American Elephants


Tom Sowell’s “Discrimination and Disparities” by The Elephant's Child

The brilliant Dr.Thomas Sowell explains about the origins of discrimination and clarifies the problems and the solutions. He is not only always quotable, but his insights are always valuable.



Watch the Whole Thing, and Share it With Your Friends by The Elephant's Child

John Christy PhD is a Climatologist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. Dr. Roy Spencer is also there. They measure the temperature of the earth with satellites and weather balloons. Here he is addressing the Paris Global Warming Policy Forum.

This is a little long, but utterly fascinating, as he explains the reality of today’s climate, what is proved and what comes from computer models rather than from observed and tested fact.

Back when everyone decided to get all excited about climate, federal money became very available to anyone who could write a good grant proposal. They borrowed the computer programs Wall Street had used to predict future market value. They put in what they knew for sure about the workings of the climate, which was not very much, what they thought would probably be correct and then a lot of educated guesses. The grants got them fancier labs, and new computers and some assistants, but the provable part seemed to escape them. (That’s me, not Dr. Christy)

There’s a lot of information here, and he does a fine job of explaining what is known and what is not, and it is very worth your time. Enjoy.



A Dependable Guide to the Debates in One Sentence by The Elephant's Child

This was only the first of what will be some kind of series of debates. Too many potential candidates, they have to reduce 24 down to one. If last night was typical of what’s to come, that shouldn’t be too hard. The first and most important thing to remember as they tell you the wonders of what they propose to do for you and for the country is:

The federal government has no money of its own.

Everything they have, use, pledge and put on the national credit card comes from the taxes you pay. If they promise a biggie, your taxes are going way up.

Liberals learn at their first introduction to politics and their very first vote, that Republicans are”the Party of the Rich”, and Republicans always give the biggest tax cuts to the Rich who shouldn’t get any tax cuts, because no fair.

Kamala Harris said “On Day One I will repeal those tax cuts.” Oops. She cannot, on her first day, repeal an act of Congress. Other than that, the tax cuts are what has allowed the economy to catch fire, create jobs, open factories, grow businesses, and create and grow prosperity. Democrats do not and can not understand that. It is against all their beliefs. If you recall, Ronald Reagan set off a vast economic boom with tax cuts which lasted long after his presidency.

It looks like they all want to offer “Medicare for All”. Unfortunately the American people have no idea what that means. Fewer than 20% knew that “Medicare for All” meant losing your current health care and that it was to be done by the government. It’s usually called “Socialized Medicine”, and in practice doesn’t work out all that well. If the program is meant to involve all the people, it requires a vast bureaucracy to run it. It means, clearly that your health care will cost far more than it does now, and the Democrats are very anxious to offer health care to illegal aliens, their families, and all the little children wherever they are. Offering free health care to all is just something “nice” to do, and doing “nice” things is what makes Democrats feel good, particularly if its with everybody else’s money.

It’s the government’s money they’ll say, but it’s a  lie. The government has no money of its own. The vast bureaucracy has to be paid, and given office space and housed in the very expensive nation’s capitol.

Medicare does not pay as much as private insurance plans pay. Some doctors will not accept patients on Medicare, because it doesn’t pay as much as ordinary health insurance does. Do you force all physicians to accept what “Medicare for All” offers? There would be major consequences arising from that as well. Kids who want to pursue science know that their long grind to get into the best graduate school, the best medical school, and the best residency do so partly because they know their future earnings will pay the bills.  If you remove the promise for the benefits of the long slog, will you have anyone who wants to go into medicine as a career?

Companies that offer health insurance as a benefit, get the benefit of offering a big bunch of customers all at once, so at almost every step of the way to getting medical treatment is complicated by who pays for what, and who pays the taxes that fund the governmental part. On the other side, what services are offered, and what will cost you extra, and what is excluded is more or less up for grabs. So be a bit of a skeptic, ask a lot of questions and don’t fall for simplistic offers.

ADDENDUM: Headline at the moment at The Federalist:
“Democrat Candidates Agree: Taxpayers Will Cover Health Care For All Who Break Into The United States” tee hee



Politics and Human Nature Are Often at Cross Purposes by The Elephant's Child

Think back to the birth of our nation, the 1770s, revolutionary times. News traveled on horseback, and was disseminated in the larger cities by town criers, or fliers from the printing press – if there was one. For seaside towns, maybe by boat (sailing ship). Motorized anything was far in the future. People probably didn’t find out what happened until many days later. The famed Pony Express didn’t begin until 1860.

People who had never met George Washington had no idea what he looked like until they saw a reproduction of a painting or a bad sketch. What must it have been like to know only the name of the president of the United States?  Or was it not really important in those days?

Did you watch the Democrat Debates at all? How many of the faces at the little podiums were you able to identify? We are clearly entering a time when you can just enter a name and get a picture of the person, without their being well-known or important. China apparently has everybody’s face documented, so they can be tracked.

We have, not all that much noticed, entered into a new age. Many, if not most, people have cell phones in their pockets or purse. And can instantly take pictures. Not everybody is at the stage of recognizing the importance of getting a shot, but it’s coming. Immediate case: AOC after her accusations of “concentration camps for children” didn’t go over too well, apparently flew down to the border to prove it, and was photographed weeping while she clung to a chain link fence, the concentration camp barrier. Except somebody had their cell phone. The concentration camp fence that brought on the tears, surrounded an empty parking lot that her careful picture didn’t include.

There’s a lot of that going on these days, and those who publish pictures are completely aware of the possibilities of propaganda, and of subtly arranging what you will see to promote what they want you to think. Or perhaps you remember the Greek columns on the stage when Obama was running for office, or in the Democrats’ first presidential debates, the “impression” of the front of the White House in the background (incorrect because it’s illegal to use a real one) The Presidential seal (altered because it’s illegal to use a real one) will appear, podiums will attempt to look like those actually used by the president. All intended to give you the subtle idea that the candidates belong.

The “founding fathers” (a term from McKinley’s speechwriter) had no idea of the inventions to come that would alter our perceptions of our government and those who were chosen for high office., but they were thoughtful men and recognized the imperfections of human nature. That once you put a bunch of people in charge and let them collect taxes to do stuff, you are setting up great opportunity for the impure of heart. We read reports often of teachers who have sexually abused students. The Catholic Church’s celibate priests aren’t always. Large sums of money convince some that some of it will never be missed. Whatever you can think of in the way of cheating, abuse, stealing, appropriating, propagandizing, lying, whatever, will take place because we are all members of the human race.

We form governments to make laws, and we don’t assign any one person to the job but lots and lots chosen by all the people. And out of that we get some winners and some vast disappointments, and we probably don’t know the half of it. That’s why we have locks on our doors in spite of all the laws and regulations. And why we have an Electoral College for our votes, and why we try to keep those who chose to come here illegally, and not by the legal way, who never took the oath of citizenship from voting in our elections. And why those who would have their chances of winning improved by having a lot of illegals voting, want to do away with the Electoral College. Or in a different field, why when you buy a plastic carton of strawberries at the store, the pretty ones are at the top and the unripe ones at the bottom with only the red part visible.

Be aware of human nature, and do notice that Elizabeth Warren is promising to take your health insurance away and replace it with an enormous bureaucracy to tell you what care you can have and what medicines and what doctors and what treatment, and when you can’t have any because it costs too much.



The Democrat Debate. Sad. by The Elephant's Child

I watched and listened to the Democrats’ debate for a while, and couldn’t take any more. Perhaps after a bit of a rest, I can stand a little more without getting too annoyed.

What is wrong with today’s world, the enormous troubles of the world, all that is wrong anywhere — is Trump. The horrors of the border, the American health care situation, drug addiction, the American economy, the rest of the world which now hates us because of Trump, He has turned all of our allies into enemies. They’re not going to call them “concentration camps” at the border, (that didn’t go over too well) But the children at the border, the poor pitiful little children must be saved, not clear exactly how, but everybody gets to make their application for amnesty because they are escaping from countries that we have to turn our attention and wealth to fixing, so they can stay home once we have fixed their home countries for them.

Their loathing for Trump is enormous, and he is to blame for everything. What I have found really interesting is Democrats’ lack of interest in Hillary. They are most furious about being out of power, about losing the election and every detail of what caused them to lose (electoral college), Constitution, white supremacy etc. etc.

They are all signing on to “Medicare for All” which will clearly be a major campaign issue. That and some form of children in cages being mistreated at the border. Make voters care with an appeal to stop Trump from mistreating innocent little children. Little children dying in evil Border Patrol custody will be big. Evil pharmaceutical companies to blame for drug addiction, the cost of health care, and just the usual Democrat focus on big business as evil. You don’t even need to watch any of this to know what is being said and urged. You’ve heard it all before.

Time to insert Thomas Sowell quotation:
“There are no solutions, only trade-offs”

America has the best health care in the world because kids who like science work their tails off to get good grades so they can get into good medical schools so they can become doctors, save lives, become prosperous and live good lives themselves. One of the Democrat debaters (I didn’t recognize him) said he asked  several hospital management people what they would do if everybody was on Medicare. The answer was uniformly – close down. Did you ever ask how much one of those complicated hospital beds costs? Let alone the big scanners and the complex new drugs that are saving lives. That’s why in the big cities the hospitals have auxiliaries and society balls for their supporters where it is important to be seen. Trade-offs. Democrats don’t like Tom Sowell. They call him an “Uncle Tom.”



Tuesday Was a Big Day for Climate Panic. Run for the Hills! by The Elephant's Child


Tuesday was a big day for all things climate. One Blythe Pepino who appears on CTV’s ‘Your Morning’, on Monday announced that since she has some power and privilege and has no children, no dependents, she is not going to give birth, to put pressure on our governments to “make the big changes we need for our survival” since the IPCC warned that the window to prevent catastrophic climate change is just 11 years.” Well, that should persuade the governments of the world.

“Extinction Rebellion” protesters turned out over the New York Times failure to provide enough coverage of the climate crisis. 70 people were arrested as they staged a “die-in” and disrupted traffic in front of the Times building.

In Oregon, Republicans left the legislature for other states to avoid having to vote on Governor Kate Brown’s unfortunate climate legislation.

With the Governor now threatening to use the state police to force Senators back to their chamber, it would be a good time to look at the cold, hard facts of what this bill will and won’t do.

The very basis for the bill is based on severely flawed science, the increased costs would be economically harmful and successful implementation would have virtually no effect on temperature. 

Here in Washington State, Governor Jay Inslee, 2020 presidential hopeful, is basing his entire campaign on “climate.” He said today that as president he can stop the influx of migrants at the border by solving the climate crisis. He claimed on MSNBC that the cause of the influx is the so-called climate crisis. Uh huh. His carbon tax will be damaging to the state, and accomplish nothing at all.

Climate scientists are appalled. Climatologist Dr.Judith Curry who notes that she has”devoted four decades to conducting research related to extreme weather events and climate change…The sense that extreme weather events are now more frequent or intense, caused by manmade global warming is symptomatic of “weather amnesia.” Her website is http://www.climate etc.

But the glaciers are melting (no they are not, they are growing) in Greenland, Iceland, Glacier National Park. Colorado just had a big dump of fresh snow. AOC knows nothing about the climate, she has become “click-bait” for the nutty things she says. Tom Steyer is a true believer, and a climate alarmist. The earth has been warming and cooling for millions of years, and is currently in a cooling phase.

Go to SEPP.org. ( The Science and Environmental Policy Project) and subscribe for a once weekly report in your e-mail about the climate news of the week. Visit Climate Depot, Dr, Roy Spencer.com and Watts Up With That – listed in the sidebar. Become an informed consumer of the news. The UN’s IPCC is not a reliable source for climate information. I keep pointing out that Christiana Figueres, the General Secretary of the IPCC announced some time ago — that “the goal of environmental activists was not to save the world from ecological calamity — but to destroy capitalism.” It is frightening the numbers of people who get all panicky because of a character like AOC or Tom Steyer, and don’t try to inform themselves by consulting real scientists.

Here’s what is actually going on:

Renewable energy is a myth. Wind turbines don’t produce enough energy because the wind is too intermittent. Sunlight is too diffuse. Both sources of energy require 24/7 backup from a conventional power source such as fossil fuels, natural gas, hydropower, or nuclear power. You wouldn’t like the society that would result from the loss of all that energy.



“In the Absence of Support from the U.S. Congress” by The Elephant's Child

Democrats want the extra bodies for the upcoming census next year to give them more representation in Congress. That’s why there’s the battle about ICE and Sanctuary cities, why Trump can’t get money for a wall from Congress, and why Democrats seem to want amnesty for all illegals. The Chamber of Congress wants more workers to do the scut work cheaply, to line their pockets. Somalia is one of those ‘s’-holes that President Trump mentioned, to outrage from the media.

When you want information about illegal immigration and the borders, turn to the Center for Immigration Studies, a think-tank devoted to studying immigration. (cis.org) They favor and encourage legal immigration, and work to stop the illegal kind. The Left likes to claim that the President or Conservatives oppose illegal immigration because they are “racist”. But then that’s their blanket charge when “Hitler”or “Nazi”does not suffice.

Democrats never worry about high taxes, they worry that “the rich” are not paying enough. They have never understood why cutting taxes for everyone brings economic prosperity, because obviously, the rich are not paying enough. That if we took all the money the rich have, to spread around the rest of us, wouldn’t make much difference. It’s giving the economic engine a jump start, and then keeping it running smoothly that matters. There’s a reason why Democrat-run cities and states are such a mess. Lumping all the problems together under the “homeless” label isn’t helpful either, but doing something about addiction isn’t on the schedule. Democrats want to be in control so they can tax the rich so they can buy more votes to keep themselves in control. That’s my take.



Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Meaning of “Click-bait” by The Elephant's Child

Perhaps we should increase the age when one is eligible to run for Congress. AOC was apparently an excellent student. She graduated cum laude with a double major in international affairs and (snort) economics. But she was the youngest woman to be elected to Congress. She announced Friday that an explosion at a Philadelphia oil refinery was due to climate change, arguing that the incident underscores the urgency of her Green New Deal.  (A vat of butane ignited and eventually exploded at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex, followed by a series of smaller explosions through the pipes moving fuel around the complex. It injured five workers and took 120 firefighters to bring under control.)

You have noticed, I ‘m sure that AOC has become what is called “click bait”– that is, articles about her will be clicked on and partly read, which means that the advertisers’ ads will be seen, which pays the newsmen’s salaries for their stories. (Heck of a way to run an economy). Democrats pay attention because she is one of theirs who gets attention, those suffering from “climate panic” because of her “green new deal”, and Republicans, because everything she says is so remarkably stupid. She also had some remark about Trump not allowing toothpaste to the children in the concentration camps at the southern border. She has never been to the southern border, and has turned down innumerable offers to be enlightened a little about concentration camps.

ADDENDUM: I saw an article which showed AOC at the border, so I was mistaken about her never having been. I cannot find it again, but as I recall, she was staring at a chain link fence, which she apparently confused with a concentration camp. I apologize for misleading anyone.



Another Day, Another Dumb Bunch of Mistakes by The Elephant's Child

While I wasn’t paying attention, it seems that the world in general has gone certifiably nuts, or perhaps it has just caught the “snowflake” germ that has been floating around the universities. Everyone has become super-sensitive, and every and any little thing has become racist, or offensive in some way.

The University of California at Santa Cruz will remove a major historical artifact from their campus. The “Spanish Mission” bells were used between 1769 and 1833 to highlight the trail of the California Missions for the Catholic priests who built the Missions to evangelize the Native Americans. Valentin Lopez ,who is chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band. encouraged the university to remove the bells, which he claimed “are deeply painful symbols that celebrate the destruction, domination and erasure of our people. They are constant reminders of the disrespect our tribe faces to this day.” Uh huh.

Sarah Latham, UC Santa Cruz’s vice chancellor for Business and Administrative Services, said that the students were the catalyst behind the decision to remove the bells. “Val brought forth concerns to us about the symbolism of the bell. He spoke of the historical injustices and oppression that the bell represents to the Amah Mutsun and indigenous populations. It was such a compelling statement of impact and I am pleased we have been able to work in partnership with them on the removal. Our students have also given voice to the need to remove the bell,” Latham said.

(Vice chancellors learn to talk like that.) The bells will be removed from campus on Friday after a short ceremony that will address their history. History is not as important as feelings.

I have a vague memory of some other school removing statues of the ’49rs who poured into California in 1869 when gold was discovered. There is a George Washington High School in San Francisco which is planning to remove an”offensive” mural of General George Washington, which supposedly has a slave and an a native American pictured in the mural. California is very sensitive, sanctuary-wise. The folks on the southern border want better protection from the illegal aliens pouring over the border, the rest of the state wants more to do the scut work like mowing lawns and sweeping streets.

Pete Buttigieg, one of the 24 Democrat candidates for the presidency, who wants to be the first gay president, announced today that asking anyone if they are a citizen is “racist.” Most Hollywood celebrities have found that if they become “political activists” they can get the media attention they crave. Silicon Valley, is still too young in business to recognize that playing politics with their business instead of being steadfastly neutral, is apt to get you heavily regulated. Americans, in general, are very attached to the First Amendment, even if they have a hard time understanding its meaning.

Our elections are always contentious, but this year is far worse than usual because we are still deeply involved with the last election, and Hillary’s efforts to become the “first woman president.” Those designations: the first Black President, the first Woman President, the first Gay President are deeply important to Democrats, who think that way, when they should be thinking: what real qualifications does the candidate have, what has he done of note, what has he accomplished, what does he know a lot about, what skills does he have? Instead, they want someone who is — one of them. Not an outsider.

Perhaps that is the problem. They simply do not know what Trump will do, because they do not understand who he is or what to expect, and they find that frightening and they imagine the worst, and do not know how to respond. He calls them names right back.



Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez’s Big Mistake by The Elephant's Child

The big news of the day seems to have been  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s  embarrassing mistake, which she seems not to grasp – was a mistake. Democrats, who want open borders, are anxious to capitalize on any evidence that the federal government might be misbehaving at the southern border.  Perhaps you noticed that when the Border Patrol rescued sick children who died in the hospital from dehydration, Democrats tried to blame the deaths on the Border Patrol rather than the parent who failed to keep them hydrated. Democrats came up with photos of children in cages from the Obama administration, and tried to pass them off as current prisoners of the Border Patrol. They haven’t missed a chance to attack the Border Patrol, the very force designed to protect Americans from criminal illegal aliens and drugs coming across the border.

The congresswoman, during an Instagram Live broadcast on Monday, accused the U.S. of operating “concentration camps” on the southern border. “That is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps,” Ocasio-Cortez said during the video.

Ocasio-Cortez doubled down on her comments on Wednesday, refusing to apologize and invoking the Japanese internment camps of World War II, even including the ringing Jewish phrase “Never again,” which has a deep meaning  for Jews. Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez has received all sorts of attention from the media. She is very young for a member of congress with unusual, rather striking looks,  and because of what she says she has become click-bait for the media. Unfortunately, what she has to say is clearly the result of the contemporary American collegiate system. (They don’t seem to be doing history these days). Democrats are interested because she is one of theirs, and properly anti-Trump. Republicans, on the other hand, are appalled by her ignorance, and wonder what dumb remark she will come up with next. The media assume that people are really interested, and so seek her out for her latest comments. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly a sign of popularity.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Holocaust, you might read Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz, and add to that The Black Book of Communism. There is an appalling ignorance of history today, and many attempts to rewrite that history which is not suitably ‘nice.’ Unfortunately you cannot make what happened go away by tearing down offending statues, relegating the paintings to an attic, or renaming the buildings.  History is how we progress. We learn from our mistakes, but we cannot learn when we don’t know anything at all, and destroyed the evidence. Historians have a hard enough time getting it right, because so many notes and papers and pictures have been discarded.



Do You Read In Bed? by The Elephant's Child

Reading in bed last night, I ran across this passage in a 2004 book, which I found highly amusing:

“I never said, with Tom as my witness, what I’m about to say, “Isaacson said. “Okay?”
“Okay,” Castillo said.
“I, of course, don’t know what I’m talking about, but let me throw this scenario at you,” Isaacson said. “It probably goes all the way back to J. Edgar Hoover, but the basic philosophy of the FBI is protect the FBI, closely followed by make the FBI look good and never do or admit anything that could in any way make the FBI look bad.”

“With that in mind, they don’t call their internal affairs unit ‘Internal Affairs.’ To have an internal affairs unit would be an admission that there might be, from time to time, one or two – maybe even three – FBI agents who are not absolutely one hundred percent squeaky clean and perfect in every way. On the other hand, it has to be faced that there are, from time to time, some agents whose behavior might not meet in every detail the professional standards expected of everyone in the FBI. Hence the ‘Professional Standards Unit,” to root these miscreants out, and do so very quietly.”
“You don’t like the FBI much, do you Joel?”
“Like every other right-thinking ,patriotic American, I hold the FBI in the highest possible regard. I am simply unable to accept any suggestion that any FBI agent would ever do anything wrong.”

It was, of course, fiction, but in June 2019, funny.



Joe Biden Told Us a Little About his Plans by The Elephant's Child

Joe Biden has told us what he has in mind. He starts with a “Clean Energy Revolution” (read Green New Deal) for a measly $1.7 trillion by 2050, 100% clean energy. (Why doesn’t anyone do a little studying up before they start making big impossible plans?) Unless you want to depend on nuclear power plants, you cannot have “clean energy.”

The sun sinks beneath the horizon in the evening, just when everyone needs to turn on the lights. Some days are cloudy or rainy. Sunlight is too diffuse to be a serious power source. Solar energy needs 24/7 backup from a regular power source, for all the times when it is not shining in a clear sky. So what about that “regular power source”?

Even in the windiest places, wind turbines need backup from a regular power source. Turbines need the wind to blow steadily at about 35 mph. Doesn’t happen. The wind blows in puffs and wafts and sometimes gales and often not at all. But “Climate” has become something of a religion for the left, and they just be-leeeve, they don’t investigate.

As I understand it, the level of CO² in the atmosphere at the present is exceptionally high. The planet, however, seems to be cooling. Glaciers are growing, not melting, in Glacier National Park, in Iceland, and in Antarctica — which would seem to suggest that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does not cause global warming, or in current terminology “climate change.” If that is the case, perhaps you don’t have to trade in your gas guzzler on a self-driving electric car, but then I was an English major, and learned to read a lot, not how to do atmospheric science.

Joe Biden also wants a new transcontinental high-speed rail. From what I read, that hasn’t worked out too well in California, but I’m not a mechanical engineer either.  I read that there are 1.1 million jobs currently in the fossil fuel industry. So maybe they won’t lose their jobs, but all the new jobs in the clean energy sector won’t materialize either. Biden says that Trump poses a fundamental threat to America, a threat to democracy and a threat to the Constitution. His strategy is that it’s all about Trump, and personal. He’s apparently going to run on returning to the slow. low-growth Obama economy. Will that work? Eight years and never over 2% growth, not once.

All of the 24 (?) 25 (?) Democrat candidates who we will be hearing from in their first upcoming debate, are undoubtedly all running precisely because Trump is so absolutely horrible, terrible, very bad, and a “fundamental threat.” Pity that none of them ever learned to read.




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