American Elephants


Elizabeth Warren Wants to Be President. Very Bad Idea. by The Elephant's Child

Elizabeth Warren has moved into second place among the vast array of Democrats wanting to be president. Presumably because no one is listening to what she has to say.  Let me review a few bits:

She promises to Import at least 700% more refugees to the U.S.

She wants a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases.

She promises on her “first day” as president to set up a commission to investigate U.S. Crimes against immigrants.

Warren’s Immigration plan will decriminalize illegal immigration, end the detention of border crossers.

Crossing the border illegally should not be a criminal offense.

Warren is committed to ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine (?)

A New tax on the Rich will pay for day care for every newborn in the U.S.

Then a new wealth tax will take care of her modest $1.25 trillion debt-and-tuition deal, a tax on “Wall Street Speculators“.

Under Warren’s Medicare for All Plan, many hospitals would be forced to close, especially in poor, rural areas.

Warren speaks with forked tongue on cutting college costs.

She pitches Climate Change jobs, which would cost $2 million per job.

Warren Wants to break up Big Tech — all of it.

Elizabeth Warren endorses reparations for slavery.

Elizabeth Warren claimed that she never used her supposed native American heritage for personal advantage.

There’s more, but  you get the idea. I have often pointed out that she has been said to have only a “child-like” understanding of economics. Maybe we should have some kind of basic quiz that would-be candidates have to pass before they can run for office.— just to protect ourselves.



Promises, Promises, Democrats Pander with Promises of Free Stuff. by The Elephant's Child

Campaign season always gets a little odd. It is not unusual for candidates to be poorly informed, and what seemed a fine idea in preparation for a speech or event, turns out not to be. But before you adopt something as an issue, it’s wise to do your homework. Eliminating private health insurance, late-term abortions, the Green New Deal, open borders and free health care for illegal immigrants may have seemed like good ideas when competing with (25?) other candidates for the presidency, but out in the real world where pollsters do their thing, these bright ideas are not popular at all.

Americans support access to abortion in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, but it drops off. Action to address climate change? A lot of people have studied up a little, and are not convinced that a rise in the amount of CO² in the atmosphere is a sign of impending doom. CO² is plant food, and the planet is greening, crops are bountiful, and lots of hungry people have enough food. It is currently just over 400 ppm in the atmosphere, and yet greenhouses keep it closer to 1000ppm to grow healthy plants. The “Green New Deal” is absurd, both in its aims, and the costs, which would be far beyond unaffordable.

Back when attention was being called to the fear of climate change, government money to address the matter became available, with lots of grants to scientists who could write a good grant proposal for their efforts to investigate. With the prospect of improved labs, possible assistants, and prestige for their universities, many scientists adopted the computer programs used by the big investment houses to project the future stock market action and returns. So they put in what they knew for sure about the climate, which wasn’t all that much, and added what they thought was probable, and some good guesses, and got their grants to tell everyone what the climate was going to do in the next hundred years or so. Uh huh.

The climate of the earth has been changing for millions of years. There has been bountiful weather as there was in the Renaissance when wine grapes grew in England, and ice ages when ice sheets were shaping our lakes and mountains. There was a little ice age in the 1800s when we had some really bad weather. We don’t have good records of temperatures in the past. Ships captains kept some records, but there just aren’t good records, and we’re reduced to looking at paintings and written descriptions, which is not a scientific source.  Dr. Roy Spencer notes that we don’t understand the action of clouds at all. They can block the sun, and on a nice day moving clouds at different levels, blowing in different directions clearly must affect the temperature, but we can’t measure it. And what about cloudy days and weeks? AOC came up with her “Green New Deal” but nobody thinks she knows anything about the climate at all. Actually there are quite a lot of climate prognosticators out there trying to work up public panic, from Al Gore on down to AOC and Tom Steyer.

Some are running on initiating a “carbon tax” which would be poisonous to the economy, accomplish nothing whatsoever about climate change, and please only those who have no comprehension of the fact that our economy runs on fossil fuels. We no longer need to import oil or gas and have such a plenitude that we can export oil to other countries as well.

Democrats have pretty much given up on pretending there is no border crisis, and the consensus seems to be to fix it with open borders. Julian Castro said that illegally crossing the border should no longer be a crime but merely a “civil offense.” Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Kamala Harris agreed. Democrat candidates (all of them) also proposed that free health care be given to all undocumented immigrants. Hardly “free” but taxpayer funded. Obamacare was supposed to fix our “broken health care system”, but Democrats decided it was a for-profit nightmare that requires more radical intervention.

