American Elephants


The Kavanaugh Affair, Continued… by The Elephant's Child

From Victor Davis Hanson:

Just when observers had concluded the desperate progressive opposition to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court could not stoop much lower, it most certainly did.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), in the news recently for somehow unknowingly employing a Chinese spy as her gofer and chauffeur for 20 years, passed on information to federal investigators that weeks ago had come to her attention from an unnamed, unidentified, and anonymous female who claimed she was a high school acquaintance of Kavanaugh’s. Apparently, we were to believe that the once-anonymous informant had harbored a long-simmering, but heretofore never-voiced complaint of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, which coincidentally reached a peak of unsustainable resentment at the time of his nomination to the highest court in the land.

After days of gossip and innuendo to the effect that the likely next Supreme Court Justice might just be some sort of pervert, Anonymous finally came forward and identified herself as a victim of a then 17-year-old inebriated Brett Kavanaugh who (she says) sexually manhandled her in 1982 when she was 15. More specifically, the woman now alleges that Kavanaugh and another student at a high-school party entered a room inebriated, pinned her to a bed, and then groped her while she was clothed. Young Kavanaugh then allegedly attempted to take her clothes off her while he and his classmate, Mark Judge, both laughed “maniacally.” She adds that she had sought “medical treatment” for her unspecified injuries.

Here’s Paul Mirengoff ( a lawyer) at Powerline: “Another Kavanaugh Accuser Comes after Dem Lawyer Persuades Her She’s A Victim

Scott Johnson (also a lawyer) at Powerline adds:

Nevertheless, the Democrats may have achieved liftoff. According to FOX News, creepy porn lawyer Michael Avenatti has apparently let it be known #HeToo has a client waiting in the wings.

And here’s Steven Hayward, also at Powerline:  “I Told You So”

Steven Hayward adds his “Week in Pictures” which is all the jokes and cartoons of the week, this week mostly about the Kavanaugh affair. As he says, “there isn’t a black hole large enough to swallow up the liberal hypocrisy over this whole business.”

They started this thing off with a lengthy conversation about how if Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court , he would immediately ban legal abortions. Women everywhere had to rise up and get their congresspeople to dump Kavanaugh. Now, that Ms. Christine Blaney Ford has been identified as the accuser, and admits that her recollection is rather fuzzy at best, and needs protection from death threats (?) but her biggest accusation seems to be “groping” — the helpful media keeps referring to it as “rape” which nobody’s accused anybody about.

I seem to remember some Democrat, long ago, saying something about “you drag a hundred dollar bill through a trailer camp…”

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All About Global Warming Skepticism for Busy People by The Elephant's Child

Dr. Roy W. Spencer has a new Kindle book: Global Warming Skepticism for Busy People is meant as a concise and accessible summary of his skeptical views on global warming. After a year or more of thinking and writing, this new Kindle book is meant to fill that need.

32,000 words and 40 high-res illustrations, he says it is more comprehensive than his previous Kindle books, but still readable in about 2 to 3 hours. The book is not meant to cover all of the skeptical views out there, but everything that he believes is most important to the global warming and energy policy debate.

He adds Maybe the best way to summarize what is in the book is to list the chapter titles:

Preface
1. Overview of the Reasons for Skepticism
2. The Five Big Questions
3. Skepticism versus Alarmism
4. The Unholy Alliance: Politics and Science
5. How Could 97% of Scientists Be Wrong?
6. What is the Greenhouse Effect?
7. What Causes Temperature Change?
8. The Good News about Increasing CO2
9. The U.N. IPCC Consensus: Government-Funded Biased Science
10. Climate Models Exaggerate Recent Warming
11. Warming since the 1800s Suggests Climate Models are Too Sensitive
12. How the Reliance on IPCC Climate Models Affects You
13. Why is Warming Not Progressing as Predicted?
14. Refuting Common Climate Delusions
Conclusions

He adds:That last chapter is where I refute the frequent media claims about worsening heatwaves, wildfires, droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, weather-related disaster losses, sea level rise, sea ice melt, ice sheet collapse, and ocean acidification.

I consider this my most complete treatment of the subject in one place, with my latest position on a variety of subjects. I have references to some of the latest findings and events of interest — as recent as September 3, 2018. I’ve included hyperlinks where appropriate so that readers can easily investigate my claims for themselves.

I hope you find it entertaining and informative. And, again, I am open to suggestions for material I might have missed… keeping in mind I am not aiming for the most exhaustive treatment of global warming skepticism, but the most effective one.

        ———————

I have not read it yet, but it sounds like a very good deal to me (and inexpensive). I have been following Dr. Spencer and Dr. John Christy for years, and have great respect for their work and their explanations of the science.



Statement from the White House Press Secretary by The Elephant's Child

Office of the Press Secretary
September 17, 2018

At the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency, the President has directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to provide for the immediate declassification of the following materials 91) pages 10-12 and 17-34 of the June 2017 application to the FISA court in the matter of Carter W. Page; (2) all FBI reports of interviews with Bruce G. Ohr prepared in connection with the Russia investigation; and (3) all FBI reports of interviews prepared in connection with all Carter Page FISA applications.

In addition, President Donald J. Trump has directed the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to publicly release all text messages relating to the Russia investigation, without redaction, of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr.



Fake News, Real News, and “Opinion” But What IS Opinion? by The Elephant's Child

The rise of opinion is one of the more striking success stories in the history of ideas. “Opinion” is the name for a belief or conclusion held with confidence but not necessarily substantiated by positive knowledge or proof. Opinions, then are distinguished by the strength with which they are held rather than by the authenticity with which their conclusions are demonstrable. …

In the beginning, “opinion” was a synonym for uncertainty—for a notion grounded in personal preference (rather than fact), and hence was thought likely to be the pathway to error. …

When Opinion went public, there was a crucial change in the prestige of all opinions. An individual’s opinion, naturally enough seemed flimsy and unreliable. For it has all the fallibility of that particular person, and was obviously tainted by that person’s ignorance or prejudice. “Public” Opinion, however had quite a different character, being the opinion of nobody in particular, but of everybody in general, its weaknesses were hard to define and its strength was enveloped in an aura of group wisdom. Did it not include the reasoned conclusions of the learned along with the commonsense intuitions of the untutored? Might it not hold the best of all realms of thought or feeling? …

By the late twentieth century there had come into being in the United States something which I will call “Big Opinion.” Just as large-scale organization, concentration of capital, and new technologies brought into being “Big Science,” so it was with the machinery of making, forming, shaping, testing, assessing, and organizing opinion. A whole new technology of polling and sampling became the basis of  prosperous industry. Opinion pollsters formed themselves into professional societies, they produced learned journals, and trade journals. At the same time the new professions of advertising and public relations (drawing every day on the products of this new industry) enlisted some of the best-educated, brightest, and most sophisticated minds in the nation. When opinion measuring and opinion making had become  big business, the power and prestige of Public Opinion had reached a new stage.

These are selected excerpts from the chapter titled “How Opinion Went Public,” in a book called “Democracy and Its Discontents” Reflections on Everyday America” by Daniel J. Boorstin (October 1, 1914 – February 28, 2004) who was an historian at the University of Chicago, and was appointed the twelfth Librarian of the United States Congress in 1975, and served until 1987. He has written many wonderful books, I especially liked three volumes titled “The Americans:” The Americans: The Colonial Experience, The Americans: The National Experience, and The Americans: The Democratic Experience. Look for him at the Library.



Remember… by American Elephant

September 11 is not a day for “national service”. It is not a day to pick up litter, it is not a day to install compact fluorescent light bulbs, it is not a day to register illegal aliens to vote. September 11 is a day to remember with absolute clarity that which many on the left are trying to obfuscate — that our nation withstood cunning, painstakingly planned attacks that were designed to destroy our economy, our defenses, and our very government all at the same time. It is a day to be acutely aware that others like them are plotting ways to launch even more devastating attacks on us.

It is a day to remember.

