American Elephants


And on the Environmental Front, They Want You to Shut Up. by The Elephant's Child

California City attorneys in San Francisco and Oakland (just across the bridge) have sued five oil companies, BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Exxon Mobile, and Royal Dutch Shell. They are suing them under California law for being a public nuisance.

They filed two coordinated lawsuits on Tuesday—arguing that the courts should hold those companies responsible for climate change, and force them to financially compensate the cities for the harm the plaintiffs claim those companies are causing to the planet.

“For decades, Defendants have known that their fossil fuels pose risks of ‘severe’ and ‘catastrophic’ impacts on the global climate through the works and warnings of their own scientists or through their trade association.”

The climate cult believes. Those who are prospering from fostering panic about the threat to the planet have federal grants, new equipment for their labs, enhanced salaries, assistants, and the eager attention of reporters as well as a yearly trip to some resort for a big climate conference. This is very big business.

Also on Tuesday, Leonardo DiCaprio was speaking at the Yale Climate Conference, where he took to the podium to announce that:

We have watched as storms, wildfires, and droughts have worsened, and as extinctions have become increasingly frequent. And some of us have also listened as the scientific community sounded alarm bells about climate change as far back as the early 1990s.

That’s total bunk. Not a word is true.He added:

“Yet with all of this evidence – the independent scientific warnings, and the mounting economic price tag – there is still an astounding level of willful ignorance and inaction from the people who should be doing the most to protect us, and every other living thing on this planet.”

James Delingpole has great fun debunking the “predictable and scientifically illiterate eco tosh.”

Up North, they are playing around with a complaint filed by Ecojustice, accusing three groups: Friends of Science, the International Climate Science Coalition, and the Heartland Institute for making false and misleading claims about climate change, including that the sun is the main driver of climate change, not carbon dioxide, and that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

When it launched its complaint in December, 2015, Ecojustice told the National Observer it would press the Commissioner of Competition to refer the matter to the Attorney-General of Canada for “criminal charges against the denier groups”.

There is a notable trend at the present to rush to the courts, and to attempt to tell those with whom we disagree to shut up. Movie people may feel very passionate about their personal beliefs, but that’s not science. It may be extremely annoying to have people claiming that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant and now that we’ve passed 400 ppm, we’re all going to die, but it’s worthwhile to pause and realize that greenhouses are often filled with air containing 1000 ppm of CO2, and the greenhouses are not filled with dead bodies of nurserymen, but happy plants.

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Hungary Has Built a Wall, And Cut Illegal Immigration by Over 99 Percent by The Elephant's Child

Hungary, fiercely resisting the European Union’s order to freely admit asylum-seekers, has built a wall. Observing the problems in Germany and Sweden and the 2015 Paris terrorists who made their way through Hungary with some deadly consequences, Hungary  has built twin fences, with frequent watchtowers, manned with thousands of newly recruited border guards. It was faster than building a solid wall, but illegal immigration has slowed dramatically. The fences have caused illegal immigration to collapse from 391,000 in 2015 to 18,236 in 2016 — to just 1,184 in 2017.

After Germany’s Angela Merkel welcomed migrants, announced that there was “no limit” to the number of asylum-seekers that Germany would accept, the flow increased to a torrent. Sweden has been called a “failed state”. Migrants often claim to be “children” to get asylum, but they are well into their twenties. Setting cars on fire seems to be a popular pastime. There are “no go” zones, more than 60, where ambulances must be accompanied by police. Rape is common and even small children, both boys and girls, are raped.

It seems to be a matter of mindset, and language. There is great fear of being called “racist” or “Islamophobic,” though the nation will not admit the disastrous Islamization. Unpleasant news is whitewashed. The Swedes have chosen a path of cultural and societal suicide that is probably the worst in Europe. There are 200 criminal networks, with an estimated 5,000 members. The government is in complete denial, the legal system punishes those who tell the truth, and the major TV, radio and print outlets parrot the government line and ignore uncomfortable news developments. How that they can avoid the clear indication that the “migrants” intend to make Sweden an Islamic country, subject to Sharia law? The government prefers to think of a multicultural idyll. Admitting that you were wrong is far too difficult. Swedish judges care more about the safety of foreign rapists than the safety of Swedish children. They refuse to return these monsters to their own countries for fear that they might be put in danger. It is complete denial.

