American Elephants


Here’s Thomas Sowell With a Few Well Chosen Words on Climate Change. by The Elephant's Child

This is an “oldie but goodie”. One can always count on Dr. Thomas Sowell to make sense. I wish it were a characteristic more widely available. We could surely use more of it around in these perilous days.



Comparisons Are Perhaps Inevitable! by The Elephant's Child

Wilfrid M. McClay, a professor of history at the University of Oklahoma is the author of a new history of the United States: Land of Hope: an Invitation to the Great American Story, which is receiving excellent reviews.

He just wrote a short piece for Hillsdale College’s Imprimis, an always interesting publication, with an essay from an important scholar, free on request from the college. The copy I just received contained this interesting portion of a longer essay.

A related lesson of history is that acts of statesmanship often require courage and imagination, even daring, especially when the outcome seems doubtful. Take the case of Lincoln. So accustomed are we to thinking of Lincoln in heroic terms that we forget the depth and breadth of his unpopularity during his entire time in office. Few great leaders have been more comprehensively disdained, loathed, and underestimated. A low Southern view of him, of course, was to be expected, but it was widely shared in the North as well. As Lincoln biographer David Donald put it, “Lincoln’s own associates thought him “a Simple Susan, a baboon, an aimless punster, a smutty joker” Abolitionist Wendell Phillips called him “a huckster in politics, a first-rate, second rate man.” George McClellan, his opponent in the 1864 election, openly disdained him as a “well-meaning baboon.” For much of that election year, Lincoln was convinced, with good reason, that he was doomed to lose the election, with incalculable consequences for the war effort and the future of the nation.

We need to remember that this is generally how history happens. It is not like a Hollywood movie i which the background music swells and the crowd in the room applauds and leaps to it feet as the orator dispenses timeless words, and the camera pans the room full of smiling faces. In real history, the background music does not swell, the trumpets do not sound, and the carping critics often seem louder than the applause. The leader or the soldier has to wonder whether he is acting in vain, whether the criticisms of others are in fact true, whether time will judge him harshly, whether his sacrifice will count for anything. Few great leaders have felt this burden more completely than Lincoln.



Don’t Let Them Fool You! Carbon is NOT a Pollutant. Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate. by The Elephant's Child

Can people get it through their heads? Carbon is not a pollutant. We are carbon life forms. We exhale carbon dioxide every time we breathe. Plants absorb the carbon dioxide as fertilizer – that makes them grow, and releases oxygen. You were supposed to have learned that in high school biology. It’s a cycle called photosynthesis.

Climate models predict disaster and a carbon crisis, but real world evidence shows no such thing is occurring. Back when the first faint screams of climate crisis were appearing, governments wanted some kind of proof. Federal grants were available to scientists who were studying climate. Well, lots of professors in mostly ignored labs in American universities knew how to write a grant proposal, or studied up quickly on how it was done, and said that with a grant, they could surely figure it all out very quickly. The grants brought money and prestige for professor and university. Professors turned quickly to computerized  models used for predicting future outcomes for the stock market. Prediction is just prediction, right? So they entered what they knew about the climate, and then what they thought might be probable, then some educated guesses and a few wild guesses, and assumed that to be an accurate projection of the future climate. Well, the computer said it was.

Speaking at the 13th International Conference on Climate Change, held July 25 in Washington, DC, Dr. Roy W. Spencer of the University of Alabama in Huntsville said: “There is no climate crisis. Even if all the warming we’ve seen in any observational dataset is due to increasing CO2 (carbon dioxide), which I don’t believe it is, it’s probably too small for any person to feel in their lifetime.”

Then there was a story published from the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, It begins this way:

The same oceans that nourished human evolution are poised to unleash misery on a global scale unless the carbon pollution destabilizing Earth’s marine environment is brought to heel, warns a draft UN report obtained by AFP.

Destructive changes already set in motion could see a steady decline in fish stocks, a hundred-fold or more increase in the damages caused by superstorms, and hundreds of millions of people displaced by rising seas, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “special report” on oceans and Earth’s frozen zones…

Again, Carbon is not a pollutant. Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas the IPCC is most worried about, yet what each of exhale each time we breathe. Without carbon dioxide, all life on this planet would perish.

The IPCC is a political organization composed of representatives from various governments. The report also said:

While the underlying science – drawn from thousands of peer-reviewed studies – cannot be modified, diplomats with scientists at their elbow will tussle over how to frame the findings, and what to leave in or out. [bold added]

Here’s More from No Tricks Zone

And here is a report from the Science and Environmental Policy Project/  S. Fred Singer



Here’s Michelle Malkin On Illegal Immigration by The Elephant's Child

This is a hard problem for Democrats. They want open borders, at least until we get through the next census count. If they can add enough illegals to get counted in the census in all the sanctuary cities and states, they can add more representatives in the House of Representatives which is organized on the basis of population. The Senate is organized on the basis that each state will have two Senators, no matter what the population, so that all states are represented equally.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, Conservatives believe that immigrants should enter the United States legally. Apply at the U.S. Consulate in their own country, or apply for asylum at the border. Democrats like to believe that letting immigrants just cross the border wherever is because “America is a nation of immigrants”— actually it’s a nation of citizens, and if you want to become a citizen, do it legally, because America is a nation of laws. The Left likes to believe that they are morally superior because they care about the unfortunate or the downtrodden, like illegal aliens.

There’s a big cost to illegal immigration. The State of Idaho spelled out the cost of illegal immigration for their state, that falls on Idaho’s taxpayers. As I keep reminding, governments have no money of their own. Whatever they spend comes out of the pockets of the taxpayers.



Wind and Solar Simply Do Not Work As Dependable Power Sources. They Require 24/7 Backup from a Conventional Power Source. by The Elephant's Child

For more information of the accomplishments of the Obama administration in the area of climate, do enter “Solyndra” in the space over Bob Hope’s head in the sidebar. Major scandal for the Obama administration.

Or enter “The Shepherds Flat Wind Project” by Robert Bryce, energy expert at the Manhattan Institute. It was the world’s largest wind farm, located about halfway between The Dalles and Pendleton in Oregon just south of the Columbia river. Bryce wrote:

Shepherds Flat is the world’s largest wind farm, about halfway between The Dalles and Pendleton in Oregon, south of the Columbia River. Interestingly, what energy is produced goes not to Oregon, but to Southern California which is always hungry for Northwest power. The Obama administration’s loan guarantee for Solyndra got lots of attention, but Shepherds Flat is an even better example of corporate welfare, and a huge drain on taxpayer funds when the economy is in the tank. The Oregonian newspaper has launched an investigation about the federal Energy Department’s loan-guarantee program and the state of Oregon’s decision to award a total of $30 million to the project — “frosting on a multilayered cake of federal, state and local subsidies.”  Reporter Ted Sickinger said “Its developers gorged themselves on hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers, and government officials were well aware it was over-subsidized.”

Oregon is oversupplied with green activists, so the Shepherds Flat project added luster to Oregon’s green ambitions. Sickinger added “Though its renewable energy credits flow to California, it generates lots of clean power. Politicians can point to property taxes and community service fees for rural counties, big lease payments for a handful of landowners and 45 permanent jobs.”

The Oregon Department of Energy ignored its own rules, legislators’ intent and taxpayers’ interest in reaffirming its decision to define Shepherds Flat wind farm as three separate facilities and provide its owners three separate $10 million tax credits.

Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant. It’s what you exhale every time you breathe, and it is fertilizer for plants. which, in turn, release oxygen. The earth is greening to such an extent that it can be seen from space. And a lot of hungry people are getting fed. That’s a very good thing.

Wind and Solar energy sound wonderful, but they just don’t work. The wind does not blow steadily, but only intermittently. It requires 24/7 backup from a conventional power source. Solar energy is too diffuse. The sun sinks beneath the horizon every night, and is useless when there are too many clouds. They simply cannot produce the energy required by a modern civilization. It has nothing whatsoever to do with plastic straws, eating meat, or for that matter keeping a herd on the back 40. Fracking is a technique that has allowed us to become the world’s leading oil exporter. Power may seem irrelevant when you are in a large television studio, but not funny when you are in the hospital and the power fails. It is not wind or solar that provides the emergency backup.

One of the dependable sources of clean energy is nuclear power. The Democrats are too scared of it, because the Russians had one that blew up, and the Japanese had one that was ruined in a tsunami.  Californian’s on the other hand are trying to keep their Diablo Canyon nuclear plant going to the dismay of ill-informed Democrats.

The Obama administration wanted acclaim for it’s environmental efforts, but they mostly turned sour. The Solyndra scandal was a very bad one. But they apparently were not as worried about Climate Change and rising seas. The Obamas have just purchased a $15 million waterfront home in Martha’s Vineyard. Funny. When Al Gore made a lot of money on his Climate Change movie, he bought a waterfront home in San Francisco. If they waited until the prospective rising seas rose a little uncomfortably, the price would have dropped a whole bunch.



Democrats Want to Eliminate the Electoral College When Removing It Would Let Their Candidate Win by The Elephant's Child

The New York Sun had a very good editorial yesterday on “The Electoral College Angst.” You have undoubtedly heard Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez out advocating the removal of the Electoral College from the U.S. Constitution.

As we hurtle toward the 2020 election, some 15 states have joined the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. They would use in a new way the constitutional system in which each state chooses in November electors to meet in December to decide who will be president. Had the compact been in effect in 2016, Hillary Clinton would have been president — though 30 of the 50 states reckoned she was less fit for it.

This is not an occasion for panic. The states that have joined the popular vote compact account for only 190 electoral votes. The compact doesn’t go into effect until it has enough states with the 270 electoral votes needed to decide the presidency. All it would take now, though, is a few red states turning blue enough to join the compact, and — presto — we’d elect our presidents by the national popular vote.

The advocates of such a constitutional amendment ending the electoral college isn’t going to happen, but the real problem seems to be that so few understand why the Constitution is written in such a way. Which leads to another problem.

I’m beginning to think that before someone runs for national office, they should be required to pass a test in the Constitution, to justify their qualifications for such an office. Maybe start with the basic naturalization test that new citizens have to pass and add a little more history and some constitutional questions. As it is we seem to have way too many members of Congress who seem to be at least somewhat unfamiliar with our founding document.

We seem to hear from AOC on a nearly daily basis, incensed about laws she should, as a college graduate, be familiar with, and she clearly is not.



Victor Davis Hanson Writes on Today’s University by The Elephant's Child

Victor Davis Hanson wrote yesterday for American Greatness about the decline and fall of the American University, an essay with the subhead “The damage that the modern university has wrought has now outweighed its once-positive role.” Ouch!

Dr. Hanson is not only a noted historian, but he has long been a college professor in an American university, though in recent years he has been a fellow at the Hoover Institution.

It certainly sounds like an article one would want to avoid if they were about to send a potential victim off to begin a college career. However, knowing the hazards helps to avoid them or prepares you to do battle as the case may be.

The rest of us need to know and understand what is going on in our universities, and how young people are being mis-educated, and overcharged. Can’t help to change things if you don’t understand what you are fighting against.




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