American Elephants


An American Timeline by The Elephant's Child

1765: The British Parliament passed the Stamp Act, a tax on American colonists.

1767: Parliament wanted more money from the pesky colonists, and passed the Townshend Acts, This one included everything from china to tea, and you know where that led.

1770: The Boston Massacre. Crispus Atticus, a stevedore of African and Native American lineage, was killed, the first victim of the American Revolution.

1773: The Boston Tea Party: Taxing tea was not a good idea. Coffee wasn’t discovered yet.

1774: The 1st Continental Congress, and the Intolerable Acts.

1775: Rhode Island abolished slavery. Paul Revere Rode on the 18th of April to Lexington and Concord. Bunker Hill.

1776: The Declaration of Independence, The Battle of Long Island, (August) Dec, 16: Washington Crosses the Delaware (You are familiar with the painting) December 25: The Battle of Trenton.

1777: Battle of Princeton, January 3. Burgoyne captures Fort Ticonderoga, Saratoga: September 19 to October 7.

1779: John Paul Jones on the Bonhomme Richard defeats Serapis.

1780: Charleston Falls. Kings Mountain 7 Oct.  Camden Aug. 16, Cowpens: Jan. 17.

1781: Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown, October 19

1789: George Washington chosen as president.

1799: George Washington dies of strep throat.

There’s a quickie. You can fill in the blanks. You’ll find it rewarding. There’s a new history out by Wilfred McClay: Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story, which has received outstanding reviews.  I believe that Hillsdale College is offering a free course.



No, You Cannot Have “Climate Change” As An Official Cause of Death. by The Elephant's Child

Those who are sure the Earth will die within just a few years from the horrors of climate change, obviously, having gotten nowhere with trying to portray the world’s illegal immigrants as refugees from climate change, now are demanding that “climate change” be listed as the cause of death on death certificates. Tom Lifson of American Thinker suggests that:

The widely observed practice of listing Coronavirus as the cause of death for anyone who died with it, not necessarily of it, has worked wonders in scaring people into accepting previously unheard-of abrogation of constitutionally guaranteed rights.

The seed for this propaganda offensive was just planted in a spinoff publication of The Lancet, the formerly prestigious British medical journal that has fallen to the forces of political correctness.

Of course they have been trying for several years to portray many of the illegal aliens crossing, unwanted, over the borders of countries not their own, as “Climate refugees”, but most people seems to regard that as obvious nonsense.

I’m sticking with the former secretary of the IPCC, one of the people behind the infamous Paris Accords  which we have formally rejected, to cries of anguish from the Democrats.

In early February of 2015, Christiana Figueres revealed at a news conference that the object of the “climate crisis” was in reality not to save the Earth from the degradation of a climate disaster, but to eliminate capitalism. They truly hate the economic system that has made us free and wealthy among nations, and successful in every way.  Rather than try to learn from our freedom and success, and have some freedom and success of their own, they would rather get rid of the system entirely so we can be as miserable as they are.  Odd thinking, but there you are. And seen in that light, the climate alarmists prove over and over Ms. Figueres revelation.

There is no “climate crisis”. The Earth has been warming and cooling for millions of years, and will probably go right on doing so for another million. The people who die from climate change usually refused to evacuate in the wake of a hurricane, or to believe in the threat of a flood. We do have hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and earthquakes, tsunamis, and dams breaking, as just happened in Minnesota. Forest fires are a greater problem in Australia than in this country, tsunamis  more common in the Far East. Listing “climate change” on the death certificate is simply designed to give the climatistas some more useful statistics for their propaganda. Remember that one of their aims is to end the use of fossil fuels so they can power the country with wind and solar, which unfortunately cannot provide the energy needed for a modern society.



Everything You Wanted to Know About Covid-19 by The Elephant's Child

As the lockdown fades away into masks or no masks, open society, or partly open, or don’t even think about it, or growing revolt, it becomes ever more confusing. At this late date, Kamala Harris has introduced a resolution that says calling Covid-19 the “China Virus” is “hate speech.” So helpful.

It is important, however, to recognize that Democrats are incapable of “hate speech” because they are nice people. And nevermind that viruses are usually called by their place of origin, to distinguish them from other viruses arising elsewhere. West-Nile virus, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, for example. The latter you got from ticks if you wandered around in the sagebrush, which I did a lot as a kid. Got lots of ticks, but no spotted fever.

The authorities, whoever they may be, cannot seem to make up their minds about masks. Some say useless and others say mandatory. We are told that you get the virus by being in range when someone with the disease sneezes or coughs, and the virus may linger in the air, or you will get the virus from touching something that someone with the disease has touched, to the mandatory washing your hands thoroughly as you have been taught.

Other than that, all is perfectly clear. The authorities are changing their minds from taking their information from models to adding up actual statistics, but then you have to consider what actions each country took and how they are different and who did what right.

If you want clear information, visit the think-tanks. Hoover.org, AEI.org, Cato.org, Reason.org, Heritage.org. A vast improvement over today’s media, who keep decorating their posts with terms like “blockbuster”,”bombshell”, and other words especially chosen to rouse interest rather than inform.

It appears from the quantity of masks advertised online that everyone has jumped into a new business of selling masks with funny mouths or monster mouths, or well designed to go with your clothing, or just appealing patterns. They are now, I am told, selling tri-kinis. That’s a bikini with a matching mask.  If, as they are now saying, masks are useless, we have another bunch of businesses going broke.

So there you are, wandering in a mysterious changing world where we mostly don’t have a clue.  But then nobody else seems to have a clue either. We are learning that models don’t work. But, for the most part, Americans are fortunately blessed with a great sense of humor. If you can still laugh, we’ll be alright.



Innovation and Inspiration: Matt Ridley and “How Innovation Works” by The Elephant's Child

I wrote that screed below because I was annoyed, and went to the Hoover Institution website to see what they had had to say. Where I promptly ran into an interview with British Journalist Matt Ridley on Peter Robinson’s Uncommon Knowledge.

Matt Ridley has a new book out: How Innovation Works and the wide-ranging interview starts there and gets more and more fascinating. It is long, so you need to allow plenty of time, but do make the time if you can. There is so much there! I’m going to have to order the book.  Matt Ridley’s How Innovation Works.  Don’t miss it, and set aside time to enjoy the video.



How Do We Decide What is Real and Who to Believe? by The Elephant's Child

Have you ever stopped to think that almost all of which we consider as “the news” is just what someone has said. If they have the qualifications of belonging to a “news” organization, then it is news. But then whatever a “celebrity” says is also apparently considered to be news, although a “celebrity” is merely someone whose name we recognize.

Hollywood people used to hire press agents to make people think that what they said was of note, so that they could eventually become a “celebrity”. Being a “celebrity” meant that they were more apt to get jobs, because more people were apt to be attracted by the recognized name. They don’t need press agents anymore because they have the press itself, who if they can get a quote from someone whose name is recognized, are apt to get that piece published.

Today’s real “news” is that a dam in Michigan broke and flooded everything below, and people had to be evacuated. The rest of it is what somebody said. I find it helpful to understand the difference, because a lot of what somebody said is inaccurate and biased. Twitter now has a new 20 member fact-checking group to weed out any conservatives. The tech people seem a little lacking on the freedom of speech part, and don’t know how to manage it.

So how do we decide where we are going to learn about what is going on in the world around us, who to trust, and what are the guidelines to use?

Fredrich Hayek, the Austrian-American economist and Nobel Laureate, devoted much of his brilliant career to describing how rationalism could never work. How can anything good happen, Hayek asked, if individuals cannot think and act for themselves? Rules preclude initiative. Regimentation precludes evolution. Letting accidents happen, mistakes be made, results in new ideas. Trial and error is the key to all progress. The Soviet system of rules and central planning is doomed to failure. Hayek stated fifty years ago because it kills the human faculty that makes things work.
Philip Howard: The Death of Common Sense

In a liberal society knowledge –not belief– is the rolling critical consensus of a decentralized community of checkers, and nothing else.
Jonathan Rauch, Kindly Inquisitors



Joe Biden Has Chosen AOC As His Climate Adviser by The Elephant's Child

People have wondered, but the current economic slowdown will have almost no effect on the climate. To the contrary, a new paper finds that the slight increase in CO2 in the atmosphere means that the Earth is going to gain nearly three times as much green matter as was predicted by the IPCC’s AR5. From Patrick J. Michaels: That means we will meet the Paris Accords demand, and plentiful crops will help to feed a hungry world.  All good.  Most of the modern global warming that appears in the sensitive models is clearly too strong.  Climate is a key to the world’s food supply. In the 1970s Global Cooling led to widespread droughts — there had been 30 years of cooling, and as a consequence dwindling grain reserves, and most of the world relies on grain. Grains are the world’s basic food, and when food supplies fail, millions die.

