American Elephants


Further Funny Facts From the Democrats Fateful “Sit-In” by The Elephant's Child

Democrats were inspired by memories of the Sixties, and decided to hold a “Sit-In” on the floor of the House chamber. They were demanding gun control by disallowing anyone on the no-fly list from being able to purchase a gun. Trouble is, the U.S, Constitution guarantees citizens Due Process before they get forbidden to do something—that means a hearing before a judge or judge and jury, not a quickie law written as a stunt. But as people started to focus on the stunt, they quickly learned that 26 of the Democrats who took part in the sit-in own guns.

Rep, Lewis was once on the no-fly list (erroneously), but they were interested in backing up their ban on buying guns with evidence, but the evidence clearly shows that crime has been dropping for several years, but is starting to edge up in response to the anti-cop publicity, and release of felons from prison (who have a 75% recidivism rate).

Then it began to get funny. Several Twitterers pointed out that it was absurd to stage a “sit-in” on the floor where there were enough chairs for everyone.  Charlie Rangel said he thought it should not be possible for his constituents to own guns, but when asked, said that Congressmen ‘deserve’ protection. Despite a long speech about the problem of guns in the inner city and the deaths of so many young blacks, when it came time for dinner they turned to the fast food restaurant that NY Mayor De Blasio demanded that New Yorkers should boycott — Chick-fil-A. Which was also a validation of the restaurant’s tasty fried chicken and denied Chick-fil-A’s supposed anti-gay bigotry.

The media fell all over themselves with the drama of a real live sit-in, and failed to notice the absurdity of the whole thing as the video above shows. Don’t expect consistency or logic. That’s just the way Democrats are.

 



Guns and Guns and Guns, Democrats Throw Tantrum, Look Silly. by The Elephant's Child

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The Orlando massacre was carried out by an American citizen of Afghan family, who went to great lengths, including calling 911, to tell everyone that he was pledging himself to ISIS.  Since the shooting was conducted in a nightclub frequented by gays, strenuous efforts have been made by our government to make sure it is connected with homosexuality, and not Islamic terrorism, which is never to be called Islamic terrorism, but only violent extremism or some other bland euphemism.

Yesterday we had the embarrassment of the Justice Department attempting to remove all the evidence of Omar Mateen pledging anything at all to anyone at all by deleting them from the transcript which they released, which brought a significant amount of outrage from those who had been paying attention. They were forced to admit that they had removed Mateen’s many calls to 911. Attorney General Loretta Lynch was forced to admit that Mateen never said anything to cops about specifically targeting gays. The federal government does not want to consider this to be a terrorist attack, they would prefer to consider the whole thing as a hate crime against a core constituency under unreasonable threat in the United States. You can’t blame a liberal administration for  a hate crime against gays.

Today Mrs. Lynch talked about how the federal government may never know what Mateen’s prime motive was between gay hate and terror. She added that “Our most effective response to terror is compassion, unity, and love.” The most effective response to terror is to believe the terrorists when they say they want to destroy America and Israel. They do mean it. Just tell the truth.

Whenever there is a terrorist attack, Democrats blame guns, usually what they refer to as “assault weapons,” partly because they don’t know what an assault weapon is (and isn’t), and it sounds more dramatic. The president has started bloviating about “weapons of war on our streets” a term not used when the military was offering their excess weapons of war (scary looking vehicles) to police and sheriff’s departments across the country. Nobody talked about “weapons of war” when they were equipping special agents at the IRS with Ar-15 military style rifles, or when Health and Human Services “Special Office of Inspector General Agents” were being trained by the Army’s Special Forces contractors, or the VA was arming 3,700 employees.

The number of non-Defense Department federal officers authorized to make arrests and carry firearms (200,000) now exceeds the number of U.S. Marines (182,000). In its escalating arms and ammo stockpiling, this federal arms race is unlike anything in history.

So it makes perfect sense that 40 Democrats are currently staging a”sit-in”— sitting on the floor of the House chamber because the House’s Republican leadership won’t bring up a gun-control bill for a vote. What they actually want is for everybody on the no-fly list or the possible terrorist list — which seem to be long lists of thousands of people don’t seem to include the people who are actually committing those terror attacks. Michael Medved’s 11-year-old son was once on the no-fly list, and Rep. John Lewis (who is leading the floor-sitting demonstration) was once erroneously placed on the No-Fly list he wants to use to deny due process for those who want to buy a weapon.

