American Elephants

What Progressives Should Know About Trump Voters by The Elephant's Child

Victor Davis Hanson has a particularly interesting column today at CNN, of all places.  It is titled “What progressives should know about Trump Voters.” CNN may just be the perfect place for that.

1. Voters appreciate that the economy is currently experiencing near record-low peacetime unemployment, record-low minority unemployment, and virtual 3% annualized GDP growth. Interest and inflation rates remain low. Workers’ wages increased after years of stagnation. The US is now the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas. And gasoline prices remain affordable. The President continues to redress asymmetrical trade with China, as well as with former NAFTA partners and Europe. He jawbones companies to curb offshoring and outsourcing. The current economic recovery and low consumer prices have uplifted millions of middle-class Americans who appreciate the upswing.

2. Trump does not exist in a vacuum. Many supporters turned off by some of his antics are still far more appalled by an emerging radical neo-socialist Democratic agenda. If the alternative to Trump is a disturbing tolerance among some Democrats for anti-Semitism, the Green New Deal, reparations, a permissive approach to abortion even very late in pregnancy, a wealth tax, a 70-90% top income tax rate, the abolition of ICE, open borders, and Medicare for all, Trump’s record between 2017-20 will seem moderate and preferable. Progressives do not fully appreciate how the hysterics and media coverage of the Kavanaugh hearings, the Covington teenagers and the Jussie Smollett psychodrama turned off half the country. Such incidents and their reportage confirmed suspicions of cultural bias, media distortions, and an absence of fair play and reciprocity.

Do read the whole thing. You’ll be glad you did. Ignore CNN’s cute inserts.

Mt. Popocatepetl Erupted Monday Night about 9:30 by The Elephant's Child


Mt. Popocatépetl is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and only 43 miles away from Mexico City. Approximately 25 million people live within a 60 mile radius of the crater. So when the mountain does something, everyone sits up and takes notice. On Monday night at 9:38 PM a massive explosion sent a column of volcanic ash almost a mile into the sky. The explosion was loud enough to shake doors and windows in the city of Puebla.

The mountain has been increasingly active in recent months, and authorities are currently preparing for the worse case scenarios. They have drafted a special evacuation plan for locals in case there is a more violent eruption.

Scientists say that the volcano is capable of producing a catastrophic eruption. Popocatépetl is considered the most dangerous volcano in North America in terms of explosive activity and threat to populations. The current moderate scale can switch fairly quickly to a large, catastrophic Plinian eruption, the largest and most violent of all volcanic eruptions.

Wikipedia defines a Plinian eruption (or Vesuvian eruption) as similar to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, which destroyed the ancient Roman cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii. Such eruptions are marked by columns of volcanic debris and hot gases ejected high into the stratosphere, the second layer of Earth’s atmosphere. Key characteristics are the ejection of large amounts of pumice and powerful continuous gas-driven eruptions. Short eruptions can end in less than a day, longer events can take several days or even months. The amount of magma erupted can be so large that it depletes the magma chamber below and causes the top of the volcano to collapse resulting in a caldera. A disaster that could potentially kill millions.

Popocatépetl had a dramatic effect on the ancient Aztecs. Giant mud flows covered entire Aztec cities and some were so large they buried entire pyramids in super-heated mud. We haven’t seen anything like that in modern times, the mountain had been dormant for a very long time before becoming active again in the 1990s.

Remember that our West Coast from Alaska and the Aleutians all the way down through Chilé is part of the “Ring of Fire,” with Mt. St. Helens which did erupt in 1980, Many of our other mountains are also dormant volcanoes – Mt. Rainier, Oregon’s Mt. Hood, to mention the more famous ones.

We need to keep a close eye on this one. (ht: Zero Hedge)

Big Government, And Why It Doesn’t Work. by The Elephant's Child

There is a mindset in politics, everywhere, that if we just had more encompassing governments, not so many small jurisdictions wanting to quarrel with each other, with more enlightened, well educated people in charge, then there would be more peace, fewer wars. Everybody would get along. World Peace.

The enlightened folks in charge would work out the problems in their meetings — but we’ve tried that. There’s the United Nations and the European Union, and all sorts of humanitarian organizations, and unsurprisingly– new scandals reported, the latest with Oxfam. The problem seems to be that non-governmental organizations are, by definition, unaccountable to the public that funds them. Zero Hedge reported on “Humanitarian Aid becoming a Euphemism for Oppression.”

