American Elephants


Questions Without Answers: Where and What is Reality? by The Elephant's Child

1

I don’t know if there has ever been a time when reality was so much in question. What’s true and what’s not.  The new federal climate report comes out and climate scientists call it “tripe”–”embarrassing” – “systematically flawed” and said the key claim comes from a study funded by Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg. The climate scientists who assume they can program the world’s climate into a computer and get accurate answers about what will happen in the next hundred years have too much faith in computers. (GIGO)

The nation’s farewell to President George Herbert Walker Bush was alternately a celebration of the life of a war hero and a patriot and a good man, and a rebuke to the current president, and the current president and Melania were rebuked by Hillary, but Jeb said the President couldn’t have been nicer.

In Britain, Brexit is damaging to the nation and the European Union, and alternately, it is necessary for Britain to get out from under the control of the European Union, and the migrants may be a huge problem or not at all.

In France, Prime Minister Macron wants a big carbon tax to lower their efforts to damage the climate, and the people don’t want any carbon taxes and don’t plan on having any. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says it is inevitable that climate governance will create economic, social and racial justice. There will only be benefits, and no costs to passing a raft of new climate change laws. Others laugh at her.

Whatever the subject, opinion varies, which is normal, but opinion has become truth, and is not to be doubted. Google has been shown to be eliminating conservative truth and favoring their own leftist leanings. President Trump has said firmly that he is a nationalist, by which he means he loves his country and favors it. The President of France, Emmanuel Macron rebuked U.S. President Donald Trump for putting the interests of U.S. citizens above the demonstration of moral values, and said that nationalism is a bad thing.

The media in this country is conducting a war on President Trump, who they consider an illegal president to whom they are opposed, but clearly he is the legally elected and widely approved President of the United States. President Trump wants to build a wall on the Southern border to prevent the influx of illegal aliens. California has Sanctuary Cities and is, I believe, a sanctuary state.

Forest fires are caused by alternately poor forest management  or global warming, as stated by President Trump or California Governor Jerry Brown. We can determine the truth to the extent that we agree with one side or another, but over and over, there is no widely accepted truth.

This is the reality exposed by the technology giants, who are supposedly emanating only truth, and eliminating “hate speech”, but what is called “hate speech” depends on which voices attract the most valuable clicks. Hollywood celebrities, who have only the fact that we may recognize their faces or names to attest to the worth of what they say, are free to use all the “hate speech” they want because being celebrities they will have lots of followers, which means a lot of clicks for the website. So “Truth” is not what is approved by the websites that claim to be impartial judges of truth and falsehood, but the impartial judges lie as well.

Electoral Fraud is widespread, or simply does not exist. It is hardly surprising that so many are claiming that we are on the brink of a civil war. Truth is fiction, Animal Farm is real, and Maisie Hirono (D-HI) urges Democrats to consider “heart over mind. Don’t tell everybody how smart we are.”

The ceremonies for the mourning of a past president and the long, long lines of people waiting in the cold for a chance to pass by the catafalque suggested to many that President H.W. Bush was the last of the patricians, when everybody agreed on right and wrong and true and false. Of course they didn’t agree then, but the times have changed and we have organizations like Snopes and the SPLC, PoliFact, NewsBusters, the Media Research Center to tell us what is true and what is not, and they deliver falsehoods, and the atmosphere out there is far worse than it ever was.

Advertisements


Chicken Little in Full Cry: “The Sky is Falling, the Sky is Falling” by The Elephant's Child

f1691bd60d765e1b8160e5afab71ae81--storm-clouds-thunder-clouds

In a press release, the World Meteorological Organization said:

The long-term warming trend has continued in 2018, with the average global temperature set to be the fourth highest on record. The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, with the top four in the past four years.’

The BBC and others picked up on that and said:

Climate change” Last four years are the ‘world’s hottest”

And the Guardian:

“Past four years hottest on record, data shows.”

 

As you can see a graph tells a very different story. The past decade has a climate change contribution but what elevates the past four years above the previous ones is an El Nino event, the strongest one on record. As we have said many time before an El Nino is not a climatic phenomenon, it is weather. What’s more, after its peak in 2016 the global temperature has fallen by around 0.4° C. The past four years being the warmest on record is true, but it has been primarily due to the 2015/16 super El Nino.

Warmest on record? Not exactly, the WMO got weather and climate mixed up. For the full commentary, go here.

