American Elephants


Saturday in the Park—Chicago! by The Elephant's Child

Another disturbing toll in dangerous Chicago. At least 21 people were shot this weekend, Friday through Sunday in Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago. The wounded, it is reported, included an 11 year old girl who was shot while standing outside with a 17-year-old girl on Sunday. Someone drove by and just started shooting. The 11 year old was shot in the chest. Last weekend, 28 were shot. Over the weekend of August 18-21 over 50 were shot and six people were killed. Thirty-three were shot over August 10-13, and over 70 were shot August 3 through the morning of August 6, and 11 died of their wounds.  That’s 169 shot on August weekends,17 dead. And nothing much changes?

ADDENDUM: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel has given up hopes of a third term after the numbers of shot, wounded and killed continued to rise over this Labor Day Weekend. At least 25 people were shot and another 6 shot and killed. That carnage is the background for Emmanuel’s decision to pull out of the mayoral race. He was also under pressure over tax hikes and “regular criticisms that he hadn’t done enough to provide more job and economic opportunities on the South and West sides” the areas that have suffered the brunt of the city’s gun crime. There will, of course be cries for banning guns, but long time evidence demonstrates clearly that to fail as a solution. Chicago is often said to have the strictest gun laws in the country, and they have tried to, but the courts keep finding their laws unconstitutional.

City residents can own firearms under special conditions: They must be 21 years old and possess a firearm owner’s identification card and a concealed carry license, issued by the Illinois State Police. Before receiving a concealed carry license, residents must complete a 16 hour training course which includes a gun range test that residents must pass as well as coursework on gun safety. Also a background check and a $150 application fee, and no criminal convictions. Those with concealed carry permits are prohibited from bringing firearms into schools, public parks and playgrounds, government buildings, public transit, and any building with a “no gun” sign or sticker clearly visible at the entrance. They don’t recognize out-of-state-issued concealed-carry permits. As of June, there were 246,769 active concealed-carry permits in Illinois. Those who are just sure that more gun laws will actually prevent much of anything should pay attention.

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The Once Prosperous State of Venezuela. by The Elephant's Child

I didn’t see who came up with this, but it is all too painfully correct. Venezuela was once the richest state in South America, and then Cuba offered to help them out.



Why Are Democrat-Run Cities Such a Mess? by The Elephant's Child

Why are Democrat-run cities such a mess? After every weekend we can expect to hear just how many people or children were shot in Chicago over the weekend. That is appalling, but unfortunately true. Tourist agencies have demanded that San Francisco clean up their streets. The feces problem is becoming well known. Los Angeles has an enormous homeless problem along the fabled Los Angeles river, well publicized. Portland just had riots over their attempt to move an encampment that was protesting ICE at the city’s ICE headquarters.

Here in Seattle, there is a streetcar that runs along the waterfront—slowly. You can get out and walk faster. In any case. the city has ordered new streetcars. Unfortunately the streetcars they ordered are too big for the tracks and too big for the garage where they spend the night. I could go on, but I try never to go into Seattle, nor think about it. The list of screw-ups is long and amusing if you don’t live here.

A recent list, I forget from who, but some large organization found the best run city in the United States to be — Nampa, Idaho. Boise was down at number 9. I come from Idaho originally, so I was pleased, but Idaho is a very Republican state. I started to write a Red State, but the Communist affiliation made me change it.

Chicago is apparently the center for the illegal alien traffic in illegal drugs, and I understood that Trump offered federal help. News from 3 hours ago, “Rahm Emanuel fires back at Trump after President slams city’s crime rate, ‘sanctuary’ status.” Last weekend 60 were shot, but only 4 killed outright. A researcher said that the violence is “virtually all carried out by native-born Americans rather than immigrants.” Chicagoans are demanding that Emmanuel resign. Chicago has a long history of officials that end up in jail, at least that is my impression. (I didn’t check that one out)

Seattle and Portland also have big homeless problems. The mistake, of course, is calling it “homeless” when the problem is addiction. That one is to be solved by safe sites for injecting your drugs with a nurse in attendance. They did build an apartment building for alcoholics a while back, where they could consume their liquor out of the public eye, until it killed them. I don’t know what happened to that big idea. Perhaps the problem is simply the absence of what might be called “tough love.” An insistence on ending the addiction and trying to straighten up. There are numerous organizations here to help the addicted, but expensive residential organizations, not free ones. At the other end of the problem is a push to reduce or void prison terms for drug possession, and to reduce prison terms for inmates. Is the “need to be nice” the reason why Democrat-run cities are such a mess? I have no answers, but it looks like nobody else does either.



Jessica Vaughn on the Question of Abolishing ICE by The Elephant's Child

People saw pictures online of children in cages, children being “torn from the arms of their mothers,” separated from their parents at the border and have chosen to believe that the problem is those people with the ICE and Police labels prominently on their uniforms.  The pictures of children in cages derive from the Obama administration, with the exception of one very little boy clutching onto the screen of a cage, but pictures showing the whole scene show that it was a small group protesting at city hall.

