American Elephants


Hungary Has Built a Wall, And Cut Illegal Immigration by Over 99 Percent by The Elephant's Child

Hungary, fiercely resisting the European Union’s order to freely admit asylum-seekers, has built a wall. Observing the problems in Germany and Sweden and the 2015 Paris terrorists who made their way through Hungary with some deadly consequences, Hungary  has built twin fences, with frequent watchtowers, manned with thousands of newly recruited border guards. It was faster than building a solid wall, but illegal immigration has slowed dramatically. The fences have caused illegal immigration to collapse from 391,000 in 2015 to 18,236 in 2016 — to just 1,184 in 2017.

After Germany’s Angela Merkel welcomed migrants, announced that there was “no limit” to the number of asylum-seekers that Germany would accept, the flow increased to a torrent. Sweden has been called a “failed state”. Migrants often claim to be “children” to get asylum, but they are well into their twenties. Setting cars on fire seems to be a popular pastime. There are “no go” zones, more than 60, where ambulances must be accompanied by police. Rape is common and even small children, both boys and girls, are raped.

It seems to be a matter of mindset, and language. There is great fear of being called “racist” or “Islamophobic,” though the nation will not admit the disastrous Islamization. Unpleasant news is whitewashed. The Swedes have chosen a path of cultural and societal suicide that is probably the worst in Europe. There are 200 criminal networks, with an estimated 5,000 members. The government is in complete denial, the legal system punishes those who tell the truth, and the major TV, radio and print outlets parrot the government line and ignore uncomfortable news developments. How that they can avoid the clear indication that the “migrants” intend to make Sweden an Islamic country, subject to Sharia law? The government prefers to think of a multicultural idyll. Admitting that you were wrong is far too difficult. Swedish judges care more about the safety of foreign rapists than the safety of Swedish children. They refuse to return these monsters to their own countries for fear that they might be put in danger. It is complete denial.

The UN has slammed Hungary and their “very clear intention” to halt illegal immigration, and criticized their border wall for “looking unwelcoming.” Well, yes. Exactly. That is the object.

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“Homeless Camps Are Infectious Disease Time Bombs” * by The Elephant's Child

(*Headline shamelessly borrowed from Alex Berezow.)
According to HUD statistics, the homelessness problem is greatest in New York City, NY, 75,323, Los Angeles City & County 75,323 and Seattle/King County 10,122. These statistics, the most recent are from 2015. (It apparently takes that long for government computers to massage that much information.) My Seattle suburb is currently beginning to try to deal with our homeless problem with contentious arguments over housing location.

“Homelessness” is a contemporary problem that encompasses the out-of-work people who literally have no home and cannot afford one, those whose problems are alcoholism, drugs, mental health, or just a subcategory of those who enjoy the independence of living on the street. It has been suggested that the problem arose when the do-gooders tackled the idea of people being involuntarily committed to mental hospitals, with the idea that people were committing relatives for reasons unrelated to mental health. So it is much harder to get anyone committed, and many mental hospitals have closed. “Homeless” is another Leftist do-gooder name for much bigger problems.

At the same time addicts have to decide that they need help to overcome their addiction and be able to pay for it. We do not have drug courts that force addicts to accept treatment, and I don’t know if there is any help for those who don’t particularly want to overcome their addiction.  Addicts who have reached the homeless state pose enormous costs on society. Seattle, I believe, has an apartment building for hopeless alcoholics who are constantly picked up by police. It ‘s justified as a place where they can drink themselves to death, but it gets them off the street.

Alex Berezow’s article suggests that a methodology that measures the homeless per 100,000 population is more accurate, and he includes a graph, again for 2015 statistics. Seattle drops down a bit on the list, but is still in the disgusting range.

Funny! As I write this, there is a commercial on the radio for “Hotel California by the Sea” in Bellevue, a luxury hotel for those dealing with addiction problems. Since they go on a bit about their luxury, I assume it is also costly.

Here’s the graph for the first statistics. Clearly, neither is truly accurate, with 2015 numbers, and the problem of city/county/metropolitan area as guideposts to what’s happening. I would be surprised if with current technology, it would not be possible to have more current statistics, but government computers aren’t up to the task.

But what do you do? Seattle has many homeless camps, under the freeways, intruding on public parks. Area churches host homeless camps on a sort of rotating basis, because they are churches and supposed to be “nice.” The camps include drug dealers, prostitution rings, and increasingly, as Berezow reports, homeless camps are infectious disease time bombs. That the rest of  us don’t have to worry too much about infectious disease is due to the strong defense provided by the “pillars” of our public health system. The pillars include chlorination of the water supply, vaccination, and pasteurization of  dairy and other products—add medication. San Diego has had an ongoing outbreak of hepatitis that has hospitalized nearly 300 and killed 16. Streptococcus in Anchorage, Shigella in Portland and Tuberculosis everywhere. The squalor is a threat to society as a whole. The opioid crisis is hitting rural parts of the country as well.

What do we do? We have tried doing nothing, and that isn’t acceptable either. “It is dangerous, costly and inhumane.”



DACA is More Complicated Than You Think by The Elephant's Child

From the New York Post today:

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday that it was “not in our nation’s interest” to expel the roughly 800,000 young people protected from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“I do believe that kicking these 800,000 kids out to countries that they have probably not been to since they were toddlers, countries that speak languages that they may not even know, is not in our nation’s interest,” Ryan said.

Who are these “young people”, “kids”, “dreamers”,  innocent children, that were covered by former President Obama’s illegal executive order?  They must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, so some of them are 35 years old. Kids, indeed. Here are the guidelines, read them carefully.

So that batch of children under the age of 31 are dreamers and must be covered, but according to today’s news, “despite the intense summer heat, thousands of illegal alien minors and families risked their lives to illegally cross the border with Mexico in August. The apprehension of family Unit Aliens rose by 37 percent this week, the fourth straight month of increases.

So these illegal alien children, brought to the United States by their parents, are not covered by DACA, but is that fair? Do we have to give the same consideration to all children of illegal alien parents  the same coverage to be fair? One thing a good many mothers learn is that saying “Well, just this once…” doesn’t work. You either have rules or you don’t.

A former immigration official estimates that the fraud rate for the DACA program is at 40 to 50 percent. Experts say that under Obama, background screening was lax and applicants lied about their qualifications. USCIS employees deferred to get them through. 21 percent have dropped out of high school, far above the national rate.

These are not 800,000 innocent children who are headed for college and going to enrich our nation with their entrepreneurial spirit. Some may be, some won’t. Many have  already committed felonies. Yet the Democrats’ latest talking point is simply that not making them all citizens is cruel. And we can’t have a wall because a wall is cruel (though walls work to reduce the flow). If we must offer citizenship to this bunch, why then must we not offer citizenship to the next bunch and the next?

I am not anti-immigrant. I welcome immigrants. But I do believe that the 4.4 million people who have signed up legally to immigrate to the United States and are waiting patiently in line — for years — for their turn, deserve priority.

I believe we need a new immigration system that recognizes that we can only admit a certain number in a year without too much disruption. I don’t believe in chain immigration, where once someone gets in, they can get all their relatives in, uncles and brothers and grandparents. There’s the problem of “anchor babies.” Some women from foreign countries hide their pregnancy to visit and have their baby as an American citizen. I don’t believe that some industries should be able to import cheaper workers so they can refuse to hire Americans and increase their own billions. American workers should be protected from that kind of competition. But where do you draw the line with farm workers or computer programmers or doctors? What about exchange students who don’t go home, or legal visitors who simply overstay their visas? Democrats lean towards open borders, and those who will be future Democrat voters, without addressing the problems involved. But they are always a little light in the consequences department.

The Center for Immigration Studies (cis.org) is a think tank devoted to the study of immigration, which is a very complicated subject, and worth your attention. Here’s a speech by Heather MacDonald (in 2016) examining mass illegal immigration and its effect on American society. Europe may be committing a slow suicide. Its a very contentious subject, and it behooves us to study up. Our representatives in Washington seem to be more worried about how they will be treated by the mainstream media, because we seem so poorly informed.



The Eagle Creek Fire: 3,000 Acres Around This Beautiful Spot by The Elephant's Child

Please read this post by Alex Berezow, about the Eagle Creek fire in Oregon.This beautiful spot is Punch Bowl Falls. Just down the road, right along Interstate 84 is Multonomah Falls, a 620-foot waterfall, utterly beautiful. I’ve been there.

Both are in danger because of acts of pure stupidity and recklessness. The fire is about 7 percent contained and has burned over 3,000 acres because some teenagers shot off some fireworks. Six or more communities have been evacuated, some of the territory includes the watershed that is one of the main sources of water for the city of Portland.

Lots of evacuations, bad air quality for those with respiratory problems, closure of locks and Columbia river, many communities. Nice going teenagers. I hope they’re prosecuted. It will take years to recover.

UPDATE:  11% contained, burning 35,000 acres. Interstate 84 is closed in the Columbia River Gorge. The west lanes will be opened when it is safe. ODOT have already removed 1,500 trees that were posing a hazard to the Interstate highway, but nearly another 1,000 trees still need to be felled. A beautiful drive won’t be beautiful again for many, many years.



How to Revise History, With Some Cautions by The Elephant's Child


In Charlottesville, Virginia, we had another case of millennials attempting to fix history. Some wanted to tear down a statue, of Robert E. Lee, and others determined to stop them also turned up, to do violence. This incident apparently got all confused with World War II themes (fascism) which the press wants to connect to Donald Trump because they don’t like him and though they are undoubtedly unclear about what “fascism” means, it’s a bad thing.

The effort to eliminate Confederate monuments seems to be because of slavery, which ended in America with the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. There are approximately 700 remaining monuments left in various locations, mostly in the South, but there are around 1500 places or things that commemorate a Southern hero, so good luck with that. I suppose the illusion is that by tearing down statues, they have in some way changed history, but history remains, immutable and unchanged.

The push to begin the purge of Confederate monuments and memorials began after Dylan Roof shot up a historically black church in South Carolina in 2015. At the time, the debate centered around whether or not state governments should house Confederate flags on public property.

The city government of Baltimore, Maryland quietly removed a series of monuments, and Gainesville, Florida also removed a statue of southern soldiers last week. Additionally, officials in Kentucky and North Carolina announced plans to get rid of their own statues.

The Democrat minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, has suggested removing eight Confederate statues from the capitol’s Statuary Hall, but others out there insist that is not enough. We must remove statues of Washington and Jefferson because they were slave owners. If that is the case, it means the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument and bulldozing our Capitol city. Maybe we could just re-name the city so it doesn’t remind anyone of the father of our country. For the historically ignorant, you should perhaps remember that General Washington won the Revolutionary War— the War for Independence. Does that mean we would have to give it back to England? Just how far do these people want to go?

Perhaps a better solution to changing history that you don’t like would be to wait a bit, as some scientists are suggesting that time travel may indeed be possible. Forbes magazine published a story back in April about the scientific possibilities of time travel. The objectives might be • faster so you could go to the future but stay the same age,  •slower so you could get more done in the same amount of time, or • backwards so you could return to a time in the past and alter it, perhaps changing the future or even the present? Most of us would like to go back just briefly to undo something we know we shouldn’t have done.

A note of caution though. The International Criminal Court, located in the Hague, has found Islamist militant Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi liable for more than $3 million dollars in reparations for ordering the destruction of ancient landmarks in Timbuktu, Mali. He was previously sentenced to serve nine years in prison last September after pleading guilty to destroying historic shrines at a world heritage site in 2002. The court said attacks on historic sites “destroy part of humanity’s shared memory and collective consciousness, and render humanity to transmit its values and knowledge to future generations.

Anybody spotted a blue telephone booth? Probably somewhere in London, but who knows?



