American Elephants


Elephants Have Appendixes Too. by The Elephant's Child
September 20, 2019, 3:45 pm
Filed under: Blogging, Health Care, News

Sorry for the lack of posts, my appendix decided to burst! Sounds like I’ll be in the hospital until Monday, but I’m doing well. I may even blog while I’m here. We’ll see!



I Didn’t Watch The Debate. Smartest Thing I Did Today. by The Elephant's Child

I did not watch the debate tonight. I am tired of this whole bunch who are vying to see who can offer the best thing to buy the peoples’ votes. Did anyone watch the whole thing?

I’ve seen lots of comments, which only make me glad I did not watch. Best analysis was from John Hinderaker at PowerLine blog.

1) Joe Biden was the winner tonight. He pretended to be sane, and did a decent imitation.

2) Julian Castro–did anyone remember that he was on the stage?–is running to be Elizabeth Warren’s VP. He did her dirty work tonight.

3) It’s time to pull the plug on Bernie Sanders. It’s not just that he is a raving maniac–he is an extremely elderly raving maniac. I hope he made it through the night.

4) Early on in the campaign, I thought Kamala Harris had a good shot. I was wrong.

5) Andrew Yang showed himself to be the quintessential Democrat. He gets votes the old-fashioned way: he buys them. Unfortunately, he could only afford to buy 12.

6) I heard a rumor that Amy Klobuchar participated tonight, but I can’t verify it.

His analysis was enhanced with the best Bernie Sanders picture I’ve ever seen. You can see it here.



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.



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.



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.



The Long, Long Story of ClimateGate and Dr. Michael Mann by The Elephant's Child

mann_treering

Back when today’s environmentalists suddenly became anxious about the climate, government agencies began giving grants to those scientists who were studying the climate seriously, and coming up with information to protect the government officials who might be accused of not tending to business and protecting the climate of the earth. ‘

Obviously the scientists who got the good-sized grants were those who could write a good grant proposal, for getting a grant enhanced the prestige of the scientist and the university where he taught, and meant new equipment and perhaps a raise, and maybe even an assistant.  So naturally there was a flurry of grant proposals churned out. Then they had to start producing useful science. Many turned to the computer programs used by Wall Street to predict what the market was going to do. So they entered what they knew about climate, but there was an enormous amount they didn’t know, so they put in what seemed likely, and what they thought was probable and a few wild guesses, and started predicting what the climate would do 20 or 50 years hence. [Please remember that this is a non-scientific estimate of what was going on by a sheer amateur observer.] The point is that there was a lot they just didn’t have any information about, like the action of clouds, and some things that they assumed were correct, like the temperatures at official thermometer sites (though many were located next to air conditioning outlets and heat-reflecting concrete walls, and even next to trash burners.) In other words, the official temperature records were vastly overestimating the warming.

Anthony Watts, proprietor of the valued website wattsupwiththat.com, meteorologist and former TV weatherman, became suspicious, and asked his viewers to take photographs of the official thermometer locations, and since many were located where factors other than weather were influencing the recorded temperatures. That’s when the “heat island” notion became common.

Michael Mann (Penn State) came up with was was called “the hockey-stick” graph. Envision a hockey stick. Goes along straight and then suddenly jogs straight up. That’s what his climate graph showed that the heat of the planet was going to do. That got a lot of attention,. Naturally it was called “ClimateGate”) Mann’s graph was featured news, Mann became a recognized scientist, with all the hoopla that entails. Dr. Tim Bell, climate skeptic, from B.C. suggested that Mann was exaggerating and making phony claims, as did Mark Steyn as a journalist. Mann sued for defamation. How dare you criticize my famous hockey stick graph. And the case has dragged on in Canadian courts for nine years. and Dr. Tim Ball won,  Michael Mann deservedly lost and has to pay Dr. Ball’s court costs. Here is Anthony Watt’s story on the whole long, long ClimateGate battle. More interesting because he has long been a participant. And here is the report from Marc Morano at Climate Depot. We are pleased.

If you can, take the time to prowl around wattsupwiththat.com and climatedepot.com. These are excellent websites that will reward your visits.



