American Elephants


Why is Freedom So Frightening to Some People? by The Elephant's Child

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Freedom is messy. The unexpected is always happening. You never know what someone will do, or what they might say. Republicans celebrate freedom of speech, gritting their teeth at offensive speech, but recognizing that their freedom to be offended also protects our ability to speak out about political abuse of any kind. progressives want to repeal the first amendment so that people are not free to disagree with them. That’s why they came up with the idea of “hate speech.”

“Hate speech” was supposed to segregate out  speech that disagreed with or offended them so much that it exceeded the boundaries of that which was protected by the free speech clause of the Constitution. Also if you killed someone or beat someone up while saying something vile, then they would put you away for longer.

You have perhaps noticed that calling people “deplorables” does not apparently qualify as hate speech, nor do the tweets and Facebook rants in response the election of Donald Trump, even those about assassinating him, though the Secret Service frowns on that.

This year has also seen a significant rise in the occasions when innocent children in college refuse to hear an invited speaker who might disagree with their ideas. Neither students nor their adult supervisors seem to realize that an educational institution is where you are supposed to have your ideas challenged. Not just disagreed with, but challenged. If you graduate from a college and have never had your ideas challenged, you have wasted your time and your money, and the professors who did that to you have failed in their most essential role. There are no “safe spaces” out in the real world, and businesses do not supply puppies and cookies to soothe you when you have been offended. And businesses will offend you. That’s one thing you can count on in this messy world.



Did You Think “Fake News” Was Confined to Politics? Try the Realm of Science! by The Elephant's Child

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From the Independent, a British paper:Manhattan Project-sized effort is needed to create artificial Arctic ice ‘to prevent climate catastrophe’ The loss of sea ice ‘represents one of the most severe positive feedbacks in the climate system’

Wind turbines could be used to create more sea ice in the Arctic in a massive geoengineering scheme on the scale of the Manhattan Project, scientists have said.

The increasing loss of ice, which reflects much of the heat from the sun, and the release of currently frozen stores of potent greenhouse gas methane threaten to create runaway global warming that would affect the entire planet.

Experts believe the Arctic could be essentially free of sea ice for the first time in about 100,000 years within the next few decades. The famously impassable North West Passage is already open to shipping and fossil fuel companies are considering drilling in the region.

Forbes: by James Taylor. Updated NASA data: Global Warming Not Causing Any Polar Ice Retreat”

Updated data from NASA satellite instruments reveal the Earth’s polar ice caps have not receded at all since the satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps in 1979. Since the end of 2012, moreover, total polar ice extent has largely remained above the post-1979 average. The updated data contradict one of the most frequently asserted global warming claims – that global warming is causing the polar ice caps to recede.

The timing of the 1979 NASA satellite instrument launch could not have been better for global warming alarmists. The late 1970s marked the end of a 30-year cooling trend. As a result, the polar ice caps were quite likely more extensive than they had been since at least the 1920s. Nevertheless, this abnormally extensive 1979 polar ice extent would appear to be the “normal” baseline when comparing post-1979 polar ice extent.

Updated NASA satellite data show the polar ice caps remained at approximately their 1979 extent until the middle of the last decade. Beginning in 2005, however, polar ice modestly receded for several years. By 2012, polar sea ice had receded by approximately 10 percent from 1979 measurements. (Total polar ice area – factoring in both sea and land ice – had receded by much less than 10 percent, but alarmists focused on the sea ice loss as “proof” of a global warming crisis.)



Just a Little More Schadenfreude, by The Elephant's Child

(h/t: Tom Lifson @American Thinker)

 



The Electoral College Votes Donald Trump 45th President of the United States by The Elephant's Child

Sorry, Democrats—Donald Trump is the President-Elect. The Electoral College has voted, and your death threats, protests and total unfamiliarity with the Constitution have gone for naught. It got a little odd here and there, one woman in Wisconsin screamed at electors “You don’t Deserve to Be in America”, and “This is My America” as the Police dragged her out.

Here in Washington State, although Hillary Clinton won the state, 4 faithless electors voted 3 for Colin Powell and one for Faith Spotted Eagle. (?) The electoral College ended up 304 for Donald Trump and 227 for Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump actually gained votes in Jill Stein’s recount. Hillary got the defectors. (numbers corrected)

Michael Barone, a long-time close observer of the political campaign business, said that this year the rules seemed to change. As technology is changing our lives in unexpected ways, it is also changing the political scene.

  1. Money doesn’t seem to matter so much. The Trump campaign spent somewhat more than half as much as the Hillary campaign, but won nearly half again as many electoral votes.
  2. TV spots don’t matter as much any more. A tweet gets more attention and a YouTube video gets more votes than a $10 million ad buy.
  3. Celebrities don’t matter. Lady Gaga and Beyonce did concerts for Hillary. Monmouth County NJ voted for Trump.
  4. Outrageous statements don’t matter. Voters were looking for change.
  5. Polling and big data don’t automatically advise the right moves.
  6. Understanding how the opposition thinks is enormously important. The Trump campaign got Hillary, but the reverse was not true. Hillary’s campaign people blamed their defeat on racism, Comey and the Russians.

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It isn’t About Tribal Rights, And It’s Not About the Water Supply by The Elephant's Child

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The protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline are, like so many protests these days, not about what they purport to be about. A piece in the Wall Street Journal clarifys the situation. The author, a resident of North Dakota who represents his state in the U.S. House writes:

Like many North Dakotans, I’ve had to endure preaching about the pipeline from the press, environmental activists, musicians and politicians in other states. More often than not, these sermons are informed by little more than a Facebook post. At the risk of spoiling the protesters’ narrative, I’d like to bring us back to ground truth.

It isn’t about tribal rights or cultural resources. The pipeline does not cross any land owned or controlled by the Standing Rock Sioux. The land in question belongs to private owners and the federal government.

The courts have rejected any claim that the tribe was not consulted. More than 50 tribes were consulted and resulted in 140 adjustments to the route. It’s not about the tribe’s water supply. The drinking water intake is about 70 miles downriver from where the pipeline is slated to cross the Missouri River, 100 feet below the river. Other pipelines cross the river upstream of the tribe’s intake, this one would run directly adjacent to a natural gas pipeline that already runs under the riverbed.

It is not about the climate. The oil is already being produced, and transporting it by train or truck is much more susceptible to accidents and spills. Trying to litigate historical grudges onto the back of a legally permitted river crossing makes no sense.

It’s largely about a White House attempt to build on their climate legacy by a president who doesn’t want to be bothered with the rule of law. ” That the economy depends on a consistent and predictable permitting regime seems never to have crossed the president’s mind.”

The signs of the protesters: “Water is Life”, “Don’t Take Our Land,” “Defend the Sacred,” “Oil and Water Don’t Mix” demonstrate the distance between the actual situation and the emotional supposed causes of the protesters. The tribe, flush with the attention they get from their protest, has even appealed to the UN Human Rights Council. Lots of theater, many teepees, tribal costume and celebrities turn up to get their pictures taken. This has been going on since August. They even ran a herd of buffalo through the area, but winter has arrived, and teepees are not nearly so comfortable in the snow.

Do read the whole thing. (Subscription barrier, but you can Google it) The battle continues in the comments.



I’m Continually Updating the Post on Trump’s Cabinet Nominees by The Elephant's Child

As President-elect Trump nominates more interesting people to lead federal agencies and offices, I’m adding them to my previous post. Follow the link or just scroll down to the picture of the White House in the snow. Democrats are beside themselves because the Republican President-elect seems to be choosing people who are opposed to Obama’s policies. He has picked three retired Marine Generals, He wants a war!! He has picked someone to head the EPA who doesn’t even believe in the Paris Accords!! We’re all going to die from an overheating Earth. More nominations to come, with constant speculation by the media, but you can’t believe a nomination unless announced by Donald Trump.

Marine General Jack Kelly (ret) has been nominated to head the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He formerly led Southern Command, and has been concerned with the terrorists and drug smugglers crossing our southern border, and the release of the “worst of the worst” from Guantanamo.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a Republican, has done successful battle in the courtroom with the EPA and is very familiar with the energy industry. He has been nominated to head the EPA, and Democrats are having a hissy fit.

It’s 36° here at the moment and we had lots of frost this morning. We may get snow later in the week, and the Earth, by the way, is currently cooling.

Dr. Ben Carson, nominated to head HUD (Housing and Urban Development) is being criticized in the media because he has never been in government. This is a bad thing?

Not a federal office, but JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, a Wall Street heavyweight will take over the chairmanship of the Business Roundtable. As an organization of the top business leaders, Mr. Dimon will be uniquely placed to consult with the president on BRT’s agenda of tax, regulatory and immigration reform. This is a good thing. Business is not the enemy, they are the ones who hire and innovate and make the economy grow.

Democrats hate Marine Generals, Business CEOs, and “Climate Deniers”. That should tell you something.



Sharyl Attkisson On Truth and Integrity by The Elephant's Child




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