American Elephants


Ooops. The Russian Collusion Thing is Falling Apart by The Elephant's Child

The Left, still fuming at the election last November, has been depending on proof to emerge of Trump/Russian collaboration to show that the election of Donald Trump was a fraud. It was an article of faith. Everybody knew it was a fraud, they just had to prove it. Exactly what the Russians had done was a bit murky. It was thought that they published anti-Hillary stories on the RT.com website, and planted fake news on Facebook and Twitter. John Hinderaker at Powerline points out that “Facebook has now disclosed to Congress 470 accounts that have been traced back to Russian origins. It turns out that the Russians were trying to stir up race hatred by supporting BlackLivesMatter through an account called Blacktivist.”

“The Facebook Blacktivist account had 360,000 likes, compared with the verified Black Lives Matter account which currently has 301,000.” Follow the link to get an idea of what the Russians were up to:

At PJ Media, Debra Heine has a further account of the mischief:

The Black Lives Matter ad appeared on Facebook at some point in late 2015 or early 2016, the sources said. The sources said it appears the ad was meant to appear both as supporting Black Lives Matter but also could be seen as portraying the group as threatening to some residents of Baltimore and Ferguson.

New descriptions of the Russian-bought ads shared with CNN suggest that the apparent goal of the Russian buyers was to amplify political discord and fuel an atmosphere of incivility and chaos, though not necessarily to promote one candidate or cause over another. Facebook’s review of Russian efforts on its platform focused on a timeframe from June 2015 to May 2017.

These ranged from posts promoting Black Lives Matter to posts promoting gun rights and the Second Amendment to posts warning about what they said was the threat undocumented immigrants posed to American democracy. Beyond the election, Russians have sought to raise questions about western democracies.



The Argument Is Not What It Seems by The Elephant's Child
September 29, 2017, 8:02 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

President Donald Trump promised to build a wall—a great big wall. That has been scaled down a bit, as the reality of the terrain becomes clear. Portions of the border are reportedly not suitable for either a wall or fence, and remote.  But various proposals are being built as demonstrations to test and see how they will work and what’s possible. There will not be a huge concrete wall after all, but lots of use of the most advanced contemporary technology. Walls work in Hungary. Walls work in Israel. The Great Wall of China worked for a time, as did Hadrian’s Wall. The Saudis have built a wall.

Democrats continue with all the usual epithets: Racist, sexist, bigot, and big meanie. Cruel, uncaring. Walls don’t work, (yes they do), too expensive, useless, and so on ad-infinitum. That is not the real argument.

Democrats want open borders and lots of immigrants, legal or illegal, because warm bodies don’t have to be legal to get counted in the census, and a vastly increased population in states that currently vote Democrat will mean more seats in Congress in 2020.That’s what community organizers do.

They are working on lawsuits about redrawing voting district borders to gain political advantage. Obama and Eric Holder announced that they would be working on redistricting cases where Republicans have drawn district borders to their advantage. In Veith v. Jubelirer (2004) the Supreme Court held that as opposed to racial gerrymandering or “one person, one vote” equal protection claims, political gerrymandering claims are non-justiciable. This is because federal courts generally lack the authority to hear disputes raising political questions that are better left to the political branches. Will that hold?

Here is what should be the controlling fact.  Illegal immigration costs U.S. Taxpayers a Stunning $134.9 Billion a Year, according to a detailed analysis of federal, state and local programs that include education, medical, law enforcement and welfare.

Please remember that the federal government has no money of its own. It all comes out of your pocket. There are 4.4 million people who want to legally immigrate to the United States and are patiently waiting their turn. But there are limits on the number of new immigrants that the government believes they can handle.

Why should those who have been waiting for years have to wait while we admit others who have crossed the border illegally? Should Silicon Valley be able to increase the number of H-1B visas in order to import workers from other countries who will work for less?  Does a nation have a right to control their border? Do we admit the richest who can add to out wealth? Or your tired and poor as Emma Lazarus suggests? These are all complicated and   difficult questions, that should not be settled by changing the language (dreamers) suggesting that (against their will) should rank over a long legal wait.



Secretary Price Has Resigned From Health and Human Services by The Elephant's Child

Secretary Tom Price has resigned from Health and Human Services, and his resignation has been accepted by President Trump.

One of the most important notions of the Trump campaign was that of ‘draining the swamp.’ The nation’s capitol has become too expensive, too self-important, too unresponsive to the people. The Democrats in general, and the media in particular, have become consumed with hatred for the man who, in winning the election, has taken away their control in numbers, ideas, and power across the nation.

The Democrats not only confidently expected Hillary to win and continue their power in government, and to have their own way, but they were astonished to see the Trump victory echoing through the states down to the local level. They lost 13 seats in the Senate, 69 House seats, 910 State Legislative seats and 30 Legislatures. The Media no longer had powerful people in government eager for their attention.  From remarks from the media, it seems that the Obama administration was in constant contact trying (mostly successfully) to manage the news.

So you have probably not noticed that President Trump’s goal of making America great again involves cutting the cost of government. Cabinet officers and Congressmen who direct the work of the government have been excused for far too long for their carelessness with the taxpayers’ money. Secretary Price, who is also a wealthy man, may have thought nothing of chartering private jets for his travel, and billing it to the government, but the department’s inspector general did. It is unfortunate because Dr. Price is a good man, and was a good appointment as a physician,with long Congressional experience to Health and Human Services.

The media recently attacked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos who was flying on a private jet to her meetings all over the country, only to be terminally embarrassed to find that it was her own plane, and she was paying for it. So much will be made of the Price scandal. Other Cabinet members are looking closely at their own travel.

You will find that most of President Trump’s actions are based on ordinary common sense. Which is why he won the votes of a great many Americans who were fed up with “the swamp.” You will hear plenty about this ‘scandal’ and its reverberations.



Here’s How Hurricanes Form and Where They Come From by The Elephant's Child

This has certainly been an interesting hurricane year, with Irma, Juan, Lee, and Maria, Hopefully, Maria will be the end of it for this season. But what is a hurricane, where does it come from and why do they do so much damage sometimes? Here’s an article from Popular Science that explains all.

The NOAA/NASA satellite image of Hurricane Jose (left), Tropical Storm Maria (center), and Tropical Depression Lee (Right) on Sept 17, 2017. Now we have hurricane hunters who fly over the storms to determine what’s happening, and satellite  pictures and even Space Station pictures plus instant communication. 1933 was supposed to be a bad hurricane year, and they had none of that — except radio. But hurricanes have been around long before radio. Imagine how terrifying when such a storm appeared with little warning and no real preparation—just a devastating natural disaster, with little help, much too late.



Victor Davis Hanson Explains the Media Hysteria Over Trump And the Reality by The Elephant's Child

I think most of us have noticed that the American media seem to have slipped a cog. They are no longer the serious observers of government, exposing wrongdoing and praising praiseworthy ventures. They were supposed to serve as the watchdogs, alerting us to error and triumph, but they have instead become highly partisan purveyors of platitudes, or as President Trump tweets—fake news. That is perhaps too strong a term, but they are clearly partisan, and getting a lot of issues just plain wrong. If the media cannot get things right, the people have lost their guidelines.

People don’t seem to know quite what to make of President Donald Trump. Dr. Hanson gives the best explanation I have seen anywhere. Trump speaks differently. Dan Bongino who is from Queens, says simply that Trump talks like someone from Queens. I think a goodly amount of press angst comes from President Trump’s tweets. No president has tweeted before, and Trump says what he thinks. The media expects measured and carefully prepared speech, and don’t know what to do with such revelations. Salena Zito, outstanding reporter, says to ‘take Trump seriously, not literally’.

Victor Davis Hanson is an American classicist, military historian, columnist and farmer, professor emeritus of classics at California State University, Fresno, and currently a fellow in classics and military history at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, This is a clip from a longer speech given at Hillsdale College on May 26. 2017.



The Destruction From Hurricane Maria Has Been Massive in Puerto Rico by The Elephant's Child

The media has been trying desperately to prove that President Trump is callous and ignoring the needs of the citizens of Puerto Rico in their hour of need, but the facts are quite different.

“FEMA has provided more than 4.4 million meals, 6.5 million liters of water, nearly 300 infant and toddler kits to support 3000 infants for a full week, 70,000 tarps and 15,000 rolls of roof sheeting to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico since Maria’s landfall.” Food and water is being distributed from seven municipal locations in Puerto Rico. There will be more distribution points as areas open up. It’s going to take a long time to put this mess back together.

In Puerto Rico, fuel has been delivered to 19 hospitals for power generators, 200 gas stations have received fuel for distribution to residents. President Trump waived the Jones Act, a obscure regulation from the 20’s involving shipping and tariffs which interfered with getting aid to Puerto Rico. The people of Puerto Rico are American citizens, in case anyone is confused.

I tried to look up the nationalities of the islands of the Caribbean, but it is far too confusing. There’s the U.S., the British, the French, the Dutch, and most of the islands have islets or rocks around them that have names and nationalities, and some are independent, and nothing I found was simple or clear, so you’re on your own. Remember, Puerto Rico is 1200 nautical miles from Miami.



Steve Scalise Returns to the House by The Elephant's Child

Steve Scalise returned to he House of Representatives where he is part of the Leadership to an emotional outpouring. He was shot on June 14th at the annual Congressional Baseball Game by a deranged Bernie Sanders supporter, demonstrating the depths to which our political scene has fallen. He is Majority Whip, from Louisiana’s 1st District. It’s been a hard recovery for the shot shattered bones, and he is still using crutches 3 months later, but he’s had most of the country rooting for his recovery.



How Does Your Food Grow? Take a Look! by The Elephant's Child

You probably never thought about how these foods grow, even if you are a gardener. Startling photographs. I was surprised, and you will be too. I will never look at cashew nuts quite the same way again.



Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria, and Politics by The Elephant's Child

I just read, carefully, two posts that so clearly demonstrate the essence of what is going on in America right now, that I want to call them to your attention and ask you to read them in their entirety. Won’t take you long.

The first is from Investors Business Daily, an editorial, titled “Media Ignore Puerto Rico Devastation, then Blast Trump for Not Tweeting About It — Sad” They did ignore it. I have been following the hurricanes, with so many right in a row, and the media interest had moved to football. Their interest quickly shifts to the very latest.

Patrick Poole captured the tweets of the typical media lefty. (just skim them)
By Monday FEMA (Federal Emergency Management)tweeted that ten thousand + federal staff were on the ground in Puerto Rico doing search and rescue, restoring power and moving commodities.

FEMA press release detailed some of the relief headed towards Puerto Rico:

  • Six commercial barges transported and delivered meals, water, generators, cots, and other commodities to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • An air bridge is established, flying three flights per day to St. Croix, each carrying approximately 33,000 meals.
  • The logistics support ship SS Wright arrived carrying more than 1.1 million meals, and nearly one million liters of freshwater.
  • Two shipping barges with 1.2 million liters of water, 31 generators, and more than 6,000 cots arrived in St. Thomas.
  • Two additional shipping barges loaded with food, water, and emergency relief supplies are en route to the Caribbean Sea from Florida.
  • Millions of additional meals are being flown to Puerto Rico from staging areas in Kentucky and Florida.
  • The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is transporting a shipment of 124,000 gallons of diesel fuel to Puerto Rico, with arrival in the coming days.

It may not be obvious to the media, but one of the difficulties in getting supplies to Puerto Rico is that it’s an island 1200+ nautical miles from Miami, the closest major U.S. port. Here are pictures of the devastation.

The Defense Department has dispatched about 2600 troops to help Hurricane Maria victims in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. A Hospital ship is on the way. The carping in the tweet storm continues, clearly from people who know nothing whatsoever about rescue operations. 10,000 is not enough. Where are the distribution centers?

If you remember, President Bush flew over New Orleans right after Hurricane Katrina, but did not land, because a presidential presence disrupts everything, and he didn’t want to cause more problems for rescue workers. The media crucified him for it, claiming uncaring, callous, irresponsible — which was completely incorrect, but the media take mostly stuck.

President Obama used Hurricane Sandy devastation as a photo op to show him hugging marina owner Donna Vanzant who had just lost everything. He promised FEMA aid, federal help, and she believed him. Never heard from either FEMA or the president nor any government help. The picture convinced much of the public of the compassionate nature of the President. Obama knew how to set up good photo ops.

The United States is usually right there as soon as possible when there is a natural disaster. Israel is even better with quick arrival of skilled emergency teams. Both are already helping in Mexico City’s dreadful earthquake.

Puerto Rico is in terrible shape financially, having declared bankruptcy, after decades of Democrat management. ( It adds up to about $20,000 a person) Democrats are just not good at budgets, economics, or financial management, as is easily demonstrated in the states with Democrat governance. See New York, California, Connecticut, Maryland, and cities like Chicago and Baltimore.



Mindless Protests Have Cost Universities Dearly, Now It’s Football’s Turn. by The Elephant's Child


The news today seems to be entirely about professional sports teams protesting the national anthem because—well, that’s where it gets a little confusing.  I’m not a professional sports fan, and usually pay no attention, so forgive me if I get some of this wrong. Apparently it all began with Colin Kaepernick,  formerly a quarterback with the SF 49’rs, who took to “taking a knee” (two knees is religious and bad, but one knee is a protest?) to protest the National Anthem, because of the oppression of blacks?  That didn’t go over very well, but his winning streak for the 49’rs didn’t last and he’s now a “free agent” which seems to be pro-sports speak for out of a job.

This young man is worth some $22 million, and had a salary of  $10,400,000. which doesn’t sound too oppressed.  So he is obviously concerned about other black people.

We just had a black president and first lady,  for two terms. We have had black Supreme Court justices for years beginning with Thurgood Marshall.  Currently Clarence Thomas serves, but he is a conservative, so he doesn’t count. He is regularly called an “Uncle Tom” and not included in the Smithsonian Black American History Museum. The Congressional Black Caucus currently has 45 members, is described by Wikipedia as a”racial organization,” and you have to be black to belong. There are 6 black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and one of them is a woman.  Blacks are very active in the movie industry, and Morgan Freeman not only appears in every movie, but is right there whenever a deep voice is needed.

There are black professors in most universities, black novelists appear on the bestseller lists, black historians, black chefs (I’ve recently been getting Stubbs slow-cooker sauce, and recommend it), black fashion designers, black artists, and our music world would be poverty stricken indeed were it not for the contributions of black musicians. Black economists have added immeasurably to our understanding of how economies work — Tom Sowell has a particular genius for explaining things in an uncomplicated way, without jargon, that quickly makes sense, and Walter Williams brings a libertarian approach, but both are called Uncle Toms. Easier to insult than to emulate.

Some believe the Black Lives Matter claims, but their Marxist propaganda does not stand up to actual statistics. Cops shoot far more white men than black. More blacks are incarcerated because they commit more crimes. In general the police are trying to keep the peace and stop criminals from harming others, at great risk to themselves. There are some bad cops, some unjust court cases, and some wrong people blamed for a crime they did not commit. That is not the norm.

Now if you want to count comparable numbers, maybe it is unfair, I haven’t counted. It seems that there is no field that is not wide open to those who strive. On the other hand, our schools are not doing so well. Some schools that serve black neighborhoods are failing the kids, despite, in many cases, spending much more than other schools per pupil. That’s what Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education is trying to fix by promoting charter schools, school choice, and insisting that schools are responsive to the needs of students and the expectations of parents. Reports from our universities reveal that the kids cannot write coherent sentences and whole papers are beyond them. But that is not black kids but all kids. The schools apparently decided that in an era of keyboards, it was no longer necessary to teach writing—in the case of cursive writing, and in the case of putting words together in a way to actually make sense. The demise of cursive writing is unfortunate, for one of the best tricks for remembering something is writing it down, and writing it down at length is important so that you can go back and look at it later and see where you have been stupid.

Former president Obama clearly made race a feature of his administration. He vowed to make trouble for his successor, remaining in Washington to supervise the efforts of his OFA, which seems to be behind much of the attacks on President Trump. The New York Post explains how Obama is funding the anti-Trump resistance, with some funny business with the mortgage crisis settlements, and an improper, maybe unconstitutional, slush fund. He certainly managed to make race a much more prominent problem during his administration.

I don’t think knowledge, or skills, or education, or ability, or ambition has anything to do with the color of anyone’s skin. To the astonishment of most university students today, America was not the only nation that once had slavery. Slavery was common all over the world since long before recorded history. “Native American” nations were warring with and enslaving one another long before Europeans arrived. In the South there were blacks who owned slaves. Slavers from the Mediterranean raided the British isles to capture slaves. The African slave trade mostly went to the sugar islands and South America. America remains unusual in having fought a civil war to end slavery and in making successive laws to stamp out the remnants. Look to the Islamic countries where slavery is still common.

Sunday was a day for sports team protest. They claimed to be protesting President Trump for suggesting that they should be fired for protesting the National Anthem, when so many have fought and died for our country. It was the anthem they insulted, and the country, and the veterans. Owners and coaches may not realize the animosity that our people feel when their country and their flag is insulted. There’s a reason why the Emmys had the fewest viewers ever. There’s a reason why some stadiums are half empty. How about you? Are you boycotting anyone?



And on the Environmental Front, They Want You to Shut Up. by The Elephant's Child

California City attorneys in San Francisco and Oakland (just across the bridge) have sued five oil companies, BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Exxon Mobile, and Royal Dutch Shell. They are suing them under California law for being a public nuisance.

They filed two coordinated lawsuits on Tuesday—arguing that the courts should hold those companies responsible for climate change, and force them to financially compensate the cities for the harm the plaintiffs claim those companies are causing to the planet.

“For decades, Defendants have known that their fossil fuels pose risks of ‘severe’ and ‘catastrophic’ impacts on the global climate through the works and warnings of their own scientists or through their trade association.”

The climate cult believes. Those who are prospering from fostering panic about the threat to the planet have federal grants, new equipment for their labs, enhanced salaries, assistants, and the eager attention of reporters as well as a yearly trip to some resort for a big climate conference. This is very big business.

Also on Tuesday, Leonardo DiCaprio was speaking at the Yale Climate Conference, where he took to the podium to announce that:

We have watched as storms, wildfires, and droughts have worsened, and as extinctions have become increasingly frequent. And some of us have also listened as the scientific community sounded alarm bells about climate change as far back as the early 1990s.

That’s total bunk. Not a word is true.He added:

“Yet with all of this evidence – the independent scientific warnings, and the mounting economic price tag – there is still an astounding level of willful ignorance and inaction from the people who should be doing the most to protect us, and every other living thing on this planet.”

James Delingpole has great fun debunking the “predictable and scientifically illiterate eco tosh.”

Up North, they are playing around with a complaint filed by Ecojustice, accusing three groups: Friends of Science, the International Climate Science Coalition, and the Heartland Institute for making false and misleading claims about climate change, including that the sun is the main driver of climate change, not carbon dioxide, and that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

When it launched its complaint in December, 2015, Ecojustice told the National Observer it would press the Commissioner of Competition to refer the matter to the Attorney-General of Canada for “criminal charges against the denier groups”.

There is a notable trend at the present to rush to the courts, and to attempt to tell those with whom we disagree to shut up. Movie people may feel very passionate about their personal beliefs, but that’s not science. It may be extremely annoying to have people claiming that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant and now that we’ve passed 400 ppm, we’re all going to die, but it’s worthwhile to pause and realize that greenhouses are often filled with air containing 1000 ppm of CO2, and the greenhouses are not filled with dead bodies of nurserymen, but happy plants.



Hillary Demands The Elimination of the Electoral College by The Elephant's Child

Hillary is still touring the country on her perpetual “What Happened” First Woman Whine presentation. She simply cannot get over herself.  She was destined to be the first woman president, and now she is demanding that we eliminate the Electoral College, because she is right and the Founders were wrong.  She joins Maxine Waters on the most embarrassing Democrat list.

There is no such thing as a national popular vote. That is not the way our electoral system works, and ill-informed reporters simply prove that they are unfamiliar with the Constitution as well as the law.

As supposedly the most qualified candidate ever to run, Hillary exhibits an astonishing unfamiliarity with the United States Constitution and the reason why the founders invented an Electoral College. Michael Ramirez explained visually what would happen if we elected presidents by some kind of national popular vote.

In that case only four states would determine who the president should be and the rest of the country could go hang. The other states simply would not count. The electoral college assures that the votes of even the smallest or least populated states matter. And if we are to have a country where everybody matters, it’s important. The number of states and their population has changed a lot since the founders were struggling to do right by succeeding generations, but we should be eternally grateful for their wisdom.

The idea of Hillary’s qualifications for being president were based entirely on her job titles: First Lady, Senator, Defeated Candidate, Secretary of State. I’m not convinced that being married to the President is a qualification. She was elected to a safe Democratic seat when Daniel Patrick Moynihan retired. Her accomplishments as a Senator were carefully enumerated by the Huffington Post. She dropped out to run for the presidency, lost, and Obama appointed her as Secretary of State. The accomplishments in that office amounted to a lot of travel, and a “reset button” for the Russians as a joke, but she could not even get the Russian language correctly translated.

Benghazi was a disaster, her ambassador begged for help, for more security, warned that the situation was getting out of hand, and died along with his aide, and two CIA contractors who were trying to save the embassy staff. It was not the fault of someone who made a video that no one ever saw.

Her “carelessness” with classified documents convinced many voters that she was unqualified for office. Anyone who paid attention to the news knew that Moammar Ghaddafi was a bad guy, but he had given up any effort to get nuclear weapons when he saw what happened to Saddam. But he kept a lid on a very troublesome country. Hillary decided that he should be eliminated, and set loose all sorts of terror. Today the Islamic State controls Libya, and much of the population had to flee for their lives.

Somehow, she never seemed to have done her homework, nor to have studied up to have some expertise on a subject, any subject. But that was just an impression.

Somebody remarked today that the ultimate payback will be when Nikki Haley is inaugurated as the first woman president.




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