American Elephants


Exposing the Left’s Sanctimonious Stupidity by The Elephant's Child

Tucker Carlson just said that this young woman was a candidate for Congress from the State of California. It is fascinating proof that those on the Left believe their own propaganda. They don’t investigate, they don’t attempt to study up and understand the mindset of the opposition. They know—because Leftist propaganda is, to them, infallible.

They do not question their beliefs, and what is “conventional wisdom” is as permanent and infallible for them as any history book or any scientific authority. She truly doesn’t know what Carlson is talking about, and having called Trump ‘Hitler’, his appointee a stooge, among other things, Steve Bannon a white supremacist and an anti-Semite, and accused Trump of hate speech—she doesn’t understand what Carlson means about irony.

This young woman demonstrates complete and utter idiocy. Her beliefs are provably nonsense, and thank heavens that she was not elected to anything. Obama’s legacy of demonizing anyone who disagreed with Democrats as racist, homophobic, sexist, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, racist, transphobic and spouting racist hate speech.

Perhaps that is why, when a Democrat wins the election, Republicans hunker down a little and study up to see where they went wrong, but I can’t ever remember or imagine a conservative response such as we have seen from the Democrats. If there was ever a demonstration, I missed it completely.

Hillary lost because she was a lousy candidate. She has wanted to be the first woman president, but never felt it necessary to build up a record of knowledge and accomplishment that qualified her for office. Her compulsive lying and record of graft in office were more than most could take, but to the left she would be the “first woman president,” and that was enough.

Obama remains personally popular. Nice looking, nice family. But he was an ideologue. For eight years he has encouraged those who demonize Republicans. He had the opportunity as the first black president, to improve race relations in America, instead, he suggested that anyone who disagreed with his policies was racist. He welcomed Black Lives Matter to the White House and urged them on, which has resulted in a horrendous death toll among American police officers.

The outcry among Leftists has been a constant shriek of “Racist, Sexist, Homophobe, Misogynist, Xenophobe, Fascist, Anti-Semite,” and of course the constant “Racist” over and over. It does get a little tiresome. But it is used in the absence of argument. That’s all they have—name-calling. They understand as little of the underlying issues as the unfortunate young woman in the video above.

She has no idea that simply stating “pollution” is not an argument. She called Trump “Hitler,” his appointee for EPA head as a stooge, a “puppet” of the evil oil industry, with no understanding that our civilization relies on the oil industry to provide the power that allows it to operate. Scott Pruitt was the attorney representing 28 states who were suing the federal government and the EPA for unlawful and illegitimate regulations. She had no understanding whatsoever that what she was engaging in was “hate speech” based only on emotion—no facts. There are no such things as “Climate Deniers,” only scientists whose work proves that the climate has been changing for millions of years, there is nothing that man can do to keep it from changing, and we just have to adapt. It is the need for panic that is denied. She has no idea that her proud degree in “Social and Cultural Analysis” left her a little short in the knowledge department.

It’s both a funny and a sad video. Will Democrats catch on and refuse to appear on Tucker Carlson’s show? Or is the chance to appear on national television just too enticing?



OMG! There’s Snow In the Forecast by The Elephant's Child

Sorry about the light blogging, I just had eye surgery, and I get to be erratic. I can see fine out of one eye, and the other one will improve gradually.

We have snow in the forecast, starting later tonight and theoretically over when it starts raining around 10 a.m. Forecasts are meant to be helpful, but seldom, unfortunately, accurate. Seattle was a city famously built on seven hills, if I remember correctly, but then they eliminated some hills and built bridges and tunnels, and suburbs grew and they all had their own hills.

People who come from other parts of the country laugh at Seattleite panic when it snows, but unfortunately those who panic are just sensible and stay home when it snows. I grew up in Idaho at a little over 4000′ elevation, and we almost always had snow by Thanksgiving, which lasted until Easter. We were equipped for Winter, snow tires, a snowplow that fitted on the front of the Jeep pickup that followed the beloved Model A truck that also had its own snowplow. Sometimes when the snow was heavy, my dad would get up in the middle of the night to plow. Have been snowed in with a slide down the road a ways, but we had plenty of snow shovels, and the Jeep had a winch. Winter work, but not a real problem.

At work, I was astonished when the office emptied at 3:00 when it started to snow, and those who lived some distance away just planned to spend the night. I went home, and picked what I believed to be the mildest hill (I live on a hill, and no direction is good). I headed up the hill and was sure I would make it, when a school bus appeared, sliding, at the top of the hill. I backed down and got to a curb at the bottom. The bus started slowly down (too much brake) and it started skidding and headed straight for me. The bus was almost empty, but in the back was one very small boy, looking terrified out the window. The bus came within about three feet and swerved to the opposite side of the street and hit a car parked there. I walked home.

This is several years old, but typical.

ADDENDUM: My apologies to the weather forecasters—they were right on target. Snow arrived on schedule, in very modest amounts, and the rain arrived on schedule to wash away the road hazards. (at least at my house) Other areas may not have been so lucky, and other areas have steeper hills.



Dr. Ben Carson Has Been Appointed to Head HUD by The Elephant's Child

635796540008804109-xxx-ben-carson-32President-elect Donald Trump has announced the appointment of Dr, Ben Carson to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Senate Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gravitated to the nearest microphone to announce that the choice of Ben Carson to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development was “a disconcerting and disturbingly unqualified choice.”  In the statement she released she said “there is no evidence that Dr. Carson brings the necessary credentials to hold a position with such immense responsibilities and impact on families and communities across  America. ”

I really had to laugh. HUD is especially concerned with poor inner-city neighborhoods, and the problems involved, and under the current administration, an attempt to reach a leftist ideal of proper diversity by moving poor inner-city residents into middle class and upper class neighborhoods, which they attempt to accomplish by threats to cut off federal funding. To quote from Dr. Carson:

I grew up in a neighborhood most Americans were told never to drive through. I saw bullets, drugs and death in the same places I played tag and ball with my friends. Both of my older cousins died on the streets where I lived. I thought that was my destiny.

But my mother didn’t. She changed all of that.She saved my brother and me from being killed on those streets with nothing but a library card.

My mother knew what the problems were and she shielded me and my brother from them. I can tell you that she wasn’t worried about Socialist senators from tiny rural states. “Black Lives Matter” could learn from her to focus on the real sources of our hopelessness.

Ben Carson didn’t pontificate about the plight of inner-city blacks, he lived it. Can’t deal with  immense responsibility? Try separating conjoined babies joined at the head. Management skills? Try managing a large group of physicians. What a splendid idea to enlist someone who knows the problems from the inside instead of just following the standard party line.

He’ll do fine, and may even accomplish something truly important.



Sometimes a Picture Speaks More Loudly than Words by The Elephant's Child

piepline-protest

The Standing Rock Sioux, a tribe of about 10,000, are leading the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline, which they claim could pollute the Missouri River, the tribe’s main source of drinking water, and harm cultural lands and tribal burial grounds.

The tribe is working with the environmental group Earthjustice and has filed suit against the Army Corps of Engineers, claiming the government didn’t properly consult them before approving the section of pipeline that runs near the reservation.

Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, says it has followed state and federal rules, met with Native American tribes, and proposed different versions of the pipeline route. The pipeline is 92 percent complete, only the small portion near the reservation is being contested. The pipeline does not enter the Standing Rock reservation.

Aseem Prakash, director of the Center for Environmental Politics at the University of Washington contends that the conflict reflects deeper-seated grievances of Native Americans. Years of injustices and their preferences not adequately taken into account. The pipeline goes through private land, not the reservation, but the tribe contends the land was acquired improperly and actually belongs to them by the terms of a 1851 treaty with the US government.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple ordered a mandatory evacuation of protesters. A group of military veterans have said they will join the tribes’ protest. CNN says ‘hundreds’ of veterans, but that’s CNN. There’s apparently a lot of fossil-fuel hatred in the mix as well. You can tell how deeply serious it all is by the fact that Jane Fonda and someone named Shailene Woodley turned up to serve Thanksgiving dinner to the protesters.

President Obama, who had approved the pipeline, reneged and halted it. The Army Corps of Engineers who had approved the pipeline reneged, and said they would have to reroute it, and that’s where it is at the moment. The map above, though humorous, clearly indicates the absurdity of the whole thing. Donald Trump is probably not up to either being fearful of fossil fuels, nor particularly sensitive to Native American angst about an 1851 Treaty that they’ve decided was unfair.

If the oil cannot be transported safely by a pipeline, it will be transported unsafely by train or truck.



Can You Trust “Big Data?” Not Really, Nor Little Data Either. by The Elephant's Child

big-data-skills-in-demand-are-a-mix-of-old-and-new-v21You have a computer by which you can visit this blog. So tell me, how do you get your news? The younger Millennials seem to get theirs from Facebook and Twitter and other social sites. Democrats rely on reliably Progressive websites, and Republicans assume from that bit of information that Democrats are unfamiliar with any websites that disagree with their conclusions.

Do you depend on “name” websites that you trust because everybody else seems to list them? Do you pay attention to a lot of individual bloggers (well, you’re here, so possibly you do.) What I’m getting at is who can you believe and who do you trust? What got me off on that theme was an article from February 22 of this year about “Big Data” in the Wall Street Journal, by Michael Malone. If the link doesn’t work, Google it, and do read the comments.

I wasn’t quite sure what “Big Data” was, compared to—little Data, so I looked it up. Merriam Webster: data: 1. factual information (as measurements or statistics) used as a basis for reasoning or calculation. 2. information output by a sensing device or organ that includes both useful and irrelevant or redundant information and must be processed to be meaningful. 3. information in numerical form that can be digitally transmitted or processed. That is, perhaps, helpful, but not exactly confidence building.

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Invisible Guiding Hand‘ had a statistician behind every strategic decision named Elan Kriegel.”To understand Kriegel’s role is to understand how Clinton has run her campaign—precise and efficient, meticulous and effective, and, yes, at times more mathematical than inspirational. Clinton advisers say almost no major decision is made…without first consulting Kriegel. ” That worked out well. But is perhaps a clue to Hillary’s uninspiring campaign.

At Maggie’s Farm, one of the group of authors had an article last year that I saved titled “Are We Overly Reliant on Data?” And his reflections on daring to ask the question.

A USAToday headline from September: The “VA quit sending performance data to national health quality site.” Saw an article today about a veteran who was unable to get the care he needed when a wound was full of maggots in a VA Hospital, and shortly died of sepsis.

From Climate Depot: “Italian meteorologist Colonel Paolo Ernan: Data manipulated to make people believe in global warming.” Well, yes.  It has long been apparent that alarm about global warming exists only in the computer programs devised to emulate the real climate of the Earth. They put into their programs what we know about climate, what we think we know, what they thought was likely and lots of pure guesswork. We know a little about El Nino and La Nina, for example, but we don’t know or understand much of anything about the actions of clouds. And if you want to know what is going to happen in 50 years, you’ll have to wait for 50 years to find out if you were right.

Holman Jenkins, writing in the Wall Street Journal at the end of August, 2014, “Big Data and Chicago’s Traffic-cam Scandal.”

Big data techniques are new in the world. It will take time to know how to feel about them and whether and how they should be legally corralled. For sheer inanity, though, there’s no beating a recent White House report quivering about the alleged menace of “digital redlining,” or the use of big-data marketing tactics in ways that supposedly disadvantage minority groups.

This alarm rests on an extravagant misunderstanding. Redlining was a crude method banks used to avoid losses in bad neighborhoods even at the cost of missing some profitable transactions—exactly the inefficiency big data is meant to improve upon. Failing to lure an eligible customer into a sale, after all, is hardly the goal of any business.

The real danger of the new technologies lies elsewhere, which the White House slightly touches upon in some of its fretting about police surveillance. The danger is microscopic regulation of our daily activities that we will invite on ourselves through the democratic process.

It seems that when you hear the term “The data tells us…” a caution flag should rise. You need to investigate a lot further. But everyone is relying on data, especially ‘big data.’ Hillary did, and is paying the price.  Her team pretty much shut Bill out. Bill certainly has some major problems with, um, integrity, but he has always had excellent political instincts. On the other hand, Hillary does not have any. But there you go, water under the bridge.

Who can you trust? Not much of anybody. Whatever it is, check it out. Governments at all levels are too ready to rely on what they are told is authoritative. We are all too dependent on our computers, but they are changing our world, and our dependence is making us more vulnerable.

ADDENDUM: Rereading this, I’m not at all sure I made myself clear. I am not railing at data. It is simply a fact of life, and as we use our computers, our choices and comments and what we just looked at becomes data. The search engines on which we rely for information— rely on us for information they can sell to marketers. If you drop by Amazon, as I did, find that they are having a sale on bras, you will be followed around the internet with a choice selection of what you looked at, all day.   As algorithms develop and refine searches, they will only get more intrusive. And we need good data, yet there is always the danger of over-dependence. Our only defense is a highly-developed common sense.

The case of computerized climate science is important. Climate alarmism, the belief that Earth is in danger, that the climate is changing and we have to save mankind has always been completely phony, but there are millions of true believers. The climate has been changing for millions of years. There are warm periods and ice ages. When the thermometers that the computer programs depend on for their data are situated next to air-conditioner vents or where acres of concrete reflect heat onto them, or they back up to a trash burner, the data is not going to be good. Ice cores help to tell about the past, tree rings are not so infallible.Satellite records are excellent, but don’t stretch far into the past.The rise of the oceans is measured in millimeters, not feet and in spite of Michael Mann’s claim that we’ll all be in trouble if the CO2 gets above 350 ppm,  greenhouses happily pump in 1,000 ppm to help their plants grow —you know there is something haywire about their data. Yet because the data is politically popular and governments act upon it, it becomes dangerous.



California Is Determined to Stop Global Warming In It’s Tracks by The Elephant's Child

cowsYou have probably learned by now that the great state of California has determined to advance it’s fight against global warming by a serious effort to reduce emissions from bovine flatulence. Yes, cow gas.

Cattle and other farm animals are major sources of methane, a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas. Methane is released when they belch, pass gas and make manure.

“If we can reduce emissions of methane, we can really help to slow global warming,” said Ryan McCarthy, a science adviser for the California Air Resources Board, which is drawing up rules to implement the new law.

Livestock are responsible for 14.5 percent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, with beef and dairy production accounting for the bulk of it, according to a 2013 United Nations report.

California is a the nation’s largest dairy farming state, and dairy farmers are not taking this lying down. This will drive up costs when farms have struggled for five years with drought, low milk prices and rising labor costs. The state has set up $50 million to help dairies set up methane digesters which capture the methane from manure in large storage tanks and convert the gas into electricity. Farmers, who probably understand the cost analysis better than state bureaucrats, say this is not nearly enough to equip the state’s roughly 1,500 dairies. More dairy farmers will move out of the state, following other businesses that are leaving California in droves for states where they are better treated.

The difference this will make with climate issues, probably not measurable, but hope is eternal. Governor Brown’s high speed rail doesn’t seem to be going anywhere at enormous cost. The giant Ivanpah solar project has been a flop. In the wake of the election, some Californians demanded that California secede from the Union, apparently unaware of the results of the last time States decided to secede. That demand led to suggestions that California rejoin Mexico, and good riddance, but Californians didn’t like that either. The  “Golden” State continues in its drive to make itself unpopular.



The Continuing Saga of the Election Recount by The Elephant's Child

Jill Stein’s campaign to raise money to challenge the vote in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan is apparently going nowhere rapidly. Pennsylvania informed her that the deadline was last Monday—a week ago, not today. Wisconsin said they weren’t going to do a recount. And Michigan just finished laboriously counting the ballots from the election for the first time, and Trump won healthily.

Haven’t seen any response from Dr. Stein, but she would seem to retain her 1% in the final tally, if it’s any comfort. Sorry about that.

ADDENDUM:  When she filed her challenge to Wisconsin election results, Jill Stein assumed that the recount would be done by hand. State officials decided that counties would not be forced to do a hand recount of ballots. Officials decided a machine recount would do, unanimously. Now Stein is suing to force a hand recount. “We must recount the votes so we can build trust in our election system” she said in a statement. Since Wisconsin voting machines are not connected to the internet, hacking is unlikely.  Officials said no recount will happen until she pays the $3.5 million fee ahead of time.The Democrat Elections Commission chairman cited a 2011 hand recount that changed only 300 votes out of 1.5 million as the basis for declaring a machine recount adequate. Real drama out in the hustings. (what are ‘hustings’ anyway?) Merriam Webster: “Hustings are where babies are kissed, flesh is pressed and media events are staged.

ADDENDUM II: After the first day of Jill Stein’s vaunted recount in Michigan, joined by Hillary, Hillary has gained 1 vote. She needs only 22,000 more for the election to be tied. Stein filed a petition with Michigan’s state Board of Canvassers on Wednesday, asking for a manual recount of every vote cast in Michigan in the presidential election. She also is leading efforts to force recounts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, claiming her goal is to “ensure the integrity and accuracy of the vote.”But not so fast! Michigan’s Republican attorney general filed a lawsuit on Friday to halt the vote recount attempt pursued in the state by Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein.

Michigan voters rejected Stein’s candidacy by massive margins but her refusal to accept that state verified result poses an expensive and risky threat to hard-working taxpayers and abuses the intent of Michigan law,” Bil Schuette said in a statement/

“We have asked the court to end the recount which Stein is pursuing in violation of Michigan laws that protect the integrity of our elections. It is inexcusable for Stein to put Michigan voters at risk of paying millions and potentially losing their voice in the Electoral College in the process”.

ADDENDUM III: It’s Over! A federal Judge in Michigan ruled that Jill Stein could not possibly win under any circumstances, and thus she had no standing to be able to challenge the election.




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