American Elephants


“Energiewinde” Was A Flop That Has Driven Germans Into Energy Poverty by The Elephant's Child

Climate activists in this country looked to Europe, especially Germany, as a model of proper green virtue. Chancellor Merkel’s Energiewinde or energy revolution was supposed to solve the problem of carbon emissions. That’s solar panels and wind turbines.

People really familiar with solar panels and wind turbines, if they are not in the business of trying to sell them will explain that the problem is with the wind and the sun itself. The people selling wind turbines talk about capacity which is what a well functioning turbine will produce in the way of energy when the wind is blowing at just the right speed.

But wind doesn’t blow in the right speed steadily — it blows in gusts and puffs, steadily for a few minutes and then after a while some more puffs. Even someplace really windy. Go to White Sands National Monument sometime. Those great white sand dunes are produced by wind blowing a lot. (the mice and lizards there are white to match the dunes)

There aren’t a lot of really windy places that stay windy a lot of the time, but even those don’t meet the good flow that will match the ideal capacity that produces regular energy. Films of wind farms show some of the turbines turning and some not. Turbines break down, catch fire, malfunction, and that’s not included in the salesmen’s claims. Besides the turbines kill a lot of birds, everything from the big birds of prey like Eagles to tiny songbirds. What the decimation of the bird population will do to the environment is never mentioned.

Sunlight is more diffuse, and even in sunny places —which is where they site big solar arrays— there are clouds, moving through, cloudy days, rainy days. Clouds are not well understood in their relation to climate. If you are a summer cloud-watcher—lying on the grass and watching the clouds move by, you will notice that they are at different levels, affecting the sunlight differently.

I am by no means a climate scientist, but because I knew so little, it was clearly time to bone up. As far as I can tell, the officials who make the decisions about what to do about the climate—don’t do any studying up themselves, they just trust what others of their political persuasion say.

California Governor Jerry Brown is a true believer, who has laid his state’s problems with wildfires, flood and drought, water problems and winter and rise of the sea level, whatever on the issue of climate and an excess of CO2, and especially with President Trump’s excellent decision to fail to sign on to the Paris Climate accords. Brown was off on a ten day tour of European capitols on his way to the UN conference on climate in Bonn, to show how he and other west coast governors were ready to fight the global rise in temperatures, and possibly show how superior he was to the denier Trump, in case he might be called upon to run against Trump the next time.  Our Washington governor, another true believer, plans to try to pass a carbon tax now that Republicans lost control of the legislature.

If the Paris Climate Accords were fully adapted, climate scientists have made clear the effect on the climate by 2100 would be negligible. CO2 is what we exhale each time we breathe. It is a natural fertilizer for plants all over the world and much has been written about the greening of the planet, helping to feed the people of the world. What the Paris Climate Accords were intended to do was transfer as much wealth as possible from the worlds rich nations to the poor and developing countries. In other words it was never really about the climate at all.

But back in Germany, Chancellor Merkel has been unable to form a government. Energiewinde has not only cost far, far more than was planned, but delivered far less energy and put many a German household into energy poverty. People may not understand all the arguments about the climate and how it works, but when they can’t afford to keep their houses warm in the winter, they are not going to vote to continue freezing. Big idea, sounded good, but it didn’t work.

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If Trump Didn’t Tweet It, It Isn’t News for Today’s Media by The Elephant's Child

Salena Zito has become one of the more interesting reporters on matters Trump, because she actually goes out and talks to the Trump supporters who voted for him. In her column at the New York Post on Saturday, she wrote from Glen Dale, West Virginia, that “Bad news travels fast, Good news, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to travel at all.

Last weekend in Beijing, as part of his 12-day trip to Asia, President Trump announced that the US and China had signed an $83.7 billion memorandum of understanding to create a number of petrochemical projects in West Virginia over the next 20 years.

If the agreement holds tight, it is an economic game changer for the state.  And yet, speaking to the locals here, you wouldn’t even know it had happened.

“I am surprised I heard nothing about it on the national news, nor in my local paper and newscasts,” said Jerald Stephens, 67, a West Virginia native and union rep, who has been a keen observer of local politics for as long as he can remember.

The BBC and CNN covered the news in their business sections, while The New York Times picked up a short story by The Associated Press on the deal. The stories’ headlines were muted; their placement low-key.

Paul Scracic, political science professor at nearby Youngstown State University said that such an investment, three times the total annual budget for the department of energy would have been front-page news.

President Trump didn’t tweet about that, which is apparently the source for the media’s reports about the President. Easy, you don’t have to talk to anyone, just log on to twitter. Go out and talk the people? Nah.

So far the details are scant, but China Energy will invest nearly $84 billion in West Virginia, the biggest of the $250 billion deals Trump signed with China. The first efforts are scheduled to begin in six to eight months  with building two natural gas-fired power plants, likely in Brooke and Harrison counties which have major job and population losses over the past 30 years. West Virginia, understandably. is a solid red state. But voters in the areas of Pennsylvania and Ohio that also represent our coal and natural-gas areas matter as well.

The media usually mocks Trump’s promise of jobs to the Heartland as empty campaign rhetoric. Apparently to get their attention he has to shout about it on Twitter.

Tom Lifson of American Thinker also commented on the lack of media attention, and how much the deal tentatively offers”

Although the deal’s non-binding, it was welcomed in a state that’s borne the brunt of coal’s long-term decline. West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, a coal and real estate mogul elected to office last year, has lobbied the Trump administration to prop up the state’s coal-mining sector.

“Expanding Appalachia’s energy infrastructure, including developing a regional storage hub and market for natural gas liquids, will have a transformative effect on our economy, our security and our future,” U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican, said in the statement.



Explaining Capitalism Once Again. by The Elephant's Child

John Mackey, co-founder of Whole Foods, explains to Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie just why Intellectuals hate Capitalism. “Intellectuals have always disdained commerce” he says. “They have always sided…with the aristocrats to maintain a society were the business people were kind of kept down.” (This is a 2015 conversation, but good on capitalism)

I’ll just add Roger Kimball’s excellent take once again.

Here’s the bottom line: Capitalism is the greatest engine for the production of wealth the ingenuity of man has ever invented. Are you interested in helping the poor? Embrace capitalism. Do you want to help clean up the environment? Embrace capitalism. Are you interested in obliterating the scourge of malnutrition in some ghastly African disease, or illiteracy, embrace capitalism. The global poverty rate, Kevin reminds us, has been cut in half in the last 20 years. Think about that. Then think about that. Then think about the sorrowful history of our species up to about 1830. How much progress against widespread—really, near total—poverty had been there from the beginning of time until then—until, that is capitalism started to take off? Not much



About Draining That Swamp… by The Elephant's Child

How about a little good news for a change? You may be astonished to learn that it comes from Canada. Conrad Black says that “the Canadian media has failed in its coverage of the biggest political news in the world in many years. Trump is the most successful U.S. president since Reagan.” (Do read the whole thing.)

But no one relying on the Canadian media would be aware that he has more than doubled the economic growth rate, reduced illegal immigration by about 80 per cent, withdrawn from the insane Paris Climate accord, helped add trillions to U.S. stock market values, created nearly two million new jobs, led the rout of ISIL, and gained full Chinese adherence to the unacceptability of North Korean nuclear military capability. He will probably pass the greatest tax cuts and reforms since Reagan, if not Lyndon Johnson, by Christmas, and may throw out the most unpopular feature of Obamacare, the coercive mandate, with it.

And here’s Victor Davis Hanson at American Greatness:

After 10 months of governance, Trump’s deregulations, a foreign policy of principled realism, energy agendas, judicial appointments, efforts at tax reform and health care recalibration, cabinet appointments, and reformulation at the Departments of Education, the EPA, and Interior seem so far conservative to the core.

In the few areas where Trump conceivably differed from his 16 primary Republican rivals—immigration, trade, and foreign policy—the 20th-century Republican/conservative orthodoxy was actually closer to Trump’s positions than to those of recent Republican nominees, John McCain or Mitt Romney.

Vast majorities of conservatives always favored enforcement of federal immigration law rather than tolerance of sanctuary cities. They wanted to preserve legal, meritocratic, diverse, and measured immigration, not sanction open borders. And they championed the melting pot over the identity politics of the salad bowl.

After the daily criticism and angst from the junior journalists, it’s nice to hear about the president’s accomplishments for a change, for there are a lot of them.  A little celebration is in order.



The Ongoing Struggle over Immigration is — Ongoing by The Elephant's Child

Remember the outcry from the Left when President Trump said he was going to temporarily ban immigration from certain majority Muslim nations? Judges erupted. Can’t do that. Religious freedom. Can’t be banning anyone from coming to the United States. Open borders. We are a nation of immigrants. Give me your tired your poor, your huddled masses etc. etc. National Review commented:—

Trump’s plan, even in its most primitive iterations, always has been based on the entirely commonsensical principle that America’s immigration policy should serve American interests. Taking this as a starting point, Trump laid out a ten-point policy that emphasizes securing the border, enforcing immigration laws, prioritizing the removal of criminal aliens, and creating the legal and economic disincentives necessary to reduce illegal immigration in the long term.

A review of information compiled by a Senate Committee last year revealed that 72 individuals from the seven countries covered in President Trump’s executive order about vetting have been convicted in terror cases since the 2011 attacks. Here are the seven countries involved.

—Somalia: 20
—Yemen: 19
—Iraq: 19
—Syria: 7
—Iran:  4
—Libya: 2
—Sudan: 1
—Total: 72

According to the report, at least 17 individuals entered as refugees from these terror prone areas. Three arrived on student visas and one arrived on a diplomatic visa. At least 25 of these immigrants eventually became citizens, ten were lawful permanent residents and just four were illegal aliens.

These immigrant terrorists lived in at least 16 different states, with the largest number from the terror-associated countries living in New York (10), Minnesota (8), California (8), and Michigan (6). Ironically, Minnesota was one of the states suing to block Trump’s order to pause entries from the terror-associated countries, claiming it harmed the state. At least two of the terrorists were living in Washington, which joined with Minnesota in the lawsuit to block the order.

Thirty-three of the 72 individuals from the seven terror-associated countries were convicted of very serious terror-related crimes, and were sentenced to at least three years imprisonment. The crimes included use of a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit a terror act, material support of a terrorist or terror group, international money laundering conspiracy, possession of explosives or missiles, and unlawful possession of a machine gun.

Trump has renewed his commitment to a physical wall on the southern border, and prototypes are being studied. If the wall significantly cuts back on illegal immigration, it would pay for itself. All those illegal immigrants have costs for this country.

William Voegeli remarked “In contrast to America,countries like Canada and Australia treat immigration the way Harvard treats college admission or the New England Patriots treat the NFL Draft as a way to get the talented that can benefit the institution and keep out the untalented. Here in America we increasingly treat immigration as if it were a sacred civil right possessed by 7 billion foreigners.”

Tom Sowell said: “What should American immigration policy be? It doesn’t matter what any of us think that policy should be if the borders are not secure because whoever wants to come across that border will come anyway, in defiance of whatever the policy might be.
If legal benefits are conferred on illegal immigrants before the border is secured, we may as well give any pretense that have an immigration policy, because benefits conferred are never going to be taken back no matter how porous the border remains.”

No matter how excellent a plan President Trump comes up with, the cries will remain “But We are a nation of immigrants!” The Left wants more bodies to change the demographics for the 2020 election, which will change the electoral college —which is their major concern. They don’t want another election wrongly decided.



The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers by The Elephant's Child

I don’t know how familiar Americans are with the story of their own Navajo Code Talkers who served in the Untied States Marine Corps in the Pacific theater in World War II, but it is a proud and fascinating story. Early in the war in the Pacific, it became clear that the Japanese had broken our military codes. We had used Native American speakers in World War I with some great success, but the Germans were not about to leave themselves vulnerable. They infiltrated reservations across the United States to learn the languages. The Navajo reservation in the Four Corners area of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico is remote, beautiful, but not easily penetrated.  Here is their story.

These are two different treatments of the Code-Talker history. The first is longer, but all in one story. The second comes in three parts. When you have time you might want to watch both.

In July of 2001, President George W. Bush decorated 29 Navajo Code Talkers, They were represented by the four remaining code-talkers. Belated, but welcome recognition. It’s an important story.

We make a lot of mistakes in this country, a lot of trial and error, but eventually we usually manage to get it right. If you have some young people in your family, do share. They need to know a little history too.



Diversity and Exclusion: You Can’t Make This Up! by The Elephant's Child

Returning to the diversity front, Apple has fired their new diversity chief, Denise Young Smith, who is stepping down after only six months on the job. She made the mistake back in May, of commenting during a conference: “There can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blond men in a room, and they’re going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.”

“Her comments were seen by some as insensitive to people
of color, women, and members of the LGBT community, who have long faced an uphill battle in the workplace.”

Denise Young Smith later apologized for her comments, saying that they “were not representative of how I think about diversity and how Apple sees it.” “For that I’m sorry, she added in a staff email, “More importantly, I want to assure you Apple’s view and our dedication to diversity has not changed.”

Apple, like many Silicon Valley companies, is struggling to diversify its workforce, especially in its leadership and in tech jobs. In 2017, only 3% of its leaders were black, and women held just 23% of tech jobs.

Apple has said that it is making improvements, as shown in its latest diversity report in which it said that “50% of new hires are from historically underrepresented groups in tech.”

How revealing that Apple does not consider diversity of thought or ideas important. Orwell would be fascinated. And how interesting to note that they hire people not for their expertise, but for their race and sexual orientation. Although apparently correct thinking trumps even race, for Denise Young Smith, who is a 20 year veteran at Apple, is black and female.

Lest the Social Justice Warriors object, let me hasten to mention that in every race, every ethnicity, every sexual orientation there are geniuses and the intellectually challenged, and there are some in every group who are technologically skilled. I would much rather deal with a company that hires people for their expertise than one fixated on race, sex and ethnic origin to meet some wispy goal ginned up by the social justice folks. If you can’t make excellent products, we’ll take our business elsewhere.




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