American Elephants


More Bad Publicity for Seattle and Portland, Well Deserved. by The Elephant's Child

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The beautiful and quiet forests and mountains of the Pacific Northwest won’t protect us anymore. We’re getting national publicity, all of it bad. In this case, it is the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal ‘sLeft Coast Lawlessness: Progressivism is wrecking cities in the Pacific Northwest.” Unfortunately, it’s true. (Do read the whole thing)

The anarchy and disorder dominating progressive cities across the West Coast recently hit a new low in Seattle. King County officials are looking to roll out a “safe injection van,” a legal venue at which addicts could shoot up illegal drugs unhindered and “safely.” The first of its kind in the United States, the van would manage to undermine further the rule of law while also doing little to help addicts. Seattle’s urban decay goes deeper, though, with skyrocketing rates of homelessness, an explosion in opioid usage and deaths, and spikes in violent crime.

Portland doesn’t fare any better, and only today the news reported that police were trying to put down a riot when protesters resisted being removed from camping out around ICE headquarters there for days.

Both cities have big problems with “homelessness,” though the problem is perhaps that the problem in most cases is not the lack of a home. We have an huge increase in opioid use, and deaths, and the spikes in violent crime that go along with the other problems. City planners are industriously trying to build low-income housing in the useless assumption that will solve the problem. Concurrently they are establishing “safe injection sites” and apparently that is not working as promised, so they are rolling out the “safe injection vans.” Supposedly there is a nurse or other medical professional to make sure that they don’t overdose. And if they are nice enough to the addicts, maybe they will accept treatment.

Headline on Fox News: “Seattle cops flee the force in ‘mass exodus’ due to frustrations with the city’s politics, report says.” At least 41 cops have left the Seattle Police Department this year, many of them reportedly citing frustration with the city’s politics and a perceived lack of support from local officials. Some were retirements, but at least 20 have left to find employment at other law enforcement agencies. The frustration over city politics is higher than usual. Kshama Sawant, a very radical city council member, was particularly cited as being especially critical of law enforcement. “A city council member [Sawant] can call two police officers ‘murderers’ and the city pays for her legal fees,” a source said. The Seattle Police Guild said officers have not received a pay raise in three years due to contract negotiations. but said that officers didn’t leave because of money issues —they were just fed up with the politics.

The Seattle Police Department said it would not characterize the departures as a “mass exodus” and noted primly that the department was continuing to recruit officers, including women and minorities.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office released a statement about the importance of public safety and keeping families safe, etc. etc. etc.

The mountains and forests remain beautiful, wildflowers and waterfalls. It’s just the cities that are haywire.

ADDENDUM:  How come they never, never understand that making things nice for addicts will just attract more addicts?When you create a sanctuary city, it does not just protect your current illegals, but invites more to come. When parents complained about the behavior of their kids, the remedy turned out to be what they called “tough love.”

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A Shooting at Maryland’s Capital-Gazette Newspaper, 5 Dead. by The Elephant's Child

A suspect named Jarrod Ramos was identified as the shooter who killed five journalists on Thursday at Maryland’s The Capital-Gazette newspaper. As soon as news of the shooting appeared, journalists were blaming President Trump. Apparently calling the press “fake news” and suggesting that inaccurate news is harmful to the country means he is responsible for someone killing five journalists. This is why they get called “fake news.”

Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security advisor famously said that journalists were easy—they were 28 years old and didn’t know anything. As I mentioned a new Axios/SurveyMonkeyPoll asked ‘How often do you think news sources report news they know to be fake, false or purposely misleading? Democrats 53%, Independents 79%, GOP 92%.  That should be a huge wake-up call to the journalist profession. Won’t happen.

The suspect had a long standing issue with the newspaper, going back years, long before Donald Trump ran for office. How interesting that supposedly unbiased “journalists” would instantly assume that it was Trump’s fault. Or that it would be assumed that Trump was ripping little children from the arms of their mothers, or that Trump was banning travel from Muslim countries because of racist prejudice against Muslims, or that the Wall on the Southern border was a racist effort to keep brown people from Mexico out of the country. So why would anyone think that “fake news” is a problem?



A Huge News Day. Civil War Coming? by The Elephant's Child

A strange, strange news day. Lots of big news and local news as well. Here in Seattle, police officers are quitting the Seattle Police force, and moving to one of the suburbs, or the Sheriffs’ Office. They are fed up with the way they are being treated by the Seattle City Council and the Police Department management. They feel disrespected, over regulated to no purpose, and their safety is not a proper concern. Firemen are also protesting that they are being forced into unsafe situations with large numbers of homeless who are heroin and meth addicts.