So Much for the 97% Consensus Claim. Exposed! by The Elephant's Child

Here is Marc Morano, who is the proprietor of Climate Depot, an excellent source of information about what is going on in the Climate wars, testifying before Congress about the phony “97% consensus” among climate scientists about how panicky to be about the problem of Climate Change.  Seated next to him are Patrick More, a climate scientist who was one of the founders of Greenpeace and Sir Robert Watson, British climate scientist.

Today’s headline at Climate Depot: “We had expected more melting” Thick Arctic Ice forces Norwegian climate research icebreaker to turn back.” Another headline reads “Scientists Find Antarctica Is Rapidly Cooling and Any Ice Sheet Melt is not Due to CO² but Natural.” And “NASA faces Lawsuit/Demanding Removal of False 97% Consensus Global Warming Claim”.



A Little History for Mr. Kaepernick and Nike by The Elephant's Child

Perhaps you have seen this picture from Barack Obama’s Inauguration which has been widely circulated in response the the Nike shoe flap. You will notice the Betsy Ross flags at each end of the display. And the other flags depicting a time when we had fewer than 50 states. Hawaii and Alaska became the 49th and 50th states in 1959.

The Betsy Ross flag was the first official flag of the United States of America.

Jane Hampton Cook does a nice job of dispelling the myths about the Betsy Ross Flag at The Federalist.:

The Betsy Ross flag is not a colonial flag. It is the first official flag of the United States of America.

The Betsy Ross flag is the first flag of the United States of America, not of Britain’s American colonies. Independence Day, July 4, 1776, marks the day that the Declaration of Independence changed the American colonies into states.

While submitting to the authority of the Continental Congress, the new states began to set up new state governments and write new state constitutions. At the same time, Gen. George Washington knew that his army and the American people needed a new flag to symbolize this change from a government based on royalty to one based on representation. Betsy Ross, a known upholsterer in Philadelphia, sewed the first flag, according to sworn affidavits given by her descendants.

When Congress officially issued this flag on June 14, 1777, they emphasized the symbolism of the thirteen new states, not the thirteen colonies. “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation,” declared the Journal of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.

Do read the whole thing. Someone might send a copy to the idiots at Nike.



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.



Judicial Watch Looks Beyond the Headlines! by The Elephant's Child

This amazing video from Judicial Watch was like sitting down with a bunch of well-informed insiders and getting answers to most of the questions I had, and some I hadn’t thought of. Judicial Watch is a wonderful organization that works hard at forcing the federal government to fulfill their requirement to be reasonably transparent. They sue.  They take one department after another to court to get the information that is being withheld. I would love to see a list of the things that we know about only because Judicial Watch has been on the case.

We have just had an attempted coup, with one of our political parties attempting to get rid of a president they are afraid of, that they don’t like, because he’s on to them. He knows how crooked they are and wants to know why they are attacking every good thing he is trying to do for the country and the American people.

It’s fairly long, but broken up in modest segments so you can stop conveniently should you wish. But do watch it. You will be a better informed citizen.



Adventures Don’t Always Go as Planned! by The Elephant's Child


We are all ordinary human beings, with all the flaws and inconsistencies inherent in that designation. Some of us have PhDs and certified high IQ’s but that doesn’t begin to strip us from the all too frequent possibility of being absolutely wrong more than just part of the time.

Our founding fathers were men who thought deeply about what good government might look like. No hereditary kings, for while some might be good, there were always some lemons in the bunch, and they didn’t like the idea of a ruling class either. They tried to devise a government composed of ordinary common citizens who would serve for awhile, and then be replaced by other common citizens intent on doing good government. All in all they haven’t done too badly, but the ruling class part never worked all that well. Ambition and the perks of power fall into the flaws category.

Bet you didn’t know that the term “Founding Fathers” was coined by Judson Welliver, “literary clerk”( speechwriter or ghost writer) for Warren Harding in 1921.

*********

Started this piece on Sunday, Mother’s Day. Went to my older son’s house for brunch, fell on the step up from his patio to the kitchen, fell on my face, or rather on my right knee, which ended up in a trip to the emergency room and a stay in the hospital. Back home tonight, but still not very mobile. They removed  several cups of extra fluid from my knee, and said I could go home. (I exaggerate. but that’s what it felt like). Nothing broken, just very bruised. I will resume tomorrow.




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