American Elephants


Lots of Name-Calling, Not Much Common Sense! by The Elephant's Child

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment
of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,
or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,
and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The establishment of religion bit means that the government shall not establish a state religion nor prefer one religion over another. Seems simple, but there have been continuous arguments over the meaning ever since.

In the current discussions of Moslem immigration, we are enjoined by fear of being called Islamophobic, bigoted, and, of course, racist—or be accused of violating the Constitution. Yet Americans watch what is going on in Europe as they try to cope with the influx of Muslim migrants and are deeply concerned that the numbers of “Syrian refugees” that President Obama is trying to get into the country will lead to similar rashes of killings by adherents of a radical version of Islam.

Most of Europe is more concerned about anti-migrant backlash than of figuring out how to deal with the migrants. The entire issue is deeply confused by fear of seeming not sufficiently compassionate, and leads to an absurd situation where the President of the United States scolded the American people for expecting him to at least  use the phrase ‘radical Islam’ in response to the massacre in Orlando.

“For a while now the main contribution of some of my friends on the other side of the aisle have made in the fight against ISIL is to criticize this Administration and me for not using the phrase ‘radical Islam,’” Mr. Obama said Tuesday, using his preferred acronym for Islamic State. “That’s the key, they tell us. We cannot beat ISIL unless we call them ‘radical Islamists.’ What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change?”

Since the President asked, allow us to answer. We’re unaware of any previous American war fought against an enemy it was considered indecorous or counterproductive to name. Dwight Eisenhower routinely spoke of “international Communism” as an enemy. FDR said “Japan” or “Japanese” 15 times in his 506-word declaration of war after Pearl Harbor. If the U.S. is under attack, Americans deserve to hear their President say exactly who is attacking us and why. You cannot effectively wage war, much less gauge an enemy’s strengths, without a clear idea of who you are fighting.

Mr. Obama’s refusal to speak of “radical Islam” also betrays his failure to understand the sources of Islamic State’s legitimacy and thus its allure to young Muslim men. The threat is religious and ideological.

Islamic State sees itself as the vanguard of a religious movement rooted in a literalist interpretation of Islamic scriptures that it considers binding on all Muslims everywhere.

The administration is attempting, as usual, to ignore the standard refugee settlement process in America, and the UN and the administration are scheming to find other ways to boost the number of “Syrian refugees” entering the country, from 10,000 this year to possibly 200.000 a year.

Refugees and government officials are expecting this crisis to last 10 or 15 years. It’s time that we no longer work as business as usual … UNHCR next month [March 2016] is convening a meeting to look at what are being called “alternative safe pathways” for Syrian refugees. Maybe it’s hard for the U.S. to go from 2,000 to 200,000 refugees resettled in a year, but maybe there are ways we can ask our universities to offer scholarships to Syrian students. Maybe we can tweak some of our immigration policies to enable Syrian-Americans who have lived here to bring not only their kids and spouses but their uncles and their grandmothers. There may be ways that we could encourage Syrians to come to the U.S. without going through this laborious, time-consuming process of refugee resettlement.” (Emphasis added.)

“USC has revealed that it is offering five free tuition programs for Syrian refugees, including one in the school’s journalism program.”

It seems to me that some straight talk would help the situation. In the United States, we do not allow “honor killings,” homosexuals are accepted, not killed. and killers go to prison for a very long time or face execution.  Wife-beating or child abuse are against the law as is sexual assault. People are free to change their religion if they choose, and adherents of one religion are not allowed to attack those of a different religion. Our freedom of speech applies to everyone, and people may have differing opinions without fear. It’s not “Islamophobic” to tell people what they can expect, but may be helpful.

Bremen, Germany —”24 cases of migrant sexual assault at Music Festival.”

Zirndorf, Germany — Explosion of suitcase bomb next to migrant reception centre reported Bavarian Radio



It’s Going to Be a Very Ugly and Angry Campaign! by The Elephant's Child

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click to enlarge)

This is going to be a poisonously vicious campaign. We have two candidates with very high negatives, and there are many in each party who are not happy with their party’s choice of candidate.  Here’s the Left’s reaction to Donald Trump’s nomination as the Republican candidate for the office of the presidency.

