American Elephants


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.



Comparisons Are Perhaps Inevitable! by The Elephant's Child

Wilfrid M. McClay, a professor of history at the University of Oklahoma is the author of a new history of the United States: Land of Hope: an Invitation to the Great American Story, which is receiving excellent reviews.

He just wrote a short piece for Hillsdale College’s Imprimis, an always interesting publication, with an essay from an important scholar, free on request from the college. The copy I just received contained this interesting portion of a longer essay.

A related lesson of history is that acts of statesmanship often require courage and imagination, even daring, especially when the outcome seems doubtful. Take the case of Lincoln. So accustomed are we to thinking of Lincoln in heroic terms that we forget the depth and breadth of his unpopularity during his entire time in office. Few great leaders have been more comprehensively disdained, loathed, and underestimated. A low Southern view of him, of course, was to be expected, but it was widely shared in the North as well. As Lincoln biographer David Donald put it, “Lincoln’s own associates thought him “a Simple Susan, a baboon, an aimless punster, a smutty joker” Abolitionist Wendell Phillips called him “a huckster in politics, a first-rate, second rate man.” George McClellan, his opponent in the 1864 election, openly disdained him as a “well-meaning baboon.” For much of that election year, Lincoln was convinced, with good reason, that he was doomed to lose the election, with incalculable consequences for the war effort and the future of the nation.

We need to remember that this is generally how history happens. It is not like a Hollywood movie i which the background music swells and the crowd in the room applauds and leaps to it feet as the orator dispenses timeless words, and the camera pans the room full of smiling faces. In real history, the background music does not swell, the trumpets do not sound, and the carping critics often seem louder than the applause. The leader or the soldier has to wonder whether he is acting in vain, whether the criticisms of others are in fact true, whether time will judge him harshly, whether his sacrifice will count for anything. Few great leaders have felt this burden more completely than Lincoln.



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.



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.



Here Is a Wonderful Edition of Uncommon Knowledge from the Hoover Institution by The Elephant's Child

Here’s a remarkable video of Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson from the Hoover Institution, featuring former Secretary of State George Schultz, John Cogan, Terry Anderson and Lee Ohanian. Four economists to talk about the major improvements that happened in the United States between 1919 and 2019. There were momentous improvements affecting all of our lives and our prosperity, inventions, the Great Depression, the Holocaust, World War II, the underlying institutions. prosperity, private property, the rule of law, free markets and what they mean. The role of immigration, the role of government, and attracting talent. You’ll learn a lot of History and a lot of Economics.

This was just published on August 26, 2019. It’s long, but worth every minute. You will learn a lot. Leadership, the uses of government, Socialism illustrated, American institutions, the Great Depression, economic history, a hugely rewarding discussion. You will learn about incentives, taxes, policies and why they matter. You will enjoy it,really. Enlarge it to full screen. You might want to keep a copy so you can listen more than once. I know that I will.

ADDENDUM: Do take special note of Terry Anderson’s visit to an Indian Reservation and the discussion of private property, with a devastating account of socialism thrown in for the benefit of our ignorant college students.



Victor Davis Hanson Explores the Strange Mythical Trump That Liberals Have Created Out of Whole Cloth by The Elephant's Child

Excellent article at American Greatness (amgreatness.com). Victor Davis Hanson explores the strange mythical Trump that Democrats have devised for themselves in order to explain the horrors of the last election. They have completely lost contact with reality.

Candidate Trump never really wanted to be president. His entire amateurish and buffoonish candidacy was designed only to enhance his brand. Once he was unexpectedly elected, Trump was more shocked than anyone, and quickly sought to maximize his profits from the Oval Office. Thus, followed the constant progressive evocation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution to prevent chronic Trump profiteering.

In reality, the Trump empire reportedly has declined by nearly $1 billion in net value, aside from the tens of millions of his own money that Trump spent on the 2016 campaign. Trump’s business interests are the most thoroughly investigated of any recent president in memory. Obama and the Clintons made millions from their presidencies; Trump may well end up losing billions.

Hanson takes a hard look at the strange mysterious Trump creation that Democrats have lodged in their minds. We were right all along. They have completely allowed their emotions to run away with them and the result is remarkably foolish and bears little resemblance to reality. Do read the whole thing. You’ll enjoy it.



Best Read of the Day! by The Elephant's Child

Victor Davis Hanson takes on President Donald Trump and the 2020 election. So what about the Trade War, impeachment, China, oil and gas, climate change, the economy?




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