American Elephants


Of Course They Are Fighting Climate Change by The Elephant's Child

Here in Washington State, our Governor, Jay Inslee, released a statement today on the EPA’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan:

By repealing the Clean Power Plan, President Trump and his EPA administrator are recklessly removing any meaningful, science-based federal restraint on the carbon pollution that power plants are allowed to pump into our atmosphere. The United States Supreme Court has ruled on three separate occasions that the EPA has a responsibility, under the Clean Air Act and other federal laws, to protect American communities from harmful carbon pollution. The Clean Power Plan was constructed to give states the flexibility to choose its own path to a clean energy future, and hold each state responsible for reducing carbon pollution. This decision by the EPA instead rejects science and directly threatens Americans’ health and well-being.

Washington state is already feeling the harmful and costly effects of climate change – in more devastating wildfire seasons, strained water resources, increasingly acidic coastal waters, and more. And we are taking action to respond: at my direction, the Washington State Department of Ecology has implemented the nation’s first Clean Air Rule, to limit carbon pollution from our state’s largest sources. We are investing in new clean energy technologies – fueling jobs and business growth in an area with tremendous economic opportunity. We are partnering with other states – through the bipartisan United States Climate Alliance – to fill the void left by the Trump Administration’s total abdication of American leadership.

This action by the EPA is a setback in the struggle against climate change, but it will not and cannot stop Washington state and our determined allies in the fight against this existential threat.

Climate change has nothing to do with wildfire or strained water resources, the coastal waters are not increasingly acidic. “Clean energy” from sun and wind does not create jobs and business growth. Wind is intermittent and does not blow steadily enough to be a valid source of energy, and solar energy is too diffuse. Countries like Germany that got very involved with clean energy to keep the climate from changing, are finding that the result has been a spiraling cost of energy, and a lot of energy poverty among the people who can’t afford to keep their houses warm.

Governor Inslee is allied with Governor Moonbeam Jerry Brown who is blaming the horrific wildfires now burning up the wine district and whatever else is in the direction the wind is blowing—on, of course, climate change.

California Gov. Jerry Brown warns that catastrophic wildfires will keep ripping through the state as the climate warms. …

He said a warming climate has contributed to catastrophic wildfires. “That’s the way it is with a warming climate, dry weather and reducing moisture.” said Brown. “These kind of catastrophes have happened and they’ll continue to happen, and we have to be prepared to do everything we can to mitigate.”

The governor has positioned himself as a leader in the fight against climate change.

No wonder Leftist governors like to “position themselves” as “leaders in the fight against climate change.” It gives them a vast cause which they are powerless to fight, but is readily available to absorb all the blame for whatever is going wrong. I wonder if he’ll figure out a way to assign the immense cost overruns and pointless high-speed rail to climate change.  They don’t even have to know anything about climate science, the effectiveness of “clean energy” sources, or even what could possibly be involved in climate change if it were real. It’s just a perfect dumping ground for whatever catastrophe Mother Nature has in store for us. San Francisco’s air quality is off the charts—climate change. Wine country won’t e producing grapes for years yet—climate change. Floods, landslides, torrential rain, hot spells, mountain passes impassable—climate change. Earthquake, endangered species, see how handy it is.

I had been annoyed because none of these officials ever seemed to do their homework, to read any of the science, to understand why so many reputable scientists cast aspersions on the climate change idea. Of course they officially are true believers. It gets them off the hook for whatever happens.

Silly me. I just thought they were lazy or stupid.

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The Final Bill For the Standing Rock Protests is About $43 Million by The Elephant's Child

021517-debris-1-1170x775The protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline ended back at the end of February, with 240 rollout dumpsters to carry away the mess the protesters left behind. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers planned on spending more than $1 million just to clean up. At the end of September North Dakota’s Department of Emergency Services announced that taxpayers will have to pay about $43 million in expenses accrued as the state struggled to respond to the 233 days of protesters.

The Standing Rock protesters claimed that they were “peaceful and prayerful,” but rioters “threw stones, feces and Molotov cocktails at cops, obstructed roads, set fires, and even rode on horseback behind a herd of bison, attempting to stampede them towards law enforcement.” 8,000 to 10,000 people camped out to protest the pipeline. Local authorities had to ask for help from law enforcement in 11 states to cope. More than 750 protesters were arrested and at least 107 of those charged have pleaded guilty or been found guilty, some on multiple counts. Most of the costs will be paid by North Dakotans, but the Department of Justice provided the state with a $10 million grant which make taxpayers nationwide responsible for the Leftist’s criminal antics.

The protests, of course were not about tribal rights or cultural resources. The pipeline does not cross any land owned or controlled by the Standing Rock Sioux, the land in question belongs to the federal government or private owners.

The tribe was consulted, more than 50 tribes were consulted, and resulted in 140 adjustments to the route. It was not about the water, the drinking water intake is about 70 miles downriver from where the pipeline was slated to cross the Missouri River, and runs 100 feet below the river. It was not about the climate. The oil has already been produced and transporting it by train or truck is far more susceptible to accidents and spills.

The protests ended pretty much when winter set in. Camping out is not nearly so much fun when it gets really cold. And once the oil was flowing as intended, the protests were moot.

piepline-protest

 



Where Did These Violent Protests Come From? by The Elephant's Child

How did we get here? Democrats have lost elections before, and engaged in some mild excess, but now they seem completely deranged. We had a brief hiatus from the dramatic evidence of the failure of our schools and universities to acquaint our students with the Constitution and the meaning of free speech, let alone manners and deportment. Faculty have exhibited themselves as instigators and the administrators have established that they are not only not the adults in the situation, but it didn’t occur to them to mete out punishment for wretched excess.

In my day, which admittedly was a while ago, miscreants were promptly sent home, and I do mean promptly. And good luck about returning.

So — How did we get here? Is this stuff contagious? In a way, it is.

Democrats have lost power in a very big way, and seeking power is at their very essence. They’re old. Their ideas are not only stale, but they don’t work. Their former president, who did massive damage to the country, is not retiring graciously to let the next president have his turn, but actively and admittedly trying to destroy his successor.

Each loudmouth, and there are many in Hollywood and on TV, oddly enough many are “comics”— seeking the limelight and an audience — readily available in the form of our very partisan media, ready to celebrate every and any disturbing word. Surely you have noticed that if you removed the “he said”, and “she said” from the news, there wouldn’t be much of anything left.

Comics get brownie points for saying something rude, which gives permission to the next person at the microphone to top that, which in turn gives more permissions and so on, and so on. So you have Kathy Griffin holding up a bloody facsimile head of the President of the United States supposedly chopped off as ISIS might do, and the poor thing doesn’t even understand that she has committed an unforgivable faux pas that will be talked about and reviled for years to come. She’s back in today’s news congratulating Kaepernick for “his activism.” They never learn.

It’s Can You Top This time. Permission has been given. Black Lives Matter, a Marxist bunch, attempts to make The Racism, Sexism, theme the top priority, and Antifa goes for violence. Even speech that disagrees with you is not “hate speech.” Invited Conservative speakers are shouted down and attacked because it is too much for tender ears to hear “hate speech” which is defined as anything conservative, because Conservatives are known to be racist, sexist, homophobes etc, etc.

The media are demonstrating their partisanship or general ignorance, I’m not sure which. Remember Ben Rhodes description of his regular contacts with the media for the Obama administration:

“Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

It is catching. Each excess gives permission to do the same only better, bigger, more excessive. So now we have corporate CEOs talking their political views as the top official of their company. Not smart. Why a business would want to offend at least half of their customers is a mystery, Stock down. Sales down. CEOs gone.Half the American people no longer interested in the business or their products. Some business reporters could not understand why any CEO would be willing to serve on an advisory council with the hated President of the United States. (Probably because President Trump was interested in cutting taxes for business and removing troublesome regulations?)

Sports teams managed to offend a large percentage of the American people. Unnecessary if they had done their homework. Real damage to their sport. In fact most of these excesses arise because of the ignorance of the people committing the error.

The remedy? Courses in the United States Constitution. Nobody seems to be familiar with the document. A familiarity with the Declaration would be in order too, after Chuck Todd proved on Meet the Press, for all to see, that he was completely unfamiliar with the “all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator” line.

College administrators need to grow backbone, and administrate. That’s what the big salaries and honorifics and outrageous tuitions are all about. Sports millionaires will quickly learn about their mistakes, as many endorsements depart. Professors who are urging the miscreants on—just stop it. Try to prepare students to be decent citizens.



Language, Talking Points, and the Vanishing Profession of Journalism by The Elephant's Child

Selected language and preferred narratives seem to be going off into all directions. Some of it is quite deliberate, as Democrats in mass speak in focus-tested talking points. This is proven by the vast numbers of Democrats who emerge on a given day—all saying the exact same thing in the exact same words. The goal seems to be controlling the narrative of the day, and thus commanding the news cycle and, hopefully, the thoughts in the heads of Americans. Orwell would understand.

The ordinary news cycle seems to be all fouled-up as well. Hurricane Irma is the strongest hurricane ever in the history of the west, no, there have been regularly very damaging hurricanes and many of them. Irma has been downgraded to a Category 4.  José has been upgraded to a Category 4. The plots they are expected to follow change regularly. There are official websites with official numbers, but everybody seems to be using some alternates.

I may exaggerate a little, but it suffices as a description of the ordinary news. There’s Republican news and Democrat news with variances,and nuances, lots of nuances.  Many people have remarked that they don’t believe any major news sources and simply depend on a few individuals they trust. This is a remarkable situation, and I cannot remember any time when the media was so mistrusted, and held in so much contempt. It’s a very uncomfortable circumstance. Traditionally, the media was supposed to be the watchdog of the three branches of government, so that when the politics became too apparent, the truth would prevail. “Draining the swamp” as it were.

The visual media has made reporting a glamorous profession, and the pretty or handsome ones  become celebrities of a sort, like movie people — their names and faces are known. I’m not sure of the diagnosis — are there too many reporters chasing the same stories, is this a failure of the journalism schools, poorly educated reporters, or has everyone just become far too political? Journalism has always been political going back as far as  “Remember the Maine” and the Spanish American War, but the present case seems different.

Time will tell, and there are a great many curious cases to be fully explained. I did read that CNN has finally given up on the Russia connection.



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.




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