American Elephants

Liberalism Makes Absolutely No Sense Whatsoever 2.0 by The Elephant's Child

— Let me see if I have this straight.  President Obama says that extending unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut will create more jobs than an oil pipeline that would run from Canada to Texas.  So 20,000 people getting extended unemployment benefits will do more for the economy than 20,000 Americans getting paychecks to build the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Republicans want to add approval of the Keystone XL pipeline to the bill extending unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut (which takes that money directly out of social security funds).  Obama says that if they do, he will veto the bill.  Nancy Pelosi says that adding the Keystone XL approval to the extension of unemployment benefits is “adding a poison pill.” They’re really concerned about jobs, aren’t they?

— Democrats want to increase gun control regulation that they haven’t been able to get through Congress,  so they order gun dealers to sell 2,000 guns to people who will sell them to the drug cartels who will kill hundreds of Mexicans and a U.S. border control agent in the hopes that that will make Americans want more control of guns.

— The Small Business Administration and the National Federation of Independent Business and the Chamber of Commerce have all extensively reported on the problems caused by excessive government regulation.  Many individual businessman have added their stories to try to explain the burden imposed by too much regulation. Ty Baker-Baumann, who owns a small business in Ohio,  said that in 2010 alone, the number of proposed new regulations has increased by 18 percent, and by 60 percent over the past five years.

Clarence Otis, a major Obama supporter, CEO of Darden Restaurants (Olive Gardens, Red Lobster and Longhorn steakhouse) wrote a forceful op-ed for CNN in which he explained the costs of excessive governmental regulation and mandates on his business.  David Brooks insisted that the Obama White House “does rigorous cost-benefit analyses  to review propose regulations and minimize their economic harm. His proof is that Obama’s regulatory czar Cass Sunstein is incredibly wonky and no ideologue.

Obama’s top economist Alan Kreuger says that “if new regulations were eating into business, we’d see a slip in corporate profits. We are not.” But they do seem to notice that private industry is not creating new jobs — and they never wonder why?

100 Pictures Taken From Airplane Windows —Beautiful! by The Elephant's Child
December 9, 2011, 7:14 am
Filed under: Africa, Australia, China, Developing Nations, Europe, Middle East, United Kingdom

 11. New York, New York

Here is a collection of pictures taken out of airline windows. Sounds like looking at a bunch of clouds, but they are quite amazing, as  you tour the world.  Enjoy.

This Civilization Thing: I Don”t Know If We’re Up to It! by The Elephant's Child
December 9, 2011, 7:02 am
Filed under: Economy, Energy, Junk Science, Politics | Tags: , ,

The Wall Street Journal reports — on the same day two weeks ago, Ohioans saw these headlines:

In the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

In the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “Republic Steel to add 450 jobs to Lorain as oil and gas exploration booms.” This story reported Republic Steel’s announcement of new jobs in one of Ohio’s hardest-hit counties, to manufacture products in support of the state’s growing oil and gas industry.

In the Marion Star:

“Ohio national forest halts sale of drilling rights.” This story reported the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s decision to suspend the auction of leases for oil and gas drilling on more than 3,000 acres of federal land in the most economically depressed region of Ohio.

Washington blocks drilling at the same time that Ohio manufacturers are adding jobs to support the state’s growing oil and gas exploration. The Ohio leases would have included parcels in three counties hurting for jobs.  Two of the counties have unemployment rates at 10,7% and 9.8%. Aggressive and responsible exploration of Ohio’s Utica shale, and continued mining of more than 20 million tons of coal her can revolutionize Ohio’s economy. A September study found that the Utica shale has the potential to create 200,000 jobs by 2015.  Cheaper energy prices, Lots of spin-off jobs, US Steel building a plant, more manufacturing. That’s all very nice, lots of jobs, but Obama has to appease his environmentalist supporters who prefer that Mother Earth remains undisturbed.

From the Australian website:

The Red Cross is investigating whether 600 million gamers are violating the Hague and Geneva conventions when they kill and blow stuff up for fun.

Delegates at the 31st International Conference of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Red Crescent raised the concerns over the potential “International Humanitarian Law” violations – which can constitute war crimes – during a workshop in Geneva.

The Red Cross said if it finds the conventions have been violated, they may ask game  developers to conform to international laws or encourage governments to create laws that regulate the gaming industry, Kotaku reported.

But international law professor at the University of New South Wales Anthony Billingsley told the Red Cross risked trivialising the conventions of warfare.

Mr Billingsley also said there is no way the conventions could apply to individuals because they were state-based.

“There are concerns about the blurring of fantasy and reality,” he said.

Remember that 1) the Hague Convention applies to states, not individuals.  2) The First Amendment trumps everything and 3) This is about video games. 

The International Committee of the Red Cross is empowered by the Geneva Conventions to protect victims of international and domestic armed conflicts.

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