American Elephants


Victor Davis Hanson and the Search for Meaning by The Elephant's Child

This one is long,  49 minutes, but I cannot imagine, at the moment, any way it could be better spent. It is brilliant. Please do not miss this.

This has been a national nightmare, with everyone going a bit off the rails, and a lot of catastrophic crashes, and we’re a long way from recovery. Victor Davis Hanson does a very good job of clarifying and walking us through the whole thing. Expectations shattered, overreaction, searching for understanding or meaning, shedding certainty, shedding conviction. Strange and difficult times, and as I said — Dr. Hanson is brilliant.



Guilty, Guilty, Guilty! by The Elephant's Child

No, not President Trump. For two years he has been trying to do the best that he can for the country with remarkable success – a booming economy, a nation leading the world in oil and gas production, full employment, clean energy – while daily assaulted with bogus claims and sleazy slurs, suggestions that his election was fraudulent, his appointees and associates investigated, two years and $35 million of taxpayers’ money wasted on an investigation that produced nothing, no collusion, no obstruction.

The guilty were the poisonously partisan media who ran with rumors, ignored obvious facts, and labored diligently to find just the right words to insinuate that which they could not prove. I was an English major with a deep interest in word choice, and they have not been behaving honorably.

This may be behind a subscription barrier, but Holman Jenkins had a fine column in the Wall Street Journal asking “Can the Media Survive Mueller?”

He points out that the Justice Department special-prosecutor rules require the existence of a crime, and there wasn’t one.

Let’s go back to the beginning. Journalists were not wrong in being open to Christopher Steele (a paid advocate) and his handlers (also paid advocates), but they were wrong not to notice that the one incontestable fact Mr. Steele had put before them had nothing to do with Mr. Trump and Russia.

The one incontestable fact was that a paid advocate who was trading on his previous profession as a British intelligence agent, in the middle of a presidential election, was being shepherded around Washington by a notorious PR schemer and promoting allegations whose truth he was unwilling to vouch for and whose source he was unwilling to reveal. …

To a reporter, one documented fact is more valuable than any number of unsupported claims. Indeed, a bunch of unsupported and unsourced allegations smacks of an attempt to gull him into the “Where there’s smoke, there must be fire” fallacy. Or, insultingly, bespeaks a belief that he’s the type who will circulate unsupported claims without challenging the motives of those promoting them.



We’re Living In a Golden Age Of Clean Energy by The Elephant's Child

The Green New Deal is not only a silly unserious proposal that has nothing to do with the environment but that to which they supposedly aspire, has already been accomplished by free market capitalism. Not in the wind farms where turbines may or may not be turning, but this is Seattle – and the solar cells aren’t doing anything either, it’s raining, and will be for the rest of the week. Where it has been accomplished is in the Permian Basin, the Bakken Formation, and the Marcellus Shale. The Fracking revolution and plentiful natural gas has meant we are living in a golden age of clean energy. As Jim DeMint has written today:

The natural gas revolution, made possible by both the discoveries of new reserves and the development of technologies to extract it from previously inaccessible deposits, has helped the United States cut pollutant emissions by 70 percent over the last three decades. Despite adding almost 100 million people to our population since 1990, an increase of 30 percent, even total carbon emissions have increased by only 2 percent. Greenhouse gas emissions are not just rising slowly. They are actually falling in recent years.

The left has long said we need to treat climate change and environmental protection as the moral equivalent of war. If that is true, where are the celebrations now that it is a battle we are finally winning? Why? Because when the facts do not fit with the liberal political narrative, they often print the narrative as fake news. Progressives said we need to find new, clean sources of energy to get us away from coal and oil. Well, we have. Natural gas is clean.

According to the climate group Carbon Brief, natural gas use has cut 50 percent more emissions than wind and solar power combined. Gas also has negligible local pollutants, 50 percent less carbon emissions than coal and 30 percent less than oil. What is not clean is the record on the left of opposing the development of natural gas-rich regions and the infrastructure such as pipelines that needed to further lower the costs of energy to consumers and the environment.

Somehow the Left operates on emotions and feelings – not so much on facts. What facts they need or find are meant to develop the feelings. I don’t quite understand how they think, but it doesn’t seem quite useful. but probably that’s just me. Very strange. Natural gas is a fossil fuel, by the way, but fossils are not involved.



Four Climate Scientists Take On Climate Alarmism by The Elephant's Child

Seems like all the Democrat candidates so far, and there are a raft of them, are signing on to Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal”, a preposterous proposal that demonstrates nothing so much as evidence of never studying a subject at all before shooting off your mouth about something you know nothing about. Climate alarmism demonstrates the extent to which candidates will grab onto anything that seems like it might be a popular theme without actually giving it real thought.

They might have sought out information from some actual climate scientists, but wouldn’t have had the slightest idea how to go about finding one. So here you go.



