American Elephants


Well, There You Go. Protests! by The Elephant's Child

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Possibly more sensible than some of the most recent others. Opposition to “Triggering” is just embarrassing. Nobody has a right to be free of being offended. It is a natural part of being human — get over it. Unless there are shots fired and bombs going off, you don’t need the protection of “safe spaces.” This is the real world, and you’re just going to have to live with it. People will disagree with you. Sometimes forcefully. You have no special right to be liked. Try being likeable. The human race contains all sorts of people, some nice, and some really, really bad. Try to tell the difference.



The Unexpected Sometimes Happens. Mother Nature is Still There. by The Elephant's Child

The Calbuco volcano in southern Chile has erupted twice in the space of a few hours in _82507687_hi026877410

a totally unexpected blast. The Calbuco had been dormant for decades, but nobody expected today’s eruption. Chile, That long country in South America has a string of some 500 volcanoes, so we can assume that they know a thing or two about their volcanic mountains. The Calbuco is one of the most active but there was no warning sign. Authorities have evacuated more than 4,000 people within a 12 mile radius. In March the illarrica volcano erupted in the early morning hours

Meanwhile in Nepal, a massive earthquake, shallow, but very strong at 7.8, struck 48 miles northwest of Kathmandu. Avalanches were reported by climbers on Mount Everest, hitting an Everest base camp, where at least ten people were buried alive. At least 1832 people have been confirmed dead near Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital. We have sent aid.

It is a startling reminder of the natural forces of Mother Earth, and that we are very small.

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The Immigration Problem Is Far Bigger Than You Ever Imagined. by The Elephant's Child

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Immigration is a touchy subject — minefields in every direction. We are a nation with borders and immigration laws, or at least we used to be. The president of the United States believes that American Immigration policies are not determined by the Constitution, nor by the laws of our country, but by his personal preferences. He apparently hopes to admit enough poor, non-English speaking illegal aliens from Central America and give them driver’s licenses, and thus the right to vote—to guarantee the next election, and future elections.

“Progressive,” “socialist,” and “liberal” are today interchangeable terms that describe participants in a moral crusade with a political agenda, usually referred to as “social justice.” It can be summed up as equality imposed by the state.The quest for a utopia of equals forges progressive alliances, defines their allegiances, and justifies the means they are willing to use to get there.They may differ on policies and tactics to advance the cause. But they are ever ready to subordinate their differences to achieve the common goal. Since the Democratic Party has become a party of the Left, progressive missionaries view it as the practical vehicle for making their idea a reality. They are willing to follow its marching orders because a political party that controls the state is the only way to achieve the goal. (David Horowitz: Take No Prisoners)

“Social Justice,” defined by the left as equality imposed by the state, is equality of the ordinary people out there, but the “progressives” proposing it view themselves as the state, those who impose equality, not those who actually participate in it. See the case of Hillary, who charges $300,000 for a half-hour speech (Bill gets $500,000) is clearly a paid-up member if the 1%, and excoriates corporate CEOs for making too much money, Which is not just silly, but major hypocrisy.

If we are going to have immigration laws, who should we let in? Everybody that wants to come? People who bring desirable skills? Refugees from the hell-holes of the world? The president can’t even get around to admitting the translators who worked with the U.S,Army in Iraq — whose lives are in danger from ISIS. That’s a disgrace. How many of the relatives of a new citizen should be admitted? People with significant assets? Degrees? Business owners? English speakers? People with no assets who will require welfare, food stamps, housing? Diversity? Ethnic origin? A large portion of the countries in the world are hell-holes.

A large percentage of the people of the world would like to come to America. If no immigration curbs are enacted, another 14 million immigrants will come to the U.S between now and 2025. That means adding a new population almost four times larger than that of Los Angeles in just 10 years time. But empathy, compassion, caring?

Businesses claim to need new immigrants, claim that immigrants have added much to American society, but when examined more closely, high-tech workers are being forced to train their replacements who will work for less money. One Silicon Valley company was paying legal Indian immigrants $1.24 an hour to work 100 hour weeks. There is currently a program that converts foreign college graduates back into foreign students so they can stay and work legally. That number soared to nearly 100,000 in 2013. Since they are defined by ICE as “students” neither the employer or the alien has to pay payroll taxes —so the United States pays a bonus of as much as $11,600 to an employer when they hire an alien graduate rather than a U.S.graduate with the same qualifications and the same salary.

Conservatives usually say they want the border controlled before we reform immigration laws and set quotas. They want the border fence completed. Scroll through this Google Images portrayal of the “Border fence With Mexico.” Mexico, by the way, is extremely offended by any border fence of ours, but anyone crossing into Mexico without permission may spend months in jail. They depend on remittances from illegals who have crossed into the U.S. to work  to support their economy.

