American Elephants


Tucker Carlson Exposes Google: Is Anyone Surprised? by The Elephant's Child

At National Review, there is a book review of “Life after Google” The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy, by George Gilder.

In the shadow of Mount Hood in Washington State, six miles west of the dam in the Columbia River that holds back the Dalles (rhymes with “pals”) rapids, Google maintains its main data center. Three glass-walled warehouses, each one 10 million cubic feet, contain 75,000 computer servers linked together by thousands of fiber-optic cables, all crammed together as tightly as possible to reduce any signal delays. High-security gates and fences keep out unwanted visitors, while ad­vanced millimeter-wave body scanners examine every person, employee, and visitor entering the building.

This is the heart of the Google empire, which today is worth almost $800 billion (the valuation of Google’s holding company, Alphabet), putting it only a couple of hundred billion dollars behind Apple Inc. and Amazon. As George Gilder notes in his new book, “empire” is a fitting word to describe Google. The size and reach of the company is unprecedented in the history of computing. Its ability to process an ever-growing database consisting of thousands of petabytes (“peta” meaning 1 quadrillion, or a million billion) and handle 1.5 trillion searches every year means that it powers large sections of the U.S. economy. It also shapes our culture and mindsetand increasingly our political system. Yet Google itself, Gilder argues, isn’t best understood as a business at all. It’s a utopian cult, powered not by technology but by a philosophyone could even say a theologythat is about to meet its nemesis.

Gilder, a cofounder of the Discovery Institute in Seattle, has a long record of debunking conventional notions about how the world works. His groundbreaking book Wealth and Poverty (1981) debunked the idea that capitalism is driven by greed; Men and Marriage (1986) overturned the notion that chasing down so-called deadbeat dads was good social policy. His book on the microchip revolution, Microcosm (1990), made Moore’s Lawthat the output of advanced digital technologies such as microchips will double every 18 monthsa household term.

In his new book, it’s Bell’s Law that gets the center spread. Named after Digital Equipment Corporation engineer Gordon Bell, Bell’s Law states that every decade a hundredfold drop in the price of processing power creates a new computer architecture. This is what is happening now, Gilder argues: A new architecture for handling data and information is taking shape that will shake the Google empire to its foundations.

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Where Does Our Energy Come From? by The Elephant's Child

Coal is the most-used electricity generation source in 18 states; natural gas in 16, hydro, nuclear, petroleum — Wind? Solar?

EIA

From the U.S. Energy Information  Administration and WattsUpWithThat

Electricity generators that use fossil fuels continue to be the most common sources of electricity generation in most states. In all but 15 states, coal, natural gas, or petroleum liquids were the most-used electricity generation fuel in 2017. Since 2007, the number of states where coal was the most prevalent electricity generation fuel has fallen as natural gas, nuclear, and hydroelectricity have gained market share.

In 2017, coal provided the largest generation share in 18 states, down from 28 states in 2007. Natural gas had the largest share in 16 states, up from 11 in 2007. Petroleum remained the largest generation share in only one state—Hawaii—providing 62% of the state’s electricity generation in 2017. For the United States as a whole, natural gas provided 32% of total electricity generation in 2017, slightly higher than coal’s 30% share.

Beyond fossil fuels, nuclear power plants provided the largest electricity share in nine states, up from six in 2007. Hydroelectricity is the most prevalent electricity generation source in six states, up from four in 2007. Hydro is the only renewable energy source with the largest share in any state, but that may soon change with the continued addition of wind turbines in states such as Kansas and Iowa.

Even though coal’s lead has been cut from 17 to 2 States since 2007, it’s still in first place. Numbers in parentheses reflect the change since 2007.

•Coal: 18 (-10)
•Natural Gas: 16 (+5)
•Nuclear: 9 (+3)
•Hydroelectric: 6 (+2)
•Petroleum: 1 (0)

Neither wind nor solar are capable of providing the energy needed by a state and all of its communities and industries. I haven’t yet been able to find an answer to the question of electric cars. If all vehicles were required to run on electricity, could our grid produce the needed energy? I suspect not., but I simply do not know. If, as we are told, it would be easy for foreign hackers to hack into our grid, could they just shut down — everything?



Just What Does Being “Presidential” Mean? by The Elephant's Child

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I have always suspected that Leftist ideology would prefer that we were more like Europe. Not sure what that means—Kings and Queens instead of boring old presidents? More castles for the exceedingly rich so they don’t have to build their own? Surely it’s not more wars. I also suspect that it’s partly because they are more than a little unfamiliar with history. They are very big on blaming America for slavery and racism, apparently unaware that slavery was the way of the world pretty much until the British and America banned it. American Indians practiced slavery. The vast majority of the trans-Atlantic slave trade went to the sugar islands of the Caribbean and South America, not here.

