American Elephants


Is It Just Not Fair? Do The Rich Just Get Richer? by The Elephant's Child

Journalists write about studies, and suggest that life is just not fair for ordinary folk, that only the rich get richer, and the rest of us suffer. Is that true? Here’s economist  Russ Roberts, a fellow at the Hoover Institution who explains the real numbers, and why its so confusing.

Here’s how it really works.



Out of the Past: A Reminder of What Democrat Control Can Mean by The Elephant's Child

Donald J.Trump is doing a marvelous job of doing away with excess regulation. We got into an odd discussion tonight about the amount of TSP in dishwasher soap, how it meant that the dishes were not really getting clean because of regulations imposed by greennuts who were concerned about the fish in the nation’s rivers or something like that.

It was pointed out that I used to rant, online, about unnecessary regulation especially in dishwashers. I had forgotten, and had to look it up. And I certainly did! I had forgotten just how far the zealous regulators had gone. So I’m reprinting one. It’s worth reminding us of the nature of zealous regulating Democrats, and just how far they will go. They want control. It’s not even a matter of what it is they want to control. They want to fix things because they are morally superior, and know better what should be done.

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S REGULATORY NIGHTMARE
by The Elephant’s Child
April 21, 2011, 4:12 pm

It’s hard to keep up with the regulatory proposals coming from government agencies. The Foundry, a Heritage Foundation blog, is trying to keep track of the more noxious ones. Today, they are pointing out the excesses of the U.S. Department of Energy.

They already regulate the design of air conditioners, battery chargers, boilers, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, dryers, freezers, furnaces, heat pumps, light bulbs, refrigerators, toilets and washers. We now have washing machines that are several times more expensive and literally do not clean your clothes. Dishwashers no longer clean your dishes, and after the Volt fires in Connecticut, the regulations for battery chargers may need a second look.

The addition for today concerns a return to the shower.  The Energy {Policy Conservation Act of 1992 prescribed a measly 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) at 80 pounds per square inch of water pressure.  This was quite a dramatic reduction in showering pleasure from the 5 gpm or even 10 gpm of previous showerheads. The Department stated that: “It has always been the Department’s view that when Congress used the term ‘any shower head’ it actually meant ‘any shower head’.”

Now they want to make it clear that the regulation applies to the total from multiple shower heads in any one shower. The department recently fined 4 showerhead makers $165,104 for failing to demonstrate compliance with the shower head mandate.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 prohibits even minute levels of lead in any product intended for children 12 years of age or younger. That includes millions of children’s books printed with leaded ink.  Lead in ink was phased out in the late 1970s, but the CPSC deems any children’s book printed prior to 1986 to be potentially toxic and thus unfit for library circulation , the Goodwill store, or your neighbor’s garage sale.

The EPA is now hard at work increasing fleet-wide fuel efficiency standards for cars, and at the same time expanding the amount of ethanol in gasoline from 10% to 15%, (an amount damaging to the engines of all but the newest cars) which will dramatically decrease fuel efficiency.  Corn-based ethanol has been shown to nearly double greenhouse gas emissions over 30 years.  The spike in food prices from more ethanol will increase government spending by $1 billion a year, according to studies.

Obama policies are destroying jobs as fast as new jobs are created. Regulations accomplish nothing but unnecessary interference in peoples lives, and often simply make things worse.  There are always consequences, often unintended ones, and they seldom improve anything.

Consider this a warning.



What is Social Justice? Is There Any Such Thing? by The Elephant's Child

One wonders at the rise of enthusiasm for Socialism. Where does this come from?  Do people know nothing about the history of Socialism and how it works out? No understanding of the crisis of Venezuela? Or how the people there are literally starving in a country that was once the richest in South America?

Are they misled by talk of “social justice”? There is, by the way, no such thing. We humans are a quarrelsome lot, and you can’t overcome the difficulties of being a member of the human species easily. Democrats, with Bernie and Elizabeth Warren pushing socialism, seem to fail to recognize just where that path leads.

The human search for perfect social equality has gone on since the beginning of time. Do people actually rise in the morning hoping that might be the day when they are finally equal? Equal to what? Or Whom? I simply don’t buy it. Not everyone even wants to be rich. People want to care for their family, to have a good job that they like, at least part of the time. They want to have a nice home and be free of debt, and raise their children to be good citizens and succeed at whatever profession they choose. Some do want to be rich and some achieve it. But is it the overarching dream of many? I suspect not. People do want accomplishment, and success, and arriving at goals.

