American Elephants


It’s a Farce, But They Want to Express Their Concern About Economic Inequality by The Elephant's Child

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The World Hypocrisy Forum of the ultra rich will enter its final day in Davos, Switzerland on Saturday. Volunteers created an array of 193  three foot high snowmen complete with carrot noses and coal eyes, each draped in a scarf representing one of the 193 countries recognized by the United Nations.

When the world’s wealthiest citizens, heads of state, businessmen, and movie stars fly into a Swiss ski resort on their 1,700 private jets to see and be seen for the purpose of creating a better world by expressing concern about the problems of climate change, poverty and economic inequality while taking helicopter rides, a few ski runs and relaxing in the spas, and noshing on $43 hot dogs at the Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère — you simply have to laugh. Can they possibly not recognize — but of course they can’t.

Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan CEO. said “Family first, country second , and JP Morgan—it ‘s the best I can do for the world. You don’t want a weak JP Morgan-or else”according to Twitter.

Billionaire Jeff Green who amassed a multibillion dollar fortune betting against subprime mortgage securities, said the U.S. faces a jobs crisis that will cause social unrest and radical politics.

“America’s lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence,” Greene said in an interview. “We need to reinvent our whole system of life.”

The pretentious, pompous, World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland. Everybody took selfies with the cute snowmen.



Greenpeace, Once Again, Embarrasses Itself and the World by The Elephant's Child

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Peru Climate Change Conference

Greenpeace has always attempted big stunts to get the attention of the world press. The media is onto them and for the most part ignores them. You can see in the picture above that they are attempting to avoid major damage, but the Nazca Lines are incredibly fragile. The Nazca desert is unusually dry, and the plain is sheltered from the wind. Anything that disturbs the desert—like a footprint, for example —lasts for centuries.

The environmental activists from Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Germany and Italy who conducted the stunt broke environmental regulations and permanently damaged a UNESCO site. The purpose of the Greenpeace action is supposedly the fight against climate change, but more obviously simply to promote Greenpeace than to do anything whatsoever for the environment. They also electronically projected a message on cliff walls at Machu Picchu and unfurled some banners on the cliffs in advance of the UN Climate Summit (COP20) in Peru. For Peruvians, these are sacred sites, and not for radical greens to use for tasteless stunts.

Remarkably stupid, but Greenpeace will do anything to get attention. They train the activists, regular people, they say, who made a personal choice to help save their world. Uh huh.

GreenPeace-unfurls-pro-solar-messageOne of their major efforts is to insist that Africans die from Malaria rather than safely spray their huts with small amounts of DDT. In Asia, the poor are extremely susceptible to Vitamin A deficiency in their diets, because their diet is reliant on rice in which the vitamin is entirely lacking. Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) affects about 250 million preschool children. Providing those children with vitamin A could prevent about a third of under age 5 deaths or roughly 2.7 million children could be saved from unnecessary deaths, irreversible blindness, impaired skeletal growth. Greenpeace’s actions have effectively prevented the use of Golden Rice, a variety of rice that has been genetically modified to include vitamin A.

108173_175761Greenpeace has threatened General Mills which has in cowardly or ill-informed fashion labeled Cheerios as “non genetically modified” thus bowing to the “natural” food devotees and informing them that “Non GMO” foods are a correct position. I understand that the battle for shelf-space and customers is constant in the grocery business, but the ignorance of food faddists should not be catered to. In any grocery store your will find appeals to those who favor “natural” food (ever ask yourself which foods are “unnatural?”). “Organic” is merely a marketing ploy by purveyors of food grown with only “natural ” manure, and no use of nasty “chemical” fertilizers. But if you want to spend 30% more for your food, for no nutritional benefit whatsoever, that’s  your problem.  But the promotion of GMO Free foods is killing kids and contributing to blindness. If American women refuse to buy genetically modified food, there must be something wrong with it, and governments are suspicious and afraid.