I welcome legal immigrants with open arms. Immigration is not a suicide pact. We have a right to determine who and how many and when we will admit immigrants. But deciding who and how many and under what circumstances needs to be decided on the merits — not by ;politicians who are trying to appeal to particular voting groups. And Legal immigrants must assimilate, renounce their former country and become Americans. Barack Obama is doing wrong, and doing great damage to the country. He needs to be stopped.



The Free Market Is Not A Suicide Pact by The Elephant's Child

Posted by Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog

Immigration has become the third rail of American politics.

At a time when the labor force participation rate has fallen to 62 percent and the employment growth for the last 15 years has gone to immigrants, opposing the Super-Amnesty of 12 million illegal aliens is still considered an extreme position… in the Republican Party.

So when Scott Walker merely suggested that Congress should make immigration decisions based on “protecting American workers and American wages”, he was denounced for it by… Republicans.

Walker’s belief that immigration should be based on “our economic situation”, rather than an ideological mandate for open borders, has become an “extreme right” position. And yet this scary “extreme” position that foreign workers shouldn’t be brought in to displace American workers is part of our immigration law. It’s just one of those “extreme” parts that, like the illegality of crossing the border, is being ignored. It’s not just being ignored by Obama. It’s also being ignored by the Republican Party.

Scott Walker’s common sense immigration populism was met with two sets of attacks. The first set came from senators like McCain and Portman playing the old song about all those “jobs Americans won’t do.” (Not that they’re given the chance to do them.) Senator Hatch claimed that, “We know that when we graduate PhDs and master’s degrees and engineers, we don’t have enough of any of those.”

America has no shortage of engineers. Companies aren’t bringing in Third World engineers on H-1B visas because of a shortage, but because they want to fire their American workers and replace them with cheaper foreigners. American IT workers are forced to train their H-1B replacements before being fired.

And that’s when the free market argument kicks in.

Walker was denounced for betraying “free market principles” and for “immigration protectionism”. But if lowering the rate of one million immigrants already arriving each year while Americans can’t find jobs is a violation of free market principles, then why have any limitations on immigration at all?

A poll showed that 13% of the world’s adults or 150 million people would move to the United States if they were allowed to. If 1 million immigrants can’t fill all those jobs that Americans won’t do, let’s try 150 million immigrants.

It would be a violation of free market principles to prevent the 37% of Liberians (genocide in the 80s and 90s), 26% of Dominicans (their last reported unemployment rate in the US was double that of Americans) and 24% of Haitians (Cholera, 14% of the country’s households had a rape in two years) from moving to your town or your city.

Just think of all the cholera, unemployment, rape, welfare and genocide that could be enriching the fabric of our country and your neighborhood right now if it weren’t for all that pesky protectionism.

Clearly we do believe in some form of protectionism. Even Obama hasn’t welcomed in a quarter of Haiti, yet, but the year is still young. The free market isn’t a top-down ideology whose principles require open borders and when it acts as a rigid ideology insisting that its pure application will lead to positive results while ignoring the problems, then it becomes no different than the ideological centrally planned economies destroying themselves.

If freedom is to mean anything, it has to mean the freedom of individuals, not of systems. Like Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Religion, the American free market is nothing if it is not the right of Americans to freely do business with each other.

That right unfortunately no longer exists. Americans are less free to do business in their own country than foreign countries are to dump subsidized products or surplus populations in the United States.

What does exist is a mantra of free trade that obligates the United States to accept products dumped from subsidized economies such as China and Japan in the name of free trade, to accede to the outsourcing of American jobs to foreign countries that aggressively develop and protect their industries and to the Third World immigrants displacing American workers to labor at extremely low wages while their real salaries are paid for by American workers in the form of food stamps and other social benefits.

None of this promotes free market principles. Instead free market principles are exploited to undermine our own free market. The right of Americans to freely trade is under attack from mass migration.

Not only are the new immigrants much more likely to vote to the left, but the mass destruction of American jobs is expanding the ranks of the poor who become much less likely to vote Republican.

In the last presidential election, the under $30K group was a wall of Obama voters. This group is twice as likely to identify as Democrat rather than Republican. It’s had the sharpest drop off in Republican identification. In Pennsylvania, Bush won 39% of these voters while Romney took 24% of their votes.

Does electing Democrats promote free market principles? Does reshaping the electorate so that a Republican in the White House becomes an impossible phenomenon serve free trade?

Free market principles, like any others, must be reducible to the individual. Can importing millions of people who reject free market principles individually be in accordance with free market principles?

Only collectively, and collectivist free market principles are a contradiction in terms and a suicide pact. This collectivist version of free market principles destroys our ability to implement any form of free market in the future. The perversion comes from viewing the free market as an abstract idea expressed through our entanglement in a global network. The free market isn’t a global policy. It’s how we live. It’s our freedom to engage in commerce as we choose. It exists only as long as we are free. Scott Walker hasn’t abandoned free market principles. His critics have.