The UN has slammed Hungary and their “very clear intention” to halt illegal immigration, and criticized their border wall for “looking unwelcoming.” Well, yes. Exactly. That is the object.



“Homeless Camps Are Infectious Disease Time Bombs” * by The Elephant's Child

(*Headline shamelessly borrowed from Alex Berezow.)
According to HUD statistics, the homelessness problem is greatest in New York City, NY, 75,323, Los Angeles City & County 75,323 and Seattle/King County 10,122. These statistics, the most recent are from 2015. (It apparently takes that long for government computers to massage that much information.) My Seattle suburb is currently beginning to try to deal with our homeless problem with contentious arguments over housing location.

“Homelessness” is a contemporary problem that encompasses the out-of-work people who literally have no home and cannot afford one, those whose problems are alcoholism, drugs, mental health, or just a subcategory of those who enjoy the independence of living on the street. It has been suggested that the problem arose when the do-gooders tackled the idea of people being involuntarily committed to mental hospitals, with the idea that people were committing relatives for reasons unrelated to mental health. So it is much harder to get anyone committed, and many mental hospitals have closed. “Homeless” is another Leftist do-gooder name for much bigger problems.

At the same time addicts have to decide that they need help to overcome their addiction and be able to pay for it. We do not have drug courts that force addicts to accept treatment, and I don’t know if there is any help for those who don’t particularly want to overcome their addiction.  Addicts who have reached the homeless state pose enormous costs on society. Seattle, I believe, has an apartment building for hopeless alcoholics who are constantly picked up by police. It ‘s justified as a place where they can drink themselves to death, but it gets them off the street.

Alex Berezow’s article suggests that a methodology that measures the homeless per 100,000 population is more accurate, and he includes a graph, again for 2015 statistics. Seattle drops down a bit on the list, but is still in the disgusting range.

Funny! As I write this, there is a commercial on the radio for “Hotel California by the Sea” in Bellevue, a luxury hotel for those dealing with addiction problems. Since they go on a bit about their luxury, I assume it is also costly.

Here’s the graph for the first statistics. Clearly, neither is truly accurate, with 2015 numbers, and the problem of city/county/metropolitan area as guideposts to what’s happening. I would be surprised if with current technology, it would not be possible to have more current statistics, but government computers aren’t up to the task.

But what do you do? Seattle has many homeless camps, under the freeways, intruding on public parks. Area churches host homeless camps on a sort of rotating basis, because they are churches and supposed to be “nice.” The camps include drug dealers, prostitution rings, and increasingly, as Berezow reports, homeless camps are infectious disease time bombs. That the rest of  us don’t have to worry too much about infectious disease is due to the strong defense provided by the “pillars” of our public health system. The pillars include chlorination of the water supply, vaccination, and pasteurization of  dairy and other products—add medication. San Diego has had an ongoing outbreak of hepatitis that has hospitalized nearly 300 and killed 16. Streptococcus in Anchorage, Shigella in Portland and Tuberculosis everywhere. The squalor is a threat to society as a whole. The opioid crisis is hitting rural parts of the country as well.

What do we do? We have tried doing nothing, and that isn’t acceptable either. “It is dangerous, costly and inhumane.”



Does A Nation Have A Right To Decide Who They Will Admit as Immigrants? by The Elephant's Child

Oh my, Hollywood has erupted in fury. President Trump is ending the DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), an illegal program created by executive action by former president Barack Obama, in defiance of the United States Immigration Laws. Former president Obama has remained in Washington DC ostensibly to let their younger daughter finish school at Sidwell Friends, but clearly he wants to remain active in politics.

One of the most contentious subjects arises with immigration. Democrats believe that a larger percentage of immigrants will vote for Democrat candidates, so they are anxious to increase immigration to help them to control America. Many line up with George Soros’ Open Borders position. You have undoubtedly noticed that Democrats violently oppose a border wall, refuse to call illegal aliens ‘illegal’ and have worked to change the nomenclature to “undocumented immigrants.” Changing the language is a long time leftist tactic.

Obama had asked Congress to create a law allowing “childhood arrivals” to remain in the country. Congress refused. So in June 2012, Obama issued an executive order — overriding Congress —because he disagreed with the Congressional decision. The youngest “children” who were included in the program at age 15, are now 20. They are not children, but adults, and unvetted adults as well.  2,139 DACA recipients have already been convicted or accused of crimes against Americans. Obama issued an 800 word statement  high on emotion, low on common sense, suggesting that these are our “best and brightest”  because “they want to start new businesses, staff our lavs, serve in our military and otherwise contribute to the country we love.” As usual from Obama — flowery words with no facts whatsoever  behind them.  Angela Merkel opened the borders of Europe with a welcome to “refugees“.

Germany is making trouble again. This time it is not sending young men in uniform swarming across its borders to conquer Europe. Instead, it is using its position of economic dominance to cause young Muslim men from outside Europe to swarm across Europe’s borders. In World War II, Germany’s conquest of Europe and subsequent defeat left the continent in ruins. This time, however, Germany’s actions seem designed to bring about Europe’s destruction by inviting conquest rather than by initiating it.

Nations have a right to decide about immigrants. They have a duty to protect their workers and their citizens. So if we have to be nice to this crop of young illegal aliens, what about the next ones? We have something like 4.4 million people across the world who have applied legally to immigrate to America and become citizens. They are waiting patiently on a wait list. What about them? Every “amnesty” we allow suggests that those wanting in should just hang on a bit and we’ll do amnesty again.

Immigration is complicated, and our immigration program badly needs to be overhauled. Silicon Valley imports foreign workers because they can be paid less and more easily controlled. The American people favor a border wall, because walls work to keep illegal aliens out, if imperfectly. Building a wall does not mean prejudice against immigrants or foreign workers. Most Americans are happy to welcome people from other nations, but they want them to come legally, according to American law. “Sanctuary Cities” while pretending to be ‘nice’ turn out to be magnets for illegals, gangs, drug dealers and sex traffickers as well as potential terrorists.

 



Fed Up, Annoyed, And Just Plain Had It Up to Here! by The Elephant's Child

I am fed up. The excesses of the media are becoming just too much. There are too many would-be reporters chasing too little news with a portfolio of too little knowledge. This celebrity said that about President Trump—a notice that brings out other celebrities to say something, because celebrities’ lives depend on publicity, and members of the media are hungry for a new and interesting comment.  One rude comment brings on a “Can you top this” reaction.

It is an age of hysteria. We now have “Antifa”— supposedly “anti-fascist” but they seem to be the same anarchists and Black Bloc people who keep showing up with clubs and black clothes and masks whenever there is an opportunity for a good lively protest — at least here in Seattle and in Portland. I don’t know if they are that active elsewhere in the country, but they have apparently found that not too many get dragged off to jail here, the opposition is unorganized, as is the police force. Mayors don’t want melees in their streets—bad publicity. It’s always appeared to me that the anarchists are just interested in breaking windows, setting fires and especially destroying police cars. Higher aims or philosophy, if any, have not been worked out.

It’s clear that excesses on one college campus infect many others, like a plague. Even abroad. And it grows a little with each new venue. I don’t think the kids consciously think, oh let’s go imitate Old Ivey — that would be embarrassing, but that’s of course what they’re doing. In their enthusiasm for eliminating the Civil War, the Trojans called for changing the name of the white horse the Trojan cheerleader rode out on the field after each touchdown, because he was named Traveler, which was the name of Robert E. Lee’s horse. An Asian-American sportscaster named Robert Lee was yanked by ESPN from broadcasting a University of Virginia football game. Virtue-signalling carried to an extreme. And so it goes.  A plague of idiocy, highly contagious.

Kathy Griffin is still complaining that she was roundly condemned for holding up a bloody-looking head of a supposed Donald Trump as if he had been decapitated, and people didn’t get the joke. Or she doesn’t understand why it wasn’t a joke, or she doesn’t understand why everyone made such a big fuss about it. Her entire career as a comedian is in the toilet, and the punishment is just too much for her to bear. The fact that she did it to herself seems not to have penetrated.

There was a time when the press was supposed to be the watchdog of government, keeping the three branches of government honest and responsible. Truth tellers in the face of possible corruption and greed. That’s almost laughable these days.

And Trump accomplishments? Never mentioned. The Trump administration has blocked Obama regulations that would have burdened employers with hundreds of millions of dollars in compliance costs and increased paperwork loads by millions of hours each year. The OMB instructed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to shelve a rule change that would have required employers to submit twenty times as much data to the agency as previously required. It would have affected 61,000 workers.

American companies with more than 100 workers and federal contractors with more than 50 workers were required ,to demonstrate their commitment to closing the nebulous “gender wage gap.” Obama’s big idea was for businesses to provide 3,660 different data points about each employee and their pay structure, up from just 188 points. Lessening the burden of regulation on employers may just have something to do with the economy’s growth the last quarter at an annual rate of 3 percent. This was much better than the  2.7 percent rate that was expected. The 3 percent figure was the first time the GDP growth rate has hit 3 percent in over 2 years. Broadcast news, of course, chose not to cover that interesting bit of information.



“DIVERSITY: The Invention of a Concept” by The Elephant's Child

Last night I was looking for the next book in a series I’m re-reading, and noticed another book that has long been on my overloaded bookshelves. It is titled simply “DIVERSITY: The invention of a Concept” by Peter Wood. I had forgotten all about it, though I bought it when it first came out fourteen years ago, read it and enjoyed it, which is why I still have it. Here’s a bit from the jacket flap, and remember this was written in 2003:

In just a few years, diversity has become America’s most visible cultural idea. Corporations alter their recruitment and hiring policies in the name of a diverse workforce. Universities institute new admissions procedures in the name of a diverse student body. Presidents choose their major appointees in the name of a diverse cabinet. And what diversity’s proponents have in mind, Peter Wood argues, is not the dictionary meaning of the word—variety and multiplicity—but a new and often narrow kind of conformity.

Whether as prescribed numerical outcomes or as the celebration of cultural “difference,” diversity, according to Wood, is now a deadening force in American life, a cliché that promotes group stereotypes and undermines any real diversity of ideas and individuals. …

But the current cult of diversity is no laughing matter. Wood shows how the elevation of this concept to the highest social good marks a profound change in our cultural life. Diversity as it is practiced today is anti-individualist and at odds with America’s older ideals of liberty and equality.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai believed himself to be defending diversity and opportunity for women in his company. James Damore was trying to point out that cultural taboos cloud corporate thinking about gender diversity. The Liberty Lawsite compared the Google bubble with the University bubble. At Hoover, Richard Epstein discusses the rigid ideological conformity in Silicon Valley, At American Greatness, Boris Zelkin noted that Sundar Pichai said that what Damore did was “Not OK” and suggested that Pichai could have thrown in a “double plus ungood” for good measure.

Meanwhile down in Charlottesville a very diverse meeting between three dramatically opposed groups— white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Antifa got together with the tools of their trade: baseball bats, bullhorns, flags, costumes and Tiki-torches, to protest the Civil War and any leftover remembrances thereof, did a lot of injury and killed two people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. President Trump pointed out that there is blame on both sides for the deadly violence, while the Associated Press went crazy and insisted that the antifas were just “protesting” the white supremacists. The president said they were all thugs and criminals and incited violence, for which he, though correct, was excoriated by the press.

I recommend Peter Wood’s book. There are used copies for only around $2 at Amazon, or you can pay over $100 — but if a good read would start a significant conversation about the deliberate invention of a concept and how it happened, it might be very helpful indeed.



All About “Social” Justice by The Elephant's Child

Here’s Bill Whittle, who is very good at getting right to the nitty-gritty of events and clarifying things. In this case, it is the idea of “white privilege”, and what it is and what it isn’t. You might be surprised. Is Social Justice Just?




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