American Elephants


Saving Endangered Species in the World’s Zoos by The Elephant's Child

This is the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s little “Peanut”. He (or she) is  a Tamandua, who was born December 20, 2018. His name is “Mani” which means peanut. The Tamanduas are also called “lesser anteaters.” They have long snouts to sniff out ant, termite and bee colonies. Long claws enable it to dig into nests and a long sticky tongue lets it lick up the insects.  A single Tamandua can eat up to 9,000 ants in a single day! They are native to Spanish speaking countries. They didn’t say how they provide that many ants.

Here’s a wonderful website for days when you are finding the news too depressing. http://www.zooborns.com. Zoos around the world are engaged in helping to preserve endangered species. The website shows off the babies, and often their parent as well. Great fun, cute babies, and you are introduced to all sorts of animals and birds that are new to you. Fun site to prowl around. Enjoy.



From Milton and Rose Friedman: by The Elephant's Child

ED-AP556_moore_P_20120730172456

“If an exchange between two parties is voluntary, it will not take place unless both believe they will benefit from it.  Most economic fallacies derive from the neglect of this simple insight, from the tendency to assume that there is  a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.”

“Ironically, the very success of economic and political freedom reduced its appeal to later thinkers. The narrowly limited government of the nineteenth century possessed little concentrated power that endangered the ordinary man, The other side of the coin was that it possessed little power that would enable good people to do good. And in an imperfect world there were still many evils. Indeed, the very progress of society made the residual evils seem all the more objectionable. As always, people took the favorable developments for granted. They forgot the danger to freedom from a strong government. Instead, they were attracted by the good that a stronger government could achieve — if only government power were in the “right” hands.”

“…the depression was produced by a failure of government in one area–money– where it had exercised authority ever since the beginning of the Republic. However, governments’ responsibility for the depression was not recognized — either then or now. Instead, the depression was widely interpreted as a failure of free market capitalism. That myth led the public to join the intellectuals in a changed view of the relative responsibilities of individuals and government. Emphasis on the responsibility of the individual for his own fate was replaced by emphasis on the individual as a pawn buffeted by forces beyond his control. The view that government’s role is to serve as an umpire to prevent individuals from coercing one another was replaced by the view that government’s role is to serve as a parent charged with the duty of coercing some to aid others.”



Under-Stories, or What is Behind the News. by The Elephant's Child

 

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez bug eyed

There are some “under-stories” in the news that are being ignored. The big event of the day, drowning out President Trump’s meeting with President Kim of North Korea was the appearance of Michael Cohen before Congress. His appearance was a bit odd, as he is a convicted liar heading for 3 years in prison for, among other lies, lying to Congress.

That would seem to be a good reason why he would not be so honored. However, with the Democrats winning the House in the mid-term election, Adam Schiff succeeded to chairing the committee, and Congressman Schiff has been obvious in his anxiety to get Cohen’s testimony. Schiff is certain that the very next witness will provide the key to impeaching Trump at once.

Like many hearings that are filmed for the public, the new, very young congresswomen wanted to show off a bit. It was embarrassing! They took the occasion to demonstrate their anxiety to find the last and best bit that could be found to bring down this president who was off in Korea trying to find some way to ease the tensions and the threat of a nuclear nation.

Another under-story is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I think her rise is pretty much the Republicans doing. She first appeared when she defeated the long-time representative for the district to everyone’s surprise. But she is of Puerto Rican heritage in a district that is reportedly largely Puerto Rican.

When she appeared in public, Conservatives were fascinated with what she was saying because they found it so, um, ill-informed. She supposedly had a degree in economics and seemed totally unfamiliar with the subject. The more she talked, the more Republicans talked about what she was saying. The more they talked, the more media attention she got. The Media responds to public attention, because they want public attention as well. So there you go. She’s all the Republicans fault. So what do we do now?



The Fernandina giant tortoise is not extinct after all by The Elephant's Child

1550771054343-FOTO-DESTACADA-2019-Tortuga-considerada-extinta

Science is on a quest to know everything, a neverending quest, and there are so many things we thought we knew that turn out to be wrong. In spite of all the exploration, we are still finding completely new species, and not just new bugs or flowers.

Take a moment and type “new species” in just over Bob Hope’s head in the sidebar, and see what pops up. I’ve caught some of them, but not all, by a long shot.

Today’s news is the Fernandina giant tortoise. which hasn’t been seen alive since 1906. She has been spotted on her namesake island in the Galápagos, says the government of Ecuador. It was feared that the species was extinct. They describe her as female and say that she may be over 100 years old.

They have taken her to a breeding center on nearby Santa Cruz Island and are searching for a mate. She may not be the sole survivor. The species is known scientifically as Chelonoidis phantasticus.  Fantastic old girl. She’s kind of cute.

The whole article is here, with more pictures, and more information. and aother extinct species — giant bee. Not one you would care to encounter, and very big, but not nearby.

The picture is from the Ecuadorean government, and congratulations to them for this monumental discovery.



The “Green New Deal” Comes In At $94.4 Trillion! by The Elephant's Child

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, proponent of climate panic, has warned that we should not have children any more because global warming and the end of the earth in just 15 years. So she has introduced the “Green New Deal” to save us all, and the vast long list of Democrats who are lining up to run for the nomination to take on President Trump are mostly signing on to support it.

This is astonishing. It tells you clearly that not a single one of them thought it important to investigate to see if there really was any kind of dangerous rise in world temperatures, if the seas were actually rising, if climate change was really responsible for the forest fires in California, or the hurricanes in Florida. Well, it is not, but you have to search out some real information. How terrifying the possibility that we might have a president that had no interest in clear information.

Now we learn that the cost of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal would reach the unbelievable total of somewhere close to $94.4 Trillion, or over $600.000.00 per household in the United States. Ocasio-Cortez says you just pay it. This is the amount that the Democratic party wants to invest because the temperature of the lower troposphere has risen 25 100ths of one degree Centigrade over the last 40 years.

At a news conference in Brussels in early February 2015, Christiana Figueres*, who was the General Secretary of the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change admitted that the goal of  environmental activists was not to save the world from ecological calamity, but to destroy capitalism. She said:

This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.

*Figueres is the one in blue at the far left of the picture.



Conservatives think facts are important, the Left is more interested in identity politics. by The Elephant's Child

mediadc.brightspotcdn.com

What a peculiar time this is.. Democrats and Republicans seem to be speaking different languages, each about completely different world. Jussie Smollett has dominated the news for days – that seem to be weeks, over an incident that never happened. The figure that controls much of our attention is a freshman congressperson who has not the slightest idea of what it is that Congress does nor why. Someone on the radio just pointed out brilliantly that “It’s not what she says, it’s the confidence of her cluelessness.”

That confidence has led to Conservative fascination with what she says specifically because it is so clueless. The Green New Deal, a big idea, was issued before anyone had read it, approved it, or even had chance  absorb the contents. “The New Deal” was Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s answer to The Great Depression brought on by the 1929 Stock Market Crash. FDR had not the slightest idea of what to do about the misery, so he assembled his “brain trust” which made what he was doing seem approved by superior wisdom.

In fact he had embarked on  course of endless tinkering – which, it has been determined, actually prolonged the Depression by seven long years. The Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, with breadlines and soup kitchens to feed the unemployed. There was not, at the time, the safety net we have today. But over the last half-century we have had one planetary scare after another. In the 1960’s it was an unstoppable human population explosion that would inexorably lead to global starvation. (Norman Borlaug saved us from that one). During the early 1970s the temperatures which had been gradually rising since the Little Ice Age some 400 years before, seemed to be falling again, and many eminent scientists warned that we were facing the horrors of a new ice age.

Ice ages are followed by global warming, Al Gore, Leonardo Di Caprio, Harrison Ford, and the extinction of the polar bears, and probably the caribou as well. What did  happen was that the government got interested, and suddenly there was grant money available. and  lot of professors who could write a grant proposal thought that with new equipment and more powerful computers, they could solve the problem. They started with the basic program that Wall Street had been using for figuring out where the stock market was going, and entered what they knew about the temperature, and what they knew about the atmosphere, and some significant information and some speculation, and  a few wild guesses, and they got their grants and money for ever fancier computers. The globe seemed to be warming inexorably, and they even got to hire some assistants and appear on the local news. Heady stuff.