True free market principles derive from the individual, not from national policies that import millions who collectively reject those principles. Protecting American workers who believe in the free market also protects a free market which, along with our other freedoms, would cease to exist without them.

Freedom is a covenant that comes with rights and responsibilities. Our fundamental responsibility to any freedom is to support and protect it. Those who reject a freedom should not be able to benefit from it.

Europe is in a state of growing civil war with Muslim immigrants because European leaders refused to understand that extending rights to those who do not accept them and do not reciprocate creates rights without responsibilities. A right extended to those who reject it is a failed effort at appeasement.

Freedom isn’t global, it’s local. It does not come from policies, it comes from people. It can’t be implemented internationally by creating hollow organizations and pretending that its member nations are free. International organizations of the left, such as the UN, have already proven it through their failures, but international economic organizations, such as the WTO, have proven it as well.

We can sacrifice the American free market to a non-existent global free market, or we can protect the American free market while letting it serve as a model of domestic economic freedom for other nations.

Immigration has an important place in American life, but it can never become more important than American life. It is not an unlimited good and its implementation must flow from what is best for Americans, not from warping the freedoms that we believe in until they become an abstract ideology that destroys the people who practice them.

Scott Walker is not betraying free market principles when he contends that immigration should be based around the needs of Americans, he is practicing and protecting them.

Senator McCain warned that anything but open borders will end all hope of Republicans winning the Latino vote. Republicans won’t win the Latino vote by recreating the conditions of cheap labor and cheap votes that made Mexico what it is, but through an economy where workers have the opportunity to earn a dependable living so that they don’t turn to the left for their economic salvation.

Our economy should not be a machine for importing cheap votes and cheap labor, because cheap labor feeds even cheaper votes. Republican senators trying to help their donors fill those “jobs Americans won’t do” are turning red states blue. They’ve already cost the Republican Party, California. Now they’re working on the rest of the West.

Republicans who are still uncertain should ask themselves who has a better vision for the future of the party; Scott Walker or John McCain.

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This article was posted today in the Sultan Knish blog by Daniel Greenfield, who is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center. He is a New York writer who focuses on Radical Islam. A wonderful writer, add his website to your regularly visited sites.



Obama : “What I learned was that You Don’t Make Change Through Slogans!” by The Elephant's Child

On Thursday, Obama gave a big pep-talk to a Summit Meeting of his Organizing for Action campaign team. Usual hype. But one bit of humor that slipped right by the Obama speechwriters.

So I became an organizer, like all of you.  And I learned that change comes slow sometimes, and sometimes there are disappointments.  But I also learned the sense of purpose that comes by working together.  I learned that underneath our differences, there are hopes and aspirations and grit and resilience that binds us together.  That’s why I do this.

But what I also learned was that you don’t make change through slogans. 

This is Mr. “Yes We Can!”, “We Are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For,” :”Fired Up – Ready to Go,” “Hope and Change,” “Worst Financial Crisis Since the Great Depression,” “12 million new jobs, ” “Win the Future,” “Everybody gets their fair shot, everybody does their fair share, everybody plays by the same set of rules.” Endlessly repeated, meaningless slogans.

Every Obama speech is full of slogans.He depends on slogans . Always has and apparently always will. I just thought it was funny!



Surprise! Another Clintonian Scandal. This One Is A Big Deal. by The Elephant's Child

140611-hillary_clinton_cantor-1246_b389bd4261f2ead53ddd871648b90ba8Once again, it’s that great political question: Ethics vs. Graft. Each day there are new revelations about Hillary Clinton’s behavior during her tenure as Secretary of State, and after. The questions will continue, and she needs to start answering.

Peter Schweizer’s upcoming book Clinton Cash clearly suggests that Hillary Clinton may have engaged in corrupt behavior while in office. Even  the left-wing media is taking notice of a leading Democrat’s ethical lapses. The New York Times took up the story today headlined:” Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal,” fact checking the Schweizer story. Peter Schweizer is not some obscure right-wing flack, but a noted Scholar at the Hoover Institution, who must be taken seriously. Here’s the gist:

That while Clinton was secretary of state, a federal committee approved the $610 million sale of Wyoming-based uranium mines to Russia’s state atomic energy agency, Rosatom, as it tried to corner the market for the radioactive mineral.

Clinton’s State Department was one of those that approved the deal. That’s not illegal, but there’s a conflict: The chairman of Uranium One, the Canadian company that sold the uranium mines to Russia, was Ian Telfer, who gave $2.4 million to the Clinton Foundation.

That’s not all. The New York Times notes that a Russian investment bank that was behind the deal paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech in Moscow.

