American Elephants

Here Is a Wonderful Edition of Uncommon Knowledge from the Hoover Institution by The Elephant's Child

Here’s a remarkable video of Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson from the Hoover Institution, featuring former Secretary of State George Schultz, John Cogan, Terry Anderson and Lee Ohanian. Four economists to talk about the major improvements that happened in the United States between 1919 and 2019. There were momentous improvements affecting all of our lives and our prosperity, inventions, the Great Depression, the Holocaust, World War II, the underlying institutions. prosperity, private property, the rule of law, free markets and what they mean. The role of immigration, the role of government, and attracting talent. You’ll learn a lot of History and a lot of Economics.

This was just published on August 26, 2019. It’s long, but worth every minute. You will learn a lot. Leadership, the uses of government, Socialism illustrated, American institutions, the Great Depression, economic history, a hugely rewarding discussion. You will learn about incentives, taxes, policies and why they matter. You will enjoy it,really. Enlarge it to full screen. You might want to keep a copy so you can listen more than once. I know that I will.

ADDENDUM: Do take special note of Terry Anderson’s visit to an Indian Reservation and the discussion of private property, with a devastating account of socialism thrown in for the benefit of our ignorant college students.

The Clearwater River Log Drives: File Under Extinct Occupations for Labor Day Weekend by The Elephant's Child
Previously published in 2014
Northern Idaho once had a splendid stand of white pine. Logging on the upper Clearwater river began in North Central Idaho in 1928 and continued until 1971. That last great Log Drive, was an historic ninety-mile river trek from the upper reaches of the North Fork of the Clearwater down to the Potlatch mill, the world’s largest white pine sawmill,  at the confluence of the Clearwater and the Snake River at Lewiston, Idaho.The 1971 Log Drive was described as the last major white-water sawlog river drive in  the United States. In 1971, the completion of the Dworshak Dam meant the end of log drives and inundated the stretch of the North Fork of the Clearwater. Most drives started about May 10th and lasted about 21 days. In the spring, loggers prepared for the snow melt and rising waters. The Wanigan was assembled— a floating cookhouse with two bunkhouses that would follow the drive down the river. Food, tools, safety equipment and work-boats were prepared. It was a cold, harsh and dangerous environment for the river men. Their job was to recover any logs hung up on the banks, sand bars or islands and send them on their way again.

In the early years of the drive, flumes were built from the woods to the bank of the river. Tree lengths were skidded down to the river then bucked by sawyers into saw logs about 16½ feet long. Peavey crews accompanied the logs, keeping them moving, breaking up jams and sometimes having to dynamite jams to get them moving again.

clearwater log driveThis picture gives you an impression of the mass, and the potential for jams. The men  wore heavy caulked boots with thick leather soles and steel caulks for traction on the logs.A slip could not only send you into icy water, but the logs were dangerous. Work boats were originally bateaux with oars, then outboards and  they eventually developed jet boats with powerful engines that could help to pull logs out of jams.

After a day of cold, hard dangerous work, three hot meals a day were important and the number one priority on the drive was a good cook. The company furnished the best cook and the best food they could get. Hearty meals meant a lot, and the work developed good appetites.


Here a wanigan hits a patch of white water — this wanigan will have a bunkhouse on each end, with double steel framed bunks, with warm wool blankets and an Arctic heater that burned presto logs for warmth at night, and in the middle the cookhouse with a smaller stove than most kitchens, and a cook who also had to pilot the raft.

log drive

Here’s a good shot of the peavey men at work. They still make peaveys, and there are still lumber mills and lumber mills have mill ponds, but the big log drives are gone forever.

On a Labor Day weekend, take a moment to honor hard work and  real men who once did very hard jobs.

Sixteen Year Old Greta Thunberg Has Arrived in America to Address the UN on the Horrors of Climate Change by The Elephant's Child

Democrats have, in the modern era, always insisted that Republicans, those backwoods folk who live in the hollows of  Arkansas, or the woods of Idaho, are racists or Nazis, or whatever boogie-man they can devise. Democrats are destined to be in charge of the important things, like the country, [and major cities like New York, Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle] simply because they are morally superior.

Democrat-run cities don’t hold out a lot of promise for allowing them to be in charge of much of anything. You should probably keep that in mind when you vote. That said, they are now down to 10 Democrat candidates for the next debate, and there will be only one, not two.

Our governor, Jay Inslee, has dropped out. His campaign was entirely about Climate. But ordinary people are not convinced. He is clearly a true believer, and it is looking as if our state is going to go entirely to renewable resources for energy. Wind and solar, which do not produce dependable power, and Washington state still has renewable hydropower, though we’ve pretty much run out of places to dam. Look for regular blackouts.

We apparently do not need facts in order to be concerned about climate. There’s a worldwide outcry and those most passionate fight to see just how many years we have left. I suspect that few have ever studied up to see what the cries of Climate Change are all about.  And as they cry passionately that we have only 12 years left, their information is as ephemeral as 16 year old Greta Thunberg’s insistence that she can (in complete refutation of science) see the molecules of CO² in the air. A little child will lead us, I guess. She has arrived by sailboat in  America to address the United Nations.

I am concerned with the amount of nonsense out there. I think that our reliance on computers has us accustomed us to too much news in snips and bits. The long reads of background and history and development get passed by, and our understanding because of that lack, is even more incomplete. When there are voices shouting Climate panic and suggesting that the earth is going to end in a very few years, there are lots of people who will take that as fact, and order their lives accordingly, without ever studying up.

It is quite possible to determine who are the experts and who are the phonies, and what is established and what is simply fashionable conversation. Whenever there is a Climate demonstration, there’s usually someone in a polar bear costume to elicit pity and warm feelings, but the polar bears are just fine and multiplying nicely according to Susan Crockford who is the expert on polar bears. But that is how it works today

Victor Davis Hanson Explores the Strange Mythical Trump That Liberals Have Created Out of Whole Cloth by The Elephant's Child

Excellent article at American Greatness ( Victor Davis Hanson explores the strange mythical Trump that Democrats have devised for themselves in order to explain the horrors of the last election. They have completely lost contact with reality.

Candidate Trump never really wanted to be president. His entire amateurish and buffoonish candidacy was designed only to enhance his brand. Once he was unexpectedly elected, Trump was more shocked than anyone, and quickly sought to maximize his profits from the Oval Office. Thus, followed the constant progressive evocation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution to prevent chronic Trump profiteering.

In reality, the Trump empire reportedly has declined by nearly $1 billion in net value, aside from the tens of millions of his own money that Trump spent on the 2016 campaign. Trump’s business interests are the most thoroughly investigated of any recent president in memory. Obama and the Clintons made millions from their presidencies; Trump may well end up losing billions.

Hanson takes a hard look at the strange mysterious Trump creation that Democrats have lodged in their minds. We were right all along. They have completely allowed their emotions to run away with them and the result is remarkably foolish and bears little resemblance to reality. Do read the whole thing. You’ll enjoy it.

We Have A Case of Mass Hysteria by The Elephant's Child

Here is Dr. William Happer, the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics, Emeritus at Princeton University, and a science advisor to President Trump. Since he does actual science, he is naturally labeled as a “denier”, which simply means that he doesn’t accept Democrat propaganda, but calls it “a case of Mass Hysteria.”

They speak about the models. When grant money became available from government agencies to find out what was going on with the Climate, a lot of professors who thought they could write a good grant proposal which would mean prestige for their department, maybe an assistant, new equipment, prestige for their university. So they adapted the computer programs that had been developed to estimate what the stock market and the economy were going to do.They entered what they knew for sure about the climate, which wasn’t all that much.

It’s complicated. The models looked at the other models, and tried to agree. But there’s the sun. weather, clouds we don’t know much about the action of clouds, some are thick, some are wispy, they move in different directions at different levels, There are rain clouds, thunder clouds, and they’re not the same in any two different places.

And it turns out that “Climate Change” is just a tool for getting rid of Capitalism. That’s from the Secretary of the IPCC, Christiana Figueres, and AOC’s recent advisor, who also admitted their goal.

If you want to learn more about carbon dioxide, you can visit which is dedicated to the study of carbon dioxide. by the Idsos. Craig Idso Ph.D. and Sherwood Idso, PhD. and has all sorts of good information.

The Hottest July on Record? Not So Fast! by The Elephant's Child

When President Trump complained about “Fake News” the media, en masse, had a hissy-fit. How Dare He!! In the interest of the “Climate Crisis” the media has been touting “The Hottest July on Record.” File that one along with the Amazon Rainforest burning up.

When climate happens to you, it seems like the worst one ever. If you sweltered in New York this July, I’m sure it felt like the hottest ever, but the statistics don’t support your feelings. There’s some pretty impressive graph work here. And graphs are another one of those things that seem to get too complicated for us poor mortals. You have to spend a little time to really absorb what they are saying.  The hottest was way back in 1936. 2019 wasn’t even in the running. Fake news indeed!

The Truth About Global Warming by The Elephant's Child

Mark Levin asks Dr.Patrick Michaels to explain Climate Change and why it seems to be a major crisis just now. AOC claims that we have just 12 years left, which gets lots of attention because she is “click-bait” for the media, largely because she is so ignorant about the Constitution, and how the government works. But we have Climate Marches, lots of people who, never having learned anything about the science, believe that there is a crisis and we have to save the planet or we’re all doomed.

This is what I was trying to explain in my previous post. The internet, and the ability to “surf,” picking up little bits and pieces, has given us the illusion that we know more than we do. We no longer understand things in depth, because we don’t stick around long enough. The talking-heads and the ideas change with a click of the mouse, and a move to a new site.

We apparently have a new generation who have learned that socialism – means that everybody will be equal, and we won’t have unpleasant battles and there won’t be any super-rich to hog all the money — or something like that. They clearly have no idea whatsoever of what socialism is all about. Well, stick around and listen to Dr. Michaels explain the climate crisis.

Words, Words, Words, But Does Anyone Really Read Anymore? by The Elephant's Child

The conversation out there has become quite impossible. Rude, insulting, partisan, phony, uncivil. How did we get here? Everyone seems to be playing the old “can you top this” game. Can insults become offensive enough? Some were suggesting that it was a matter of attention. People just weren’t paying enough attention, and they didn’t understand what was really going on. I’m not convinced. But it started me off on a slightly different track.

I have been noticing that people don’t seem to read anything much – in depth. Snippets here and there. A few lines, and decide it’s not interesting enough. A headline here, a picture caption there and on to something else. Reading is complicated, much of the writing is lightweight. The internet world flashes words. A serious passage is interrupted with ads and pictures, The worst is a ad with a picture that is moving right in the middle of something that promised to be rewarding. Your concentration is always broken. Words and voices are competing constantly for your attention. While you are trying to read a short paragraph, a message appears about your incoming mail, and are you listening to the radio while you read? As you surf the web, are you actually learning anything at all? What do you do with longer pieces that promise to offer something worthwhile? Do you read it immediately to see if it is worth saving or just save it, and forget to read it later?

Think back to earlier days when new information was not so easily obtained. When there were town criers, when the telegraph finally crossed the continent. When books were scarce, and information only arrived occasionally. Now we are drowning in it, and view it with mild interest and often contempt. We suffer from a glut. The fact that it is no longer valued is exemplified by the proliferation of “fact-checking sites,” Back when information was slow and scarce, we probably believed it all because there was no competition. Do you know the history of our country? Do your kids know the history of our country? Or only Howard Zinn’s phony version?

Let’s say you are interested in China, because you have heard of the Hong Kong riots, and “Trump’s trade war”— how do you satisfy the urge to know more? Do you start with a Google search? Turn to Fox News or the Huffington Post or Drudge? You surely search for a source you trust, but why has that site earned your trust? And are they informed enough to have good information, and how much information do you need to find to satisfy the need to know?

I was an English major a hundred or so years ago, and I learned to read and read a lot. I know I read a lot more than my kids do, because I have more available time. Do you squeeze the news into your work day? Or does that wait till you get home? I suspect that in the “Information Age”, we may be dumber and more poorly informed than ever before. I think there are many who have never learned to read the hard stuff. What has Twitter done to our use of words and our understanding? Are our kids learning too much from computer screens instead of the printed page? Newspapers and magazines are clearly slowly dying. Do people subscribe to newspapers and magazines any more? Does anyone subscribe to a movie magazine or a People type magazine except for Doctors offices and hairdressers? Are any of your children real readers who get lost in a book? And how did they get that way? I think there is a big change here underlying our present world, and I’m not at all sure it is a good one.

Climate Hysteria and Why the Media Encourages It by The Elephant's Child

Another must-read post from David Harsanyi at the Federalist. It is properly called Climate Hysteria. The Earth has not warmed at all in the last five years. It has been much warmer in the past, and much colder as well. There was a time when wine grapes were being grown in England, and wheat in Norway. And as well, a time when they were skating on the Thames. Democrats come up with doomsday scenarios to illustrate the terrible damage Trump is doing to the climate by failing to endorse the Paris Climate Accords which are designed to send the wealth of the more prosperous nations to the less fortunate countries, and end capitalism if possible.

Best Read of the Day! by The Elephant's Child

Victor Davis Hanson takes on President Donald Trump and the 2020 election. So what about the Trade War, impeachment, China, oil and gas, climate change, the economy?

The Court has Declared Obama’s “Waters of the United States Rule” Unlawful by The Elephant's Child

This is very good news indeed. U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood stated that the rule, which was intended to provide better protection of the nation’s water, violated the Clean Water Act and the Administrative Procedure Act, and she remanded it back to the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers for further work. You may recall that the EPA implementation of that rule led to a Wyoming rancher being fined $37,000 a day for building a stock pond on his own property.

The rule was absurd, and Obama’s EPA waved it around viciously. The idea was that the U.S. had jurisdiction over the navigable waters of America, and by extension over the waters that flowed into said navigable waters, tracing them back to your springs or to the downspouts on your house. A control freaks kind of rule.

I found I have written around 19 posts about this rule. Here’s the one about those Wyoming ranchers. The headline I wrote then explains why: “Private property rights seem unimportant until they’re yours, and they’re gone.” The Johnsons had a small 8 acre ranch, and ran 10 head of cattle and 4 horses. That’s not what you’d call a big spread. They diverted a creek that runs through the property to create a stock pond. The EPA (Gina McCarthy) claimed the discharge from the pond flowed into navigable waters. Johnsons got help from Wyoming senators and the Pacific Legal Foundation. The Clean Water Act specifically excludes stock ponds. By the time Mr. Johnson’s counter lawsuit reached the courts the EPA fines had reached $16 million! Perhaps it’s because I grew up rural, and understand what such an attack means. This was only one of The EPA’s many depredations under this rule. The waters pictured above, Granite Creek, are not all that far from my old home.

This decision may be only one of many cases involving the same EPA ruling. Judge Wood wrote that while the agencies have authority to interpret the phrase “waters of the United States,” that authority isn’t limitless.”

Reason’s Remy With a Beatles Parody by The Elephant's Child

Here is Reason’s Remy with a parody of the Beatles, with Remy playing the whole band. Making fun of the Left is always great fun, and Remy is good at it.

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