American Elephants


The California Governor’s “Crusade” to Stop Climate Change by The Elephant's Child

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California Governor Jerry Brown, speaking Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said that Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) was “unfit” to run for the presidency  because of his views on climate change.

That man betokens such a level of ignorance and a direct falsification of the existing scientific data,” he said. “It’s shocking, and I think that man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office.”

Brown said that there should be urgency to deal with climate change.”I think this almost has to be at the level of a crusade.”

Host Chuck Todd asked if California’s four-year drought was directly attributable to climate change, but then the climate zealot responded “Well they say the scientists know more about it, but I will tell you this. There is research that says there is a connection between the current drought and the extreme weather in the east and other parts of the world. The UN has said that 40% of the world is suffering from a water shortage.”

But somehow the cold and record snow levels in eastern cities like Boston have persuaded the governor that the planet is heating up?

Well what I mentioned is to particularize a particular storm or absence of rain in a given week, you can’t tie that into the buildup of the presence of carbon dioxide, methane and other green house gasses. We know there is some connection and we know that this drought is just the kind of things that are absolutely inevitable that in the coming years and decades. And it builds up slowly. That’s the challenge. And it becomes irreversible.

Uh huh, but there is no time for delay in combating climate change. He continued:

So you can’t just sit around and engage in rhetoric, because some of your donors and your constituents say ‘We want to make profit.’ The coal companies are not as important as the people of America and the people of the world. I think that this has to be almost at the level of a crusade to whip people up and take the steps intelligently, carefully, and nevertheless forcefully from this point going forward.

That is the voice of a zealot who gets what little information he has from leftist talking points, and turns it into matters of faith. He believes. He has never been interested enough to investigate and see what the scientists are saying and writing; nor has he any idea what his “crusade” could possibly consist of. Will banning fracking end the mild winters? Will eating less meat bring more rain and snow to fill the reservoirs? Will shutting down all the coal-fired power plants do anything except make people in colder areas freeze to death?

How about refraining from flushing all the Sacramento River water out to the ocean to save the river smelt, a tiny bait fish of no use to anyone? That might help the drought in the great Central Valley. You could raise the cost of water to encourage more careful use. How many water features are there in the California desert golf resorts anyway?

He’s done a marvelous job of sending California’s businesses, residents and jobs to other states, especially Texas. And he’s replaced the fleeing residents with illegal aliens, and making them comfortable with drivers licenses and welfare subsidies.

And just think what he could do with the funds that are designated for his high-speed rail connection between San Francisco and Los Angeles that is slower and cheaper than a flight. That line will not be completed for eighty years, when we’ll all be traveling by driverless vehicles on programmed roadways or pneumatic tubes or something.



Hee-Hee. The EPA Embarrasses Itself Again! by The Elephant's Child

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy proved to be remarkably clueless in a Senate hearing on her request for $8.6 billion to help in the fight against the horrors of climate change.

She claimed that the increased frequency of droughts due to warming, was due to mankind’s increased production of greenhouse gasses, notably carbon dioxide which the EPA seems to think is a pollutant.  CO² is a natural fertilizer for plant growth, essential to life on earth through the photosynthesis process, and since we exhale it with every breath—not likely a dangerous pollutant.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) told Ms. McCarthy that Dr.Bjorn Lomberg from the Copenhagen Institute and Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. of the University of Colorado had both written that we have had fewer droughts in recent years, and asked “Do you dispute that?”

Ms. McCarthy responded that she “didn’t know in what context he was making statements like that.” Context?

Dr. Pielke, a professor of Climate Science, told the Senate environment48.6 billion and public works subcommittee in July 2013, that droughts have “for the most part have become shorter, less frequent and cover a smaller portion of the US over the last century. “Globally, there has been little change in drought over the last 60 years. (There goes the theory that climate change is the reason for the rise of ISIS. Yes really, they were claiming that).

Sen. Sessions then asked Ms. McCarthy if we have had more or fewer hurricanes in the last decade? She responded that she could not answer because “it’s a very complicated issue.” Only if basic math is complicated. The last hurricane to hit America as strong as a category 3 or higher was Wilma, which hit Florida in October of 2005. Superstorm Sandy was barely Category 1. The damage came from a storm surge, not the hurricane winds.

The senator inquired about the increase in global temperatures. There has been very little if any increase in temperatures in the last 18 years—90% below what the computerized climate models predicted that temperatures would increase.  Ms. McCarthy replied that she didn’t know “what the models actually are predicting that  you are referring to.”

From the Administrator of the EPA, attempting to justify a request for $8.6 billion, that ill-informed knowledge of basic and widely circulated facts about climate change are pretty stunning, but not all that surprising.  For the zealots, global warming is a religion — a war that must be fought to save the earth and bring about that ‘better world’ that zealots are so sure is out there — somewhere.



It’s Not About Terrorism, It’s About the Lack of Opportunity by The Elephant's Child

Last night on Hardball on MSNBC, Host Chris Matthews interviewed State Department spokesgirl Marie Harf, who explained to viewers just why Obama’s attempts to deal with ISIS have been so ineffective.

Remember that Marie Harf, as a spokesperson, does not express her own opinion, but the opinion of her boss, Secretary Kerry, the administration and the president. So this is Obama ‘s foreign policy:

MATTHEWS: Are we killing enough of them?

HARF: We’re killing a lot of them and we’re going to keep killing more of them. So are the Egyptians, so are the Jordanians. They’re in this fight with us. But we cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs, whether…

MATTHEWS: We’re not going to be able to stop that in our lifetime or fifty lifetimes. There’s always going to be poor people. There’s always going to be poor Muslims, and as long as there are poor Muslims, the trumpet’s blowing and they’ll join. We can’t stop that, can we?

HARF: We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people…

It must often seem that conservatives are anxious to find anything that will reflect badly on Obama, but it’s the policies that are the problem, and I think Conservatives are seriously worried about national security, do not feel that the administration understands the problem, and fears that they want to make a deal with Iran, the evil state that sponsors the terrorism that we see in the world.

Conservatives are inclined to believe the “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” shouts of their officials. The “root causes” theme always has some appeal to the West, because it offers a simple, and simple-minded cure. But it never works and has been proven wrong over and over. Democrats just can’t bring themselves to believe in evil, except when applied to Republicans or anyone else who stands in their way.

And sorry, Marie. Wars are always won by killing the enemy, until they are so utterly defeated that they give up abjectly and permanently. Wars are not won with peace treaties, nor with amelioration of root causes. Wars are won by defeating the enemy. Mr. Obama is more concerned about global warming than the threat of Islamic terrorism, which he cannot even dignify by naming it.

The President does not know what he is talking about. He misconstrues Vladimir Putin, and does not know his history. He does not understand Iran, and does not grasp their intentions. He has surrounded himself with yes-men and women, and does not listen to disagreement. A president needs to have those who disagree with his policies around, so he can learn what the opposition thinks, and evaluate whether his own position is correct. He needs to be probing the best minds he can find, to learn and ponder ideas other than his own.

ADDENDUM:The jihadists recruited from Western countries are usually, according to studies, from comfortable middle class families, or well-to-do parents, who have been radicalized by charismatic preachers or recruiters. Poverty and lack of opportunity are not usually the problem.



Another Train Derailment: Thanks Green Activists! by The Elephant's Child

derailment  - credit Bob Aaron-WCHS(photo by Bob Aaron-WCHS)

A CSX train composed largely of tanker cars derailed this afternoon in Mount Carbon, West Virginia. Adena village, a neighborhood close to the derailment, was evacuated after one residence caught fire when a tanker car slammed into  a house and burst into flames.

One tanker car went into the Kanawha River, and some cars exploded. All but two of the 109 cars were tankers loaded with Bakken crude from North Dakota, headed to Yorktown, Virginia. At least 14 tank cars were reported to be on fire, and there is burning oil on the Kanawha. Some cars have exploded, and at least one sent a fireball at least 300 feet in the air.

Two water treatment plants have been shut down to prevent oil from getting into the water supply. Residents will continue to have water for the next 6 to 8 hours due to an emergency reserve supply.

Proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline keep reminding the environmental activists that oil trains have a record of derailing, sometimes with considerable lost lives,  and that a pipeline is immeasurably safer, but it doesn’t sink in. The oil will go to market, whether by pipeline, train or truck. We have many pipelines crossing the Midwest because they are safer and thriftier.

Our economy runs on oil, coal, natural gas and in some places—hydropower and nuclear energy. If we want an economy, and goods to supply the economy, we must have energy. Solar arrays and wind farms produce little energy, and must have 24/7 full-time backup from a conventional power plant. Sounded nice to depend on the sun and the wind, but it was always hooey, and a scheme to enrich favored cronies with government subsidies.

It was not known at the time of this report if anyone was injured or killed.



King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia Has Died at Age 90 by The Elephant's Child

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King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia has died at the age of 90, according to a statement from the Royal Court.

Abdullah’s half-brother, Crown Prince Salman, who is 79 years old, was declared king and Prince Mugrin, 69, became crown prince. He became  governor of Riyadh Province in 1962 and ruled the province until 2011 when he became defense minister. He has played an increasingly prominent role in Saudi politics. He is known to favor close political and economic ties with the West.

Most of us know little about the very conservative desert kingdom. The modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded only in 1932. Abdullah had to steer the alliance with America through the 9/11 terror attacks. The kingdom was home to 15 of the 19 hijackers and many pointed out that the ideology of al-Qaeda stemmed from Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi interpretation of Islam.

When al-Qaeda militants began a wave of violence in the kingdom in 2003 aimed at toppling the monarchy, Abdullah cracked down hard. Security forces battled militants for 3 years, finally forcing them to retreat to Yemen. Abdullah had worked steadily to slowly modernize the kingdom. He was a strong supporter of education, building universities at home and increasing scholarships for students of both sexes.

He also moved to open greater opportunities for women to participate. He gave women seats on the Shura Council, an  unelected body that advises the king and government. Small steps, but big within the kingdom, where the Wahhabi clerics who hold near total sway over society and give the Saud family’s rule religious legitimacy. State-run TV has begun playing music, forbidden for decades. Small careful steps.

Abdullah had 30 children from around 12 wives.



Obama’s Failure to Be Represented in Paris Was Quite Deliberate by The Elephant's Child

Another day, another press conference. NPR’s Mara Liasson asked “The leader of France, your ally in this effort, has put a name on this ideology, which he calls radical Islam. “You have bent over backwards to not ever say that. There must be a reason.”

Josh Earnest launched into a long explanation of the reasons for refusing to use the term “radical Islam:”

The first is accuracy. We want to describe exactly what happened. These are individuals who carried out an act of terrorism and they later tried to justify that act of terrorism by invoking the religion of Islam and their own deviant view of it.

The second is, this was an act that was roundly condemned by Muslim leaders. Again, I am describing to you the reasons why we have not chosen to use that label, because it does not seem to accurately describe what happened.

We also don’t want to be in a situation where we are legitimizing what we consider to be a completely illegitimate justification for this violence, this act of terrorism.

This is beyond strange, but quite in line with Obama’s past statements, and leaves most Americans  puzzled — because it makes no sense, no sense at all. There are approximately 1.3 billion Muslims on the planet. Is it assumed that if you utter the words “radical Islam” they will all turn radical overnight and go to war with us? Every indication is that the majority of Muslims in the world are not violent, and do not approve of those who are, but are scared to speak out.

Over the past 12 months, Obama has turned loose 30 detainees from Guantanamo Bay, including 15 in the last month — most of them al Qaeda operatives, and he promises more to come. All of the remaining prison population of 127 could be released by the end of this year.

This suggests that Obama believes that he was elected as the anti-Bush, and his path to history is to end, or destroy everything that George W. did. If so, he’s misunderstood the Bush administration, and made a complete mess of it at best.

Al Qaeda in Yemen has claimed credit for the Charlie Hebdo attack. ISIS is already successfully recruiting among the Taliban in Afghanistan. Nearly 25% of released Gitmo detainees are back in the battle against us. The administration is trying to track down an al Qaeda terrorist released from Gitmo years ago and offering a $5 million reward for information and placing him on a global terrorist list. Wait! There is a global terrorist list? But….

We are under constant threat from radical Islam. Islam is a political religion, that determines how Muslims should live their lives, from government and laws to the most personal details of everyday life. The historic Muhammad allowed no dissent nor criticism, and those attempting it were killed. Muslim societies have not done well with the industrial revolution and capitalism part of modernity, and have fallen far behind.  The reaction to that failure has been, for some, to regard it as a failure to adhere closely enough to the true Islam.

