American Elephants


The Laws of the United States of America Are Going to be Enforced. by The Elephant's Child

john-kelly-testifies-1500-20-jan-2017-ts600John Kelly, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, has issued two memoranda directed to the federal agencies that are involved in implementing executive orders or immigration. The memoranda are clearly intended to tell ICE and the Border Patrol and other agencies that the United States laws on immigration are now going to be enforced.

It’s not all going to happen overnight, new resources will be required including the hiring of 10,000 new ICE officers and agents. The memorandum titled “Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest” makes it explicitly clear that it is the president’s constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. We have a president who takes his oath of office seriously. This should not be news, but in the wake of Barack Obama’s abdication, it is. Kelly’s memoranda reads, in part:

Except as specifically noted above, the Department no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. In faithfully executing the immigration laws, Department personnel should take enforcement actions in accordance with applicable law. In order to achieve this goal, as noted below, I have directed ICE to hire 10,000 officers and agents expeditiously, subject to available resources, and to take enforcement actions consistent with available resources. However, in order to maximize the benefit to public safety, to stem unlawful migration and to prevent fraud and misrepresentation, Department personnel should prioritize for removal those aliens described by Congress in Sections 212(a)(2), (a)(3), and (a)(6)(C), 235(b) and (c), and 237(a)(2) and (4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Victor Davis Hanson points out the complications. Activists portray illegal immigration as a tale of the desperately poor from south of the border seeking a new productive life in the U.S., but the Mexican government keeps taxes low on their elites by exporting their own poor citizens who will send remittances back to Mexico—some $25 billion from Mexican citizens working in America—to support the Mexican economy. Mexico’s approach to immigration enforcement on their own southern border is sterner, and perhaps you remember the U.S. military member who got confused at the border crossing into Mexico, got into the wrong line and ended up in a Mexican prison for his error. And of course the Mexican government is having fits at President Trump’s tweets.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly were in Mexico today to meet with the Mexican government. The current initiative is focused  primarily on those illegal aliens who threaten national security, border security or public safety. But being here illegally is unlawful.

President Obama wanted to use illegal immigrants’ numbers to change the demographics in districts currently unfavorable to Democrats. Which makes the attempts to conflate illegal aliens and illegal immigrants and legal immigrants in the public mind clearer. If most people don’t understand the difference between the popular vote and the electoral college vote, that makes it easier to change the vote by changing the population of a district. Thus, most of those who violated our immigration laws got a pass.

That is coming to a halt. “DHS no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. Any illegal immigrant encountered in the course of normal law -enforcement  operations will be subject to deportation.” In other words, our laws will be enforced. It is only in America that deporting aliens or those who have overstayed their visas is a big deal. In virtually every other country immigration enforcement is an uncontroversial part of national life. Canada deports about 13,000 people annually. Australia deports 10,000 people annually, and they intercept illegal boat migrants by denying them any claim to refugee status by not allowing them to land.

The vast majority of Americans oppose the idea of sanctuary cities. A new Harris poll shows that 89% of voters say local authorities should have to comply with the law by reporting illegal immigrants, and the president has broad public support for cracking down on sanctuary cities. American Hispanic citizens are no more favorable to illegal aliens than the rest of us.

Is it possible that the Democrats are on the wrong track here? It would seem so, but if they have a death wish for their party, who am I to interfere?



Beware of the Progressives’ Language Games. by The Elephant's Child

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One of the things that is hardest to understand today are the language games being played. We’ve all become familiar with the previous administration’s not just reluctance, but refusal, to utter the words Radical Islamic Terrorism, or any similar reference. With major attacks in Paris and Germany the terrorism part is hard to escape, but the problem is any insinuation that terror is connected to religion, in spite of the fact that the Koran makes it fairly clear. Refusing to name things accurately is a political tactic.

We are now in a middle phase of the immigration game. Yesterday was supposed to be “A Day Without Immigrants” proving that we just can’t get along without all the things an immigrant does for us. It was pretty much a flop because nobody paid attention, but the attempt is just one small item in a much larger program.

In all the ranting and ravings, nobody seems to clarify the difference which is huge, immense and important between legal immigrants and illegal immigrants. The Left’s attempt to suggest that anyone who opposes illegal immigration hates immigrants is ridiculous, but that’s what they are doing. Obama has effectively left the border wide open. Executive orders offered amnesty to immigrants. Refugees were placed in districts where a distinct change in population numbers would be advantageous to Democrats at the polls. Since new citizens, or those who vote illegally usually vote Democratic, they were put in those states and counties where it would affect the vote most. Except, of course in the case of Cuban refugees who could be counted on to vote Republican, and they were returned to Cuba for reeducation.