If parents are going to be detained, according to law the children cannot be detained with them. They are very well cared for while their parent’s case is determined.  It was the law in the Bush administration, the Obama administration, and the Trump administration. Some parents choose to leave their children in custody to be united with another family member already in the U.S.

“Leading Democrat politicians have called to abolish ICE– nobody even believes it, they want to abolish ICE,” Trump said last month. “In other words, they want open borders and more crime, and that’s what you’re going to get. You”ll get more crime as you open up those borders.”

Primarily an immigration enforcement agency that doesn’t operate on the border, Immigration an Customs Enforcement still performs other functions. Here are four major facts about ICE, and what could happen if it ceases to exist.

Democrats are pushing sanctuary cities and states, they want more immigrants who will vote Democrat. They don’t care about the drugs coming in, nor the rampage of shootings in Chicago that are terrorizing black neighborhoods. They don’t care about MS-13 — Mara Salvatrucha, the most brutal  gang in the Americas, founded by Salvadorean immigrants in Los Angeles in the 1980s. Heavily represented in California it has spread across the country into at least 43 states. Their motto is “Kill, rape, control.” They do nice things like chop young men up in little pieces with machetes. They target middle and high school students for recruitment.

Democrat want to use the emotional ploys aroused by the idea of little children being “ripped from their mother’s arms” which got a lot of media attention, to suggest that ICE raids are “terrorizing” communities, tearing innocent children, rather than arresting those who have committed violent crimes. It’s hard to understand the cynicism of the Left in their drive for political control.  Anything goes, as long as it gets rid of Trump and puts them back in power. Do study up, so you can understand what is going on.

Here’s the FBI on the MS-13 Threat

—Here’s the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal

—Here’s National Review with “A Tough but Sensible Immigration Policy”



Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez, True Believer, Truly Scary. by The Elephant's Child

DNC Chairman Tom Perez suggests that Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez is the exciting new face of the Democrat Party. Her mother said she’s really excited about running and wants to be President some day. She is indeed, the poster-child for the failure of American Universities. She graduated from Boston University’s College of Arts & Sciences with a BA in economics and international relations. She was 4th in her class, but seems not to have learned any economics whatsoever. But she is a member of the Democratic Socialist Party and was an organizer for Bernie Sanders.

Reading up a little on her, it would be a mistake to fail to take her seriously. She has been a political activist, and had a lot of support from Hispanic organizations. She lied about being from the Bronx which she left at age 5 for a wealthier enclave. Her father was an architect, but he died intestate from lung cancer. She worked two jobs, as a waitress and a bartender, which shows determination and hard work.

She said attending the Standing Rock Sioux protests about the pipeline running near their reservation was a defining moment for her. The tribe was ostensibly afraid the pipeline would contaminate their water supply (highly unlikely). The pipeline did not cross reservation land, nor affect any reservation property, but they worked with Earthjustice against fossil fuels and loved the national attention. The final bill for their protests came to about $43 million. And the debris and mess left by the protesters took up over 20 dumpster loads. I wrote about that protest several times.

Ocasia-Cortez supports progressive policies like Medicare for All, a job guarantee, tuition-free universities and public schools, and said that “for the cost of the GOP’s tax bill, we could forgive ALL the student loan debt in the United States. She favors single-payer healthcare as “a human right.” She says a single government insurer should ensure that every American has insurance—while reducing costs overall. Uh huh. Of course she wants to abolish ICE, calling it “a product of the Bush-era Patriot Act suite of legislation enforcement that takes on more of a paramilitary tone every single day.Just two days before the primary election, she attended a protest at an ICE child detention center in Tomillo, Texas, and supports a “path to citizenship” for all immigrants who entered the United States. She told CNN that she would support the impeachment of President Trump, saying that “I think that, you know, we have the grounds to do it, citing Trump’s violations of the Emoluments Clause.

Other than that she is a self-described hardliner on climate issues, and wants us to transition by 2015 to an electrical grid running on 100% renewable energy production and end the use of fossil fuels. She also calls for a “Green New Deal” in the U.S.

Sigh. I was an English major, but I did learn that the federal government has no money of its own. And if you stack all of our billionaires together, they still don’t have enough money to abolish our taxes and give us all that free stuff. 4th in her class! And she favors guaranteed jobs, that is— federally subsidized jobs, a truly interesting proposal. Good grief, the federal government can’t even do job training.  See James Pethokoukis writing at AEI.

She is out there campaigning hard and promising all sorts of free stuff for the American people, and if everyone has a job and is forced to work, well then, there you are.



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

snoqualmie-falls-e1530651892346.jpg

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.”



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?




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