American Elephants


Once California Was an Island, Off The Coast of Nova Mexico by The Elephant's Child
February 1, 2018, 9:57 pm
Filed under: History, Latin America, Mexico | Tags: , ,


I thought you might be interested in these historic  maps showing California as an island, off the coast of Nova Mexico. I don’t know the year, but they are writing in Spanish, rather than Aztec symbols, You can see notations for Apaches, Zunis, and Navajos so some exploration had been done. I don’t see any prominent illustration of the Missions, but I can’t read the small print.

I have resisted any snarky comments. You probably should too. :>)

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The Immigration Debate Is Really Just Beginning by The Elephant's Child

I think that many of us who consider ourselves Republicans or Conservatives, have trouble understanding the Progressives, the current terminology since “Liberal” went away. If you think of Republicans as those who believe in a constitutional republic, it’s a little difficult to grasp what they are on about. No, they’re not all Commies. But if you think of Progressivism as a religion, you won’t be far wrong.

Their vocabulary is political and weaponized. The case of the “Dreamers” is an excellent example. There are those who fall under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival  (DACA) who are somewhere around 800,000 strong, and there are “the Dreamers” who seem to be a group of around three million, including MS13, drug dealers and other undesirables along with those who are not “illegals” but “undocumented” as if not having papers was just an accident and they left them at home.

Victor Davis Hanson has an important column today about the “Mythologies of Illegal Immigration“. Do read the whole thing. His home is in the immigrant and illegal immigrant part of California’s Central Valley.

Most of the innocents are presumed to have graduated from college, served in the military and contributed to the nation, rather than the reverse. We are supposed to owe them something because they came here illegally with or without parents when they were little children. They owe us. They have received free schooling, though 8 times more have not graduated from high school than have graduated from college. Only one in a thousand has served in the military. The average age is 25, though many are much older. Here’s Professor Hanson:

“Diversity” is often associated with illegal immigration. In fact, the majority of illegal immigrants come from Latin American and Mexico. They are hardly diverse. Real diversity would be recalibrating immigration to be legal, meritocratic, and aimed at roughly equal representation from Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe—and thus politically unpredictable.

The cargo of illiberal accusations is likewise constructed, given the United States is the most pro-Latino country in the world, Mexico included. Half of all immigrants, both legal and illegal, come either from Mexico or Latin America—a sort of inverse racism that assumes illegal Spanish-speaking immigrants are intrinsically more deserving of U.S. residence than legal immigration applicants from Uganda, South Korea, or Ukraine. …

Strange, too, are the outward theatrics and themes of illegal alien activism—the frequent waving of Mexican flags, the often loud criticism of a generous host country, the usual demands made upon a foreign nation—mysteriously coupled with the overwhelming desire of millions to enter or remain in the supposedly demonic United States. Waving a flag of a country that one does not wish to return to while shunning the flag of a country in which one very much wishes to reside is incoherent.

“More than 500 DACA recipients have been stripped of protections for engaging in criminal acts—including gang activity—and are running free in the United States, say experts.” CIS reports that they have not been deported, and only about 30 percent have been removed or in custody of ICE. There is no record of removal, detention or release for 940 of the Dreamers.

The romantic language of the discussion of the Dreamers, including the name “Dreamer” is confusing the issues, and it’s hard to get to the serious questions of needed legislation. The American people are much more concerned about illegal immigration, our immigration laws, and the reforms needed. Jeff Bezos, head of Amazon, was toying with the idea of offering college scholarships to all the Dreamers. Why would someone offer such a gift to illegal immigrants who may not even be college material while ignoring the needs of many of our own citizens? Virtue signalling? Caught up in the romance of immigration? How are cities and states getting away with Sanctuary designations in defiance of Federal law, and why?

It would be really helpful if we could do away with the romantic and misleading language, and demand straight talk and straight thought about a serious problem and a serious discussion.

Progressives are furious with Schumer for caving in and helping to pass a temporary funding bill for the government. This remains an ongoing problem. You’d probably better call your representatives and let them know what you think.



Senator Schumer’s Shutdown by The Elephant's Child

Well, of course, that was then, and this is now. So it’s different. The matter of “the Dreamers” is urgent, and we must get approval to let them all stay, but not so fast. From the Center for Immigration Studies:

There are an estimated 790,000 DACA recipients in the country. The open border crowd discusses an amnesty for  the “Dreamers” (as opposed to DACA recipients) in order to have an amnesty cover as many of the illegal population as possible. And yes, the “Dreamer” population is probably over 3 million. These numbers, if chain migration is not eliminated, will have huge repercussions for demographics for years, and every study I have ever seen shows this population votes for big government.

But it is not just illegal immigration, it is massive legal immigration and our emphasis on chain migration that is causing a shift in politics.

Did you get that? The open borders crowd is talking about an amnesty for the “Dreamers” a much larger group (over 3 million individuals) of illegal aliens.

