American Elephants


Only 8% of American Farmers Believe in Climate Change! by The Elephant's Child

U.S.-Farm
A headline from Fortune magazine: “The Paradox of American Farmers and Climate Change”, by Beth Kowitt.  “Some U.S. farmers are skeptical of climate change, even though they’re among the most affected by it.” huh.  More than some.

There’s a strange paradox in the world of agriculture: farmers are perhaps the segment of the population most affected by climate change, and yet a significant number of them don’t believe in it—especially the notion that it’s man-made.

I encountered this phenomenon as I reported a feature for Fortune on how agricultural giant Monsanto is attempting to help farmers both mitigate their impact on the environment and adapt to climate change. All the farmers I talked to readily acknowledged that the weather patterns governing growing seasons had been turned upside down in recent years, but I was on the receiving end of a lot of eye rolls whenever I brought up climate change.

Monsanto MON -0.58% gets a similar response from the growers who buy its seed. The company’s chief technology officer, Robb Fraley, told me he’s received numerous angry emails from farmers asking why the company is supporting what some call “this government effort.

Well, of course the farmers are annoyed. Farmers lives are governed by the weather. They live it daily, and they know far, far more about weather, weather patterns, and forecasts that a condescending writer in the offices of Fortune magazine. And more than the salesmen in the offices of “agricultural giant Monsanto MON-0.58,”as well. Their lives are mostly conducted out of doors — in the weather.

That’s how I grew up, at around 4000′ in the foothills of the Rockies, I guess you could say. We had mild summers and hot summers. Some winters we had 5′ of snow on the level, others, not much more than two.  I’ve been snowed in more than once, had floods, and bad fire years.

Dr. Tim Ball, Climatologist, wrote today about climate alarmism, and how it all began with the “Ozone Hole.” A perfectly normal thinning of the ozone layer was said (falsely) to be a catastrophe. Yet eventually it was noted that the ozone hole was recovering and almost back to normal.  It was essentially, a dry run, a test case for the deception that human produced CO2 is causing global warming.   Read Dr. Ball’s piece to begin to understand how politics has infused the whole climate deception. But back to Fortune magazine:

I don’t want to suggest that all farmers reject the concept of climate change. That’s not the case. But here’s what some of the numbers show: A survey conducted by Iowa State Professor J. Arbuckle and Purdue University professor Linda Prokopy of 5,000 Cornbelt farmers—representing about 60% of U.S. corn production and 80% of farmland in the region—found that only 8% believed climate change is taking place and caused primarily by human activity. That 8% figure is significantly lower than the general population. A poll from January found that 27% of the general public primarily blames human activity.

There’s a big difference in outlook between apartment people in large cities and American farmers. For city people, it’s deciding whether or not to take the umbrella. For farmers, it’s going out in the rain to make sure the water is going to flow properly into the ditches, and not wash out a newly planted crop, and may take most of the day. Farmers listen closely to the weather forecasts, city people not so much.

The idea of human causation is very nebulous. When humans cut down a forest and start tilling the soil, that’s a major human influence and it does affect to local climate. When acres and acres of natural growth are razed to plant wheat or corn, that’s human influence. Exhaling CO2 by millions of people, not so much, either.



It Does Not Follow From the Facts, We’re in Some Alternate Universe. by The Elephant's Child

Hillary-Clinton-4
Many of us have noticed that the Democratic Party has changed significantly. Congressional Democrats used to cooperate on many issues and bipartisan votes were common. But here we were yesterday on the Fourth of July, fireworks, barbecues and beer, and sparklers for the kids, and we have Democrats demanding that we confiscate all guns (Matt Damon), bellyaching about God Bless America (Gersh Kuntzman), just after Democrats in Congress had engaged in a silly sit-in, despite plenty of empty chairs.

Hillary has released a plan to call for all families earning less than $125,000 to receive free college tuition. She did say it wasn’t right for” Donald Trump’s kids” to attend college for free.  She’s also pushing for Medicare for all, apparently unaware that Medicare is on the verge of collapse.

It’s immediately clear that Hillary never studied economics. But that’s where the Democratic Party has changed. The hard left are ideologues. They are right, their opinions are right, Democrat talking points are right, and they don’t have to bother with knowing anything about history or economics or math or the Constitution or world affairs either.

Hillary and the other leaders of the Democratic Party talk a lot about rights. They want to grant new rights to Americans — the “right to a college education,” the right to affordable health care,” the “right to a living wage.” But just last week they wanted to deny the right to buy a gun to anyone on the “no fly” list. And just a week or so ago, an Air Marshal admitted that they just put random people on the no-fly list because they have quotas to fulfill.

And there’s this little thing called due process which means that you cannot take anyone’s rights away without a judge and a court of law. “The Second Amendment needs some changing, because Americans don’t agree with it and we’ve had it,” (Rep. Mike Doyle D-PA).

Democrats don’t like the First Amendment either.They quite specifically do not want anyone to be allowed to disagree with them. A majority of Democrats said in a YouGov poll last May that they support government limits on what they consider to be “hate speech.” California Democrats pushed a state bill that would have criminalized speech that questioned the “consensus” on climate change.Attorney General Loretta Lynch told the Senate Judiciary Committee in March that she has discussed the possibility of civil actions against “climate change deniers.”

The Democratic Party unveiled its 2016 national platform last Friday. They promise to put “a middle-class life within the reach of more Americans.” They are quite sure that America’s most serious problem is “income inequality.”

“At a time of massive income and wealth inequality,” it states, “we believe the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations must pay their fair share in taxes.”

One of the reasons for so many American businesses moving to other countries is that we have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, and it is also one of the reasons why the economy has not recovered in the past eight years.

It is now official Democratic Party policy to call for the Department of Justice to investigate any energy companies who “mislead” shareholders about global warming, and a proposal to investigate alleged corporate fraud on the part of fossil fuel companies who have reportedly misled shareholders and the public on the scientific reality of climate change was also adopted by unanimous consent. I’ll also bet that not one of the platform committee has ever read any climate science whatsoever.

They want to make American corporations “pay their fair share” and make American companies pay U. S. taxes immediately on foreign profits. Most countries don’t even tax profits made outside their borders.

On education, they pledge more resources for “pre-K to 12 schools in every zip code”, though there is no evidence anywhere that spending more improves the schools. It just makes the teachers’ unions happy.  Kids should not be forced to attend the schools in their own zip code either. They also want immigration preference for relatives of people already here. Emphasis on family ties brings in  unemployable people and unskilled workers.

We had a recession when Barack Obama took office, but the Federal Reserve declared it over in 2009, in June if I remember correctly. But the economy has not really improved in the seven  years since, nor has it recovered.  There is not the slightest evidence that Hillary can or would do anything to help the ranks of the unemployed. Her monumental failure of the situation in Libya does not bode well for dealings with ISIS or the Taliban. Since she seems to have absorbed nothing from her experience as a senator or as Secretary of State, we’re left with the need to elect her because she is the first woman, or because it’s her turn, or because she has an unusual ability to avoid potential prison terms.



Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Law of the United States of America by The Elephant's Child

— FBI Director James B. Comey’s Statement on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Personal E-mail System.
……….Remarks prepared for delivery at press briefing.
Good morning. I’m here to give you an update on the FBI’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail system during her time as Secretary of State.

Andy McCarthy, NRO: FBI Rewrites Federal Law to Let Hillary Off the Hook:

Shannen W. Coffin, NRO: The FBI built a solid case for prosecuting Hillary Clinton’s criminal misdeeds—but then inexplicably decided not to recommend her prosecution

John Hinderaker, Powerline: Can Hillary Survive?

Roger L. Simon, PJMedia: Did Comey Actually Destroy Hillary Clinton by ‘Exonerating’ Her?

Michael Warren, The Weekly Standard: FBI Director Will Not Recommend Charging Hillary

Noah Rothman, Commentary: Comey and the Stench of Politics

David Harsanyi, The Federalist: Hillary Clinton is Above The Law

*******

President Barack Obama: “No Man or Woman Has Ever Been More Qualified for Presidency Than Hillary Clinton”



The Private Sector Fires Incompetents. The Feds Reward Them! by The Elephant's Child

medium
It was only a day or two ago that I wrote “The federal government has too many people working for the government, and there isn’t enough work for them to do. Government workers make 78%  more for comparable jobs, according to Cato. They call themselves “public servants,” but they don’t mean it. When they start to think of the U.S. Constitution as an impediment rather than a guarantee that the government belongs to the people and the public servants are there to work for us, not the other way around, we’re in trouble. So here we are.”

Federal workers make on average nearly twice as much as those in the private sector, but government employee unions want a pay increase more than three times larger than President Barack Obama proposed.
The American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, American Postal Workers’ Union and 20 other unions representing federal workers sent a letter to Congress seeking a 5.3 percent pay hike next year. President Obama proposed a 1.6 percent raise.

How about a 10% pay cut to bring them more into line with the rest of the country?  If you include benefits, the average federal employee earns about $119,000 annually, including salary and benefits compared to the private sector average of $67,000. (an October 2015 study by the Cato Institute) If you add in health care and pensions, it’s even a bigger gap.

federal-worker-pay-2

All the workers in the federal government are, according to the federal government — above average. This rating of worker performance is clearly absurd, as anyone who has ever had contact with a federal bureaucrat can attest. But a review of federal worker performance ratings by the GAO found that 99.5% of them got a “fully successful” rating or above. More than a third were given the highest rating of “outstanding.” At the other end of the ratings only 0.4% were rated as “minimally successful” and 0.1% as “unacceptable.”

Don’t everybody rush to get a government job at once. These “fully successful” workers “blew $2 billion on a botch Healthcare.gov website, made more than $100 billion in overpayments to go to government beneficiaries, run the TSA, fired veterans unto deadly wait lists for care, allowed their databases to be hacked, spent over 10 years and $1 billion trying to digitize 100 immigration forms only to get just one done.” And the list goes on — and on.

It is not just hard to fire a federal employee, but nearly impossible to rate them as anything less than “fully successful.” A manager who does must spend significant time developing performance improvement plans. Workers who don’t get a gold star can and do appeal their ratings by filing a union grievance with the Merit Systems Protection Board. That may be another agency we could do without.

The private sector has a direct financial interest in weeding out bad apples, and accurately assessing worker performance. Those incentives just don’t exist in the government. Failure usually results in bigger budgets and more money.

Republicans talk a lot about reducing the size and scope of the federal government. You haven’t been paying attention. They mean it, but they need encouragement, lots of it, because it is very hard to do. And needs doing very badly.

Save

Save



Why Won’t Barack Obama Say the Words “Radical Islam”? by The Elephant's Child

obama gray
Why does Barack Obama refuse to utter the words “Radical Islam?” Why does the phrase in the First Amendment “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” which has a clear meaning, seem to prohibit our federal agencies from doing necessary background inquiries regarding those who appear to be radicalized Muslims?  Major Nidal Hassan who fatally shot 13 people at Fort Hood and wounded more than 30 others was clearly observed to be radicalized and dangerous, but nobody would do anything about it because he was Muslim.

Omar Mateen was allowed to avoid serious investigation because he was a Muslim. He blamed his actions on Islamophobia. He talked a lot about how he wanted to kill people. Disney reported that Mateen and his wife were casing Disney World back in April. But real investigation stopped because he was a Muslim.

After the deadliest mass shooting in American history. President Obama was angry, impassioned — at Republicans? Huh? David Harsanyi notes the occasion at NRO: (Do read the whole thing)

“That’s the key,” they tell us,” Obama said, eviscerating the GOP. “We can’t beat ISIL unless we call them radical Islamists. What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change?

Victor Davis Hanson wrote about Orlando and “domestic terrorism:”

Most disturbing is the serial inability of the Obama administration — in this case as after the attacks at Fort Hood and in Boston and San Bernardino — even to name the culprits as radical Islamists. Major Hasan shouts “Allahu akbar!” and Omar Mateen calls 911 in mediis interfectis to boast of his ISIS affiliation — and yet the administration can still not utter the name of the catalyst of their attacks: radical Islam. It is hard to envision any clearer Islamist self-identification, other than name tags and uniforms. The Obama team seems to fear the unwelcome public responses to these repeated terrorist operations rather than seeing them as requisites for changing policies to prevent their recurrence.

The current Leftist seems to be consumed by the belief that Michelle Obama derived from her husband. “All of us are driven by a simple belief that the world as it is just won’t do — that we have an obligation to fight for the world as it should be,” which seems to be derived from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. They dream of an imagined world  that is self-evidently superior to the existing order. Their world is consumed with the glorious future of which they dream and the current battle against the Right.

That leaves little time for reflection or study, so they rely heavily on leftist talking points that are handed down to the press and to Democratic spokesmen. That’s why there are always examples of the entire Democrat apparatus speaking of the same event in exactly the same words. Talking points. And they seem remarkably ill-informed.

Obama clearly was influenced by the years he spent in Muslim Indonesia before he was 10 years old, but there is no evidence that he is Muslim. Many of us believe that his much ballyhooed “Iran Deal” is an absolute disaster and a major danger to the United States, yet the president sees it as a great accomplishment. Why?

I believe he sees the Middle East in a domestic battle between Sunni and Shia for dominance, which we ignited — with the Invasion of Iraq — and made worse with our brutal treatment of the Iraqis, killing Muslims and destroying property. Obama’s closest advisor is Valerie Jarrett who was raised in Iran.

He regards Arab Muslims with their wealth and palaces and yachts as the problem, and the enlightened and educated Persians as a better class to control the Middle East. He believes we should turn the entire area over to the Iranians to manage. He thinks we have no business in the Middle East at all, and believes America should play a smaller role in the world, as just one among many nations. He sees the cries of the Ayatollah for “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” as some sort of rallying cry or public relations, but not anything that is meant seriously. He said, when he was trying to sell his Iran Deal to Americans, that he did not believe that Iran would ever use a nuclear weapon.

Obama, we are told, does not change his mind. Once he believes something, it is set in concrete. He was heavily influenced by Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian-American firebrand professor of Middle East studies at Columbia, and I assume Obama believes that Israel is the major problem in the Middle East. Obama’s great accomplishment was to create a “two-state solution”, and he is furious that he hasn’t been able to bring it about. Palestinians aren’t ready to stop trying to kill Israelis with rockets and stabbings and tunnels to attack Israelis in their homes, which is somewhat inclined to give the Israelis a jaundiced view of the fabled “Peace Process.”

I have no expertise in the Middle East, never been there, this is only what I have derived from my reading, but I do read a lot. When an enemy leads chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,”and hangs citizens of his own country who disagree with him, I’m inclined to believe him. When they demand the ability to build nuclear plants that are clearly not needed to produce power, and everybody says they are developing nuclear weapons, I’m inclined to believe them. When they are pursing intercontinental ballistic missiles that could carry a nuclear weapon, I’m a more than a little skeptical about Mr. Obama’s Iran Deal. That’s why he won’t say “Radical Islam.”



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

ClkO4h3XIAUQSGr
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.




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,606 other followers

%d bloggers like this: