American Elephants


What You Need to Know About the Southern Border by The Elephant's Child

Naturally, I like to write my own sterling opinions, which I assume are entirely correct, but I have the feeling that you would rather hear it direct from the horse’s mouth, as the saying goes. This is a conversation between Jessica Vaughn for the Center for Immigration Studies and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan. He is well chosen to occupy this post with his long experience in the field.

The talking points and misinformation that we normally hear have little to do with the actuality in the field. The flow of people who want to get in to the United States is huge, composed of people from all over the world. But it’s not a simple thing to understand. We hear lots about compassion and concern, and a lot less about the Cartels and their activity which includes not just the Wall, which is being built, but drugs coming across the border. 68,000 Americans died this past year from drugs smuggled in across the Southern Border. Sixty-eight thousand!

There’s lots of human smuggling, sex trafficking, and drugs, the Cartels haul in billions from their take in supporting all this evil. Democrats, interested in compassion, and their own designation as “good people”, are apt to believe that we should care deeply about these poor people who just want to participate in the good life that America promises. It is way more complicated than that.

The estimate is 150,000 people who make it across unchecked, and unaccounted for, not those who are caught and tallied. They assume that the actuality is much larger. Mr. Morgan points out that not all of them are bad people, but a heck of a lot are. The Wall is not an invention of President Trump’s. It is the results of the request of the Border Patrol for a badly needed wall.

Do watch the whole thing. We need more people who understand what the real situation is, and what the Border Patrol faces. We have a lot of Politicians who come up with a lot of false information. It’s a complicated and complex situation, and we need more informed and concerned Americans.



Kimberly Strassel on The Resurgence of Socialism Today by The Elephant's Child

For those of you who are not familiar with her, Kimberly Strassel is a writer at the Opinion Page of the Wall Street Journal, and a perceptive observer of the current scene. Here she appeared on the Eric Metaxis show to discuss her new book on the Resurgence of Socialism today. It is more than worth your time, as is her book.

The remarkable Democrat insistence that President Trump’s removal of perhaps the world’s worst Terrorist leader, Iran’s head of the Quds Force, was an attempt to start World War III passes all realms of sanity into sheer partisan goofiness, and leaves one wondering — what is the matter with these people? They should be celebrating that the world is at the very least a small bit safer. Soleimani was responsible for the death of many U.S. soldiers and an evil presence in the world.

The vague idea that Socialism would improve anything whatsoever demonstrates nothing so much as ignorance of history, and the havoc that misguided idea has created in the world as we know it.



Out of the Past: A Reminder of What Democrat Control Can Mean by The Elephant's Child

Donald J.Trump is doing a marvelous job of doing away with excess regulation. We got into an odd discussion tonight about the amount of TSP in dishwasher soap, how it meant that the dishes were not really getting clean because of regulations imposed by greennuts who were concerned about the fish in the nation’s rivers or something like that.

It was pointed out that I used to rant, online, about unnecessary regulation especially in dishwashers. I had forgotten, and had to look it up. And I certainly did! I had forgotten just how far the zealous regulators had gone. So I’m reprinting one. It’s worth reminding us of the nature of zealous regulating Democrats, and just how far they will go. They want control. It’s not even a matter of what it is they want to control. They want to fix things because they are morally superior, and know better what should be done.

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S REGULATORY NIGHTMARE
by The Elephant’s Child
April 21, 2011, 4:12 pm

It’s hard to keep up with the regulatory proposals coming from government agencies. The Foundry, a Heritage Foundation blog, is trying to keep track of the more noxious ones. Today, they are pointing out the excesses of the U.S. Department of Energy.

They already regulate the design of air conditioners, battery chargers, boilers, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, dryers, freezers, furnaces, heat pumps, light bulbs, refrigerators, toilets and washers. We now have washing machines that are several times more expensive and literally do not clean your clothes. Dishwashers no longer clean your dishes, and after the Volt fires in Connecticut, the regulations for battery chargers may need a second look.

The addition for today concerns a return to the shower.  The Energy {Policy Conservation Act of 1992 prescribed a measly 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) at 80 pounds per square inch of water pressure.  This was quite a dramatic reduction in showering pleasure from the 5 gpm or even 10 gpm of previous showerheads. The Department stated that: “It has always been the Department’s view that when Congress used the term ‘any shower head’ it actually meant ‘any shower head’.”

Now they want to make it clear that the regulation applies to the total from multiple shower heads in any one shower. The department recently fined 4 showerhead makers $165,104 for failing to demonstrate compliance with the shower head mandate.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 prohibits even minute levels of lead in any product intended for children 12 years of age or younger. That includes millions of children’s books printed with leaded ink.  Lead in ink was phased out in the late 1970s, but the CPSC deems any children’s book printed prior to 1986 to be potentially toxic and thus unfit for library circulation , the Goodwill store, or your neighbor’s garage sale.

The EPA is now hard at work increasing fleet-wide fuel efficiency standards for cars, and at the same time expanding the amount of ethanol in gasoline from 10% to 15%, (an amount damaging to the engines of all but the newest cars) which will dramatically decrease fuel efficiency.  Corn-based ethanol has been shown to nearly double greenhouse gas emissions over 30 years.  The spike in food prices from more ethanol will increase government spending by $1 billion a year, according to studies.

Obama policies are destroying jobs as fast as new jobs are created. Regulations accomplish nothing but unnecessary interference in peoples lives, and often simply make things worse.  There are always consequences, often unintended ones, and they seldom improve anything.

Consider this a warning.



And a Happy New Year to You All ! by The Elephant's Child

I am not an enthusiast for New Years celebrations, nor do I really think of a new year being a big deal. Don’t like all the efforts to predict what the new year will bring, but the efforts to sum up what transpired during the past year can be useful.

The impeachment thing drags on, but is going nowhere. Abuse of Power is silly, there was no crime whatsoever, and Obstruction of Congress is way beyond silly. The President’s job is to keep the reins on Congress and keep them from doing stupid things. That’s why the founders gave him veto power, and Congress the right to override a veto if they can. The founders were well aware of the failings of the human race, and thought long and hard about writing a Constitution.

The Wall Street Journal was having fits about the “trade war” Trump was initiating with China, but as Joseph Sternberg said today:

A new year brings new optimism that the U.S.-China trade war might not blow up the global economy after all. The two sides are on track to sign a “phase one” deal within weeks. Oddly, no one has stopped to ask if America is ready for what will happen if President Trump “wins” the trade war. …

China’s current-account surplus—the amount by which its exports of goods and services and income from overseas investments exceeds imports—has shrunk for years. It’s likely to tip into a deficit early this decade, meaning China will import more goods and services (and receive less profit from overseas) than it exports.

The scale of this potential deficit, likely under 1% of gross domestic product to start, pales in comparison with the enormous current-account surpluses of nearly 10% of GDP each year China racked up in the first decade of the century. And the deficits will be here to stay.

He adds that their population is aging, the much vaunted Belt and Road deal is mostly pouring money into corrupt public-works, and China’s overseas investments tend to be bad ones. And the U.S. tends to be the world’s premier destination for investment capital. China’s Communism has used industrial policy to suppress domestic demand.

It seems that despite the skeptics, Capitalism seems to work quite nicely. Unemployment is at record lows, the stock market at record highs.

In Baghdad, the crowd that attacked the U.S. Embassy in Iraq seems to have been more pro-Iran militia than unhappy citizens. A  country’s embassy is considered a part of their own territory and attacking it is a big deal. The president promptly sent in the Marines to reinforce and protect, and demonstrate that attacks were not acceptable. The Washington Post, of course, tried to score points against President Trump. The top Iranian Commander, Quassem Soleimani, leader of Iran’s Quds Force, was apparently killed Friday in airstrikes on Baghdad International Airport. The Pentagon confirmed that President Donald Trump ordered the airstrike. Iran’s Quds Force has been designated as a terrorist organization for some time.

Seems to me that President Trump is letting our friends and enemies know that he has no intention of being a pushover, in case they were under some misapprehension.

Other than that, the media seemed fascinated with the leftover theme from the 1920’s – trying to stick on “the Roaring Twenties” in some way, I guess because that’s all they could think of.  Didn’t work.

Hollywood has-beens keep trying to come up with insults to the President that will get them some media notice, for you cannot remain a celebrity if you cannot get the attention of the press, Nobody seems to have noticed that a lot of Americans are finding other ways to amuse themselves, and movies aren’t doing all that well.



What is Social Justice? Is There Any Such Thing? by The Elephant's Child

One wonders at the rise of enthusiasm for Socialism. Where does this come from?  Do people know nothing about the history of Socialism and how it works out? No understanding of the crisis of Venezuela? Or how the people there are literally starving in a country that was once the richest in South America?

Are they misled by talk of “social justice”? There is, by the way, no such thing. We humans are a quarrelsome lot, and you can’t overcome the difficulties of being a member of the human species easily. Democrats, with Bernie and Elizabeth Warren pushing socialism, seem to fail to recognize just where that path leads.

The human search for perfect social equality has gone on since the beginning of time. Do people actually rise in the morning hoping that might be the day when they are finally equal? Equal to what? Or Whom? I simply don’t buy it. Not everyone even wants to be rich. People want to care for their family, to have a good job that they like, at least part of the time. They want to have a nice home and be free of debt, and raise their children to be good citizens and succeed at whatever profession they choose. Some do want to be rich and some achieve it. But is it the overarching dream of many? I suspect not. People do want accomplishment, and success, and arriving at goals.

Democrats seem particularly driven by the idea of equality. They want to make everyone equal, and their policies move in that direction. They talk a lot about social justice, and more about the rich who do not deserve to be rich, and big corporations and their CEOs who do not deserve to be rich. I have wished for some things I do not have, that I cannot afford, as I’m sure you have as well. Did you get out of bed this morning yearning to be equal?  Didn’t think so.

Even for those who do want to be rich, and are working to create a business that they hope will succeed and make them richer, I suspect it is the succeed part that drives them, not the riches. Building a successful business is a worthy endeavor, and building it  is the scary and exciting part rather than the arrival at the finish.

So what is all this social justice? the social equality? Democrats’ push for equality sounds good in the abstract, but makes no sense whatsoever as a real goal. Think about that when those campaigning for an office ask for your vote. What they want is to be in charge, and have the opportunity to control your lives.



A Brief Look Back at a Bit of History by The Elephant's Child

People and their governments are not always in a happy or successful relationship. The people recognize in varying amounts that we need to have a government to keep us from killing each other, at least partly. We need a government to keep the rest of the people in line, and make some rules that we can all manage to live with. But the people increase, and the government grows and finds that it likes being in charge and making rules and that being part of a government can be somewhat rewarding, and rewarding for your relatives as well. So it’s all a bit of a conundrum.

We end up in an unsettled situation like we are just now, with one political party demanding impeachment, removal from office, and the other pointing out that we actually like what he is doing, which the other side finds unbelievable. I thought you might appreciate a look back at how we got here. You will find it clarifies the whole thing effectively, and leaves you in a better mood for the upcoming festivities, but don’t take it out on the relatives.



The Concept of “Diversity” is Sheer Bunk! by The Elephant's Child

What do you call it when a word or a concept rises out of the ordinary to become a phenomenon that becomes all-encompassing and everywhere, and the center of all ideas. I write of diversity. It has somehow arisen from an ordinary word describing differences, to the ruling order of business at corporations, organizations, pictures,  classrooms, hiring and firing, it’s everywhere. It’s the goal of all human resources departments, wherever they are, college admissions, agency staffing, advertising, commercials, from school pictures to the annual reports of giant corporations. Diversity is a must, and the organization will be condemned if diversity is not obvious.

We just had another flap over the Democrats most recent debate, because with Kamala Harris no longer in the group, and Cory Booker also, there were complaints about the lack of diversity among Democrat candidates. Come to think of it, it was Cory Booker complaining.

I was reminded because I ran across one of my books today, which is titled “Diversity, The Invention of a Concept” by Peter Wood, who at the time was a professor of anthropology at Boston University. Excellent book. Ask for it at your public library, or look for it used at Amazon. You’ll be glad you did.

The whole idea, of course, is based on skin color — that is the obvious, visual, proof of ‘real’ diversity. And be very sure you have someone very black in the group, or it will not be diverse. It’s more a talking point for Democrats because Democrats believe they are entitled to be in charge because they are morally superior. They are morally superior because they care, and because they care they are carefully diverse, and try to demonstrate that characteristic at every opportunity, because they divide their voters up into groups.

Those of us who think the whole “diversity” thing is bunk continue to believe that skin color or national origin is not really the most important thing about a person. You can undoubtedly come up with a fairly long list of things that are more important about a person than their skin color. Think back over the national news of recent months and how important diversity is in the national conversation. Why? It’s Democrats demonstrating their superiority by showing how Trump is ‘racist’ because some encounter was not diverse, or diverse enough.

We think of America as a great melting pot, and it is. Peter Wood looked into the diversity in food in Boston, where he lived, from 1900 on, by restaurants’ cuisine and what was offered. It’s an interesting survey. There is a new Afghan restaurant next door to the salon where I get my hair cut.

It is obviously all political in nature, trying to appeal to a particular population by race, to appeal to voters of a particular race. I just think it’s important to understand what “diversity” is all about. The dust jacket of Wood’s book notes:

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.

Where did this all come from? Justice Lewis Powell, in June 1978, in his stand-alone opinion in the Supreme Court case Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. He asserted that the goal of “attaining a diverse student body” provided a “constitutionally permissible” reason to allow racial preferences in admissions to a medical school. Thus the goal of achieving diversity overrode the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.

Addendum: Breitbart notes today that “Red State Governors Approve More Refugees in Their States” Refugees will usually vote Democrat, or can be persuaded to do so.

Democrat governors representing red states such as Kentucky, North Carolina, Montana, and Kansas have approved more refugee resettlement in 2020 for their states.

For Fiscal Year 2020, President Donald Trump will continue cutting refugee admissions by reducing former President Barack Obama’s refugee inflow by at least 80 percent. This reduction would mean a maximum of 18,000 refugees can be resettled in the U.S. between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020. This is merely a numerical limit and not a goal federal officials are supposed to reach.




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