But the drive continues for more government to be managed and controlled by the more qualified folks with more important degrees from more important schools. ( Usually promoted by those with more important degrees from more important schools) Why, in the wake of all the failures of larger and larger organizations would anyone think world government a dandy idea? It really is pretty clear that the best government is the smallest one, closest to the people. At least you can fight it out in person.

Democrats are usually obsessed with the idea that what Republicans do when they attain power is to give big tax cuts to the Rich, who don’t need tax cuts, because they are rich, and it’s just Republicans paying off their undeserving supporters. Democrats believe that you win elections and get power (their only goal) by giving goodies to the people whose votes you want. They simply do not understand that when Republicans give tax cuts, they give them to everybody, because people who pay way less taxes get smaller tax cuts. It is called Capitalism, and is the glory of a free people following their own dreams.

When you cut the taxes of business owners, they have more money to hire, invest, grow and invent—which they do, and as a result the economy grows and more people have jobs, and the nation prospers. Democrats are congenitally unable to understand this simple idea, perhaps because they are so busy hating the captains of industry and “the rich”. You will notice that members of Congress who become very rich do not complain about their tax cuts, but take an important vacation junket to some interesting foreign capitol where they can write off the trip by meeting with some officials.

President Trump may not always explain tax cuts in the most favorable terminology, but he has the right instincts, and knows what he is doing. Just look at the decline in the unemployed, and in the users of food stamps. I’m sure Democrats would be astonished to learn that people really do like to work at an honest job, and earn their keep, and they don’t like to be on food stamps. They appreciate the help when they need it, but the need embarrasses them.

The “Green New Deal” Is a Pack of Lies by The Elephant's Child


Well, the Justice Democrats cooked up quite a conflagration over a weekend with their “Green New Deal”. It got more attention than it deserved, simply because some people belie-e-e-ved, and it frightened the sensible folks. It would, if imposed, destroy the country. Nothing about it would work, but it was cleverly devised so that those who were ill-informed would think it possible, and of course, most people don’t keep up with matters like the efficiency of wind turbines and solar cells. Perhaps even some of your neighbors get some rebates from the power company for the energy they contribute to the grid.

Solar cells do work a little bit, when the sun is shining brightly in a cloudless sky, which, unfortunately, isn’t all that often. The major greenhouse gas is not carbon dioxide, but water vapor in the form of clouds. Did you ever lie on your back on the lawn when you were a kid, and watch the clouds moving across the sky? The clouds here were beautiful here one day last week, big puffy cumulus with occasional holes where the blue sky in the background shone through. The point is, most of the time there are clouds, always moving. Some days it is just clouds, and of course, since this is the Seattle area, some days it rains. A day with a clear blue sky is rare. So where do you get your energy in a cloudy stretch of days? Solar energy requires 24/7 backup from conventional energy sources like fossil fuels,or hydropower. There are hydropower dams in all of our major rivers, and there’s not much of anywhere to put new dams. Wind turbines work when the wind blows at the correct speed, but wind doesn’t do that all the time or even regularly. The idea that you can power America with wind turbines and solar cells is far beyond stupid, and quite impossible. You will find echos in today’s reporting of IPPC General Secretary Christiana Figueres’ statement that the goal of the climate movement was not to change the environment but to end capitalism.  That’s what they’re after.

Canadian Climate Scientist Tim Ball has an excellent history of the climate written up at Anthony Watt’s wattsupwiththat blog:

Most people were taken in by the false story of human-caused global warming. We can include all the students participating in the classroom walkout to demand governments stop climate change, organized by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg. Her goal is to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Apparently, she has no idea that the temperature was near or above that level for most of the last 10,000-years in a period known as the Holocene Optimum.

They are taken in by the false claim that a minute amount of human-produced CO2 is effectively controlling the entire atmospheric system since 1950 and causing environmental collapse through global warming. They don’t know that there is an upper limit to the amount that CO2 can increase temperature. They don’t know that the average level of CO2 over the last 250 million years is 1200 ppm. They don’t know that every projection of temperature by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 1990 was wrong. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, how did so few, fool so many, to such an extent, for so long?

Similar situations occur throughout history of people fooling the world, although this is undoubtedly the largest in terms of its acceptance, impact, and cost. It is tempting to point the finger at the IPCC, but the speed with which the story took hold, spread, and deceived so many people requires better explanation. It likely won’t stop it occurring in the future because it speaks to the nature of human beings and our inordinate and pandemic fear that the sky might fall. However, we might stop the current insanity.

Do read the whole thing. We are in a dangerous time, and we need a well-informed public.

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