American Elephants


Assigned Reading by The Elephant's Child

The new American history by Wilfred M. McClay has had excellent reviews and I’m giving it as Christmas gifts, but I haven’t read it yet.

Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story

Another I like is John Steele Gordon’s

An Empire of Wealth:
The Epic History of American Economic Power

Essential:
The Black Book of Communism
Crimes, Terror, Repression

Communism
A History
By Richard Pipes

The Black Book is huge, over 700 pages, Richard Pipes book is small at 160 pages, but dense. Read both.

It’s clearly time to know a lot more about China than we do. The unknown story of:

MAO
by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday

Two from Bernard Lewis:

The Middle East:
A Brief History of the Last 2000 Years

What Went Wrong
The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East

And I like this:
Voices of 1776
The Story of the American Revolution in the Words
of Those Who Were There
by Richard Wheeler

And let me add:
1491
New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
By Charles C. Mann



Americans Are Getting Dumber! Here’s Proof. by The Elephant's Child

I wrote a couple of days ago a post about people seeming to get dumber. When you read quite a bit of opinion, you become sure of it. Rasmussen, the big polling company, said today that, and I quote, “Democrats really don’t like America and think it’s time to move on from the culture that got us here,”

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that just 38% of Likely Democratic Voters believe American society is generally fair and decent. Fifty-one percent (51%) say it’s unfair and discriminatory.

By comparison, 74% of Republicans and unaffiliated voters by a 49% to 36% margin view American society as fair and decent.

Look, let’s get back to basics. You should have learned by the time you are five or six, at least,that Life Is Hard. You fall down and get hurt, you don’t like the food your mother made you eat. You can elaborate far beyond that. Bad marriages, people you love die, disappointments, problems, failure, owing money, illness, disease. It’s just not all sweetness and light. With time, you can get the good stuff to outweigh the bad and shrug off the rest of it.

It’s not just Twitter, though they are a problem. How many pictures have you seen of young people seated somewhere, each and every one interacting with their phone, ignoring those around them? ‘Social Media’ but not much is social about it. We’re told that our young people in college think it would be fine to change our form of government to Communism.  They reached 18 years of age and know nothing? Nothing at all. We are deeply in trouble.

Adam Schiff is basking in his moments of fame, and trying desperately to hype up his moment. A Vice President of the United States has used his position to get his kid a job on a foreign country’s Energy Company’s Board of  Directors at an enormous salary of $83,000 a month, for which he has no qualifications whatsoever, and we are supposed to think it’s all about his father (the former Vice President of the United States) being a rival for the 2020 election? Perhaps Mr. Biden had no felonious intent, and just thought it was nice that these people wanted his son on the board because they liked him and…Sorry, there is no way that does not smell to high heaven. Yes, we know that former government officials get big payoffs from the private sector, book deals, fancy estates, from those looking to use the influence of a big name. But that’s not the way it is supposed to be. We honor our past presidents, even the ones we didn’t  like.

George W. went on home and led outdoor trips for wounded vets, and painted their portraits.  After it was discovered that Harry Truman was living off his army pension and little more, and had the integrity to avoid post-presidential money grubbing, Congress increased presidential pay significantly and a pension was provided so that future presidents were protected from any possible penury.

The news from the Trump presidency is pretty outstanding. Did you know that? The increases in median household income under Donald Trump are very large. Based on Census Bureau monthly data, from January 2017 when Donald Trump entered office through August 2019, middle-class household incomes have risen from $61,000 to an all time high of $66,000 — in 2019 dollars, adjusted for inflation.

The left freaked out for understandable reasons. They are especially agitated because median household incomes have risen by $5,000 under Trump, compared to $1,100 in seven years under President Barack Obama. The data also undermines the case against Trump. Elizabeth Warren likes to say in every speech, “The middle class has been left behind by Trump’s policies.” That’s flat-out wrong.

The self-proclaimed “fact-checkers” on the left went to work to try to discredit the numbers. This includes The Washington Post, PolitiFact and others.

As an aside, we have a big problem in America when the “fact-checkers” are all playing for the liberal team. A case in point is the liberal PolitiFact, which used the screaming headline “Trump’s Shaky $5,000 Boast.” The Post gave Trump two Pinocchios for claiming these income gains and said “Trump Inflates His Economic Record.”

