American Elephants


“Speaking Facts in Polite Company” Scandalized the Left by The Elephant's Child

Ahhh! The Agony of the Left. President Trump accurately described some of the troubled countries of the world, though apparently not in the words claimed, and the Left erupted in fury, attempting to attach the probably crude designation of a country to the citizens thereof and thereby make a moderate insult into a racist one. Or something like that. Anyway it was enough to occupy the media’s hours, because they don’t seem to know enough about the real world to do actual news. What do they teach in journalism schools these days anyway?

The most accurate and effective riposte came from Andrew Klavan, which is great fun as well as being completely accurate.

Nothing scandalizes a leftist like the truth. Point out that women and men are different, that black Americans commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime, that most terrorist acts are committed by Muslims, and the Left leaps to its collective feet in openmouthed shock, like Margaret Dumont after a Groucho Marx wisecrack. This is racism! This is sexism! This is some sort of phobia! I’m shocked, shocked to find facts being spoken in polite company!

No one is really shocked, of course. This is simply a form of bullying. The Left has co-opted our good manners and our good will in order to silence our opposition to their bad policies. The idea is to make it seem impolite and immoral to mention the obvious. …

Here in the states, the First Amendment has so far allowed old-fashioned American loudmouths to fight the system whenever they could find ways around our monolithic corporate media. But the Empire of Lies is quick to strike back. Google/YouTube now stands charged by multiple accusers of singling out conservative voices for censorship, “fact-checking,” and demonetization. Hidden-camera videos released by Project Veritas this week show Twitter employees conspiring to “shadow ban” conservatives on their system. On campus, intelligent conservative speakers of good will like Ben Shapiro, Charles Murray, and Cristina Hoff-Somers have faced violent protests meant to shut them up.

No person of importance on the right seeks to silence anyone on the left. The Left, on the other hand, is broadly committed to ostracizing, blacklisting, and even criminalizing right-wing speech.

The Manhattan Contrarian takes on the same general problem—the utter insanity of the Left, quite effectively. And calls out the “Yale psychiatrist” who in contraindication to the rules of her supposed profession feels free to diagnose  someone she has never met, or goofy columnists who don’t even need any qualifications whatsoever.

Scott Adams. creator of Dilbert sums it all up nicely by noting that President Trump has earned the “Highest Presidential Approval Level of all Time.” The most important Presidential Approval Poll is the Small Business Optimism Index, which has hit an all-time high.

The lesson of 2017 is that better policies make for better economic results,said Duggan. “The evidence is overwhelming that small business owners pay close attention to Washington, and that federal policies affect their decisions on whether to hire, whether to invest, whether to grow inventory, and whether to seek capital.”

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The City of Spokane Outlaws Detention of Illegal Aliens by City Police In Defiance of Federal Law. by The Elephant's Child

The city of Spokane has agreed to change its laws in straightforward defiance of federal law, apparently because of complaints or a lawsuit from the ACLU of Washington and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, neither of which have any legal standing one would assume. They agreed to change their policies to make sure that police officers will not question or detain people as they are required to do by federal law.

That’s  part of a final settlement they city reached Tuesday in federal court with the ACLU and the Immigrant Rights group. The case stemmed from a 2014 traffic accident when the vehicle of Gabriel Gomez was struck by a minivan that failed to yield the right of way. A Spokane police officer responding to the incident contacted the U.S. Border Patrol to ask whether the agency had an interest in Gomez.

The officer issued a ticket to the driver of the minivan that failed to yield, and let that driver leave the scene. But the officer detained Gomez until the Border Patrol arrived and took him into custody, as federal law requires.

This is all the information from the article. Makes no sense at all. How do a couple of unofficial agencies win in court by demanding that the city defy federal law? I would hope that the city of Spokane pays a significant cost for that one.



“Dreamers” According to a Leaked Memo Are Critical to Democrats Future Electoral Success by The Elephant's Child

According to Breitbart, a leaked memo from the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a very left-wing organization

https://i0.wp.com/media.breitbart.com/media/2018/01/Leaked-Dem-memo.png

Democrats are urged not to support any 2018 spending bill that does not support a DACA amnesty where illegal aliens are given a path to U.S. citizenship, saying that it will “jeopardize” elections for Democrats, in 2018 and beyond.

The Trump administration has endorsed a DACA amnesty plan that trades legalizing the nearly 800,000 illegal aliens in exchange for mandatory E-Verify, which bars employers from employing illegal aliens, and ending chain migration, where newly naturalized citizens can sponsor an unlimited number of foreign relatives, ending the Diversity Visa Lottery program which randomly imports 50,000 foreign nationals a year, and authorizing the construction of a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border. Democrats loathe the idea of a wall, but Mexico has a wall on their southern border, guarded, so they can keep out immigrants from states like Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras—unless they are just passing through to get to the U.S.

There are a number of pictures available of the wall on the Southern Border. “Snopes” says flatly that there is no wall on the Southern border with with Guatemala, but I’ve never been inclined to believe Snopes, though I’ve never personally seen any Southern Wall, so there you are. This is clearly an era of “fake news”, so we’re all on our own to find reliable sources of information.  I read a while back that a survey of our Hispanic citizens, indicated that a plurality of them wanted the “Dreamers” sent back home. I can’t find that bit of information, so it’s just my possibly faulty memory. The Center for Immigration Studies is the only Think Tank focused on the study of immigration. They are pro-immigrant, but pro-legal immigration. 

Democrats are going to fight on this one.  We’ll see how tough President Trump can be,



The “Dreamers” Are Not What They Pretend To Be by The Elephant's Child

The “Dreamers” are much in the news. Now some 100 business leaders signed a letter in support of the DACA Dreamers insisting that Congress pass a law to protect them by January 18 or they will be causing U.S. companies a lot of disruption and expense. The letter was signed by a bevy of tech leaders like IBM CEO Ginni Rometty – who has been championing their cause, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

The letter claims that many are employed by businesses, but doesn’t go quite so far to claim that any are specifically employed by them.

Under DACA, nearly 800,000 illegal aliens were given temporary protected status and work permits to remain in the United States. A former USCIS manager of the agency’s investigative unit, Matt O’Brien suggested that the fraud rate for DACA us roughly 40 to 50 percent. Applicants lied on their applications and were rarely caught by USCIS officials. The Obama administration, Breitbart Texas reported, added 122,221 DACA recipients in just the last 3 months of the Obama administration.* Since DACA’s beginnings, more than 2,100 DACA recipients protected status was revoked for a felony or being involved in gang activity.

Over roughly 4o percent of the illegals shielded from deportation by an Obama-era temporary amnesty program have no education beyond high school, and have no plans to go to college. Another 21 percent have dropped out of high school.  73 percent of DACA recipients live in low-income households, and are more likely to compete for job with the working class. 54 percent  of native-born Hispanics access one or more of the welfare programs, and have poverty rates about twice as high as the general population. Heritage’s Daily Signal notes that according to the Congressional Budget Office, giving amnesty to the “Dreamers” would create a deficit of about $26 billion over 10 years.

There seems to be no evidence that most are in college or in the military. The terminology with which they are described—”Dreamers”, little innocent children brought here against their will, came from Democrat wordsmiths, and does not seem to match reality at all. Since they were illegals, there is no record of their age when they arrived, and we have only their claims. They were supposed to be under the age of 16 at the time they arrived, but many are clearly older than that.

I am very much pro-immigrant, but pro-legal immigrants. There are something over a million people who have gone through all the rigamarole necessary to apply for permission to immigrate to America, and they are patiently waiting their turn, which may take years. The DACA program was dreamed up by Democrats who believe that new immigrants are likely to be Democrat voters. I think that further, they are intended to be additional bodies for the next Census, because the Census does not count citizens, only bodies. And the numbers of bodies in a given state determine the Electoral College votes of a given state.

This bunch of businessmen, I suspect, have no personal knowledge of the DACA claimants, but are only impressed by the “compassionate” language that has been devised to describe them. I may be wrong on all counts, but I am very suspicious of Obama’s efforts to change the Electoral College or end it, and his efforts to change America into something more “diverse” and where everybody is equal, and stops getting rich when they have “enough money.”

The everybody is equal thing seems all too often to turn into Venezuela and Cuba.

* I realized I left off an important part of the sentence  and added “of the Obama administration.” My bad. I apologize for any false impression.



“Diversity” Does Not Include Any Diversity of Ideas. by The Elephant's Child

In a recent post, I noted that The New York Times, in publishing a list of President Trump’s confirmed cabinet (partially correct) had, full of their own importance, added that President Trump’s cabinet was more white and male than any cabinet since Ronald Reagan’s. What possible aberration of mind could possibly make one think that the most important thing about a presidential cabinet was their skin color and their sex? Um, intelligence, capability, experience, for a few qualities?

Democrats are determined to own the black vote, because of Barack Obama, and their huge losses at all levels  in the last election, but trying to push race constantly in the face of their own unfortunate history with race is deeply discouraging. It’s clearly evidence of the elimination of the study of History as an important subject in our schools. Did you think that Democrat’s consistently calling Republicans “Racist” was just dumb?

“Diversity” has become the buzz word and goal throughout business, industry and education, at a time when there are few barriers except capability and experience in any field you want to mention.  And there have been few times in my own life when diversity of ideas is so unacceptable.

Diversity has been one of Thomas Sowell’s favorite subjects:

  • Demographic “diversity” is a notion often defended with fervor but seldom with facts.
  • What are the alleged “compelling” benefits of”diversity“? They are as invisible as the   proverbial       emperor’s new clothes. Yet everyone has to pretend to believe in those benefits, as the pretended to admire the naked emperor’s wardrobe.
  • If there is ever a contest for words that substitute for thought, “diversity” should be recognized as the undisputed world champion. You don’t need a speck of evidence, or a single step of logic, when you rhapsodize about the supposed benefits of diversity. The very idea of testing this wonderful, magical word against something as ugly as reality seems almost sordid.
  • Despite the fervor with which demographic “diversity” is proclaimed as a prime virtue—without a speck of evidence as to its supposed benefits—diversity of ideas gets no such respect.

At the present, the  idea that there should be some diversity of ideas has lost the battle, if you want to call it a battle. Any effort to force your ideas into the national conversation will be met with calls of “racist”, “sexist”, “homophobe”, etc. etc. etc. Strange times. Free speech is derided because it might hurt someone’s feelings, yet accusing others of being “racist” or any of the other names is fine. You have to wonder if the Democratic Party is more of a cult than a party. Folks that just don’t want to be included in a group that are “racist”, “sexist” etc., etc., etc. Diversity is one of those words. Sounds good, but empty of real meaning.

People like and associate with other people based on things they have in common. It may, particularly for recent immigrants, be country of origin and familiar language. But that seldom lasts more than a generation or two. It is more apt to be a neighborhood, a school, a club, a particular interest, whether football fandom or chess club or knitting circle. A fairly large percentage of people don’t follow politics all that much, nor pay a lot of attention to the news.

If a company achieves a perfect record of “diversity” and pictures of the workers include the correct colors and races—what have they achieved? Is there some occupation that is not open to qualified people of any race, sex, or ethnic origin that should be? There are male nurses, and female boxers, Black CEOs, and there are many occupations that demand particular physical characteristics. Yet Diversity of Ideas is not included, which would be the most important characteristic.  “Diversity” is sheer bunk. Go to Google, click on ‘Images’ and enter “Diversity” and see what comes up. And by the way, the unemployment rate for Blacks is currently the lowest ever achieved.



Addressing the Administrative State: Drain the Swamp by The Elephant's Child

After a year of impressive accomplishment, in spite of “the resistance”, Kimberly Strassel at the Wall Street Journal is offering ” A Big Beautiful Trump 2018 Issue: Civil Service Reform.” Send your message of approval to the White House! The Journal has a pay barrier, but Instapundit has the essentials.

Let 2018 be the year of civil-service reform—a root-and-branch overhaul of the government itself. Call it Operation Drain the Swamp.

When Candidate Trump first referred to “the swamp,” he was talking about the bog of Beltway lobbyists and “establishment” politicians. But President Trump’s first year in office has revealed that the real swamp is the unchecked power of those who actually run Washington: the two million members of the federal bureaucracy. That civil-servant corps was turbocharged by the Obama administration’s rule-making binge, and it now has more power—and more media enablers—than ever. We live in an administrative state, run by a left-leaning, self-interested governing class that is actively hostile to any president with a deregulatory or reform agenda.

It’s Lois Lerner, the IRS official who used her powers to silence conservative nonprofits. It’s the “anonymous” officials who leak national-security secrets daily. It’s the General Services Administration officials who turned over Trump transition emails to Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the absence of a warrant. It’s the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Leandra English, who tried to stage an agency coup. It’s the EPA’s “Scientific Integrity Official” who has taken it upon herself to investigate whether Scott Pruitt is fit to serve in the office to which he was duly appointed. It’s the thousands of staffers across the federal government who continue to pump out reports on global warming and banking regulations that undermine administration policy.

More broadly, it is a federal workforce whose pay and benefits are completely out of whack with the private sector. A 2011 American Enterprise Institute study found federal employees receive wages 14% higher than what similar workers in the private sector earn. Factor in benefits and the compensation premium leaps to 61%. Nice, huh?

Here’s a website that offers information on federal pay and benefits. It does not seem to be an official government website, but offers information for those who wish to become government employees. Do follow the link to Instapundit and read and save the invaluable Ms. Strassel’s invaluable piece.

We live in an administrative state, run by a left-leaning, self-interested governing class that is actively hostile to any president with a deregulatory or reform agenda.

You might consider reading Philip Hamburger’s recent book “Is Administrative Law Unlawful? Philip Hamburger is a leading scholar on the Constitution and a Professor of Law at Columbia University.



When it’s Over, It’s Really Over. by The Elephant's Child

In the American political system, the President gets to hold office for either 4 years or 8, and when he or she is done, when a new president is elected, the previous president returns to civilian life. They are no longer a leader, no longer an official, just another past president, and once more a private citizen. Obama seems to be having a hard time accepting that, as do some of the people from his administration. No more titles. No more limelight. You had your turn and it is over.

George W. Bush was most gracious. He worked at rehabilitation for members of the military who were wounded during his administration. He paid honor to them with his paintings. He carefully did not interfere with Barack Obama’s turn. Obama knows that, but doesn’t seem to understand that it is an example for him as well.

The Twenty-second Amendment of the United States Constitution limits the number of times one can be elected to the office of President of the United States. Congress proposed the amendment by two-thirds of both the House and Senate on March 21, 1947. Ratification by the requisite 36 of the then-48 states was completed on February 27, 1951.

Mr. Obama is having a hard time being a private citizen. He was following President Trump in his visits to foreign leaders for a while, turning up for a visit right after Trump’s. Tacky.  It must be hard seeing your successor undo many of your presumed accomplishments, and even worse—see the economy respond in such vigorous approval. Is he hoping for a coup?

But that’s how it works. Americans were so thrilled when George Washington’s army defeated the British and sent them packing, that some wanted General Washington to become an emperor or a king, but Washington would have none of it. That was a most important step in the American presidency, and was recognized as such by other nations. The founders worked carefully to make sure that they were defining the presidency correctly to prevent future emperors or kings.

In many ways, the presidency is something of a thankless job. Things you wanted to do didn’t get done or there was deep resistance, or you were outvoted. You don’t get do-overs, and you don’t get to decide how the historians will think of you, no matter how glorious your presidential library turns out to be. You get to keep the honorific titles as a courtesy. Losing candidates also have a hard time accepting reality. Works better if you understand from the beginning the limits of the office. We probably tell our presidents too often that they are the most important man in the world. They are, but only briefly, then it’s over.




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