Murders are seldom examined seriously, only politically, in the context of gun-control controversies, with the same arguments and the same ideas. Tighter gun control laws do not reduce the murder rate.  Here’s Thomas Sowell on “The Gun Control Farce“— a serious look at the data from around the country and around the world. The facts are quite  plain. It’s not long, and worth your time.



Obama’s Ill Conceived Overtime Rule Gives Workers a Teeny Raise. Costs Companies Billions. by The Elephant's Child

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Government data released last Wednesday showed the number of private- sector job opening was at an all time high in April. But the companies doing the hiring took on the smallest number of people on a seasonally adjusted basis in nine months.  What?

The JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey) data the government released showed there were 5,2809,000 private-sector job openings  in April — 114,000 more than in March. The government report also showed that private-sector hires declined by 169,000 compared to March. Well no wonder eyes glaze over when reading government press releases.

With the private companies advertising so many job openings, why aren’t they filling the openings? The federal government has imposed vastly higher costs for employing people. It is not only more expensive, but it is more complicated as well.

President Obama’s new overtime rule was meant to help workers. Unfortunately too many government people have never worked in the private sector. The government’s new rule effectively turns millions of salaried workers into hourly employees. It won’t increase their earnings, but it will reduce their control over their schedules. Salaried employees get paid to do a job. Hourly workers must be paid overtime for working over 40 hours a week. What happens in real life is that in order to avoid lawsuits to overtime-eligible workers, many employers deny flexible work schedules to them, because it is a big legal risk. Hourly workers are more unlikely to move up to salaried positions. On Wednesday the government raised the overtime “threshold” test for salaried employees to $47,500 a year.  All salaried employees making less than that, no matter how advanced their job duties, now qualify for overtime. The Feds just thought they would give workers more pay by making more of them overtime eligible.

When Leftists are in charge of the economy, they usually make a mess of it. They assume that being “the best and the brightest”, their ideas are better but often they are simply transplants from academe who are entirely unfamiliar with business and how it operates. They have spent years envying the captains of industry who make unbelievable amounts of money, and they don’t even have PhD’s. What leftist academics fail to recognize is that the average term of a CEO is only 6 or 7 years, and they got there on the record of lots of successes. A CEO of a major corporation may oversee 20 divisions of 2o,ooo people each, and he has to report to the shareholders  every quarter. Silly academics can’t even tell protesting kids to knock it off.



Massacre in Orlando, Obama Says Motivation of Killer Unknown by The Elephant's Child

Why is it so hard for people on the left to talk straight? They have to choose their words so carefully, because the words might well come back to bite them. President Obama’s immediate reaction to the tragic mass shooting in Orlando last night was to call for gun control measures.

This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub,” Obama said during an appearance at the White House. “We have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be. And to actively do nothing — that’s a decision, too.”

Well, “Never let a crisis go to waste!”

Mr. Obama added that “We have reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer.”

Obama did call it an act of terror and an act of hate, but refused to characterize the attack as Islamist terrorism. If we were to actually combine “Islam” with “terrorism” — that might suggest that there was something wrong with Obama’s precious Iran Deal.

Omar Mateen is identified as the shooter. He was reported to be shouting “Allahu Akhbar” during the attack and had expressed allegiance to the Islamic State on his wife’s Facebook page, and called 911 prior to the attack pledging his allegiance to the Islamic State. Obama said that while the killer’s precise motivations aren’t known, enough is known to characterize the killings as terror.

At least 50 people were killed in what was the deadliest shooting in U.S. History. 53 people were wounded and many were in critical condition, at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. The nightclub is popular with gays, so the Broadway community was considered the proper venue for celebrity opinions on the killing. You can’t feel compassion unless you’re gay?

These were American victims of unacknowledged ISIS terror. All of us  feel shock and horror at these senseless attacks. Many Americans feel increasingly at risk from a government that does not recognize the problem of radical Islamist terrorism, and is unwilling to address its nature.



The Strangest Election of the Century Bar None! by The Elephant's Child

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We have at this point, a probable election between the two most unlikable candidates ever to run for political office. (That’s what the polls tell us.) Hillary made a speech in which she claimed Donald Trump was not qualified to run for the presidency, and I couldn’t help thinking “Pot meet Kettle.”

Hillary Clinton is facing criminal charges from the FBI for allowing State secrets to be posted on a private e-mail server that she apparently insisted on to keep the American public from knowing what she was doing. That matter alone is a crime.

She also knowingly used her office to fund her private Clinton Foundation by doing favors from the State Department for those who offered very large speaking fees for speeches by her husband, Bill Clinton.  This is the definition of quid pro quo, or crony capitalism.

Hillary was fired from her first job working on the Nixon Impeachment trial for being a liar and unethical. A trail of unethical actions has trailed her from title to title. She and Bill apparently believe themselves to be above the law, and are just not required to follow the same rules as anyone else.

When Bill Clinton was inaugurated, they announced that they would be co-presidents, in a two-for-one deal. The people quickly made it clear that they had not elected Hillary. She has had a burning ambition to be the first American woman to be President of the United States, ever since.

The problem is that whenever her supporters are asked to list her accomplishments, nobody could name any. Carley Fiorina remarked that Hillary had lots of titles, but that titles were not accomplishments. I have never been impressed with the “first woman,” or first anything. It is not a “great moment in history.” Some 77 nations around the world have had women in charge. Few have been outstanding leaders, but some have. High office depends on qualifications that prove that the candidate can actually do the job. Being “first” or seventy-eighth has nothing to do with what they accomplish or fail to accomplish in office.

One would assume that someone who wanted to be president so badly, would study past presidents to see what worked and what did not. How they faced the problems of their times. A deep study of history and presidential biographies. No interest from Hillary. If you were going to make a big diplomatic deal of a “reset button” with the Russians, wouldn’t you be very careful to make sure that you got it right?

Donald Trump has scared most of our allies and many Republicans with his lack of understanding of trade. He assumes that a “trade deficit” is a bad thing and major tariffs are needed to make our trade partners pay their “fair share.” Trade is by definition balanced. If we pay $100 million for products from China, and they buy only $1 million for products from us — the only place they can spend the hundred million dollars is in the United States. He seems to regard trade as a war, in which you win or lose. In trade, both sides win. This could be a major problem.

Mr. Trump is going to trial right after the election for fraud, in the case of Trump University. Former students have accused him of misrepresenting the value of the coursework offered. Other students say they learned a lot. Again, Mr. Trump regards this as a win-lose war, in the same way he regarded his real estate deals. Not a helpful attitude for our national security needs. This is a remarkably dangerous time for the world. Mr. Obama has portrayed the U.S. as weak and indecisive, and a new president will face enormous challenges.

We have only “presumptive” winners. It doesn’t get real until the conventions vote. The comments on any political piece are extremely angry on both sides. People are emotionally involved. Traffic on the social websites like Facebook and Twitter and others is way down. My guess is that there is too much anger and people don’t want to put up with it.

I have never seen a presidential campaign in which the people were so manipulated by a biased press which has skewed the results and people’s understanding. The people react emotionally to the press, everybody is calling everybody else names, we  have riots at political rallies, American college students have clearly gone completely nuts and the battles are not about anything real, but only political correctness. You must not offend.

How extremely odd. We started off with a bench of superbly qualified governors and have winnowed it down to the least qualified of all, while the Democrats had no bench at all.  So here we are.



The Decline and Fall of Socialist Venezuela by The Elephant's Child

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( A food line in San Cristobal, Venezuela)

Bernie Sanders is out in the hustings talking about banning fracking, the new way of producing oil and natural gas that has brought down the cost to consumers so dramatically. In Venezuela, the price of oil, Venezuela’s only significant export, has plummeted which means that government income will probably be down by around 40 percent this year. A disaster for this socialist paradise.

