American Elephants


News Flash ! It’s All Trump’s Fault! by The Elephant's Child

Politico Magazine had an “interesting article” today, under the heading Law and Order: “Yes There’s a Crisis on the Border. And It’s Trump’s Fault.” I don’t usually read Politico, but I was interested because I thought the president was doing a pretty good job against long odds.

The authors had held office in border and customs work in the Obama administration, so perhaps there are some um, partisan feelings, or resentment  of criticism of their terms in office.

Donald Trump has made border security and immigration enforcement a rallying cry of his campaign and the centerpiece of his presidency. But now, as the effects of his immigration policies have become measurable, it is clear to us—three people who have worked on the issue in previous administrations—that Trump is the worst president for border security in the last 30 years.

The border is currently overwhelmed with increasing numbers of migrants, in particular Central American asylum seekers. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reported that 66,450 persons were apprehended between the ports of entry in February, the highest monthly total in a decade. Projections for March are even worse—exceeding 100,000—with experts concerned that monthly totals could exceed 150,000 in the coming months. CBP is reassigning officers from the ports of entry, which are critically understaffed, to help Border Patrol with the crush. CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan has said the immigration system on the border is at “the breaking point.” In response, the president threatened to close the border altogether to legal crossings, a threat he walked back on Thursday and replaced with a “one-year warning” to Mexico.

Despite the administration’s attempts to shift blame for the chaos, make no mistake: It is Donald Trump himself who is responsible. Through misguided policies, political stunts and a failure of leadership, the president has created the conditions that allowed the asylum problem at the border to explode into a crisis. The solution to our current border troubles lies in reforming the U.S. asylum system and immigration courts and helping Central America address its challenges—not in a “big beautiful” wall or shutting down the border. Yet effective action on these issues has been missing. And the president has now so poisoned the political well with his approach that there is little hope of meaningful congressional action until after the next election. Unless the administration changes course, the immigration crisis will only continue to worsen.

These three gentlemen seem to be unaware that people in Honduras and Guatemala are being instructed in their home countries that they can get into the United States if they can get across the border and turn themselves in to the Border Patrol immediately and ask for asylum. They’re told just what to say. These are not people in need of any kind of asylum. It’s a phony request.

There are groups in Honduras, Guatemala and Ecuador who are financing buses, in some cases, and sponsoring the caravans as well. There are smugglers who, for a fee, will get them to a spot where it’s easy to cross. According to our laws, we have to accept their request and give them a date for their court hearing, when they’re obliged to show up, if there is no room to detain them at the border, which has usually been the case recently. Usually they then vanish into the country, never to be seen again. Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer have made it quite clear that they have no intention to rewrite the asylum laws, nor to help President Trump in any way to stem the flow of illegals, who they expect to be voting in the 2020 election – for Democrats,

So it’s Trump’s fault for not changing the laws that only Congress can change? Is there anyone among the new migrants that actually has a valid asylum plea? Very unlikely. An effective border wall will not stop every incursion or border crosser, but it will help the Border Patrol immeasurably to do their job.

Is the Politico article embarrassingly phony? Of course. Fake news intended to damage the president’s efforts, by a partisan media. It’s pretty remarkable to see the amount this president has managed to accomplish with the Mueller investigation hanging over his every effort, and Democrats far from ready to give up or give in to any request. They hate him, they hate his economy, his tax cuts for the rich, Here’s Nancy Pelosi on GOP Tax cuts a while back. Democrats do not understand capitalism at all, nor how it works.

“This GOP tax scam is simply theft, monumental, brazen theft from the American middle class and from every person who aspires to reach it. the GOP tax scam is not a vote for an investment in growth or jobs. It is a vote to install a permanent plutocracy in our nation. They’ll be cheering that later. It does violence to the vision of our Founders. It disrespects the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, who are a large part of our middle class and to whom we owe a future worthy of their sacrifice. And it betrays the future and betrays the aspirations of our children. It demands, it morally demands a no vote from every member of this house of the people.”

And there’s the problem, clearly stated. We do not understand each other and have no desire to do so. We are not speaking the same language.



But Everybody Knows That Trump is .. by The Elephant's Child

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Democrats have been quite certain that their stand on illegal immigration will be popular among Hispanics. Certainly the racism implicit in Trump’s border wall will be meaningful to the people who have come to America from Mexico and  Central America. Everybody knows Trump is a racist.

A new poll by McLaughlin & Associates finds that the president’s approval rating among Hispanics is 50 percent. McLaughlin is a somewht conservative-oriented company, so Powerline checked with other surveys.  A January Marist/NPR/PBS survey put Trump’s approval rating at 50%,  February Morning Consult/Political poll put it at 45 percent, slightly higher than Trump’s overall approval rating, But what….?

But then, back when Obama was setting up the DACA program, it turned out that when Hispanics were asked what they should do with these unaccompanied children, they said to send them right back home! Steve Cortes, who helped lead the Trump Hispanic Advisory Council in 2016, cites three factors: (1) the economy (2) immigration, and (3) social issues. Cortes explains:

Leftist politicians and their media allies wrongly assume that Hispanics espouse softness on immigration illegality. In reality, a 2018 YouGov/Economist poll detailed that only 20% of Hispanics support the practice of “catch and release” of families crossing our border illegally.

Indeed, Hispanic Americans often suffer the worst, most immediate consequences of porous borders. Too often, Hispanic workers must compete against unfair, illegal labor.

In addition, dangerous illegal aliens largely terrorize Hispanic citizens. The tragic tales of MS-13 savagery, for example, normally involve Hispanic victims like Carlos Rivas-Majano, one of 27 people killed by the gang on Long Island, N.Y., in just the past three years. While elites like wannabe-Hispanic Robert Francis O’Rourke pontificate about open borders and tearing down existing border walls, the actual on-the-ground consequences flow to people with names like Hernandez, Cabrera, and Cortes.

Hispanic Americans have suffered too many totally preventable losses, such as slain Arizona police Sgt. Brandon Mendoza and young Los Angeles mother Sandra Duran, both murdered by illegal aliens living in America despite multiple prior arrests in the United States.

Paul Mirengoff added: “The assumption that Republicans must be soft on immigration to do well among Hispanics voters may prove to be another bit of conventional wisdom that Donald Trump destroys.”

“It’s an article of faith among white leftists that President Trump is a racist. He stands accused of being anti-Black and anti-Hispanic.” Where do we get our ideas of just what the “conventional wisdom” is? It’s what the media reports, It’s what the TV is saying, and the internet, Twitter and Facebook and the Hollywood celebrities a-n–d …oh.  I see!   Rather a lot of conventional wisdom has been going by the wayside lately, has it not?



Poisonous Partisan Politics and Propaganda and the Border Crisis by The Elephant's Child

Illegal arrivals at our southern border are at a ten-year high, with no signs of abatement. U.S. authorities say the situation is completely unprecedented and nearing a full-blown crisis.

Democrats clearly want open borders: the Sanctuary cities, refusal to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), issuance of voter registration with drivers’ license applications, and the presence of illegals on most construction sites and waiting out front of Home Depot early in the morning for jobs, among other things, makes it fairly obvious that they oppose border walls and any effort to cut down on the cheap labor they find so useful. Their fight against any border wall, any barrier, and the constant lies about how cruel ICE and the Border Patrol are –”ripping little children from their mothers’ arms,” confirms their partisan political bias.

To the contrary, Border Patrol officers spend a lot of time trying to save lives, rescuing illegals from the rivers, too deep and swift, or stranded in the desert with no water or food, abandoned by smugglers.

The excuses multiply. Walls don’t work! A foolish statement. Why do our penitentaries have walls, why do most countries have walls, why do gardens and playgrounds have walls, why does your office have cubicles? Why do Democrats refuse to support legislation limiting the vote to citizens, and why do they resist any attempt to make voters prove their identity and residence.

According to CBP’s preliminry figures 76,325 illegal aliens were apprehended at the border in February – more than any month in over a decade. A record 40,325 family units arrived. It used to be that illegals were mostly young men who were processed and returned to Mexico within days. Now it is family units who ask for asylum. Now approximtely 25 percent of agents are pulled off the line daily to address the humanitarian crisis, acting as child care providers, and over 1,000 rescues so far this year. There are over 200 cases of mumps in one Texas Detention Center!

It’s that red line! Click on the image, then ‘view image’ to enlarge. From CBP.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says smugglers on the border with Mexico are using “recycling rings” – that is children are passed back across the border to allow other adults to pose as  family units to get entry. Little children are pawns. Family units who ask for asylum are held for 20 days, given a court date and released into the country, never to be seen again, the kids are passed back across the border to aid another asylum request. The “zero tolerance” policy on family separations has just made the sitution worse.



