American Elephants


The Ongoing Struggle over Immigration is — Ongoing by The Elephant's Child

Remember the outcry from the Left when President Trump said he was going to temporarily ban immigration from certain majority Muslim nations? Judges erupted. Can’t do that. Religious freedom. Can’t be banning anyone from coming to the United States. Open borders. We are a nation of immigrants. Give me your tired your poor, your huddled masses etc. etc. National Review commented:—

Trump’s plan, even in its most primitive iterations, always has been based on the entirely commonsensical principle that America’s immigration policy should serve American interests. Taking this as a starting point, Trump laid out a ten-point policy that emphasizes securing the border, enforcing immigration laws, prioritizing the removal of criminal aliens, and creating the legal and economic disincentives necessary to reduce illegal immigration in the long term.

A review of information compiled by a Senate Committee last year revealed that 72 individuals from the seven countries covered in President Trump’s executive order about vetting have been convicted in terror cases since the 2011 attacks. Here are the seven countries involved.

—Somalia: 20
—Yemen: 19
—Iraq: 19
—Syria: 7
—Iran:  4
—Libya: 2
—Sudan: 1
—Total: 72

According to the report, at least 17 individuals entered as refugees from these terror prone areas. Three arrived on student visas and one arrived on a diplomatic visa. At least 25 of these immigrants eventually became citizens, ten were lawful permanent residents and just four were illegal aliens.

These immigrant terrorists lived in at least 16 different states, with the largest number from the terror-associated countries living in New York (10), Minnesota (8), California (8), and Michigan (6). Ironically, Minnesota was one of the states suing to block Trump’s order to pause entries from the terror-associated countries, claiming it harmed the state. At least two of the terrorists were living in Washington, which joined with Minnesota in the lawsuit to block the order.

Thirty-three of the 72 individuals from the seven terror-associated countries were convicted of very serious terror-related crimes, and were sentenced to at least three years imprisonment. The crimes included use of a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit a terror act, material support of a terrorist or terror group, international money laundering conspiracy, possession of explosives or missiles, and unlawful possession of a machine gun.

Trump has renewed his commitment to a physical wall on the southern border, and prototypes are being studied. If the wall significantly cuts back on illegal immigration, it would pay for itself. All those illegal immigrants have costs for this country.

William Voegeli remarked “In contrast to America,countries like Canada and Australia treat immigration the way Harvard treats college admission or the New England Patriots treat the NFL Draft as a way to get the talented that can benefit the institution and keep out the untalented. Here in America we increasingly treat immigration as if it were a sacred civil right possessed by 7 billion foreigners.”

Tom Sowell said: “What should American immigration policy be? It doesn’t matter what any of us think that policy should be if the borders are not secure because whoever wants to come across that border will come anyway, in defiance of whatever the policy might be.
If legal benefits are conferred on illegal immigrants before the border is secured, we may as well give any pretense that have an immigration policy, because benefits conferred are never going to be taken back no matter how porous the border remains.”

No matter how excellent a plan President Trump comes up with, the cries will remain “But We are a nation of immigrants!” The Left wants more bodies to change the demographics for the 2020 election, which will change the electoral college —which is their major concern. They don’t want another election wrongly decided.

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Iran Threatens to Attack All U.S. Bases in the Region by The Elephant's Child

According to Adam Kredo at the Washington Free Beacon, a top Iranian Military commander has threatened to launch ballistic missile strikes on all U.S. bases in the region. The Islamic Republic is anxious to show off their advanced missile capabilities, which is capable of striking U.S forces up to 1,300 miles away, which includes all U.S. bases in the region.

Credit for this debacle goes directly to Barack Obama, who hoped that nobody would notice when he shipped piles of cash ($400 million) in foreign denominations in an unmarked cargo plane to the mullahs in Iran to be delivered at midnight.

The question that was debated was whether the payment ( of $400 million) was actually a ransom paid for the release of American hostages Tehran had abducted, which he hotly denied saying that “we don’t pay ransoms,”  He said the reason that we had to give them cash is because we are so strict in maintaining sanctions and we do not have a banking relationship with Iran.

The sanctions which he wanted to preserve, prohibit Americans and financial institutions from engaging in currency transactions that involve Iran’s government. Iran remains on our government’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.

There is a consensus in Washington that the U.S. needs to “push back” against the Islamic Republic. Nobody seems to want to clarify just what is meant by “push back.” President Trump’s response with cruise missiles in the early morning hours after the Russians had been warned doesn’t suggest the the Trump administration really wants to escalate. Reuel Marc Gerecht summed up the situation back at the end of July for the Hoover Institution. Not hopeful. It remains a very difficult subject.



How the EU went Wrong and Why they did. by The Elephant's Child

George W. Bush gave a speech last Thursday at “The Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In the World” event in New York City. Politico called it a speech on Trumpism, but they were perhaps a bit hasty with their definition. But then, any opportunity to accuse Trump of designated awfulness, is the goal of the current news media.  I had admired George Bush for his ability to avoid speaking out on politics as a past president, especially in not commenting on Obama who had canceled all his executive orders, which must be galling.   I know it’s hard, but we really don’t want to hear from past presidents or past candidates. Their time is past.

We’re having some trouble with definitions, and throwing way too many “isms” around:  nationalism and nativism, for example. The Left, big on wide open borders, prefers to define nativism something evil, as if favoring your own citizens over illegal immigrants is reprehensible? Look up the definition of nativism. Other troublesome words are bigotry, prejudice, civility and incivility, and immigrant and migrant. ABC recently called illegal aliens (illegal: not according to law, alien: owing allegiance to some other nation) to avoid using such negative language, “undocumented citizens.” No, they’re not.

We are living in a time when the difference between undocumented citizens, immigrants and migrants is increasingly important. Europe, because of their cradle-to-grave social welfare benefits, has a declining birthrate. Because they have a declining birthrate, without enough young people working to pay for the cradle-to-grave social welfare benefits they so generously offered in order to get elected, they thought by inviting more immigrants to work and pay for the benefits, they could still prosper. “Poor” Americans have more living space than ordinary Europeans who are not poor. And more amenities.

The inviting immigrants in was a mistake for Europeans. They were feeling sorry for those in Middle Eastern refugee camps, and the well-meant invitation quickly became a flow of migrants from every hell-hole on the planet, and many ordinary countries that just didn’t have the presumed wealth of Europe.

Charles Hill explained how modernity went astray, based on a system that made room for wide cultural diversity based on a judicial doctrine of “the equality of states.”      (Do read Hill’s whole piece linked just above. It’s not long.)

The EU would become a new form of trans-national entity that would eschew war, abolish sovereign borders, exalt diplomacy, and supersede the Westphalian system by offering the world a compelling model of how to dismantle the state by devolving some of its powers downward according to the concept of “subsidiarity” while pulling other powers up into a pan-European bureaucracy in Brussels which, however defined, would not be a state. The EU assured that it was entirely un-religious and noted the care with which the text of its voluminous constitution – unratified – avoided any reference to Europe’s Christian heritage.

Put simply, the EU made itself the epitome of the Modern Age by relentless secularization. Islamism, emerging from the post-World War I collapse of the Ottoman Empire and Caliphate, made itself the vanguard of jihadist religion’s rise to become the implacable adversary of modernity. If Europe is where the siege is to take place, the drawbridge already is up:

Ambassador Hill adds: “Transatlantic unity has been the keystone of the defense and extension of freedom in wartime for a hundred years and must remain so.”

It is not the EU but NATO that has been the key to transatlantic solidarity. Strengthening NATO as a military alliance with political consequences in support of a reformed EU must be at the core of American policy. NATO’s role “out of area” will be vital along with continued efforts to integrate like-minded partners to the extent possible: Russia, Israel, the Gulf Arab states. The Modern Age itself is at stake.



The Iran Deal: What it Is and What it Isn’t by The Elephant's Child

Confusion reigns over every mention of the “Iran Deal.” And it is back in the news and at a moment in time when confusion over every tiny thing about the Trump administration, not to mention the large things, seems to set off what might be called a panic attack in the Democrats. Any ability to talk about such things calmly and seriously has gone by the wayside. It’s some kind of contagious dementia.

Iran is not a friendly Middle Eastern country. They support most of the worlds terrorism and terrorists, are attempting to become a nuclear power, are making trouble wherever they can in the Middle East and elsewhere, and generally fall in the category of bad guys. Very bad guys.

The Obama administration signed a nuclear deal with Iran. It is not a treaty, but just an informal deal to relieve sanctions on Iran if they stop trying to get nuclear weapons. They are supposed to get inspections to see if they are doing what they claim, but that isn’t happening, and everybody’s worried about what will happen, what the Trump administration will do, what can be done or not done. All is confusion.

Frederick W. Kagan, a scholar at AEI on Foreign and Defense Policy, the Middle East and Terrorism in general, has spelled out the facts of the deal and attempted to alleviate the confusion so we have some understanding among the reports from the media, most of whom don’t seem to understand any more than we do.

Do read the whole thing, or better yet print it out or save it. This is going to be a major bone of contention for some time yet, and the Democrats are off the tracks, partly because it was an Obama effort, partly because they are quite sure that Trump is starting a new war, or is too irrational to do the right thing, or is anxious to start something or who knows what catastrophe the evil Trump will devise.  In other words, we need to know what they are talking about. Knowing what they are talking about is the best defense.



Hungry and Demoralized, ISIS Surrenders in Hawija by The Elephant's Child

Yesterday, off in corners of the internet which was all a-flame with the latest accusers of Harvey Weinstein, there was brief mention of the defeat of of ISIS in the northern Iraqi town of Hawija — one of its last strongholds in Iraq. Around 1,000 militants surrendered among signs that the terrorist group is falling apart and unable to defend its territory.

