American Elephants


There Is No Such Thing as “Gun Violence.” It’s Pure Propaganda. by The Elephant's Child

“Gun Violence” is pure political propaganda. A gun, whether the tiniest Derringer, or an enormous artillery cannon, is an inanimate object. It in incapable of doing anything whatsoever without action by a shooter. It is very clearly the shooters who may or may not be “violent.” Saying “gun violence” suggests that without the inanimate objects of guns, there would be no violence, which is absurd. Far more homicides or deaths take place without guns at all.

Also absurd is the focus on “Assault Rifles” which are just ordinary rifles fancied up with some military cosmetics because people generally like a little added glamour.  This Michael Ramirez cartoon is an older one, and the actual numbers may have changed, but the proportions are undoubtedly the same, and the point made remains valid.

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Democrats believe absolutely in crazy Right-Wing militias training in hidden hollows in the Rocky Mountain West who may come forth to attack them. That’s the plot of many a thriller. Or if not mountain hollows, hidden in the swamps somewhere in the solid South. They want the public disarmed. (Think of Hillary and her “vast right-wing conspiracy.”)

Most farmers and ranchers keep guns. Varmints. Sometimes a wounded animal needs to be put down. Coyotes go for the chickens. There are around 10.9 million deer hunters alone, not counting those who hunt Ducks, Turkeys elk, quail and so on. Yes, you can buy meat at the market, but many people count on a fall hunt to fill the freezer for the winter.

Gun homicides have been declining steadily since 1994, even as gun ownership has increased.

I didn’t note down who said it, but it is quite accurate: “Blaming guns for the Islamist murder of 49 people in an Orlando gay nightclub is like saying that Zyklon-B Gas was the cause of the Holocaust and not the Nazis.”

If you are given to worrying, worry about Barack Obama’s attempt to nationalize America’s police departments. He wants to put your local departments under federal control in the name of civil rights law.



The Danger of the “Black Lives Matter” Movement. by The Elephant's Child

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From City Journal “No Equivalence” by Bob McManus, July 8 2016.

Much remains to be learned about the why and the how of Thursday night’s massacre in Dallas, but there is scant mystery about the what: at least 11 police officers were calmly marked for execution for no other reason than that they were cops. When the firing was over, five lay dead and the remainder wounded—some gravely.

To the untrained eye, the attack appears to have been well-planned and carried out with precision. In this respect, it was fundamentally different than the events that brought hundreds of demonstrators to downtown Dallas Thursday—the police-custody deaths of black men in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and St. Paul, Minnesota, in a welter of chaos, confusion, and conflicting claims of guilt, innocence, and intent.

Baton Rouge and St. Paul, like so many of the similarly tragic police-custody deaths that preceded them, may have been the product of circumstance, or of incompetence, or maybe they were even crimes. Each must be examined in context and judged accordingly. But Dallas was cold-blooded murder—nothing more, nothing less. Attempts to assign equivalence to the horror of it—to suggest, as some are doing on social media, that Dallas is somehow just deserts for Baton Rouge or St. Paul or Baltimore or Ferguson, or even for Eric Garner’s death on Staten Island two long years ago—is morally repugnant.

Nor can this be blamed on guns. Guns are inanimate objects and don’t go around shooting people. It is the shooter who is the problem, not the gun. So far in 2016, 34 police officers have been murdered in the line of duty, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, most by gunfire and others by vehicular assault. Many more have been wounded.

When officers are killed in the line of duty, other officers on patrol become more cautious. It’s only natural, they have families and want to go home at night.

For the media, America is in the grip of an orgy of crime, and wanton murder. These wanton murderers are wearing blue uniforms and police badges. It makes for exciting bylines and good copy. But it’s not true.

White policemen shooting unarmed black men accounted for less than 4 percent of fatal police shooting. In three quarters of  shooting incidents, cops were either under attack themselves or defending civilians, as the policemen in Dallas were doing — trying to protect civilian demonstrators.

According to the Department of Justice, blacks represent 12.6 percent of the population, but committed 52.5 percent of the murders in America from 1980 to 2008. This is not to say that there are not bad cops and killings that call for investigation and jury trials. The worst neighborhoods in Chicago, where gangs run wild, have a higher murder rate than world murder capitals like Honduras. (116.7 per 100,000 compared to 90.4 per 100,000).

Barack Obama has encouraged racial animus from the beginning in an effort to secure the black vote for Democrats. It’s what he did as a community organizer. That he wanted to assure black votes is not arguable; that he wanted to stoke black fears of racist police is unknown, though that is what has happened.

Black Lives Matter was launched in 2013 with a Twitter hashtag after neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman was acquitted in the death of Trayvon Martin. It was founded by radical Left activists, and has gone on to stir up resentment against “the system”  on college campuses across the country, responding to phony “hate” crimes, and increase demands for revolution and racial separation. Another outgrowth of communist/socialist agitation.

Heather MacDonald has been one of the most important voices in explaining American policing and the current attack on law and order. I would urge you to read her whole piece, from Imprimis.



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

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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

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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.



The Media Shreds Hillary Clinton After the FBI Report On Her Email Conduct by The Elephant's Child



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”



Fantasy and Talking Points In Search of a Legacy for Obama by The Elephant's Child

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The Democrat’s Convention platform is slowly being revealed, unprobable bit by bit. It will include a plan to get the United States completely off of fossil fuels by 2050. Oh dear. Not going to happen.  Who writes these talking points? Doesn’t anyone ever check in with reality?

President Barack Obama met at a “Three Amigos” summit in Ottawa this week with  Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada and President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico. The three NAFTA partners will pledge that in less than 10 years, half of North America’s energy will come from “clean” sources. The administration patted itself on the back and called it “ambitious.” How about “improbable” or “a joke?”

The U.S. accounts for three quarters of the energy produced by the three countries., so living up to the agreement falls on the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, so-called “clean energy”— nuclear, hydro electric, solar, wind, biomass makes up a total of less than one-fifth of U.S. energy production.

Nuclear accounts for around 8% of all clean energy, and California plans to shut down Diablo Canyon, their last nuke, which produces two times more energy than all of California’s solar arrays put together. The environmentalists who are energy-literate are beginning to understand that only nuclear power is currently capable of generating significant amounts of baseload electricity. The first new nuclear plant is starting up in Tennessee with environmental support. Biomass accounts for 4%, solar and wind put together only 3% of our energy needs and hydroelectric a little more than 2%. Environmentalists oppose hydro, because they don’t like damming up rivers, and most of the good spots are already taken.

Even if they went whole hog for Nuclear energy, it wouldn’t make any difference over the next decade.The permitting, construction and approval steps alone would take more than 9 years. Obama said he was sure that some 15 year-old was working on a new energy source in his bedroom, or perhaps it was his garage.

But that leaves wind, solar and biomass. Production levels from these sources would have to increase by something like 470% in nine years to add up to half of the nation’s energy production. Well, maybe everyone will have forgotten his silly pledge in 9 years. Keep trying, maybe you’ll find something to claim as a legacy.




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