American Elephants


Why Physics. “The Universe in a Nutshell” by The Elephant's Child

This is not new, but I had never seen it before. I took physics in high school and survived the class because I was one of two girls in a class of boys. I did not understand at the time what physics was for, nor why I should be deeply interested. Obviously because I did not have Dr. Michio Kaku as a  teacher. This is a long one, and utterly fascinating.



Victor Davis Hanson Speaks on the Problem of California by The Elephant's Child

Dr. Hanson speaks of the wealthiest state, the Golden State, and where has California gone wrong? California was supposed to be the answer or the guide to a better future for the rest of the world, with the best climate, the best universities, the most beautiful state with lovely beaches, redwood forests, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, bountiful farmlands and citrus groves — what happened? This is the San Mateo County “Progress Seminar 2017” held in May. Hanson is a renowned historian, emeritus professor of Classics at Cal State University at Fresno, fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University,  5th generation Central Valley farmer, and author of at least two dozen books.  If you’re not from California, why should you care?

Though he talks about what is going wrong in California, it is also what is going on in perhaps lesser ways in the rest of the country.  The cities of so many dreams have become unaffordable,  business is leaving for more welcoming states, a heavy tax burden, water problems, energy problems, a coastal elite and impoverished Central Valley. Hanson has retained all of his worlds, which inform his scholarship and views on modern life and the long span of history since the days of ancient Greece.



The Trump Agenda for Achieving 3% Economic Growth by The Elephant's Child

The overarching goal of the Trump administration is to Make America Great Again, which means promoting MAGAnomics—sustained 3% economic growth. That’s Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, writing in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

For most of our nation’s modern history, a healthy American economy meant one that grew at roughly 3.5%. That was the average growth rate between the late 1940s and 2007. Since then, it has hardly topped 2%.

The difference between those two growth rates is staggering. If the American economy had grown at only 2% between the end of World War II and 2000, average household income would have been roughly $26,000 instead of $50,000.

Over the next 10 years, 3% growth instead of 2% will yield a nominal gross domestic product that is $16 trillion larger, federal government revenues $2.9 trillion greater, and wages and salaries of American workers $7 trillion higher.

What’s involved? Tax Reform: Encouraging capital investment will boost productivity. When businesses have more money to invest in plants and equipment, it means hiring more people who produce more. Lower tax rates reduce the cost of capital and thus ignite economic growth. 70% of business income goes to wages, so the benefits flow to workers as well.

Controlling unnecessary regulation: Regulations often turn out to be far more burdensome than the regulators realized, and they increase the cost of doing business. The EPA has been extravagant with overzealous environmental regulations and have pushed many businesses overseas. Realistic cost-benefit analysis helps to protect jobs as well as keeping the environment.

Welfare reform: Many people who could be working are staying home. We need them to go back to work, but the welfare system creates disincentives for those who seek work. Welfare reform will ensure that those who are truly in need of help will get it, but does not encourage people to stay home.

Smart energy strategy: Cheaper, cleaner, more abundant energy will increase investment and employment across many industries. Reliable supplies and stable prices will reduce uncertainty especially in the manufacturing sector and reduce the risks of building new plants and hiring more workers.

Fair Trade is already beginning to work. Government spending restraint is currently visible in the White House budget, and has the entire government at work figuring out how to accomplish more with less waste and more efficiency. Private investment allocates capital more efficiently than government. Rebuilding America’s infrastructure will create more jobs, but environmental restrictions and bureaucratic red tape can play hob with the best intentions.

The Founders may never have expected in their wildest dreams the enormous bureaucracy of our nation’s capitol, but they were very familiar with human nature and its flaws—and that doesn’t change. The Constitution was intended to slow things down, to require more consideration and more responsibility. MAGAnomics is intended to set the stage for the greatest revival of the economy since the early 1980s. It will remind people what a great America means.

Sounds like a good plan to me.



It’s No Wonder the American People Are So Confused! by The Elephant's Child

While everyone is looking the other way, notably at Trump and Twitter, President Trump has announced plans to make the United States a global energy powerhouse. He has already taken steps toward unleashing domestic energy supplies, but he announced six more steps that he plans to take: reviving nuclear energy, removing barriers to building coal plants overseas, building more energy pipelines including one into Mexico, increasing exports of natural gas and creating a new offshore-leasing program.

Turkey threatens not to ratify the Paris Climate Accord.  Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan admits the only reason for signing was to get money from the U.S. and other wealthy nations. Now that the U.S. has pulled out of the accord, there’s no reason to expect the financial benefits. Proving once again that the Paris Climate Treaty (which we never signed) had nothing to do with climate, but only with redistributing economic wealth.