Most religions have fewer restrictions on their adherents now than they once did. The early Americans were intolerant of Christmas celebration. Mormons once celebrated multiple marriages. Many Catholics use birth control, and fish on Fridays is no longer mandatory. Atheism is no longer a scandal. And diversity of belief is mostly celebrated in modern society rather than condemned.

Obama still seems to be clinging to the idea that America’s (his) victory over the organization behind 9/11 was disposative. He ended the War in Iraq, and ended the War in Afghanistan, and got Bin Laden. All done.

Yes there will be threats in the future, Obama acknowledged, but they will be smaller. …As we shape our response, we have to recognize that the scale of this threat closely resembles the types if attacks we faced before 9/11. …

In 2010,  a New York Times article noted that top White House officials “have made a point of dissociating Islam from terrorism in public comments, using the phrase ‘violent extremism’ in place of words like ‘jihad’ and ‘Islamic terrorism.’ …

So when the president chose not to attend the Paris march …the problem wasn’t a tin-ear sense of public relations. It was Obama’s actual attitude toward the terror threat facing not only Europe but the United States. We’ve dealt with the big stuff, Obama has declared, now let’s move on.

It has often seemed to me that Obama’s knowledge of history is remarkably thin. He is unfamiliar with matters of War, of the military, he attaches some importance to the fact that his grandfather served in ‘Patton’s army’, but has little knowledge of what that meant. Recently, in one of those occasional moments of candor he remarked that he spends most of his time watching ESPN.

Attorney General Eric Holder was actually in Paris on the day of the march, but chose not to attend.



Climate Change Denial Is A Crime Against Humanity! by The Elephant's Child

The mystery Of just who the other “violent extremists” are is solved, by a post from spiked:

Whoever thought that serious commentators would want it made illegal to have a row about the weather? One Australian columnist has proposed outlawing ‘climate change denial’. ‘David Irving is under arrest in Austria for Holocaust denial’, she wrote. ‘Perhaps there is a case for making climate change denial an offense. It is a crime against humanity, after all.’ (1) Others have suggested that climate change deniers should be put on trial in the future, Nuremberg-style, and made to account for their attempts to cover up the ‘global warming…Holocaust’.

The message is clear: climate change deniers are scum. Their words are so wicked and dangerous that they must be silenced, or criminalized, or forced beyond the pale alongside those other crackpots who claim there was no Nazi Holocaust against the Jews. Perhaps climate change deniers should even be killed off, hanged like those evil men who were tried Nuremberg-style the first time around.

Whatever the truth about our warming planet, it is clear there is a tidal wave of intolerance in the debate about climate change which is eroding free speech and melting rational debate. There has been no decree from on high or piece of legislation outlawing climate change denial, and indeed there is no need to criminalise it, as the Australian columnist suggests. Because in recent months it has been turned into a taboo, chased out of polite society by a wink and a nod, letters of complaint, newspaper articles continually comparing climate change denial to Holocaust denial. An attitude of ‘You can’t say that!’ now surrounds debates about climate change, which in many ways is more powerful and pernicious than an outright ban. I am not a scientist or an expert on climate change, but I know what I don’t like – and this demonisation of certain words and ideas is an affront to freedom of speech and open, rational debate.

Kind of explains the liberal disinterest in talk about free speech. We have noticed that those folks on the left are somewhat intolerant of disagreement. They really don’t like their ideas to be challenged.  Britain’s Royal Society wrote to ExxonMobil to demand that they cut off any funding to groups that have “misrepresented the science of climate change by outright denial  of the evidence.” Funny thing, I have never heard anyone deny that the climate changes. They simply deny that it is anything to get all excited about.  An open letter to the Society from climatologist Tim Ball argues that:

“scientific inquiry is unique because it requires falsifiability’: ‘The beauty of science is that no issue is ever “settled”, that no question is beyond being more fully understood, that no conclusion is immune to further experimentation. And yet for the first time in history, the Royal Society is shamelessly using the media to say emphatically: “case closed” on all issues related to climate change.”

Well, they’re coming to take me away, ha ha, they’re coming to take me away. We skeptics are to be grouped with Holocaust deniers, we will be “directly responsible for millions of deaths from starvation, famine and disease in decades ahead.” (Mark Lynas) I think it was Bobby Kennedy Jr. that wanted us put in concentration camps. So there you go.




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