And in addition to remembering what happened that day, we should all remember that one of the reasons it happened is because our federal government got so big, and so corrupt, so distracted with things it should not be doing, that it utterly failed in the most important thing it is supposed to do — protect the American people.

In that vein, I re-post the following with very minor changes:

Remember the right things

Remember those who lost family, friends and loved ones. Remember them. They still grieve.

Be there for them, but let them do the grieving. It’s time for the rest of us to stop focusing on grief and remember.

Remember those who looked up at towering infernos, smelled the burning fuel, felt the heat, heard the girders buckle and groan — then gathered their courage and charged inside. Remember, especially, those who never made it back out.

But most importantly, remember what those bastards did to us:

Second Plane Hits Twin Towers

Remember airliners full of terrified men, women and children. Remember flight attendants with knives pressed to their throats.

Remember those trapped above the flames with no way out. Remember their calls to 911 operators. “Oh my God, I’m going to die!”

Remember the unfathomable choice forced on them, do they wait and burn alive, or do they jump 110 stories to their deaths?

Remember the bastards who did this to us.

Falling Man

Falling Man

Remember the passengers who knew. Remember telephone calls and last goodbyes. “I love you! …I’ve got to go now.” Remember how they fought back and sacrificed themselves — most likely saving the United States Congress in the process.

Remember the sound of the second plane full of people roaring in — so very low — and the explosive smack as it hit. Remember that split-second when you and I, and everyone across the country realized as one — this was no accident.

Remember everything those God-damned bastards did to us.

9-11 towers

Remember 2,873 savage murders.

Remember, but for the grace of God, there could have been 50,000 souls in the Trade Center had it been just a little later in the morning. Remember there were to have been more hijacked flights aimed at Chicago and Los Angeles and other cities across the country. Remember the anthrax.

Remember how close they came.

They chose their targets ruthlessly. They weren’t aiming only to kill Americans — to them, death was a fortunate consequence of their plan — they were aiming to destroy America itself.

They struck at heart of American commerce in order to destroy the economy:

9-11

They struck at the heart of American defense in order to destroy the military infrastructure:

9-11 pentagon

And they tried to strike the capitol, hoping to kill as much of Congress as possible, to destroy our government’s ability to recover. Thank God they were thwarted:

9-11 Shanksville

What would have happened to the economy with Wall Street and the financial district destroyed and congress dead? What would have happened to the military with its leadership dead? What would have happened throughout the country with Wall Street destroyed, the military command obliterated and no federal government to put things back together?

And what would have happened when additional attacks followed — as they were meant to?

Too many people think September 11th was only about killing. It was about killing — but it was about much more than that. It was about utterly destroying the entire nation. It was about bringing down America.

Remember it all. Remember everything they did. Remember how close those evil sons of bitches came.

Remember that they are working to attack us again.

[Originally published 9/11/2007]

Update: Michelle Malkin remembers.
Ed Morrissey looks ahead.
President Bush addresses Congress, September 20, 2001.
Gay Patriot remembers his friend, James Joe Ferguson.
Ace of Spades has the live on-air coverage from CNN that day.



The Feel Good Story of the Week by The Elephant's Child

Obama never understood economics. He was sure that adding more government jobs helped the economy because more people were working. He added over 105 new federal regulations+ 46 billion in costs, and it took all those new government jobs to enforce and administer the regulations.

So the feel good story of the week is simply not anything he would understand. Steven Hayward was going to suggest that the best news was that the ratings for CNN have fallen more than 20 percent over the past year, and have continued to fall over the summer so it now ranks behind the Discovery Channel and HGTV. But here’s the real good news:

EPA lost more than 1,500 workers in first 18 months of Trump administration: report

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reportedly lost 8 percent of its staff in the first 18 months of President Trump‘s administration due to high numbers of departing staffers and a low number of new hires.

The Washington Post reported Saturday that nearly 1,600 workers left the EPA during that time, while fewer than 400 were hired. The agency’s employment has shrunk to its lowest levels since the Reagan administration, the Post noted.