New York magazine has an article by one David Wallace-Wells titled “The Uninhabitable Earth,” subtitled “Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak—sooner than you think.”

Yale Poll finds: 4 in 10 Americans (39%) think ‘global warming will cause humans to become extinct.

Bombshell study: Temperature Adjustments Account for ‘Nearly All of the Warming’ in Government Climate Data.

President Trump demanded and obtained a clear statement of the U.S. rejection of the Paris Climate Agreement and just as important, a statement recognizing the appropriate role of efficient use of fossil fuels as an energy resource for the future.

July o9, 2017: It was just reported that Greenland set a new all-time July cold record, where the mercury plummeted to -33ºC.

Famed MIT Climate Scientist Dr. Ricard Lindzen: Believing CO² controls the climate “is pretty close to believing in magic.”

If you are interested, Climate Depot and CFact have produced a new Talking Points memo, an A-Z  Debunking of Climate Claims



President Trump Refused to Join the Paris Climate Accord. Here’s Why. by The Elephant's Child

Angela Merkel is furious that President Trump refused to join in the Paris Climate Accord. As Roy Spencer PhD admits, it would make no measurable difference. It is Dr. Spencer and Dr. Christie at the University of Alabama at Huntsville who run the satellites and weather balloons that give us our most accurate measurements of climate around the world. Climate science has been dominated by the assertion that the following 5 general points are indisputable. They range from scientific to economic.

1) global warming is occurring, will continue to occur, and will have dangerous consequences

2) the warming is mostly, if not totally, caused by our CO2 emissions

3) there are no benefits to our CO2 emissions, either direct (biological) or indirect (economic)

4) we can reduce our CO2 emissions to a level that we avoid a substantial amount of the expected damage

5) the cost of reducing CO2 emissions is low enough to make it worthwhile (e.g. mandating much more wind, solar, etc.)

For things like the Paris Climate Agreement to make much sense, Spenser says, all five must be essentially true. There is peer reviewed and published analysis in science and economics which would allow one to contest each of the five claims.

A growing volume of evidence undercuts “consensus” science. Already 285 Scientific Papers published in 2017 support a skeptical position on Climate alarm. They cast doubt on the position that anthropogenic CO2 emissions function as the climate’s fundamental control knob, or that otherwise question the efficacy of climate models, or the related “consensus” positions commonly endorsed by policy makers and mainstream media.

Climate science is not settled.

Modern temperatures, sea levels, and extreme weather events are neither unusual nor unprecedented. Many regions of the Earth are cooler now than they have been for most of the last 10,000 years.

Natural factors such as the Sun (84 papers), multi-decadal oceanic-atmospheric oscillations such as the NAO, AMO/PDO, ENSO (31 papers), decadal-scale cloud cover variations, and internal variability in general have exerted a significant influence on weather and climate changes during both the past and present. Detecting a clear anthropogenic forcing signal amidst the noise of unforced natural variability may therefore be difficult.

And current emissions-mitigation policies, especially related to the advocacy for renewables, are often costly, ineffective, and perhaps even harmful to the environment. On the other hand, elevated CO2 and a warmer climate provide unheralded benefits to the biosphere (i.e., a greener planet and enhanced crop yields).

For a list of the papers and links to them, click on this link, and scroll down.

In the United States, despite tens of billions of dollars in government subsidies provided, an EIA report on energy production shows that wind and solar combined provided only 3.2% of U.S. energy in 2016. 90% of 2016 U.S.Energy production was provided by fossil fuels, nuclear and hydro, with rising petroleum and natural gas use while the use of coal has declined.

The mainstream media continues to hype the role of heavily subsidized renewable energy, the reality of energy use continues to be dependent on fossil fuels, nuclear and hydropower energy sources.



Stop The Presses! The President Just Tweeted! by The Elephant's Child

Twitter first gained public attention only in 2006, and has grown in popularity. Those who cry “It’s not Presidential” when the president tweets, are ignoring the simple fact that Obama is the only other president who could possibly have tweeted. Twitter has been especially popular among celebrities, because big numbers of followers can warm celebrity hearts. Celebrities, as we all know, are famous for being known.

The thought initially was that Twitter could be sort of an early-warning signal of upcoming political trends, but that’s giving it far too much credit. Mostly, it seems to be a channel for insults and snide remarks. Those who can manage a truly cogent remark in such limited words are celebrated—most cannot. President Donald Trump’s tweets are the focus of far too much attention. I would bet that you know far more about President Trump’s most recent tweet striking back at a remarkably nasty broadcast by Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, than you do about the accomplishments that the president is pushing through with members of his cabinet and through his own Executive Orders.

The fact that you know more about what he said about Mika’s facelift than you do about Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s efforts to find out whether all the regulations, taxes and subsidies that benefit “green energy” providers were harming the power industry and forcing the premature retirement of baseload power plants. This was a study, an effort to get some clear information, and predictably, the Solar Energy Industries of America and the Advanced Energy Economy, the New York Times and allies in Congress even went after the economist overseeing the study planning how to debunk it. That gives  you a clue about what the study will turn up, and how the media will address it.

What is a tweet—140 characters? I don’t tweet, so I’m not well informed. But that brief emanation from the White House was the focus of almost every journalist in the country.  Important things happening could go a  glimmering. Trump tweeted! Feminists shouted “objectifying women.” Republicans gasped, because Republicans don’t insult people directly, just behind closed doors so they can maintain their decorum.

Democrats are desperate to attack Trump in any way possible. They have no real policies to challenge what Trump is accomplishing and proposing, only defense of Obama’s failed programs. So Trump’s tweets are hugely welcome targets, and at just 140 characters—hardly challenging. They don’t even have to read any long pieces or do research—or even worry about being called “fake news.”

As far as being shocked by Trump’s tweets, you can find far worse in any comments column. Democrats are becoming notable for potty mouths. Language has dropped several rungs closer to the gutter. As far as “not presidential” we can recall LBJ holding conversations and meetings while sitting on the toilet.

There are far worse things that have gone on in the White House than some unmannerly tweets. There are far worse things and far more important things going on around the world, but harder for lazy journalists to write or speak about. It would require research and a knowledge of history and world affairs that these lightweights don’t seem to possess.



CNN’s Very Bad, Horrible, No Good Week by The Elephant's Child

CNN has had a very bad week. Tuesday, the network announced the resignation of three journalists — Eric Lichtblau, recently hired from the New York Times, Thomas Frank, and the head of the network’s new investigative unit, Les Harris. (We can probably assume fired). The cause —they had published a Russia/Trump story that had turned out to be completely false, so false that it had to be retracted by CNN. Retracted is really, really bad.

Apparently CNN’s CEO had told their reporters that the Paris climate thing was nice, but it was time to get back to Russia.

According to Power Line:

James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas has infiltrated CNN, and he has video of a CNN producer admitting that the network’s Russia fixation is “mostly bullshit,” but they do it because it brings in the money. Paul wrote about O’Keefe’s dynamite video this morning; if you missed it then you should watch it now. The CNN producer says things like “it’s mostly bulls**t right now.” And “I think the president is probably right to say, like, look you are witch hunting me.”

This is, of course, a body blow to whatever is left of CNN’s credibility. But the bad news doesn’t end there. O’Keefe says today’s video is just Part 1. He has more on CNN, and he has put other corrupt news media on notice. So there could be more fireworks soon.

President Trump lost no time claiming vindication–rightly, according to the CNN producer.

I was looking through one of my bookshelves and noticed several books on  the Media. Damned Lies and Statistics by Joel Best, showing how statistics are manipulated by the media, and the difference between the world as it is, and the world portrayed by the media and the statistics they use to support their view. Published — 2001

Then there was Coloring the News by William McGowan, also published in 2001, exposing how crusading for diversity has corrupted American Journalism. Newspaper publishers and editors insist that promoting ‘diversity’ in the newsroom has produced better reporting and journalism. The assumption was undoubtedly that being of a different race or ethnicity would naturally produce a different viewpoint. McGowan carefully proved that they were wrong.

Bernard Goldberg’s Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News came out in 2002.Emmy Award-winner  Goldberg said the media too often ignored their primary mission—objective disinterested reporting.

Mobocracy: How the Media’s Obsession with Polling Twists the News, Alters Elections, and Undermines Democracy. Also published in 2002, by Matthew Robinson. Mark Levin’s blurb said Robinson had meticulously documented how the once-benign concept of gauging public opinion has been perverted into a weapon wielded by journalists with a political agenda.

Apparently I have been concerned about the American Press even longer than I remembered.  I can remember a day when we did trust the news and the reporters who brought it to our attention. I also recognize how hard it must be to put your politics aside and do objective disinterested reporting, but the current crop seem to wallow in their political agendas and are unfamiliar with the task of keeping politicians in line with honest reporting assigned to the profession by the Founders.




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