American Elephants


Class? I’ll Take The “Working Class” Over “The Elites” Any Day by The Elephant's Child

Sociologists like Charles Murray try to understand the people by dividing them up into groups, sometimes by race or ethnic origin, sometimes by class, sometimes by educational attainment, sometimes by income brackets, sometimes by political party. It’s done so that they can get some general ideas by comparing people who have similarities, to see how they are different.

The problem at Middlebury College was the invitation of Dr. Murray to speak. The Southern Poverty Law Center took issue with the idea that he used race as a way to compare and contrast some groups of people. Obviously Dr. Murray was a racist to divide people up by race. You can’t expect a bunch of  today’s college students, to understand how and why Sociologists study  people. They didn’t.

Since Election Day, Democrats have been dividing people up by class. The enlightened and well-to-do city folk naturally voted for Hillary Clinton who was destined to be the first woman president. The working class whites voted for the despicable Trump, obviously because they didn’t know any better.

Working class whites are conceived as those who work in small factories at routine jobs which they hate. They read little, do not have a college education, don’t make very much money, are poorly informed, and inhabit small town America. I’ve seen variations of this description over and over. I’ve even seen drawings of them, bellied up to a bar, drinking beer, exhausted after work. I just don’t recognize these people.

I came from small town America, or rural America if you prefer, and this description doesn’t apply to the people I know. There are people whose forbears came to America with the Puritans and recent immigrants who don’t speak English well. There are doctors and lawyers who prefer a rural practice. There are teachers who can match any scholar who prefer teaching in rural schools. There are ranchers who run hundreds of head of beef, big orchards that supply the demand of the Japanese for good apples who understand international trade quite well.

The pace of life may be a little slower, but there’s time to enjoy the seasons, to get some real reading done. To enjoy life in America. To assume that because people live in the rest of the country rather than in the coastal cities they are somehow less intelligent, poorer, work with their hands, or machines, and live somehow underclass lives is a gross mistake, but that’s what is going on. It may surprise some of our “elites” but a lot of the American people in the rest of the country don’t have a lot of respect for city people, nor for the denizens of Silicon Valley.

So pay no attention to the Democrats. They have no idea who the American people really are, they have no understanding of them, so it’s no wonder they are still posing as “the resistance” and attempting to demean those who have the gall to disagree with them.

The picture at the top is close to where I grew up. The local mountains are considerably higher than anything in the Adirondack chain, though we didn’t think of them as particularly high. If you have this in your back yard, so to speak, why would you want to live in a city with homeless camps under the freeways, safe injection sites for addicts, and an hour’s commute just to get home to your small apartment?

Democrats don’t like the folks on the other side of the aisle. They have been calling us names forever, aside from the regular racist, sexist, homophobe. populist, fascist, they refer to the America outside the coastal cities as “flyover country,” “redneck country”, “hillbilly country,” “the sticks.” “hicksville”, and they are quite sure that all the intelligent people live in the great coastal cities where everyone who matters lives and works.  The most famous slur, of course, was the 1976 New Yorker cover  that just skipped all the messy stuff between 9th Ave. in New York and the Pacific Ocean. It just doesn’t matter in the Leftist scheme of things.

Too bad because there are a lot of wonderful Americans out there in the heartlands. A little knowledge of history would help too, but that isn’t fashionable either. Western Civilization  is no longer taught in most universities, and the curriculum doesn’t deal all that much with American history. At least it seems not to be a required subject.

I guess all the protesters from the Vietnam War who got deferments by staying in school, have become the tenured professors of today, and they are hard at work destroying American higher education.

*Changed the phrasing of the headline to more accurately reflect my meaning.



Understanding the Tax Battle by The Elephant's Child

Here’s a graph with information from the IRS, explained by AEI economist Mark J. Perry that explains some of the confusing parts of the tax questions. Read it carefully until it sinks in.   I asked Bing how many U.S. taxpayers there are, and the best I could come up with was 243 million as of 2013. They apparently haven’t counted up since then, although it seems like a number that would be needed.

But never mind. Do a little math, multiply 243,ooo,ooo by 95%, and 243,000,000 by 01% so you are talking numbers of people or households, and that will give you a sense of what they are talking about with the bottom 95% and top 1%. The standard assumption that we can just soak the very rich doesn’t work. It’s just a helpful exercise. They don’t have enough money to pay all the taxes.

I suspect that most people don’t really know what they pay in taxes. If you work for a corporation or good sized business, you probably have your taxes withheld, and get a total at the end of the year, which you enter on your return and promptly forget. But I may be describing myself, not you.

At any rate Democrats will tell you that the entire Republican tax plan is just a give-away to the very rich. Republicans will try to explain what is actually happening and get so tied up in the complicated explanation that nobody understands anyway.

We have an enormous deficit, thanks to Obama. Baby Boomers in their vast numbers are beginning to retire, so they need more money. I would suggest that since federal pay reportedly is about twice the pay of the rest of us, some pay freezes might be in order.  Just a thought.



Here’s A Sample of What They Are Working On, by The Elephant's Child

Here, from Guy Benson and the Nonpartisan Tax Foundation analysis of the Senate Tax bill. They say “Our results indicate a reduction in tax liability for every scenario we modeled, with some of the largest cuts accruing to moderate-income families with children.” Lower taxes & higher post-tax income across the board…  ( click on the Graph then ‘View Image’)

Do remember that this is very much a work in process, changing before our very eyes, but this gives a sense of where they were at a point in time, which may or may not give you a sense of relief or not. As I said it’s very much a work in process. There are threats to shut down the government, as usual. Recalcitrant senators who won’t vote for if if xxx is not changed, and it has to be agreed upon by both houses. But at least it shows what they are working on, sorta.



“We Came, We Saw, He Died” She Joked. by The Elephant's Child

Hillary. Could not vote for her. She is a compulsive liar, and not a very good one. She keeps getting caught out. But I also knew that Mommar Gadhafi was a brutal dictator, and not a very nice one. But he kept his troublesome country in line. He had had nuclear ambitions, and when he saw Iran’s Saddam Hussein being dragged out of his hidey-hole and what happened to him, he discarded his ambitions thoroughly.

Hillary, as Secretary of State, not only ignored the rumbling of terrorists and revolutionaries in Syria, refused to send help to her ambassador and his aide, and extraction for the former Seals contractors who were attempting to save the embassy people, but decided to promote the end of the Gadhafi reign, apparently unaware of the fact that sometimes we have to support ruling bad guys in the interest of larger causes. Our ambassador died, unnecessarily, as did his aide and the two former Seals. Libya promptly descended into chaos, which continues.

Today USA Today reported:

Black Africans are being sold in open-air slave markets,  and it’s Hillary Clinton’s fault. But you won’t hear much about that from the news media or the foreign-policy pundits, so let me explain.

Footage from Libya, released recently by CNN, showed young men from sub-Saharan Africa being auctioned off as farm workers in slave markets.

And how did we get to this point? As the BBC reported back in May, “Libya has been beset by chaos since NATO-backed forces overthrew long-serving ruler Col. Moammar Gadhafi in October 2011.”

Under President George W. Bush, in 2003, the  United States negotiated an agreement with Libyan strongman Gadhafi. If Gadhafi would give up his weapons of mass destruction peacefully, we would not try to depose him. The Obama administration wasn’t much on continuing anything done by Bush, and in an operation spearheaded by Hillary Clinton, the United States went ahead and overthrew him. That has an effect on our options with North Korea.

The overthrow turned out to be a debacle. Libya exploded into chaos and civil war, and refugees flooded Europe, destabilizing governments there. But at the time, Clinton thought it was a great triumph — “We came, we saw, he died,” she joked about Gadhafi’s overthrow — and adviser Sidney Blumenthal encouraged her to tout her “successful strategy” as evidence of her fitness for the highest office in the land.

Uh huh.

 



Victor Davis Hanson’s “The Second World Wars” by The Elephant's Child
November 28, 2017, 9:11 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

Enlarge this one, and watch the whole thing. Victor Davis Hanson explains World War Two in ways that you have never heard before, that makes the whole thing more understandable, and more real. The mistakes, the misunderstandings, the abilities of some and the lack of ability of others. A masterful approach.



Foreign Policy At Work, Improving the World by The Elephant's Child

Russia has ample supplies of natural gas and oil, and has used that abundance as a political weapon. Poland wants to reduce its reliance on Russian energy and last week the Polish state-owned oil and gas company PGNIG, signed its first five-year deal to buy American liquefied natural gas. Our energy boom from the fracking revolution is serving American national interests and deterring the grasp of dictators abroad.

Gasprom. the Kremlin-owned energy company currently provides more than two-thirds of Poland’s gas, and other European nations also rely heavily on Russian energy. Putin has used that dependence as a weapon, and threatened to cut off supplies, and on some occasions he has cut them off.

In 2015, Moscow cut off gas supplies to the Ukraine. That year the United States surpassed Russia as the world’s top natural-gas producer and by February 2016, shipments of LNG from the US hit the export market. Poland announced that it did not intend to renew its long-term agreement with Gazprom.

Under the deal announced, Poland will receive as many as nine cargoes of LNG or roughly 30 billion cubic feet for their citizens consumption. It’s not a huge delivery, but is likely the first in a series of contracts. It will increase energy security in the region, and cuts back a little on Russian domination.

Sounds like a very good deal, that will benefit all concerned. It will even be good for Russia. Free market competition is good for everyone.



Are You Offended by Free Speech? by The Elephant's Child

Free Speech zones, small spots set aside where one can speak freely? Parents and alumni should let their colleges know that restricting freedom of speech is a non-starter. Universities are very aware of what has happened at Mizzou and Middlebury, Claremont and Evergreen to name a few, and they deeply, sincerely don’t want any big drop-off in enrollment nor in Alumni donations. Since they all belong to the same crowd, they are not really aware of how offensive contemporary colleges are to many, with outrageous tuition, and Marxist professors who consider themselves as the righteous ones, working to bring about a new and better world.

FIRE is a dandy place for your donations if you so choose. They take them to court, defend free speech and defend students caught up in the melee.



Even The Democrats Should Be A Little Grateful by The Elephant's Child


Democrats were quite sure that by now we would be mired in a global recession, with the end of the world just around the corner. Tom Steyer is still pursing his attempts to impeach Donald Trump, sure that he has committed some high crime, but nobody has found one just yet.

Americans have a lot to be grateful for, though Democrats aren’t much on gratitude either. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the NASDAQ and S&P 500 have been hitting one new record high after another. The Wilshire 5000 Index says that some $3.4 trillion in new wealth has been created since the Inauguration, and $5.4 trillion since President Trump’s election.  Some global recession! Business is confident again.

In the second quarter, the real GDP hit 3.1 percent increase, and 3.0 in the third quarter, and the New York Federal Reserve predicts that the 4th quarter output will expand by 3.8 percent. The average feeble GD growth in the Obama years was 1.5 percent. Even the IMF expects the global GDP to rise by 3.5 percent this year.

Unemployment is at 4.1 percent—a 17-year low.  New unemployment claims were the lowest since 1974. American companies are expanding their operations here instead of shipping jobs overseas. Foreign firms are planning new facilities and creating jobs here. Taiwan’s Foxconn will spend $10 billion on a new electronics plant in Wisconsin, (3000 employees) and Beijing has agreed to invest $84 billion in new energy projects in West Virginia.

The Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline are under construction with 42,000 jobs to be created.  The War on Coal is gone. The fake Paris Climate Accords are over. Obama’s Clean Power Plan,  $993 billion waste of economic sabotage is gone. For every new regulation from the Trump administration, 16 unnecessary regulations are gone.

President Trump signed legislation that enabled the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire incompetent or corrupt officials. So far, the VA has sacked more than 500, suspended 200 and demoted 33. He has also endorsed bills that give vets a greater choice in their own health care.

These numbers come from an essay by Deroy Murdock in National Review just before Thanksgiving, suggesting that there truly is quite a bit to be thankful for. It is certainly not Leftist big government, nor conservative nattering over every tick of the tax bill. It’s plain, common sense middle-of-the-road centrist progress. There’s lots more as well.

The Justice Department is investigating Harvard University for possibly discriminating against Americans of Asian descent who argue that they are being rejected in favor of less qualified applicants of other ethnicities. And good for the Justice Department.

President Trump has appointed a commission to investigate the glitches in our entire system of casting ballots and how it can be made tamper-proof. VP Pence chairs the effort. Does that put an end to the Democracy Alliance’s Secretary of State Project? And there is Obama’s announced effort to work with Eric Holder to prevent any Republican Gerrymandering: of electoral districts. I think it was Judicial Watch that estimated there were 1,100,000 illegal aliens who voted for Hillary.

ICE has arrested 97,482 illegal aliens as of October 27. Among those arrested 70 percent were convicted criminals. In an international operation from September to November 267 members of the deadly immigrant gang MS-13 have been arrested. Gang members are largely from El Salvador, with some from Honduras and Mexico.

That sounds like a remarkable amount of progress to me.



A Brave Dash for Freedom by a North Korean Soldier. by The Elephant's Child
November 25, 2017, 6:45 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

In a desperate bid for freedom, a North Korean soldier makes it across the DMZ in a hail of bullets. Shot five times, he is rescued by South Korean Marines who drag him to safety. He’s in hospital recovering. The doctors say he will recover from his wounds, but he is riddled with parasites, worms, and has tuberculosis. He is astonished to find that TB can be cured. His condition is not unusual in North Korea.
There are frequent defectors, but he is the first to make it across the DMZ in 3 years. The North Korean soldiers who allowed him to get away will undoubtedly be punished.



One More Mission From NASA Physicists and Engineers by The Elephant's Child


Unvalidated climate models that don’t correspond with physical data and the requirements of the scientific method contribute to unfounded climate alarmism, a retired NASA physicist said at the Heartland Institute’s recent America First Energy Conference.

Since America’s national security depends in part on energy security, unsubstantiated claims about global warming that prevent policymakers from making “rational decisions” with regard to the development of U.S. energy resources have become a national security threat, said Hal Doiron, a 16-year NASA veteran.

The “propaganda” underpinning climate alarmism is “causing tremendous political bottlenecks” that prevent government officials from “doing the right thing” on energy, he said.

Hal Dorion helped to develop the Apollo Lunar Module’s landing dynamics software during NASA’s moon missions. He is concerned that the U.S. military has been misdirected by climate alarmist claims that are not sound science. He poses the example of the US Navy preparing for something that is unreasonable that would also cost way too much money —extreme sea level rise— that is not supported by rigorous scientific data.

With respect to climate alarm, he says that too many academics in too many universities are writing papers that draw conclusions from models that don”t agree with physical data.

My assumption is that once alarm about the possible warming of the earth became a public concern, everybody wanted to jump on the bandwagon. Prestige, grants, new laboratories, new assistants, prestige for the university etc. etc. They assumed they could just put the whole problem in a computer program which would allow them to really study it.

They put in what was known scientific fact, then they put in educated guesses, and some assumptions, and the more they did the more money became available, invitations to glamorous conferences, interviews. There are some things we know, but there’s a lot that is  unknown and the true believers want answers now, because it has become politics—not science.

Science means that lots of others can do the same experiment and get the same answer. That’s validation. The earthly temperatures that they were all using came from temperature recording sites that were sometimes located right next to the air conditioning units’ output, or right where concrete walls reflected heat back, or at airports where there was miles of concrete runways and buildings around the recording site.

Admiral Thomas Hayward who retired from the Navy as U.S. Chief of Naval Operations and a member  of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also addressed the Heartland Institute’s energy conference.

For the past six to eight years, he said, climate change has been given “a higher priority” than the readiness of the Navy’s fleet. During that time, the U.S. Defense Department has spent $100 million on “just climate change,” while the U.S. Navy has spent “$58 billion chasing what is called the ‘green fleet.’”

That means many U.S. Navy vessels are using biofuels, but Hayward wonders how many ports around the world are equipped to accommodate U.S. Navy vessels that rely on a high percentage of biofuels, and he worries how that would work in a combat situation.

Here is the letter the Right Climate Stuff research team sent to President Trump last May. Here is the website for the Right Climate Stuff organization of retired NASA physicists and astronomical engineers, lots of good information there.



Defense Secretary James Mattis: 95% of ISIS Eradicated Under Trump. by The Elephant's Child

Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced this last week that 95% of ISIS bases and hideouts have been eradicated. Good News indeed. Deciding that you actually do intend to defeat them makes a difference. Obama seemed concerned that he might be blamed for something. ISIS fighters have been surrendering saying they haven’t been paid and haven’t been fed, and little things like that seem to matter.

Good for our coalition. Hope they all got a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, and the gratitude of a nation giving thanks.



“Energiewinde” Was A Flop That Has Driven Germans Into Energy Poverty by The Elephant's Child

Climate activists in this country looked to Europe, especially Germany, as a model of proper green virtue. Chancellor Merkel’s Energiewinde or energy revolution was supposed to solve the problem of carbon emissions. That’s solar panels and wind turbines.

People really familiar with solar panels and wind turbines, if they are not in the business of trying to sell them will explain that the problem is with the wind and the sun itself. The people selling wind turbines talk about capacity which is what a well functioning turbine will produce in the way of energy when the wind is blowing at just the right speed.

But wind doesn’t blow in the right speed steadily — it blows in gusts and puffs, steadily for a few minutes and then after a while some more puffs. Even someplace really windy. Go to White Sands National Monument sometime. Those great white sand dunes are produced by wind blowing a lot. (the mice and lizards there are white to match the dunes)

There aren’t a lot of really windy places that stay windy a lot of the time, but even those don’t meet the good flow that will match the ideal capacity that produces regular energy. Films of wind farms show some of the turbines turning and some not. Turbines break down, catch fire, malfunction, and that’s not included in the salesmen’s claims. Besides the turbines kill a lot of birds, everything from the big birds of prey like Eagles to tiny songbirds. What the decimation of the bird population will do to the environment is never mentioned.

Sunlight is more diffuse, and even in sunny places —which is where they site big solar arrays— there are clouds, moving through, cloudy days, rainy days. Clouds are not well understood in their relation to climate. If you are a summer cloud-watcher—lying on the grass and watching the clouds move by, you will notice that they are at different levels, affecting the sunlight differently.

I am by no means a climate scientist, but because I knew so little, it was clearly time to bone up. As far as I can tell, the officials who make the decisions about what to do about the climate—don’t do any studying up themselves, they just trust what others of their political persuasion say.

California Governor Jerry Brown is a true believer, who has laid his state’s problems with wildfires, flood and drought, water problems and winter and rise of the sea level, whatever on the issue of climate and an excess of CO2, and especially with President Trump’s excellent decision to fail to sign on to the Paris Climate accords. Brown was off on a ten day tour of European capitols on his way to the UN conference on climate in Bonn, to show how he and other west coast governors were ready to fight the global rise in temperatures, and possibly show how superior he was to the denier Trump, in case he might be called upon to run against Trump the next time.  Our Washington governor, another true believer, plans to try to pass a carbon tax now that Republicans lost control of the legislature.

If the Paris Climate Accords were fully adapted, climate scientists have made clear the effect on the climate by 2100 would be negligible. CO2 is what we exhale each time we breathe. It is a natural fertilizer for plants all over the world and much has been written about the greening of the planet, helping to feed the people of the world. What the Paris Climate Accords were intended to do was transfer as much wealth as possible from the worlds rich nations to the poor and developing countries. In other words it was never really about the climate at all.

But back in Germany, Chancellor Merkel has been unable to form a government. Energiewinde has not only cost far, far more than was planned, but delivered far less energy and put many a German household into energy poverty. People may not understand all the arguments about the climate and how it works, but when they can’t afford to keep their houses warm in the winter, they are not going to vote to continue freezing. Big idea, sounded good, but it didn’t work.




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