The federal government had thermometer stations all over the country, often at airports, and it gradually turned out – next to air conditioner exhausts, or trash burners, reflective concrete walls, and it became clear that there was a lot of artificial warming built into the readings. We had 97 % of scientists agreeing, which was bunk, and anyone who did not agree with the meaningless 97% or questioned Michael Mann’s hockey stick graph, was called “a denier” and stuffed in the unacceptable category. So if you trust  Al Gore or Leonardo DiCaprio, then global warming becomes a real thing to be feared.

Thing is, our records of real temperatures range from thin to non-existent. City temperatures have a heat bias from too many concrete heat-retaining walls and streets and traffic, Tree rings have proved to be unreliable, and we just don’t have any reliable history. Paintings of people skating on the Thames tell us something, but not enough.

People who depend on what they’re told without questioning it must find  the whole thing scary – forest fires all over the west (no), hurricanes (no), tornadoes (no), In the past 40 years, since we have had satellites measuring the temperatures of the Global Lower Atmosphere the Climate Models have shown warming that is 67% greater than the average of 9 Observational Datasets. According to the Satellite measurements the Earth has warmed in the past 40 years about 25/100ths of one degree Centigrade.

Our own Governor Jay Inslee, on CBS’s”Face the Nation” said that ” if President Trump’s declaration of  a national emergency to get the funds to build  border wall on the U.S. Border with Mexico stands then Democrats will use those “new rules” to address climate change.  He says there is not a national security emergency, Donald Trump has a political emergency.” ” He added that the president should be responding to rel emergencies like forest fires. … and climate change is burning down our forests. ”

Governor Inslee wants badly to run for the presidency, but can’t get much attention when there are so many others who hit the Democrat brownie points, like being a woman or being black or both. The Cato Institute ranked him as the worst governor in the United States for his fiscal management of his state, but Democrats aren’t all that interested in fiscal management. Checking off the identity points is more important.



The Crisis in Venezuela Continues by The Elephant's Child
February 23, 2019, 10:37 pm
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Crime, Cuba, Economics, Economy, Freedom, Socialism, Venezuela | Tags: , ,

207557_5_

Maduro is trying desperately to hang on in Venezuela, but his chances don’t look too good. Children are dying of starvation, and he is trying to block food aid coming into the country with the military. I have previously read that the military he depends on is actually Cuban, but I don’t know if that is true today. The question is to what extent he will use violence to stop food and medicine for a starving people?

Headline yesterday: “Two killed, 18 Injured in Venezuela Border Clashes.”

An emergency doctor says two protesters have been killed and another 18 have been injured during clashes between soldiers and residents of the southeastern Venezuelan town of Santa Elena de Uairen, near the border with Brazil. …

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro announced he’s breaking all diplomatic ties with neighboring Colombia amid deepening political turmoil.

Maduro spoke Saturday as opposition leader Juan Guaido launched an effort to bring international humanitarian aid into Venezuela from across the border in Cucuta, Colombia.

Maduro denies a humanitarian crisis exists, saying Guaido is a puppet of the United States which seeks to colonize Venezuela and exploit its oil.

The Wall Street Journal asks to what extent Maduro will use violence against his own people? More than 50 countries have recognized Juan Guaidó as the legitimate government of Venezuela. Maduro is trying to gin up fear of an invasion, especially from the U.S., but it’s not working.

Soldiers are abandoning their posts as the first aid shipments cross the Venezuelan border with Brazil, today. The Daily Caller has a video. Thousands of volunteers, according to the BBC will help get the aid into the country.

Fox calls out President Trump’s forceful repudiation of socialism at home and in socialist countries.

While previous U.S. leaders have opposed totalitarian regimes, no American president since Ronald Reagan has confronted the evils of socialism as forcefully as Trump is doing today by supporting the people of Venezuela as they retake their country from the corrupt socialist dictatorship of disputed president Nicolas Maduro.

President Trump deserves more credit than he is getting for taking this stance against an economic system that throughout its history has created nothing but poverty, despair and want – all managed by totalitarian elites.

