American Elephants


Not All Cyber Attacks Are Committed By Chinese Hackers by The Elephant's Child

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You have heard about Cyber War, I’m sure. Not all of the cyber attacks on our power infrastructure are caused by hackers in the People’s Republic of China or Russia or even ISIS. At least that’s what the former Deputy Director of the National Security Agency claims.

“I don’t think paralysis [of the electrical grid] is more likely by cyberattack than by natural disaster. And frankly the number-one threat experienced to date by the US electrical grid is squirrels.” – John C. Inglis, Former Deputy Director, National Security Agency 2015.07.09

The website cybersquirrel1.com is all about the declassified cyber attacks they have been able to document up to the present time. They have listed 623 successful attacks by squirrels, 214 by birds, 52 by raccoons, 47 by snakes, 25 by rats, and 9 by beavers.  They offer an interactive map showing the locations of confirmed strikes, a cybersquirrel 1 unit sticker, and a record of mentions in the press. I suspect this is only a small  part of the larger war against squirrels and other varmints by bird lovers who have major trouble with squirrels stealing the bird seed. All in fun, of course. There are books delineating methods for dealing with the bandits. Consult Amazon.

Real Hacking and Cyber attacks are no joke. We have had serious probes of our infrastructure, power plants, power grid, and military installations. There are worries about solar flares and severe solar storms that can cause damage naturally. Everything electric stops.

A real EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack has been estimated to kill 90 percent of the American population. It can be accomplished by detonating a nuclear missile at high altitude, and also by severe solar flares. Here’s a summary of research from the Heritage Foundation, and a survey of EMP preparedness, also from the Heritage Foundation. Or simply Google EMP Attacks, and you will get information, scoffing, how to prepare, and survival equipment and tips.

The federal government is apparently concerned with squirrels, and hardening off the grid will be a state problem. You might want to see if your state is doing anything.



Can You Answer a Simple Question? by The Elephant's Child

Well, no. No I can’t. But please vote for me anyway.



Is Income Inequality Really the Burning Issue of Our Times? by The Elephant's Child

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A constant theme for the Democratic presidential race has been income inequality. Democrats always want to increase envy in the minds of their loyalists, and what better way than to insist that America’s affluent got rich, unjustly, at the expense of the poor and the middle class. Envy and resentment stoke the fires of class warfare, and the Obama Administration’s lackluster economy and slow growth make people feel helpless and more inclined to blame others for their circumstances.

Liberals want to address income inequality by redistributing wealth from the well-to-do and giving it to the poor. It’s comforting to believe that the misfortunes of your life can be blamed on someone else. But natural demographic changes and lifetime income cycles distort the estimates of income inequality.

Young people just beginning a career not only don’t earn very much, but they want to get married and buy cars and houses and have babies. And they go into debt to do so. Their parents have been saving all of their lives, educating their children, and gradually building up some wealth. U.S Census data show a clear relationship between age and median net-worth in every quintile, Moreover, the death rate has fallen sharply — people are living longer, and there are more of them. Young people have less retirement savings, and the old folks have a far higher homeownership rate. Older workers have more skills built up over a lifetime, and are worth more to employers because they are more productive.

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Economist Thomas Sowell has explained:

Only by focusing on the income brackets, instead of the actual people moving between those brackets, have the intelligentsia been able to verbally create a “problem” for which a “solution” is necessary. They have created a powerful vision of “classes” with “disparities” and “inequities” in income, caused by “barriers” created by “society.” But the routine rise of millions of people out of the lowest quintile over time makes a mockery of the “barriers” assumed by many, if not most, of the intelligentsia.

The Left believes in government, not in the free market, which they don’t understand at all. The only way that government can create jobs is to hire more people — which they do regularly by creating more regulations and more agencies — all of which is paid for by the taxpayers, thereby reducing the wealth of the people and the economy. This is what they call progress.

Bernie Sanders’ and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns are based on finding ever more ways to redistribute wealth, taking more money from more productive people and giving it to the less productive.

Raising the minimum wage is one way. “No one can raise a family on the minimum wage” they say. No one is supposed to. Minimum wage jobs are meant to be jobs for first-time workers. How many people do you suppose are qualified to wipe off tables, sweep the floor and punch labeled keys on the cash register at a fast food restaurant? Conversely, how many people do you suppose are qualified to manage 20,000 employees in 20 separate divisions of a giant corporation in fierce competition with other giant corporations in the same business?

“But it isn’t fair!” is the cry. Your mother probably told you that life is not fair. She was right. The young person who graduates from college and graduate school with excellent grades and an advanced degree is going to have a different life than the young person who dropped out of high school without graduating, and has had trouble finding a steady job. That isn’t about fairness.

In actuality, the middle class is just fine, and still driving the economy. What is happening is more a result of how the researchers  divide up the quintiles into which they separate Americans. You have the poor, the lower middle class, the middle class, the upper middle class and the rich. Pew Research, for example, takes the median income in a given year, with half richer and half poorer. And how you define “middle income” can create all sorts of mischief and all sorts of interesting headlines.  Pew’s definition of “middle income” isn’t anchored to any fixed standard of living, but in fact represents a rising standard of living over time. And surprisingly, everybody is substantially better off than they were 45 years ago.

Poverty has decreased across the world, and in 2015, food prices are down by 19 percent in just the last year. Food is more abundant, probably due to  slight increases in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a natural fertilizer for plants which is greening the world.



Dr. Istvan Marko, Award Winning Chemist, Explains About Carbon Dioxide. by The Elephant's Child

Dr, Istvan Marko, Professor of Chemistry at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, discusses the need for CO2 on Earth.

We keep telling them and telling them, but the global warmists aren’t interested in facts or evidence. It is their religion, and they believe absolutely.



The State of the Union Speech, More or Less, Not Particularly Accurately by The Elephant's Child

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I did not watch the State of the Union speech last night. I’m not up for the hectoring, lecturing tone of Mr. Obama’s speeches. He long ago forgot the idea that he works for us — if he ever recognized it. I did, however, print out the prepared speech from the White House website under the assumption that it might offer a clue to what is coming for the coming year. I did, it does, and it’s not encouraging, but easily summed up as more of the same.

I wrote a fairly lengthy piece about it, and when I was nearly done — it vanished. Dunno what happened, it wasn’t in the trash, help from WordPress on how to recover lost posts didn’t help — just gone. Probably all for the best. Critical pieces abound, and mine will not be missed.

Mr. Obama is a Progressive, and lives, as I recently said, in an alternate reality. He finds America unsatisfactory and wants us to stop meddling in the world and turn the funds to making more people completely dependent on governmental largess, well, taxpayer largess, and take from the rich who are undeserving and give to those who are deserving. Social Justice and all that. American businesses and American people need more regulation, so they will behave better.  The federal government, which is much better at regulating things, will tell businesses how to operate, raise the minimum wage, reduce obscene executive pay, give workers more time off and more say in their working conditions, and create more job training programs for those who can’t find a job.

Obama will empty Guantanamo, sending detainees back home with the insistence that they must behave better. He will continue releasing non-violent felons who are only drug dealers (dealers, not users) but arrested with illegal weapons, into free society, with the insistence that they must behave better. No one will be allowed to ask about a criminal record, so they will be able to get good jobs, become good citizens and vote Democrat in gratitude. The crime rate has been going down dramatically for a number of years, but Progressives do not understand the relationship between more crooks in prison, and a reduction in crime. Too complicated.

Obama will promote equal pay for equal work — which has been the law since 1963, but is ignored in the White House and in Hillary’s campaign.

Everybody needs a college education, so we will have to fork over for  college tuition and room and board for everyone.

“We have the spirit of discovery in our DNA,” he said, because we built the space program, so now we need a new moonshot — America can cure Cancer. He is putting Joe Biden  in charge of mission control. (not a joke)

America, which meddles too much, is the most powerful nation on earth. “No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that’s the path to ruin. Surveys show our standing around the world is higher than when I was elected to this office.” A little awkward when Iran just grabbed 10 of our sailors, two Navy small craft with all of their equipment, photographed them all in a humiliating kneeling position with hands over their heads in direct conflict with Article 13 of the Geneva Convention, and forced the female sailor to don a hijab. Humiliating for the administration. Great propaganda for the Mullahs, who will use the pictures to show how Iran humiliated the Great Satan.

Secretary of State Kerry groveled abjectly, apologized, did his doormat act, and the Iranians released the sailors — whether with their 2 ships and equipment, I don’t know.

Obama said “That’s why we built a global coalition, with sanctions and principled diplomacy, to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. As we speak, Ian has rolled back its nuclear program, shipped out its uranium stockpile, and the world has avoided another war.” See how simple it all is?

This was dashed off a little more quickly than the previous lost and unrecoverable piece, so I may have missed some of the excitement. Sorry about that!



Sexual Assault, Rape, Islam, And Nothing To See Here, Just Move Along. by The Elephant's Child

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The reactions in Europe to the coordinated sexual assaults and rapes on hundreds of women in Cologne, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Berlin and a few other German towns, in Salzburg, and in Finland — deserves our close attention. The media covered it up. The police and town officials made excuses, or simply tried to ignore it. The Cologne police chief got fired, but the mayor has not yet resigned as she should. The cathedral square in Cologne, filled with nightclubs, bars and coffee shops is where locals have seen in the New Year for hundreds of years.

Britain’s Daily Mail reported:

The men, speaking Arabic and seemingly either drunk or high on drugs, moved around in large groups among a gathering of around 1,000 male migrants and deliberately targeted women. The men easily outnumbered the 190 police officers on duty, who were quickly overwhelmed.

In Cologne, 120 women reported assault, 50 women in Hamburg complained to police, in Berlin a tourist was assaulted by 5 men right in front of the Brandenburg Gate. Just a coincidence? Let’s not be totally gullible. The common thread is that the attackers were Mediterranean men of Arabic appearance and an immigrant background.

In Britain, Quadrant magazine reported in October, of Muslim sex gangs described by authorities as “Asian” in Banbury, Birmingham, Blackburn, Bristol, Burnley, Cambridge, Carlisle, Derby, Leeds, London, Manchester, Oldham, Oxford, Peterborough, Preston, Rochdale, Rotherham. Sheffield and Telford. The victims are under-age English girls, and the gangs are Muslim and traffickers. The press and broadcasters go out of their way to avoid any connection between the acts and the central practices of the religion of the malefactors, or even to name that religion. Referring to them as “Asian” is insulting, for Sikh and Hindu Punjabis in Britain do not commit rapes or assault children, but Muslim Punjabis do. The attacks are characteristic only of Muslims.

The Press and police and social workers have mostly been unwilling to to investigate, take action, or disturb ‘community harmony.’ The only common characteristic is the Muslim religion throughout Britain, Australia, Germany, and Scandinavia. In the Muslim communities, the victims did not matter because they were not Muslims.

The real problem is that Muslims believe in their own superiority and supremacy over others. They hate Israel and India because these are lands that they believe are —theirs by right of conquest. Over a millennium ago conquering Muslim armies detached Palestine along with the rest of the Middle East from the Christian world. Likewise the Muslims invaded India, subjugated the Hindus and forcibly converted many of them. Now the Jews have returned to their ancestral land and the Hindus are masters of their own country and “impudent” enough to want to reclaim their own history. According to Muslim doctrine no country that was once under Muslim rule can ever finally escape from it. What is happening in Britain is that the Muslims are fighting out their foreign conflicts on our territory against our Hindus and our Jews, two groups who have made an unparalleled contribution to the prosperity and intellectual life of our society. We have an overriding duty to defend them.

People in public office have a deep resistance to being accused of Islamophobia, or racism or any other offense against the reigning political correctness in our current society. They might be called unpleasant names, lose their jobs, be demoted, have a black mark against their names — or lose an election. How did we get here? I don’t think ordinary Americans care at all about being politically correct, yet our schools and our governments at all levels are obsessed. Is it the finger-pointing of the press?  As far as that goes, why does the press seem to have less and less understanding of events in the world?  Just asking.

ADDENDUM: Breitbart reports that a peaceful protest in Cologne by the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of Europe (PEGIDA) today turned violent as German police turned water cannon against the demonstrators. 143 police officers had been turned out to stop the migrant rape of the previous night, 1500 officers were turned out to stop the anti-rape protest. Elsewhere, protesters were accused by some officials as “racists.” Protecting the establishment by accusing those who protest establishment inaction of being at fault— in other words blaming the victims.

 



The President is Concerned About Mass Shootings, Regulates the Innocent, Releases the Guilty. by The Elephant's Child

You can understand just why President Obama is so angry with Republicans. They not only fail to appreciate all the great things he has done for the country, but insist on criticizing him for doing them. No wonder he is angry. Some even claim that he is trying to make America a socialist country.  Socialism is defined as any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.

Liberals have realized that they don’t need to own the means of production and distribution of goods, they can just regulate it all, and so the president intends to advance “fundamental transformation”  by decree. The Wall Street Journal summed it up under the headline “Happy New Regulatory Year:”

Unofficially, Mr. Obama’s Administration has once again broken its own record by issuing a staggering 82,036 pages of new and proposed rules and instructions in the Federal Register in 2015. We say unofficially because Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who tracks these regulations, warns that the final number will likely come down by a few hundred pages when the official National Archives tally is released, without the blank pages that sometimes appear in daily publication.

He told us early on that he wanted to “fundamentally transform the United States of America” which is probably the only thing he has come close to accomplishing — in an accomplishment-free administration.  I shouldn’t say that. He is a champion at limiting economic freedom and the 94,446,000 working age Americans who have given up looking for work can attest to that.

Today he announced his executive orders on gun control, with a long list of mass shootings: Fort Hood, Binghamton, Aurora, Oak Creek, Newtown, the Navy Yard, Santa Barbara, Charleston, San Bernardino. Not any one of these mass shootings would have been prevented by any of President Obama’s executive orders. But then his climate control efforts, which resulted in an unenforceable agreement to limit CO2 emissions, would have no effect on the climate of the world at all — even over the next 100 years.

The gun control efforts would accomplish not much of anything at all, but are not a particularly big intrusion on gun rights either. So why? Obama is extremely dogmatic. Once he has an idea, it is set in stone, and he does not change his mind. It is of a piece with his orders on rules of engagement for military personnel which got so many of our troops killed, both at Fort Hood and in Afghanistan.

Obama also just commuted the sentences of 95 drug dealers convicted of non-violent possession with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, and some 20 of them for illegally possessing firearms. I’m inclined to believe that selling illegal drugs is a violent crime.

California, the home of the San Bernardino killing, has the most restrictive gun laws in the country. Chicago, also a city with very restrictive gun laws has a record number of gang shootings. Australia has seen a spike in gun crime in spite of an outright ban on guns. Paris has extremely strict gun laws, and has had two dreadful examples.

In the United States, we have had a 50 percent drop over the past two decades as a direct result of good policing, and of putting more of the bad guys in prison. The “Ferguson Effect,” blaming the police in spite of grand jury investigations, has meant a drop-off in policing. Recruitment for the police academies has declined, and more cops are quitting the service. They don’t need to risk their lives every day to protect the people, and be unfairly accused of racism, or of murder when defending themselves. They are more reluctant to patrol dangerous neighborhoods, and there is an uptick of 11% in homicides in 25 of our 30 largest cities. In spite of the uptick (which is significant) today’s murder rates are still at all-time historic lows.

It is the policing revolution of the 1990s that succeeded in calming urban violence. President Obama has rejected angrily any suggestion of a “Ferguson Effect.”

“He accused FBI director Comey of ‘cherry-picking data’ and ignoring ‘the facts’ on crime in pursuit of a ‘political agenda,’ noted Heather MacDonald. The idea that the president knows more about local crime and policing than the nation’s top law-enforcement official is absurd. Yet after DEA chief Rosenberg threw his weight behind the Ferguson effect, the White House lashed out again, petulantly claiming that he had no evidence.”

Do read Heather MacDonald’s article “In Denial About Crime” linked here, and above. She is truly an expert, and current trends are worrying.

The president has had conflicting ideas about how to help the black community. On the one hand he has emphasized children’s need for fathers, which is a great good. On the other hand he has unfortunately suggested that police officers are racist. With his commutation of sentences, largely of drug dealers, he has suggested that it is somehow unfair for so many black men to be in prison. What is unfair is for so many black men to be dealing drugs. Here is the list of the most recent list of 95 prisoners whose sentences he commuted. He commuted another 45 earlier in the year. Reportedly 6,000 prisoners are to be released in his final term.

Much of this is ideological prejudice expressed in the Fox Butterfield Fallacy of misidentifying as a paradox, that which is a simple cause-and-effect relationship. New York Times reporter Fox Butterfield remarked on the drop in crime, led by a drop in murder, and asked why is the number of inmates in prisons and jails still going up? The typical New York Times reporter disapproved of sending people to prison because they think it is racially discriminatory. It is a common belief on the Left.

Mr. Obama remains angry with Republicans, angry with Congress, and determined to get his way by ignoring the Constitution, and accomplishing what he can by executive orders, and de facto rules as “notices” or “guidance” that are ignored by businesses at their peril. The Supreme Court has encouraged this abuse by affirming that federal agencies have wide latitude to issue “interpretations” of federal laws and even to change those interpretations without going through the formal exercise of rule-making. Clearly, Congress needs to restrain their habit of passing rule-making on to federal agencies.

The federal government does not understand the effect on business of their busy-rule making nor of the effect on the American economy.

This year administration plans to issue new or final rules restricting legal arbitration, mandating overtime  pay for millions of workers, punishing payday lenders, further regulating financial advisers, limiting methane emissions from oil and gas drilling and further reducing silica dust exposure in the workplace.

It will accomplish little, damage our damaged economy further, and impose more costs on every American. Some accomplishment!




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