American Elephants

“Shenandoah” by David Hobson by The Elephant's Child

David Hobson, Australia’s favorite tenor, sings “Shenandoah” from his album “Endless Days.” He is aso an award winning composer, and does his own arrangements.

Daniel Hannan on the Anglo Saxon Tradition by The Elephant's Child

In “Inventing Freedom”, Daniel Hannan reflects on the historical origin and spread of the principles that have made America great, and their role in creating a sphere of economic and political liberty that is as crucial as it is imperiled. Hannan argues that the ideas and institutions we consider essential to maintaining and preserving our freedoms — individual rights, private property, the rule of law, and the institutions of representative government — are the legacy of a very specific tradition that was born in England and that we Americans, along with other former British colonies, inherited.


I’m Bound for South Australia by The Elephant's Child

Here’s another from Tommy Emmanuel, just because.

And a Little Appropriate Music: by The Elephant's Child

Australia’s master guitarist, Tommy Emmanuel .

Australia Has New Management! by The Elephant's Child

Abbott, Tony Australia

Australia has new management. Prime Minister Elect Tony Abbott has led the Conservative Coalition to a resounding victory. The Australian House of Representatives has 150 seats. Kevin Rudd’s Labor party got only 54 seats, 76 are needed for a majority. The Coalition won 87 seats, the Greens 1, and other 2, with the remainder still in play. A pretty resounding rejection of the Labor party and the hated carbon tax.

Mr. Abbott is a former boxer, a Rhodes scholar, and Catholic seminarian. He has promised to rein in government spending, scrap the hated tax on carbon emissions, and stop the flow of refugee boats arriving in Australia’s northwest. He also promised to keep his promises.

Labor dumped Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2010, for Australia’s first female prime minister Julia Gillard, only to reinstate Rudd as leader in June of 2013 in a desperate bid to stay in power. Labor’s overall vote was the worst since 2004 when conservative prime minister won his fourth and final term. Abbott could end up with a majority of around 30 seats, ending the party’s first minority government since World War II.

Mr. Rudd had attempted to portray Abbott’s planned spending cuts as “dangerous European-style austerity” and said that Labor was best placed to manage an economy that while slowing, is still the envy of much of the developed world. Sounds familiar.

Congratulations to Mr. Abbott and to our friends Down Under

Jobs for the Middle Class, Revisited Again, and Again. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama went to Chattanooga, Tennessee last Wednesday for a big speech on jobs at the Amazon fulfillment center.  Let’s just say it was not one of Mr. Obama’s better efforts. He wants a “better bargain” for the middle class. He has this weird idea that the economy grows “from the middle out,” which nobody understands, but he’s trying to make the middle class feel important.

He said that “over the past four and a half years, we’ve been fighting our way back from the worst recession since the Great Depression.” He’s used this line over and over, but that does not make it true. It was a sharp recession, others have been worse, but we usually recover more quickly from a sharp recession. The recession ended in June 2009. It is the recovery that has been the problem.

From Zero Hedge: “Of 953,000 jobs created in 2013, 77 percent or 731,000 are part time. The U.S. is slowly being converted to a part-time economy.” According to Obama, it is because of the “long-term erosion” that it’s so hard to get the economy growing again. (Not His fault). “Together we’ve righted the ship. We took on a broken health care system.” The health care system was not broken, but the best in the world. There were something like 35 percent who had no health insurance. And we have learned that when Obama Care fully takes effect, there will still be about the same number who have no health insurance.

As Thomas Sowell said “It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”That’s what  they did not understand. And what has happened is that businesses who have large numbers of low wage people cannot afford what ObamaCare demands that they pay, so they are switching to part time employees, and they will have to hire twice as many part-time workers. There are always consequences.

Obama is going to fix the middle class with lots of construction jobs. You probably remember that he said that “those shovel-ready jobs really weren’t shovel-ready.” Construction jobs are complicated. First you have to get the agreement of the concerned governmental unit. Plans must be drawn up. Long approval process. Environmental impact statement. Long approval process. Legal battles with those who don’t like the project, and there are always those who don’t like the project. Repeat approval process. Construction jobs are not permanent jobs. They attach to a project.

The president added that “we invested in new American technologies to reverse our addiction to foreign oil.”Sigh. We were never “addicted” to foreign oil. We had a government that wanted to buy foreign oil instead of allowing drilling for our own resources, and a government that extended the ban on offshore drilling in the case of Deepwater-Horizon to an absurd extent that sent ten big rigs off to other countries that were more cooperative, with their crews, and shut down the economy in the Gulf for months for no particular reason except that the President was ideologically opposed to fossil fuels, and subsequently forbade any drilling anywhere else, like offshore Alaska, onshore Alaska, West Coast, East Coast, Florida coast.