I Took A Couple Days Off! Here’s Why. by The Elephant's Child

Sorry about the light blogging. Taxes due, and on general principal, I always wait to the last minute to sign and write the check. I’m quite willing to pay what is required, after going through the “required” bit to whittle it down as much as is currently possible. Because I work hard at the whittle part, I expect the federal government to whittle in turn, when they start spending that which I have so valiantly struggled over. Only fair, but so few back there seem to understand that they were chosen because we thought they’d do a better job of it than the other choice, not because we were enamored with their wonderfulness. We give them a chance at a big salary, media attention, and the opportunity to distinguish themselves by doing good for the country, but the chance is limited, as is our patience. We know the media attention part is intoxicating, but that is not why they are there, something the new young democrats – Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, and Tlaib have yet to learn.

Also a long day at the hospital to have some tests, mostly spent in waiting rooms, to certify that I am, as I claim to be, just fine.  Which turns out to be certified. So I read a lot of magazines.  Did you know that The Ladies Home Journal still exists? I had no idea. The National Geographic featured on the cover the young man who climbed El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. I’ve seen that spectacular cliff, and cannot imagine why one would find it a personal challenge to climb, (I find it a challenge to climb out of bed), even with ropes and spikes, but to climb without anything but strong fingers, arms and climbing skill – and survive! An enormous feat, a first, but it will probably lead others to try – who may not survive. One false move!  I guess it is the ultimate freedom — to set yourself a goal, work hard to meet the challenge, and surpass it — leaves you with proof that you can face any challenge life presents. Please don’t go rushing off to Yosemite.



Strange Times and Getting Stranger and Stranger by The Elephant's Child

It is getting remarkably weird out there. Have you noticed? College students are deciding what speakers will be allowed on campus, what professors are allowed to say in the classroom. When I was in college, students were often sent on home to get their heads around the fact that they were there to study and learn, not to run the school, but perhaps I date myself.

It seems that the workers at Amazon have told management that Amazon should boycott the Big Oil companies, I guess to save the environment, but the environment is not disturbed by the oil companies, and the products that Amazon sells, arrive on transportation powered by the oil companies, and a significant number of the products they sell are made from petroleum products. Besides, the globe has warmed all of about 2.2° F. in the last 40 years. But somehow “climate change” has become the world’s most serious problem. Must poll well.

I suspect this is a matter of what polls well for the Democrats. Victor Davis Hanson’s column today pointed out that the sudden appearance of the “reparations” for slavery theme seems to be related to a fear by Democrats of a movement of blacks towards Trump in response to the decrease in black unemployment and the FIRST STEP act to cut back on the numbers of blacks in prison. Obviously the better approach would be to give black citizens free money because their great grandparents (or great-great) were slaves? Do people really think that way? Well, free money is always popular.

It seems that Alexa and her compatriots are always listening and recording what you say. No privacy any more. Siri is Apple, and I don’t know who all the sisters are. Seems like the Chinese control of their citizens may presage our future.



Listen Carefully to What These People are Saying! by The Elephant's Child

Interesting to watch and listen to the vast bunch of Democrat candidates for the presidency out trying to raise money and interest roughly a year ahead of the first official notice of their existence. What becomes apparent is that they associate only with other Democrats, otherwise they wouldn’t be so oblivious to the real interests of the American people.

On Friday, in Iowa, Robert “Beto” O’Rourke proposed that:

If we allow farmers to earn a profit in what they grow, if we allow them to contribute their fair share in combating Climate Change by growing cover crops, allowing the technologies that invest in precision tilling and farming, capturing more of that carbon out of the air is another way in which they can make a profit.  Keep those farms together, pass them on to the next generation, and allow them to provide us our food and national security, our independence from the rest of the world, our ability to provide for the rest of the world.

I’ll bet that one went over well with Iowa’s farmers, who probably are vastly more concerned with keeping the federal government’s nose out of their farmland and their crops. Beto would “allow” them to make a profit! Since farmers spend  goodly amount of their time outdoors, actually daily aware of the climate, they’re probably not all that concerned about climate change, as the people in city apartments are.

Democrats are remarkably clueless about economics. They are convinced that Republican tax cuts are just give-aways to the rich, and it makes them furious. They will raise the wealthy people’s taxes the minute they get their proper control of government back. One would think that they might notice the booming economy, the dramatic drop in the unemployment rate, but somehow it never penetrates.

Clearly the Supreme Court needs fixing. Pete Buttigieg, the South Bend mayor and Democrat presidential candidate offers his view. Packing the Court is good, but it needs more than that:

We definitely need to do structural reform on the Supreme Court. Adding justices can be part of the solution but not in and of itself, it’s not enough. It’s neither necessary nor sufficient. What we’ve got to do is depoliticize it and one solution that I’ve been discussing in recent weeks is structuring it with 15 members but five of whom can only be seated by a unanimous consensus of the other 10.

They seem to have decided that they do not like not being in control, and they are going to fix things so it never happens again. I think we need to pay attention to what these people are saying as they seek higher office and campaign donations. It’s revealing, and scary that citizens who are running for the highest office in the land could have so little understanding of how things work, and why our government is structured the way it is.




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