Federal immigration policy has allowed about 30 million legal immigrants to settle permanently in the United States since 1980. This has affected all areas of American life, not the least being electoral politics.

Progressives openly debate the immigration issue in political terms. Labor-union official Eliseo Medina, for instance, has promoted amnesty and increased immigration as a means to “expand and solidify the progressive coalition for the future” in order to “create a governing coalition for the long term, not just for an election cycle.”

For the Left, it is all about compassion. It proves to Progressives just how nice they are because they care—and the rest of us don’t. By establishing their compassion for the downtrodden, they have fulfilled their niceness obligation, if any, and can get on with the goal of getting back in control.

Of course much of the government shuts down every weekend. Or do you recall Obama’s big shutdown when he shut down all the National Parks, and spent a bundle to make sure that visitors were unable to even see Mt. Rushmore, and the Honor Flights of Vietnam Veterans were unable to see the monument they had come to Washington D.C. specifically to see. So embarrassing.

So how many legal and illegal immigrants do we need to import? The world population clock says there are 7.8 billion people in the world, but of course we don’t know at all, it’s all guesswork. New immigrants are mostly potential Democrats. That’s because they are mostly Hispanic. Pew has found that 55 percent of Hispanics have a negative view of Capitalism. 75% prefer a bigger government that offers more services, while only 19% favor a smaller government that offers less services. Asians too, prefer bigger government and more services. This is from a 2012 study, but it does provide some fuel for thought.

Free enterprise and capitalism and a market economy are what has made America great. How odd that the Left should be so opposed to that, but of course that is why they are the left. I suspect that they simply do not understand the consequences of their actions, and their analysis stops at the goal of control.

There are four primary sponsors for the DREAM Act, including Democrats Durbin (IL) and Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Republicans Graham (SC) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.). All four sponsors are part of the “Gang of Eight” that introduced the overweening and intellectually dishonest amnesty legislation into the Senate in 2013 only to see it go down in flames in the House.

The projected deficit the legislation would create is huge, and poses serious questions about both Flake’s and Graham’s claims to being fiscal conservatives, as my colleague Art Arthur has already noted. This is from Graham’s official website:

Our immigration system is a mess. Every last bit of it is haywire and it badly needs to be reformed. Many people are seduced by the claims that swirl around the system — we are all immigrants, America is a nation of immigrants, immigrants have contributed so much to America, and so on and on. Some have, some have not. We get caught up in slogans all too easily.

According to the Congressional Budget Office with the Joint Committee on Taxation:

CBO and JCT estimate that changes in direct spending and revenues from enacting S. 1615 [the Senate’s bill number for the DREAM Act] would increase budget deficits by $25.9 billion over the 2018-2027 period, boosting on-budget deficits by $30.6 billion and decreasing off-budget deficits by $4.7 billion over that period.

One of the erroneous facts being reported by the media is that the DACA program expires entirely in March, “a date that Republican leaders have cast as the actual deadline for action.” Not true. There is no deadline, despite the urgency being dredged up by CNN and ABC. Any panic they can arouse will result in click bait for the leftist media.

Just ran out to get something at the Pet Store, and on the radio an announcer was intoning that “we are nearing the second day of the government shutdown” in dramatic fashion, completely unaware that the government essentially shuts down every Friday night, as workers take the weekend off.  The incompetence of the current media never ceases to amaze.



“Dreamers” According to a Leaked Memo Are Critical to Democrats Future Electoral Success by The Elephant's Child

According to Breitbart, a leaked memo from the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a very left-wing organization

https://i0.wp.com/media.breitbart.com/media/2018/01/Leaked-Dem-memo.png

Democrats are urged not to support any 2018 spending bill that does not support a DACA amnesty where illegal aliens are given a path to U.S. citizenship, saying that it will “jeopardize” elections for Democrats, in 2018 and beyond.

The Trump administration has endorsed a DACA amnesty plan that trades legalizing the nearly 800,000 illegal aliens in exchange for mandatory E-Verify, which bars employers from employing illegal aliens, and ending chain migration, where newly naturalized citizens can sponsor an unlimited number of foreign relatives, ending the Diversity Visa Lottery program which randomly imports 50,000 foreign nationals a year, and authorizing the construction of a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border. Democrats loathe the idea of a wall, but Mexico has a wall on their southern border, guarded, so they can keep out immigrants from states like Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras—unless they are just passing through to get to the U.S.

There are a number of pictures available of the wall on the Southern Border. “Snopes” says flatly that there is no wall on the Southern border with with Guatemala, but I’ve never been inclined to believe Snopes, though I’ve never personally seen any Southern Wall, so there you are. This is clearly an era of “fake news”, so we’re all on our own to find reliable sources of information.  I read a while back that a survey of our Hispanic citizens, indicated that a plurality of them wanted the “Dreamers” sent back home. I can’t find that bit of information, so it’s just my possibly faulty memory. The Center for Immigration Studies is the only Think Tank focused on the study of immigration. They are pro-immigrant, but pro-legal immigration. 