My point, however, is that Americans don’t understand the efforts made by the Founding Fathers, the early settlers, and historians well-versed in history to not favor any kind of royal trappings, they wanted us simple, ordinary, common, down-to-earth, good people. After the Revolution, when we thought we were done with British royalty, many wanted George Washington to be a King, but he would have no truck with that. He really didn’t want to be the President —he just wanted to go back to his farm. Whenever someone got to yearning for more elegance, there was usually someone else to remind that we don’t do that sort of thing. There was just an extensive article this week about the tendency of residents of “the swamp” to want to buy great art (with taxpayer dollars) to make Washington DC  a little classier.

Which brings me to the vast complaints about President Trump. The problem is the tweets. Of course it’s the language too, the Queens accent, (Dan Bongino, who is from Queens. says Trump talks like someone from Queens who is in the construction business.) Even the Never Trumpers always emphasize the tweets. The insults, the name-calling, the criticism. He’s Not Presidential!! they cry, forgetting that tweeting was not available to the previous 44 or 43.  I don’t mind because it tells us what he’s thinking, and I find that helpful information. And if they knew a little more presidential history, they wouldn’t yammer on about being “unpresidential.”

But “presidential”— if there is some particular standard for presidents, I must have missed it. We have had a very few exceptional, a lot of more or less OK ones, some marginally competent and some downright awful. The party that is not in power always has nasty thing to say about the president that is in power. Presidents are only ordinary men (so far) with all the faults and quirks that go along with being human, who are maybe a little more ambitious that the rest of us. We elect them to run the country for four years, and if they do a very good job we may give them another four years. We ask a lot of a president, but he gets to surround himself with the best advisors he possibly can get along with, but he’s the boss. When the board of directors of a corporation needs a new CEO do they sit around the table complaining about his funny hair, or his tan out of a bottle? They want someone who can make the company work better, earn more money, make better products, hire better people, make the company grow and prosper.

But isn’t that exactly what Trump is doing? Making the country grow and prosper? Black and Hispanic unemployment is the lowest in history. Small business prospering, large business prospering. But the Media says Trump is a racist? (see previous post) No, former Speaker Pelosi, tax cuts are not just for the rich. Everybody benefits, and the rich don’t necessarily benefit the most. And announcing that the first thing you’d do when you get back in power is to end the tax cuts immediately requires an immediate remedial course in economics, as well as a failure to get back in power.

When you cut taxes, people are able to keep more of their own money, and invest it in new businesses, new products, new ideas, or just buy something they’ve needed for years. When the government dumps dumb regulations that are not accomplishing anything, people are freed up to do new things. But the environment! Trump is getting rid of regulations. Yes. filling the gas tanks of America’s cars with fuel made of corn (food) was a dumb idea. The Paris Climate Accords were a scheme to get the rich countries to give a big chunk of their wealth to poor developing countries for free, and pretending that it had some effect on the climate (it didn’t) was a dumb idea.  What the Left hates is that the country is prospering under Trump, and there’s a possibility that he might get re-elected, which accounts for much of the venom.



The Common Complaint of Bias in the Media (TRUE) by The Elephant's Child

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Ann Coulter, “New York Times  best-selling author and conservative columnist” said today at Breitbart that she just wants President Trump to “destroy the media”— even if nothing else is accomplished by his administration.  She was specifically offended by the media’s “distaste” that the president tweeted about the killing of white farmers occurring in South Africa. (not to be mentioned), and she added I want him to expose where the Democratic Party is going with things like their chant “No borders, no wall, no USA at all,” Gov Cuomo saying America was never great, or the New York Times hiring Sara Jeong who just tweets hatred and venom towards white men.

Well, I can’t disagree with Ann all that much. A former editor for the New York Times, David Leonhardt, claimed that American racism is the only reason Americans care about the death of Molly Tibbits at the hands of an illegal alien. (No it’s not racism, it’s the ILLEGAL part.) We don’t like 20 year old college students being brutally murdered. The only reason Democrats try to stick the Republicans with the racism tag, is because Democrats have such a long and dreadful history of their own racism. They thought electing the first black president would finally absolve them of their history. But they haven’t changed their behavior.

CNN excitedly thought they had caught President Trump in an impeachable offense, lying about prior knowledge of the infamous Trump Tower meeting during the 2016 presidential campaign. Turned out it was Lanny Davis, Cohen’s attorney, who said Cohen told him, but Davis has since admitted publicly that Cohen did not have such information, and he was a source on the story to CNN. CNN refused to retract the story in spite of it’s falsification.

Twitter failed to block or ban a tweet to NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch on Sunday that said:

The only way these people learn is if it affects them directly. So if Dana Loesch has to have her children murdered before she’ll understand, I guess that’s what needs to happen.

Loesch’s husband complained to Twitter, who eventually responded “We have reviewed your report carefully and found that there was no violation of the Twitter Rules against abusive behavior.” Threaten to kill your kids? Fine. They did remove it by Wed. after an outcry.

I was about to discard my 2002 book on Media Bias by Bernard Goldberg, but I think I’d better hang on to it. A strong leftward bias by the news media is not anything new, just more virulent.