The government’s massive borrowing—a legacy of the days when oil prices were far higher, is blamed, but specifically, the lingering death of a beautiful country can be blamed directly on socialism. You will notice that the reporting on the decline and death throes of Venezuela seldom contains any mention of socialism. It is undoubtedly not on the list of approved talking points. They’re having trouble repaying their foreign debt. On top of that there has been a drought, which has meant trouble for the country’s hydropower generation, which in turn has meant that  power is only available part of the time. It’s back to candles if you have any.

The Manhattan Contrarian has been checking left-wing websites: the Huffington Post has a post titled “Why Venezuela is on the Verge of Actual Collapse” on May 20. Five reasons are given: 1. Murder—lots of murder; 2. Low oil prices—not always a good thing;  3. Plummeting economy; 4, Scarcity of essential goods; 5. Widespread corruption.

I particularly like reasons 3 and 4. The economy is collapsing because the economy is collapsing! Why hadn’t we figured that our on our own?

Socialism is unmentioned, though anybody with any knowledge of history has a long list of collapsing economies due to Socialism. It’s what economies that turn to socialism do. I guess you can’t run around badmouthing socialist systems when your presidential candidates seem to think it’s the answer to something or other.

It is, of course, the answer to government control of everyone. Every Progressive has dreams of becoming Ceasar Chavez, or Fidel Castro, or Pol Pot — becoming fabulously rich and being in charge of everything.

Zero Hedge talked to Fernando Aquirre who recorded the hyperinflation in Argentina in 2001, and has followed the story of other collapsing economies.

The greatest points to keep in mind is overwhelming corruption. People get lost on what exactly went wrong in Argentina, in Venezuela, or what’s happening right now in Brazil. What they all have in common is that the people in charge had no real interest in doing things right; they really didn’t care about destroying the country. They just cared about filling their pockets as much as possible.

Think of Venezuela this way: you have a country where water is more expensive than gasoline. What sense does that make? I mean, you had Hugo Chavez walking down the street pointing with his finger saying “Nationalize this. Nationalize that”. And when he was saying “nationalize”, he was saying “Steal this“. He didn’t have any great plans or political grandeur going on in his mind. He just wanted to steal as much as he could.

I know for a fact that they’re slaughtering one another in the streets right now in Venezuela. For at least three years it’s been a case of out-of-control crime and corruption over there. It’s not getting better any time soon unless something changes on a deeper level.

It’s not just that there’s no toilet paper. There’s no medicine, and those dependent on medicines are dying. The middle class person who still has a good job would need two years of wages to pay for a single plane ticket out. Aguirre said that if he was in Venezuela right now he would leave on foot, any way he could. And we have college students who think socialism is a great idea, and ‘feel the bern’ for Bernie.

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Here’s economist Thomas Sowell with “Socialism for the Uninformed

And law professor Glenn Reynolds: “Don’t Be a Sucker for Socialism



Models are Models. Science is Something Different. by The Elephant's Child

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We are so in love with our computers and what they can do, that we often forget what they cannot do. G.I.G.O.— garbage in garbage out. The climate models on which the panic about global warming depends are only very partly based on science. The models themselves aren’t science. There are some scientific facts that are known and accepted. Once  you get beyond that small amount — all is based on modelling. That means you take the known, add some approximations, some guesswork, and your favorite theory and you get a model of the earth’s climate, that may have little to do with the real world.

“Patrick Michaels and David E. Wojick wrote last week in a Cato at Liberty blog post that modelling completely dominates climate change research” What that means  is that climate change science is only about 4% of the whole, and not all climate science is about climate change. They are putting their faith in math calculations rather than scientific observation. The energy and the resources are directed to improving the models, which have a remarkable record of being consistently wrong.They cannot even accurately predict the climate that has already happened.

We have very little understanding of the action of the clouds, though they clearly effect climate. The heat that the models have predicted has not arrived. In science, there are questions, and a hypothesis is developed, then tested through repeated experimentation.” The federal government has spent billions —close to $100 billion since fiscal 2012 —on “science” that is undergirded by failed models.” The models were unable to predict the greening of the world caused by slight increases in CO2. Most of the money goes to improving and upgrading the models, and what most climate scientists will consider improved models to be those that predict greater amounts of warming.

For a more authoritative explanation of Global Warming go here.




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