Overall U.S. nonfarm payroll employment went up by 201,000 in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, government employment fell by 3,000, to 22.3 million. That’s governments across the country, not just the federal government.

The regulations imposed by the Obama administration meant often huge costs to the industries upon which they were imposed. Just the simple requirement that fast food restaurants list the calories of the ingredients in their offerings has meant redoing the big signs behind the counter or changing their methods so that people order from paper menus. And think of all the ingredients in the selection of pizzas at your friendly neighborhood pizza parlor. Regulations cost a business a lot, and many sound helpful, but in the real world are not. Anyone ordering a hamburger and fries is there because they want a hamburger and fries. They know it’s a lot of calories, but they don’t care—that’s why they are there.



“Diversity” is a Fad, and an Unhealthy One at That. by The Elephant's Child

diversity-header

“Asian-Americans are one of America’s great success stories. To get into top schools, a student needs SAT scores that are about 140 points higher than those of their peers. In 2008 over half of all applicants to Harvard were Asian, but they made up only 17 percent of the entering class. (now 20 percent), Asians are the fastest growing racial group in America, but their proportion of Harvard undergraduates has been flat for two decades.”That’s from the New York Times, Nov. 24, 1014.

“Diversity” has raised its ugly head once again. In today’s meaning, diversity refers to race. So you are talking about affirmative action, not diversity of anything but race. A lawsuit against Harvard was filed in Boston federal court in 2014, by Students for Fair Admissions, a nonprofit that includes Asian American students who were denied admission to Harvard. The U.S. Justice Department, at the end of August filed a statement of interest supporting the claims of the plaintiffs. It does take a long time to work it’s way through the courts.

Are Asian-American students simply brighter than other Americans? Probably not, but they are very apt to have “tiger mothers” who make sure they do their homework promptly and thoroughly, excel at all their schoolwork, and are qualified to get into any school they want. It makes a difference, and reflects badly on the rest of us, who who let our kids get away will all sorts of nonsense. See “Reynolds Law” in the previous piece.

I ran across a quotation yesterday from one Charles Peguy, who I had never heard of, a French essayist and poet, ca. 1873, but I liked what he said: ” It will never be known what acts of cowardice have been committed for fear of not looking sufficiently progressive.” The introduction to the Asian Tiger Mother came from the book The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, by Amy Chua, which spawned a whole raft of other books and articles. If the entire entering class of Harvard was entirely Asian-American, it might make other mothers spend more effort on their children’s success. Would that be healthier? There’s another book by a tiger kid that says not.

Is there some position in our society which successful blacks have not reached? Renowned Economist, scholar, writer Thomas Sowell whose almost every word becomes a quote in someone else’s vocabulary. World famous physician and surgeon Ben Carson, now Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. President of the United States Barack Obama, Stars of every sport, world famous movie stars, CEOs of major corporations, world famous musicians, none of whom arrived at those positions because of “affirmative action., and that hardly even begins to cover the gamut of success achieved with hard work.

Diversity of background may be worthwhile. Someone from Alabama may well learn a lot from having a roommate from Wyoming, and vice versa. Someone who grew up on a Texas ranch might learn a lot from a friend from Manhattan, but it isn’t the locale that would bring them together. A military brat who lived on army bases all over would have more in common with other military brats. Students from widely divergent backgrounds may become lifelong friends with others who have the same interests in science. “Diversity” as it is practiced seems to be based on a conviction of biases and prejudices that I’m not at all sure exist any more, and would seem to  encourage a focus on race to the exclusion of common interests and similar backgrounds. “Diversity” is a fad, and important to have the correct number of races and genders in photographs, as above. They tried to get “ageism” in there too, but that didn’t work. Elderly people are not of interest, because they are — old.

I have written often about “diversity” because I believe it is an unhealthy, politically sponsored push to force national interests to focus on what’s different rather than the enormously successful melting pot that America really is. No other country in the world has so successfully become a melting pot of a strange and wild variety of peoples. If you are interested, enter “diversity” in the space over Bog Hope’s head in the sidebar.




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