American Elephants

The Search for Scientific Truth Sometimes Wanders into Strange Paths. by The Elephant's Child
May 6, 2009, 10:10 pm
Filed under: Entertainment, Global Warming, Humor | Tags: ,

Here is clear evidence for the real cause of global warming climate change: (Click image to enlarge)


The rise in global temperatures since 1880 closely correlates with increases in postal charges, sparking alarm that perhaps CO2 has been usurped as the main driver of climate change.

The U.S. Postal Service is poised to raise the charges by 2¢ to a total of 44¢ for a first class stamp, on May 11, 2009.  According to Jo Nova, the Postal Action Network (PAN) has already sprung into existence this afternoon and plans a boycott campaign of the new 44¢ Homer Simpson stamp.

(h/t: Jo Nova)

Another Little Speed Bump on the Road to Utopia. by The Elephant's Child
May 6, 2009, 9:43 pm
Filed under: Economy, Energy, Global Warming, Law, Progressivism | Tags: ,

President Obama wants car makers to put a million plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) on American roads by 2015.  At least eight big automakers are gearing up to sell new types of electric cars.

There are some basic questions, however.  Where do you plug your car in?  GM’s Volt only goes 40 miles on a charge.  I know lots of people who drive more than 40 miles a day.  New York and Washington city-dwellers are unaccustomed to the big distances in the Western U.S .  When do you plug it in?  When you get home and everyone is cooking dinner, turning on the lights as it is getting dark? Hah!

Do we have enough new power plants to produce all this electricity?  It is not going to come from Obama’s vaunted wind and solar energy.  Hydropower dams are being torn out, not rebuilt.  Environmentalists are vehemently opposed  to nuclear energy, though it is the cleanest, safest, most environmentally sound energy on offer. Massive server arrays demand more and more energy.  Who is going to build all the “plug-in stations” and where do you put them?  How long does it take to recharge a battery at a plug -in station?

In Great Britain a study by the Campaign for Better Transport found that changing to electric vehicles might require increasing the country’s electricity capacity by 2.4 to 3.5 times.  Britain is not very big, and distances aren’t very long.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory looked into the problem.  “It seems that the general excitement with the idea of PHEVs springs from the perceived possibility of a ‘free lunch’,” states the latest study.  “There are some concerns about whether this lunch is really free.”

If you are trying to eliminate “carbon dioxide pollution” with electric cars, but require 3 or 4 times as many  coal-fired power plants — which Obama has promised to bankrupt — just where is the electricity going to come from?  That massive solar array in the Mojave Desert is opposed by environmentalist organizations — the very people who are so enthusiastic about solar energy— and Senator Diane Feinstein.

People who are enthralled by their own good intentions can really screw things up if they pay no attention to the consequences of their actions.

Scandal: Topless Photos of Gay-marriage opponent leaked! by American Elephant
May 6, 2009, 8:51 pm
Filed under: Humor, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear | Tags:

Iowahawk has the exclusive.

(h/t: Gay Patriot)

The Strange, Strange Goings-on at Chrysler. by The Elephant's Child

This whole Chrysler thing is simply unbelievable, and I’m not sure that I understand it at all.  In part this is because everything seems to be in flux. Chrysler is shut down, in bankruptcy, but not a ‘regular’ bankruptcy. The White House, Car Czar Steven Rattner and his deputy Ron Bloom are seeking to take property away from one group of people and give it to a more favored group.  And in the process, they are attempting to override contractual and legal rights of Chrysler’s senior lenders, and divide up the company between the government and the United Auto Workers.

The senior lenders are entitled, legally and contractually,  to be paid first, before the UAW, the UAW Pension Fund, or the taxpayers.  Some of the big banks, already cowering under administration threats, have buckled.  Obama forced the senior lenders to take 30¢ on every dollar that they had loaned to Chrysler.  Some hedge-fund managers pointed out that they have a legal and fiduciary responsibility to their investors — including pension funds — and decided to take their chances in bankruptcy court.

Obama has called them “speculators” and stated angrily that “I don’t stand with those who held out while everybody else made sacrifices.”

Creditors to Chrysler say that they were “taken aback” by the hardball tactics that the Obama administration took to try to force them into going along with administration plans to restructure Chrysler.

The government reorganization plan has the United Auto Workers Union eventually owning 55 percent of the stock in a restructured Chrysler LLC.  Fiat will eventually own 35 percent though they will put in no money whatsoever, but only offer their own technology for making very small cars, and the Government (the taxpayers) together with the senior lenders will own 10 percent of the company once it is reorganized.

This suggests that the government will be dictating what comes out of Chrysler’s production line.  The current owner of Chrysler, Cerberus Capital Management is one of the most wealthy and powerful private equity groups in the world.  They, according to Francis Cianfrocca, have access to billions of dollars that they could invest in Chrysler.  They have received over $5.5 billion from the federal government so far. The fact that they simply don’t want to invest their own money suggests that Chrysler isn’t  worth investing in.

It is highly improper for the government to take sides. Business is very much taken-aback at bullying tactics from the White House. And lawyers are aghast at the casual dismissal of the rule of law. This is the President who intruded into a publicly traded corporation and fired its CEO.  Something quite new in the exercise of presidential power.

The potential for Chrysler to turn a profit under government-imposed conditions seems slight.  I have explored some of the government-imposed problems lying-in-wait for the automobile companies here and here.  They are things that Congress has demanded in misguided laws, or that the White House intends to demand in the name of climate change.  And they are apparently quite unaware that they are making demands that cannot be met or would ruin the auto business anyway.

Absolutely, entirely unbelievable.

Why even bother with the results… by American Elephant
May 6, 2009, 4:18 am
Filed under: Humor, Law, YouTube

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