You have surely heard the phrase “We are a nation of immigrants” repeated endlessly. Well, sure, in one sense even the Native Americans are immigrants from Siberia, but in actuality, we are a nation of citizens. Immigrants are here either legally or illegally, and legal immigrants can eventually become citizens with full constitutional rights when they have passed the citizenship test and gone through the naturalization ceremony where they forswear their allegiance to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty was before a citizen.

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

The important thing to notice is the attempt to conflate legal immigration and illegal immigration by suggesting that all immigration is good and illegals are entitled to the same benefits, same regulations and same rewards. Those who have crossed the border illegally, or who have overstayed their visas or student visas are taking unfair advantage of those who have applied legally and are waiting patiently for their turn— around 4.4 million people.

The idea seems to be to make everyone believe that America is the great benefactor of all mankind with open borders and welcome for all those who are unhappy with their present circumstances. It has reached the point where anyone who utters the words “illegal immigrants” is likely to wonder if that makes them a bad person. That is the purpose of these word games.

The refusal to utter the words “Radical Islamic Terrorism” is part of the effort to install “Islamophobia” high on the list of personal sins, and to make Obama’s disastrous Iran Deal somehow palatable, which it is not. You can ask yourself why Iran is working so hard to develop nuclear weapons, and intercontinental ballistic missiles? A look at a map of the Middle East makes that fairly clear. They mean those shouts of “Death to America”. Obama believed that the intransigence in the Middle East was entirely  because of our interference in the region (Bush’ s fault) and if he just made nice and turned the Middle East over to Iran to manage, all would be well, which is ludicrous. If you are cowed by societal disapproval, afraid to be labeled Islamophobic, they have accomplished their purpose.

There is a reason why protesters and their signs scream ‘Fascist’, ‘Nazi’,’Racist’,’Islamophobe, Homophobe, ‘Deplorables’, ‘Obstructionists’,”Tea Baggers’,’Deniers’ and other similar epithets. The Conservative response is often  tax cuts or some other economic fact, often long and confusing.  Republicans or Conservatives are not so much interested in calling names, but in principles. They are usually talking about free markets or free people, Liberty — the Constitution, that sort of thing. Democrats do not talk about principles because they just don’t think that way, and they don’t have any.

Obama will return to Washington D.C. to oversee the operations of OFA, (Organizing for Action, formerly Obama for America) his 30,000 strong army of young community organizers in training. Paul Sperry has been writing at the New York Post about Obama’s plans for sabotaging the Trump presidency. So far they have been ordered out to disrupt every Republican office holder’s Town Halls as “enraged constituents” terrified that the Republicans are going to take away their ObamaCare. The press obligingly covers it as enraged constituents without any idea that they are being had. It’s easy, sabotaging the Trump presidency.

Just don’t assume that any of this hooplah is spontaneous righteous indignation. All is carefully planned, and most is well subsidized. I only recently realized the reason why all these leftist groups have significant names, and organization. You can’t write a check to an unnamed or spontaneous group.  And they do have sponsors who write significant checks.

 



Tax Time is Approaching: Why Are Your Payroll Taxes So High? by The Elephant's Child

Congress will soon be embarking on changing the tax code. They want to reduce taxes. If taxes are cut in such a way that they act to make doing business easier for businesses in the economy, the government will take in more money, rather than less. That seems highly improbable to the left who always want to tax the rich and big business much more, but when businesses are free to stop sending all their money to the government, they can do more business, expand and create, and they make more money than they would have under heavy regulation and restrictions on what they can do. The free market and free people produce prosperity.

 



Why is America So Rich? by The Elephant's Child



What is The Matter With the Left? Have They Simply Gone Nuts? by The Elephant's Child
February 15, 2017, 6:23 am
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economy

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In his book Never Enough, William Voegeli wrote:

The liberal project makes no sense. Liberals cannot articulate basic principles such as conservatives do. Conservatives talk about the rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and argue about freedom and liberty. Liberals, even when requested to come up with principles—cannot. The lesson is simple—their principles are all negatives—things that are not fair—slavery, race, women as chattel—could not vote.

This strikes me as spot on. I’m not at all sure that Leftists even understand freedom or liberty. Much of the Left’s current program concerns outrage at those who exercise their right to freedom of speech, the simple ability to speak freely. In our country, one of our most precious rights. You have no right to disagree with them.

The riots in Berkeley were over a planned speech by Milo Yiannopoulis who was invited to speak by a Conservative student group. Not protests over what he said in his speech, but riots and destruction of property because of Leftist views of what he might say.

A leader of the riot, a middle school teacher and leader of an “By Any Means Necessary” group claimed that gay immigrant Milo was “homophobic, fascist, misogynist, advocating violence against women, whipping up a lynch-mob mentality, funded by Breitbart and Steve Bannon, anti-immigrant, espousing genocide, calling for mass murder, rape, alt-right, lessons we draw from the holocaust, and he should not be allowed to speak in public to tell his lies about racism, whip up people to lynch people”—I think I got all of the rather amazing accusations from this middle school teacher, about a speech that he had not yet given.  The riot involved destroying property, $100,000 damages on campus and twice that in the town of Berkeley.

Remember the “Occupy Wall Street” camp-outs in 2011? That outrage was not caused by anything like the shooting in San Francisco of a young woman walking on a wharf with her father by a previously deported illegal alien who was protected by San Francisco’s sanctuary city designation.  No protest. That, apparently, was not an outrage at all. Nor was the planned shooting of 14 people and wounding of 22 others in San Bernardino in 2015 an outrage. No demonstrations demanding better vetting of immigrants who turned out to be terrorists. What caused outrage and had  young people with top of the line tents and sleeping bags, laptops and cell phones occupying city parks across the country to protest “social inequality” and the need for “redistribution of wealth.” Those protests caused $12 million in property damage, 500 thefts, more than a dozen rapes, 3 murders and a dozen deaths.

David Horowitz wrote:

Far from instilling humility in progressives…the collapse of socialism has revived their self-righteousness and re-energized their assault on the democratic West. The disappearance of the Soviet bloc has only one consequence of note. It has lifted the burden of having to defend an indefensible regime. Because the utopian vision is no longer anchored in the reality of an actually existing socialist state, the left can now indulge its nihilistic agenda without restraint.

And Andrew McCarthy, in The Grand Jihad:

Nihilism is the key. Today’s hard left is defined by what it is against: the United States, free market capitalism, and any foreign policy premised on defending American interests or promoting individual liberty. Only that part of the agenda is concrete, leaving neocommunism elastic enough to strike alliances with any movement that shares it. What neocommunists are for, by contrast, is a set of  abstractions—”social justice,” “equality,”redistributive rights,” “the rule of law,”and, of course, “our values.” The details of those can be worked out later, once the more pressing imperative of undoing the existing order has been realized.

The Left’s current outrage is purportedly about the recent election of Donald Trump, his inauguration, and three weeks of settling in at the White House. As soon as he finishes his vacation, former president Barack Obama, reportedly plans to return to Washington D.C. to his rented mansion with its newly installed wall to direct his troops, numbering more than 30,000 who will set up a shadow government to protect his “legacy”and to fight his Republican successor at every turn. Democrats are quite sure that Trump cannot be a legal president, and must be guilty of every horror expressed by the middle school teacher who led the Berkeley riots. How come every group that protests has an official name? Oh. You can’t write a check to a group if it doesn’t have a name. If it has seemed to Republicans that the Left has gone certifiably nuts, they may not be all that far off.

The Left’s real outrage is clearly about being removed from power—power to which they believe they are entitled. It’s because they are smarter, you see. They don’t protest real things—they don’t talk about principle, they don’t even care about principle. It’s what they think is not fair. And we’re supposed to trust them to fix things that are not fair? Not likely.



Socialism is Being Played Out in The News. Do Try to Pay Attention. by The Elephant's Child

101002-mall-libs7In the latest news from our socialist neighbor to the south, Venezuela, so broke that they cannot even sell their oil because they can’t afford to ship it. Now, starving Venezuelans are eating cats, dogs, donkeys and even pink flamingos in an effort to survive. They are even killing giant anteaters for food.  This is sheer desperation caused by rampant inflation and chronic shortages that have plagued the country for over two years.

Here’s everything you need to know about Venezuela’s experiment with socialism. When socialist dictator Hugo Chavez died in 2013, he left an estate valued at two billion dollars.



#Black Lives Matter Seems to Be Remarkably Uninterested in The Lives of Poor Black Kids by The Elephant's Child

Oooops! Black Lives Matter just exposed their organization as entirely political, and not much interested in the lives of black children. Betsy DeVos, newly confirmed Secretary of Education, was blocked from attempting to enter the Jefferson Academy middle school in Washington DC by Black Lives Matter protesters blocking he way and heckling, reportedly organized by the Washington Teacher’s Union.

The Alliance For Educational Justice claimed,  “Today, families, residents and community leaders joined to block U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from disrupting learning at Jefferson Academy.”

“Betsy DeVos has a track record of privatizing and undermining public schools that serve Black students for financial gain,” said Makia Green, an organizer with the Washington, DC chapter of Black Youth Project 100. “Today’s action made it clear: our community will do everything in our power to resist DeVos‘ destructive policies and her attacks on an entire generation of Black students.”

DeVos responded in a statement following the incident saying, ” I respect peaceful protest, and I will not be deterred in executing the vital mission of the Department of Education. No school door in America will be blocked from those seeking to help our nation’s school children.”

The reason that Betsy DeVos was nominated to be Secretary of Education is that she has been a long time advocate for poor black children trapped in poor schools, and pushes for charter schools as the best answer to the need for parents to have a voice in their children’s education.

There is a lot of misunderstanding about “charter schools.” Charter schools are public schools. Some presume that because of the word “charter” that they are somehow private schools. Not so. Those who wish to start a charter  must develop an educational plan to submit to the state, and when their plan is made public—gather enough interest to make a separate school viable. They may have more freedom from federal and state regulation than regular public schools.

A study reported in Forbes in 2014 showed evidence that charter high schools had 7-11%  higher graduation rates than their public school peers, boosted college enrollment rates by 10-11 percent, were more apt to complete at least 3 years of post-secondary education, and charter school attendance was associated with an increase in maximum annual earnings between ages 23 and 35 years of age, about 12.7% higher than those who attended a traditional high school.

Different states have different rules. Charter schools usually operate on a smaller budget—but better ideas, teachers are often paid less (because they get to really teach—some teachers go for it) (a big part of the reason that teacher’s unions oppose charter schools and charter teachers are not necessarily members of the unions). Like much in American life, schools operate under far more rules than they used to. I’m not sure if all states even have charter schools. New Orleans has the highest percentage of students in charter schools, over 90%. Here are five facts about charters from the Reason Foundation, in simple graph form.

Here in Washington State, the state teacher’s union lobby has fought endlessly to ensure that all public funds are given only to traditional public schools. As the populous Seattle area is reliably Lefty, the Supreme Court broke with the precedent set by six other states that faced similar battles, ignored the vast amount of evidence that charter schools improve academic outcomes for students, ignored the over one million students currently on wait lists for admission to charter schools, and their parents who favor charters, and ruled that public funding of charter schools was unconstitutional. The legislature has found funding from Lottery revenue for charters, but the state should work to ensure that funding follows the children, not the teacher’s unions. A better education means so much to minority children trapped in failing schools that it is particularly interesting to see Black Lives Matter opposing charter schools and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

You have perhaps noticed that leftists seem to always appear in organized groups — Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, the list goes on and on, but when you get down to what they actually advocate, it’s often just hard-left politics, not black lives, nor $15 an hour, nor economic equality.

A group of 160 black education leaders are fighting against the NAACP’s proposed stance against charter schools, which shows the diversity of views of charters.

An article from AEI last August tries to offer some clarity on the battles, showing that advocates of different positions are relying on different evidence, and doesn’t clarify anything at all.

More troubling is a report from the Minneapolis/St Paul Star Tribune on the trend for violence in the public schools, and the dangers that teachers face. School disciplinary policies have removed many consequences for bad behavior in response to liberal demands for an ideology of “equity.” In St. Paul schools in 2010-11, “15 percent of the district’s black students were suspended at least once — five times more than white students. This racial differential mirrors those in schools across the Twin Cities and throughout the nation…. St. Paul school leaders have assumed that differences in discipline rates are the result, not of higher rates of misconduct by black students, but of the racism of teachers and administrators, who are believed to unfairly target black students.” To eliminate statistical disparities, they abandoned meaningful penalties. I read a lot, but I haven’t seen much reporting on violence in schools—just enough to suggest that it is perhaps far more prevalent than is realized. Do read this whole article if you care about kids and education.

Betsy DeVos has long been a passionate advocate for poor black children facing failing schools, and suggests that more charters will help. It’s a big job and I certainly wish her well. Progressives believe that all things are better done  by the federal government, with themselves in control of the government.  Conservatives believe that there are few things that the federal government can do satisfactorily, and that most tasks should be devolved to the states, or to the closest government to the people who are affected by the tasks. That old “We the People” thing.




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