Dr. Henry Miller, the founding director of the FDA’s Office of Biotechnology, and fellow at the Hoover Institution has written:

A 2001 Food and Drug Administration guidance document warns against using terms like “not genetically modified” or “GMO free,” because ” ‘genetic modification’ means the alteration of the genotype of a plant using any technique, new or traditional,” and “consumers do not have a good understanding that essentially all food crops have been genetically modified.” Thus, according to the FDA, changing the Cheerios label to say, “Not Made With Genetically Modified Ingredients,” with no further context, would be inaccurate, or at least misleading. That would make the product “misbranded,” and selling it would violate federal law.

Although so-called GMOs and ingredients derived from them don’t constitute a “category” of food products, antitechnology activists have seized on the term “genetically modified” because they know it conjures up lurid if inaccurate images of “Frankenfood” and “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.”

Don’t buy any foods labeled “non GMO.”  And here’s why you should never pay any attention  to Greenpeace.



“The Ultimate Global Antipoverty Program” by The Elephant's Child

It’s the greatest achievement
in human history,
and one you probably
never heard about.”

Extreme poverty in the world fell to 15% in 2011, from 36% in 1990.  The credit goes to the spread of capitalism. The past 25 years have witnessed the greatest reduction in global poverty in the history of the world. An 80% reduction in world poverty in only 36 years.

The World Bank reported on Oct. 9 that the share of the world population living in extreme poverty had fallen to 15% in 2011 from 36% in 1990. Earlier this year, the International Labor Office reported that the number of workers in the world earning less than $1.25 a day has fallen to 375 million 2013 from 811 million in 1991. …

The reduction in world poverty has attracted little attention because it runs against the narrative pushed by those hostile to capitalism. The Michael Moores of the world portray capitalism as a degrading system in which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Yet thanks to growth in the developing world, world-wide income inequality—measured across countries and individual people—is falling, not rising, as Branco Milanovic of City University of New York and other researchers have shown.

So what accounts for that? “It was globalization, free trade, the boom in international entrepreneurship. In short, it was the free enterprise system, American style, which is our gift to the world.”

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Liberal Dark Money Group Tries to Blame GOP for Ebola Deaths. by The Elephant's Child

When the Democrats get desperate, they get pretty disgusting. The Agenda Project, a 501(c)4 organization and liberal dark money group is placing ads in various battleground states is attempting to blame Ebola on the Republicans. According to an email signed by the group’s founder, one Erica Payne, and titled “if you die, blame them,” the group is starting:

a multi-pronged blitzkrieg attack tat lays blame for the Ebola crisis exactly where it belongs — at the feet of the Republican lawmakers. Like rabid dogs in a butcher shop, Republicans have indiscriminately shredded everything in their path, including critical programs that could have dealt with the Ebola crisis before it reached our country.

Their internal polls must really be suggesting a Republican sweep. File this under “Guttersnipes.” Erica Payne has established a reputation for absurd attack broadsides against conservatives and Republicans. In 2010, she was responsible for an ad that accused Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) of killing senior citizens and a campaign to mock  Tea Party Americans who engaged in grassroots political activism called “Fuck-Tea.”

The Free Beacon notes that aside from the stupidity of the Ebola ad, it’s simply false. The U.S. Global Health Program budget has increased more than six-fold since 2001 and the Republican-controlled House overwhelmingly approved a budget measure to increase funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by $567 million, an 8.2 percent increase over the previous year.

Ten years ago the federal government created and funded a brand new office in the HHS department specifically to coordinate preparation for and response to public health threats like Ebola. As the Ebola Czar, Dr. Nicole Lurie’s job is to help the country prepare for emergencies and to have the countermeasures , the medicines or vaccines needed for a public health emergency.

Heard of her? Perhaps she is avoiding the public eye because there was a scandal a few years back. In November 2011, a front page expose in the Los Angeles Times described how a company controlled by a longtime political donor got a no-bid contract to supply an experimental remedy for a threat that may not exist. The donor was Ron Pearlman, a controlling shareholder of Siga. The award was controversial in every way, including disputes about need, efficacy and extremely high costs. Even Democrats in tight election races were calling for investigations.

