American Elephants


“Democratic Socialism” Indeed. No, It’s Venezuela by The Elephant's Child

The United States of America is a big messy country, full of wildly diverse opinionated people. The country itself is hugely diverse ranging from desert to mountain splendor. We are a nation built on an idea brought from the religious wars of Europe to form a new nation based on the simple idea of individual freedom.  All men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights the Declaration said, and among those are the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

What other country ever suggested that you should pursue happiness? We have lots of resident cranks who chafe at that and insist that we are getting the “created equal” part all wrong. We should be ensuring that everyone is equal. That’s government’s real job and we should buy you lots of stuff to make you equal.

Nobody promised that you would be equal, just that you could, from birth, strive to be whatever you choose—pursue happiness. We can’t guarantee anyone’s success either. Just pick up your ideas and your energy and see what you can do. Some people get a head start, born to great wealth, and make a colossal mess of the whole thing. Others start with nothing and become fabulously wealthy. The rest of us are somewhere in between.

But those resident cranks, promising to make everybody equal are always more interested in enforcing the equality bit than in actually being equal themselves. They want to be in charge. Oddly they remain unfamiliar with the long dreadful history of socialism, and just insist that those other people just didn’t do it right. Unfortunately those other people turn out to be Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Kim’s North Korea, Castro’s Cuba or Maduro’s Venezuela. Socialism does not work. Ever.

At American Thinker, Monica Showalter asked if Time Magazine, notable for the fake picture of Trump with a crying child ‘ripped from her mother’s arms’ would put a photo of a starving Venezuelan on its cover, too? You need to see the pictures. That’s Venezuela today. Someone should send a copy to “Democratic Socialist” Ocasia Cortez, the new star of the Democratic Party.

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An American Ally Assesses Our President by The Elephant's Child

The Wall Street Journal had a most interesting article titled “An Ally Sizes Up Donald Trump: When he says something consistently, it will happen. And his message is that America will remain a reliable partner, but don’t expect too much.” It’s by Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister of Australia, 2013-2015.  (subscription barrier)

The truth is that the rest of the world needs America much more than America needs us. The U.S. has no threatening neighbors. It’s about as remote from the globe’s trouble spots as is possible to be. It’s richly endowed with resources, including energy and an almost boundless agricultural capacity. Its technology is second to none. Its manufacturing base is vast. Its people are entrepreneurial in their bones. From diversity, it has built unity and an enviable pride in country.

In many respects, America is the world in one country, only a better world than the one outside. If it decided to live in splendid isolation from troubles across the sea, it would lose little and perhaps gain much, at least in the beginning. A fortress America would be as impregnable as any country could be.

 



Carbon Taxes Are Sheer Bunk! by The Elephant's Child

Governors and Legislatures are always tempted by the potential of new taxes. Having more money to do stuff that the people might like is usually a good way to get re-elected.  Of course sometimes people notice that their taxes have gone up sharply and governors and legislators get thrown out of office. It obviously helps if the new taxes are for a noble cause, like feeding the hungry or creating a new transportation system. But the economy is currently humming, and food stamp use has dropped sharply. New transportation systems or bridges or tunnels are always popular. Unfortunately legislators are not skilled planners, nor are governors and such projects seem always to cost millions or billions more than was promised. (See Gov. Jerry Brown’s High Speed Train to Nowhere). Probably most states have had some project that cost catastrophically more than intended.

Another boondoggle popular, particularly among lefties, lately has been a carbon tax. Tax greenhouse gas emissions to save the earth from climate change! Our very own governor Jay Inslee is anxious to pass a carbon tax, the legislature has not obliged, but greenies may have succeeded in putting it on the ballot as an initiative.“Carbon Tax” is a misnomer. It is a tax on greenhouse gas emissions, and would sharply raise the price of energy, which doesn’t just mean gasoline taxes, but would raise the cost of everything. A carbon tax is a tax on prosperity.

Real Clear Energy has published a careful analysis of carbon taxes. “According to a 2014 Heritage Foundation analysis, the creation of a $37-per-ton carbon tax  would lead to a loss of more than $2.5 trillion in aggregate gross domestic product, amounting to $21,000 in lost income per family by 2030.”

In addition a carbon tax would result in a loss of more than 1 million jobs, including 500,000 manufacturing jobs by 2030. And it would be a regressive tax, punishing the relative poor more than wealthier families because the poor spend more of their income on energy and goods for which energy is a key component. But saving the Earth from disastrous climate change? The best evidence suggests that humans are not causing dangerous climate change.

Dangerous climate change seems to exist only in computer models. Almost every testable projection made by computer models has been proven wrong. Sea levels are not rising at an unusual rate. Antarctica ice is growing, not melting. Scientists can show no species that have been lost due to climate change. There are droughts and rainy seasons. Hurricanes continue to cause damage occasionally. Measured temperatures are much lower than the computer models predict. And carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

We breathe in air, use the oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide—every human breath contains about 40,000 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Which if you remember photosynthesis from high school biology, plants use as a natural fertilizer and produce oxygen.  Greenhouses pump in something like 1,000 ppm (parts per million) of CO2 to help their plants grow, and you probably haven’t read of dead nurserymen being found in the world’s greenhouses. The use of fossil fuels has enriched the world, and increased human well-being.