When your rule of your country gets down to denying food and medicine to your own people, it doesn’t usually transform into a successful reign. The countries who support Maduro are Cuba, Russia,  China, and the other usual suspects. Our new Democrat candidates seem quite unprepared to deal with the entire subject, sure that Trump is about to invade, and what they are supposed to think



Time to Get To the Bottom of this Climate Change Business, If It’s Not Too Late! by The Elephant's Child

oceanwater

The White House is organizing a panel to assess if Climate Change poses a national security threat. Federal intelligence agencies have apparently affirmed this idea several times since President Trump took office. The proposed Presidential Committee on Climate Security will be established by executive order and will be spearheaded by William Happer, a National Security Council senior director. Happer who is an emeritus professor of physics at Princeton University, is a world renowned climate scientist. He has said that carbon emissions linked to climate change should be regarded as an asset rather than a pollutant.  (from Climate Depot:)

Unsurprisingly, he has written numerous articles that are “mainly” about the infrared absorption bands and Google Scholar finds over 1,000 articles that contain his name as well as “infrared”. So when it comes to the main physical effect that is supposed to drive “climate change”, he’s not only an expert. He’s one of the world’s leading experts. CNN and doomsaying crackpots in general surely find this fact inconvenient but this inconvenience doesn’t make it less true.”

The following comes from The Washington Post, so you will notice  a slight change in tone:

The initiative represents the Trump administration’s most recent attempt to question the findings of federal scientists and experts on climate change and comes less than three weeks after Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats delivered a worldwide threat assessment that identified it as a significant security risk.

In late November, Trump dismissed a government report finding that global warming is intensifying and poses a major threat the U.S. economy, saying, “I don’t see it.” Last month, his nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, acting administrator Andrew Wheeler, testified that he did not see climate change as one of the world’s pressing challenges.

Lefties believe firmly in science, if it comes from those who are equally alarmed by the potential of Climate Change to destroy the world in the near future. Al Gore and Bill Nye tell us it’s a real problem, as does Leonardo De Caprio, and AO-C, so pay no attention to those “deniers”. Trump refused to sign the Paris Climate Accords that were going to save the world, so see! See!

Perhaps we should reassess the Federal Intelligence agencies while we’re at it.



See The Border Walls Going Up In New Mexico! by The Elephant's Child

California’s new Leftist Governor Gavin Newsom has been grandstanding about suing the Trump administration over its construction of a forbidding big concrete border wall.  Just yesterday a truck carrying 22 illegal immigrants simply bashed through the existing aging corrugated junk metal fencing with a heavy smuggling vehicle — terrorist style, in San Diego. This is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo;

Border. S

President Trump tweeted what may or may not have been a triumphal direct response, but it certainly works like one. Speeded up  bit to get the construction impressively faster to completion. Take that you doubters!

There are people and organizations in Central America urging people there to go to America, and if you have a child with you they will have to let you in, they have shortages now of enough people to fill the jobs, so you will be able to get work. They are told to turn themselves in to the nearest Border Patrol once they cross the border, and ask for asylum. Who’s behind all that ? I don’t know, but it is clear they have had instructions. Is this the Democrats who want more bodies for the 2020 Census? Or the Democrats who want more Democrat voters? Has your district gone Democrat yet? I certainly do not want to suggest that there is anything nefarious about the opposing political party who have been suggesting everything from assassination to impeachment on a daily basis.

ADDENDUM: President Trump asked Congress for $5.5 Billion for an urgently needed border wall, Nancy Pelosi snarkily offered $1. Congress appropriated $!.5 Billion. Mick Mulvaney checked   around the administration, and found $600 million in the Treasury Department in forfeited funds,  $2.5 billion in Defense Department Construction funds, and some they feel that they can spare from other programs, and it adds up to round $8 billion. Naturally, there will be great wailing and gnashing of teeth among the Democrats who can’t stop making fools of themselves, but there you go.