“DIVERSITY: The Invention of a Concept” by The Elephant's Child

Last night I was looking for the next book in a series I’m re-reading, and noticed another book that has long been on my overloaded bookshelves. It is titled simply “DIVERSITY: The invention of a Concept” by Peter Wood. I had forgotten all about it, though I bought it when it first came out fourteen years ago, read it and enjoyed it, which is why I still have it. Here’s a bit from the jacket flap, and remember this was written in 2003:

In just a few years, diversity has become America’s most visible cultural idea. Corporations alter their recruitment and hiring policies in the name of a diverse workforce. Universities institute new admissions procedures in the name of a diverse student body. Presidents choose their major appointees in the name of a diverse cabinet. And what diversity’s proponents have in mind, Peter Wood argues, is not the dictionary meaning of the word—variety and multiplicity—but a new and often narrow kind of conformity.

Whether as prescribed numerical outcomes or as the celebration of cultural “difference,” diversity, according to Wood, is now a deadening force in American life, a cliché that promotes group stereotypes and undermines any real diversity of ideas and individuals. …

But the current cult of diversity is no laughing matter. Wood shows how the elevation of this concept to the highest social good marks a profound change in our cultural life. Diversity as it is practiced today is anti-individualist and at odds with America’s older ideals of liberty and equality.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai believed himself to be defending diversity and opportunity for women in his company. James Damore was trying to point out that cultural taboos cloud corporate thinking about gender diversity. The Liberty Lawsite compared the Google bubble with the University bubble. At Hoover, Richard Epstein discusses the rigid ideological conformity in Silicon Valley, At American Greatness, Boris Zelkin noted that Sundar Pichai said that what Damore did was “Not OK” and suggested that Pichai could have thrown in a “double plus ungood” for good measure.

Meanwhile down in Charlottesville a very diverse meeting between three dramatically opposed groups— white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Antifa got together with the tools of their trade: baseball bats, bullhorns, flags, costumes and Tiki-torches, to protest the Civil War and any leftover remembrances thereof, did a lot of injury and killed two people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. President Trump pointed out that there is blame on both sides for the deadly violence, while the Associated Press went crazy and insisted that the antifas were just “protesting” the white supremacists. The president said they were all thugs and criminals and incited violence, for which he, though correct, was excoriated by the press.

I recommend Peter Wood’s book. There are used copies for only around $2 at Amazon, or you can pay over $100 — but if a good read would start a significant conversation about the deliberate invention of a concept and how it happened, it might be very helpful indeed.



Why Politics and Business Don’t Mix by The Elephant's Child

I don’t know about boycotts, I don’t think about joining some kind of boycott, nor of mounting the barricades. But if businesses get all political, I can certainly take my business someplace else. That’s basic economics. The market speaks louder, or at least more firmly than any soapbox.

Starbucks had five straight quarters of decreased sales, and they know exactly why their sales had fallen. It’s not a softening of the market but abandonment by Conservatives. Wall Street agreed. Financial analysts blame Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz’ repeated attacks on Conservatives and leftist activism.  Started when they took “Merry Christmas” off their holiday cups in November 2015. There was the message to customers to “please don’t bring your guns into Starbucks”, the backing of gay marriage, and the change the world with messages written by a barista on your coffee cup “Race Together”, so you will stop being racist, and “Come Together” to get partisans to rethink their opposition to their opponents. Baristas became “partners,” and Schultz pledged that the company would hire 10,000 refugees over Americans to protest President Trump’s executive order on immigration. That one did it. Americans are not in favor of increased immigration or open borders. They have since backed off with an effort to hire veterans.

Kevin Johnson has become President and chief executive officer. Howard Schultz has left the company, and is reportedly considering running for president.

Some are convinced that taking political positions helps a company show their responsibility, but I suspect that is simply partisan-speech. I may or may not like your product. If you expect me to buy your product and your political views, forget it.

Now we have Google asserting their leftist political views and firing someone who had the nerve to speak up. The monoculture at Google is not to be trifled with.

It is extremely difficult for lefties to grasp the nature of free speech. According to California law, you cannot fire someone for their political beliefs, but in Silicon Valley, on the other hand, you apparently may not disagree. I’ve already received a long message with alternatives for everything Google.




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