Some thoughts on those angry voters. Ask parents of any two-year-old and they can tell you about those temper tantrums; the stomping feet, the rolling eyes, the screaming…Imagine a nation full of uncontrolled two-year-old rage. The voters had a temper tantrum last week…Parenting and governing don’t have to be dirty words: the nation can’t be run by an angry two-year-old.
……………………………..ABC’s Peter Jennings after the GOP won
…………………………………..the House. Nov, 14,1994

The man is on the Court. You know, I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease. Well, that’s how I feel. He is an absolutely reprehensible
person.
…………………………..—USA Today columnist Julianne Malveaux on ………………………………Justice Clarence Thomas on PBS. Nov.4 1994

There are lots more examples in the book, but two will suffice.



The Associated Press, Donald Trump, and Forgotten Republicans by The Elephant's Child

Abject PropagandaJohn Hinderaker from Powerline takes on, deservedly, the Associated Press, for their ploy of promoting the sour grapes from losing Republicans. The AP calls them “the forgotten Republicans” meaning that they are the ones who don’t like President Trump.

They are not “forgotten”— the AP eagerly seeks them out for comment. Anyone who disapproves of the President of the United States is on their list. Whether they are members of Congress, governors or state party leaders they are “struggling to fit into President Donald Trump’s Republican Party.”

They cautiously acknowledge that the vast majority of Republicans think the president is doing a good job, but…

The overwhelming majority of elected officials, candidates and rank-and-file voters now follow the president with extraordinary loyalty, even if he strays far from the values and traditions many know and love.

AP apparently hasn’t noticed that President Trump is for free trade. He is playing hardball. “He starts bargaining sessions by proposing that participants reduce all tariffs to zero. Since there are never takers, he does the next best thing, he defends American interests and tries to improve our existing trade deals.”

In the meantime, U.S. Steel is going to invest $750 million at their 110-year old steel manufacturing plant known as Gary Works in Gary, Indiana, crediting President Trump’s protective tariffs on steel. Gary Works was once the largest steel mill in the world. It now employs about 3,800 American workers. The upgrade will improve the facility’s environmental performance, bolster competitiveness,  and benefit the local community.

The 25 percent tariff on imported steel is designed to protect American workers and do just what U.S. Steel is doing. Since 2001 free trade with China has cost millions of lost American jobs. About 2.6 million jobs were lost due to the U.S. trade deficit with China. Already Trump’s tariffs have created 11,100 American jobs in just 6 months.

It’s all very confusing. What to report? The president is trying to live up to his campaign promises, and the press just can’t seem to grasp the positive effects on the American economy. They are so determined to see the administration as beyond the possibility of doing anything right that they cannot see what is directly before their noses. The press and the attention they pay to anyone who has something nasty to say about Trump, his family, his administration overpowers some remarkable accomplishment. What a pity they’re so partisan.



The Booming Economy Creates Confidence, And Black Business Ownership Has Jumped by 400 Percent. by The Elephant's Child

Black Small Business ownership under President Trump’s booming economy has jumped by 400 Percent in just one year. President Trump’s approval rating among African Americans has hit 31 percent. The Left, unsurprisingly, is outraged, or possibly anxious. Their constant accusations of “racism” don’t seem to be working. It’s very good news that they are opening businesses, and we certainly wish them all success.

Just a heartening reminder that Capitalism works.

inforgraphic of 2018's small business trends specifically in the African American demographiccWith the Trump administration’s growing, healthy economy, small business is growing and prospering, and among the small business owners are healthy numbers of young, black entrepreneurs. Here’s an explanatory graph from Guidant Financial on the very encouraging phenomenon:



Individual Freedom and the Welfare State by The Elephant's Child

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From William Voegeli’s excellent Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State:

The socialist dream of organizing an economy around the purpose of advancing social welfare as it is governmentally determined and meted out, seems destined to remain an abstraction irrelevant to the world’s political and economic needs. One strange result of the collapse of socialism and the absence of any other credible way to avoid relying on markets is that the welfare state is heavily dependent on the health of capitalism. The government cannot disburse wealth that never gets created, and creating the wealth required for modern prosperous societies without the knowledge conveyed by prices set in markets appears to be impossible.

And also:

The liberal response to the question of paying for the welfare state has been a protracted exercise in intellectual dishonesty, borne of a conviction that the question doesn’t need to be answered if it can be made to go away. Liberals have generally been happy to tell people what they want to hear. It’s possible to have a big welfare state without worrying all that much about the costs. The programs will pay for themselves. Or an affluent society can pay for them out of the petty cash drawer. Or, the taxes required for a much bigger welfare state are ones that will be borne largely by the very rich and big corporations. None of these propositions can withstand even gentle interrogation, however, making it difficult to know whether the liberals who put them forward are remarkably cynical or remarkably feckless. In either case, whatever political advantages are secured by telling people what they want to hear about paying for the welfare state, the already murky argument for the welfare state becomes ever more incoherent.




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