American Elephants


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.

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“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://i1.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.



Terminally Annoyed by The Left. by The Elephant's Child

In the waiting room at the veterinarian today,  I was reading the new May copy of the Seattle Met magazine. Featured article concerned the tragic people who hailed from the countries affected by Trump’s travel ban, before it was halted by illegal judicial hold. (The order from the Seattle judge was clearly improper, because the president has clear authority under the Constitution to do precisely what he did.) It was, however, upheld by the 9th Circuit, which is so far left that it has become the most overruled circuit in history. Nevertheless, the magazine apparently went to print before this all became apparent, so their article was intended as a pity piece of how these people were suffering under the abusive Trump order, which only lasted for 6 months in any case.

Some abuse. Some of the seven people were students, another was unable to return home to visit because he then would not be able to get back in the U.S. There was no discussion of how long these people had been in this country, whether they were working/applying for citizenship, illegal or what. It was a sad tale of presidential abuse, and a typical leftist trick of attempting to conflate the entire immigration issue.

The Left wants open borders. They believe that immigrants will be more apt to become Democrat voters, particularly when immigration from countries like Cuba has been halted by the Obama administration. Escaping from a Communist country suggests that they might not automatically become Democrats. Obama worked hard at distributing refugees to voting districts where they might alter the future vote, or where increasing  population numbers would shift the vote.

To achieve their ends, Leftists work hard at failing to distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants, ignore drug-dealing, sex-trafficking, and murderous gangs that have accompanied Obama’s lax border controls. Americans who object to illegal immigrants are supposed to be the bad people, not the illegals (“No human is illegal” say the signs). The fact that most countries have far more restrictive immigration laws than we had under the Obama administration is never mentioned. Mexico has a wall on their southern border, with guard towers, I believe. Canada’s immigration laws are more restrictive than ours. “We are a nation of immigrants” they proclaim, as if that had anything to do with anything. Apparently the United States is the only country in the world that is supposed to have completely open borders, and if you don’t believe that — you are a bad person.

This is false. We are quite entitled to admit those who are most apt to be a benefit or can contribute the most to the United States, and those who most want to become Americans. That is only basic common sense.

The Left wants cheap foreign workers to replace high cost Americans. Disney’s forcing high-tech workers to train their cheaper replacements or risk losing any severance pay was a dramatically ugly act. Wealthy Leftists desire for cheap servants isn’t very attractive either. There are real long-term concerns about Muslim immigrants who want to replace the American constitution with Sharia law—we should never admit anyone who arrives wanting to overthrow our government. You are not a bad person to expect such standards.

These are the tactics of the Left, and the reason for all the names we are called— racist, bigot, nativist, etc. etc. etc. If you do not think their way, you are a bad person. How many times lately have you hesitated in something you thought or said, because of what the Left might think of you?

But then, when we welcome the new dishes and foods immigrants bring as they open restaurants, we are accused of “cultural appropriation,”so there you go.



Who Will Pay for the Great Big Wall? by The Elephant's Child

1200px-us-mexico_border_fencePresident Trump’s  Great Big Wall (popular or unpopular according to your politics) is going to be built. Walls work, if imperfectly. They’ve been working for centuries, see the Great Wall of China. Israel’s wall works well in spite of Palestinian tunnels and efforts to breach. You can’t just put up a wall and expect that the simple barrier will solve all problems. But most of the concern in this country is for the cost of  border wall.

Based on fiscal estimates developed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) for immigrants by education level, NAS calculates the future fiscal balance immigrants create — taxes paid minus costs. NAS reports fiscal balances as “net present values” which places a lower value on future expenditures than on current expenditures.

Based on the NAS data, illegal border-crossers create an average fiscal burden of approximately $74,422 during their lifetimes, excluding any costs for their U.S. born children. If a border wall stopped between 160,000 and 200,000 illegal crossers—9 to 12 percent of those expected to successfully cross in the next decade—the fiscal savings would equal the $12 to $15 billion cost of the wall.

These are estimates, of course, but the current conversation about Trump’s “Great Big Wall” concern only the cost of a wall, the terrain that is difficult or impossible.

Congress passed the Secure Fence Act of 2006. It’s goal was to help secure America’s borders to decrease illegal entry, drug trafficking and security threats by building 700 miles of physical barriers along the Mexico-U.S. border. On January 23, 2008 the 110th Congress introduced Reinstatement of the Secure Fence act of 2008 which called for Homeland Security to put up 700 additional miles. (Died in Committee)

By April 2009, Homeland Security had built about 613 miles of pedestrian fencing and vehicle barriers (low fence and concrete posts as vehicle barriers) More attempts to reintroduce finish the fence regulations 2010, 2012.  Costs exceeded Border Control’s budget. Never built, and some wouldn’t keep out a jackrabbit.

That’s what I could find. The previous administration had no interest in a border fence, nor in keeping border crossers out.  They were more interested in placing illegal immigrants and refugees in congressional districts where they could influence the vote. And contrary to media insistence, lots of ineligible immigrants voted in the election.

Dozens of Ineligible Aliens Voted in Philadelphia.
Examples in Missouri, North Carolina, and Kentucky.
No, It’s Not a Racist plot.

From AEI: “How to turn off the Latin refugee flood at the source




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