It is fascinating that in the information age, when we supposedly have access to anything and everything in the way of information, it is so hard to figure out just what the truth is.  What is not politicized, seems to be printed in sheer ignorance.  Politics trumps Truth every time. We should make a little more noise about facts and truth. Google employees apparently wanted to ban any Conservative commentary, yet are happy to connive with the Chinese government in suppressing the freedom of China’s citizens to complete control. Apparently those who have spent their lives so far learning technology issues, have neglected to learn any history, or read the Constitution, or learn the nature of the free enterprise system.



Alexandria Occassionally-Cogent Says We’re All Going to Die in 5 Years If We Don’t Do Something Right Now. by The Elephant's Child

The climate of the Earth has been warming and cooling for millions of years.

THE MORE RECENT CLIMATE TIMELINE

120,000 – 110,000 Years Ago – The Eemian interglacial
100,000 Years Ago – A fairly sudden shift to cold glacial conditions over ∼ 400 years ∼or less. Northern forests retreat – ice sheets take over.

60,000 – 55.000 years between – partial melted glaciers
14,000 years ago – Sudden warming raising temperatures to present levels.
12,500 years ago – Younger Dryas after 1,500 years of recovery from ice age    1000 years of ice age.
12,500 years ago – Present interglacial – Holocene
9,000 to 5,000 years ago – Climate Optimum
2,800 years ago – cooling event, wet conditions

1,500 year cycle – through 1 million years 1,500 year warm-cold cycle superimposed over longer, stronger, ice ages and interglacials.

RECENT EARTH CLIMATE HISTORY

600 to 200 B.C.  Unnamed cold period
200 BC to about AD 600: Roman Warming
600 to 900: Dark Ages: cold period
900 to 1300: Medieval Warming
1300 to 1850: Little Ice Age (two-stage)

MODERN CLIMATE HISTORY

1850 to 1940:  Especially between 1920-1940 warming
1940 to 1975: Cooling trend
1976 to 1978: Sudden Warming spurt
1979 to 1998: + 1º
1998 to 2011:  – 1º

Roy Spencer, PhD is a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville where he and Dr. John Christy monitor the global temperature with satellites. He has provided congressional testimony several times on the subject of global warming. The link just above provides a short explanation of global warming — do read the whole thing, you’ll understand a lot more, and know what is nonsense, which you will hear a lot of.

His website is www.drroyspencer.com   Lots of good information there, you might want to save the link..

I am most definitely not a climate scientist, but I grew up very rural in what you might think of as the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, somewhere around 5000′ elevation, with woods and a river, and in winter, a fabulous sledding hill, and I’ve been snowed in. So I spent my time outdoors. Significantly different than an urban apartment dweller, even those who profess fondness for nature and the outdoors. A flood took out 5 of our buildings, had  lightning strike a tree close to the house, (big noise), killed a rattlesnake, and I’m a pretty fair shot with woodrats. I’ve heard cougars scream, and run down to the river to catch a trout for breakfast. So I’m not impressed with folks marching or running around in polar bear suits.



There Is A Natural Tendency Towards Tyranny by The Elephant's Child

Why are Democrats so angry? Why do they have such a hard time accepting defeat, or even accepting disagreement? They are indignant when we find fault with their statements or ideas. They call us racists, white supremacists, and they cannot think of words terrible enough to call President Trump. They call him a Nazi, they call him Hitler, with no justification whatsoever, except that they are furious that we disagree. There are a lot of tyrants in the world, but Trump is not one of them.

Hitler was a piker.  We rightly excoriate him for the mass murder of Europe’s Jews, for the concentration camps, for the death squads of the SS.  The Nazis populate hundreds of thrillers, movies, histories, and all sorts of scholarly work.  But we are probably more affected by the thrillers and the movies, for Nazis make fine villains with their boots and death heads and dramatically evil flag.  When frustrated lefties want to express their rage, they plaster Hitler mustaches and haircuts on photos of the objects of their anger.

Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic of China, qualifies as the greatest mass murderer in world history, according to a Hong Kong-based historian who had unprecedented access to official Communist Party archives.  Frank Dikötter is the only author to have deeply studied the Chinese archives since they were reopened four years ago.

Between 1958 and 1962, Mao’s state waged war on China’s peasants.  The nation was facing a famine and the systematic torture, brutality, and starvation and killing of Chinese peasants were comparable to the Second World War in its magnitude.  More than 45 million people were worked, starved or beaten to death in China over those four years.  A third of all homes in China were destroyed to produce fertilizer.  In one region, 13,000 opponents of the regime were killed in just three weeks.

It is indisputable that Mao himself and the Party leadership were afflicted with economic incompetence, wholesale ignorance and ivory-tower utopianism. It was called ‘The Great Leap Forward,’ but the misallocation of capital and resources were disastrous leaps in the wrong direction.  This is the toll for only four years.  The total is far above 75 million.