Last month Siga filed for bankruptcy after it was found liable for breaching a licensing contract. The company that fought the no-bid contract was Chimerix, which argued that their drug had far more promise than Siga’s. Chimerix’ Brincidofovir is antiviral medication being developed for smallpox, but also Ebola and adenovirus. Preliminary tests show some promise against Ebola, and the FDA authorized its use on Oct. 6 for use against some Ebola patients. It was given to Thomas Eric Duncan who died from Ebola.

The supposedly underfunded NIH has granted $702,558 for a study on the impact of televisions and gas generators on villages in Vietnam, $175,587 to the University of Kentucky to study the impact of cocaine on the sex drive of Japanese quail. $44.382 to study hookah smoking in Jordan and $592,527 to study why chimpanzees throw objects. Last year there were news reports about a $509,840 grant from NIH for a study that would send text messages in “gay lingo” to meth-heads. Preparation for an Ebola epidemic? Not so much.

And Erica Payne, and her Agenda Project? They have close ties to the Democracy Alliance, the Democrat’s billionaire donor club. Payne is a DA co-founder, and the Agenda Project is one of the groups to which Alliance donors can steer money to satisfy their annual $200,000 giving requirements.

We have had one Ebola death of a man who knew he had been exposed to Ebola, and lied to catch a flight to America. There are so many issues, important issues, facing the country that serious discussions would help to allay fears and to help the public understand why we are doing what we are doing, and if the administration is competent to manage our problems. Instead we get this, and a game of kick-the-can down the road till after the election, so maybe the people won’t find out.



John Kerry Lectures African Leaders by The Elephant's Child

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John Kerry went off on an extended rant at a panel on “Resilience and Food Security in a Changing Climate” at the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit on Monday.

Eight thousand children die every single day. Around the world, one in eight people suffers from chronic hunger, and in sub-Sahara Africa that number regrettably is one in four. So looking to the future, it’s only going to be more difficult to bring these numbers down.

He said the seven billion people the world struggles to feed today will be nine billion by 2050, more than half of which is set to occur in Africa.  And climate change will make confronting world hunger even harder. The effects of climate change, he said, are already being felt around the world.

We’re not talking about some distant future. We’re not talking about some pie in the sky, unproven set of theories, as they were in the earliest days of population growth or other challenges that we face. The impacts of climate change are already being felt everywhere in the world. From the Arctic to the Antarctic, and everywhere in between and around, and they are only going to get worse,” he said, noting that will continue to be the case unless world leaders are able to reach an agreement in Paris next year at the UN conference on climate change.

“All you have to do is look at the extreme conditions that farmers are dealing with around the word. Hotter temperatures, longer droughts —like in California for instance and other parts of the world — unpredictable rainfall patterns,”

All you have to do is look at our ocean, the same carbon pollution that drives climate change is literally changing the ocean’s chemistry,” he said, arguing that it is among the difficulties fish populations are facing.

Kerry went on to say that the increase in carbon is not only detrimental to the amount of food available, but it is also making what is available less nutritious.

Drought, storms, monsoons, hurricanes, tornadoes and unpredictable rainfall patterns, are weather, not climate. Climate is a statistic involving worldwide temperature.

CO², carbon dioxide, is one of the building blocks of life, and a natural fertilizer for plants. It makes plants grow.  One of the reasons we have been able to feed growing numbers of the world’s population is that slightly increased CO² has helped plants to grow and flourish. It helps to make plants more resistant to drought. If Mr. Kerry wants to grow more food on the same amount of land, the worst thing he could do is to try to cut back  on what he mistakenly calls “carbon pollution.”

Norman Borlaug, the Father of the Green Revolution, was one of the great figures of the 20th century. He saved hundreds of millions of lives by producing new varieties of plants  and went on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for averting malnutrition and famine. From 1950 to 1992, the world’s grain output rose from 692 million tons produced on 1.70 billion acres of cropland to 1.9 billion tons on 1.73 acres, an increase of more than 150 percent.  His innovations have helped to feed the world. Not enough for the left, which marches and demonstrates against GMO (genetically modified organisms) foods, just as they are out there demonstrating against nonexistent “carbon pollution.”

There was a video, but I couldn’t listen to it myself, let alone push it on you.



There Are More Than 50 Million Refugees, For the First Time Since World War II by The Elephant's Child

At the end of 2013, The United Nations Refugee Agency’s report released last Friday says, 51.2 million people were refugees. For the first time since World War II we have more than 50 million people driven from their homes, all too often in fear for their lives. And the numbers can only be increasing exponentially as Iraqis and Syrians flee to neighboring countries.

Of the 51.2 refugees— 12 million are being cared for by the United Nations aid agencies. 6.3 million of those have been displaced for more than five years. The largest numbers of refugees come from Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria. The exodus from Iraq has just started. The countries harboring the most refugees are Iran, Lebanon and Pakistan. At the time the report was released the greatest numbers came from the Syrian civil war, with more than 2.5 million Syrians fleeing to neighboring countries. Lebanon is only a small country of 4.5 million people— one fourth of those are refugees. They are quickly running out of basic necessities. And the chaos in Iraq only erupted this month. It takes a lot of fear to make you grab a little of your stuff and run.



The World Needs Genetically Modified Food! by The Elephant's Child

May 30, 2013, 7:07 pm | Edit this

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This is re-posted from about this time last year. I don’t know if they are holding protest meetings against Monsanto, but otherwise the beat goes on. They are still trying to force grocery stores to identify any GMO containing foods with labels, by law.

For most people last weekend was the observance of Memorial Day, a time to remember the fallen. For the easily aroused, it was a time to march in a global protest against Monsanto and genetically modified seeds. Well, the global warming thingy is in freefall as a protest message, since most people are noticing that it is significantly cooling (where is summer anyway?), with late snow to emphasize the fact. Are the protesters always just the same people? The pictures look like it. Is there a certain type who just loves to march and wave signs?

Organizers said  “March Against Monsanto” demonstrations were being held in some 300 cities in more than 44 countries that weekend.  It was described as a social media-generated call to action against genetically modified foods and the multinational corporations that produce them. Goodness, you alter a gene to include vitamin A in rice, creating “golden rice,”which will save millions from blindness, and the perennially suspicious go bonkers.

Genetically modified seeds help farmers to grow more on less land, and to conserve resources such as water and energy. Some supporters just want any foods grown from GMO seeds to be so labeled, others want to prohibit the process. Proposition 37, a ballot measure that would have made California the first state to require labels on fresh produce and processed foods whose DNA had been modified by scientists, was defeated at the polls.

Unsurprisingly, much of the misinformation on GMO crops comes from promoters of Organic Food. “Organic” is merely a marketing campaign. Multiple studies have shown no benefits of any kind from organic food, other than the higher prices it brings to marketers, and Whole Foods.

Demographers expect world population to keep growing until about 2050, and then start declining. The industrialized nations , for the most part, have declining birth rates, and as prosperity increases, that seems to be the natural tendency. Until 2050, we need to produce more food to feed the world. If the world continues to cool, we might desperately need GMO foods that are more adapted to cold. Varieties of  grains adapted to particular soils or climates can dramatically increase production. Reducing the cost of weed control, or reducing susceptibility to a virus, can be a very big deal. Reducing pesticide use makes food healthier. Adding beta carotene to golden rice could prevent millions of cases of blindness. Do people not recognize that countries like Egypt cannot feed their own population?

Growers and marketers are sensitive to the protests of activist groups. They have seen foolish scares do tremendous damage to their businesses. Remember the cranberry scare, Alar, and activists attempting to destroy crops?  Always new food fads or fears that seem to grow in some mysterious underground.  Is it just word of mouth? I don’t know. They are still protesting fluoride in our water, but brushing their teeth with it.




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