American Elephants


Mark Steyn on Problematic Speech and Free Speech. by The Elephant's Child

Mark Steyn had a long legal battle with the Canadian Human Rights Commission nearly ten years ago about free speech, for the Canadian Human Rights Commission believes that free speech does not include words with which they disagree. They had the force of law behind them, and the descent into totalitarianism is not far behind.

It’s hard for some to realize that free speech actually includes words or statements with which you disagree, especially political words and thoughts. But if free speech means anything at all, you must defend speech that you don’t like. You may disagree, refute their arguments, prove that they are wrong, but they get to say what they believe. There are few things that are so damaging to American colleges and universities than attempting to create tiny spaces somewhere on campus that are “free speech zones.” There is nothing so offensive to those who are pushing  for complete control, silencing any opposition, as free speech. That’s always where the totalitarians start, by silencing opposing voices and shutting them down.

We’ve had a lot of riots and demonstrations on our college campuses the past few years, protesting speakers who might say something  they don’t want to hear, because it might disturb them. The list of invited speakers who have been shut down is not only long, but includes prominent speakers who have important things to say. It’s pretty clear that there are some professors who are more interested in indoctrinating than teaching. So understanding the battle and the threats to free speech is one of today’s most important lessons.

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Jordan Peterson and the Question of Gender Pronouns by The Elephant's Child

Jordan Peterson ia a professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, and a clinical psychologist. He is very principled, very honest, and very determined. The question here is one of gender pronouns, but really of the larger question of more genders than the two assigned to us by science, custom, and chromosomes.  This one really gets into it.



A Quick History of the American Revolution by The Elephant's Child

I like timelines or chronologies that tell you just where and when the events of history took place. It gives you a sense of history as it happened and what was happening at the same time elsewhere in the world. So you will see one here now and then, and I hope you find them useful.

So lets start with the 1765 Stamp Act, passed by Parliament on March 22, 1765. It imposed on all American colonists a tax on every piece of printed paper they used. The money collected was to be used to help pay the costs of defending and protecting the American frontier near the Appalachian Mountains, and 10,000 British troops were to be stationed on the frontier for this purpose. It wasn’t the cost that was so offensive, but the standard it seemed to set, that Britain could impose a tax without the consent or approval of the colonial legislatures. This was a tax on ships papers,legal documents, licenses, newspapers, other publications and even playing cards. That started things:
1767: Townsend Acts (import taxes on tea, glass, and products from England)
1770: The Boston Massacre (Colonists rioted to protest English soldiers there to protect British commissioners and the Townsend taxes) 5 colonists
killed, including Crispus Attucks, an escaped slave.
1773: Boston Tea Party
1774: The Intolerable Acts and the First Continental Congress
1775: Rhode Island abolished slavery.
Paul Revere’s Ride to warn Lexington and Concord
Battle of Bunker Hill
1776: Declaration of Independence.
Battle of Long Island (August)
Battle of Trenton   (December 25)
Washington crosses the Delaware R. (Dec. 26)
1777: Battle of Princeton (Jan. 3)
Burgoyne captures Fort Ticonderoga
Articles of Confederation
Saratoga: Sept. 19, and October 7.  Victory!
1778: American Colonies sign treaties with France and Holland,
reject British peace offer.
1779: John Paul Jones on Bonhome Richard defeats Serapis.
1780: Charleston Falls
Camden Aug 16, Kings Mt. 7 October, Cowpens, Jan 17
1781: Cornwallis Surrenders at Yorktown, October 19.
1789: George Washington chosen president
1799: George Washington dies of strep throat
1789-1793: The French Revolution



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.



Wildfire, Bad Air Quality, Imported From Canada by Mother Nature by The Elephant's Child

The air in the Seattle area is really bad today. The sun looks to be bright red, and the smoke is very visible. Most of it is coming from British Columbia, as seen in today’s satellite photo. The red dots represent heat detected by the satellite. This was just posted. There are 110 active wildfires in British Columbia, four of them larger than 123,000 acres. (The Canadians speak in metric hectares) There’s also a good sized fire close to the border, if you look carefully. Across the mountains, there are 37,915 acres burning in the Okanagan National Forest, but that isn’t contributing to our bad air quality. And no, the fires are not caused by global warming, no matter how much the cultists try to use them to raise money. Click on the link for lots more information.

The U.S. Forest Service was a big part of my childhood. We could tell by the smoke in the air, about where the fire was. Lots of family friends worked for the Forest Service, and the Smoke Jumpers operated from  a nearby town. I spent some great time in the summer at Price Valley Ranger Station, where a friend’s father was in command. Fun for a kid, but wildfire is dangerous hard work for firefighters, smoke jumpers, hotshot crews, and all the folks trying to save lives and forests.  Remember them when you’re complaining about bad air and poor visibility.

 



A Hot Day in Puget Sound Country by The Elephant's Child
August 4, 2017, 10:34 pm
Filed under: Canada, Environment, News of the Weird | Tags: , ,

Hot today, 92º, and the air is foul with smoke from British Columbia forest fires. People in the Puget Sound region are unaccustomed to hot weather, though it happens for a week or so every year, and we complain and suffer immeasurably. My two cats are sprawled in front of the fans — I have 3 going, and it will apparently continue like this well into next week. The mountains and waterfalls and rushing streams are only a short drive away, or the ocean in the other direction, so relief is readily available. But we complain, loudly and at length.



D-Day Through German Eyes by The Elephant's Child

In one of the posts on D-Day on and around June 6th, I came across a review of a new book, or rather 2 books on the German side of D-Day. The books are D-Day Through German Eyes and D-Day Through German Eyes—Book 2, by Holger Eckhertz. The author’s grandfather was a journalist for German news magazines during World War II. In the spring of 1944, prior to D-Day, he toured sections of the so-called Atlantic Wall, including the Normandy beaches, and interviewed soldiers from units in the area. About ten years later, he determined to track down the soldiers he had interviewed or at least someone from their units and interview them again about their experience during the invasion.

The books are apparently available only as E-books, and are in interview format, that is questions and answers—small vignettes of individual soldier’s experiences. The review isn’t long, and includes some surprising bits of information. The Germans did not expect an invasion at the Normandy beaches, the Allies had control of the air right from the beginning. The German troops were third rate troops, generally soldiers that because of a medical or psychiatric condition were no longer regular infantry, but there were also troops who had defected from the Soviets. They were surprised at the physical size of the American and Canadian troops, presumably because of better diet.

Do read the whole thing. It’s surprising and interesting.  It seems that the Germans were working on a thermobaric weapon — I had to look up the unfamiliar term.  A thermobaric weapon is a type of explosive that utilizes oxygen from the surrounding air to generate an intense, high-temperature explosion, and in practice the blast wave of such a weapon produces a typically significantly longer duration than a conventional condensed explosive. The fuel-air bomb is one of the most well-known types of thermobaric weapons. Fortunately, a stray Allied Bomb inadvertently destroyed to development works.




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