Saving Endangered Species in the World’s Zoos by The Elephant's Child

This is the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s little “Peanut”. He (or she) is  a Tamandua, who was born December 20, 2018. His name is “Mani” which means peanut. The Tamanduas are also called “lesser anteaters.” They have long snouts to sniff out ant, termite and bee colonies. Long claws enable it to dig into nests and a long sticky tongue lets it lick up the insects.  A single Tamandua can eat up to 9,000 ants in a single day! They are native to Spanish speaking countries. They didn’t say how they provide that many ants.

Here’s a wonderful website for days when you are finding the news too depressing. http://www.zooborns.com. Zoos around the world are engaged in helping to preserve endangered species. The website shows off the babies, and often their parent as well. Great fun, cute babies, and you are introduced to all sorts of animals and birds that are new to you. Fun site to prowl around. Enjoy.



The Fernandina giant tortoise is not extinct after all by The Elephant's Child

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Science is on a quest to know everything, a neverending quest, and there are so many things we thought we knew that turn out to be wrong. In spite of all the exploration, we are still finding completely new species, and not just new bugs or flowers.

Take a moment and type “new species” in just over Bob Hope’s head in the sidebar, and see what pops up. I’ve caught some of them, but not all, by a long shot.

Today’s news is the Fernandina giant tortoise. which hasn’t been seen alive since 1906. She has been spotted on her namesake island in the Galápagos, says the government of Ecuador. It was feared that the species was extinct. They describe her as female and say that she may be over 100 years old.

They have taken her to a breeding center on nearby Santa Cruz Island and are searching for a mate. She may not be the sole survivor. The species is known scientifically as Chelonoidis phantasticus.  Fantastic old girl. She’s kind of cute.

The whole article is here, with more pictures, and more information. and aother extinct species — giant bee. Not one you would care to encounter, and very big, but not nearby.

The picture is from the Ecuadorean government, and congratulations to them for this monumental discovery.



See The Border Walls Going Up In New Mexico! by The Elephant's Child

California’s new Leftist Governor Gavin Newsom has been grandstanding about suing the Trump administration over its construction of a forbidding big concrete border wall.  Just yesterday a truck carrying 22 illegal immigrants simply bashed through the existing aging corrugated junk metal fencing with a heavy smuggling vehicle — terrorist style, in San Diego. This is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo;

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President Trump tweeted what may or may not have been a triumphal direct response, but it certainly works like one. Speeded up  bit to get the construction impressively faster to completion. Take that you doubters!

There are people and organizations in Central America urging people there to go to America, and if you have a child with you they will have to let you in, they have shortages now of enough people to fill the jobs, so you will be able to get work. They are told to turn themselves in to the nearest Border Patrol once they cross the border, and ask for asylum. Who’s behind all that ? I don’t know, but it is clear they have had instructions. Is this the Democrats who want more bodies for the 2020 Census? Or the Democrats who want more Democrat voters? Has your district gone Democrat yet? I certainly do not want to suggest that there is anything nefarious about the opposing political party who have been suggesting everything from assassination to impeachment on a daily basis.

ADDENDUM: President Trump asked Congress for $5.5 Billion for an urgently needed border wall, Nancy Pelosi snarkily offered $1. Congress appropriated $!.5 Billion. Mick Mulvaney checked   around the administration, and found $600 million in the Treasury Department in forfeited funds,  $2.5 billion in Defense Department Construction funds, and some they feel that they can spare from other programs, and it adds up to round $8 billion. Naturally, there will be great wailing and gnashing of teeth among the Democrats who can’t stop making fools of themselves, but there you go.



Suggested Reading for Clarifying the Mind by The Elephant's Child
  • From Victor Davis Hanson:”The New Nihilism:” Summing up the Democrats’ response to President Donald J. Trump, and his many, many accomplishments. Not a pretty picture.
  • From Steven Camarota of CIS: “On Immigration, Trump Needs to Focus on the Numbers” For all the talk about the border, the biggest issue is not welfare or illegal immigration per se; it is the total number of immigrants settling in the country ,legally or illegally. Democrats focus on amnesty, Businesses push for ever more guest workers, and the media happily supports both. The national interest and his political future depend on the numbers.
  • From Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner:Border apprehensions jump 84 percent, 606,000 expected this year” a surprising surge. Again, it’s the numbers.
  • From Andrew R. Arthur of CIS:Notes on a Deal I Haven’t Seen: The Pitfalls of Compromise” The fundamental issue behind all of this is the request for crucially needed infrastructure along the border. I mean fences, walls, barriers, drag roads, cameras, sensors and any number of other tools needed by the 18,600 Border Patrol agents who man the 1,954-mile southern border.

We assume that the illegal border-crossers come from Mexico and Central America, many come from the Middle East as well.




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