Do  you think that the word possibly went out that “dark” was the word of choice to describe Trump’s speech? Some threw in an extra word, like “resentful”, “Angry”, “diabolical.”Does an e-mail just go out to all the major leftist magazines and websites.? I’d love to see that one hacked. I’ve always wondered just how they do it, and how they get everyone to promptly fall in line.

Donald Trump’s speech pointed out the crime rate, the troubled cities dominated by minorities, the numbers of blacks killed, the numbers of policemen killed, black children killed. The reporters on the left rose as one and dashed for the fact checkers. Obviously racist to blame black people for killing other black people. And found to their astonishment that the figures quoted by Mr. Trump were absolutely correct.

Keep an eye out, next up will be assertions that Mr. Trump is fascist, and racist.  Rachel Maddow has already compared Mr. Trump to Hitler. (So original!) Here’s Salon:

The final night of the Republican National Convention was as confusing and incoherent as it was disturbing. Before Donald Trump brought forward his chilling imitation of history’s greatest fascists, Ivanka Trump and Peter Thiel made bizarre plays for the votes of women and LGBT people.

Ivanka Trump riffed on issues like equal pay and affordable childcare, which are typically Democratic issues. Thiel announced that he’s “proud to be gay” to wild applause from a roomful of people who are the very base that voted against the rights and dignity of LGBT people, over and over again.

Democrats are deeply worried. Hillary does not have the campaign skills that Bill did, people justifiably do not trust her, and the graft in which the Clintons engaged through the Clinton Foundation is beginning to become public knowledge. The people do not understand why she has not been indicted, and believe that the fix is in. And, frankly, she is just not likeable, and the Democrats know it.

Many Republicans are concerned about Mr. Trumps understanding of trade. He seems to believe that a “trade deficit” means that we are getting cheated. He is opposed to NAFTA which has been a very successful agreement for all three partners. He is  correct about the Trans-Pacific Partnership which is not a good deal for the U.S.

He has a large following among a very angry percentage of the population who are sick of illegal immigration, haven’t had a raise in years, are tired of excessive regulation, the faltering economy, and a president who is trying to run the country through executive orders, and ignoring the Constitution. Many black Americans have been disappointed in President Obama. They expected race relations to improve, not to develop into shootings and riots. Union members too, are responding to Trump’s message of hope. He has focused on the top issue of the day, which is the crime rate, and talked about creating jobs. The campaign has become more disciplined.

He said that Hillary has asked her people to chant just three words: “I’m with her!” Mr. Trump said he had a different chant that was also just three words — “I’m with you!”

It was a powerful moment.



“A Retreat from Proactive Policing Has Unleashed Mayhem in the City by The Elephant's Child

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from City Journal

Chicago on the Brink

Heather MacDonald

Violence in Chicago is reaching epidemic proportions. In the first five months of 2016, someone was shot every two and a half hours and someone murdered every 14 hours, for a total of nearly 1,400 nonfatal shooting victims and 240 fatalities. Over Memorial Day weekend, 69 people were shot, nearly one per hour, dwarfing the previous year’s tally of 53 shootings over the same period. The violence is spilling over from the city’s gang-infested South and West Sides into the downtown business district; Lake Shore Drive has seen drive-by shootings and robberies.

The growing mayhem is the result of Chicago police officers’ withdrawal from proactive enforcement, making the city a dramatic example of what I have called the “Ferguson effect.” Since the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014, the conceit that American policing is lethally racist has dominated the national airwaves and political discourse, from the White House on down. In response, cops in minority neighborhoods in Chicago and other cities around the country are backing off pedestrian stops and public-order policing; criminals are flourishing in the resulting vacuum. (An early and influential Ferguson-effect denier has now changed his mind: in a June 2016 study for the National Institute of Justice, Richard Rosenfeld of the University of Missouri–St. Louis concedes that the 2015 homicide increase in the nation’s large cities was “real and nearly unprecedented.” “The only explanation that gets the timing right is a version of the Ferguson effect,” he told the Guardian.)

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel warned in October 2015 that officers were going “fetal,” as shootings in the city skyrocketed. But 2016 has brought an even sharper reduction in proactive enforcement. Devastating failures in Chicago’s leadership after a horrific police shooting and an ill-considered pact between the American Civil Liberties Union and the police are driving that reduction. Residents of Chicago’s high-crime areas are paying the price.

……………………………………..(Do Read the whole thing)

The statistics are shocking. What we must pay attention to, however, are the incentives involved. When you tell residents of black neighborhoods that the reasons for many members of their families going to prison is not really because they committed a crime, but because the cops are racist, and the system is crooked, and tell them often enough, they’re apt to begin to believe it.

When neighborhoods come to believe that the cops are racist and don’t care about the black people they shoot, the police are inclined to back off a little more. When a cop is killed in the line of duty because the neighborhood believes they are racist, the police are more wary of stopping suspicious drivers or wading into s situation that looks like trouble.

That could all be perfectly innocent — just human nature. Policemen have families and want to go home at night. People in a neighborhood find it easier to believe the worst of cops than of their family members or next door neighbors. And so it escalates.

When the news on television blames the police, or the President of the United States suggests that he is going to pardon large numbers of federal prisoners because they are unjustly imprisoned by an unfair system — that seems pretty official, and likely true.

That hardly begins to touch on the incentives involved. When crime rates are high, fewer businesses are willing to locate in the neighborhood. With fewer businesses, there are fewer jobs, particularly for young men of an age to need their first working experience. If there are no jobs, there are drugs and gangs and petty theft and hatred of the police. Heather MacDonald enumerates the escalating steps, tragedy by tragedy, and on the other side the breakdown in order and control.

Accusations of endemic racism, economic injustice, housing segregation, mass incarceration, white privilege, disparate impact are problematic words that hurt more than they help.  Heather MacDonald’ s calm and careful analysis is important, and all parties involved would do well to understand her analysis.



Heather MacDonald by The Elephant's Child

This is a lecture given by Heather MacDonald in April of this year at Hillsdale College. Heather MacDonald is a scholar at the Manhattan Institute, and a recognized authority on American crime and policing. She has the data and statistics to back up her contentions, which belie  the claims of the Black Lives Matter crowd and their attacks on police and policing.

It’s a long lecture, so you will want to postpone it till you have time, but if you can manage it, her command of the facts will clarify this situation that is getting increasingly dangerous. Or you can just buy her new book, The War on Cops.



More Terrorism, This Time in Nice, on Bastille Day. by The Elephant's Child

At least 80 people nave been killed in a terror attack in Nice, France, as a crowd watching Bastille Day fireworks celebration were mowed down by a truck accelerating directly into the crowd. Killing infidels supposedly gets them a free trip to paradise.

Paris, according to the Wall Street Journal, has an estimated 10,000 names on its terrorist watch-list, but fewer than 5,000 agents to monitor them. The ratio should be the other way around.

Europe too has been crippled by accusations of Islamophobia, racism, and a lack of compassion. There are no politically correct responses to terrorism. Political correctness is just another attempt by the Left to say they’re right and you are wrong. Don’t criticize their narrative.

An equal challenge will be to defeat Islamic State at its Mideast source. The Obama Administration insists that it is making steady progress in defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria. But the slow pace of the U.S. campaign has allowed ISIS to train tens of thousands of recruits, many with European passports, while extending its territorial reach from North Africa to South Asia. The threat has expanded its reach faster than it is being contained at its core.

For Europeans, one lesson in the Administration’s failure to defeat ISIS swiftly and decisively is that they cannot count on the U.S. as they once did to provide security in their neighborhood. Europe must do more for itself. But Americans watching the horror in Nice must also know that it could as easily have happened here. All the more reason to strengthen an Atlantic alliance to protect the freedoms of 1776 and 1789 against this 21st-century barbarism.



Another National Conversation About Race or Another Attempt to Increase Racial Division? by The Elephant's Child

Economist Walter Williams wrote an important piece Tuesday titled “Challenges for Black People: The frank conversation needed in the black community,” at Frontpage magazine.

President Barack Obama and his first attorney general, Eric Holder, called for an honest conversation about race. Holder even called us “a nation of cowards” because we were unwilling to have a “national conversation” about race. The truth of the matter is there’s been more than a half-century of conversations about race. We do not need more. Instead, black people need to have frank conversations among ourselves, no matter how uncomfortable and embarrassing the topics may be.

Among the nation’s most dangerous cities are Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Baltimore, Memphis, Milwaukee, Birmingham, Newark, Cleveland and Philadelphia. These once-thriving cities are in steep decline. What these cities have in common is that they have large black populations. Also, they have been run by Democrats for nearly a half-century, with blacks having significant political power. Other characteristics these cities share are poorly performing and unsafe schools, poor-quality city services, and declining populations.

Each year, more than 7,000 blacks are murdered. That’s a number greater than white and Hispanic murder victims combined. Blacks of all ages are killed at six times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined. According to the FBI, the police kill about 400 people a year; blacks are roughly one-third of that number. In Chicago alone, so far this year, over 2,000 people have been shot, leaving over 320 dead. It’s a similar tale of mayhem in other predominantly black cities.

Meanwhile, economist Roland G. Fryer, a tenured professor at Harvard University, who is black, has conducted a study of more than a thousand shootings in ten major police jurisdictions: Houston, Austin, Dallas, Los Angeles, Orlando and Jacksonville, were among the cities included in the study.

When the law enforcement data from Houston was isolated, Fryer was able to conclude that law enforcement officers were significantly less likely to shoot black suspects. As Fryer expected, police are more likely to use force towards a black suspect, but his research concluded that based on the statistics, African-American suspects are less likely to be shot in an altercation with law enforcement than suspects of other racial backgrounds. Fryer called it “the most surprising result of my career.”

Meanwhile, President Obama conducted a meeting, which he had called in the wake of the Dallas attack, of his Task Force on  21th Century Policing, which he appointed in December 2014. The task force has now released its one year progress report.

The assignment seems to be keeping the Black Lives Matter story-line going  Here’s how Obama summarized the status of his efforts:

The bad news is, as we saw so painfully this week, that this is really a hard job. We’re not there yet. We’re not even close to being there yet, where we want to be. We’re not at a point yet where communities of color feel confident that their police departments are serving them with dignity and respect and equality. And we’re not at the point yet where police departments feel adequately supported at all levels. (Read his whole statement)

According to observers, Dallas has a very well-run police department. The Chief is black. The officers responded quickly to shots fired, and rushed to protect the Black Lives Matter protesters, unaware that they were the targets, not the protesters.

President Obama has consistently attempted keep black Americans convinced that police are biased, that any failings of the black community can be blamed on racial prejudice, and that blacks are imprisoned unjustly because of bias, not crime. That’s why he is releasing so many from prison, why he wants their voting rights returned, and why he wants to integrate the black community into the suburbs.  Obama has already blamed racism for the two police shootings this week in Louisiana and Minnesota, though racism has not been cited as a cause by any officials.

President Obama met with representatives of several police groups on Monday, just one day before he made a speech in which he mentioned himself more than 40 times, at the memorial the police officers killed in Dallas. When the police representatives told him that he has not done enough to support America’s police forces, Obama rejected their criticism. Joe Biden told CNN that Obama talked about his support, gave a list of statements he had made, but then told the “police groups that they, their members and their police forces are part of a racist law enforcement system.

Progressives say ‘institutional racism’ exists when groups and organizations treat members of one racial group differently from another group, because any average differences between groups — in real-estate ownership, hiring rates or criminality, for example — is supposedly caused by racism.

President Obama said:

“I want to start moving on constructive actions that are actually going to make a difference,” he said during his evening press conference in Poland when he was asked about the Dallas attack.  …

The report urges the federal government to federalize police training and practices, via the use of federal lawsuits, grants and threats to cut federal aid. So far, Obama’s deputies have cajoled and sued more than 30 police jurisdictions to adopt federal rules in a slow-motion creation of a national police system, similar to the slow-motion creation of a federal-run health-sector via Obamacare.

Obama also used the press conference to insulate his federalized police program — and his allies in the Black Live Matter movement — from popular rejection after the five police were murdered by the anti-cop African-American in Dallas.

“The danger is that we somehow think the act of a troubled person speaks to some larger political statement across the country — it doesn’t,” Obama insisted. 

The Left Coast City of Seattle is responding to the “problem” that has been created by the federal government by creating a well-paid job to “fix” the problem. Zero Hedge is reporting that Seattle is hiring a “Race and Social Justice Manager to Achieve Racial Equality. The job will pay between $90,000 and $115,000. Clearly geared at millennial candidates, the posting seeks “any combination of education, experience and measurable performance that demonstrates the capability to perform the duties of this position.”



Iran Is Violating the “Iran Deal”, The Administration Ignores Intelligence. by The Elephant's Child

Germany has passed along intelligence that Iran has accelerated its efforts to buy nuclear materials that would allow it to build a nuclear bomb, but also is trying to purchase  parts that will assist in its missile program, according to the Washington Free Beacon. The Obama administration has declined to comment and told the Free Beacon that it continues to view Iran as complying with the nuclear accord.

Germany’s internal intelligence agency concluded in a recent report that sources have witnessed “extensive Iranian attempts” to procure illicit materials, “especially goods that can be used in the field of nuclear technology,” according to the report. The report appears to show that Iran is not upholding its most critical commitments under the nuclear deal.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it clear this week that the intelligence shows “Iran continued unabated to develop its rocket program in conflict with the relevant provisions of the UN Security Council,” particularly one Security Council resolution that bars Iran from pursuing ballistic missile technology.

Reuters reports that “Iran’s ballistic missile launches ‘are not consistent with the constructive spirit’ of a nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, but it is up to the United Nations Security Council to decide if they violated a resolution,” according to UN Chief Ban Ki-moon.

Bret Stephens writes at the Wall Street Journal that :

The administration is now weighing whether to support Iran’s membership in the World Trade Organization. That would neutralize a future president’s ability to impose sanctions on Iran, since WTO rules would allow Tehran to sue Washington for interfering with trade. The administration has also pushed the Financial Action Task Force, an international body that enforces anti-money-laundering standards, to ease pressure on Iran, which FATF did last month by suspending some restrictions for the next year.

And then there’s the Boeing deal to sell $17.6 billion worth of jets to Iran, which congressional Republicans led by Illinois’s Pete Roskam are trying to stop. Iran uses its civilian fleet to ferry weapons and fighters to its terrorist clients in Syria and Lebanon.

“The administration is trying to lock in the Iran deal and prevent a future president from doing anything, including pushing back on Iran’s malign behavior,” says the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Mark Dubowitz, who knows more about Iran sanctions than anyone in Washington. “Instead of curbing Iran’s worst behavior, the administration effectively facilitates it.”

Mr. Obama continues to regard his Iran Deal as a great triumph, and says that Iran is honoring the nuclear deal, but German intelligence tells  us that Tehran is violating the deal aggressively. Obama promised “unprecedented” inspections, but we’re not allowed to inspect. Obama promised an eight-year ban on Iran’s testing of ballistic missiles, but Tehran immediately and repeatedly violated that ban. but we only mildly protested.

The Obama administration has agreed to buy 32 tons of Iran’s heavy water, a key component in atomic-weapons development. This is supposed to encourage them to stick to the nuclear agreement. We’re also trying to help their international trade. The possibility that their intentions are not pure and peaceful is apparently not part of the “narrative”.

Iran has been waging war with us since 1979, overtly and covertly. Obama just wants to turn over the management of the querulous Middle East to the more enlightened and better educated Persians. The Ayatollah Khomeinei keeps leading chants of Death to Israel, Death to America, but Obama assumes that to be just public relations. Odd kind of PR.




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