American Elephants


It Was Last Week, But I Thought This Was Funny and Accurate by The Elephant's Child

I don’t know where this came from, I copied it down because it made me laugh. Apologies to the author, and appreciation.

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It’s Not Climate Change that is Fueling Destructive Wildfires by The Elephant's Child

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People here in the Seattle area are complaining about the smoky air. There are some forest fires, mostly on the other side of the mountains around Omak, and in the Okanagan. In California, Governor Jerry Brown screeches that “since civilization emerged 10,000 years ago, we haven’t had this kind of heat condition, and it’s going to continue getting worse and that’s the way it is.” At a state Office of Emergency Services press conference he said firefighters would have to adapt to increasingly severe wildfires because of climate change.

To quote from the Daily Caller “Years of mismanagement built up in California forests are feeding massive wildfires scorching the state, which is on track to experience its most destructive fire season ever. Nearly 3,000 acres of state and local lands in California have been burned this year, about triple the size of the five-year average for this time of year. The amount outpaces 2017’s historic fire season in the state by about 70,000 acres, The San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Little Hoover Commission (LHC), an independent California oversight agency, has been documenting forest mismanagement in the Golden State for decades. LHC described California’s Timber Harvest Plan in 1994 as an “inadequate tool” for balancing environmental and economic needs.

The environmental movement got all excited about preserving our forests and put enormous pressure on governmental agencies to stop cutting down trees, stop logging, and stop building logging roads into the beautiful forests. Logging provided lumber for building homes, and the price of lumber went way up, so nobody is building “starter homes” anymore. Ending logging meant that forests were not thinned as they were when logs were harvested, which means the trees are too close together, and there’s more deadwood and brush, which means more fire danger. There are always consequences for your actions. But aside from being wrong about the 10,000 years, Jerry Brown is wrong about climate change as well.

Wildfires have always been nature’s method of forest management.The U.S. Department of the Interior explains:

Fire has always been a natural process that is essential to healthy ecological systems. In the early 1900s, land management agencies sought to suppress all fires in an effort to preserve the timber supply. Over the decades, fire exclusion led to more living and dead vegetation on the landscape, increasing the fuel and as a result, the risk of large wildfires in our forests, rangelands, and near communities.

There are currently an estimated 66 million dead trees in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The land there can comfortably support between 20 and 100 trees per acre, There are currently around 266 trees per acre.

Granted, the Carr fire in Northern California has been devastating, burning much of Redding and Shasta, there have  been 6 deaths and many  homes have been destroyed, which is why Jerry Brown is looking for someone to blame other than mismanagement.  But then he is sure that the end is near from global warming.

A September 2017 report in the journal Science found that the global burned area has dropped by about 25 percent over the previous 18 years,  consistent with a May 2016 paper published by the Royal Society B:Biological Sciences.

During 2017, there were 150 graphs from 122 scientific papers published in peer-reviewed journals indicating that modern temperatures are Not unprecedented, unusual, nor hockey-stick-shaped —nor do they fall outside the range of natural variability. So far in 2018, there are 108 graphs from 89 scientific papers that undermine the claims that the modern era warming is climatically unusual, so it would seem that the attempt to blame global warming won’t work either.

It is often assumed that most forest fires are caused by lightning strikes, but it is reported that 90 percent of forest fires in this country are caused by human action. Like Smoky Bear said: “Only you can prevent forest fires”



Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez, True Believer, Truly Scary. by The Elephant's Child

DNC Chairman Tom Perez suggests that Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez is the exciting new face of the Democrat Party. Her mother said she’s really excited about running and wants to be President some day. She is indeed, the poster-child for the failure of American Universities. She graduated from Boston University’s College of Arts & Sciences with a BA in economics and international relations. She was 4th in her class, but seems not to have learned any economics whatsoever. But she is a member of the Democratic Socialist Party and was an organizer for Bernie Sanders.

Reading up a little on her, it would be a mistake to fail to take her seriously. She has been a political activist, and had a lot of support from Hispanic organizations. She lied about being from the Bronx which she left at age 5 for a wealthier enclave. Her father was an architect, but he died intestate from lung cancer. She worked two jobs, as a waitress and a bartender, which shows determination and hard work.

She said attending the Standing Rock Sioux protests about the pipeline running near their reservation was a defining moment for her. The tribe was ostensibly afraid the pipeline would contaminate their water supply (highly unlikely). The pipeline did not cross reservation land, nor affect any reservation property, but they worked with Earthjustice against fossil fuels and loved the national attention. The final bill for their protests came to about $43 million. And the debris and mess left by the protesters took up over 20 dumpster loads. I wrote about that protest several times.

Ocasia-Cortez supports progressive policies like Medicare for All, a job guarantee, tuition-free universities and public schools, and said that “for the cost of the GOP’s tax bill, we could forgive ALL the student loan debt in the United States. She favors single-payer healthcare as “a human right.” She says a single government insurer should ensure that every American has insurance—while reducing costs overall. Uh huh. Of course she wants to abolish ICE, calling it “a product of the Bush-era Patriot Act suite of legislation enforcement that takes on more of a paramilitary tone every single day.Just two days before the primary election, she attended a protest at an ICE child detention center in Tomillo, Texas, and supports a “path to citizenship” for all immigrants who entered the United States. She told CNN that she would support the impeachment of President Trump, saying that “I think that, you know, we have the grounds to do it, citing Trump’s violations of the Emoluments Clause.

Other than that she is a self-described hardliner on climate issues, and wants us to transition by 2015 to an electrical grid running on 100% renewable energy production and end the use of fossil fuels. She also calls for a “Green New Deal” in the U.S.

Sigh. I was an English major, but I did learn that the federal government has no money of its own. And if you stack all of our billionaires together, they still don’t have enough money to abolish our taxes and give us all that free stuff. 4th in her class! And she favors guaranteed jobs, that is— federally subsidized jobs, a truly interesting proposal. Good grief, the federal government can’t even do job training.  See James Pethokoukis writing at AEI.

She is out there campaigning hard and promising all sorts of free stuff for the American people, and if everyone has a job and is forced to work, well then, there you are.



Hysteria, Hysteria and More Hysteria! by The Elephant's Child

On Saturday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “AM Joy”, whatever that is, host Rachel Maddow announced that “The worst case scenario that the president is a foreign agent suddenly feels very palpable.”

“The basic question, which I think rung so loud for everybody in the country this week was, is our president subordinate to a foreign power? Does our president answer to a foreign government and a foreign leader? And that’s private meeting with Putin, where nobody knows what he promised or what he may have given away, the way that he responded to Putin when we saw him face-to-face, and then the fact that he took under consideration all of these demands from Russia, including handing over Americans to Russia for interrogation. That just — you know, it makes the worst case scenario really palpable. The worst case scenario that the president is a foreign agent suddenly feels very palpable.”

Oh please. The hysteria of the Left just gets sillier. They’ve done the decapitated head, the women’s marches with pussy hats, the Nazi, Hitler, Auschwitz comparisons, the vulgarities, the accusations of authoritarianism (don’t we elect presidents to be an authority and get things done?) They’re big on decapitations, but there’s just so much of excess that you can find and your insults get old and tiresome and boring.

They are furious about lower taxes, a growing economy and low unemployment, but they can’t say that. They are enraged that he dumped the Paris Climate Accords and convince themselves that it means something terrible for the Earth. Outraged at the very idea of a border wall, ripping little children from the arms of their mothers, trying desperately to link him to the pictures from the Obama administration of children in cages. Comedians and comediennes are having a dreadful time trying to come up with significant insults and extreme language to top what is going around and yet attempt to be funny at the same time. They end up simply being disgusting, and do not grasp their failure.

As we learn that there was no evidence of any Russian collusion—no there there, for the FISA Court, no reason for the Mueller Investigation, just a fishing expedition, the hysteria just grows. He spoke to President Putin in private, so there are cries of “treason”, charges that the president is a Russian “asset”, “that remarks at a press conference constitute an impeachable offense” seem as Michael Anton says—unhinged.

“The World Explained: It’s Simple – Everyone is Smart..Except Trump” A must read article by Dov Fischer at The American Spectator, and reprinted by Zero Hedge. Let’s call it a welcome and long overdue rant. A fun read.



The Belief System of the Anointed Explained by The Elephant's Child

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Well, all is explained. Daniel Greenfield, real investigative reporter, explains why Trump Derangement Syndrome: More Democrats Believe in UFOs Than America”

58% of Democrats believe in UFOs, but only 32% are proud to be American. Only 37% of Republicans believe in flying saucers, but a full 80% are proud of their country.

Almost twice as many Democrats are willing to believe in being abducted by space aliens than in their country. Hillary Clinton had promised that if elected, she would find out the truth about the little green men and suggested that the planet had already been visited by aliens.

“Maybe we could have, like, a task force to go to Area 51,” she suggested.

The chair of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, John Podesta, an obsessive UFO buff, appeared on an episode of Ancient Aliens which claimed that Hillary Clinton was defeated to suppress the truth about space aliens.



Another Great Jobs Report, Leaving Democrats in Despair by The Elephant's Child

Nancy Pelosi presser

The big news from the Labor Department was that 600,000 workers re-entered the work force. Manufacturing jobs increased by 36,000, The 4 week average of continuing  unemployment claims was the lowest in 45 years.

1.03 million workers have returned to the work force.  The June economy added 213.000 new jobs, 22,000 more than economists had expected. 155,576,000 Americans are working.

Naturally, Democrats are distraught.

Nancy Pelosi, minority leader, tweeted:

The June shows what is at stake from the brewing storm of rising health costs, spiraling trade uncertainty & an economy being hollowed out to enrich big corporations & the wealthiest 1 percent. Americans deserve better than the GOP’s raw deal.

Democrats do not believe in tax cuts. It is a matter of faith. Taxes are supposed to go up, not down, and give the Democrat Party more money to play with, to buy votes and buy supporters. Naturally, they blame big corporations, but not rich corporate executives upon whom they depend for donations.

Brian Riedl, of Economics 21 wrote in the E21 Commentary:

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) remains controversial, with public opinion evenly split and many Democrats campaigning on repeal. However, the Democratic critique of the tax cuts has grown increasingly incoherent. The party excoriates the “tax cuts for the rich” while trying to tilt them even further to the wealthy. Democrats slam the deficit effect of the tax cuts while working to worsen budget deficits. In addition, they erroneously describe the law as a “middle-class tax hike” while proposing policies that would truly raise middle-class taxes.

And about the “Tax cuts for the Rich”

The most aggressive liberal complaint was that the TCJA represented a giveaway to the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. In reality, the tax cuts nudged the distribution of federal taxes in a more progressive direction. The bottom 80 percent of families had previously paid 33 percent of all combined federal taxes, yet received 35 percent of the tax cuts. By contrast, the top one percent had previously paid 27 percent of all federal taxes, but received just 21 percent of the tax cuts. Since upper-income earners received a lower share of the tax cuts, their share of federal taxes paid will slightly rise.

Do read the whole thing. I know, economics??? The more you understand, the better off you will be. At least that’s what I always tell myself, and it certainly doesn’t leave me approving of former Speaker Pelosi and her crew.



More Bad Publicity for Seattle and Portland, Well Deserved. by The Elephant's Child

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The beautiful and quiet forests and mountains of the Pacific Northwest won’t protect us anymore. We’re getting national publicity, all of it bad. In this case, it is the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal ‘sLeft Coast Lawlessness: Progressivism is wrecking cities in the Pacific Northwest.” Unfortunately, it’s true. (Do read the whole thing)

The anarchy and disorder dominating progressive cities across the West Coast recently hit a new low in Seattle. King County officials are looking to roll out a “safe injection van,” a legal venue at which addicts could shoot up illegal drugs unhindered and “safely.” The first of its kind in the United States, the van would manage to undermine further the rule of law while also doing little to help addicts. Seattle’s urban decay goes deeper, though, with skyrocketing rates of homelessness, an explosion in opioid usage and deaths, and spikes in violent crime.

Portland doesn’t fare any better, and only today the news reported that police were trying to put down a riot when protesters resisted being removed from camping out around ICE headquarters there for days.

Both cities have big problems with “homelessness,” though the problem is perhaps that the problem in most cases is not the lack of a home. We have an huge increase in opioid use, and deaths, and the spikes in violent crime that go along with the other problems. City planners are industriously trying to build low-income housing in the useless assumption that will solve the problem. Concurrently they are establishing “safe injection sites” and apparently that is not working as promised, so they are rolling out the “safe injection vans.” Supposedly there is a nurse or other medical professional to make sure that they don’t overdose. And if they are nice enough to the addicts, maybe they will accept treatment.

Headline on Fox News: “Seattle cops flee the force in ‘mass exodus’ due to frustrations with the city’s politics, report says.” At least 41 cops have left the Seattle Police Department this year, many of them reportedly citing frustration with the city’s politics and a perceived lack of support from local officials. Some were retirements, but at least 20 have left to find employment at other law enforcement agencies. The frustration over city politics is higher than usual. Kshama Sawant, a very radical city council member, was particularly cited as being especially critical of law enforcement. “A city council member [Sawant] can call two police officers ‘murderers’ and the city pays for her legal fees,” a source said. The Seattle Police Guild said officers have not received a pay raise in three years due to contract negotiations. but said that officers didn’t leave because of money issues —they were just fed up with the politics.

The Seattle Police Department said it would not characterize the departures as a “mass exodus” and noted primly that the department was continuing to recruit officers, including women and minorities.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office released a statement about the importance of public safety and keeping families safe, etc. etc. etc.

The mountains and forests remain beautiful, wildflowers and waterfalls. It’s just the cities that are haywire.

ADDENDUM:  How come they never, never understand that making things nice for addicts will just attract more addicts?When you create a sanctuary city, it does not just protect your current illegals, but invites more to come. When parents complained about the behavior of their kids, the remedy turned out to be what they called “tough love.”




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