American Elephants


The Supreme Court Stays Enforcement of Travel Ban Orders by The Elephant's Child

The Supreme Court gave the Trump administration a major victory today. They stayed the orders of two lower courts that blocked enforcement of the president’s revised travel ban. This means that travel from the affected countries can be banned or limited, while the courts continue to process appeals in the two cases.

When a court requests preliminary relief like those at issue here, a key part is the court’s assessment of which party is likely to ultimately prevail. The Court’s two orders today suggest that a solid majority of the Court thinks the travel ban will be valid and enforceable.

Remember that the ban was only on those nations that have produced a significant number of jihadists or terrorists. It was not a ban, as has been claimed by the left a blanket ban on all Muslim nations and an attack on a religion.

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A Fascinating Conversation With a Real Journalist by The Elephant's Child

The state of journalism today seems dire. Too many would-be journalists chasing too little real news. If you are scanning through the days news, there’s way too much ‘he said’, ‘she said’. It’s as if reporters are sitting at home scanning Twitter and trying to find something provacative that someone said. That is neither news, nor useful.

There are a few real journalists around, and one of them is Claudia Rosett. She was a staff writer for the Wall Street Journal for 17 years, and today writes a foreign affairs column for Forbes, and blogs for PJ Media. Her recent work has focused on North Korea, Iran, and the United Nations, but her interests roam worldwide.

Today The Daily Caller News Foundation features a video of an extensive conversation between Claudia Rosett and Ginny Thomas. She pointed out that the 2016 election had nothing to do with Russia, but everything to do with shrinking paychecks, vanishing jobs and over-regulation.

The Democrats’ rhetoric about Trump’s supposed Russian collusion does not match the degree of enthusiasm and flexibility that former President Barack Obama actually displayed to Russia for his entire two terms, Rosett says in this video interview.

She cites: when Obama was caught on a hot mic promising flexibility to Vladimir Putin, shelving missile defense for Europe in a phony “reset” with our dangerous adversary, inadequate pursuit of Edward Snowden who is still hiding in Russia, the imaginary “red line” with Syria that opened the door to Russia being emboldened in the Middle East, the Iran deal that advantaged Russia and their allies on the world scene and the weak response of the U.S. when Russia annexed Crimea, which belonged to Ukraine.

It’s a fascinating conversation, and well worth your time. Get comfortable, put your feet up and enjoy. You’ll feel more confident about your views of the world, and more knowledgeable.



Another Criminal Illegal Immigrant, 20 Times Deported, This Time He’s Going to Prison Instead. by The Elephant's Child

A 31 year-old Mexican man convicted of kidnapping and sexually abusing two Oregon women was just sentenced to 35 years in prison in a Portland, Oregon courthouse. The first attack occurred early on the morning of July 24, when Sergio Jose Martinez entered the home through a window left open to cool the house. He bound and blindfolded the 65 year old woman, sexually assaulted her, stole her purse and car. She called police from a neighbor’s home. Police located the car and put it under surveillance.

While police were watching the car, Martinez was stalking his second victim in a parking garage. He approached her with a knife, made her get into her car, after she attempted to escape he grabbed her and slammed her head repeatedly into the pavement. The woman called for help, Martinez tried to steal her car and fled when it failed to start. Police caught him minutes later.

He had been freed from jail a week before the attacks in spite of an ICE request to hold him so the agency could take him into custody. Oregon became America’s first sanctuary state when it adopted a law in 1987 preventing law enforcement from detaining people who are in the United States illegally but have not broken other laws. Sergio Jose Martinez had previously been deported 20 times.

Here’s a map of the current sanctuary cities/counties/states, which gives you an idea at least. Reminds us of the electoral map, doesn’t it? There is probably no subject that arouses so much passion, so much misinformation, and so many myths.