Democrats seem particularly driven by the idea of equality. They want to make everyone equal, and their policies move in that direction. They talk a lot about social justice, and more about the rich who do not deserve to be rich, and big corporations and their CEOs who do not deserve to be rich. I have wished for some things I do not have, that I cannot afford, as I’m sure you have as well. Did you get out of bed this morning yearning to be equal?  Didn’t think so.

Even for those who do want to be rich, and are working to create a business that they hope will succeed and make them richer, I suspect it is the succeed part that drives them, not the riches. Building a successful business is a worthy endeavor, and building it  is the scary and exciting part rather than the arrival at the finish.

So what is all this social justice? the social equality? Democrats’ push for equality sounds good in the abstract, but makes no sense whatsoever as a real goal. Think about that when those campaigning for an office ask for your vote. What they want is to be in charge, and have the opportunity to control your lives.



Elizabeth Warren’s New World Order by The Elephant's Child

The Wall Street Journal featured Elizabeth Warren on the Opinion page. Her ideas, they say, show where the American left wants to go. The Editors combed through some 60 policy papers: There’s the Wealth Tax, The Medicare for All tax, the Global Corporate tax, and the Corporate surtax, Slower expensing, a Higher capital gains tax, Finance taxes (taxing the sale of bonds or stocks, Individual tax increases, increased Social Security benefits, paid for by increasing the Social Security payroll tax), a Lobbying tax, Mandated Medicare for all, The Green New Deal, an end to fossil fuels, ban fracking, halt new drilling leases, prohibit future fossil fuel exports, kill the Keystone XL. Free college, a “right” to child care, more affordable housing, Overturn the so-called “right to work” laws.

Make companies with revenue over $1 billion obtain a new federal charter that gives workers 40% of board seats. Break up Amazon, Facebook and Google, “unwind” their mergers with Whole Foods, Instagram, Double Click and more. (I thought Silicon Valley was lined up behind Warren). Then there’s Gun Control, using federal money to replace every voting machine in the country, mandate early voting and same-day registration.

There’s more, but it is such an expansion of government that one is inclined to dismiss it as…what? Her only real policy difference with Bernie Sanders is that she offers more details. She believes that she has enough political support to help her win the Democrat nomination and win the White House against a vulnerable Donald Trump.

She has already proved that she is a consummate liar, with her Indian heritage and even her brother has just accused her of lying about their father. As her idiotic tax plans suggest, she has, as has been suggested for years, only a child-like understanding of economics, and apparently only a child-like understanding of Americans and America.



Why Capitalism? Why Not? by The Elephant's Child

At a news conference in early February of 2015, Christiana Figueres, the General Secretary of the United Nation’s IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change, I think is the acronym) revealed that the object of the climate crisis was not to save the Earth from degradation from a climate disaster, but to eliminate Capitalism. We just had a reiteration of that from a current climate panic advocate, apparently unaware of the previous exposé. I meant to save the piece, but forgot.

What interests me is that I’m well aware that there is a lot of hatred for the booming American economy, our rich, the wealth of goods produced, and undoubtedly the way we go around the world trying to help, or disapprove of other governments or tell other countries what to do, or just be bossy in general. So I accept some resentment, or even a lot
of it.

Here’s the real question, if they resent our wealth or success, why don’t they try Capitalism? Back when Valery Giscard D’Estaing was writing the new constitution for the European Union, he got a copy of the American Constitution, it was reported, but he rejected it. Couldn’t go for all those freedoms, I guess.

Wouldn’t you think that they might look at the American economy and want to try a bit of Capitalism? Or a bit more freedom?  If you see something that works, don’t you usually want to copy it?

The ongoing idea of stamping out Capitalism is a little disturbing. Are there organizations out there (besides the Left) that are working to get rid of capitalism? Does anybody understand what Capitalism is? Why it works?

How about a basic understanding that the buying and selling that takes place in the marketplace is our best information on the economy and how we’re doing? Do people have an understanding of what Trump has done to get our economy booming? Or for that matter, do they understand that the economy is booming, that unemployment is the lowest ever recorded since we started keeping track.

*Christiana Figueres is the woman in light blue at the far left.



Wait! You Have It All Backwards. Crime Comes Before Punishment. by The Elephant's Child

What I am failing to understand, and you probably are too, is that The House of Representatives of the United States Congress has it all backwards, and we’re letting them get away with it.

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives has decided that the President of the United States must be impeached. They don’t like him. They remain furious that he won control of the government away from them, because they are morally superior. They care about the poor and unfortunate, the downtrodden, the frightened illegals, the homeless, the fugitives from climate change, and so on, and nasty Republicans just don’t.

They made a decision. Donald Trump is an illegal president and he must be impeached. The problem has been to find what it is that he must be impeached for. Classic example of cart before horse! Now that they have decided that he must be impeached, they have to find something that will qualify as an impeachable offense. Not what the founders had in mind. They thought that if a sitting president betrays his office, or betrays the country, Congress should be able to act to remove him from office. Article II, Section 4.

I am certainly not an attorney, but the House of Representatives clearly has it all backwards. They have decided that he must be impeached before the next election, so they are determinedly searching for the awful thing for which he must be impeached. Once they get rid of him then as the morally superior beings they by nature are, they will be back in full charge, and won’t have to bother with this phony booming economy and phony thriving business, and phony people getting off food stamps and especially the phony increase in the average family’s take-home pay. The problem is finding the charge that will accomplish all that. Has to be a biggie. Section 4 says clearly: The President, Vice President, and all Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

That’s why Nancy Pelosi came up with “Bribery” a couple of days ago. Couldn’t find any Treason that they could make stick, and the other high Crimes part was not very clear or specific, but “Bribery” sounded good. Adam Schiff is working desperately on that one. They can surely find a bribe somewhere in returning aid to Ukraine, can’t they?


I found this pertinent cartoon at Powerline in Steven Hayward’s Week in Pictures. Don’t know who devised it, but it is appropriate. If you are alternately appalled and annoyed by this impeachment inquiry, Don’t miss Victor Davis Hanson’s piece at National Review.



The Cavalcade of Events, If You Have the Stomach for It by The Elephant's Child

The Democrats had another Debate last night, and I declined.  Not up for another one. Rachel Maddow was host and proclaimed that ambassador Sondlund had buttressed the case for impeachment with his “bombshell” testimony. (Probably the number one reason why everyone is beginning to really hate the media is their inability to avoid using the word “bombshell”.) Maddow wanted to know if the candidates would vote for impeachment?

“Of course I will,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who urged viewers to “read the Mueller report” about all that obstruction of justice. Why, president Trump “broke the law again and again.”

Amy Klobuchar cited Trump’s “impeachable conduct” and how he is “sucking up to Vladimir Putin every minute of the day” and “leaving the Kurds for slaughter.” But it’s all “really about our Democracy.”

“Sadly we have president who is a pathological liar,” said Bernie Sanders, adding that Trump was the “most corrupt” president of all. But then, Sanders added, the whole political system was corrupt and the economy “rigged” for billionaires and such.

A rather shaky Joe Biden said “Trump doesn’t want me to be the nominee” and “Vladimir Putin doesn’t want me to be president,” which seemed to work for the studio audience.

Utter brilliance. Democrats were so sure that it was Russia that was trying to steal the election that they haven’t learned anything since.

Nancy Pelosi’s key word was “imposter.” She told CBS that “I think he knows full well that he’s in that office way over his head. And so he has to diminish everyone else.”

Um, booming economy, extremely low unemployment, thriving business, world’s leading exporter of oil and natural gas, lowest unemployment for Blacks since we started keeping unemployment statistics. So he’s an imposter? It was Barack Obama who insisted that it was impossible in these days to get the economy to grow over 2%. It is not an accident, just what Dems are worried that the people will find out.

In the meantime, Lindsey Graham announced that the DOJ Inspector General’s report on Obama administration FISA abuse during the 2016 election will be released December 9. He said” I think this is going to be stunning. I think it is going to be damning. I think it’s going to prove that the system got off the rails and we need corrective action.” US Attorney John Durham’s criminal probe into Justice Department misconduct during the election will soon get its time in the spotlight. That may be fun.




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