American Elephants


Al Gore’s angry…again by The Elephant's Child

Man Bear Pig Al

Al Gore has been incensed with what he calls the “well-funded climate-denial industry”. There have even been accusations that the relatively small think tank C.E.I. received as much as $10,000 from oil companies to encourage C.E.I. to deny global warming. Roy Spencer, Principal Research Scientist at University of Alabama at Huntsville laughed and remarked that since the government was funding scientists to the tune of $100,000 and $200,000 to prove that the globe is indeed warming, anything the deniers were getting was pretty small potatoes. Dr. Kenneth Green of A.E.I. calls our attention to the following article from Ad Age:

“But now one of the most hotly contended pitches out there is for the Alliance for Climate Protection, the organization formed last year by Al Gore. Four elite agencies — Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the Martin Agency and Y&R — are squaring off for the business and are expected to present to the former vice president himself early next month, according to executives familiar with the review. The budget for the “historic, three-to-five-year, multimedia global campaign,” as the request for proposals puts it, is contingent on how much money the alliance raises. Media spending will likely be more than $100 million a year.”

That’s right, $100 million per year. Al Gore, who seems to think it is sinister for other people to spend money in order to communicate their ideas about sound public policy is going to outspend the entire mass of climate policy critics tenfold in order to spread his message of environmental catastrophism to the public.

Will Newsweek damn Gore’s eco-industry funded hysteria campaign to lead a charge back to the stone age? Don’t hold your breath. (h/t Planet Gore on NRO)



Who would have thought? by The Elephant's Child

https://i0.wp.com/www.santabarbaradowntown.com/images/santa_barbara_city_seal-web.gif

City councils can be really ridiculous.

You would expect people to run for the office of city councilperson because they care about the running of the city, potholes and such, but no-oo. Apparently many serve on a city council because they want to change the world, or practice foreign affairs or just play politics.

Professor James Q. Wilson sent the following summary of an article in the Los Angeles Times to Powerline :

On August 26, 2007, the Los Angeles Times published an article explaining why the city council of Santa Barbara has been prevented from painting a blue line across the city to mark how high the water will be if you believe Al Gore’s prediction that global warming will make the oceans rise by 23 feet. The idea was not defeated because people realize that Gore’s prediction is silly and wrong, but because a Realtor threatened a law suit based on the argument that property values below the line would fall.



A word about the poor… by The Elephant's Child
August 29, 2007, 9:13 pm
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Economy, Politics | Tags: , , ,

You probably saw the headline in the New York Times last year about the Swedish economists who said that the average Swedish citizen was poorer than America’s poorest. Well, no. Didn’t happen. The Swedish economists did indeed, but the New York Times didn’t mention it.

The government released its annual report on household incomes yesterday, and if the media did not have Senator Craig to distract them, you would hear a lot more about poverty today. There is a standard poverty theme: the left expresses moral outrage that in the world’s richest country there are still Americans living in poverty. The right, greedy and mean of course, believes that poverty is a result of government meddling.

Well, no. The fact is that government statistics don’t really tell us very much about poverty. The “poor”, technically, are a family of four who had cash income in 2006 of $20,614 or less, or a single person who had cash income of less than $1o,294. That isn’t much, but multiple studies show that Americans consume way more than their reported income.

How can this be? Take Joe college kid. He graduated in June, moved back home, took a couple of months vacation, spent a month getting his resume together, getting interview clothes and taking a part time job as a barista, so he could job hunt. After 3 months he found the job he wanted which paid pretty well. His total income from the coffee shop was only $2,340. The new job paid $40,000, but unfortunately he had only a month’s income from it. He is one of the “poor”. And there’s Bob business owner. He had a pretty good income, but some major business expenses to write off, and his wife had heavy medical expenses. By the time he finished his deductions, he had little formal income. You can think of many circumstances which would leave someone with little taxable income.

46% of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home described as “poor” by the Census Bureau is a three bedroom house with one and a half baths, a garage and a porch or patio. 80% of poor households have air conditioning. Over 60% have more than two rooms per person. In 1970 more than 25% of the poor lived in overcrowded conditions (more than one person to a room) today it is only six percent.

The typical ‘poor’ American has more living space than average citizens of most European cities: Paris, London, Vienna or Athens. 75% of poor households in America own a car, 31% own two or more cars. 97% have a color television, over half own two or more colot TVs, and 62% have cable or satellite reception. About 33% of poor households have both landline and cell-phones. A third have answering machines, but a tenth of the poor have no telephone at all.

The percentage of Americans in poverty is decreasing, and their situation is improving. Sorry, Mr. Edwards, but it’s so.

There is real poverty among us. We are usually urged to think of poor children, because we are more sympathetic towards children, children can do little about their own situation, and because those discussing poverty have an agenda and want to influence us .

There are two main reasons why American children are poor. Their parents don’t work much and their fathers are absent. The typical American poor family, in good times or bad, is supported by only 800 hours of work a year. If one adult in the family worked for 40 hours a week throughout the year (2,000 hours) 75% of poor children would no longer be in official poverty.

Roughly two-thirds of poor children live in single-parent homes. Every year more than 1.5 million children are born out-of-wedlock. If the fathers of these children married the mothers, nearly three quarters of children would no longer be in poverty .

Work and marriage are reliable ways to escape poverty, but the welfare system is hostile to both. The major programs such as public housing, food stamps and Medicaid penalize marriage and reward idleness.

The left wants to eliminate poverty, but they think in terms of government programs. They have been outraged by welfare reform, for they believe it is harming the poor. They want more programs and more generous programs for they care about groups, and hope to woo those groups as Democrat party voters.

The right wants to eliminate poverty, but they think in terms of getting people back to work and discouraging out-of-wedlock childbirth. Republicans think in terms of individuals and recognize that welfare is both demeaning and discouraging, and that only through personal responsibility can one escape poverty. They would rather give people a boost up. They would rather “teach them to fish” as the proverb goes.

Labor unions have invested millions of dollars in the attempt to unionize Wal-Mart, whose employees apparently do not wish to be unionized. The unions have made every attempt to demonize Wal-Mart for paying low wages to their employees while helping those employees to get government health care. Wal-Mart is the largest employer of welfare-to-work women, and for the first year those women are required by the government to have Medicaid, as they begin to get on their feet and learn how to hold a job.

Is Wal-Mart helping women to get off welfare or are they just getting cheap labor? Should society insist that those who are able to work do so? Does giving the poor more money really help? How long should we keep it up? What about those who fail at their first job? There are many hard questions and few easy answers. Playing politics with poverty is not only unnecessary, but cruel.



Nanny Huckabee! by Emerald City Elephant
August 29, 2007, 9:40 am
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Politics, The Constitution | Tags: , ,

Huckabee Clinton

Mike Huckabee just lost my vote, and I hope yours too.

Governor Huckabee has just demonstrated without a doubt that he is no conservative, and has no clue what the constitutional role of the federal government is or ever was intended to be. He’s proven, probably without realizing it, that he is just another full-fledged, big-intrusive-government, nanny-state politician.

Asked if congress passed a nationwide smoking ban, at the if he would sign it, Huckabee said, “absolutely!” and that he thinks smoking should be banned in all public places and anywhere anyone works.

Nevermind that the entire idea that second hand smoke poses a danger to anyone is complete junk science—it is! In fact, all the most authoratative studies say its not even a danger if you live with a smoker. Its not even the smoking thats the problem.

It’s that Huckabee thinks there is any role whatsoever for the federal government in this issue in the first place. Its that he is willing to infringe upon the liberty of Americans based on fads and entirely phony-baloney evidence. And that he thinks that it is the proper role of government, especially the federal government, to protect Americans from themselves.

Even if you hate smoking, as odds are that you do—why do you have the right to tell me that I cant allow my customers to smoke at my privately owned bar or restaraunt?

Conservatives believe in small government, individual liberty and the free market. If you don’t like smoking, patronize places that dont allow it. If there arent any places that dont allow it, start one! There’s obviously a demand for it. But it is antithetical to conservative principles to use the power of the government to force private enterprise to ban perfectly legal behavior that harms no one but those who engage in it.

And even if you don’t agree with any of that—if you believe its perfectly appropriate for the government to reach into private enterprise and make such decisions for people—why shouldn’t this be left at the state and local level? Where does the federal government have any role in such decisions whatsoever?

The constitution is not an enumeration of the rights of the people, it is a specific list of the few powers the people confer upon the federal government. If you support Huckabee, please show me where the constitution grants the federal government such power, because I know its not in my copy.

And therein lies the danger of Nanny Huckabee. Someone who doesnt understand such a bedrock principle of conservatism doesnt understand the role of the federal government at all. Huckabee is big on health now, whats to prevent him from signing a national ban on trans fats? What other personal liberty will he destroy for the “common good”? He’s just shown that he’s entirely willing to, based on entirely faulty science and fad. And that should scare the pants off any true conservative.

If you have any lingering doubts that this policy shows a fundamental flaw in Huckabee’s understanding of government, Hillary Clinton holds the exact same view.



Another murderous dictator endorses Democrats by Emerald City Elephant

Carter Castro

Why is it that, without fail, every evil tyrant, thug, and murderous regime on Earth lines up squarely in favor of the Democratic party? Mahmoud Amedinejad, Osama Bin Laden, Muqtada el Sadr, al Qaeda, Kim Jong Il, Hugo Chavez, and now Fidel Castro:

HAVANA (Reuters) – Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro is tipping Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to team up and win the U.S. presidential election…

“The word today is that an apparently unbeatable ticket could be Hillary for president and Obama as her running mate,” he wrote in an editorial column on U.S. presidents published on Tuesday by Cuba’s Communist Party newspaper, Granma. [more]

Castro blasted Bush and lavished praise on both Bill and Hillary Clinton, Obama and his old friend, Jimmy Carter.

When the most evil men on Earth aren’t directly endorsing the Democrat candidates, they’re making speeches that sound as if they come straight from DNC talking points.

Democrat supporters: when evil is endorsing your party, don’t you think its time you re-evaluate your vote? I’m just saying



What to do with Senator Craig? by Emerald City Elephant
August 29, 2007, 4:49 am
Filed under: News, Politics | Tags: ,

mens room

There’s just nothing good about the whole messy affair. That is unless you’re a liberal who finds joy in other’s suffering—which of course is just plain evil.

I think he should step down. And not because he’s a closet homosexual, but because he’s a married man, cheating on his wife, lying to his family and constituents and breaking the law.

And the Republican party should urge him to do so with precisely that explanation—making it very clear to all Americans its out of intolerance for his actions not his orientation.

So far, the best opining I’ve seen on the issue comes from Patrick Ruffini, over at townhall:

…The only hypocrites here are the live-and-let-live left that continues to preach an absolute separation between public performance and private morality, and yet seeks to demolish that wall when it is politically expedient for them, doing so in the most personally invasive manner possible… [read more]

I agree with Ruffini that most Christian conservatives are, “a lot more sophisticated than the hateful outers of the left,” but there does exist a certain segment of Christian conservatives that are simply intolerant of homosexuals period—the ones who turned their backs on Jim Kolbe when he spoke at the Republican convention, for example.

I respect their right to believe that homosexuality is sinful, but I have yet to read any passage in the Bible that calls for us to turn our backs on others. I see behavior like that and I have great compassion for the Larry Craig’s of the world. I’ve never experienced that sort of hate from anyone but the left, but I can imagine it would torture a person.

Seems a lot of conservative leaders have been caught in similar scandals lately. Perhaps God is trying to tell us something?




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