Democrats are going to fight on this one.  We’ll see how tough President Trump can be,



Las Bolas de Fuego –loosely translated–Great Balls of Fire by The Elephant's Child

I don’t know about your town, but in mine, fireworks are banned.  No more fireworks stands, no more roman candles, whistling petes or anything else interesting.  That isn’t to say that there are not explosions everywhere on the Fourth of July, but they are illegal explosions.   There are formal fireworks displays, big spectacular ones if you are willing to cope with the drive and the parking. If you miss that excitement, take off for Nejapa, San Salvador on the 31st of August.

There is a festival in Nejapa, called Las Bolas de Fuego.  (Balls of Fire) There are two stories about the festival.  The historical story is about a local volcano called El Playon which erupted in November of 1658, it found the people in the old village and forced them to flee in terror to what is now the location of Nejapa.

Then there is the religious version, where you have San Jeronimo who was fighting the Devil with great balls of fire.  I know, it looks like a riot, but look carefully— they’re all wearing protective gloves and having a wonderful time!



Good News! We Have Lots More Forest Than We Thought by The Elephant's Child

A new survey using high-definition satellite images has found 378 million additional hectares of forest around the globe—it’s as if all of Earth’s forests just grew by 9%.

(The hectare is an SI accepted metric system unit of area equal to 100 ares (10,000 m²) and primarily used in the measurement of land. An acre is about 0.4047 hectare and one hectare contains about 2.47 acres. I don’t do metric, and assume that some of you don’t either. You can also think of it as an area of forest equal to sixty percent of the size of Australia, if that helps)
“The forests have been identified in drylands in the Sahara desert, around the Mediterranean, southern Africa, central India, coastal Australia, western South America, north-east Brazil, northern Columbia and Venezuela and northern parts of Canada and Russia.”
*The image is of coastal Australia.


Venezuelans Are Starving. by The Elephant's Child

Venezuelans are starving. Not the kind of starving when you burst into the well stocked kitchen after a football game and demand a sandwich. This is the real kind where 15 percent of the people are eating garbage in order to survive. Scrounging among the refuse thrown out by the city’s restaurants. A majority of Venezuelans go to bed hungry, mass protests and riots are breaking out across the country, and the despised dictator Nicholas Maduro attempts to dump the Venezuelan constitution in order to tighten his grip on power. The oil rich country desperately lacks the basic resources of medicine and power. Hospitals are dirty, empty of supplies and medicines. Venezuela has plenty of oil, but they cannot afford to take it to market to sell it.

Hugo Chavez was elected in 1999, an authoritarian who locked up his opponents, ended press freedom and paid gangs to intimidate poor communities into supporting him. He  promised that the miracle of socialism would feed the poor, help them to realize their dreams with free health care and education for all. He was celebrated by the usual suspects—Noam Chomsky, Jesse Jackson, Oliver Stone, Michael Moore, Sean Penn, but the only person he managed to enrich was his daughter who has become a billionaire and the wealthiest woman in Latin America. Chavez died in April of 2013.

His chosen successor, Nicholas Maduro, has made even more of a mess of things. Inflation is out of control, and the rebellion of the people is growing apace. In a recent speech to loyalists he announced his plan to arm hundreds of thousands of supporters after a years-long campaign to confiscate civilian owned guns. The highest denomination 100 Bolivar note is now worth abut 3 cents in American dollars. Inflation is expected to rise 1,660% this year, The country’s foreign reserves are down to only $10 billion, Venezuela was once Latin America’s richest country.

Protestors turn out in massive crowds, demanding change. Other pictures show the streets in other directions, equally packed with angry Venezuelans. This particular demonstration was because of Maduro’s attempt to upend the constitution.

Investors Business Daily wrote of the bewilderment of reporters at Venezuela’s descent into extreme poverty. The New York Times blamed it on “low prices for oil, the country’s main export and a drought.”The Los Angeles Times  said that it’s only “anti-government protesters” who blame Venezuela’s problems on the policies of Maduro. The Associated Press says “the oil boom and bust” is to blame for the crisis. USA Today said that the reason Venezuelans were hunting dogs and pigeons for food was because” Although Venezuela has the world’s largest petroleum reserves, the country has suffered from a combination of lower oil prices and tight limits on dollar purchases… and most imports.” No mention of socialism. None. IBD surmises that it’s largely because liberal journalists are infatuated with the idea of socialism.

Here’s how the AP lovingly described Chavez:

a political outsider promising to upset the old order and funnel some of the country’s enormous oil wealth to the poor. Poverty rates fell sharply during his administration, and many people continue to see him as a beloved Robin Hood figure who gave them houses, free health care, better education and a place at the table in government.”

IBD suggests that that list of accomplishments sounds remarkably like the Democratic Party platform.

Socialism does not work. Never has, never will. Reporters who are unwilling to face up to the facts and the history will always look for something, anything to blame when the socialist idea inevitably fails.




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