American Elephants


A Timely Book For Today: Published in 1841. by The Elephant's Child

There is a book out there, first published in 1841, entitled “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.”It was an early study of crowd psychology by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay. It was published in three volumes: “National Delusions,” “Peculiar Follies,: and “Philosophical Delusions.” Mackay was an accomplished storyteller, though he wrote in a journalistic manner and somewhat sensational style.

It has been in print ever since, and Amazon has at least 13 different bindings and prices.  There’s the Crusades, fortune- telling, the influence of politics on the shapes of beards and hair. Haunted houses, prophecies, and economic bubbles. There’s the Railway Mania of the 1840s the South Sea Bubble, The Mississippi Scheme, The Tullipomania, The Witch Trials, Wikipedia has a good coverage, with some interesting illustrations from the period.

Probably time to check a copy out of the Library or buy your own. I’m afraid that’s where we are. Collusion with Russia clearly merits a listing, and perhaps Bitcoin. They urge each other on, and each excess exceeds the previous excess. And each excess gives permission for the next person to play “Can You Top This?”

They talk Democracy, but you have probably noticed that they are not interested in a two-party system. They are destined to rule, and where this is all going, nobody knows.

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Carbon Taxes Are Sheer Bunk! by The Elephant's Child

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Governors and Legislatures are always tempted by the potential of new taxes. Having more money to do stuff that the people might like is usually a good way to get re-elected.  Of course sometimes people notice that their taxes have gone up sharply and governors and legislators get thrown out of office. It obviously helps if the new taxes are for a noble cause, like feeding the hungry or creating a new transportation system. But the economy is currently humming, and food stamp use has dropped sharply. New transportation systems or bridges or tunnels are always popular. Unfortunately legislators are not skilled planners, nor are governors and such projects seem always to cost millions or billions more than was promised. (See Gov. Jerry Brown’s High Speed Train to Nowhere). Probably most states have had some project that cost catastrophically more than intended.

Another boondoggle popular, particularly among lefties, lately has been a carbon tax. Tax greenhouse gas emissions to save the earth from climate change! Our very own governor Jay Inslee is anxious to pass a carbon tax, the legislature has not obliged, but greenies may have succeeded in putting it on the ballot as an initiative.“Carbon Tax” is a misnomer. It is a tax on greenhouse gas emissions, and would sharply raise the price of energy, which doesn’t just mean gasoline taxes, but would raise the cost of everything. A carbon tax is a tax on prosperity.

Real Clear Energy has published a careful analysis of carbon taxes. “According to a 2014 Heritage Foundation analysis, the creation of a $37-per-ton carbon tax  would lead to a loss of more than $2.5 trillion in aggregate gross domestic product, amounting to $21,000 in lost income per family by 2030.”

In addition a carbon tax would result in a loss of more than 1 million jobs, including 500,000 manufacturing jobs by 2030. And it would be a regressive tax, punishing the relative poor more than wealthier families because the poor spend more of their income on energy and goods for which energy is a key component. But saving the Earth from disastrous climate change? The best evidence suggests that humans are not causing dangerous climate change.

Dangerous climate change seems to exist only in computer models. Almost every testable projection made by computer models has been proven wrong. Sea levels are not rising at an unusual rate. Antarctica ice is growing, not melting. Scientists can show no species that have been lost due to climate change. There are droughts and rainy seasons. Hurricanes continue to cause damage occasionally. Measured temperatures are much lower than the computer models predict. And carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

We breathe in air, use the oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide—every human breath contains about 40,000 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Which if you remember photosynthesis from high school biology, plants use as a natural fertilizer and produce oxygen.  Greenhouses pump in something like 1,000 ppm (parts per million) of CO2 to help their plants grow, and you probably haven’t read of dead nurserymen being found in the world’s greenhouses. The use of fossil fuels has enriched the world, and increased human well-being.

Unfortunately alternative energy has proven to be mostly undependable and useless. The sun goes beneath the horizon each night and doesn’t shine many days. Clouds. Nor does the wind blow at the right speed for the most technologically advanced wind turbines to produce energy reliably. Germany tried to move to wind and solar, and arrived at energy poverty. Now President Trump is correctly blaming them for becoming dependent on gas pipelines from Russia (which could be cut off at any time) at the same time Germany expects us to defend them from Russia.



The Belief System of the Anointed Explained by The Elephant's Child

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Well, all is explained. Daniel Greenfield, real investigative reporter, explains why Trump Derangement Syndrome: More Democrats Believe in UFOs Than America”

58% of Democrats believe in UFOs, but only 32% are proud to be American. Only 37% of Republicans believe in flying saucers, but a full 80% are proud of their country.

Almost twice as many Democrats are willing to believe in being abducted by space aliens than in their country. Hillary Clinton had promised that if elected, she would find out the truth about the little green men and suggested that the planet had already been visited by aliens.

“Maybe we could have, like, a task force to go to Area 51,” she suggested.

The chair of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, John Podesta, an obsessive UFO buff, appeared on an episode of Ancient Aliens which claimed that Hillary Clinton was defeated to suppress the truth about space aliens.



Jordan Peterson Asks A Serious Question, Stumps Maher’s Panel by The Elephant's Child

Jordan Peterson appeared on a panel on Bill Maher’s show. The panel did not distinguish themselves, unable to respond, even at a childish level, to a serious question. Maher is supposedly a comedian, but comedians are supposed to be funny. Dr. Peterson is absolutely correct. Democrats’ obnoxious behavior is driving the country apart. Maher’s characterizations of President Trump are not snarky, but wildly absurd, crude, ill-informed, and meant to draw a laugh from the “can you top this” insult crowd.

The panel consists of a journalist from the New York Times, an unidentified woman, Michael Avenatti, whose claim to fame is being Stormy Daniels lawyer, and who has offered to run for the presidency against Donald Trump, and (sigh) Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, who wants desperately to be president (in spite of being the worst governor in memory) striving to show off his admirable qualifications to Democrats.

Inslee thinks Net Neutrality is about denying people access to the internet, is sure that the earth must be saved from the ravages of global warming with his cherished carbon tax, and is big on forcing employers to give their employees family leave whenever they want it. Washington State is following other Leftist-run states in increasing numbers of people and businesses fleeing the state. Fortunately the legislature managed to kill the head tax on employees idea for business, after they heard from Amazon and Microsoft.

The interesting thing is that no member of the panel manages to even attempt to answer Dr. Peterson’s serious question, and it’s fairly clear that they don’t even understand what he is asking. I am always struck by Maher’s resemblance to a Blob Fish. (Look it up)



Another Great Jobs Report, Leaving Democrats in Despair by The Elephant's Child

Nancy Pelosi presser

The big news from the Labor Department was that 600,000 workers re-entered the work force. Manufacturing jobs increased by 36,000, The 4 week average of continuing  unemployment claims was the lowest in 45 years.

1.03 million workers have returned to the work force.  The June economy added 213.000 new jobs, 22,000 more than economists had expected. 155,576,000 Americans are working.

Naturally, Democrats are distraught.

Nancy Pelosi, minority leader, tweeted:

The June shows what is at stake from the brewing storm of rising health costs, spiraling trade uncertainty & an economy being hollowed out to enrich big corporations & the wealthiest 1 percent. Americans deserve better than the GOP’s raw deal.

Democrats do not believe in tax cuts. It is a matter of faith. Taxes are supposed to go up, not down, and give the Democrat Party more money to play with, to buy votes and buy supporters. Naturally, they blame big corporations, but not rich corporate executives upon whom they depend for donations.

Brian Riedl, of Economics 21 wrote in the E21 Commentary:

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) remains controversial, with public opinion evenly split and many Democrats campaigning on repeal. However, the Democratic critique of the tax cuts has grown increasingly incoherent. The party excoriates the “tax cuts for the rich” while trying to tilt them even further to the wealthy. Democrats slam the deficit effect of the tax cuts while working to worsen budget deficits. In addition, they erroneously describe the law as a “middle-class tax hike” while proposing policies that would truly raise middle-class taxes.

And about the “Tax cuts for the Rich”

The most aggressive liberal complaint was that the TCJA represented a giveaway to the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. In reality, the tax cuts nudged the distribution of federal taxes in a more progressive direction. The bottom 80 percent of families had previously paid 33 percent of all combined federal taxes, yet received 35 percent of the tax cuts. By contrast, the top one percent had previously paid 27 percent of all federal taxes, but received just 21 percent of the tax cuts. Since upper-income earners received a lower share of the tax cuts, their share of federal taxes paid will slightly rise.