Kamala Harris, Sanders, Warren and Gov. DeBlasio called for the abolishment of private insurance plans in favor of a government-run plan. Kamala Harris backed off the next day, but wanted Medicare for All available to everyone if they want it, but they still get to keep their private health insurance if they have it. Clearly they have no idea how a government-run plan would work, how much it would cost and what an enormous drag on the economy it is. Mayor Pete Buttigieg and entrepreneur Andrew Yang boasted about their 6-figure college debts and others promised to cancel debt and make college free. This was a great opportunity to show what they can do, and present some programs meant to help the country, and all we got was pandering. They clearly have no idea about what, if anything, should make anyone want them in office or what they could do for the country, and are convinced that how you get votes is to give people free stuff.

The Trump economy is working for everyone, but Democrats are hoping that nobody will notice. They want to claim that minorities are being left behind, and you would think we are in the midst of the Great Depression. The jobless rate for blacks is 6.2% only 2.9 percentage points higher than for whites, compared to a 4.6 percentage point difference before the start of the 2008 recession. They prefer to think that the economy is only working for the rich and people are scraping by with several jobs. The facts don’t support that idea. There are now 1.3 million fewer Americans working part time for economic reasons. It is a matter of faith for Democrats that tax-cuts only go to the rich and only benefit the rich.

These Democrat candidates are offering a lot of ideas that polls show the people don’t want. They don’t want to lose their private insurance. They don’t want open borders, nor do they want to give illegal aliens free health care. Free stuff may sound good, but it is not, as claimed, free. Somebody has to pay for it. Guess who?



The Debates, The Elections, The Media,The Swamp. by The Elephant's Child

We seem to be still  thinking about the debates. The media wants to rank them, decide who moved up and who moved down. Not so much interested in what they actually talked about. The one thing they seemed to be reasonably united on was “Medicare for All” but nobody had studied up to see what it would mean. They were looking for what would get them positive vibes.

“Medicare for All” seems to appeal to a lot of people who have no idea what it means. It would mean that you lose your current health care, including any health care you get through your employment. And your taxes would go way, way up, as the health care you could have would go way, way down.

Most people who are actually on Medicare, who can afford it, purchase Medicare supplement plans to cover what Medicare does not. Many physicians will not see Medicare patients, simply because Medicare does not pay enough. Health care is very expensive. Some people need a lot of it. Some people just like a lot of it.

Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) pays for health care for all in very high taxes, yet if you read the British papers, there are always complaints, scandals, ambulances lined up outside hospitals waiting for there to be a vacancy, old folks dying from lack of attention. The wealthy can choose other services. The Brits fear losing it. Canadians keep coming down here to get care that the Canadian system does not offer. Read the Canadian papers online, you’ll see.

We get wrapped up in politics,deciding who we like and who we don’t, and sometimes we pay attention, and mostly not enough.

The enemy is the bureaucracy. The swamp. They are interested in what the people want – to the extent that will get them elected and reelected. They like being important and making big salaries and important decisions. Some try to study up and understand the deep background of issues, but most don’t. They are particularly interested in what their big donors want, and what the media has to say, and if the media is interested in them.

Do you write to your Congressman? Your Senator? Is he a member of your party, or are you represented by someone you didn’t vote for? The only way they will know how you feel is if you write. They may not read your message, but it will be tallied, and if your congressperson gets a lot of letters on a given subject, they will know how their voters feel. So it matters, the more the better. To e-mail your representatives go to House.gov or Senate.gov  and follow the directions. I am represented entirely, at every level, by the opposing party, so I sometimes write representatives from other states explaining that I’m not a constituent, but…  I get on a lot of interesting mailing lists that way.



A Dependable Guide to the Debates in One Sentence by The Elephant's Child

This was only the first of what will be some kind of series of debates. Too many potential candidates, they have to reduce 24 down to one. If last night was typical of what’s to come, that shouldn’t be too hard. The first and most important thing to remember as they tell you the wonders of what they propose to do for you and for the country is:

The federal government has no money of its own.

Everything they have, use, pledge and put on the national credit card comes from the taxes you pay. If they promise a biggie, your taxes are going way up.

Liberals learn at their first introduction to politics and their very first vote, that Republicans are”the Party of the Rich”, and Republicans always give the biggest tax cuts to the Rich who shouldn’t get any tax cuts, because no fair.

Kamala Harris said “On Day One I will repeal those tax cuts.” Oops. She cannot, on her first day, repeal an act of Congress. Other than that, the tax cuts are what has allowed the economy to catch fire, create jobs, open factories, grow businesses, and create and grow prosperity. Democrats do not and can not understand that. It is against all their beliefs. If you recall, Ronald Reagan set off a vast economic boom with tax cuts which lasted long after his presidency.

It looks like they all want to offer “Medicare for All”. Unfortunately the American people have no idea what that means. Fewer than 20% knew that “Medicare for All” meant losing your current health care and that it was to be done by the government. It’s usually called “Socialized Medicine”, and in practice doesn’t work out all that well. If the program is meant to involve all the people, it requires a vast bureaucracy to run it. It means, clearly that your health care will cost far more than it does now, and the Democrats are very anxious to offer health care to illegal aliens, their families, and all the little children wherever they are. Offering free health care to all is just something “nice” to do, and doing “nice” things is what makes Democrats feel good, particularly if its with everybody else’s money.

It’s the government’s money they’ll say, but it’s a  lie. The government has no money of its own. The vast bureaucracy has to be paid, and given office space and housed in the very expensive nation’s capitol.

Medicare does not pay as much as private insurance plans pay. Some doctors will not accept patients on Medicare, because it doesn’t pay as much as ordinary health insurance does. Do you force all physicians to accept what “Medicare for All” offers? There would be major consequences arising from that as well. Kids who want to pursue science know that their long grind to get into the best graduate school, the best medical school, and the best residency do so partly because they know their future earnings will pay the bills.  If you remove the promise for the benefits of the long slog, will you have anyone who wants to go into medicine as a career?

Companies that offer health insurance as a benefit, get the benefit of offering a big bunch of customers all at once, so at almost every step of the way to getting medical treatment is complicated by who pays for what, and who pays the taxes that fund the governmental part. On the other side, what services are offered, and what will cost you extra, and what is excluded is more or less up for grabs. So be a bit of a skeptic, ask a lot of questions and don’t fall for simplistic offers.

ADDENDUM: Headline at the moment at The Federalist:
“Democrat Candidates Agree: Taxpayers Will Cover Health Care For All Who Break Into The United States” tee hee



Politics and Human Nature Are Often at Cross Purposes by The Elephant's Child

Think back to the birth of our nation, the 1770s, revolutionary times. News traveled on horseback, and was disseminated in the larger cities by town criers, or fliers from the printing press – if there was one. For seaside towns, maybe by boat (sailing ship). Motorized anything was far in the future. People probably didn’t find out what happened until many days later. The famed Pony Express didn’t begin until 1860.

People who had never met George Washington had no idea what he looked like until they saw a reproduction of a painting or a bad sketch. What must it have been like to know only the name of the president of the United States?  Or was it not really important in those days?

Did you watch the Democrat Debates at all? How many of the faces at the little podiums were you able to identify? We are clearly entering a time when you can just enter a name and get a picture of the person, without their being well-known or important. China apparently has everybody’s face documented, so they can be tracked.

We have, not all that much noticed, entered into a new age. Many, if not most, people have cell phones in their pockets or purse. And can instantly take pictures. Not everybody is at the stage of recognizing the importance of getting a shot, but it’s coming. Immediate case: AOC after her accusations of “concentration camps for children” didn’t go over too well, apparently flew down to the border to prove it, and was photographed weeping while she clung to a chain link fence, the concentration camp barrier. Except somebody had their cell phone. The concentration camp fence that brought on the tears, surrounded an empty parking lot that her careful picture didn’t include.

There’s a lot of that going on these days, and those who publish pictures are completely aware of the possibilities of propaganda, and of subtly arranging what you will see to promote what they want you to think. Or perhaps you remember the Greek columns on the stage when Obama was running for office, or in the Democrats’ first presidential debates, the “impression” of the front of the White House in the background (incorrect because it’s illegal to use a real one) The Presidential seal (altered because it’s illegal to use a real one) will appear, podiums will attempt to look like those actually used by the president. All intended to give you the subtle idea that the candidates belong.

The “founding fathers” (a term from McKinley’s speechwriter) had no idea of the inventions to come that would alter our perceptions of our government and those who were chosen for high office., but they were thoughtful men and recognized the imperfections of human nature. That once you put a bunch of people in charge and let them collect taxes to do stuff, you are setting up great opportunity for the impure of heart. We read reports often of teachers who have sexually abused students. The Catholic Church’s celibate priests aren’t always. Large sums of money convince some that some of it will never be missed. Whatever you can think of in the way of cheating, abuse, stealing, appropriating, propagandizing, lying, whatever, will take place because we are all members of the human race.

We form governments to make laws, and we don’t assign any one person to the job but lots and lots chosen by all the people. And out of that we get some winners and some vast disappointments, and we probably don’t know the half of it. That’s why we have locks on our doors in spite of all the laws and regulations. And why we have an Electoral College for our votes, and why we try to keep those who chose to come here illegally, and not by the legal way, who never took the oath of citizenship from voting in our elections. And why those who would have their chances of winning improved by having a lot of illegals voting, want to do away with the Electoral College. Or in a different field, why when you buy a plastic carton of strawberries at the store, the pretty ones are at the top and the unripe ones at the bottom with only the red part visible.

Be aware of human nature, and do notice that Elizabeth Warren is promising to take your health insurance away and replace it with an enormous bureaucracy to tell you what care you can have and what medicines and what doctors and what treatment, and when you can’t have any because it costs too much.



The Democrat Debate. Sad. by The Elephant's Child

I watched and listened to the Democrats’ debate for a while, and couldn’t take any more. Perhaps after a bit of a rest, I can stand a little more without getting too annoyed.

What is wrong with today’s world, the enormous troubles of the world, all that is wrong anywhere — is Trump. The horrors of the border, the American health care situation, drug addiction, the American economy, the rest of the world which now hates us because of Trump, He has turned all of our allies into enemies. They’re not going to call them “concentration camps” at the border, (that didn’t go over too well) But the children at the border, the poor pitiful little children must be saved, not clear exactly how, but everybody gets to make their application for amnesty because they are escaping from countries that we have to turn our attention and wealth to fixing, so they can stay home once we have fixed their home countries for them.

Their loathing for Trump is enormous, and he is to blame for everything. What I have found really interesting is Democrats’ lack of interest in Hillary. They are most furious about being out of power, about losing the election and every detail of what caused them to lose (electoral college), Constitution, white supremacy etc. etc.

They are all signing on to “Medicare for All” which will clearly be a major campaign issue. That and some form of children in cages being mistreated at the border. Make voters care with an appeal to stop Trump from mistreating innocent little children. Little children dying in evil Border Patrol custody will be big. Evil pharmaceutical companies to blame for drug addiction, the cost of health care, and just the usual Democrat focus on big business as evil. You don’t even need to watch any of this to know what is being said and urged. You’ve heard it all before.

Time to insert Thomas Sowell quotation:
“There are no solutions, only trade-offs”

America has the best health care in the world because kids who like science work their tails off to get good grades so they can get into good medical schools so they can become doctors, save lives, become prosperous and live good lives themselves. One of the Democrat debaters (I didn’t recognize him) said he asked  several hospital management people what they would do if everybody was on Medicare. The answer was uniformly – close down. Did you ever ask how much one of those complicated hospital beds costs? Let alone the big scanners and the complex new drugs that are saving lives. That’s why in the big cities the hospitals have auxiliaries and society balls for their supporters where it is important to be seen. Trade-offs. Democrats don’t like Tom Sowell. They call him an “Uncle Tom.”



Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez’s Big Mistake by The Elephant's Child

The big news of the day seems to have been  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s  embarrassing mistake, which she seems not to grasp – was a mistake. Democrats, who want open borders, are anxious to capitalize on any evidence that the federal government might be misbehaving at the southern border.  Perhaps you noticed that when the Border Patrol rescued sick children who died in the hospital from dehydration, Democrats tried to blame the deaths on the Border Patrol rather than the parent who failed to keep them hydrated. Democrats came up with photos of children in cages from the Obama administration, and tried to pass them off as current prisoners of the Border Patrol. They haven’t missed a chance to attack the Border Patrol, the very force designed to protect Americans from criminal illegal aliens and drugs coming across the border.

The congresswoman, during an Instagram Live broadcast on Monday, accused the U.S. of operating “concentration camps” on the southern border. “That is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps,” Ocasio-Cortez said during the video.

Ocasio-Cortez doubled down on her comments on Wednesday, refusing to apologize and invoking the Japanese internment camps of World War II, even including the ringing Jewish phrase “Never again,” which has a deep meaning  for Jews. Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez has received all sorts of attention from the media. She is very young for a member of congress with unusual, rather striking looks,  and because of what she says she has become click-bait for the media. Unfortunately, what she has to say is clearly the result of the contemporary American collegiate system. (They don’t seem to be doing history these days). Democrats are interested because she is one of theirs, and properly anti-Trump. Republicans, on the other hand, are appalled by her ignorance, and wonder what dumb remark she will come up with next. The media assume that people are really interested, and so seek her out for her latest comments. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly a sign of popularity.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Holocaust, you might read Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz, and add to that The Black Book of Communism. There is an appalling ignorance of history today, and many attempts to rewrite that history which is not suitably ‘nice.’ Unfortunately you cannot make what happened go away by tearing down offending statues, relegating the paintings to an attic, or renaming the buildings.  History is how we progress. We learn from our mistakes, but we cannot learn when we don’t know anything at all, and destroyed the evidence. Historians have a hard enough time getting it right, because so many notes and papers and pictures have been discarded.




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