The Soviet Union, of course, was responsible for upwards of 25 million deaths of innocent victims, systematically butchered.  That policy of ideological hegemony found it a crime to be middle-class, of noble birth, a kulak, a Ukrainian or even a member of the Communist Party.  Mikhail Tomsky, head of the Soviet trade unions stated in 1927 :”We allow other parties to exist.  However, the fundamental principle that distinguishes us from the West is as follows; one party rules, and all the others are in jail.”

The fascinating thing has always been the Left’s attempts to consider Nazi Germany (the National Socialists) as a party of the right, and thus freely despised, but the socialist Soviet Union was long admired.  People still remark that the Cold War was unnecessary overreach. And they simply do not recognize the similarities between Hitler and Stalin.

There are the regimes of the Soviet satellite states of Eastern Europe, now free.  Kim Jong Il’s North Korean despotic captive state needs little more explanation than the famous nighttime satellite picture of the Korean peninsula with only one tiny light for Pyongyang and constant evidence of the starvation of the North Korean people.  At least 2 million dead.

Pol Pot’s Cambodian killing fields where the entire educated class were slaughtered — some identified only by the fact that they wore glasses — too, are explained by only a few pictures, and an estimated toll of at least 2  million innocent victims.  Communist Vietnam and Burma Myanmar add unknown numbers to the toll.

Latin America accounts for at least a 1½ million.  The bloody killer Ché Guevara enjoyed doing his own executions personally, and is celebrated by having his image on tee shirts and the fantasy of his romantic story told by Hollywood.  New wannabe communists keep popping up in South America, which seems to have a predilection for dictators.

One common theme that runs through all these destructive regimes is complete intolerance for disagreement. How can you possibly have free speech and yet be intolerant of someone else’s disagreement?

I am simply trying to point out that American society is built on argument, debate and dispute.  We try to persuade, present evidence, show examples and convince.  When that fails, we  look for more evidence and more persuasive materials.  Our disagreements are worked out through messy, argumentative political campaigns, where we use all the tools available to us to win the argument.

In all of this there is a temptation towards tyranny.  A temptation to hate those who see the question differently.  A temptation to forcibly stop the other side of a question from disagreeing with our ideas. That’s where the Left has landed. Hollywood celebrities cannot wait to get to a microphone or to Twitter to call us names because we dared to disagree with them.

The founders wisely provided three separate divisions of government to provide checks and balances on each other.  But the initial rendering of the Constitution all too soon showed cracks — in spite of the clear designation that “we the people” gave certain rights and duties to the government — people were being imprisoned for criticizing the government. So the Bill of Rights was enacted to make crystal clear the protection of political speech and disagreement, as well as our other rights. Why is that so difficult to understand?

 



The Differences between the Political Parties Couldn’t be Clearer. by The Elephant's Child

I posted this piece in November of 2013, and not all that much has changed.

What is the difference between Republicans and Democrats?  I suspect that most people don’t really know. Republicans  are usually pretty clear about what we believe, and can express it clearly — that’s why we argue so much. It’s a big-tent party that welcomes Conservatives, Tea Party people, Libertarians, “mainstream” Republicans, Independents, and all sorts of people who are deeply interested in a single issue. Republicans don’t usually conform to current talking points as Democrats do.

Republicans are committed to principles, Democrats admit that they don’t have any, and react to events as they occur, which they believe is a superior way of thinking.

Republicans worry about debt and taxes, economic growth, and individual liberty. Democrats’ care about winning. When they win, they have the power to tax and spend which will enable them to win the next time.

Republicans believe in low taxes, because the money belongs to individuals who, on the whole will use it far better than the government would. Free people and free-market capitalism. The decisions of the mass market will usually be far better than the decisions of the enlightened few.

Democrats believe in government money. It is money they are entitled to spend because of taxes which are paid by rich people who don’t deserve it. (At some point you have enough money). When they leave government “service” they will move to lobbying or NGO’s or corporate boards, or other well remunerated positions. It’s a good life.

Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Charles Schumer and Max Baucus have never done anything but government. No private sector experience at all. I haven’t had time to go through the rest of the list, but I would expect a lot more of the same. So they do not understand profit and loss, nor risk, nor meeting a payroll— any of that stuff. They seem a little weak in the math department as well. And economics? Any bets?

So these are the people who believed they could write a successful health insurance program for 330 million people to replace the world’s finest health care system. They believed they could convince ordinary Americans that it will cost less and be a vast improvement over what they had. They knew perfectly well that it would take some convincing. We got a lot of convincing, direct from their President and all his minions.