It also should be noted that the Wyoming mine is no small operation, and that Rosatom makes nuclear weapons, among other things. So national security is at stake.

There’s more. Beginning in 2010, the Clinton Foundation told the IRS for three years that it got nothing from foreign or U.S. governments. In previous years, it had reported tens of millions of dollars. Judicial Watch says it has received 126 pages of State Department documents that relate to possible conflicts of interest were the Secretary of State accepted funds from entities linked to Saudi Arabia, China and Iran. among others.

Then there were the questions about Hillary’s emails as Secretary, the private server in her home, and it coincidentally being scrubbed clean. There are questions about Benghazi and why our Ambassador to Libya could not get the security he requested, and questions about what he was doing in Benghazi in the first place and why help never came.

There are going to be lots and lots of questions., but this one looks bad, really bad.

At the Wall Street Journal, Kimberly Strassel notes that the Clintons are predictable. Their consistent lack of ethics and stock response when caught — is a constant.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial “Quid Pro Clinton” says that Democrats who expect Bill and Hillary to change are delusional. Their adventures in the uranium trade recall nothing as much as Tammany Hall’s concept of “honest graft.” James Taranto is funnier.

At Powerline Steven Hayward and each of their lawyers have much to say.

John Podhoretz writing at Commentary points out that this is a wake-up call for the Democrats, but not the one we might expect. The classic Clinton dodges aren’t going to work so well this time, and Democratic party health is an open question. A poll today said that a majority of the American people believe they cannot trust Hillary.



More Trouble at the VA, But it’s a Symptom of an Overgrown Dysfunctional Government by The Elephant's Child

A Veterans Affairs hospital in Beckley, West Virginia switched out patients’ prescribed medications with older drugs to cut costs, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) announced in a letter to Congress and the White House. The OSC is an independent federal agency that handles claims of whistleblower retaliation and improper personnel practices. They also found the hospital’s pharmacy and therapeutics committee was chaired by a non-physician. All violations of VA Policy and a risk to health and safety.

Many veterans are grappling with mental health issues, and switching medications may well be a big deal. W whistleblower reported on the corner-cutting.

A March report by the Veteran’s Affairs Inspector General found a Hampton VA hospital failed to flag a patient as a suicide risk, despite the patient disclosing suicidal thoughts to both emergency room doctors and the hospital’s mental health clinic. The patient was found dead shortly after of an apparent accidental overdose.

A federal investigation also is under way to determine whether the VA did enough to treat a Des Moines veteran who committed suicide after seeking treatment.

A December review by the Washington Free Beacon of thousands of errors and lapses in treatment at VA hospitals nationwide over the past few years found several similar instances where hospital staff failed to follow up on suicide concerns reported by veterans and their families, sometimes with fatal consequences.

The Washington Post, in an opinion piece asked in their headline “Why Don’t We Just Abolish the VA?

The men and women who serve in the military protect both the United States’ security and its values, including political liberty, free enterprise and individual choice.

How strange, then, that when their time in uniform ends, we thank them for their service and turn them over to the Department of Veterans Affairs, which epitomizes centralized bureaucracy.

There’s the key point — centralized bureaucracy. The article goes on to enumerate a long list of problems that have not been corrected. The author says “it’s a Soviet-style structure, minus the coherence of a one-party state”. Instead the VA answers to 535 members of Congress, after they answer to the VA, and after they answer to the state VA or regional VA or however the chain of command goes.

A hospital in a mid-sized city or even a smaller city will have a wide clientele who will know how well that institution performs, and if it’s not working, if there are big problems —they will get fixed. This is the big mistake of the hard left political class. They assume that things will be better if they are in charge, because their government will be more empathetic, more caring and more efficient — because they went to the right schools and associate with the right people and because they care. The trouble is that they care about having empathy far more than they actually care about things actually working. Socialized medicine does not work, as is clearly demonstrated by Britain’s National Health Service (NHS):

Over 9,000 people die each year needlessly thanks to the unwillingness of Britain’s political classes to embrace public-private partnerships in healthcare, a new report has found. Far from being the “envy of the world”, the report’s authors highlight the fact that the NHS lags behind many European models in terms of outcomes, and that Britain is far from being the only country to provide universal access to healthcare. (emphasis added)

When the Left’s political class wants to take over and nationalize something like health care, we must fight back. They really only want power and to feel good about making you dependent. on them. They want you to keep them in power for fear of losing the “good stuff” they believe they are giving you. If you are paying attention, you will see that they can’t even fix what’s wrong — even after it has been clearly pointed out to them.

Smaller government that does not try to do so much. That’s why we have a Constitution that the Left despises. Hillary has already volunteered that she wants to get rid of the First Amendment. Fewer bureaucracies doing busywork. Fewer unnecessary regulations, or is it really imperative that every pizza parlor prominently display the caloric content of each pizza ingredient?




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