American Elephants


Are You Fed Up? Or Do You Really Want More Information? by The Elephant's Child

Are you completely fed up with the immigrant detention story? Or do you want more clarity? I’m fed up, but keep trying to be sure I understand and can think and write competently about the whole thing.

Daniel Boorstin ( the former Librarian of Congress) wrote a now classic among his many books called The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America, 1961. Steven Hayward called it to mind yesterday. I cannot find my copy, but it’s buried in one of my bookcases. Here’s Hayward:

“Boorstin defines a “pseudo-event” as not merely a fact or real event that happened, but a fact or event that is made into “news” of a certain kind by a deliberate and artificial process. You might think of Boorstin’s analysis as no more than the Deep Theory of Public Relations (or as the first analysis of what we today like to call “fake news”), and many of the examples in the book come from the corporate world. Here is some of his description of the dynamics of a “pseudo-event”—see how many aspects of this you can make out in the present controversy:”

1.  It is not spontaneous, but comes about because someone has planned, planted, or incited it. Typically it is not a train wreck or an earthquake, but an interview. [More on this point in a moment—SH.]

2. It is planted primarily (not always exclusively) for the immediate purpose of being reported or reproduced. Therefore, its occurrence is arranged for the convenience of the reporting or reproducing media. Its success is measured by how widely it is reported. . .

3. Its relation to the underlying reality of the situation is ambiguous. Its interest arises largely from the very ambiguity. . .  Without some of this ambiguity a pseudo-event cannot be very interesting.

Steven Hayward accompanied his article with the shocking photo of an armed federal agent pointing his gun at Elian Gonzalez. That was the Clinton administration.

• Here’s a dandy list of photographs of Obama’s Illegal Immigrant Detention Facilities that the media won’t show you. It’s pretty shocking too.

• From David Harsanyi at The Federalist: “Democrats Have Zero Tolerance For Illegal Immigration Solutions.”

• From American Greatness: “Delusion About Detentions: On Family Separation at the Border.”

• From Quillette: “Zero Tolerance at the Mexican Border.”   Which includes a  graph to show just how many people are locked up in the United States.

• From Daniel Greenfield: “Illegal Aliens Fatally Separate American Parents and Children.”   It’s not just Kate Steinle by a long shot. Way too many children have been ripped from their families by illegal aliens.

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If You Have Been Wondering Why? Here’s the Answer! by The Elephant's Child

The general era of hysteria, one crisis after another that Democrats erupt over, we have usually attributed to “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” But I ran across this video from November of last year of Victor Davis Hanson chatting with Ginny Thomas, and Dr. Hanson explains it all perfectly. So if you are wondering about all the weeping and gnarling of knuckles over “poor innocent children ‘ripped’ from the arms of their mothers” here’s why: Look closely at the county map of the election, and listen to the whole explanation.



“Virtue Signaling” Explained and Demonstrated by The Elephant's Child

This new era when everybody is a victim and everybody else has to prove how virtuous they are by emoting with the proper passion is getting remarkably tiresome. Tucker Carlson discusses “virtue signaling” which is one of those recent additions to the lexicon, in this audio from his program. Other than those who are doing the “virtue signaling” I don’t know if anyone is actually impressed.



It’s Not About Your Feelings. It’s About the Facts and Solutions. by The Elephant's Child

Now I’m getting irritated. This entire problem of illegal aliens and their children is getting warped far beyond any resemblance to facts. Did you know that the Canadians have sent people down to our southern border to inform illegals that they are not welcome in Canada, and to not even think of trying to cross the U.S. northern border into Canada. Surely you saw all the newspaper headlines explaining how cruel and inhumane the Canadians are, didn’t you? Comparing Prime Minister Trudeau to Hitler, Canadian border guards to concentration camp guards? Hmmnn?

We do not yet have a wall on the southern border with Mexico. Mexico is at its very widest at the border with the United States, at about 2,000 miles. Nobody is proposing to build a wall along the entire border. We have some fencing, but an athletic young man can scale the fence. Some parts of the border are inaccessible.  A good portion of the problem is not border crossers from Mexico, but people from other Central American countries, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. But the current problem about illegal immigration is not about people crossing the border illegally, avoiding the legal crossing stations. It’s about the emotional horror of innocent little children being “ripped” from the arms of their mothers. Democrats must rely on emotional language to persuade, to enlist compassion,  for they are terminally short on actual facts or useful ideas.

It has been explained that illegals who cross the border uninvited are breaking the law, and committing a crime. They will be detained. It is against the law to imprison children with their parents. The law must be changed, the Democrats insist. Just how it must be changed is not clear. Do we want it made legal to put the kids in prison with their parents? O.K. that solution is out. Do we want to just admit the illegal aliens with their children? Insist they return for an immigration hearing when called? Unfortunately that doesn’t work either. They don’t turn up for their hearings, they have already melted into the general population. Many adult illegals steal real or  buy fake Social Security cards so they can get above the table jobs. What is it that you want Congress to change? Just make our Southern border open to all? If you think the taxes your city or state have imposed on you for building homes for the “homeless”, try to conceive of 70,000 or more illegals a year swarming into our cities, and the changes that would make.

How do we determine if the adults with children are actually their real parents or are traffickers? The Obama administration could not figure out how to vet them, and many children ended up in horrendous circumstances. You want the law changed so that children are not “ripped from their mother’s arms”—to what? Show up with a child and you get in? Really? That’s why Democrats have talking points designed to elicit emotions of compassion. Lately we have had large groups of Bangladeshis illegally crossing the border. President Obama’s illegal 2012 DACA amnesty meant a big increase in the numbers trying to cross the border for another amnesty.

If you have a real good idea about how we should fix all this, you might pass your ideas on to your representatives. They seem a little short on good ideas too.



The “Ripped From Their Mothers’ Arms” Meme Is Sheer Bunk! by The Elephant's Child

I frequently say something about “doing your homework”, by which I mean that you can no longer count on the information from our national media to be either true nor accurate. You have to make an effort to find out if what you are reading is actually true. If you just repeat the talking points, you are not only dishonest yourself, you are aiding a program specifically designed to make you support a lie.

The current line of attack is that the Trump administration is “ripping vulnerable children from the arms of their mothers” at the border, because of Trump’s demand for a border wall. Obviously if you want a big wall to keep citizens of other countries from entering our country, you must be racist, homophobic, xenophobic, Hitler, and just plain mean.

We have just had a chorus from the former first ladies, who think it’s perfectly awful that we are “ripping vulnerable children from the arms of their mothers.” Let’s clear this up a bit.

If you are a nation, you have a right to decide who you will allow to move in. William Voegeli in The Pity Party explained;

“In contrast to America, countries like Canada and Australia treat immigration the way Harvard treats college admission or the New England Patriots treat the NFL draft as a way to get the talented  that can benefit the institution and keep out the untalented. Here in America we increasingly treat immigration as if it were a sacred civil right possessed by 7 billion foreigners.”

We allow asylum seekers to enter the country, but ‘asylum’ has a strict meaning. It means that you are escaping a government that wants to harm you for your religion, politics or ideas. It does not mean that you want to get away from an abusive husband, it’s about the government.  We have embassies  and consulates all over the world, where one can apply to immigrate to America. There are legal procedures and a long wait list, which is made long by “chain migration.” A citizen can currently “sponsor” all of his or her relatives. Mother, father, adult children, brothers. sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins. Our country believes that we can currently handle about a million new immigrants a year, who we help to find a residence, learn English and learn American History, find health care, get help in getting settled and help with their needs. Those who have legally applied, paid their fees, have often been on the wait list for years. Most of the numbers are used up by chain migration, and there is little room for those who just want to make their home and life here.

Contrary to our first ladies (who should have done their homework) children are not being “ripped from the arms of their mothers”. If the parent has entered the country illegally, they have committed a crime. They are detained. We have a law that says you can’t put a kid in prison with their parents. They are moved to facilities designed to help the children.  I have described this thoroughly in a previous post, 4 posts back beginning “the evil Donald Trump.” It is the law, and the Trump administration must obey.

The Obama administration, ignoring the law, admitted many “parents” and their children without checking them out, only to find that the “parent” was a trafficker, and what were really unaccompanied children were turned over to egg farms to work in slave conditions, chicken packing, and even sex work. And yes, the Obama administration did park kids in cages. Democrats were trying to use the photos against Conservatives, but the photos were clearly from the Obama administration, so that claim quickly vanished, and we moved to the “ripped from the arms” bit.

The Center for Immigration Studies (cis.org) is the most reliable source for information about immigration. They describe themselves  as pro-immigrant, anti-illegal immigrant. They work hard at providing accurate information for the public and for public official. Unfortunately, we have a lot of public officials who don’t do their homework either.



The Evil Donald Trump Is Yanking Innocent Children from the Arms of Their Parents, and other Fables from the Left. by The Elephant's Child

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A leading Democrat spoke out this week to say that they needed Obama because they didn’t have anyone else — I assume meaning anyone else who was so popular, or perhaps anyone who could defeat Trump—I have no idea. The Obama administration is not coming off too well in the wake of the FBI and the Inspector General’s report.

But clearly, the Trump administration is in deep trouble. They are yanking innocent little children from the arms of their parents at the border, depriving them of their parents and putting them in detention for no reason except that Trump is Hitler reincarnated. Or at least that is what most Leftist websites are shrieking. Forgive me, but we’ve heard this “innocent little children” vocabulary before, applied to the DACA children who were brought here “through no fault of their own,” “against their will,” eager for “a chance at college.” Pure propaganda to arouse emotions.

The requirements were only that they came to the U.S. before their 16th birthday, be under 31 by June 15, 2012, enroll in school or get an honorable discharge from the military. The fraud rate for these simple requirements is estimated to be 40 to 50%. Only 49% have a high school education, 24% are functionally illiterate, another 46% have only “basic” English ability, and the rest are school dropouts. For every DACA recipient who joined the military (about 1 in 1,000), 2 have committed serious crimes. At least 1,500 are gang members (as of Feb. 2017, but by August 2017 the number had increased to 2,139. American taxpayers have already funded “resettlement” of 13,000 unaccompanied minors who managed to enter the United States. Those who claim to be age 17 and under must be accommodated in staying here while their cases wind their way through a years-long process of evaluation.

But Democrats are told to be up in arms about Trump taking innocent little children away from their loving parents and putting them in prison. Fact: Illegal immigrants are criminals, breaking immigration laws by entering the country illegally. There is a legal way to become a citizen. Criminal illegal immigrants are detained. It is not acceptable to imprison their children as well.

HHS took news media on a tour of a facility in El Cajon, California where migrant children are being sheltered while separated from their parents. (follow the link for pictures) The facilities are comfortable, providing lodging, meals, clothing, medical care, They get English lessons, trips to the zoo, museums, parks. No, they are not being put in “cages,” that was the Democrat charge last week, when they rounded up pictures of children in cages. Turned out the pictures were from the Obama administration, which actually did put kids in cages, and New York magazine also reports the Obama Administration handed child migrants over into the custody of human traffickers after neglecting the most basic checks on these “caregivers,” failing to discover if they were relatives or sex traffickers.

Democrats count heavily on the “talking points” they are given, which are meant to rouse up emotions, but to provide just barely enough information to allow them to know anything real about the situation. This is the source of much of the “fake news” which is unfortunately all too pervasive. Nancy Pelosi cleared it all up with her statement to CNS News. (short video here) Which is an unintended gift to the GOP. “She informed the world.” to quote Tom Lifson “that she doesn’t care about Americans. “That is not the point. ” The point is the hurt feelings of illegals when they are called “Illegal.” You have seen the signs in the pictures of protests “No Human Being is Illegal.”

It really simplifies the world when you can just rely on the talking points that you are given by your betters, and don’t have to do a lot of tiresome reading or thinking. Keeps life delightfully simple, and when the talking points really arouse you to action, you can go to a protest with your friends and shout and feel important.

 



“Fake News”, Poison Pen, and “Journalism” Today by The Elephant's Child

Here is an article I ran across this morning from The New York Times that is a perfect example of the loony “resistance.” If you want an example of why the president tweets about “fake news”, here you go. Ideally, I would love to see you print it out, take a red pencil, and underline each word and phrase that is poisonously partisan, false, slanted or just plain untrue.  So and so “are said to be thinking”— oh yeah? Who said they “are said”? “Last week, Mr Kelly told senators that the White House was “a miserable place to work”— so what? Many people have said or thought that about their workplace many times when exasperated without it being front page news for the NYT. Sometimes work is hard. That’s why they call it “work.”

Anything that can be phrased to carry a negative connotation is. Anything that can be described in a way unflattering to the President is. The entire article is a perfect example of the poisonous possibilities of the pen—how can you attempt to demonize with every word, every unsourced statement, and snide assumption, and still be considered “a reporter.” I almost never read anything  in the NYT, but occasionally read the headlines to see if anything has changed. But for East Coast lefties—this is what is happening, and what is real. And this is what the President must face every day. That he only responds by calling some of it “fake news” is really quite amazing.

Donald Trump was considered unfit for the presidency by many, who thought of him as a reality TV star. He did do that for fun for a while. Yet we consider a House or Senate term as an excellent qualification for office. So they voted Yea or Nay a number of times and sat through speeches and hearings and contributed what? In Hillary’s case, I read that her only bill during her term in the senate was to name a new Post Office.

Mr.Trump, on the other hand, built things in New York City and environs, doing battle with zoning bureaucrats, regulators, councilmen, lawyers, unions, mob bosses, city councils,  accountants, environmentalists, traffic regulators, pages and pages of regulations, state officials, and who knows what else, and still managed to get things built and make money at it. Sounds like a fairly good course in doing government, but of course doesn’t rate the approval of those who consider him not quite their class, with orange hair and too tanned complexion, and someone who speaks like a person in the construction trades from Queens.

If you did the red pencil thing, or not, now watch the Victor Davis Hanson speech, and think about today’s world. President Trump has surpassed 3% growth, some are expecting it to hit 4% soon. Black unemployment is at the lowest rate ever, and white unemployment is decreasing as well. Business is growing with tax relief and the removal of unnecessary and expensive regulations. The list of accomplishments is growing daily in spite of all the attacks. Tom Steyer is still out there spending millions to try to get the President impeached. And the slowly unwinding story of collusion and Russia and the CIA, Justice, the FBI, the Intelligence Committees of House and Senate, continue to reveal the seamier side of government.




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