And there is not any part of it that can be believed. They tell you that they care about you, but unfortunately — they lie.

No change. We just get called more names, and they’re not even creative ones.



There Are Real Problems With “True Believers” by The Elephant's Child

wildfire-1105209_1280

Back in early August, Katy Grimes wrote in the Sacramento Citizen “Last year, as all Hell was breaking loose in California as residents were burned out of their homes, neighborhoods and businesses, Gov. Jerry Brown was jetting around the world spouting climate change propaganda. He’s been calling this California’s ‘new normal.’ Gov. Brown was in Paris to commiserate with other true believers about President Trump’s leaving the Paris Climate Accords.”

Grimes and Megan Barth reported that:

Supporting Obama-era regulations have resulted in the new normal: an endless and devastating fire season. Obama-era regulations introduced excessive layers of bureaucracy that blocked proper forest management and increased environmentalist litigation and costs– a result of far too many radical environmentalists, bureaucrats, Leftist politicians and judicial activists who would rather let forests burn, than let anyone thin out overgrown trees or let professional loggers harvest usable timber left from beetle infestation, or selectively cut timber.

Mismanaged, overcrowded forests provide fuel to historic California wildfires, experts say. The 129 million dead trees throughout California’s forests are serving as matchsticks and kindling.

On November 13, Jerry Brown said “Leaders are Equally as Blind on Climate Change as Those who Started Similar Horrors of World War I.” On November 18, he was on CBS’s “Face the Nation”said that the increasing frequency of wildfires in California meant that “in less than five years” the “worst skeptics” were going to be believers in climate change.
President Trump remarked that it was due to poor forest management. The President was backed up by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. who said that “even photos of the devastation don’t do justice to what it was like to see it in person. Pointing to years of neglect and dead and dying timber, he observed that it was a flamethrower of embers shooting through the fires.
He added that “radical environmentalists have filed lawsuits to let nature take its course, and that these fires are the consequence of allowing nature to do so. I will lay this at the foot of those environmental radicals that have prevented us from managing the forests for years and this is on them.”

And in this campaign season, we have had billionaire Tom Steyer roaming around the country in his “need to impeach tour” wafting million dollar bills around to get states to sign up for unworkable renewable energy.” Most voters turned him down decisively.

They are “True Believers” – I don’t know what convinces them that the earth is going to die shortly from the perils of global warming, but they certainly don’t read the science, which says with the current lack of sunspots on the sun, we’re in for a colder period. Islands in the Pacific report that the ocean is not rising around their islands. The polar bears are multiplying. I suppose that they just automatically reject any scientist that does not agree with the conventional warmist theme.

But if you pay attention to what the Democrats say, a significant amount of their political belief system seems to fall in the “True Believer” category. And that seems to be what our colleges and universities are turning out—young true believers, and that is downright scary.



Wildfire In The West by The Elephant's Child

sequoia-forest-fire-505503-sw

Those of you who are following the dreadful story of the California wildfires might be interested in Norman Maclean’s Young Men and Fire.  Norman Maclean (1902-1990) grew up in the Western Rocky Mountains of Montana. He worked for many years in logging camps and for the U.S. Forest Service before he began his academic career. He is the author of A River Runs Through It and Other Stories which he completed after his retirement from the University of Chicago in 1973.

On August 5, 1949, a crew of fifteen Smoke-jumpers, the U.S. Forest Service’s elite airborne firefighters, stepped into the sky above a remote forest fire in the Montana wilderness. Less than two hours after their jump, all but three of these men were dead or fatally burned. Exactly what happened in Mann Gulch that day has been obscured by years of grief and controversy.

Norman Maclean first saw the Mann Gulch fire as it still burned in mid August 1949, and even then he knew he would one day become part of its story. Maclean spent the last fourteen years of his life studying and reliving the fire.
Young Men and Fire is a story of Montana, of the ways of wildfires, firefighters and fire scientists, and especially of crew, young and proud, who”hadn’t learned to count the odds and to sense they might owe the universe a tragedy”. The story is also Maclean’s own, the story of a writer obsessed by a strange and human horror, unable to let the truth die with these young men.

The smokejumpers in Mann Gulch are trapped by a “blowup” a deadly explosion of flame and wind rarely encountered and little understood at the time.

A River Runs Through It is also very special. Maclean beginsIn our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing. We lived at the junction of great trout rivers in western Montana, and our father was a Presbyterian minister and a fly fisherman who tied his own flies and taught others. He told us about Christ’s disciples being fishermen, and we were left to assume, as my brother and I did, that all first-class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fishermen and that John, the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman.”




%d bloggers like this: