American Elephants


A Bit of Advice for Republicans: by The Elephant's Child

Here’s an excerpt from David Horowitz’s Take No Prisoners:

Politics is always a gamble. No one can be sure what tactic will succeed, which is why we have to respect each other and keep our coalition strong, even when we disagree.

I said we are not good at politics. Actually we are pretty terrible at politics. Whenever a Republican and a Democrat square off, it’s Godzilla versus Bambi. They call us racists, sexists, homophobes, and selfish pigs,  and we call them …liberals. Who’s going to win that argument? They spend their political dollars calling us names and shredding our reputations; we spend ours explaining why the complicated solutions we propose will work and why theirs won’t. But when  you are being called a racist, an enemy of women and a greedy SOB, who will listen to your ideas about the budget? Who is going to believe you when all your motives are portrayed as vile?

This is the problem that not only Republicans but also Tea Partiers and conservatives in general have failed to address. It is why the Democratic Party, which supports policies that are morally repugnant and have also failed on an epic scale, still wins elections. Medicare is bankrupt and a mess; Social Security is bankrupt and a mess; the War on Poverty  is a twenty-trillion dollar catastrophe that has created worse poverty than it was designed to cure—and yet Democrats can still propose and pass the biggest socialist entitlement and redistributionist scheme ever and get away with it. Until Republicans and Tea Partiers are willing to fight fire with fire, these circumstances are not going to change. Twenty-five years after the most oppressive empire in human history collapsed because socialist economies don’t work, 44 percent  of American  youth, according to a recent Pew poll; thinks socialism is a good system. That’s a political failure on our part. We won the Cold War, but we didn’t drive a stake through the Communist heart. As a result the vampire of social justice has risen to fight another day.

Advertisements


Playing With The Notion of What it Means to Be Human by The Elephant's Child

If you are not familiar with Melanie Phillips, you might enjoy her columns. She is a long time British journalist, and a sharp observer of the world.

If you want a break from the spectacle of Britain tearing itself apart over leaving the European Union, you can upset yourself instead watching the spectacle of the western world tearing apart the very notion of what it is to be a human being.

The knee-jerk bullying, victim-group sectarianism and repudiation of reason itself over transgenderism defy belief. The Times (£) reports that a lesbian Labour party women’s officer was allegedly subjected to months of harassment as a “Terf” — a derogatory term for “trans exclusionary radical feminist” – because she took issue with aspects of transgenderism.

Intimidation by transgender activists, in the laughable cause of promoting greater tolerance and inclusivity, has suddenly become the new norm. Examples – such as the Christian maths teacher who was suspended for addressing as a girl a female pupil who identifies as a boy – are coming thick and fast.

Little kids usually go through a period when they fantasize about being someone other than who they are — like in reality a princess in disguise, waiting to be truly recognized. There have been lots of children’s books based on just that fantasy. One of the earliest was Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper. But where this current idea sweeping society here and in Europe that you can be whoever you feel like being comes from is a serious question. Melanie Phillips addresses it head on.

Bodily dysphoria appears in many forms. There are people who come to believe that they are really cats, or that one of their limbs is bad or  diseased and must be removed, sometimes going as far as removing the limb themselves. But now we are having young mothers decide that when their daughter prefers to climb trees or play with toy trucks, it’s an indication that she is transgender, and encourages the confusion. This is child abuse. Transgenderism is a disorder of the brain, not the body. It requires psychiatric help. Included in Melanie Phillips article is a link to the American College of Pediatricians and a paper on Gender Dysphoria in Children.

I posted a video of a young British mother who was doing just that, in the belief that she is doing the right thing for her child.  There are a lot of problems in our country and in the world that deserve our attention. Why are we wrapped up in a world of who sexually abused whom and how much and how many years ago, and when do we move on to the next frenzy? Is this all just a journalistic creation to keep our attention glued to their desired themes? Can we get back to reality or are we stuck in this weird world?



Trust and History. What Does History Teach Us, And What Does it Tell Us About Today’s World? And Whom Can We Trust? by The Elephant's Child


I hope you watched the video on “Why No One Trusts the Mainstream Media” with Sharyl Atkisson, who I consider a good and honest journalist.

Today I wanted to recall the basic facts about the terrorist truck massacre in Nice, France. I searched first with Bing. Took me 24 websites to get to one I trusted, which was Zero Hedge. Tried Google instead: The 8th website was Britain’s Telegraph, 12th The Washington Times, followed by USA Today, The Daily Mail, GQ and CBS News. 28th was Fox News, just after The Daily Beast. I don’t like being manipulated by the Silicon Valley Oligarchs.

Tom Steyer, billionaire, who got rich running a hedge fund, and selling it — retired to become a political activist and climate true believer. He’s been running ads  and spending $10 million chump change (and then another) to get people to impeach President Trump. He considers himself an environmentalist, which means he believes deeply in “clean energy” (which doesn’t produce enough energy to even be significant) opposes the Keystone XL pipeline (which apparently means he wants the oil trucked or shipped by rail, which is not safe.)  Why these people can’t study up a little before they decide to just believe, I don’t understand, but they do.

Steyer, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and probably others of the Silicon Valley Oligarchs, with huge wealth, have decided to spend most of their wealth in their lifetimes, trying to improve the world. I don’t know just what Sundar Pichai. Larry Page and Sergey Brin have in mind, but Jeff Bezos, once he has decimated the retail industry is interested in space. And there are lots more of them. Bill and Melinda Gates wanted to improve American education and invested a lot of hope in Common Core Standards, and it hasn’t worked, as he admitted recently. Central planning doesn’t work. I know it sounds good to have educational standards the same for everyone, but there’s a lot of history that proves that central planning doesn’t work, for schools or for governments, or for countries. People are stubbornly human, and human nature is not all that cooperative. If you want everyone to line up and do just what is wanted, better be invested in AI, not real people. You might find it rewarding to spend a few minutes considering historical examples of central planning. Victor Davis Hanson has mentioned some lately.

But I think we have a problem with the Tech billionaires. Whether it’s Google or any one of dozens of other companies, we welcome the good products they have made, but they are getting rich on selling our information, and organizing us. When they start trying to control how we think and work, we’re heading in a very troublesome direction. We’re told now that the cameras on our computers may be recording our lives.When they have enough money to buy us all, many times over, it’s going to be hard to get across the idea that we don’t belong to them and they can’t run our lives to suit themselves. There are other search engines, and other browsers who do recognize the problems.

Amazon has Echo, which I guess is called a smart speaker. It does  voice interaction, makes to-do lists, and an control other devices, as well as listen to you and record what you are saying. The other tech companies all have their own versions, and will intrude more and more in our lives. Is this helpful, or scary? No wonder some people are very worried about artificial intelligence, though it’s hard to know what is real, what is fantasy and what is simply a very bad idea.

You might be interested in investigating your usual search engines. I don’t know. pick a subject, any subject you know something about and try it out on your search engines. How many websites that you reject do you have to go through to find one that you might trust? I visit a lot of websites to try to grasp what is happening, but I no longer believe in the New York Times or the Washington Post for anything at all. They have lost any sense of responsibility in the journalism profession. The media have become political activists with bylines, and they seem to be unfamiliar with history, with the Constitution, with science, and welcome the daily talking points to give them direction. It wasn’t always this way. Who do you find to be trustworthy, and what websites do you trust?

This has been kind of a disjointed piece, but there are a whole raft of things going on with some commonalities among them that I am trying to understand and decide how much I should worry. And a lot of Silicon Valley Oligarchs trying to change the world for the better is not really a comforting thought. I don’t question that they mean well.



Democrats Fight to Protect a $1.8 Trillion Tax Break That Benefits The Top 1% by The Elephant's Child

When Republicans even suggest that they are considering cutting taxes, Democrats can be expected to start screaming “Tax cuts for the Rich.” They assume that any reduction in taxes only benefits the very rich and it is not only undeserved, but evil. They are incapable of understanding that if corporate tax rates are cut, those ‘rich” people will not fritter the money away on baubles and yachts, but instead they are freed to reinvest the money in growth, new buildings, new businesses and new machinery, and more workers which creates a growing economy. To be a Democrat, one must assume that the rich never  pay their fair share.

To be a Democrat  you must assume that any tax cut must be revenue neutral. That is, any tax cut must be made up elsewhere in the tax code so there is no loss of government income. That is a myth based on the idea that taxes are at an acceptable level today, Our corporate tax is the highest in the world today, which puts our corporations at a disadvantage compared to other countries. The problem, of course, is government spending. The cost of government never seems to go down. Salaries go up and up. Pensions are generous. The top 1% pay 39% of all taxes paid. The bottom half pay 3% of taxes.

But the Democrats are fighting to protect a $1.8 trillion tax break that benefits the top !%. So much for all those complaints about Republican tax ideas benefiting only the rich. Republicans tax-cut plans suggested  eliminating state and local tax deductions for those who itemize. It seems that few, other than the very rich, bother to claim this deduction, but it is a very big deal for those who do itemize.

Used to be that government workers received about the same income as those in the same kind of jobs in the private industry. Now you’re way better off working for the government. Possibly we could stop the automatic raises, and get the distinction back to comparable worth for the same kind of  jobs. How about a pay freeze for congressmen? They keep cutting the military pay.



The Wonders of Free Market Capitalism by The Elephant's Child

The Manhattan Contrarian (Francis Menton)  wrote a while back:

In the progressive project to remake humanity and civilization, nothing counts but good intentions, and the details will all be worked out by experts, using the infinite credit card. And thus we get $1 trillion or so of annual “anti-poverty” spending that never makes a dent in poverty. As hard as that one is to top, nothing can top the delusional thinking on the subject of renewable energy, particularly the idea that it will be easy and costless to transition over a few years to a world where fossil fuels have been banished, and yet we want and need.

Today, from FEE (the Foundation for Economic Education) we have the encouraging headline “The World’s Poorest People are getting Richer Faster Than Anyone Else.” “The speed of poverty alleviation in the last 25 years has been historically unprecedented. Not only is the proportion of people in poverty at a record low, but in spite of adding 2 billion to the planet’s population, the overall number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen too.

As Johan Norberg writes in his book Progress, “If you had to choose a society to live in but did not know what your social or economic position would be, you would probably choose the society with the lowest proportion (not the lowest numbers) of poor, because this is the best judgement of the life of an average citizen.” Well, in 1820, 94 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty (less than $1.90 per day adjusted for purchasing power). In 1990 this figure was 34.8 percent, and in 2015, just 9.6 percent.

In the last quarter century, more than 1.25 billion people escaped extreme poverty – that equates to over 138,000 people (i.e., 38,000 more than the Parisian crowd that greeted Father Wresinski in 1987) being lifted out of poverty every day. If it takes you five minutes to read this article, another 480 people will have escaped the shackles of extreme of poverty by the time you finish. Progress is awesome. In 1820, only 60 million people didn’t live in extreme poverty. In 2015, 6.6 billion did not.

Do read the whole thing, I thought a little very good news might be welcome in the face of the outrage and anguish that are the daily fare of the media. No, it is not the result of the progressive project to remake humanity. It’s the result of plain old free market capitalism. Works every time.

 



Of Course They Are Fighting Climate Change by The Elephant's Child

Here in Washington State, our Governor, Jay Inslee, released a statement today on the EPA’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan:

By repealing the Clean Power Plan, President Trump and his EPA administrator are recklessly removing any meaningful, science-based federal restraint on the carbon pollution that power plants are allowed to pump into our atmosphere. The United States Supreme Court has ruled on three separate occasions that the EPA has a responsibility, under the Clean Air Act and other federal laws, to protect American communities from harmful carbon pollution. The Clean Power Plan was constructed to give states the flexibility to choose its own path to a clean energy future, and hold each state responsible for reducing carbon pollution. This decision by the EPA instead rejects science and directly threatens Americans’ health and well-being.

Washington state is already feeling the harmful and costly effects of climate change – in more devastating wildfire seasons, strained water resources, increasingly acidic coastal waters, and more. And we are taking action to respond: at my direction, the Washington State Department of Ecology has implemented the nation’s first Clean Air Rule, to limit carbon pollution from our state’s largest sources. We are investing in new clean energy technologies – fueling jobs and business growth in an area with tremendous economic opportunity. We are partnering with other states – through the bipartisan United States Climate Alliance – to fill the void left by the Trump Administration’s total abdication of American leadership.

This action by the EPA is a setback in the struggle against climate change, but it will not and cannot stop Washington state and our determined allies in the fight against this existential threat.

Climate change has nothing to do with wildfire or strained water resources, the coastal waters are not increasingly acidic. “Clean energy” from sun and wind does not create jobs and business growth. Wind is intermittent and does not blow steadily enough to be a valid source of energy, and solar energy is too diffuse. Countries like Germany that got very involved with clean energy to keep the climate from changing, are finding that the result has been a spiraling cost of energy, and a lot of energy poverty among the people who can’t afford to keep their houses warm.

Governor Inslee is allied with Governor Moonbeam Jerry Brown who is blaming the horrific wildfires now burning up the wine district and whatever else is in the direction the wind is blowing—on, of course, climate change.

California Gov. Jerry Brown warns that catastrophic wildfires will keep ripping through the state as the climate warms. …

He said a warming climate has contributed to catastrophic wildfires. “That’s the way it is with a warming climate, dry weather and reducing moisture.” said Brown. “These kind of catastrophes have happened and they’ll continue to happen, and we have to be prepared to do everything we can to mitigate.”

The governor has positioned himself as a leader in the fight against climate change.

No wonder Leftist governors like to “position themselves” as “leaders in the fight against climate change.” It gives them a vast cause which they are powerless to fight, but is readily available to absorb all the blame for whatever is going wrong. I wonder if he’ll figure out a way to assign the immense cost overruns and pointless high-speed rail to climate change.  They don’t even have to know anything about climate science, the effectiveness of “clean energy” sources, or even what could possibly be involved in climate change if it were real. It’s just a perfect dumping ground for whatever catastrophe Mother Nature has in store for us. San Francisco’s air quality is off the charts—climate change. Wine country won’t e producing grapes for years yet—climate change. Floods, landslides, torrential rain, hot spells, mountain passes impassable—climate change. Earthquake, endangered species, see how handy it is.

I had been annoyed because none of these officials ever seemed to do their homework, to read any of the science, to understand why so many reputable scientists cast aspersions on the climate change idea. Of course they officially are true believers. It gets them off the hook for whatever happens.

Silly me. I just thought they were lazy or stupid.



Why Are We In These Strange Times? by The Elephant's Child

This is a fairly long video, but very worth your while. Dr. Hansen explains the Obama Administration, the election, and why we seem to have entered such a surreal period.

Democrats have lost elections before, but never so completely or thoroughly. They have never before reacted so badly, nor hated so viciously, nor demonstrated their hatred so tastelessly.

Who could ever have dreamed of a Kathy Griffin and her pretend ISIS decapitation, and now she’s back, apologizing for her apology. Undoubtedly her audience would not accept her regret and she is emboldened. Pity. One assumed she could not get more disgusting.




%d bloggers like this: