American Elephants


They Say That 10% Of The People Will Say Anything! by The Elephant's Child

Public Policy Polling is a respected polling organization. They found in January that Americans have a higher opinion of colonoscopies than they do of Congress. That may be specious, and anything noxious would get the same result.  We do, however, have to remember that we elected them, and they are only human— which means they have real faults just like the rest of us. Just means we have to look at their qualifications a little more closely next time, rather than just their party affiliation.

PPP has just released a Conspiracy Theory poll. They” took the opportunity to poll 20 widespread and/or infamous conspiracy theories. Many are well known to the public, others just to the darker corners of the internet.” I picked ten to list here.

  • 37% of voters believe global warming is a hoax, 51% do not. Republicans say global warming is  a hoax by a 58–25% margin, Democrats disagree 11–77%, and Independents are more split at 41–51%.  61% of Romney voters believe global warming is a hoax.
  • 6% of voter believe Osama bin Laden is still alive.
  • 29% of voters believe aliens exist
  • 9% of voters think the government adds fluoride to our water supply for sinister reasons (not just dental health).
  • 20% of voters believe there is a link between childhood vaccines and autism, 51% do not.
  • Voters are split 44%–45% on whether Bush intentionally misled about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. 72% of Democrats think Bush lied about WMD, Independents agree 48–45%.  Just 13% of Republicans think so.
  • 14% of voters believe in Bigfoot.
  • 15% of voters think the medical industry and the pharmaceutical industry “invent” new diseases to make money.
  • 5% of voters believe that Paul McCartney actually died in 1966
  • 11% of voters believe the US Government allowed 9/11 to happen, 78% do not agree.

PPP surveyed 1,247 registered American voters from March 27th to 30th. The margin of error for the overall sample is +/- 2.8%. More results can be found here.

I grew up in the woods, and I do not believe in Bigfoot. I believe that “global warming” is a proven  fraud. I also grew up with the perfect amount of natural fluoride in the water, no dentist needed. And the headline came from a statement on the radio by a professor who has just written a book on unsolved mysteries (or conspiracies).



The Way Things Work. by The Elephant's Child

Andrew Stuttaford excerpted this pertinent bit in the Corner at National Review Online, from a recent longer piece in Reason magazine by Steven Greenhut.   It’s worth repeating and considering.

The United States had 2.3 state and local government employees per 100 citizens in 1946 and has 6.5 state and local government employees per 100 citizens now. In 1947, Hodges writes, 78 percent of the national income went to the private sector, 16 percent to the federal sector, and 6 percent to the state and local government sector. Now 54 percent of the economy is private, 28 percent goes to the feds, and 18 percent goes to state and local governments. The trend lines are ominous.

Bigger government means more government employees. Those employees then become a permanent lobby for continual government growth. The nation may have reached critical mass; the number of government employees at every level may have gotten so high that it is politically impossible to roll back the bureaucracy, rein in the costs, and restore lost freedoms. People who are supposed to serve the public have become a privileged elite that exploits political power for financial gain and special perks. Because of its political power, this interest group has rigged the game so there are few meaningful checks on its demands. Government employees now receive far higher pay, benefits, and pensions than the vast majority of Americans working in the private sector. Even when they are incompetent or abusive, they can be fired only after a long process and only for the most grievous offenses.

It’s a two-tier system in which the rulers are making steady gains at the expense of the ruled. The predictable results: Higher taxes, eroded public services, unsustainable levels of debt, and massive roadblocks to reforming even the poorest performing agencies and school systems. If this system is left to grow unchecked, we will end up with a pale imitation of the free society envisioned by the Founders.




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