American Elephants


Adventures Don’t Always Go as Planned! by The Elephant's Child


We are all ordinary human beings, with all the flaws and inconsistencies inherent in that designation. Some of us have PhDs and certified high IQ’s but that doesn’t begin to strip us from the all too frequent possibility of being absolutely wrong more than just part of the time.

Our founding fathers were men who thought deeply about what good government might look like. No hereditary kings, for while some might be good, there were always some lemons in the bunch, and they didn’t like the idea of a ruling class either. They tried to devise a government composed of ordinary common citizens who would serve for awhile, and then be replaced by other common citizens intent on doing good government. All in all they haven’t done too badly, but the ruling class part never worked all that well. Ambition and the perks of power fall into the flaws category.

Bet you didn’t know that the term “Founding Fathers” was coined by Judson Welliver, “literary clerk”( speechwriter or ghost writer) for Warren Harding in 1921.

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Started this piece on Sunday, Mother’s Day. Went to my older son’s house for brunch, fell on the step up from his patio to the kitchen, fell on my face, or rather on my right knee, which ended up in a trip to the emergency room and a stay in the hospital. Back home tonight, but still not very mobile. They removed  several cups of extra fluid from my knee, and said I could go home. (I exaggerate. but that’s what it felt like). Nothing broken, just very bruised. I will resume tomorrow.



Saving the Planet From the Ravages of Climate Change by The Elephant's Child

The fabled “Green New Deal” would have essentially no effect whatsoever on global warming, yet it would impose enormous economic and social costs. The report comes from the American Enterprise Institute’s Benjamin Zycher, who analyzed likely impacts of the Green New Deal as outlined by new Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D- N.Y.) calling for such a program to supposedly cut U.S . greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. Uh huh. They were even ever so sure that it would actually boost the economy.

The “boosting” bit depends on a “broken windows” theory (If you break a lot of windows, you’ll have to hire a lot of people to replace them.) Not a serious claim.

The United States counts for only a minor part of the worldwide CO2 emissions, but Zycher explains that if we achieved zero emissions, it would cut future temperatures by 0.083 to 0.173 degrees Celsius by 2100 — essentially zero. The overall cost would be about $490 billion, and would require for renewable energy – the seizure of some 115 million acres of land, more than the area of the entire state of California.

Remember that “renewable” energy only works when the wind is blowing at the optimum speed of about 35 miles an hour, and the sun is shining in a cloudless sky. If that’s not happening, you have to use plain old conventional energy because our society depends on energy. These are well known facts.

Looks like we are going to have a national demonstration, however. Democrats believe in global warming, probably because Republicans are not apt to. New York City politicians intend to “lead the way” to combat “climate change.”

Last week, the City Council voted almost unanimously for a package of six bills that comprise the “Climate Mobilization Act” for the nation’s largest city. Of the 44 council members voting, only two opposed this legislation.

What will happen that is predictable is the immediate cost. The centerpiece of this legislation is the $4 billion energy efficiency mandate on the City’s largest buildings, on top of the already substantial property taxes and construction costs. But that is just the beginning of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s estimated $14 billion strategic plan—his own “Green New Deal”—unveiled on Earth Day to reduce the City’s “carbon footprint…before it’s too late.”…

Mayor de Blasio said building owners need to “clean up their act” (who knew they were such polluters?) and that “if we don’t get results, there will be real fines.” In addition to the City Council’s handiwork, the mayor’s plan would go further by effectively banning glass-walled and steel buildings. I suppose what would remain is concrete and stone. Appropriately, today’s front page of the New York Post ridiculed the mayor.

They also plan on “phasing out reliance of processed meat and reduce the City’s purchase of beef by 50 percent.”Imagine people in elective office assuming that they can dictate your diet and lifestyle. Well, after all, they are attempting to save the planet!



What Is The Matter With These People? by The Elephant's Child

Observing the political scene, one wonders, what the heck is the matter with these people? It seems that large numbers of people are asking the same question. From American Greatness “NYT Ponders: Could the Steele Dossier be Russian Disinformation?” A slightly belated question, or the beginnings of  a CYA operation?

Victor Davis Hanson said: “for them, that particular subset that really hates Trump, its the idea that this guy just comes in, and all their pretensions or all of their disconnects, he challenges. And then he doesn’t just challenge it, he points out how hypocritical they are. He does that all the time.  If you look at his tweets, that’s one constant theme. “You have walls. Why can’t the nation have walls?” Hanson points out that all the Never Trumpers at the Bulwark, Max Boot, David Frum, Bill Kristol, have spent their lives advancing the issues that Trump has put into effect, and now they don’t like them because Trump’s fingerprints are on them.

But why the hatred? Most of the people who were involved in the Never Trumps, were invested in particular campaigns, and they thought they would be the wise men, they would be asked to come into the White House, be on Talk shows. They offerred their expertise, but they have a special office at the White House looking at applicants tweets and Facebook posts. Their obliging offers were rejected.

Jeremy Carl, a Hoover Institution scholar, called to our attention that in the aftermath of the Jussie Smollet hate hoax, journalist Andy Ngo wrote that the hoax was symptomatic of America’s illness – a combination he attributed to the rise of the victimhood culture fueled in significant part by increasing group conflict.  Not, Carl wrote, an “illness” of America writ large, but an affliction particular to white liberals. Recent polls by nonpartisan organizations suggest that white liberals have a unique distaste for their own ethnic group. (See Smollett, Covington HS boys in their MAGA hats.) Group bias is a widely recognized phenomenon, and most groups prefer their own. Except white liberals.

I think that the Liberals were expecting sixteen years of continuous control. It’s not just controlling the levers of power— but the jobs, the prestige, the friendships, the opportunities. It clearly wasn’t about Hillary except as the brownie points of electing the first woman, they’ve already lost interest in her completely. No longer useful.

Presidents are supposed to be former governors, or have been in the military – which suggests familarity with high level politics more than skill. From the still growing list of Democrat candidates there’s not much in the way of demonstrated skills. It is beginning to look as if there may be more skills in understanding economics, managing very large operations and dealing with the law in America’s CEOs, certainly than in the current crop of candidates. That’s the big divide. Trump represents everything the Left has been trained to hate. The birth certificate for a good liberal is the understanding that Republicans give tax cuts to the Rich, while good Democrats help the poor. Democrats have no understanding whatsoever that allowing people to keep more of their own money gets invested into the economy. They expand, hire, invent, and, oddly in the process, more people have jobs, unemployment goes down. The economy grows with more activity.  Democrats are good at propaganda however. Current surveys suggest that a significant percentage of the people don’t think that they got a tax cut.

Most people grew up in a neighborhood, by that I mean among people very like themselves. Similar home costs, similar houses, similar yards, kids go to the same schools. I notice, largely because I did not grow up in a neighborhood. There is a difference.

A president is someone we choose to run the country for us for four years. The campaign is supposed to demonstrate the skills and potential that candidates may (or may not possess). We get distracted by looks and personality or demeanor, and forget to look hard at proven ability, which is  a major mistake. We have a current crop of candidates who are blithely signing on the “The Green New Deal” with no understanding of why it would be a massive mistake, no understanding of whether there is or is not a climate crisis, and why. Over and over they are demonstrating that they have never even bothered to read or learn anything about the subject whatsoever. All of them.

We can scatter the blame around, but we need to look in the mirror. We have to be informed voters. It’s up to us.



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.



Ocasio-Cortez Has Made a Delusional Little “Green New Deal” Film by The Elephant's Child

Oh my word. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has made a little movie. It’s seven minutes long, and animated with quick watercolor sketches. The Federalist has posted it and I’ll introduce it with David Marcus’ comment:

In a new, seven minute animated video from The Intercept, narrated by and starring Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) we are transported, via an NYC to DC bullet train, into the future. It is 2028, and what a world it is. On the downside, Hurricane Sheldon at some point left significant portions of Miami underwater, but on the bright side, former oil workers are planting mangroves under the direction of Native American elders. No, I’m not making this up.

Well, how nice of this young woman to save us all from a free and prosperous future, if we just reject all that in favor of a new form of Communism called the “Green New Deal.” Named supposedly in honor of the Old New Deal that was such a dreadful time for America. FDR won the election in 1932, but when he was inaugurated in 1933, he had no clue what to do about it, and embarked on an extensive era of experimentation that extended the misery of the Great Depression for at least seven years longer than it needed to be,  according to UCLA economists Lee Ohanian and Harold Cole. But then, as I keep reminding, Democrats just don’t understand free market economics.

The little video is mostly a celebration of the supposed brilliance and forethought of the very new congresswoman herself. You can forgive careless errors, but attempting to impose such extensive stupidity on the rest of the country is a bit much. But then the twenty or so Democrat candidates so far (with another ten or so waiting in the wings) are doing a marvelous job of opening their mouths and disqualifying themselves from consideration.

Do watch the whole thing, it’s only 7 minutes long, and necessary to understand what the whole bunch of Democrats are willing to sign up for.  What totally unbelievable ignorance. There is a long, long history of panics and delusions, many of the early ones caused by diseases that were not understood as catching an infection from another person , but as the act of some demon, or often as the work of a witch, some poor innocent woman who was burned at the stake in an effort to make the illness go away.



MIT Atmospheric Physicist Richard Lindzen Offers A Few Words by The Elephant's Child

Climate change is an urgent topic of discussion among politicians, journalists and celebrities, but actual climate scientists are not so much click-bait as real celebrities, and journalists seem more interested in click-bait than deeply informed commentary. We seem to be transforming into a society that values  popularity more than accuracy, or perhaps we always were, but it just wasn’t as obvious as it is today. Richard Lindzen is one of the most esteemed climate scientists in the world, and one to whom you should pay attention.




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