American Elephants


Who Will Pay for the Great Big Wall? by The Elephant's Child

1200px-us-mexico_border_fencePresident Trump’s  Great Big Wall (popular or unpopular according to your politics) is going to be built. Walls work, if imperfectly. They’ve been working for centuries, see the Great Wall of China. Israel’s wall works well in spite of Palestinian tunnels and efforts to breach. You can’t just put up a wall and expect that the simple barrier will solve all problems. But most of the concern in this country is for the cost of  border wall.

Based on fiscal estimates developed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) for immigrants by education level, NAS calculates the future fiscal balance immigrants create — taxes paid minus costs. NAS reports fiscal balances as “net present values” which places a lower value on future expenditures than on current expenditures.

Based on the NAS data, illegal border-crossers create an average fiscal burden of approximately $74,422 during their lifetimes, excluding any costs for their U.S. born children. If a border wall stopped between 160,000 and 200,000 illegal crossers—9 to 12 percent of those expected to successfully cross in the next decade—the fiscal savings would equal the $12 to $15 billion cost of the wall.

These are estimates, of course, but the current conversation about Trump’s “Great Big Wall” concern only the cost of a wall, the terrain that is difficult or impossible.

Congress passed the Secure Fence Act of 2006. It’s goal was to help secure America’s borders to decrease illegal entry, drug trafficking and security threats by building 700 miles of physical barriers along the Mexico-U.S. border. On January 23, 2008 the 110th Congress introduced Reinstatement of the Secure Fence act of 2008 which called for Homeland Security to put up 700 additional miles. (Died in Committee)

By April 2009, Homeland Security had built about 613 miles of pedestrian fencing and vehicle barriers (low fence and concrete posts as vehicle barriers) More attempts to reintroduce finish the fence regulations 2010, 2012.  Costs exceeded Border Control’s budget. Never built, and some wouldn’t keep out a jackrabbit.

That’s what I could find. The previous administration had no interest in a border fence, nor in keeping border crossers out.  They were more interested in placing illegal immigrants and refugees in congressional districts where they could influence the vote. And contrary to media insistence, lots of ineligible immigrants voted in the election.

Dozens of Ineligible Aliens Voted in Philadelphia.
Examples in Missouri, North Carolina, and Kentucky.
No, It’s Not a Racist plot.

From AEI: “How to turn off the Latin refugee flood at the source



California “Prison Reform” Creates More Crime by The Elephant's Child

“Out here on the Left Coast, it is beginning to dawn on people that when you release criminals from custody in the name of “prison reform,” it is only the prisons themselves that are reformed. The criminals, those who are ushered out the prison gates into an unwary society, remain as un-reformed as ever.”

That’s retired police officer Jack Dunphy, writing at PJMedia. “In recent years California has enacted a series of reforms to its criminal justice system, the net effect of which has been the lowering of the state’s prison population.” First they shifted penal responsibilities from the state to counties meaning that some felons who would have been in state prisons were serving in county jails. Proposition 47 passed in 2014 redefined some crimes deemed as not violent as misdemeanors, thefts were downgraded, possession of cocaine, heroin and meth for personal use was downgraded as well.

Last November Prop. 57 authorized early release of felons whose crimes were deemed nonviolent, but that included assault with a deadly weapon, battery with serious injury, rape of an unconscious person . burglary of a home and solicitation to commit murder. Nonviolent.

There seems to be, on the Left, an overweening desire to be nice. To not be mean. (Like those of us on the Right.) They are not only tolerant of crimes and misdemeanors of others (the ones that happen to someone else), but they seem to have lost the sense of why we have prisons, why we jail some people, or why we judge some crimes harshly. Even when ill-advised measures are adapted, or silly laws passed, the state’s police officers and courts are forced to deal with them.

The Left achieves whatever they do manage to achieve by dividing America up into voting groups and giving those voting groups nice benefits from other peoples money. They are sure that Blacks and Hispanics  are disproportionately in prison because they can’t seem to think in terms of ordinary people who have committed crimes, or of the basic reason for putting people who have committed crimes in prison. (To protect ordinary people who have not committed crimes from those who do?) It seems to be a common failing on the Left that I don’t quite understand. Immigrants seem to be a group that is not separable into ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’, but I digress. Jack Dunphy continues:

For proof of this, I present as Exhibit A one Michael C. Mejia, age 26, who stands accused of murdering two people in Southern California, one of them a police officer. Police allege that on Monday morning Mejia killed his cousin, Roy Torres, in East Los Angeles and stole his car. Later, while driving the stolen car in Whittier, a suburb about 12 miles southeast of downtown L.A., Mejia rear-ended another car. When police responded to the report of a minor traffic accident, Mejia opened fire on them, killing  Officer Keith Boyer and wounding Officer Patrick Hazell. Mejia was himself wounded in the gun battle but is expected to survive. …

Michael Mejia had demonstrated long before this week that he was the very sort of person who must be kept safely away from his potential victims. In this most elemental function of government, it failed, and now two people have lost their lives for the failure.

Do read the whole thing. It is a very clear illustration of how well-meaning notions wreck lives because people cannot, or do not, think issues through.



President Donald Trump Being Presidential by The Elephant's Child

trumpgeneric1It was a very good speech. Donald Trump was at his presidential best, clear, straightforward, positive and offering his hand to his opponents in Congress, inviting them to think first of our country. He began with a tribute to Black History Month and the work that still needs doing for civil rights, and the threats to Jewish Community Centers. He reminded us all that “we may be divided on policies, but we are a nation that stands together in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.” After scanning the state of the country, he turned our attention to a strategic effort to improve the lives of all Americans. And the heartfelt applause! Be a bit difficult to keep up with the silly ‘Nazi’ bit after this.

If you were watching, perhaps you noticed that many Democrat women were wearing white. After all the talk of how they would disrupt the speech, find nasty ways to protest, walk out, or just do something to acknowledge their fury, members of the House Democratic Women’s Working Group decided they would channel the suffragette movement when they wore white to President Trump’s joint address to Congress. I didn’t even notice them until near the end of the speech.

In a statement, Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., said they will be wearing white to “unite against any attempts by the Trump administration to roll back the incredible progress women have made in the last century.”

Frankel chairs the Democratic Women’s Working Group, which said their commitment to women’s rights includes affordable healthcare and Planned Parenthood, equal pay, paid sick and family leave, affordable child care, secure retirement and “lives free from fear and violence.”

I’m not sure in what alternate universe this bunch of women assume that the Trump administration is trying to deprive them of their progress. The women of the House don’t have ObamaCare for their health insurance, so they really don’t know how expensive it is, nor why it is such a failure.  The Federal government has no business either supporting or attacking Planned Parenthood. The right to an abortion has been guaranteed by the Supreme Court, but a large portion of the country opposes abortion, and should not be forced to support it with their taxpayer money. Equal pay has been settled law since 1963, and this blather about 70% of mens pay is and has been totally false. Republicans passed the vote for women’s suffrage in 1920 in spite of Democrats opposition, just like they passed the Civil Rights Act in spite of Democrat opposition. A little late, Democrats are once again attempting to capture credit for something they historically opposed. This gets tiresome.

President Trump’s speech to Congress was truly presidential and a very good speech as well. Democrats were clearly not expecting that, and were totally unprepared for it to be anything even acceptable. In their current unhinged state they were expecting something they could really get their teeth into (so to speak) and were ready to take him on, but gracious, well-meaning, kind,  and celebrating our country and its history—the women in white slunk out of the chamber before anyone could notice, without a sound, utterly defeated.




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