“They’re giving up,” said Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, who commands the coalition task force fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. “Their leaders are abandoning them.”

The fall of Hawija in northern Iraq, after two weeks of fighting, is the latest in a string of defeats for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and suggests the rank-and-file fighters are demoralized as the group struggles to defend what remains of the territory it seized in 2014.

Hawija had been held by about 1,000 militants. As long as they held Hawija they could threaten Kirkuk, a major city east of the town. Coalition airstrikes have been ramping up attacks on the strongholds left in Iraq. Iraqi forces have been built up with help of U.S. arms and equipment, but the decision on when to launch ground operations is made by the Iraqi government.

In July, Iraq announced that Mosul, the country’s second-largest city, was retaken from ISIS after about nine months of intense fighting. Since that decisive battle, the pace of the Islamic State’s decline seems to have quickened.

U.S.-backed forces in Syria have recaptured about three-quarters of Raqqa, the ISIS headquarters, after about four months of fighting in the city.

ISIS reputation for the willingness to fight to the last man and never surrender seems to be gone. Surrendering forces came out with their hands up, saying their leaders have abandoned them. They haven’t been fed and haven’t been paid. Last week the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released an audio demanding his fighters to continue the battle, but they don’t seem to be paying attention.

The fall of Harvey Weinstein may be just as important as the fall of Hawija, but was anyone surprised? Hollywood has long been known as a cesspool. His disgusting trail of victims may be long, but ISIS has been trying to terrorize the world into submission. Beheadings and placing victims in iron cages to drown or burn to death didn’t seem to be a way to entice people to accept Islam. But that is in the far away Middle East, and Weinstein and kneeling football millionaires are here and local.

I don’t know that anyone, at this point, expects the media to act responsibly.



It’s Come to This: It’s Time to Ban Trucks! by The Elephant's Child

Gun Control seems to remain as a feature of the conversation. Conservatives keep explaining (and explaining ) that guns are inanimate objects, and it is the shooter who is the problem, but they will have none of that. It’s the guns they want to control. (Since they seem to think Conservatives live in the backwoods of Southern states and are uneducated hicks, possibly they are afraid we will break out of our hideaways and attack them with our guns?)

I was reminded that a large truck, driven by a Muslim immigrant, plowed into a crowd of people in the southern French city of Nice, killed at least 83 people and left 18 in critical condition. It wounded 458.

The scene in Nice was one of devastation, with the heavy-duty white truck stalled amid the bloodshed on the street, its windows smashed and riddled with bullets from police gunfire.

“I saw bodies flying like bowling pins along its route. Heard noises, cries that I will never forget,” he wrote.

Well, clearly, we should ban trucks. Same mindset.



The Radical Left, Exposed by The Elephant's Child
October 4, 2017, 6:27 am
Filed under: Crime, Law, Media Bias, News, Police, Politics, Progressives, Terrorism | Tags: , ,

Whenever there is a tragic shooting, the Left is ready with their talking points because they have hauled out the gun control theme so often that it is well developed. Gun control has enormous appeal to the Left as its message, because they believe deeply in the efficacy of control.

Much of the Left’s basic program is about control in its many forms, and since Republicans are known as major supporters of gun rights, the Second Amendment (which needs to be repealed) and the NRA. Republicans are low-class rednecks from the deep South, and former members of the military who may have PTSD. They are known to possess dangerous weapons like machine guns, and pose a significant danger to the gentle, peaceful, highly educated people on the Left.

I’m coming to believe that the prompt appearance of talking points, the right words to use, and easy ways to attack Trump, means that those on the Left gratefully don’t have to bother with a lot of reading. With the themes all developed for them, they don’t have to pay much attention to what the other side says. They know they are correct, because they are highly educated, compassionate, empathetic, good people, and those racist, sexist, nasty homophobes are not.

This leaves Leftists in an awkward position because they are not prepared for logical response or probing questions from Conservatives who actually have studied up, searched for the latest statistics, and comments from well informed people. But by then, time will have passed, new talking points will appear and attention will move to other subjects.

Republicans, in general, have not caught on to the focus-group tested vocabulary. They are usually more concerned with central ideas, and will not notice that they are using some focus-group-tested words. An example is calling the illegal alien ‘children’— “Dreamers” who were brought here “against their will”, and they are always described as “children,” though the cut-off age was under 31. They are never described as ‘illegal’ but instead as “undocumented.” ABC in a careless moment called them “undocumented citizens.” That sums up the language problem.

Border agents say that probably 40% to 50 % are fraudulent, but that is not an official statistic. Many lied about their age. Current border crossers have children with them, but they are, so far, not included in the DACA group. Most moms who have raised children know that saying “Well, just this once” is  recipe for disaster.

Any amnesty is an insult to those who have applied legally, following the rules, and are waiting patiently for their turn to be admitted. There is a limit for the number of immigrants who can be admitted in any one year. There are around 4.4 million people on the wait list.




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