You don’t make the economy grow from the middle class out. A reviving economy will provide opportunity for all. ObamaCare is the biggest drag on the economy, but the”green jobs” in new 21st Century technology are nonsense. Spain and Portugal are dying from excessive investment in green technology. In Germany, Siemens burned through 21 Billion Euros and is out of the solar business. Wind and Solar are old, old technologies, and sexy new turbines or solar shingles seem like wonderful new technology, but the inherent problems of wind and solar remain the same. Wind is too intermittent, Solar is too diffuse.

How about doing some of the things that actually help businesses to create jobs? Obama has in mind a new “Grand Bargain.” He will reform the corporate tax code. His willingness to cut back the U.S. corporate tax, which is the highest in the developed world which taxes businesses on the income they earn in other countries. It destroys jobs and lowers wages for American workers and is way overdue for reform.

The central purpose of tax reform is to invigorate economic growth. Broadening the tax base (closing loopholes) and subsequently lowering tax rates is a good thing. But Mr. Obama wants to use some of that revenue to increase spending, which turns the whole thing into just another tax hike. He can’t give up the spending, and he needs more revenue to do it.

Tommy Emmanuel — Struttin’ by The Elephant's Child

A nice way to start the day. Tommy Emmanuel’s guitar always seems like an extension of his body.

Useful Quotations for Today’s World: by The Elephant's Child

From Australian Climate Scientist Ian Plimer:

“The mind is like a parachute. It only works when it’s open.”

Global Warming Alarmism is in Freefall. Obama Wants More Money to Spend. by The Elephant's Child

The European Union’s climate policy is in freefall.  Carbon prices (they do cap-and-trade) have lost nearly 14% of their value (April 2).  The already depressed carbon price dropped from €7 to a record low of €6.14 by early afternoon.

The Germans are dumping their subsidies for solar energy. The British government has rejected the bogus economics of climate change, though they are not quite ready to announce it formally.

Europe is coming to the realization that on top of all their other economic problems, they don’t need to be subsidizing expensive solar energy that hikes the power bills for the public while producing little energy.

In Canada, Lawrence Solomon writes in The Financial Post that the world is awash in oil, and in the future, the MIddle East will go back to being an obscure backwater because the world will no longer be dependent on its oil.

The Aussies are not happy with Prime Minister Julia Gaillard’s climate efforts and taxes, and are showing their displeasure at the polls, tossing out their Labour government.

And at the University of East Anglia, a new postgraduate course hopes to bring together researchers in the environmental sciences, philosophy, history and literature to develop “new ways of thinking about environmental change and social transitions.” If you  have experience in writing “eco-poetry” the UEA wants to hear from you. UAE is noted as the birthphlace of ClimateGate.

Everywhere, a sensible public is becoming more skeptical of outrageous climate claims, and the climate alarmists come up with new stories of impending doom.  Dr. Tim Ball, Canadian climate scientist says that “when asked what’s wrong with global warming —most can only say sea level rise.”

And here at home, in alignment with the rest of the world, the Obama administration has requested $770 million in federal funds to combat the effects of global warming in developing countries, according to a congressional report. This continues administration policy of using foreign aid to combat the effects of global warming in the developing world —despite another year of $1 trillion deficits.

According to the Congressional Research Service the administration has spent a total of $2.5 billion on the Global Climate Change Initiative on anti-global warming efforts in Latin America, Asia and Africa.  If approved by Congress the latest request would boost foreign climate change spending to $3.3 billion. The money supposedly goes for adaption, clean energy, and sustainable landscapes.

CRS noted that —like most foreign aid programs — there was a high probability that foreign countries would misuse or wast GCCI funds. They also mentioned that “Congress may want to consider the fact that there is a lack of consensus on whether global warming will happen at all.”

Tommy Emmanuel, Informally: Saturday Night Shuffle by The Elephant's Child
March 7, 2012, 9:12 pm
Filed under: Australia, Entertainment, Music, YouTube | Tags: , ,

Tommy Emmanuel is an Australian, and known as one of the world”s great guitarists. There are lots of his videos on You Tube. For sheer beauty look for “The Mountains of Illinois,” a Chet Atkins song. One of my many favorites is “Lewis and Clark,” and to accompany that, his new American Indian song, “Trails.”  Or try “The Band” where he introduces you to his three piece band, all played on his guitar. He is an enormous talent. Enjoy.

Tommy Emmanuel: “Halfway Home” Live 2010 by The Elephant's Child

Tommy Emmanuel performs “Halfway Home”, live at the Australian Institute of Music as part of his amazing master class in December of 2010.

100 Pictures Taken From Airplane Windows —Beautiful! by The Elephant's Child
December 9, 2011, 7:14 am
Filed under: Africa, Australia, China, Developing Nations, Europe, Middle East, United Kingdom

 11. New York, New York

Here is a collection of pictures taken out of airline windows. Sounds like looking at a bunch of clouds, but they are quite amazing, as  you tour the world.  Enjoy.


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