In Portland, protesters have been blocking the ICE offices, demanding that ICE be shut down. Camped out around the offices, for some time. Leftist propaganda about separating children from mothers and claims that border control is “racist” are assumed to be fact.

Democrats have more or less lost their minds not just over the retirement of Justice Kennedy, but over the probability that President Trump will nominate another new conservative justice. President Trump will nominate someone who will respect and adhere to the Constitution, but Lefties are sure that it means that the court will end abortion and same-sex marriage, because they assume that all conservatives are ignorant southern racists and bigots.

Back in New York, in a primary election, incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) who was being mentioned as a future candidate for Speaker of the House was defeated by a 28 year-old Bernie Sanders supporting political novice. Crowley was chair of the House Democratic Caucus, and had not faced a primary challenge in 14 years. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez crushed Crowley 57.6% to 42.4%. Exactly what this portends is unclear. It would seem to indicate unhappiness with the existing Congress.

Ocasio-Cortez is a proclaimed Socialist, apparently unaware that the inevitable result of Socialism is Venezuela. Interesting platform: Medicare for all, medicine, vision dental & mental health care. Universal Jobs Guarantee, living wage for everyone. Fully Funded Public Schools & Universities, tax Wall Street to support tuition-free public universities and trade schools. Paid Family and Sick Leave. Housing as a Human Right, safe secure habitable & affordable homes. Justice System Reform : end the War on Drugs, demilitarize our police and abolish for-profit incarceration. Immigration Justice: protect DREAMers & TPS recipients, simplify the paths to citizenship and abolish ICE.  Infrastructural Overhaul: Invest in 100% renewable green industry. Clean Campaign Finance: end corrupting influence of corporate finance in public elections. An Economy of Peace: support our veterans and actively values all humanity. Try not to laugh. This young woman has reached the age of 28 without learning anything whatsoever. The scary thing is that people actually voted for her, which demonstrates the ignorance of the electorate as well. Not the slightest idea of how any of this would be paid for, or even that it would have to be paid for.

New Axios/SurveyMonkeyPoll :  The question — How often do you think news sources report news they know to be fake, false or purposely misleading? Democrats 53%, Independents 79% GOP 92%, Conducted June 15-19.

Important Brief Essay from American Greatness: Liberalism and the Abnormal Trump by Mark Bauerline:

“The enduring triumph of liberalism was not the civil rights movement, women’s liberation, open borders, or even Obergefell v. Hodges. Something more fundamental happened long ago that made those changes possible. Liberalism began when a space was carved out in society wherein people of different beliefs and backgrounds could go about their business without tensions arising.”

RICOCHET: “Do the Democrats Want a Civil War? We Need to Know by Paul A. Rahe.

This seems to be an idea more frequently occurring in the national conversation. Unsettling.

Estimates of the number of guns in private hands in America vary widely. Nobody knows. The Small Arms Survey says 270 million. NPR says 246 million. There were 23 million background checks in 2015 —  3 X as many as in 2000. Probably mostly Republicans.

 



The March for Our Lives Was Not What It Was Cracked Up to Be by The Elephant's Child

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The Left is very fond of “marches”— it feels really good, I guess, to be out being an activist for a cause your really believe in, as much as you believe in much of anything. That’s what the few studies that have been done seem to indicate—that they promote activism, but don’t have much of any effect on legislation. Lots of fellow feeling.

The “March for Our Lives” was, as is usual, not what it was cracked up to be. It wasn’t the voice of a new generation, the voice of the future, but the same middle-aged women from the Women’s March with some photogenic teenagers out front for the cameras. The Women’s March was 85 percent women. The March for Our Lives was 70% women. Only about 10% of the crowd were under 18. The average age of the adults was just under age 49. Only 12 percent of the people who were new to protesting said they were motivated to join the march because of the gun-control issue, though 60 percent of the experienced protesters were. The new protesters were motivated by peace (56 percent) and Trump (42 percent). Anti-War protesters are the most regular protesters. Lefty protests don’t really care about gun control, they hate Trump, the Right, and want the “U.S. Out of Everywhere” and the “Jews Out of Palestine.”