The Program created by the Obama administration in 2012 granted work permits, identity documents, and relief from deportation to approximately 800,000 illegal immigrants. It granted lawless work permits to adult illegal aliens who claim to have come before age 16 to get Social Security numbers, drivers licenses, EITC eligibility and more.

The Entire illegal DACA program: (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is spoken of in language designed to elicit an emotional response.  They are “Dreamers.” “Brought here against their will,” ” little children,” “can’t be deported because they have no home in their country of origin,” and more. The cutoff age for the little children to get on the list was 31. A roundup of DACA ‘children’ turned up many members of MS13, the criminal Columbian gang. A survey of legal Mexican immigrants was opposed to any DACA amnesty.

The DACA program was designed to be a permanent attack on our nation, our laws and our freedom. Greater numbers of illegal immigrants will affect the census, which will give those states greater influence in the electoral college, will likely be Democrat voters, and give more power to the Democrats. Obama redefined deportation so that anyone refused at the border counted as being deported, even though they never actually got in. When you hear positive numbers on how many people were deported during the Obama administration, take it with a grain of salt.

We now have the “Diversity Visa Lottery.” You will notice the magic word “diversity.”  The Lottery enabled the Uzbek terror suspect’s attack in New York City. Sayfullo Sailpov is the fifth Diversity Visa Lottery recipient to be involved in terrorist acts in the United States. What about the wall? Here’s an interview with Jessica Vaughn on that very subject. It will be built. It is not only needed, but will essentially pay for itself in the reduced costs of illegal immigration.

The Center for Immigration Studies is a think tank centered on the immigration problem. They are pro-immigrant, anti-illegal immigrant, and an excellent source for information on any and all immigration controversies.

There are approximately 4.4 million people who have applied to immigrate to America the legal way. They are on a wait-list. I do not understand what the open borders people want, but it has become increasingly obvious that everything the Progressives do is about power and control. Free people, free markets, free choice, and free speech are just the beginning of the long list of what they oppose. They are annoyed by human nature, and quite sure if we just let them run things everything would be better. They believe in one-world government, I guess, as long as they are in control. Since they are the “elites,” their money and celebrity guarantee them the benefits of freedom, and they don’t care anything about ordinary people.

The people of Venezuela are slowly starving. Nicholas Maduro has been reduced to using food as a weapon to maintain his power. The protests have died down because if you don’t seem to be supportive of his rule, you don’t get any food, and the government controls the food, all of it.



The City of San Francisco Should Have Been On Trial by The Elephant's Child

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was on trial in San Francisco, for the murder on  of Kate Steinle in 2015 , who was walking with her father on the docks when she was shot by Mr. Zarate, an illegal alien who had previously been deported five times. He was back in San Francisco because San Francisco was a “sanctuary city” and he knew he would not be deported from there. America was shocked when the jury refused to convict him  of murder, in any degree, but charged him only with illegal possession of a weapon as a felon. Oh yes, he had a long record.

But the wrong person was really on trial. The City of San Francisco should have been on trial for the murder of Kate Steinle. It was the City of San Francisco that refused to obey the law, and when Immigration and Customs Enforcement asked for him to be held to face deportation rulings, released him instead, so that he could go to the docks and shoot Kate Steinle. San Francisco is very big on what they are now calling “virtue signaling.”

President Trump turned the Steinle case into a rallying cry for immigration enforcement during his run for the presidency. The illegal alien lobby, on the other hand, denied that San Francisco’s sanctuary policy had anything to do with the killing. California strengthened their status as a scofflaw after the Steinle homicide. In October, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB54, the “California Values Act” to turn the entire state into an immigration-enforcement-free-haven for any and all illegal alien criminals.

According to public defender Francisco Ugarte, the blame for the whole case belongs to Donald Trump and anyone who wants to enforce immigration laws.

“From day one, this case was used as a means to foment hate, to foment division and to foment a program of mass deportation. From day one, this case was used as a means to foment hate, to foment division and to foment a program of mass deportation,”

The case, according to Heather MacDonald, was exclusively about immigration. We are a nation of laws, and had this country the means to protect its borders and deport illegal alien criminals, Garcia Zarate would not have been on the Embarcadero on July 1, 2015, and would have been back in Mexico. And Kate Steinle would be alive and getting ready for Christmas with her family.

San Francisco supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer turned the case into a gun control matter. Of course. “I always thought this is not an immigration issue, as Trump made it out to be—this is a gun management issue,” said Sandra Lee Fewer, “A car is not a safe and sexure place to keep a gun, knowing the smount of car break-ins we have in San Francisco”

Why does San Francisco have so many car break-ins? “Because of Proposition 47, which forbids prison sentences for most thefts, which has led to a sharp increase in property crimes. Car break-ins are simply a fact of nature—like illegal immmigration—that society has no power to quell.”

California has long since become another Brazil, divided between fabulously wealthy elites hunkered down in their own coastal sanctuaries and a poor Third World population. The immigration policies that gave rise to the Steinle killing must change. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been conducting an unhearlded effort to end sanctuary jurisdictions, but the illegal alien lawyer’s lobby has foungt him at eery turn. Add to that the Democrat Party and the globalization crowd who want open borders.

The Democrats want more Democrat voters, and even go so far as to want to allow illegal aliens to vote. Election watchers believe that at least 1.1 million illegal aliens voted for Hillary in the last election. Obama was careful to place refugees where they could shift the numbers to affect the electoral college count by increasing population.

The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act sponsored by Virgina congressman Bob Goodlatte would clarify ICE’s authority to enforce federal detainer requests, and would confirm the attorney general’s authority to withhold federal funding from virtue-signalling jurisdictions. It also would allow both the federal government and victims of sanctuary policies to sue sanctuary governments.

MacDonald adds that “while building a border wall is an important part of a sound immigration policy, preserving the rule of law inside the country is even more important. Advocates agenda is clear, they want to stop all deportations and in so doing eviscerate our sovereignty once and for all. Their ultimate aim is to transform the country culturally and demographically. Sanctuary policies are one of their most powerful weapons.”



Class? I’ll Take The “Working Class” Over “The Elites” Any Day by The Elephant's Child

Sociologists like Charles Murray try to understand the people by dividing them up into groups, sometimes by race or ethnic origin, sometimes by class, sometimes by educational attainment, sometimes by income brackets, sometimes by political party. It’s done so that they can get some general ideas by comparing people who have similarities, to see how they are different.

The problem at Middlebury College was the invitation of Dr. Murray to speak. The Southern Poverty Law Center took issue with the idea that he used race as a way to compare and contrast some groups of people. Obviously Dr. Murray was a racist to divide people up by race. You can’t expect a bunch of  today’s college students, to understand how and why Sociologists study  people. They didn’t.

Since Election Day, Democrats have been dividing people up by class. The enlightened and well-to-do city folk naturally voted for Hillary Clinton who was destined to be the first woman president. The working class whites voted for the despicable Trump, obviously because they didn’t know any better.

Working class whites are conceived as those who work in small factories at routine jobs which they hate. They read little, do not have a college education, don’t make very much money, are poorly informed, and inhabit small town America. I’ve seen variations of this description over and over. I’ve even seen drawings of them, bellied up to a bar, drinking beer, exhausted after work. I just don’t recognize these people.

I came from small town America, or rural America if you prefer, and this description doesn’t apply to the people I know. There are people whose forbears came to America with the Puritans and recent immigrants who don’t speak English well. There are doctors and lawyers who prefer a rural practice. There are teachers who can match any scholar who prefer teaching in rural schools. There are ranchers who run hundreds of head of beef, big orchards that supply the demand of the Japanese for good apples who understand international trade quite well.

The pace of life may be a little slower, but there’s time to enjoy the seasons, to get some real reading done. To enjoy life in America. To assume that because people live in the rest of the country rather than in the coastal cities they are somehow less intelligent, poorer, work with their hands, or machines, and live somehow underclass lives is a gross mistake, but that’s what is going on. It may surprise some of our “elites” but a lot of the American people in the rest of the country don’t have a lot of respect for city people, nor for the denizens of Silicon Valley.

So pay no attention to the Democrats. They have no idea who the American people really are, they have no understanding of them, so it’s no wonder they are still posing as “the resistance” and attempting to demean those who have the gall to disagree with them.

The picture at the top is close to where I grew up. The local mountains are considerably higher than anything in the Adirondack chain, though we didn’t think of them as particularly high. If you have this in your back yard, so to speak, why would you want to live in a city with homeless camps under the freeways, safe injection sites for addicts, and an hour’s commute just to get home to your small apartment?

Democrats don’t like the folks on the other side of the aisle. They have been calling us names forever, aside from the regular racist, sexist, homophobe. populist, fascist, they refer to the America outside the coastal cities as “flyover country,” “redneck country”, “hillbilly country,” “the sticks.” “hicksville”, and they are quite sure that all the intelligent people live in the great coastal cities where everyone who matters lives and works.  The most famous slur, of course, was the 1976 New Yorker cover  that just skipped all the messy stuff between 9th Ave. in New York and the Pacific Ocean. It just doesn’t matter in the Leftist scheme of things.

Too bad because there are a lot of wonderful Americans out there in the heartlands. A little knowledge of history would help too, but that isn’t fashionable either. Western Civilization  is no longer taught in most universities, and the curriculum doesn’t deal all that much with American history. At least it seems not to be a required subject.

I guess all the protesters from the Vietnam War who got deferments by staying in school, have become the tenured professors of today, and they are hard at work destroying American higher education.

*Changed the phrasing of the headline to more accurately reflect my meaning.



Understanding the Tax Battle by The Elephant's Child

Here’s a graph with information from the IRS, explained by AEI economist Mark J. Perry that explains some of the confusing parts of the tax questions. Read it carefully until it sinks in.   I asked Bing how many U.S. taxpayers there are, and the best I could come up with was 243 million as of 2013. They apparently haven’t counted up since then, although it seems like a number that would be needed.

But never mind. Do a little math, multiply 243,ooo,ooo by 95%, and 243,000,000 by 01% so you are talking numbers of people or households, and that will give you a sense of what they are talking about with the bottom 95% and top 1%. The standard assumption that we can just soak the very rich doesn’t work. It’s just a helpful exercise. They don’t have enough money to pay all the taxes.

I suspect that most people don’t really know what they pay in taxes. If you work for a corporation or good sized business, you probably have your taxes withheld, and get a total at the end of the year, which you enter on your return and promptly forget. But I may be describing myself, not you.

At any rate Democrats will tell you that the entire Republican tax plan is just a give-away to the very rich. Republicans will try to explain what is actually happening and get so tied up in the complicated explanation that nobody understands anyway.

We have an enormous deficit, thanks to Obama. Baby Boomers in their vast numbers are beginning to retire, so they need more money. I would suggest that since federal pay reportedly is about twice the pay of the rest of us, some pay freezes might be in order.  Just a thought.



Here’s A Sample of What They Are Working On, by The Elephant's Child

Here, from Guy Benson and the Nonpartisan Tax Foundation analysis of the Senate Tax bill. They say “Our results indicate a reduction in tax liability for every scenario we modeled, with some of the largest cuts accruing to moderate-income families with children.” Lower taxes & higher post-tax income across the board…  ( click on the Graph then ‘View Image’)

Do remember that this is very much a work in process, changing before our very eyes, but this gives a sense of where they were at a point in time, which may or may not give you a sense of relief or not. As I said it’s very much a work in process. There are threats to shut down the government, as usual. Recalcitrant senators who won’t vote for if if xxx is not changed, and it has to be agreed upon by both houses. But at least it shows what they are working on, sorta.




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