American Elephants


HUD’s Own Study Demolishes The Hope of Improving Inner-City Lives By Moving Them Into Better Neighborhoods by The Elephant's Child

President Obama’s new suburban integration plan, where he will move poor black families from the projects into higher-quality homes in safer neighborhoods  in the suburbs is not something new. HUD tried just such an experiment resettling urban poor in the suburbs beginning in 1994 under President Clinton.

The 15-year experiment called “Moving to Opportunity Initiative” (MTO) moved thousands of mostly African-American families from government projects to better homes in less racially segregated neighborhoods. The project was based on the notion that relocating inner-city minorities to better neighborhoods would boost their education and employment prospects.

Adults, however, for the most part, did not get better jobs or get off welfare. More actually went on food stamps. And their children did not do better in their new schools. In a 287 page study HUD found that adults who relocated outside the inner city using Section 8 housing vouchers did not avail themselves of better job opportunities, and saw a “sizeable negative impact on annual earnings.”

“Moving to lower poverty neighborhoods does not appear to improve education outcomes, employment or earnings,” the study found.

Even worse, crime simply followed them to their new safer neighborhoods. “Males…were arrested more often than those in the control group, primarily for property crimes.”

The same failed program now being pushed by the Obama officials, that moving inner-city blacks closer to good jobs and good schools will close “racial disparities” in employment and education — is just what Clinton officials were saying back in 1994.

The authors of the study doubt any better results will come from a larger or more aggressive relocation program. The original program relocated 4,600 families from several major cities. But there are few things as eternal as a Liberal “good idea.” No program ever fails, it only requires a more expansive program and more money invested.

The Obama people want to nationalize the experiment by relocating millions of people in more than 1,250 cities and towns until social engineers “eliminate racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty.”

The problem, Mr. President, is not the neighborhoods, nor race, nor ethnicity. Talk to Dr. Ben Carson, or Walter Williams, or Thomas Sowell.

“We’re giving every person an equal chance to access quality housing near good schools, transportation and jobs no matter who they are or what they look like,” HUD director Julian Castro said, unveiling sweeping new rules forcing cities to diversify suburbs by rezoning.

Expect exactly the same results, but on a national scale. I wouldn’t expect Congress to offer the money, but that would be even better in the progressive playbook. Then Republicans can be accused of refusing to allow inner-city blacks the opportunity to move to better neighborhoods with better schools for their children.

This is the president who vacations in the most exclusive homes on Martha’s Vineyard, and who keeps trying to shut down the Opportunity Scholarships that are awarded by lottery to poor black kids in Washington DC, that have proved so successful for the children.



“Diversity” Is Not All It’s Cracked-Up To Be! by The Elephant's Child
July 8, 2015, 10:55 pm
Filed under: Education, Immigration, Intelligence, Progressives | Tags: , ,

Harvard-history7On the other side of diversity, Harvard University is, according to the Wall Street Journal, looking for legal cover to justify discriminating against Asian-Americans, Sixty-four organizations have alleged that Harvard uses de facto quotas to limit Asian-Americans on campus.

The percentage of Asian-American students at elite universities like Harvard have held steady at around 18% for two decades. But the number of college-age Asian-Americans has increased rapidly. In May the coalition of sixty-four organizations asked the civil-rights arms of the Education and Justice Departments why Asian-Americans, who make up about 5% of the population — but earn an estimated 30% of National Merit semifinalist honors, aren’t accepted to Harvard in numbers that reflect those qualifications.

The Department cited pending litigation as grounds for dismissal, and the only such suit is one against Harvard and the University of North Carolina filed in November by Students for Fair Admissions. This sounds reasonable, but wait. Harvard and UNC’s lawyers this week filed motions to halt the lawsuit until the Supreme Court reconsiders race-based admissions next term in Fisher v. University of Texas. That ruling won’t surface until 2016, and Harvard’s strategy is to drag out inquiries in hopes the Court blesses race-based admissions.

Asian Americans need to score 140 points higher on the SAT than white students to be considered “equal applicants” on paper, and 450 points higher than African-Americans, according to independent research.

The coalition says they will continue to push back against the quota-like conditions at the elite schools. Liberal ideas of diversity have nothing to do with intelligence or accomplishment — only with… but you know the rest.

Interestingly enough, Canada and Australia admit immigrants based on the same kind of qualifications that Harvard and other elite universities use. They want immigrants who can bring some talent or qualifications to the country. Seems like a good idea, We might want to try it.

Diversity points are not about diversity, The issue is never the issue. It’s about voting groups and power for the Left.



Obama Doesn’t Think Your Neighborhood is “Diverse” Enough. by The Elephant's Child

Today, HUD Secretary Julian Castro  announced the finalization of the Obama Administration’s “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” rule.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released a final rule to equip communities that receive HUD funding with the data and tools that will help them to meet long-standing fair housing obligations in their use of HUD funds. HUD will provide publicly open data for grantees to use to assess the state of fair housing within their communities and to set locally-determined priorities and goals.

Translation: Just preventing anyone from refusing to rent or sell homes to those of different color, sex, ethnicity etc. etc. has not succeeded in ending ghettos or neighborhoods with bad schools and high incidence of crime and drugs, and that’s just not fair. We need to integrate wealthy neighborhoods.

HUD will determine what the proper ethnic makeup of a given neighborhood should be, and communities must build fair housing goals into their existing community development and housing planning. It is called “a balanced approach to fair housing.”

Observing neighborhoods in lots of different cities, you notice that people of a particular ethnic heritage are often likely to group together. Seattle has a Norwegian founded neighborhood, and an International District that is mostly Asian, for example.

HUD says “no child’s ZIP code should determine her opportunity to achieve.” Typical Leftist bullshit. A child’s opportunity to achieve is determined by whether their mother is married, graduated from high school, and cares about how her child turns out, not whether their neighborhood has the correct distribution of blacks and Hispanics.

“Diversity”remains the shining goal of most Leftist programs, and like all such programs, nobody ever checks up to see if the goal has achieved anything beyond a correct mixture of ethnicities, sexual preferences, or races. Are the people involved happier, more successful, better educated?

No leftist program ever is judged by whether its results are successful. Head Start, for example, has been shown by study after study to have no benefits as its participants proceed through their school years. According to HHS, Head Start “positively influenced children’s school readiness” — but only if you tested them after they finished Head Start but before they started Kindergarten. Leftist programs make their proponents feel good because they have done something. They never die because they don’t work. “Diversity” is one of those sacred words.

You will no longer get to buy a home in a highly desired school district, or near a desirable park, or even where there are lots of people who speak your language and celebrate the same holidays.  Because diversity.



You Voted for Republicans in 2014? The Community Organizer Strikes Back! by The Elephant's Child
June 22, 2015, 10:47 pm
Filed under: Economy, Education, Progressivism, Regulation | Tags: , , ,

According to the Obama administration, in too many neighborhoods “housing choices continue to be constrained through housing discrimination, the operation of housing markets,[and] investment choices by holders of capital,” information directly from the Housing and Urban Development  — “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) proposed rule.

Obama apparently believes that your neighborhood may not be inclusive enough, so he has instructed HUD to issue a new rule to force communities to diversify.

Under Obama’s proposed rule, the federal government will collect massive amounts of data on the racial, ethnic and socioeconomic makeup of thousands of local communities, looking for signs of “disparities by race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability in access to community assets.” Then the government will target communities with results it doesn’t like and use billions of dollars in federal grant money to bribe or blackmail them into changing their zoning and housing policies.

Don’t misunderstand, this is not about housing discrimination, which has been illegal since 1968. It is unlawful to deny you a loan or prevent you from buying a home because of your race, creed or color. Socioeconomic status is another matter, and should be. If you want to buy a nice house in the suburbs, you have to be able to afford it. Obama apparently believes that this is unfair discrimination by the “holders of capital.” Remember that Obama’s previous chosen occupation was as a “community organizer,” a job heavily invested in claims of “red-lining” and banks’ loan policies.

The effort calls for HUD to set aside taxpayer funds to upgrade poorer communities with amenities such as better schools, parks, libraries, grocery stores and transportation routes as a means of gentrifying those communities. It also calls for using grant money to build affordable housing in wealthy neighborhoods.

The Left is deeply engaged in the pursuit of “equality.” Their goal of a future utopia where everyone is equal and lives together in perfect harmony dominates their dreams and motivates their political aims. Communitarian ideals, though it doesn’t seem to penetrate that it has been tried and failed over and over from Lenin to Venezuela and the communes of the Sixties. Those people just didn’t do it right. The Progressives would.

There is clearly a natural urge for “community.” How often do you hear the term “the Black Community?” But many cities have a Chinatown, Seattle has a Norwegian community, and it was true from the beginning — up-country South Carolina was heavily settled by the Scots-Irish. My German immigrant ancestors settled in Germantown, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania itself was settled by Quakers, New England by Puritans. People who can afford it buy around a favored golf club, or buy waterfront around a lake. Are the rest of us harmed by that? Or does it drive a better economy that benefits everyone, with more people striving to succeed?

There is a human instinct for associating with like-minded people. Consider the retirement communities, where golf-carts are the usual transportation, and escape from loud rock music is welcomed. and homes for senior citizens where health care is part of the deal. Does low-income housing fit into the gated community in the name of diversity? Is a massive influx of immigrants or welfare recipients into a highly regarded school district called for in the name of correcting good schools in the name of discrimination?

The final regulations are due out this month and HUD is pitching them as a plan to “diversify” America. “HUD is working with communities across the country to fulfill the promise of equal opportunity for all,” a spokeswoman for the agency explained.

The House has passed an amendment to the Transportation Housing and Urban Development Bill that prevents HUD from implementing their AFFH regulation, which has been issued in preliminary but not yet final form by the Obama administration. “AFFH repudiates the core principles of our constitutional system by allowing the federal government to usurp the zoning powers of local governments. Over time it would transform the way Americans live urbanizing suburbs and Manhattanizing cities,” according to Stanley Kurtz. This may well become a campaign issue. Anything to get the Iran deal off the airwaves. This represents the death of the neighborhood.

Obama wants to reengineer your neighborhood.” by Marc A. Thiessen, Washington Post

“Inside Every Liberal is a Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out: The Death of the Neighborhood” by Arnold Ahlert, Front Page Magazine

“Ultimate White House trolling: Obama to “diversify” wealthy neighborhoods” by Jazz Shaw, Hot Air



The Commencement Speech You Need to Hear by The Elephant's Child
June 4, 2015, 6:34 am
Filed under: Education, Humor, Politics | Tags: , ,

George Will has a graduation speech that nobody will give, but somebody should. Great fun.



The Choices Available At The End of the Civil Rights Era by The Elephant's Child
May 27, 2015, 6:12 am
Filed under: Education | Tags: , ,

From William Voegeli’s The Pity Party:

The question of self-reliance affects the relationship between emphathizers and empathizees in a further way. If compassion rules out expecting much from those who suffer, then the moral and political leverage that empathizees wield against those who feel sorry for them will come to depend on their own incapacity. This correlation of moral forces operates with particular strength when empathizers and empathizees unite in the belief that the historic grievances of those who suffer preclude anyone else from calling on them to be self-reliant.

The basic choice open to blacks after the landmark legislation and court decisions of the civil rights era, according to the Hoover Institution’s Shelby Steele,* was between advancing “through education, skill development, and entrepreneuralism,” or  “pressuring the society that had wronged us into taking the lion’s share of the responsibility for resurrecting us.” The second course became all but inevitable when the post-civil rights narrative of white guilt and black victimhood decreed “that no black problem— whether high crime rates, poor academic performance, or high illegitimacy rates—could be defined as largely a black responsibility, because it was an injustice to make victims responsible for their own problems.”

*Shelby Steele, White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era (New York: HarperCollins, 2006)



“Our Kids Are Flunking Eating” by The Elephant's Child

d_JPGThis very large mouth is part of an exhibit called “Body Venture,” a 45-foot by 50 foot exhibit that “has kids walking through a giant person’s open mouth, travel through a stomach and small intestines and end up in the “brain dome” an ogre-like creature with a huge nose.” They get to brush and floss very large teeth and dance in the stomach. This is all part of a grant from the USDA  to the Kansas State Department of Education created because “our kids are flunking eating.

They claim that one in three children are overweight or obese, which someone has determined by body mass index (BMI) which is not an accurate measurement of any such thing. The USDA has announced a new round of grants of up to $5.5 million to convince the kids that Michelle Obama’s “Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act” new lunch standards are really good, so they should stop complaining.

bb_JPGThe USDA has almost always been wrong about telling us what to eat. They pushed a high carbohydrate diet, and gave millions of Americans diabetes. Fat was bad, eggs were bad, salt was bad, and eat lots of fruit. Current statistics say fat is fine, and needed. Bacon is fine. Eggs are good for you and an excellent source of protein. You need some salt in your diet, and fruit is mostly just pure sugar.

I am really tired of hearing reports that our kids graduating from high school are poor at reading, can’t write, poor at math, and don’t measure up in international comparisons. And in entering college they need remedial work to catch up.After they got through the digestive system, students “participated in cooking/tasting activities and received a student activity booklet with recipes and weekly activities,” according to the USDA.




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