American Elephants


Here’s Michelle Malkin On Illegal Immigration by The Elephant's Child

This is a hard problem for Democrats. They want open borders, at least until we get through the next census count. If they can add enough illegals to get counted in the census in all the sanctuary cities and states, they can add more representatives in the House of Representatives which is organized on the basis of population. The Senate is organized on the basis that each state will have two Senators, no matter what the population, so that all states are represented equally.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, Conservatives believe that immigrants should enter the United States legally. Apply at the U.S. Consulate in their own country, or apply for asylum at the border. Democrats like to believe that letting immigrants just cross the border wherever is because “America is a nation of immigrants”— actually it’s a nation of citizens, and if you want to become a citizen, do it legally, because America is a nation of laws. The Left likes to believe that they are morally superior because they care about the unfortunate or the downtrodden, like illegal aliens.

There’s a big cost to illegal immigration. The State of Idaho spelled out the cost of illegal immigration for their state, that falls on Idaho’s taxpayers. As I keep reminding, governments have no money of their own. Whatever they spend comes out of the pockets of the taxpayers.



Is Communism Once Again Rearing Its Ugly Head? by The Elephant's Child

The current bunch of Democrats remaining in the contest for the Democratic nomination continue to astonish in their very odd understandings of America and Americans. How Bernie Sanders can remain on the list with significant support while professing Socialism as the solution for the government of the United States of America is astounding.

Supposedly one out of three millennials (31%) say they are a democratic socialist or a socialist and would identify as either, according to a poll. The poll found that nearly half of all millennial Democrats (48%) identify as democratic socialists or socialists. The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation found that 50 percent of American millennials view socialism or communism as the ideal political ideology. Our colleges and universities have a lot to answer for, raising up a generation of ignoramuses.

Nazism is an accusation thrown around by the Left at President Trump and his supporters. They apparently fail to understand that Nazism was just another form of socialism. But it remains a choice insult because of the known death toll from the Holocaust:

Between five and six million Jews. More than three million Soviet prisoners of war. More than two million Soviet civilians. More than one million Polish civilians. More than one million Yugoslav civilians. About 70,000 men, women and children with mental and physical handicaps. More than 200,000 gypsies.

Nazism came to a distinct end with the defeat of Nazi Germany. But the death toll from communism encompasses many countries and many regimes. Socialism often turns directly into real communism,  depending on the party’s will for ever more complete control.

Communist regimes did not just commit criminal acts, they were criminal enterprises in their very essence; on principle, so to speak, they all ruled lawlessly, by violence, and without regard for human life.

This is from The Black Book of Communism. It offers a rough approximation, based on unofficial estimates to give some sense of the scale and gravity of these crimes.

USSR: 20 million deaths
China: 65 million deaths
Vietnam: 1 million deaths
North Korea: 2 million deaths
Cambodia: 2 million deaths
Eastern Europe: 1 million deaths
Latin America: 150,000 deaths
Africa: 1.7 million deaths
Afghanistan: 1.million deaths
The international Communist movement and Communist parties not in power: about 10,000 deaths

You might conclude that there is some sort of pattern here, and that perhaps regarding it as an ideal political ideology is beyond ignorance, and approaches insanity.



Wind and Solar Simply Do Not Work As Dependable Power Sources. They Require 24/7 Backup from a Conventional Power Source. by The Elephant's Child

For more information of the accomplishments of the Obama administration in the area of climate, do enter “Solyndra” in the space over Bob Hope’s head in the sidebar. Major scandal for the Obama administration.

Or enter “The Shepherds Flat Wind Project” by Robert Bryce, energy expert at the Manhattan Institute. It was the world’s largest wind farm, located about halfway between The Dalles and Pendleton in Oregon just south of the Columbia river. Bryce wrote:

Shepherds Flat is the world’s largest wind farm, about halfway between The Dalles and Pendleton in Oregon, south of the Columbia River. Interestingly, what energy is produced goes not to Oregon, but to Southern California which is always hungry for Northwest power. The Obama administration’s loan guarantee for Solyndra got lots of attention, but Shepherds Flat is an even better example of corporate welfare, and a huge drain on taxpayer funds when the economy is in the tank. The Oregonian newspaper has launched an investigation about the federal Energy Department’s loan-guarantee program and the state of Oregon’s decision to award a total of $30 million to the project — “frosting on a multilayered cake of federal, state and local subsidies.”  Reporter Ted Sickinger said “Its developers gorged themselves on hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers, and government officials were well aware it was over-subsidized.”

Oregon is oversupplied with green activists, so the Shepherds Flat project added luster to Oregon’s green ambitions. Sickinger added “Though its renewable energy credits flow to California, it generates lots of clean power. Politicians can point to property taxes and community service fees for rural counties, big lease payments for a handful of landowners and 45 permanent jobs.”

The Oregon Department of Energy ignored its own rules, legislators’ intent and taxpayers’ interest in reaffirming its decision to define Shepherds Flat wind farm as three separate facilities and provide its owners three separate $10 million tax credits.

Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant. It’s what you exhale every time you breathe, and it is fertilizer for plants. which, in turn, release oxygen. The earth is greening to such an extent that it can be seen from space. And a lot of hungry people are getting fed. That’s a very good thing.

Wind and Solar energy sound wonderful, but they just don’t work. The wind does not blow steadily, but only intermittently. It requires 24/7 backup from a conventional power source. Solar energy is too diffuse. The sun sinks beneath the horizon every night, and is useless when there are too many clouds. They simply cannot produce the energy required by a modern civilization. It has nothing whatsoever to do with plastic straws, eating meat, or for that matter keeping a herd on the back 40. Fracking is a technique that has allowed us to become the world’s leading oil exporter. Power may seem irrelevant when you are in a large television studio, but not funny when you are in the hospital and the power fails. It is not wind or solar that provides the emergency backup.

One of the dependable sources of clean energy is nuclear power. The Democrats are too scared of it, because the Russians had one that blew up, and the Japanese had one that was ruined in a tsunami.  Californian’s on the other hand are trying to keep their Diablo Canyon nuclear plant going to the dismay of ill-informed Democrats.

The Obama administration wanted acclaim for it’s environmental efforts, but they mostly turned sour. The Solyndra scandal was a very bad one. But they apparently were not as worried about Climate Change and rising seas. The Obamas have just purchased a $15 million waterfront home in Martha’s Vineyard. Funny. When Al Gore made a lot of money on his Climate Change movie, he bought a waterfront home in San Francisco. If they waited until the prospective rising seas rose a little uncomfortably, the price would have dropped a whole bunch.



Been There, Done That. Doesn’t Work! by The Elephant's Child

https://americanelephant.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/xivanpah-plant-575x383-pagespeed-ic-p4ozkp2she.jpg

Environmentalists have long been sure that if we could just eliminate things that are not “natural” from our lives, live in harmony with nature, then the world would be a better place. Relying on the Sun and the Wind were right at the top of the list. We should eliminate chemicals from our diet, stop cutting down trees, save endangered species but stop putting animals in cages, and just quit eating meat. The very word “natural” moved right to the top of the advertising buzz-word list.

So it is no surprise that in the panic about Global Warming, which was the next big thing after we stopped panicking about a new ice age in the 1970s, and the threat of a nuclear winter receded, we turned to trying to harness the power of the sun. Sensible people pointed out that the power of the sun was very diffuse, the sun had the habit of sinking below the horizon at night, and there was the problem of cloudy days and clouds on even nice days. But this is America, and the Twenty-First Century, as we are so frequently reminded, and we have technology!

Well, yes. Words for today, but written on the 15th of June in 2015.

The 2.2 billion Ivanpah solar project in California’s Mojave Desert is definitely high-tech. Those tiny white rectangles in the picture above are more than 170,000 mirrors, each about the size of a garage door, that rotate to follow the path of the sun across the sky. Solar-thermal technology was meant to supersede old-fashioned solar panel farms. The mirrors would reflect the sunlight to the huge “power towers,” enormous pillars to create steam which would generate electricity.

The facility was built by Bright Source Energy Inc, and operated by NRG Energy Inc. NRG owns the facility along with Bright Source, Google and other investors. Last time I wrote about Ivanpah in November, they were trying to get a federal grant to pay off their $1.6 billion federal loan.

The $2.2 billion project is supposed to be generating more than a million megawatt hours of electricity, but 15 months after starting up, the plant is producing just 40% of that, according to the U.S. Energy Department. Why, with new technology, there is a lot more that can go wrong. There’s a lot more on-the-job-learning. The power plant needs a lot more steam to run smoothly and efficiently. They thought they could ramp up the plant before sunrise with fossil fuels to get it humming, but it needs four times as much fossil fuel help to get going.

And despite being in one of the hottest places in the U.S. — not enough sun. Weather predictions underestimated the amount of cloud cover. Then there were millions in cost overruns because of wildlife protections for the ‘endangered’ Desert Tortoise. The birds are not so lucky. Government biologists estimate that  3,500 birds died at Ivanpah in the course of a year. The songbirds go up in a puff of smoke as they chase the bugs that are drawn to the bright light. Raptors chase the songbirds, and die instantly. I wonder if the big corpses break the mirrors when they fall?

New solar farms generate electricity at about 5 cents a kilowatt-hour. Ivanpah is running between 12 and 25 cents a kilowatt-hour. Plans for solar-thermal plants elsewhere are being canceled. American Solar farms generate nearly 16 million megawatt-hours of electricity each year. That amounts to less than 1% of U.S. electricity demand. Utilities are likely to opt for cheaper solar farms that use panels. The Sierra Club continues its disgraceful “War on Coal.” And the EPA continues its efforts to shut down America’s coal-fired power plants that produce nearly 40 percent of America’s electricity, under the illusion that removing whatever carbon dioxide they produce will have a measurable effect on climate change. It won’t. And we will pay a high price for that loss of energy.

You did notice the prominent role of Google, did you not? Do put “Ivanpah” into the search bar of your favorite search engine to see what comes up.  Or you could go outside and sit in the sun for a while, (if any) and see how many clouds there are. The problem is that the sun does not shine all the time. There is night. And in the daytime, there are clouds which prevent getting the energy from the sun, a clear cloudless day is not the norm. Sometimes the sun does not shine for days. Obama’s Clean Power Plan regulations to shut down coal-fired power plants in favor of “clean” wind and solar energy was estimated to prevent approximately 0.03 degrees of warming by 2100.

The reason is simple. The global warming agenda is not about the planet.

The Head of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, readily admitted that the real climate change agenda has nothing to do with the environment, but instead is about redistribution of wealth. “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves,” she says, “which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history.



CNN Held a Big “Climate Forum” So the Remaining Democrat Candidates Could Show Off Their Ignorance by The Elephant's Child

CNN had a big “Climate Forum.” Seven hours of the remaining Democrat candidates for the presidency, trying desperately to find the magic key to the votes of everyone who is worried about the end of the earth and Climate Change. Marc Morano, proprietor of Climate Depot watched all seven hours so you didn’t have to. (He is also the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change which you can order at the website.) Journal Nature has named Morano as the Number One contrarian in the media (#1 out of 386 skeptics) You can watch his appearance on Fox and Friends with the link at Climate Depot. It’s pretty clear that not only have the Democrat candidates never read any of the science of climate, but neither have the reporters at CNN.

The remaining Democrat candidates want desperately to appeal to everyone concerned about Climate Change and the end of the world, so they propose banning most everything: Fracking, straws, light bulbs, meat, drilling, coal, oil, gas. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer blames Climate Change for Hurricane Dorian. (Hurricanes are not caused by climate) nor does Global Warming make Dorian or any other hurricane stronger. All of the hosts for CNN blamed hurricane Dorian.

Bernie Sanders wants to nationalize all US energy production. So the government will allocate your fuel consumption, how much you can drive? He also wants population control and to fund abortions in ‘Poor Countries’ to fight climate change. Joe Biden blames Climate Change for Cancer, and for the genocide in Darfur. Elizabeth Warren is signing on to the the “Green New Deal” and wants to ban fracking – the technique that has made the United States the top oil producer in the world. Try to imagine that future.

All were topped by a Swedish scientist, Magnus Söderlund, who suggested that it may be necessary to turn to cannibalism and start eating human flesh as a way of combating the effects of climate change, at a conference about the food of the future called Gastro Summit being held in Stockholm.



The Peril of Not Studying Up on What You Are Trying to Sell! by The Elephant's Child

Oh dear, Elizabeth Warren has just announced that she’s all for Jay Inslee’s wonderful climate plan, and she’ll just put it right into her own campaign. I have mentioned before that Warren’s candidacy for the highest office in the land, should be denied because she is an economic ignoramus. She does not understand economics at all.

Jay Inslee’s candidacy was a total flop, partly because his climate plan would cost around $16 trillion and result in regular blackouts, partly because a great many Americans have read a little at least of the science, and recognize that the panic about climate change is a phony effort to transfer a large part of the free world’s wealth to the poverty stricken countries. Inslee made his entire campaign about Climate, and it deservedly went nowhere. One would think that Warren might recognize that another candidate who got no enthusiasm whatsoever is not a good model to follow, but there you go. $16 trillion is not an important number to someone looking for more votes, and there are people out there who are worried about the climate.

The people who are frightened about Climate Change also seem to be, unsurprisingly, those who are unfamiliar with the science, and feel no need to study up and see if they are on the right track, which they are not.

I keep recommending Dr. Roy Spencer’s website for accurate information on the climate. He is the one who measures the temperatures around the world with satellites as a more useful tool in understanding climate, than using the prognostications of computer programs borrowed from analyzing the stock market by Wall Street. He has articles about climate change on his website, as well as a regular blog about climate. His website is .http://www.drroyspencer.com.

Here is Dr. Spencer’s take on the hurricane that has done such damage to Bermuda:

$16 Trillion is a notable number. Please remember that the federal government has no money of its own. It all comes from your taxes, and raising them as necessary.

ADDENDUM: Cory Booker wants to fight Climate Change on a lower budget: just $3 Trillion.  Unfortunately none of the Democrats seem to have read a word about the science of Climate Change from the climate scientists. There is no evidence that the earth has warmed enough to make it a matter of urgency. Lot of doubt if it means anything at all. It has been way warmer in the past, the Medieval Warming has been confirmed, and of course way cooler too.

Unfortunately Kamala Harris now wants to get in on the gig too, She wants to pass the “Green New Deal” AOC’s absurd plan that her Chief of Staff said was a change the entire economy thing. The Green New Deal was estimated to cost the average American family $250,000 in the first 4 years. She also wants to ban straws and plans to sue oil companies. I’m not sure what she thinks they are guilty of.



Democrats Want to Eliminate the Electoral College When Removing It Would Let Their Candidate Win by The Elephant's Child

The New York Sun had a very good editorial yesterday on “The Electoral College Angst.” You have undoubtedly heard Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez out advocating the removal of the Electoral College from the U.S. Constitution.

As we hurtle toward the 2020 election, some 15 states have joined the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. They would use in a new way the constitutional system in which each state chooses in November electors to meet in December to decide who will be president. Had the compact been in effect in 2016, Hillary Clinton would have been president — though 30 of the 50 states reckoned she was less fit for it.

This is not an occasion for panic. The states that have joined the popular vote compact account for only 190 electoral votes. The compact doesn’t go into effect until it has enough states with the 270 electoral votes needed to decide the presidency. All it would take now, though, is a few red states turning blue enough to join the compact, and — presto — we’d elect our presidents by the national popular vote.

The advocates of such a constitutional amendment ending the electoral college isn’t going to happen, but the real problem seems to be that so few understand why the Constitution is written in such a way. Which leads to another problem.

I’m beginning to think that before someone runs for national office, they should be required to pass a test in the Constitution, to justify their qualifications for such an office. Maybe start with the basic naturalization test that new citizens have to pass and add a little more history and some constitutional questions. As it is we seem to have way too many members of Congress who seem to be at least somewhat unfamiliar with our founding document.

We seem to hear from AOC on a nearly daily basis, incensed about laws she should, as a college graduate, be familiar with, and she clearly is not.



Victor Davis Hanson Writes on Today’s University by The Elephant's Child

Victor Davis Hanson wrote yesterday for American Greatness about the decline and fall of the American University, an essay with the subhead “The damage that the modern university has wrought has now outweighed its once-positive role.” Ouch!

Dr. Hanson is not only a noted historian, but he has long been a college professor in an American university, though in recent years he has been a fellow at the Hoover Institution.

It certainly sounds like an article one would want to avoid if they were about to send a potential victim off to begin a college career. However, knowing the hazards helps to avoid them or prepares you to do battle as the case may be.

The rest of us need to know and understand what is going on in our universities, and how young people are being mis-educated, and overcharged. Can’t help to change things if you don’t understand what you are fighting against.



Did You Ever Stop to Consider the Differences Between Fact and Opinion And Why it Seems So Hard to Find the Truth? by The Elephant's Child

Daniel Boorstin was an American historian at the University of Chicago, who became Librarian of Congress in 1975 and served for the next 12 years. He was a prolific author and was awarded most of the prizes ever offered to authors, the Pulitzer, Bancroft, National Book Award for Nonfiction and National Book award for History. The book I have in hand is Democracy and its Discontents, and he writes of odd things like: what is Opinion, and do we have too much of it.? To which a good many people would immediately shout “Yes!”

But that’s not really true because we are constantly looking for more opinion, but we’d prefer some that agrees with us. And opinion has taken something of a nasty turn in the wake of the “can you top this” leftist hatred of Donald Trump. Boorstin begins, “in the beginning “opinion” was a synonym for uncertainty—for a notion grounded in personal preference (rather than fact)”

Until the rise and triumph of liberalism in Europe, “opinion” was closely identified with error, and to say that something was “mere opinion” was a way of saying the notion was hardly worth taking account of.

Then, by the late eighteenth century, when representative government, Protestantism and modern liberalism had taken firm root in Western Europe, “Opinion” acquired different overtones. “Opinion ” was frequently qualified by such words as common, general, or public, and shifted from its uncertainty or error-prone quality to something else—to its power. Here was a hint, too—in the age of the Baron de Montesquieu, David Hume,Adam Smith, and Edward Gibbon—a hint of the rise of the new social sciences, which were less intent on moralizing than on describing the forces at work in society. Gibbon, for example in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, traced the currents of public opinion as forces in ancient history. In that descriptive age, writers began to characterize this force as if it were something newly discovered and perhaps only recently created. Accordingly, Christof Wieland, the German man of letters, in 1798 wrote that public opinion was

oo0an opinion that gradually takes root among a whole people:  oooespecially among those who have the most influence when they ooowork together as a group. In this way it wins the upper hand to
ooosuch an extent that one meets it everywhere. It is an opinion that ooowithout being noticed takes possession of most heads, and even
oooin situations where it does not dare express itself out loud it can be ooorecognized by a louder and louder muffled murmur. It then only ooorequires some small opening that will allow it air, and it will break   oooout with force. Then it can change whole nations in a brief time and ooogive whole parts of the world a new configuration.

I had never stopped to consider “opinion” as a separate entity, for today the “news” and “opinion” are mostly one and the same thing. Yet often what we search for are “facts”– something solid, proved to be true. And so we have “fact checkers” whom we cannot depend upon anyway, because what they say has probably been politicized. Boorstin died in 2004 at the age of 96, but I wonder what he would say about opinion today.

With the proliferation of websites, blogs, social media like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and all the others, and space offered on most websites to comment on the opinions featured, and on the opinions offered in other peoples comments – there’s a lot of opinion out there, much of it vulgar, scatological and insulting. I do read comments, and I’m often startled by the public fury, and the need to give the worst possible insult to a stranger. I’m troubled by a lot of it, of the Nazi, racist, sexist, white supremacist type, and a little puzzled by those who take such violent, vulgar exception to what a stranger thinks in a country where free speech is treasured.




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