Unfortunately alternative energy has proven to be mostly undependable and useless. The sun goes beneath the horizon each night and doesn’t shine many days. Clouds. Nor does the wind blow at the right speed for the most technologically advanced wind turbines to produce energy reliably. Germany tried to move to wind and solar, and arrived at energy poverty. Now President Trump is correctly blaming them for becoming dependent on gas pipelines from Russia (which could be cut off at any time) at the same time Germany expects us to defend them from Russia.



Scott Adams Takes on the #Walk Away Movement With a Truth Bomb by The Elephant's Child

Scott Adams is the creator of the cartoon series “Dilbert” with his personal take on office life. His recognition of the reality of what most of us who spent much of our lives working in offices experienced, made him a person who offered more interesting opinions than the usual ones out there. He has developed an extensive following for the videos he posts on his blog for just that reason.

Here he considered the #Walk Away movement begun by Brandon Straka. Adams admits that he did not take it seriously at first, until he  listened to Straka’s reasoned account of why he is leaving the Democratic Party, and saw that Straka was not leaving because of policy differences. Here Adams explains the difference between the right and the left. and between Trump and the organizing efforts on the Left — Fear.

It’s a more serious take on what most of us have referred to as the “Trump Derangement Syndrome” and our bewilderment at its excesses, which are not only enormous, but more or less insane. Banning ICE? The agency that removes criminal illegals from our midst, tries to get them before they commit more murders and mayhem. Because you don’t like the pictures taken during the Obama administration of children actually in cages? That, by the way is not ICE, but the Border Patrol. ICE is after the criminals, and trying to protect you.

There was just a video circulating that showed a crowd of people out to protest when ICE raided a house in an Oakland neighborhood because they thought they were after an illegal alien. ICE was actually trying to apprehend a gang of child sex traffickers, the truly despicable among illegals. Do watch Scott Adams. He makes some pretty important points.

You might want to check in on You Tube to see all the responses to the #Walk Away movement.



Jordan Peterson Asks A Serious Question, Stumps Maher’s Panel by The Elephant's Child

Jordan Peterson appeared on a panel on Bill Maher’s show. The panel did not distinguish themselves, unable to respond, even at a childish level, to a serious question. Maher is supposedly a comedian, but comedians are supposed to be funny. Dr. Peterson is absolutely correct. Democrats’ obnoxious behavior is driving the country apart. Maher’s characterizations of President Trump are not snarky, but wildly absurd, crude, ill-informed, and meant to draw a laugh from the “can you top this” insult crowd.

The panel consists of a journalist from the New York Times, an unidentified woman, Michael Avenatti, whose claim to fame is being Stormy Daniels lawyer, and who has offered to run for the presidency against Donald Trump, and (sigh) Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, who wants desperately to be president (in spite of being the worst governor in memory) striving to show off his admirable qualifications to Democrats.

Inslee thinks Net Neutrality is about denying people access to the internet, is sure that the earth must be saved from the ravages of global warming with his cherished carbon tax, and is big on forcing employers to give their employees family leave whenever they want it. Washington State is following other Leftist-run states in increasing numbers of people and businesses fleeing the state. Fortunately the legislature managed to kill the head tax on employees idea for business, after they heard from Amazon and Microsoft.

The interesting thing is that no member of the panel manages to even attempt to answer Dr. Peterson’s serious question, and it’s fairly clear that they don’t even understand what he is asking. I am always struck by Maher’s resemblance to a Blob Fish. (Look it up)



EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s Resignation Is Not What It Seems to Be by The Elephant's Child

CBS-on-EPA

Scott Pruitt has resigned as Administrator of the EPA, and President Trump has accepted his resignation while praising his accomplishments. Pruitt has cut back or rescinded 22 unnecessary regulations at a savings of $1 billion. But the scandals, the scandals? What about all the scandals?

The EPA was an agency turned by the Obama administration into a weapon to put land use and our natural resources under administration control. The EPA agency had its origins in Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, in 1962 she foresaw the death of wildlife in the use of pesticides, which she blamed for her cancer diagnosis. It was a passionate book and alarmed the world into the beginnings of an environmental movement. President Nixon proposed the establishment and it began in 1970, conducting environmental assessment, research and education and  has the responsibility of maintaining and enforcing a variety of national standards. It delegates some permitting, monitoring and enforcement.

An offshore oil rig in California fouled beaches with millions of gallons of spilled oil. The Cuyahoga River near Cleveland burst into flames (which it did regularly). There was, of course, vast agreement that we needed to care about our environment. That, again of course, turned into a huge invitation for all those folks whose familiarity with the environment was limited to the nearest city park, to believe that all was in danger. Governments at all levels found it necessary and politically rewarding to favor conservation, prevention of pollution, and doing something about clean air and water.

Activists soon found it useful to find an endangered species on the very site where a project, a factory, a bridge, a highway, might be built to bring it to a halt. Add in former NASA scientist James Hansen and his “climate event of cosmic significance,” some 30 years ago, when he singlehandedly elevated climate change into a worldwide panic.

Universities have established new departments, funded with vast grants to investigate global warming. The United Nations has vast organizations, Every country, county and city have environmental departments, and the problem of global warming has consumed many a passionate adherent (see Tom Steyer) in spite of admissions by Canadian Environment Minister Christine Stewart who said “No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral benefits…Climate change (provides) the greatest change to bring about justice and equality in the world.”  Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change admitted at a news conference in Brussels in early February of 2015 that the goal of environmental activists was not to save the world from ecological calamity—but to destroy capitalism,

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.

That explains a good deal of the passion of climate activists, and there are true believers who call us “deniers” or worse. Obama’s EPA was an agency using environmentalism as a tool to bring the natural resources of the United States under more direct federal control. Congress, in its innocence, had long ago authorized the EPA to monitor the navigable waters of America to prevent them from becoming polluted. The Waters of America became a tool to control everything that flowed from the downspouts of your house to every ditch and stream into something that could actually be defined as a “navigable” water. Enormous fines were levied on ranchers with a small stock pond, people building a cabin on a lake view lot, $30,000 $50,000, ending in a Supreme Court case. Huge scandal of a massive EPA caused spill from the Gold King Mine desecrating pristine wilderness, turned the Colorado River into a yellow sludge.

Scott Pruitt was doing a terrific job of getting the agency back on its correct path. The Left, intent on getting rid of him, started digging, looking for anything that could be turned into a scandal. Democrats have noticed that Republicans in government who are involved in a scandal are quickly booted out. Democrats have no such compunctions about their own people. This is a open invitation. With a win in getting rid of Scott Pruitt, Democrats are already turning on his replacement, his former deputy, Andrew Wheeler, who is expected to carry on reforming the EPA. It also appears that they will be going for Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior. A New York State University professor has suggested that Zinke stands for white people, Christianity, and his corporate overlords, favoring Americans on their potential to increase fuel consumption?

In his resignation statement, Pruitt said the attacks on his family were too much, but what threats or attacks have not been reported. As far as I can tell, nothing he supposedly did in office is unforgivable or bad or even notable. He was a victim of a sustained well-funded leftist assault aimed specifically at removing him from office. Andrew Wheeler can expect more of the same, as can Ryan Zinke. This is not cutesy Trump Derangement Syndrome. It is something far darker and far more evil.



The Difficulties With Declaring Independence by The Elephant's Child

All you need to know about Silicon Valley can be summed up by the simple information that they have chosen the Southern Poverty Law Center as their guide to identifying Hate Speech!

Bwa ha ha ha ha-ha ha!

File this under “It takes one to know one!”

Then add this bit:  ” Facebook removed an excerpt from the U.S. Declaration of Independence, claiming that the text violated the social network’s policies.”

As Reason adds: “The social media site has a difficult time telling the difference between white nationalist ravings and the writing of Thomas Jefferson.”

America’s founding document might be too politically incorrect for Facebook, which flagged and removed a post consisting almost entirely of text from the Declaration of Independence. The excerpt, posted by a small community newspaper in Texas, apparently violated the social media site’s policies against hate speech.

Since June 24, the Liberty County Vindicator of Liberty County, Texas, has been sharing daily excerpts from the declaration in the run up to July Fourth. The idea was to encourage historical literacy among the Vindicator‘s readers.

The first nine such posts of the project went up without incident.

“But part 10,” writes Vindicator managing editor Casey Stinnett, “did not appear. Instead, The Vindicator received a notice from Facebook saying that the post ‘goes against our standards on hate speech.'”

The problem is ignorance. Silicon Valley is full of math and physics majors and H-1B immigrants, not history majors. Our own colleges and universities, full of anti-war people left over from Vietnam have turned our education system into far left indoctrination organizations, so there are a lot more courses titled “Studies” in colleges and fewer “The History of.”

Facebook was based on the flawed idea, that it would be emotionally appealing for people to share their family news and doings with friends, which, of course it was. But the downside never occurred to the founders. Users were making public the intimate details of their lives and their children, where they went to school, the general status of the family, the location of the home—which they did, with no thought about the dangers of making such information public. So it is unsurprising that Facebook has turned the bother of identifying “hate speech” over to robots.

The powers that be in Silicon Valley have already been in trouble for allowing the adherents of radical Islam access to the world’s computers, and correctly recognize that to be a problem. They are trying to figure out how to protect themselves. At the same time, the major news media are telling them that the Right Wing are white supremacists, Hitler, Nazis, fascists, etc. etc., so, in their ignorance of history they do not understand politics and assume that they need to banish anyone on the Right—without understanding that making enemies of half the population of the country is probably not a good idea. They probably do not want to come under regulation by the federal government as utilities.

 




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