Models are not the real world. Scientists put in what they know for sure, which isn’t really all that much, add things that they are pretty sure of, and at some point they add a lot of guesses about the way things are that may or may not be true. The models are derived from computer models that are meant to predict what the stock market will do. Since we are all fabulously wealthy, and nobody has gotten the dread COVID-19 disease, you surely understand that models are a very imperfect method of projecting what will be in the future. Sometimes we get it partly right, and sometimes not, even when we adequately put in the past, but it lets us make an attempt to understand what may happen in the future, and our guesses are clearly better for next week than for 20 years ahead. But think how boring life would be if we already knew what the future would be. If the future looks bad, we can try to prepare.

If you want to understand more about the climate, see the links in the sidebar, or go to Dr. Roy Spencer’s website. He has a brief introduction to Global Warming 101 and climate that is very useful. Dr. Spencer runs the satellites that measure the temperatures of the world for NASA with Dr. John Christy, and he writes a blog about all things climate.

The Democrats presumed candidate for the election this fall is Obama’s Vice President Joe Biden. Vice President Biden has chosen Alexandria Ocasio Cortez to be his Climate authority, which is an even scarier possibility than Mr. Biden himself, with his ‘senior moments’.

Rep. AOC tweeted back in early February:

Fracking is destroying our land and our water. It is wreaking havoc on our communities’ health. We must do our job to protect our future from the harms caused by the fracking industry. That is why I am proud to introduce the Fracking Ban Act with Rep Darren Soto today. (with a big Ban Fracking Nationwide sign)

She is a big “Green New Deal” fan, (the “New Deal” thrown in for the Rooseveltian touch.) “Fracking” is the way that our geologists have found to release natural gas from where it is trapped underground, and has made cheaper energy plentiful and widely available, which has been a huge boon to the economy. The Earth has been warming and cooling for millions of years, and the current slight warming does not portend destruction of the earth in eleven years hence, and we can expect it to continue to warm and cool for another millennia. Neither AOC nor Mr. Biden have bothered to study up on the climate situation, but prefer to go along with what they have heard from the Swedish kid, or those who assume that we can run a modern economy on windmills and solar panels. We can’t.  Even Michael Moore has given up on wind and sun, and I believe has a movie out so stating.

There are a lot of very poor countries in the world. We have already had a “Green Revolution”, the late Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution  in a set of technology transfer initiatives  between 1950 and the late 1960s increased agricultural production worldwide, particularly in the developing world. Technologies like high-yielding varieties of cereals, chemical fertilizers, and irrigation, new methods of cultivation including mechanization were adopted as a whole. He received the Noble Peace Prize in 1970 and is credited with saving over a billion people from starvation. But of course there are those who assume that we have too many people in the world already. If you want heroes to extol, remember Norman Borlaug. Banning fracking is just plain silly. Sun and wind energy simply cannot and do not produce the energy needed by a modern society and modern lives.



Keeping Up With COVID-19 and the Lockdown by The Elephant's Child

Scott W. Atlas, MD, is a Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, and the former Chief of Neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center.  Here he writes on “How to Re-Open Society Using Evidence, Medical Science, and Logic.”

I like the title: and the qualifications for his advice, especially ‘logic’. Do read the whole thing. We need to be a little more informed in the wake of the media efforts to stir up something, anything, to keep Trump from winning re-election. It’s getting heated-up out there as accusations are flying and clarity is in short supply. Here is a link to Dr. Atlas’ biography.

Also from the Hoover Institution: Peter Robinson interviews Dr. Jay Bhattacharya on his new MLB COVID-19 study and the problems of the Lockdown for Major League Baseball.




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