American Elephants


Good News for Our Australian Friends! by The Elephant's Child

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Good news from our friends in Australia. The Northern Territory there has enough natural gas to supply Australia for 200 years or more. It is comparable to the shale resources that have revolutionized the American energy sector, according to Resources and Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan.  And maybe even twice that.

Such abundant gas should enable Australia to reduce its current high energy prices, which were the fault of southern states preventing development, Senator Canavan told an NT Resources Week conference in Darwin.

The NT government lifted a ban on the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing to access onshore gas this year, which is banned in Victoria and much of NSW.

Geoscience Australia estimates the NT has about 257,000 petajoules of shale gas to meet Australia’s demands for 200 years, Senator Canavan said.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said he had been told by energy companies that figure could be doubled with the Beetaloo Sub-basin.

Have no clue what “fracking” is? Most people don’t or they wouldn’t be claiming that fracking is going to pollute their drinking water. Here’s a article from Popular Mechanics with a dandy illustration. Here’s the history of Fracking from Oil Price. Here’s a post from Morning Consult that points out the science to allay fears.

If you are curious about Russian influence, you should know that the Russians have indeed been trying to influence the United States, but by supporting fears of fracking and supporting environmental activists. The Russian economy relies heavily on their supplies of natural gas which they sell to European nations. They certainly don’t want American energy wealth to bring down their prices.

I have never been to Australia, but my mother has. She was raised in a little mining camp in Idaho, where her father was a doctor. Many of the prospectors she knew came from the gold rushes in Australia. After my dad died, she flew up to Point Barrow where she had an offer to teach school, but got married instead. When she got back from Alaska, she tooled off to Australia to see the gold fields there. She kept losing her camera, her purse and nice Aussies took good care of her. She was a fearless woman.



Just About What I Expected. Former President Obama Speaks. by The Elephant's Child

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Former President Barack Obama received an ethics in government award at the University of Illinois, and took advantage of the occasion to trash Donald Trump, claim that  any recovery that was happening started in his administration, and criticized everything about Trump’s presidency, calling it a “dark period” in American history. Periods of progress in America were frequently followed by periods of resistance to change and a “step back”.

Gosh, I can remember back to Obama’s Inauguration, and an excited young black woman was thrilled that she would not have to worry about paying her bills, because Obama was going to pay them. Many black Americans had not believed that a black man could be elected to the presidency, and were justifiably proud and thrilled that it could happen. Many Americans who did not vote for him, thought that having the first black president was probably a good thing for the country.

Obama helped out our black citizens by giving them welfare and health care, and raising taxes to pay for it. Donald Trump has given them jobs—real, good paying jobs, 201,000 new jobs just in August, as worker wages have surged to a nine year high. The new unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.9%.

Obama was grateful that President George W. Bush remained quiet during his presidency, and did not criticize him, and promised to stay quiet during the Trump administration, but the horrors of a surging economy and thousands getting off of food stamps was just too much for him.

Over the past few decades the politics of division and resentment and paranoia has unfortunately found a home in the Republican party.

Obama referred to Trump as a “bully” who deserved to be rejected by the American people. Republicans, he said were appealing to “tribe”by trying to divide people by race and gender. Excuse me, Who is trying to divide Americans by race and gender? That theme seems to be coming out of our universities, and last time I looked, they are not havens of Republicans or conservatives.  He even blasted Republicans for “cozying up to the KGB” He pointed to a rise in white-nationalism and racial division, and attacked Republicans for stoking resentment in order to remain in power.

We are Americans, we’re supposed to stand up to bullies, not follow them,” he said. “We’re supposed to stand up to discrimination. And we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers.

After any president’s tenure in office, everyone tries to sum up what worked, and what didn’t. Any administration will have high points and failures. George W. was wise to refrain from comment in recognition that future historians will evaluate and sum up the job he did, and his present comments won’t help, and could hinder. Good lesson, Obama might take notice.

More than anything, he attempted to take credit for today’s surging economy.  Good luck with that one.

(slightly updated for clarity)



A Warning from Heather MacDonald by The Elephant's Child

macdonald-630x400Heather MacDonald, fearless scholar at the Manhattan Institute,  always does her homework and then some. She has a new book out, The Diversity Delusion, which argues that identity politics has taken over our universities and corrupted them thoroughly.

In a Fox News interview this week, she highlighted recent social justice campus trends.

“From a moment that a student steps on campus, a vast diversity bureaucracy tries to indoctrinate him with the idea that to read Shakespeare or Kant or Plato is to be the victim of life-threatening racism, to hate the monuments of western civilization, and to hate their alleged oppressors.” In December 2016, Breitbart News reported on students at the University of Pennsylvania who rallied to have a large portrait of William Shakespeare removed from the English department because he is a “white male.”

They are being taught to see sexism where none exists. As a female, you are taught to feel like you are the victim of rape culture, as a minority you’re taught to feel like you are the victim of ubiquitous systematic racism.

She argued that the harmful social justice politics of the universities are beginning to make their way out into the real world.

If a politician is denounced as a white supremacist for saying that we can’t ‘monkey around’ with our economic success and that is viewed as a legitimate accusation. When people are fired for challenging the feminist ideology as happened at Google, the identity politics that is poisoning the campus is spreading the world at large.



Wise Businesses Are Intent on Pleasing their Customers by The Elephant's Child

American business used to know that one did not play politics with the business. Businesses were intent on offering good service or good products to a wide variety of customers, all of whom had their own politics. The customers did not bring their political choices into the business, and did not hear about the choices of the business while they were deciding whether or not to make a purchase.

Whether the CEO of the business or the manager of the store donated to or volunteered for a campaign was their own concern. Nobody connected with the business wore campaign buttons or tee-shirts, and they tried not to appear where customers might see them and object. It was just considered the way to do business. What happened?

I’m not quite sure just what Colin Kaepernick was protesting with the “taking a knee” during the national anthem. Some reported that it was opposition to police shooting black citizens accidentally or on purpose, though statistics show clearly that more white men are shot than black men by police. In any case, other black football players followed suit, and there got to be many players kneeling. The NFL took some time to react at all, but soon noticed that the people who paid to watch a game, whether in person or online, didn’t react favorably about a bunch of protesting players. They had paid a hefty sum of money for their tickets, not to watch political posturing, and they were offended by the insult to the national anthem. But you know how that all played out. Kaepernick did not get signed on as a NFL lead quarterback. But these are pampered football players earning millions.

Nike, seller of athletic shoes made in Asian sweatshops, and sold for high prices decided for some unknown reason to build a new advertising campaign  “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. (Nike swoosh) Just do it.” Uh huh.

A new report from Morning Consult reveals consumer opinions of Nike have shifted rapidly since announcing their new campaign with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Across nearly every demographic, perceptions of Nike’s brand have fallen, including among key consumer groups. 

The report features over 8,000 interviews conducted among American adults, including 1,694 interviews pre-campaign launch (8/26/18 – 9/3/18) and 5,481 interviews post-campaign launch (9/4/18 – 9/5/18). Additionally, Morning Consult conducted a study among 1,168 adults in the U.S. about Nike’s ad and the decision to choose Kaepernick as the face of the campaign.

Nike’s net favorability among consumers declined 34 points. Among younger generations, Nike users, African American and other key demographics favorability declined sharply. Before the announcement, 49 percent of Americans said they were certain or very likely to buy Nike products — dropped by 10 percent.

At Powerline, Steven Hayward did a special “week in pictures” just for Nike.

Of course everyone had a good time making fun of Nike, their business, and their shoes. Not so much their favorable ratings.

But it would seem that playing politics with your business is still not a good idea, perhaps even more so. Levi’s has jumped in with the gun control thing, as has Dick’s Sporting Goods. Silicon Valley is just beginning to grasp the problems they have started as worldwide reactions from governments are suggesting that regulation may well be necessary.

Americans are very touchy about freedom of speech, and freedom to go about their lives without someone else’s politics being shoved down their throats. You don’t attack other people’s patriotism. There are lots of unspoken rules that common sense should detect. Taking care to observe them is the way we manage, for the most part, to get along.




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