Suggested Reading for Clarifying the Mind by The Elephant's Child
  • From Victor Davis Hanson:”The New Nihilism:” Summing up the Democrats’ response to President Donald J. Trump, and his many, many accomplishments. Not a pretty picture.
  • From Steven Camarota of CIS: “On Immigration, Trump Needs to Focus on the Numbers” For all the talk about the border, the biggest issue is not welfare or illegal immigration per se; it is the total number of immigrants settling in the country ,legally or illegally. Democrats focus on amnesty, Businesses push for ever more guest workers, and the media happily supports both. The national interest and his political future depend on the numbers.
  • From Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner:Border apprehensions jump 84 percent, 606,000 expected this year” a surprising surge. Again, it’s the numbers.
  • From Andrew R. Arthur of CIS:Notes on a Deal I Haven’t Seen: The Pitfalls of Compromise” The fundamental issue behind all of this is the request for crucially needed infrastructure along the border. I mean fences, walls, barriers, drag roads, cameras, sensors and any number of other tools needed by the 18,600 Border Patrol agents who man the 1,954-mile southern border.

We assume that the illegal border-crossers come from Mexico and Central America, many come from the Middle East as well.



There Is No Constitutional Crisis. Get a Grip! by The Elephant's Child

childhood-immigration-flood-620x396

A crowd of about 400 protesters rallied in front of the White House on Monday, carrying signs that called President Donald Trump a racist and claimed a wall on the U.S. Border with Mexico is a symbol of the rise of white nationalism under this administration.

The Wall is racist, and the Border Patrol are torturing the migrants who are in custody after illegally crossing the border into the United States. That was a speaker with Amnesty International, who added that “bridges are better than walls, love trumps hate, no human being is illegal, and we are all, by virtue of our shared condition guaranteed the same human rights.” Neither original thought or meaning are required when you are being passionate, purile and protesting.

January 2019 saw  surge of 22,000 more apprehensions of illegal immigrants at southwest border crossings over January 2018. Border officers, it is predicted will make over 600,000 apprehensions this year. The increase over 2018 was 84%.

Democrats want more voters, and illegals who can be registered to vote are likely Democrat votes, and they want them counted in the upcoming census to increase their numbers in the 2020 census, and thus their number of representatives in the House. That the American people will have to pay for Welfare, Food Stamps, medical care, education for the children, is not mentioned in all the compassion that expects other people to pay, is not mentioned, of course.

Democrats call all Republicans racist, of course. That is their ultimate epithet, useful in all circumstances. Obviously, since Trump declared a national emergency at the border, it could only be because the illegals have brown skin, instead of the white skin preferred by white supremacists.

Democrats insist Trump can be challenged on his use of emergency authority since they do not believe an emergency exists on the southern border. They will fail spectacularly if the case gets to the Supreme Court. While the source of funding can be challenged, there is no compelling basis to challenge the national emergency declaration.
……………………………………………………………..William Jacobsen

Trump’s actions have been greeted with now-familiar claims that he is sparking a constitutional crisis or threatening the rule of law.

Considering just the substance of what Trump has done, these are large exaggerations. Everything Trump proposes to do purports to be grounded in congressional statutes and much of what he aims to do does not rely on emergency power. Trump is not relying solely on Article II executive power, and he is not invoking executive power to disregard a congressional statute. Moreover, the statutes in question expressly give Trump authority in the areas in which he claims them.
…………………………………….Harvard Law Professor Jack Goldsmith

Just another day like all days with Democrats seething with ginned-up rage, trying desperately to find the ultimate insult that will make the gap toothed ignoramuses from flyover country go back into their holes and never talk to them again.



Trump’s Pointed Venezuela Speech Starts Things Moving by The Elephant's Child

President Trump delivered an excellent speech in Miami directed at the Venezuelans and Hispanics in the audience. We have food aid waiting near the border to be delivered to the starving people in Venezuela. Now Brazil has assembled caravan of food for the Venezuelans in cooperation with the U.S. and said it’s whether socialist dictator Maduro likes it or not.

Maduro, of course, denies that there is any shortage of anything, and will block any shipments. Brazil’s new right-leaning President Jair Bolsonaro has recognized newly elected Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela. So far the Venezuelan military is backing Maduro, but that will not continue indefinitely, in the nature of things. Maduro will be lucky to escape with his life, but where would he go?

With the U.S. and Brazil standing up for ordinary humanitarianism, things will start to move and other nations, fearful of acting on their own, will join in. That too is in the nature of things. You can think back to other times and other dictators and how they were deposed. We can usually learn from history, even if the ignorant try to hide what what happened, to proclaim their own virtue. Famously said: “The Truth Will Out.”




%d bloggers like this: