American Elephants

How’s Socialism Doing in Venezuela?


The Left Sometimes Just Goes Too Far

John Hinderraker at Powerline had a good piece on “the  Despicable Misuse of Children.”

Today students were excused from classrooms all across America to participate in demonstrations in favor of firearms bans of one sort or another. These were anything but spontaneous actions organized by children. Rather, the anti-gun demonstrations were condoned, if not sponsored, by school administrations that are almost universally liberal. And the teachers’ unions played a part too. The National Education Association issued a statement that included this:

Since the horrific shootings in Parkland, Florida, students across the country have launched an inspired movement to demand long overdue action on school safety and gun control. NEA, its affiliates, and members throughout Florida and the nation, support these calls to prevent further school massacres.

Ironically, the demonstrations in favor of school safety featured, in some instances, attacks on non-conforming students. At one Minneapolis high school, two students stood apart from the throng calling for more gun control. One of them carried a sign that said “Blame the Culture, Not Guns.” The other carried a Donald Trump banner. He was cursed, pursued, knocked down and beaten up by “pro-school safety” demonstrators. School officials, who purport to be so concerned with the safety of their students, did nothing to intervene.

Kids are in school because they don’t know very much yet. I’m sure they feel badly about the horrific attack on Parkland, Florida. They may even be alarmed about their own safety. Their chances of an actual school shooting are something like one in 641,000,000. Unfamiliar with history, they are probably unaware that we have tried gun control before, both locally and nationally, and it accomplished nothing at all. In spite of the screeches of the Left,  gun control has not worked anywhere it has been tried, including in Australia, where they confiscated all the guns.


Most of the deaths from guns nationally, are suicides. Fully automatic weapons have been banned for years. Violent crime has been declining steadily since the early 1990s. The 2011 rate was almost half of the rate in 1991, and the 2013 rate was half of the rate in 1993.

The well-meaning kids had signs to carry that they had proudly made themselves. This one,from Twitchy shows how clueless the kids are.


Other notable ones were “The Second Amendment isn’t meant to protect our citizens” and “De-Militarize the Police,” along with “Give us Our Reparations.” Well, I’m sure it was an exciting time for the kids and they got to miss time in school. Wiser parents kept their kids at home.

The Left’s hijacking our children for their own political purposes is disgusting.

Here’s What “Draining the Swamp” Really Means!

“Draining the Swamp” is a newly popular phrase for trying to rein in the overgrown government in Washington D.C. that seems to be leading to an administrative state — a catastrophic error devoutly to be avoided. Philip Hamburger has written a splendid assessment titled Is Administrative Law Unlawful and a companion The Administrative Threat which explain just what we have to worry about.

Investors Business Daily has written about just how it works.

What was first proposed by Congress as a modest law to assess the environmental impact of highway construction and other publicly owned projects, has grown into a bureaucratic monster, the likes of which no one ever imagined.

Nearly a half-century ago, before major federal environmental laws existed, Congress wanted to ensure that all federal agencies consider the environmental impact of their actions. This well intended action led to passage of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

America’s permitting and regulatory process is now so tightly bound in red tape, virtually no major energy or construction project can be accomplished without years of permitting delays, involvement of multiple government agencies, and seemingly endless  litigation. According to a 2016 review by the National Association of Environmental Professionals, it now takes an average of 5 years to complete one NEPA environmental impact statement. This timeline doesn’t include the years of litigation that routinely follow every major energy and construction project.

In North Dakota a badly needed drinking water project was held up in permitting and court for nearly 15 years. Colorado is still waiting after 10 years of trying to expand a reservoir to boost their drinking water supply. Everyone recognizes that the permitting process is a huge problem. The Obama administration ran into it with his stimulus program, and tried to speed up the process. But what is needed is not just “fixing” the rule, but to reform the NEPA process by making environmental permits a “one agency, one decision” deal, include a two-year deadline. For most NEPA permits, a lawsuit can be filed up to six years after the project ends. Environmental activists often simply do not want any change to take place in the area of their concern, and will use all kinds of silly lawsuits to end or slow development. The “endangered species” idea can be used anywhere, if you can’t find a specimen, but there may be large quantities on the other side of the ridge.

The Obama administration imposed a record 600 major regulations, which added rules that cost the economy $100 million or more at a rate of every three days.

President Trump is taking on the issue of permitting reform head-on, laying out a comprehensive plan to streamline approval for major infrastructure projects. A big part of the cost of any infrastructure project is red tape, which I’m sure he knows well from his construction projects. So far by the end of December had saved some $8.1 billion in net federal regulatory costs. The impact on the larger economy is more significant. Scott Pruitt is doing a fabulous job.

Regulations destroy freedom. The question: Is the loss of freedom worth what the regulation will cost?

QQQ: A Hint From Economist Daniel J. Mitchell

“Rather than helping the poor, higher tax rates redistribute rich people.”

If you live in California, Washington State, Connecticut, New Jersey, or for that matter, any other state, you might remind your governors and legislators of this simple economic fact. You may have noticed that not many of them are up on their basic economics.

I added New Jersey to the list because of this!

California is a Major Grower of All Kinds of Nuts: Almonds, Walnuts, and Politicians.
March 13, 2018, 4:37 am
Filed under: Politics


California again. Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that his next mission will be taking oil companies to court “for knowingly killing people all over the world.”

“This is no different from the smoking issue. The tobacco industry knew for years and years and years and decades, that smoking would kill people, would harm people and create cancer, and were hiding that fact from the people and denied it. Then eventually they were taken to court and had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars because of that,” Schwarzenegger said. “The oil companies knew from 1959 on, they did their own study that there would be global warming happening because of fossil fuels, and on top of it that it would be risky for people’s lives, that it would kill.”

Schwarzenegger said he is still working on a timeline for filing the case, but the news comes as he is preparing to help host a major environmental conference in Vienna in May.

It’s not at all clear just what he thinks is killing people, probably the carbon. People get very confused, assuming that carbon dioxide, a colorless odorless gas which we and all other animal life exhale, which is a natural fertilizer for plants (if you remember photosynthesis from high school Biology) and because of slightly elevated CO2 in the atmosphere, is greening the planet, making trees and plants grow more and relieving many areas of the Earth from the scourge of famine —  is a bad thing, or poisonous, or some other nonsense.

Carbon (C), on the other hand, is a basic chemical element, a building block of life. It is not particularly plentiful, but it forms more compounds than all the other elements combined. From Carbon is an incredible element. Arrange carbon atoms in one way, and they become soft pliable graphite. Change the arrangement and the atoms form diamond, one of the hardest materials in the world. It is the key ingredient for most life on Earth, including us. We are carbon life forms.

The amount of warming caused by extra CO2 is relatively weak. It has been calculated that a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration would cause less than 1 degree C. of surface warming (about 1 degree F.). This is not a controversial statement.

Dr. Roy Spencer is the climate scientist who runs the satellites that measure the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. There’s a link to his website in the sidebar, where you will find a short course on global warming theory, and much more of value. I assume that lefties, convinced that those on the right are racist, sexist, etc. etc. are thus obviously wrong about anything as complex as global warming, and perfectly satisfied to let people die from our ignorance or something like that. There seem to be a lot of them, from Al Gore on, who are absolutely convinced that the Earth is about to end from the ravages of global warming.


QQQ: Why Does Communism Fail?

“In sum,  communism failed and is bound to fail for at least two reasons: one, that to enforce equality, its principal objective, it is necessary to create a coercive apparatus that demands privileges and thereby negates equality; and two, that ethnic and territorial loyalties, when in conflict with class allegiances everywhere, and at all times overwhelm them, dissolving Communism in nationalism, which is why socialism so easily combines with “Fascism.” In recognition of this reality, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, abandoned the slogan calling on all proletarians to unite.”
Richard Pipes: Communism: a History

Ancient Chinese Curse: “May You Live In Interesting Times”

Every day, in every way, things are getting better and well, at least more interesting. In this case, it it is Catherine McKenna, the 47-year-old Trudeau appointee from Canada’s Liberal Party.  In a recent post on Twitter, she called on followers to “consider the gendered impacts of climate on women, girls and children,” and praised Canada’s leadership in training “women negotiators” in the fight against manmade global warming.

Where did all this gender focus come from? And why? Of course it came from women’s studies, and gender studies, and all the overpaid professors who are playing havoc with the minds of our young people, and if Justin Trudeau is an example, with Canada’s young people as well, which may be the reason for the emergence of Jordan Peterson as a powerful national spokesman trying to straighten us all out.

It’s bad enough that they have suddenly decided that the two genders we have had since mankind first appeared on Earth are not enough and we need to add some substitutes, but they have also decided that men are a major problem for running things and shoveling snow and fighting wars, and getting the lids off jars, and it’s all some kind of toxic masculinity.

And women are tired of doing women things, and want to do the men things instead—the running things, and being in charge, and being paid more. They’re not so much interested in shoveling snow, fighting wars or, for that matter, getting the lids off jars. It’s a strange new world. Orwell would be astonished.


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