American Elephants

Margaret Thatcher: No Such Thing as Public Money by The Elephant's Child
October 14, 2017, 9:57 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

Here’s Margaret Thatcher to reiterate the simple fact that there is no such thing as public money, or as I keep saying: The government has no money of its own. Every time someone wants the government to do something for them, that amount comes proportionately out of your pocket.

We’ve just had a series of devastating hurricanes, with lots of help from FEMA to set things right. Part of the cost usually comes from the states, but the states don’t have any money of their own either. Puerto Rico is a special problem because of years of Democrat mismanagement which has left the island bankrupt. But they need help and FEMA is there as is the U.S. Army, getting help to areas that can no longer be reached by road. They need simple food and water, and it’s hard to get it to them, and the power is out and may continue to be out for some time. Now it seems that some of the politicians  representing those areas have been funneling the supplies to their friends to distribute to their friends …and so it goes.

We’ve  had Harvey in Texas, Irma, José, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, and now Ophelia which is circling up the Atlantic and may hit Ireland directly. Ireland is not accustomed to tropical hurricanes.

Special Sunday Stories Not to Be Missed. by The Elephant's Child


Lord Christopher Monckton tells the story of how Margaret Thatcher became the world’s first climate realist; and his own adventures with a very early computer — an 18-lb. Osborne 1, with a 5″ screen, floppy disks and a Z80 8-bit chip — the first computer they had ever seen at Number 10 Downing Street.


A curious archivist, an interested engineer, a stubborn engineering technology expert and a mystery canister containing  film strips that could be read on no known instrument.  The machine was an obscure 1922 invention that General Electric designed called a “pallophotophone”which means “shaking light sound” in Greek, long disappeared from the world.

Russ DeMuth is an engineer in the GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna and a technology expert.  He accepted the challenge of trying to re-invent an unknown machine.  With digital equipment and hundreds of hours of tinkering spread out across two years of nights and weekends,  he created the only functional pallophotophone in the world.  They called it the Gizmotron.

And what was on the mystery film?  The voice of an ailing 82-year-old Thomas Edison, wheezy and high-pitched, growing husky and choked as he praised his good friend Henry Ford who stood alongside President Herbert Hoover on a stage on October 21, 1929.  The author of this piece describes it as “catching lightning in a bottle.” It is a fascinating story, and in the left-hand margin under “Multimedia” you will find a video where you can hear the audio that they discovered.  If you don’t have the Flash  player, you can download  it there.


Jay Nordlinger, at the Corner, said that the worst cliché in journalism is as a journalist, getting into a cab, having an interesting conversation with the driver and then reporting on it.  So having called himself gauche, he cheerfully does just that.  The location was Dallas, the driver was from Tunisia, and the commentary was on America.

It’s a conversation that we are lucky enough to hear, by virtue of Mr. Nordlinger’s ignoring a cliché.

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