A standard complaint is that these numbers are assembled by a private organization called Sentier Research. But the two Sentier statisticians who analyzed this month’s Census Current Population Survey — a gold mine of economic information — are probably the most knowledgeable people in the country on this data.

Stephen Moore, whose commentary this is, goes on to show how the media has tried to spin this news. If you are interested in liberal spin, this is an excellent example. Do they really just want to get Trump out of there before anyone catches on to what an outstanding job he is doing? You might also enjoy The American Mind’s explanation of the Culture War 2.0, and the changing Rules of Engagement. It’s a 12 minute read, they say.  (I told you, they are having to go to great lengths to get unwilling people to read, and we are getting dumber. ) We have to read to get informed, to know what is true and what is not, and how we are being manipulated. We have to fight back.

“Occasio-Cortez Dismisses Fears Democratic Party Moving Too Far Left: “We Are Bringing the Party Home” Yesterday’s headline at Breitbart.

 



Absolutely Entitled to Be In Charge! by The Elephant's Child

It is certainly clear that Democrats believe they are entitled to run things, to be in charge. Three years later, and they still have not gotten over it. “Entitled” seems to be the key word. They should be in charge – because they are morally superior. They are compassionate. They care.

Republicans clearly do not care. They make it clear every day. Desperate people looking for a better life, and Republicans want to build walls to keep them out. They want to send people to prison just for smoking a joint. They have this cruel police force called ICE that wants to track down immigrants living quietly in this country and deport them. They want to tell women what they can do with their bodies, and deny them health care when they need it most. They clearly do not really care about the people at all.

The earth is facing a horrible doom because Republicans won’t face facts and move to clean renewable energy, and stop the evil oil pipelines that are despoiling the planet, because they favor Big Oil companies instead of clean natural wind and solar energy. It’s very clear that Republican care far more about budgets and big corporations than they do about the American people.

If you just keep their moral superiority in mind, everything will become clearer and less argumentative. They are really trying to improve things. Just see what they are offering to do to improve your lives. Rein in those big corporations that are polluting the planet. Medicare for all, not just the old folks. Compassion for all.  Social Justice for all. More equality. More fairness. What more could you ask?



Dr. Roy Spencer on Chaotic Climate Change and the IPCC by The Elephant's Child

1695 Winter Landscape: Snowfall near Antwerp by Lucas van Valckanborch

An interesting article by Dr. Roy Spencer reposted at Watts Up With That? Dr. Spencer is wondering if there is a preferred average state for the climate, and the variations gather around the average. That idea seems to guide the IPCC scientists who write the reports which guide international energy policy on fossil fuel use. They construct their climate models so that the models do not produce any warming or cooling unless they are forced to through increasing anthropogenic greenhouse gases, aerosols or volcanic eruptions.

What I’d like to discuss here is NOT whether there are other ‘external’ forcing agents of climate change, such as the sun. That is a valuable discussion, but not what I’m going to address. I’d like to address the question of whether there really is an average state that the climate system is constantly re-adjusting itself toward, even if it is constantly nudged in different directions by the sun.

If there is such a preferred average state, then the forcing-feedback paradigm of climate change is valid. In that system of thought, any departure of the global average temperature from the Nature-preferred state is resisted by radiative “feedback”, that is, changes in the radiative energy balance of the Earth in response to the too-warm or too-cool conditions. Those radiative changes would constantly be pushing the system back to its preferred temperature state.

If you have an interest in things climate, it’s an interesting read. Also, keep in mind that President Trump just got us out of the Paris Peace Accords, which would have done nothing at all to remedy anything about the climate, but would have shipped a lot of American funds off to the world’s poorer states.

Dr. Spencer adds:

It is clear that the UN IPCC, by its very charter, is primarily focused on human-caused climate change. As a result of political influence (related to the desire of governmental regulation over the private sector) it will never seriously address the possibility that long-term climate change might be part of nature. Only those scientists who are supportive of this anthropocentric climate view are allowed to play in the IPCC sandbox.

It’s an interesting read, and exposes some of the uncertainties under which our climate scientists operate. The comments following are interesting as well, as the Watts Up With That? readers are interested and have their own opinions.



The Unrecognized Perils of Running For the Presidency by The Elephant's Child

You have probably noticed that people who have run unsuccessfully for the presidency of the United States don’t fade quietly away after their unsuccessful run. Immediate example is, of course, Hillary. She seems to have convinced herself that she actually won the election, and through some nefarious trickery, the horrid Trump got the nod, but he didn’t actually win. Everybody cheated, including the now famous “Deplorables.”

Hillary is not alone. Mitt Romney is now in the news for his secret Twitter account where he is accused of being a Twitter ‘Lurker’ under the name “Pierre Delecto” for keeping up with the news. I think if you have seriously competed and lost, you are bound to look at each new event with the consideration of how you would have handled it and what you would have done, and how much better your ideas are. Human nature. I think it extends to those who dropped out early as well.

Every act of a new president will be put under a magnifying device, and certainly Donald Trump has had more nay-sayers than most. Past presidents will feel they have the authority to chime in, and of course present events may suggest the correctness (or not) of their actions in office. Lots of people are suggesting that Hillary may jump in at the last minute.  We’ll see. Wouldn’t take much to convince her that she should.



What is a Fact? Who Says So? Do We Need Fact Checkers? Who Checks Them? by The Elephant's Child

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We seem to be living in a world where nothing is quite the same as it is supposed to be. Ulterior motives, political beliefs, political goals, our view of the world, our understanding of right and wrong, good and evil, true and false. Our news media is failing in its assigned task of informing the public about what is going on, to such an extent that the President of the United States is reduced to calling them “fake news”, and unfortunately, he is correct. They speak and write from a partisan viewpoint.

Susan Crockford is a zoologist who is the world’s greatest expert on polar bears. I posted her State of the Polar Bear Report for 2017 in March last year. Now we find that this accomplished scientist has been stripped of her Adjunct  Professor role by Canada’s  University of Victoria. The problem?
She promotes facts and doesn’t go along with climate activism. When the matter was last considered, the committee voted unanimously in her favour. What changed? Talks she was invited to give to schools in which she probably assured the kids that “the polar bears were just fine and thriving“ generated concern among parents regarding balance.” That concern was “shared with various levels of the university,” according to an April 2017 e-mail from Ann Stahl, then chair of the Anthropology Department.

These vague accusations, leveled by an unknown number of unknown individuals who may or may not have been garden variety climate activists, were first used to expel Crockford from the UVic Speakers Bureau. They then became the impetus to expel her from the UVic academic community altogether. Climate activists come in several guises. Some have become convinced that the climate crisis is a real thing, and we have to do something or the earth is going to end in just a few short years. That’s Greta Thunberg, 16 year-old from Sweden, who just missed getting a Nobel Peace Prize, because someone who actually did something about world peace received it instead.

On the other hand, you have Christiana Figueres, who was
executive secretary of the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change who admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity—but to destroy capitalism. She said, in early February 2015 in Brussels:

This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) announced that she was entering the 2020 presidential race, during a snowstorm, because it is a known fact that “climate change is happening.” Well yes, dumb statement. The climate has been changing for millions of years, that does not make it an emergency.

The “Justice Democrats” announced the “Green New Deal” back in March. It is an ignorant pack of lies which some people having not done their homework of studying up, belieeeeved. And it’s still going on. Jane Fonda, as always on the wrong side of an issue, got herself arrested in a DC Climate Protest, claiming that she had been a “climate scientist” for years. Elizabeth Warren is calling for “environmental justice” a transition to the clean energy outlined in the “Green New Deal”. No, the Green New Deal will not provide millions of new jobs, and eliminating fossil fuels would put the economy into an enormous recession. Just do your homework and study up. Find out who are our most respected climate scientists and listen to them.

ADDENDUM: Don’t miss what actually happened here. World’s expert on polar bears visits a school, tells the kids that the polar bears are just fine and multiplying and thriving. Kids go home, tell parents that polar bears are just fine, and mommies get all upset because it doesn’t jibe with their own panic about a dying earth, complain to the university, which fires famous scientist. 2019: Planet Earth.



Here’s a New, Powerful Democrat Campaign Ad by The Elephant's Child

Very powerful. Be afraid, very afraid!




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