American Elephants


Greenland by The Elephant's Child


A mode of transportation thousands of years old, a pack of dogs and a dogsled. Notice the way the dogs are harnessed. Quite different from what I’ve seen on the Iditarod.



The Elephants’ Rules for Reforming Immigration by The Elephant's Child

The Senate “Gang of Eight’s” Immigration bill is one of those massive conglomerates of a bill that attempts to do everything all at once and get the issue over and done with. The title of the bill alone is enough to sink the law of its own weight. It is the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity & Immigration Modernization act of 2013,” and it clocks in at 867 pages. This is not the way to make law.

Immigration is complicated. The present immigration rules are not only ignored by a goodly portion of the immigrants, but the president has ordered the Border Patrol to release any illegal immigrant under the age of 31, even if they are guilty of a crime. Executive order. Congress refused to pass the “Dream Act” which gives the children of illegals the opportunity to live here and become citizens and vote for Obama, but Obama wanted the Dream Act anyway, so he issued an Executive Order. He doesn’t like that separation of powers stuff.

So how many immigrants do you let in and from where? What about their wives, husbands, parents, aunts and uncles,and grandparents? This is called chain migration and it can be unending. About half of the illegal immigrants here came over the border, and about half have come here legally, but have overstayed the time they were allowed.

What do you do about the resorts in Tucson, for example, who welcome wealthy pregnant Latino women to come to their resort and have their baby in a Tucson hospital and give the baby American citizenship as a birth gift? Do we want to limit immigration to “your tired and poor, huddled masses yearning to be free,” or do we want highly educated people who are bringing special skills and the desire to build a great company? Or the wealthy person who already has a great company that he wants to bring to America? Democrats want reliable Democrat voters.

Congress voted in 2006 to build 370 miles of triple-layered fence and 500 miles of automobile barriers. It is now 2013, and we have 36.3 miles of border fence. As I said in an earlier piece, we keep doing the same thing over and over.

Senator Schumer (D-NY) persuaded Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) to be the public face of the immigration bill  because he is the son of immigrants, close to the immigrant community, a Republican, and very popular. He has been everywhere, selling hard.

Politicians and the media are obsessed with two issues: gun control and illegal immigration. Guess what? According to a new Gallup Poll these two issues are at the bottom of a list of 12 priorities for Congress and the president to address.

Illegal border crossings peaked in 2000 and are down my more than 70% since then, net migration from Mexico is currently zero. Anecdotal evidence suggests that illegals are streaming over the border because of so much talk of “amnesty” in the news, and they want some of Obama’s amnesty. The people, and you won’t be surprised, want lawmakers to focus on job creation (86%), economic growth (86%) and making government work more efficiently (81%).

Lawmakers may face some real objections when the people discover that in spite of 12 million Americans who want a job, and countless  employed people who have just been dropped to part-time because of ObamaCare — our lawmakers want to invite all sorts of new immigrants. The technology companies want a lot more H-1B immigrants with technology skills. The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) points out that we have way  more trained STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) graduates than there are jobs.  We are scheduled for a massive shortage of physicians when ObamaCare takes full effect next year.

Heritage warns that the new benefits that go to new immigrants, made legal,  are hugely expensive. Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance and workmen’s compensation. Means-tested welfare benefits add up to $900 billion a year. Public education at a cost of $12,300 per student, and additional civic services like police, fire and so on. The Hoover Institution says additional H-1B workers would add billions to GDP and Federal Tax Revenue, but they’re in Silicon Valley.

So far, 300 amendments have been offered for the Senate immigration bill, but none of the amendments removes the $3,000 incentive it gives to some employers to hire a legalized immigrant over a U.S. Citizen.

Senator Rubio has a spot on his website where he asks citizens to read the bill and suggest things that are wrong and ways to fix them. Just go to Senate.gov, and scroll down to Senator Rubio’s page.

I would like to see the bill broken up into parts to be passed separately. Part One is securing the border. If we cannot secure the border, all the rest of the rules are useless. Part One should be passed, and the border secured, fenced, controlled, and border patrol agents and ICE agents allowed to do the work that they took an oath to do.  At present ICE agents are suing Homeland Security because they are not allowed to do the job they swore to do.

Part Two is reforming out assimilation process. It is broken. New immigrants are not learning what it means to be an American. The melting-pot is broken. Fix it.

When those two things are fixed, finished, complete — and if there is the will to do so, it need not take years — then we can decide who gets to come and what the rules are. I welcome immigrants. They bring new skills, new ideas and even new food to our country.  I just don’t want to keep doing this over and over and failing to complete the project because of partisan politics.

Simple. It might even pass.



Attorney General Mukasey on Benghazi, October 2012 by The Elephant's Child

This interview with former Attorney General Michael Mukasey by Fox News’ Megyn Kelly on the situation in Benghazi, Libya was posted on October 31, 2012, after the attack in Benghazi on September 11, and before the upcoming election. Mr. Mukasey, George W. Bush’s Attorney General was highly respected, and a serious man.

Helps sometimes to look back towards what was said at the time, well not very far back, only six months, but events in the meantime, reporting and misreporting change our impressions.

Ideology and cynicism.  Tunisian man that we cannot interrogate? We treat it as a law enforcement issue, our enemies treat it as a war.

I do hope they establish a select committee to delve much deeper into the administration response to an attack on America.




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