental group claims the plant kills up to 28,000 birds each year.

The American Bird Conservancy estimates that wind turbines chop up 440,000 birds each year, but an analyst writing in the Wildlife Society Bulletin says it’s closer to 573,000 in addition to 888,000 bats. ( I thought bats only come out at night —our bats did, and slept all day). Airline pilots whose course takes them near the solar plants report being blinded.

The Obama administration remains wildly enthusiastic, and gave Ivanpah a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz called Ivanpah “a shining example of how America is becoming a world leader in solar energy.” Interestingly, everybody else is trying to get out of solar energy because it’s too expensive. And the sun does go down at night.

I’m not sure what bird fatalities that extensive mean. More mosquitoes, a return of Malaria, and that other new disease transmitted by mosquitoes? What about migratory birds and birds of prey? There is a balance of nature to some extent and if it gets out of whack there are unintended consequences. Europeans still kill off their songbirds by erecting great nets along the flyways to catch them. Whole fried or pickled songbirds were considered a gustatory treat. I thought the practice was outlawed, but apparently not.

The Mohave Desert Food Chain:

  • Raptors (golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, falcons, owls),Small insect-eating birds (finches, warblers, gnatcatcher, doves, bats),

    Reptiles (desert tortoise, Chuckawalla lizard),

    Moths and insects (yucca moths, soaptree moths, other insects)

    Yucca plants (Joshua trees, soaptree yuccas, etc.)

    The raptors prey on the small birds; the small birds and reptiles forage on insects; yucca moths and butterflies pollinate yucca trees and other plants; and yucca trees provide habitat and nectar for yucca moths. Without yucca moths, you have no Joshua trees.



Domestic Violent Extremists? Homeland Security Paranoia. by The Elephant's Child

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A leaked document from Homeland Security predicts the rise of “anti-Government violence. That was a headline that caused a brief flurry in the press (very brief). Notable in the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis concern over an increase in violence, was the standoff at the Bundy ranch when the BLM attempted to seize Bundy’s cattle, but backed off when a ‘militia group’ showed up.

The seven page report, titled, “Domestic Violent Extremists Pose Increased Threat to Government Law Enforcement” dated, July 22, 2014, said, “After years of only sporadic violence from violent domestic extremists motivated by anti-government ideologies, I&A has seen a spike within the past year in violence committed by militia extremists and lone offenders who hold violent anti-government beliefs. These groups and individuals recognize government authority but facilitate or engage in acts of violence due to their perception that the United States Government is tyrannical and oppressive, coupled to their belief that the government needs to be violently resisted or overthrown.”

I have written recently about the impermeable “bubble” in which the Left resides. They require protection from the wrong information emanating from the Right, at all costs. As far as I can tell, this is caused by the fact that their policies are a result of their feelings about events on a case-by-case basis. They do not rely on foundational principles.

There was a point a while back when they worried because Republicans had think tanks to give them ideas, and they didn’t. So they got their money people to start one — the Center for American Progress — because they’re progressives now, not liberals, or leftists.  (I keep forgetting). But nothing much changes. The CAP comes up with ‘Issues’ with which to defeat the Right like ‘the War on Women’ and ‘free contraceptives,’ and the language and tactics to make a war on women seem real, but not the principles that make it an important issue.

In the hothouse of such a bubble, there exists a constant element of paranoia. If you know your argument is flimsy and has no principles behind it, you expect it to be shot down, or attempted to be shot down. With that nagging fear comes a fear of the Right in general. You never know what they might try next. When your history is invented, and you have no firm, unchanging, bedrock principles — when your opposition, who you are convinced are both radical and stupid, starts holding demonstrations and carrying signs and waving a  yellow flag with a rattlesnake on it, and talking about the revolution, you get all nervous.

They know who the protesters are. They send them out. They are union activists demanding a higher wage,  and people from the radical green groups trying to save us from the ravages of global warming, and the folks from La Raza demanding amnesty now. But these people are dangerous. Who ever heard of Republicans demonstrating. Singing. Carrying American flags. And their signs are about the Constitution, or demanding repeal of the law that gives everyone free health care. Violent extremists.

This is not new. If you want to get into a major battle with a lib, just say something about the evils of socialism and how similar Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia were. You might get away with calling Stalin and communism an aberration of the Left, but they will be absolutely certain that Hitler was a right-wing dictator, despite the fact that NAZI was an acronym for National Socialist Party.

They were certain that Kennedy was shot by a right-wing nut, that Timothy McVeigh was a member of a Right-Wing militia, that the Branch-Davidian standoff was a right-wing something or other. They have convinced themselves that the Dixiecrats were really racist Republicans, and some have actually gone so far as to believe that Lincoln was really a Democrat. The bubble has tough walls and is quite impermeable.

The Left is positive that any objection to the policies of the Obama administration is racism. There are beginning to be some cracks in that edifice. The media is noticing that their president is not really engaged by foreign policy, and would clearly rather spend his time on the golf course. His third-string advisers are not up to the job. John Kerry’s insistence that climate change is a more pressing concern than Hamas, Gaza, ISIS, the Kurds, Putin’s advances on Ukraine, China’s flexing of its muscles, Iraq’s centrifuges, is not evidence of a serious administration.

This all blends into the militarization of the police, the drive to ban guns. A California congressman has just introduced a bill to prevent the purchase, ownership or possession of enhanced body armor by civilians. (HR. 5344). “This bill will keep military body armor out of the wrong hands, Representative Honda said, “It would ensure than only law enforcement, firefighters and first responders wold be able to access enhanced body armor.” Now that’s paranoia.

 



The Words We Use Matter — It’s a Very Big Deal! by The Elephant's Child

[S]kill in language does provide a better hope of survival; it even wins wars, for struggle on the field of battle is a dramatic version of strife in the minds of men. Long before the first trigger was pulled, Hitler fired off a shattering salvo of words. He pounded his fist and shouted: Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer!” Don’t make the mistake of thinking that his listeners muttered back an uncertain “Ach so, gewiss, gewiss.” They shouted back, Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer!”

The cannonade roared across the Channel and shook the cliffs of England. Fortunately for us all, England, although unarmed, was not unready. The answering barrage rings in our ears still: “Blood, toil, tears, and sweat.” Battle was joined. Hitler’s words sent the Wehrmacht crashing to the outskirts of Dunkirk, but Churchill’s words sent schoolboys and accountants and retired fishmongers down to the sea in their little boats and over the water to the beaches of Dunkirk.

While that may be an incomplete account of the war, it is not an inaccurate one. It was a war of words and speaking just as much as a war of iron and blood. If the fighting was sometimes stupid and vicious, it was because certain other words were in the minds of men. Whatever else Churchill may have been doing in those days, he was always providing the English with words. With words he formed their thoughts and emotion. “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills,” said Churchill. Millions answered, apparently, “By God, so we shall.”

That’s an excerpt from Less Than Words Can Say, by the late Richard Mitchell, the Underground Grammarian, a book I have recommended to everyone I know who has an interest in language. I am passionate about the book;  I don’t know that I’ve ever run into anyone else who is, but I keep trying. There are three more books in his explorations of language. I quote it to emphasize that the way something is said — makes a difference.

We can talk and talk, but suddenly someone puts a thought into words that resonate with you and your understanding changes permanently. The words of Scott Johnson’s “worldly-wise man” in my earlier post really resonated with me, and explained the extent to which members of the left live in a bubble of their own construct, that controls their thought and their actions.

Words from those of us on the right do not penetrate, except to be thought stupid or irrational. Our complaints do not register at all. Obama lives behind an impenetrable wall — from behind which he can shoot moral arrows to demonstrate his superiority and destroy any emerging criticism.

The Left understands the importance of language. That’s why they keep changing names, like changing “liberal” (unpopular) to “progressive,” and devising slogans and talking-points that become required for liberal speech.

“Global warming” (now “climate change”) is an excellent example. There is unassailable proof from observation in the real world that there is a seventeen year old pause in warming due to the sun going quiet. No sunspots. The computer models used by the IPCC put in what is known about climate (not very much) add some intelligent guesses, and some pure fantasy, assume that to be an accurate picture of the climate — that can predict the future up to 50 and 100 years in the future, and accept the whole damn thing as gospel truth. Anyone who disagrees is to be fired, prevented from publishing, run out of the scientific community, and thoroughly disgraced — because they rely on real observation of the real world — and have the nerve to question the given word of the left. That’s the Leftist bubble.

Government grants, regulations, fines, career success, and everything from the disappearance of cheap, efficient incandescent lightbulbs, to recycling, reliance on expensive, inefficient solar and wind energy, that can never provide a significant amount of energy, electric cars, and the current attempt to make coal-fired power plants all shut down on January 1,which will overload the power grid and freeze people to death in what is predicted to be a colder, harsher winter than last year.

This president is operating from within the leftist bubble, and he is not interested in dissent or disagreement which are to him simply stupid enemy attacks. He has no need to listen — because he is right. “Hope and Change” doesn’t cut it anymore.



Industry Warns the EPA: The Climate Rule is Not Workable. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama tried to pressure “climate change deniers” in a recent interview. He said that most CEOs in the United States are paying attention to climate change, and they are more concerned with the administration’s climate policies than with debating the science. What they want is some certainty about the regulations so they can start planning. They have to make capital investments and have to look at investments for 20 and 30 years out. They have to know if we are putting a price on carbon? Are we serious about this?

“But none of them are engaging in some of the nonsense that you’re hearing out of the climate change [deniers},” Obama said.

The president drew a stark contrast between the questions CEOs are asking about his carbon pollution limits on existing power plants and the attacks from Republicans in Congress who say the standards will devastate the economy and businesses.

Companies like General Mills, Microsoft, IBM and Coca-Cola have joined efforts to mitigate climate change. Some oil companies like Shell have also joined others in supporting strong cuts to greenhouse gas emissions.

Obama said that CEOs always complain about regulation, but that his “policies have produced a record stock market, record corporate profits, 52 months of consecutive job growth, 10 million new jobs, the deficit being cut in half, an energy sector that’s booming, a clean-energy sector that’s booming, a reduction of carbon pollution greater than the Europeans or any other country.” He added:

I think you’d have to say that we’ve managed the economy pretty well and business has done OK.

This is so delusional, you just have to wonder. We are also told that he doesn’t talk to anybody outside of his closest advisers. Certainly he has no understanding that his job growth does not compensate for the new people who are entering the job market and those who have given up and are no longer looking. The situation is getting worse, not better.

Nobody is a “climate change denier.” Climate change is always going on and the planet warms and cools in cycles that are not yet well understood. What we do deny is that the slight increase in warming — less than 1° in a century —is anything to get excited about. The planet has been far warmer in the past, and the Medieval Warm Period which was much warmer, was the finest climate known to man. The Vikings settled in Greenland and built farms. Wine grapes grew in northern England, and the fine climate meant the fend of the Dark Ages and the flowering of the Renaissance.

Today there has been no warming for over 17 years, for the sun has gone quiet. The greens insist that warming will mean more hurricanes, more tornadoes, more forest fires, rising oceans, the list of things that are or will be caused by global warming climate change is  unbelievably long, and fairly amusing.

A dozen states filed suit on Friday to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from enacting its “Clean Power Plan.” These are the new rules that would put many coal-fired plants out of business, and hundreds of people out of their jobs.  The EPA held hearings last week for the public about the plan. Four hearings, nationwide. In Pittsburgh thousands of coal workers turned out to register their objections to the Obama administrations intentions.

Leading industry groups, including the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Petroleum Institute, the National Mining Association, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers and more, have told the EPA that their new climate regulation is “not workable.”

“There is obviously going to be legal action in the future,”said Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers. “We would like to see the rule altered and see the agency stop and listen to constituents and the consumers that will be most impacted. But assuming all things stay as they are, then we’ll see some action in the courts.”

The Clean Power Plan is a very bad regulation that has far more negative results that the EPA understands. If the climate is actually cooling, and last winter was a preview, then America will need more electric power, not less. Coal-fired power plants currently provide about 40 percent of our electricity needs, reliably and cheaply. Retrofitting those plants to meet EPA standards may mean that most will shut down because the possible retrofit is too expensive. Big jumps in the cost of power on top of big jumps in the cost of health care may be, to use a favorite theme of the left — unsustainable. Increases in the cost of energy means inflation as the cost of everything goes up dramatically. The Left does not understand incentives, and they really don’t understand, nor look for, unintended consequences. They still do not understand that wind and solar are simply unworkable and can never produce any significant part of our energy needs.




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