American Elephants

Silicon Valley’s Censorship by The Elephant's Child

I continue to believe that the “social media” websites were a naive idea that would allow the site to capture all sorts of information of value to advertisers, and people would enjoy talking to each other online, instead of having to pick up the phone or write an individual message. Naive, because it didn’t recognize how hard it is for people to get along — just in a family, let alone in a venue where they are talking to what is essentially the whole internet.

Twitter depends on celebrities who develop long lists of followers — simply because they are celebrities. (they have recognizable faces). Ordinary people get banned for saying something recognizably conservative, but celebrities are free to spout vicious, vile insults of the president or his supporters all they choose — because that’s what gets Twitter attention. Donald Trump’s tweets will never be banned, nor will Cher’s.

Now there’s a report that social media giant Facebook has developed a hidden system to assign “reputation scores” to users, rating their trustworthiness according to multiple factors, in order to pick out the “malicious actors on the platform.” Uh huh. They are not going to reveal how they do it because that might screw up their algorithms.  It has been compared to the Chinese government’s “social credit system” which is a rating for every citizen in the country which hands out points for tradition credit scores, surveillance data collected by millions of cameras, internet tracking and bonuses for people who perform “heroic acts.”

Last I heard Silicon Valley thought the Southern Poverty Law Center was a good source, along with the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Good grief, look at the comments on any popular website. They get really raunchy with vile language and insults, and threats as well. I am becoming anxious about the general tone in the Leftist’s Trump Derangement Syndrome — which has already become somewhat dangerous. Think of the Congressional softball game. If they keep this up, somebody is going to get killed.

California Has Become a National Joke. by The Elephant's Child


Every time you think California has gone round the bend completely, they add something more to make it absolutely certifiable. In this case, California state legislators passed a resolution on Thursday calling on the U.S. Congress to formally apologize, and for President Donald Trump to join them in acknowledging wrongdoing in separating illegal alien family units at the border.

The California Senate resolution calls on Congress to specifically apologize to the children separated from the adult foreign nationals who illegally brought them across the U.S. border. It also petitions Congress and President Trump to acknowledge wrongdoing in separating illegal alien adults and children.

The resolution describes the policy of separating foreign nationals who have crossed the border illegally as “detrimental.” De León described the separations as “government-sanctioned kidnapping.”…

“We should apologize to these children we have permanently harmed,” said Sen. Pan. Pan compared family separation to U.S. WWII internment of Japanese citizens.

Reports say the children are well cared for by child protective services, get good food, taken to the zoo or parks. Democrats are, as usual, reacting emotionally to the initial “ripped from their mothers’ arms” theme, without further information, which apparently shows that the kids are having a good time. I’m beginning to believe that “research” is just too hard for Lefties.

If you get all excited about something you think is wrong, take a deep breath, do a little research, and see if there is actually any basis for your anguish.

It might be interesting to make a list of the things Democrats are introducing into the national conversation that are an attempt to sway votes in the coming off-year elections, that are notably false.  Nancy Pelosi just  laughed at and demeaned reliable, cheap coal powered power plants:

“And it really is a moral issue if you believe as I do that this is God’s creation [and] we have to be good stewards of it,” Pelosi said. “We have evangelicals and others with us — er, some, those who believe in God’s creation. So, in any case this was a big thing for us. I had to fight some Democrats. Senator Byrd had a coal powered plan fueling the Capitol, you know I [unintelligible] that’s gonna go, with all due respect to West Virginia we’re not gonna have a coal power plant floating around.”

President Trump is putting the coal miners back to work. Carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants are greening the earth. Technology exists to capture pollutants from smokestacks, and if needed will be installed. But the Democrats blanket “Coal Bad,  Wind Good” idea does not pass the smell test.

Addendum: New article in the Orange County Register by Joel Kotkin: “California takes the prize for environmental virtue signaling — but not much else”

Overall, California’s drive for environmental perfection — requiring reductions roughly twice that required by the Paris accords — has not been notably successful, notes a recent Chapman University report. Since 2006, the state’s reductions in GHG rank a mere 35th among the states and 41st when adjusted for population growth. Even Texas, that bogeyman of fossil-fuel excess, has been reducing its per-capita emissions more rapidly.

Worst still, this posturing has made California, and other similarly minded jurisdictions, less congenial places for middle-class homeownership or employment. Meanwhile the goodies, such as giving tax breaks from cap-and-trade funds for electric cars — we spend 10 times as much on those subsidies than on forest clearance — or solar rebates that go to generally affluent wealthy homeowners and well-connected corporations.

If you are a former Californian, you might enjoy this one. The outflow of people from California to anywhere else continues.

The Always Quotable Dr. Thomas Sowell by The Elephant's Child

Dr.Tom Sowell

The vision of the left is not just a vision of the world. For many, it is also a vision of themselves — a very flattering vision of people trying to save the planet, rescue the exploited, create “social justice” and otherwise be on the side of the angels. This is an exalted view that few are ready to give up, or to risk on a roll of the dice, which is what submitting it to the test of factual evidence amounts to. Maybe that is why there are so many fact-free arguments on the left, whether on gun control, minimum wages, or innumerable other issues — and why they react so viscerally to those who challenge their views.

Front Page Magazine, 1/22/2014

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