American Elephants

When Electricity Comes, It Brings Progress and Promise. by The Elephant's Child

In a story posted recently at Watts Up With That, Paul Driessen writes about the coming of electricity to the veld, South Africa’s outback, and what it meant.

for 16 years Thabo Molubi and his partner had made furniture in South Africa’s outback, known locally as the “veld,” using nothing but hand and foot power. When an electrical line finally reached the area, they installed lights, power saws and drills. Their productivity increased fourfold, and they hired local workers to make, sell and ship far more tables and chairs of much higher quality, thereby also commanding higher prices.Living standards soared, and local families were able to buy and enjoy lights, refrigerators, televisions, computers and other technologies that Americans and Europeans often take for granted. The area was propelled into the modern era, entrepreneurial spirits were unleashed, new businesses opened, and hundreds of newly employed workers joined the global economy. …

Thousands of other African communities want the same opportunities. But for now they must continue to live without electricity, or have it only sporadically and unpredictably a few hours each week. Over 700 million Africans – and some two billion people worldwide – still lack regular, reliable electricity and must rely on toxic wood and dung fires for most or all of their heating and cooking needs. (continue reading)

What these people most need is clean water and reliable power. Modern coal-fired power plants have few environmental or health problems, except in the minds and propaganda of eco-activists. Africa would appreciate less aid, not more. And the chance to improve their lives with their own industry.

Environmental do-gooders  want Africa’s poorest nations to worry more about CO2 than about cholera, tuberculosis and malaria. It’s self-serving nannyism. Help them to get the energy technologies that will give them a chance.

We Will Meet Until We Get This Deal Done, Obama Says, and Leaves Town by The Elephant's Child

It’s hard to get your mind around the budget business. It’s hard enough to try to grasp billion and trillions, which remain abstractions to most of us in spite of efforts to help us understand. Those explanations were posted early in 2009, so this is not exactly a new problem, and the warning signs were there.

The federal government’s fiscal year ends in October, so one would assume that when the 2010 FY ended in October 2010, the FY 2011 budget would be ready to go. The Democrat-controlled Congress, for the first time since 1974, refused to pass a budget and the government has been running on continuing resolutions ever since. With complete control of Congress until January of this year, they could have passed anything they want.

The president, who has to sign each of those continuing resolutions,  has been continually passive,  uninterested, or uninvolved  in getting a real budget passed. Many have been puzzled by the president’s refusal to lead.  Shouldn’t the president lead when members of his own party refuse to come to the table? His message has been that he shouldn’t have to shepherd this process through Congress — he shouldn’t have to lead.

It has been more than 40 days since the House passed a budget for 2011, cutting spending by $61 billion.  The president stirred.  He invited leadership of both houses to the White House for a conference. The result? A press conference.

My guess is that the president wants to avoid all the arguments and discussion, and emerge only at the penultimate moment when he can put his “gift” of community organizing speech to work, rousing public opinion and demonizing the other side. “A fiery President Obama insisted Tuesday that he and Congressional leaders couldn’t reach a deal to avert a government shutdown. I want a meeting again tomorrow here at the White House.”… “And if that doesn’t work we’ll invite them again the day after that .  And I will have my entire team available to work through the details of getting a deal done.”

Obama is so anxious to avoid a shutdown, that he’s heading out to make speeches in the Philadelphia area on energy and attend a gala in New York with black political activists.  He may not be hailed for his leadership, but you can’t blame him—it’s Congress’s fault.

Democrats’ strategy is clearly go  for a shutdown and then to blame the Republicans. Nancy Pelosi’s out there blathering about how the American people don’t want 6 million old people to go without meals. Debbie-Wasserman-Schultz, blonde harridan, selected by Obama as new head for the DNC, is suggesting that seniors will die. (She needs to watch that rhetoric, it’s ObamaCare that rations care for the elderly, and has already diverted $500 billion from Medicare for other purposes).

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) says it is impossible to pass anything that cuts funds from NPR or Planned Parenthood. That’s just dumb. Both organizations are popular with some segments of the population, and both are perfectly capable of standing on their own without government subsidy. If you’re out on the ocean and your rowboat springs a leak, first you have to plug the hole. then you can start bailing.  But you’d better bail with something larger than a teaspoon.

Democrats are predictable.  They are sure that Americans in general are stupid, and senior citizens are dumber yet, and particularly easy to scare, and Democrats  plan to scare them into voting the right way. They deny the debt, pretend that the deficits aren’t really a problem, and want to just kick the can on down the road to be solved — someday.

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