American Elephants

Democrats are Opposed to God, Israel, and the Constitution. Is That Any Way to Run a Party? by The Elephant's Child

Oh my, what fun the Democrat Convention is. This year’s platform carefully omitted the usual reference to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It also omitted the usual reference to God. People noticed yesterday that this was the case, and the Jews were offended, and the religious were offended, so today they had formal amendments from the floor to put the standard references back in. Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles, Convention chairman, asked for a two-thirds vote on the amendments. He took a yea and nay voice vote, three times each, and had to lie to deem it passed.  And got loudly booed by angry delegates.

So the Democratic Party is formally opposed to Jerusalem, opposed to any mention of God, and one of the following speakers said to cheers that they were “the party of unity, not the party of growth.” That explains a lot.

Then we had a moment of Nancy Pelosi, former speaker, who announced firmly that Democrats were opposed to the Citizens United decision and would work to defeat it. Um, this was a Supreme Court decision — how do you work to defeat it? The president announced that he wanted — a Constitutional amendment to eliminate or reform the First Amendment? Have Democrats really become such loonies that they want to destroy our most precious declaration of rights?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people to peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Unbelievable.  These people are exhibiting their radical intent to destroy the freedoms that have been a beacon to the world, in the interest of growing government and their own power. People have streamed here from every part of the world in order to participate in freedom and opportunity unknown in human history, and the Democrats deem it unimportant?

Democrats have been getting weirder year by year. Remember all the flap about flag pins? Obama made a big deal about not wearing a flag pin. They don’t like the Declaration, they don’t like the Declaration’s listing of “self-evident truths,” and they find the idea of “unalienable rights endowed by their Creator” absurd. Rights are granted by government, and FDR’s Second Bill of Rights was way better. Those ought to get you way more votes, and that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Power. Big Controlling Government.

This has to be one of the stranger videos I’ve ever seen, but they liked it.

It’s not going well. They handed out free tickets all over town, they bussed in students from nearby colleges and universities, and they still haven’t been able to fill the Bank of America Stadium which they have renamed for the convention. So for Obama’s speech, they have moved the convention to a smaller, indoor stadium pleading “inclement weather.”

You get in trouble when you divide your electorate up into single-issue groups, and promise to grant their wishes in return for their votes. First thing you know, the African-American voters dislike the gay marriage vote and the atheists don’t want any mention of God and the Abortion rights people — it just gets really complicated, and promises get insincere and ignored, and the pressure grows to get more guarantees, and there you are.


“Organic” Is Only a Marketing Ploy. by The Elephant's Child

Headline in the New York Times environment section: “Stanford Scientists Cast Doubt on Advantages of Organic Meat and Produce.” They’re a little late with this, but if “Stanford University scientists have weighed in on the “maybe not” side of the debate after an extensive examination of four decades of research comparing organic and conventional foods,” then it is more official than it has been for umpty-ump years.

“Organic” has always been a marketing ploy. Organic growers, years ago convinced the Department of Agriculture that they should have guidelines for calling their produce “organic.” The guidelines refer to the process by which organic produce is grown. Only “natural” fertilizers and pesticides. The “organic” label has never indicated healthier, fresher, more nutritious, or even less pesticides. The pesticides used are derived from plants (pyrethrums). Fertilizers are natural manure.

The whole thing was born in one of those periodic panics about pesticides in foods. Who knows how they arise, but common sense goes out the window, and gullibility opens the door for promoters. Here is the guideline: The dose makes the poison. There are all sort of things that are completely harmless or even beneficial in small amounts that in large amounts might be poisonous — from radiation to pesticides.

The NYT article has big boosts from the organic trade association, the Environmental Working Group. The study is also a meta-analysis, meaning that they didn’t do any new studies, just combined all the old ones (not generally considered excellence). So there you go. Nothing new. If you want to pay extra (about 30%) more for organic food, the farmers will welcome your money.

I once bought a bottle of “organic” shampoo, in full knowledge of how totally ridiculous that was, but it was lemon verbena, and I can’t resist lemon verbena soap.

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