American Elephants


It’s Not About Your Feelings. It’s About the Facts and Solutions. by The Elephant's Child

Now I’m getting irritated. This entire problem of illegal aliens and their children is getting warped far beyond any resemblance to facts. Did you know that the Canadians have sent people down to our southern border to inform illegals that they are not welcome in Canada, and to not even think of trying to cross the U.S. northern border into Canada. Surely you saw all the newspaper headlines explaining how cruel and inhumane the Canadians are, didn’t you? Comparing Prime Minister Trudeau to Hitler, Canadian border guards to concentration camp guards? Hmmnn?

We do not yet have a wall on the southern border with Mexico. Mexico is at its very widest at the border with the United States, at about 2,000 miles. Nobody is proposing to build a wall along the entire border. We have some fencing, but an athletic young man can scale the fence. Some parts of the border are inaccessible.  A good portion of the problem is not border crossers from Mexico, but people from other Central American countries, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. But the current problem about illegal immigration is not about people crossing the border illegally, avoiding the legal crossing stations. It’s about the emotional horror of innocent little children being “ripped” from the arms of their mothers. Democrats must rely on emotional language to persuade, to enlist compassion,  for they are terminally short on actual facts or useful ideas.

It has been explained that illegals who cross the border uninvited are breaking the law, and committing a crime. They will be detained. It is against the law to imprison children with their parents. The law must be changed, the Democrats insist. Just how it must be changed is not clear. Do we want it made legal to put the kids in prison with their parents? O.K. that solution is out. Do we want to just admit the illegal aliens with their children? Insist they return for an immigration hearing when called? Unfortunately that doesn’t work either. They don’t turn up for their hearings, they have already melted into the general population. Many adult illegals steal real or  buy fake Social Security cards so they can get above the table jobs. What is it that you want Congress to change? Just make our Southern border open to all? If you think the taxes your city or state have imposed on you for building homes for the “homeless”, try to conceive of 70,000 or more illegals a year swarming into our cities, and the changes that would make.

How do we determine if the adults with children are actually their real parents or are traffickers? The Obama administration could not figure out how to vet them, and many children ended up in horrendous circumstances. You want the law changed so that children are not “ripped from their mother’s arms”—to what? Show up with a child and you get in? Really? That’s why Democrats have talking points designed to elicit emotions of compassion. Lately we have had large groups of Bangladeshis illegally crossing the border. President Obama’s illegal 2012 DACA amnesty meant a big increase in the numbers trying to cross the border for another amnesty.

If you have a real good idea about how we should fix all this, you might pass your ideas on to your representatives. They seem a little short on good ideas too.

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If America Is So Awful, Why Are They So Eager to Increase Immigration? by The Elephant's Child

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Heather MacDonald addresses “America the Horrible?” Progressives say the the United States is racist and misogynist. Why then do they want everyone in the world to come here? Nancy Pelosi just stumbled through a response to a question that said that asylum seekers were different, and immigrants brought wonderful gifts to the country. So why are they so eager to increase immigration if America is such a dreadful country?

American women live under a suffocating patriarchy. Rape culture flourishes in the United States. Toxic masculinity stunts the emotional and professional growth of American females. Sexual harassment and predation are ubiquitous in American workplaces. College campuses are maelstroms of sexual violence. Female students need safe spaces where they can escape abusive male power.

These propositions are self-evident to a large, interlocking establishment of government bureaucrats, progressive politicians, college administrators, faculty, “activists,” professionals, and journalists. Yet this same establishment is up in arms over a recent declaration by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that female aliens caught trying to enter the country illegally will no longer be automatically considered for asylum by dint of claiming that they are victims of domestic abuse. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accuses the Trump administration of “staggering cruelty” in condemning “vulnerable innocent women to a lifetime of violence and even death.” The American Bar Association charged that Sessions would “further victimize those most in need of protection.” The executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Benjamin Johnson, denounced “this shameful chapter in our country’s history,” and promised a lawsuit.

Sessions was right to return asylum law to its original intent: offering protection to individuals persecuted by their government for membership in a socially distinct group. Domestic violence is a private crime, not a public one, and does not reflect general persecution of the sort that international law has codified as appropriate for asylum petitions. Asylum petitions have mushroomed 1,700 percent from 2008 to 2016, according to the New York Times, driven in significant part by domestic-abuse claims, often underwritten by extensive coaching and encouragement by hard-left advocates.

But why should social-justice warriors want to subject these potential asylees to the horrors of America? In coming to the U.S., if you believe the dominant feminist narrative, the female aliens would simply be exchanging their local violent patriarchy for a new one. Indeed, it should be a mystery to these committed progressives why any Third World resident would seek to enter the United States. Not only is rape culture pervasive in the U.S., but the very lifeblood of America is the destruction of “black bodies,” in the words of media star Ta-Nehesi Coates. Surely, a Third World person of color would be better off staying in his home country, where he is free from genocidal whiteness and the murderous legacy of Western civilization and Enlightenment values.

Do read the whole thing. Heather MacDonald is a reliable author and always has something important to say. She can usually be found at city-journal.org, where she is a fellow.



Looks Like There Really Is a Swamp Down Here by The Elephant's Child

The breathlessly awaited Inspector General’s report has been released, and Singapore has vanished from the news. The report is some 600 pages long, so everybody is frantically trying to read it all very quickly, and only dribs and drabs are getting out. Those who hoped to see James Comey off to jail promptly will be disappointed. It is quite clear that there has been some improper behavior, but how much and who and whether it amounts to anything significant remains to be seen. Be patient.

What is clear is that there is indeed a swamp. Too many people who have been around too long, feel entitled, and have lost their sense of being servants of the people of the United States working to make the country better have got it all backwards. They believe they are in charge, and entitled to run the show. Throw in a goodly mixture of hard left bias learned from the faculties of the nation’s colleges and universities, and you have a glimpse of the problems. The media suffer from the same delusions. It ‘s going to take some real work to put it all back together.

 



Here’s Why City Councils Often Become National Laughingstocks by The Elephant's Child

When people get interested in actually doing politics, some start near the beginning and run for their local city council.  Perhaps that is why City Councils so frequently make the national news for some dumb thing they have done. The Seattle City Council is an excellent example. Seattle has a major “homeless” problem, so of course they want to help give them homes.

I should note that I put “homeless” in quotes, because for the most part their problems are not a lack of a home, but drug addiction, uncontrolled alcoholism, mental illness. Some, it is reported, just like living on the street and don’t want to be controlled.  Call them “street people.”

Seattle property is currently very expensive, and becoming more so rapidly. So building homes for the “homeless” requires a hike in taxes. Problem is that we already are very thoroughly taxed. The Washington State Constitution forbids an income tax (which the bureaucrats keep trying to repeal) so they have to find somewhere else to tax. We have a significant sales tax, car taxes are at absurd levels, and property taxes are so far through the roof that people are leaving the state for more welcoming venues. But homes, homes, we need homes for the” homeless”!

The Seattle City Council’s initial solution was a “head tax” on the employees of “Big Business, those companies making $20 million or more like  Amazon, Boeing, Starbucks and others who have their headquarters in Seattle. (Boeing has moved their headquarters to Chicago, so perhaps they don’t count) In any case, the lefty supporters insisted that large companies like Starbucks and Amazon have contributed to Seattle’s homelessness by driving up rent and home prices.

They started off with a $500 “head tax” per employee, but new mayor Jenny Durkan undoubtedly heard for several weeks in no uncertain terms from a few of those big companies. The City Council reduced the tax to a $275 tax per-employee. Amazon has around 222,400 employees. National reporters love stories poking fun at bureaucrats, and the story spread across the country and anyone with the most basic familiarity with economics, which excludes most lefties, had a good laugh at the stupidity. (What happens in a company when a city council imposes a huge tax? Do they simply write a check? Amazon is already reported to be looking for another city for a “second” headquarters.) You can do the multiplication yourself.

Mayor Durkan and some members of the Seattle City Council have beat a hasty retreat. No “head tax”, they’ll think of something else. I’m not sure they’re open to suggestions, though I’m sure there are plenty of them out there.

 



“Fake News”, Poison Pen, and “Journalism” Today by The Elephant's Child

Here is an article I ran across this morning from The New York Times that is a perfect example of the loony “resistance.” If you want an example of why the president tweets about “fake news”, here you go. Ideally, I would love to see you print it out, take a red pencil, and underline each word and phrase that is poisonously partisan, false, slanted or just plain untrue.  So and so “are said to be thinking”— oh yeah? Who said they “are said”? “Last week, Mr Kelly told senators that the White House was “a miserable place to work”— so what? Many people have said or thought that about their workplace many times when exasperated without it being front page news for the NYT. Sometimes work is hard. That’s why they call it “work.”

Anything that can be phrased to carry a negative connotation is. Anything that can be described in a way unflattering to the President is. The entire article is a perfect example of the poisonous possibilities of the pen—how can you attempt to demonize with every word, every unsourced statement, and snide assumption, and still be considered “a reporter.” I almost never read anything  in the NYT, but occasionally read the headlines to see if anything has changed. But for East Coast lefties—this is what is happening, and what is real. And this is what the President must face every day. That he only responds by calling some of it “fake news” is really quite amazing.

Donald Trump was considered unfit for the presidency by many, who thought of him as a reality TV star. He did do that for fun for a while. Yet we consider a House or Senate term as an excellent qualification for office. So they voted Yea or Nay a number of times and sat through speeches and hearings and contributed what? In Hillary’s case, I read that her only bill during her term in the senate was to name a new Post Office.

Mr.Trump, on the other hand, built things in New York City and environs, doing battle with zoning bureaucrats, regulators, councilmen, lawyers, unions, mob bosses, city councils,  accountants, environmentalists, traffic regulators, pages and pages of regulations, state officials, and who knows what else, and still managed to get things built and make money at it. Sounds like a fairly good course in doing government, but of course doesn’t rate the approval of those who consider him not quite their class, with orange hair and too tanned complexion, and someone who speaks like a person in the construction trades from Queens.

If you did the red pencil thing, or not, now watch the Victor Davis Hanson speech, and think about today’s world. President Trump has surpassed 3% growth, some are expecting it to hit 4% soon. Black unemployment is at the lowest rate ever, and white unemployment is decreasing as well. Business is growing with tax relief and the removal of unnecessary and expensive regulations. The list of accomplishments is growing daily in spite of all the attacks. Tom Steyer is still out there spending millions to try to get the President impeached. And the slowly unwinding story of collusion and Russia and the CIA, Justice, the FBI, the Intelligence Committees of House and Senate, continue to reveal the seamier side of government.



Victor Davis Hanson on the First Six Months of Trump by The Elephant's Child

A very odd and unappealing opening visual. Here is Victor Davis Hanson speaking at Hillsdale College about the Trump Administration and what is working and why and why not.  It’s a little long, but worth every minute. I am a great admirer of Victor Hanson. He thinks clearly, informed deeply by his studies in history and the classics to consider the big picture and how the little events of our times fit in.

It seemed to fit nicely with the absurd New York Times article posted just above. An excellent view of where we are and why. Enjoy.



Civil Disobedience Meets Corporate Marketing by The Elephant's Child

Summertime. The Country Time Lemonade company is teaching American business how to do public relations. Every summer lately, we hear outrageous stories about petty bureaucrats who shut down little kids’ lemonade stands because they don’t have the right permits. This summer might just be different.

Country Time has announced an ingenious summer promotional campaign. They want your kids to be entrepreneurs and open lemonade stands. If City Inspectors come calling, Country Time will cover the cost of fines and permit fees. Great advertising for Country Time, good publicity.

Rather different from the oligarchs in Silicon Valley who are hiring the Southern Poverty Law Center to tell them which are Conservatives doing “hate speech.” For the infamous SPLC anything said or written by a conservative is “hate speech.”




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