Do read the whole thing. I know, economics??? The more you understand, the better off you will be. At least that’s what I always tell myself, and it certainly doesn’t leave me approving of former Speaker Pelosi and her crew.



The President, The Resistance, The People by The Elephant's Child

From The American Spectator

It’s June and the crush of undocumented immigrants at the U.S. border with Mexico has hit a crisis point.

Government officials are housing migrants in tents and separating some children from their parents. Tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors attempt to cross the southern border; some 90,000 are expected to be apprehended by year’s end. A former top administration official defends the government’s policy: “We have to send a clear message. Just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean your child gets to stay.”

The year was 2014. Barack Obama was president and the quote was uttered by Hillary Clinton, Obama’s secretary of state from 2009 to 2013 who also plainly stated that thousands of children “should be sent back” to their families.

‘The Resistance’ doesn’t seem to be creating a wedge between President Trump and the party.  It’s turning off Liberal supporters as well.
From Don Surber:

The Times approach to Trump supporters was laughably offensive. It reported, “In interviews across the country over the last few days, dozens of Trump voters, as well as pollsters and strategists, described something like a bonding experience with the president that happens each time Republicans have to answer a now-familiar question: ‘How can you possibly still support this man?'”

Buried in Paragraph 26 was the answer, from John Westling, 70, of Princeton, Minnesota, who said, “Let’s see. Economy booming, check. Unemployment down, check. Border security being addressed, check. Possible end to the Korean War that started when I was 3 years old, 68 years ago, check.”

Democrats fall in love. It’s the leader of “their team”— the savior who will bring them all good things. who will save them from the perils of life. It’s a romantic relationship. I have been in many Democrat homes where there is a picture of the (Democrat) President on the wall.

Republicans care about what the president does.They argue incessantly about what he does for the country, what Congress should do, whether what they have done will be effective. I have never been in a Republican home where there was a picture of the President (of either party) on the wall.



Here’s Why City Councils Often Become National Laughingstocks by The Elephant's Child

When people get interested in actually doing politics, some start near the beginning and run for their local city council.  Perhaps that is why City Councils so frequently make the national news for some dumb thing they have done. The Seattle City Council is an excellent example. Seattle has a major “homeless” problem, so of course they want to help give them homes.

I should note that I put “homeless” in quotes, because for the most part their problems are not a lack of a home, but drug addiction, uncontrolled alcoholism, mental illness. Some, it is reported, just like living on the street and don’t want to be controlled.  Call them “street people.”

Seattle property is currently very expensive, and becoming more so rapidly. So building homes for the “homeless” requires a hike in taxes. Problem is that we already are very thoroughly taxed. The Washington State Constitution forbids an income tax (which the bureaucrats keep trying to repeal) so they have to find somewhere else to tax. We have a significant sales tax, car taxes are at absurd levels, and property taxes are so far through the roof that people are leaving the state for more welcoming venues. But homes, homes, we need homes for the” homeless”!

The Seattle City Council’s initial solution was a “head tax” on the employees of “Big Business, those companies making $20 million or more like  Amazon, Boeing, Starbucks and others who have their headquarters in Seattle. (Boeing has moved their headquarters to Chicago, so perhaps they don’t count) In any case, the lefty supporters insisted that large companies like Starbucks and Amazon have contributed to Seattle’s homelessness by driving up rent and home prices.

They started off with a $500 “head tax” per employee, but new mayor Jenny Durkan undoubtedly heard for several weeks in no uncertain terms from a few of those big companies. The City Council reduced the tax to a $275 tax per-employee. Amazon has around 222,400 employees. National reporters love stories poking fun at bureaucrats, and the story spread across the country and anyone with the most basic familiarity with economics, which excludes most lefties, had a good laugh at the stupidity. (What happens in a company when a city council imposes a huge tax? Do they simply write a check? Amazon is already reported to be looking for another city for a “second” headquarters.) You can do the multiplication yourself.

Mayor Durkan and some members of the Seattle City Council have beat a hasty retreat. No “head tax”, they’ll think of something else. I’m not sure they’re open to suggestions, though I’m sure there are plenty of them out there.

 




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