Daniel Greenfield did a marvelous job of digging out just who were the organizers and sponsors, and who directed the March. The kids who participated did not raid their piggy banks to get to the march. There were millions behind the funds.  The March for Our Lives Action Fund was overseen by six directors and incorporated in Delaware. Everytown for Gun Safety was formed out of two other groups: Moms Demand Action and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Both of which are front groups for Michael Bloomberg, the lefty billionaire, and the group is really New York City. Lots of long-time activist professionals to direct the events, from Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. Florida was notably absent from the supporters. Lots of the usual Hollywood crowd.

Do read the whole thing to get an understanding of how these things work.  It has very little to do with Parkland. The mass shooting by Nikolas Cruz, which was badly fumbled and should have been prevented by the FBI. the Sheriff’s Office, the School District officials, or the school itself, who should be held responsible. Most of the participants have little idea of what actually went on. They shout about assault rifles, with no idea that there is no such thing, just ordinary rifles dressed up with some extra accessories to make them look sexier. The NRA is not some evil organization that sells guns. They support the second amendment and the shooting sports. Where I came from, people counted on hunting to fill the freezer for the winter. Others hunt ducks, or wild boar, or skeet.

 



The Children of Parkland, Used Again by The Elephant's Child

The children of Parkland have been out demonstrating today for gun control. Not that they have any idea what that means or what if anything it would do for school safety. The people who are paying for the demonstrations and the transportation and the microphones have chosen to remain anonymous and invisible behind protective regulations.

Nikolas Cruz is variously called a monster, a nut-case and other expletives, but no one mentions his years of crying for help. He was adopted, and his adoptive father died early, his mother died more recently. He threatened kids at school, the girl he liked dumped him. He was said to have abused animals. He was sent to a program for mental health. He was expelled from school. The school said specifically that he was not to be allowed on the premises with a backpack. He mentioned wanting to do a school shooting. This is what I have gleaned from the reporting. It seems that the school was aware that they had reason to be suspicious and watchful, but chose for some reason not to do anything about it at all.

That reluctance has been blamed on the Obama administration’s regulations about not removing students who might fit the “school to prison pipeline” theme, and schools are afraid of being designated as racist, and Nikolas Cruz was designated as Hispanic. Kids don’t know enough to say “I need help”— so they act out. Most parents are aware of that, aren’t they?

The FBI was warned twice, and did not act on the warnings. The school knew, and did not act on the warnings. The Sheriff’s office was warned. The deputies remained outside while the school shooting went on.

Democrats are far more interested in promoting marches, and using the kids of Parkland for the emotional push of children. They want the NRA abolished, because they do a little lobbying on behalf of the Second Amendment, and donate a little to the Republican Party, far less than Planned Parenthood  gives to Democrats.

Lax gun laws are not the problem. The Miami Herald Sun-Sentinel, has been documenting how federal, state and local authorities simply failed to enforce the law, or simply kicked the can down the road. Police visited Cruz’s home over 30 times and were warned that he had threatened people with guns before. He bought the rifle  shortly after he was expelled in February of 2017.

I was curious, so I investigated briefly online to see if there have been any studies to determine the effectiveness of marches and demonstrations. Not much. What little there appears to be suggests that marches tend to make the participants more apt to be activists, but there is no influence on governmental actions or legislation.

Those who are so sure that banning guns is the answer have never made the slightest effort to see what is known  about that. The producers of this video put out a casting call, and asked the actors to cold read statistical truths about guns and crime in the United States.

Most people who are familiar with guns and the debate are familiar with these statistics. Most of those shrieking about “gun violence” are not. They might have asked what the NRA is, and what it does. Or perhaps what the AR in AR-15 stands for, to see how many think it stands for Assault Rifle. It doesn’t.



The Left Sometimes Just Goes Too Far by The Elephant's Child

John Hinderraker at Powerline had a good piece on “the  Despicable Misuse of Children.”

Today students were excused from classrooms all across America to participate in demonstrations in favor of firearms bans of one sort or another. These were anything but spontaneous actions organized by children. Rather, the anti-gun demonstrations were condoned, if not sponsored, by school administrations that are almost universally liberal. And the teachers’ unions played a part too. The National Education Association issued a statement that included this:

Since the horrific shootings in Parkland, Florida, students across the country have launched an inspired movement to demand long overdue action on school safety and gun control. NEA, its affiliates, and members throughout Florida and the nation, support these calls to prevent further school massacres.

Ironically, the demonstrations in favor of school safety featured, in some instances, attacks on non-conforming students. At one Minneapolis high school, two students stood apart from the throng calling for more gun control. One of them carried a sign that said “Blame the Culture, Not Guns.” The other carried a Donald Trump banner. He was cursed, pursued, knocked down and beaten up by “pro-school safety” demonstrators. School officials, who purport to be so concerned with the safety of their students, did nothing to intervene.

Kids are in school because they don’t know very much yet. I’m sure they feel badly about the horrific attack on Parkland, Florida. They may even be alarmed about their own safety. Their chances of an actual school shooting are something like one in 641,000,000. Unfamiliar with history, they are probably unaware that we have tried gun control before, both locally and nationally, and it accomplished nothing at all. In spite of the screeches of the Left,  gun control has not worked anywhere it has been tried, including in Australia, where they confiscated all the guns.

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Most of the deaths from guns nationally, are suicides. Fully automatic weapons have been banned for years. Violent crime has been declining steadily since the early 1990s. The 2011 rate was almost half of the rate in 1991, and the 2013 rate was half of the rate in 1993.

The well-meaning kids had signs to carry that they had proudly made themselves. This one,from Twitchy shows how clueless the kids are.

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Other notable ones were “The Second Amendment isn’t meant to protect our citizens” and “De-Militarize the Police,” along with “Give us Our Reparations.” Well, I’m sure it was an exciting time for the kids and they got to miss time in school. Wiser parents kept their kids at home.

The Left’s hijacking our children for their own political purposes is disgusting.



California’s Sanctuary Laws Are Unconstitutional by The Elephant's Child

California’s Governor Jerry Brown ran for the nearest microphone to shriek that the Trump administration “is basically going to war against the state of California.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions filed a lawsuit Tuesday against California’s sanctuary state laws. There are three in particular: The Immigrant Worker Protection Act (HB 450); the Inspection and Review of Facilities Housing Federal Detainees law (AB 103); and the California Values Act (SB54). The Trump administration argues that the California laws are unconstitutional under the Supremacy Clause, which states that federal law “shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” The laws prevent corporations and prisons from cooperating with federal authorities.

Governor Jerry Brown tweeted, “At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America. Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don’t work here. SAD!!!”

A Survey USA/KPIX poll conducted last week after Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warned illegal immigrants last week about potential ICE raids. ICE detained more than 200 illegals last week, but a potential 800 illegals, many of whom are criminals escaped. The poll found that 61% in the San Francisco Bay Area — including 65% of whites, 61% Blacks, 59% Hispanics and 53% of Asians — believe local police should help federal authorities detain illegal immigrants. This is not surprising.

Democrats are anxious to increase the numbers of immigrants, particularly Hispanics, because they are apt to vote Democrat as they usually choose a government that offers more services. The American people clearly want the numbers of illegal immigrants cut back sharply. The Democrats are still calling them “undocumented” rather than “illegal” which is telling. And trying to deny the crimes committed.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions flew to California this morning to meet with the California Peace Officers Association, a group that has opposed the State’s sanctuary stance consistently. They have to deal with the criminals. Sessions said:

There is no nullification. There is no secession. Federal law is ‘the supreme law of the land.’  I invite any doubters to Gettysburg, and to the graves of John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln.

California may top the list of badly managed states. The U-Haul measurement shows a steady outflow of people and businesses. Jerry Brown’s high-speed train to nowhere continues to bankrupt the state, the wildfires this last year that devastated the state were unnecessary because of failure to remove dry undergrowth, water problems led to the Oroville Dam disaster and also to the water needs of the great Central Valley which was the breadbasket of the country. San Francisco streets are filled with human feces and homeless. Los Angeles has tried to tackle the removal of a city of homeless camped along the Los Angeles river. But as long as Silicon Valley is happy, the rest of the state can go hang. The freeways are filled with potholes, I am told. I lived in California for too many years and loathe the state. But many like the weather and the beaches. Jerry Brown huffed:

This is really unprecedented for the chief law enforcement officer of the United States to come out to California and act more like Fox News than a law enforcement officer. This is a political stunt,” Brown said. “We know the Trump administration is full of liars. They’ve pled guilty already to the special counsel.”

“This is basically going to war against the state of California, the engine of the American economy. It’s not wise, it’s not right, and it will not stand,” Brown said.

Here’s the Supremacy Clause — Article VI, second clause:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.




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