American Elephants


The Campaign, Such as it Is, Drags On, With Occasional Incidents by The Elephant's Child

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It’s been a bad few weeks for Hillary. Her health has become a serious question. She is the oldest person the Democrat Party has ever nominated. Her collapse yesterday was blamed on a recently diagnosed case of pneumonia which may have been chosen to cover  her extraordinary coughing fits. Pneumonia is contagious. Unfortunately Hillary lies so much that one can no longer believe much of anything she or her retainers say.

Hillary so desperately wants to be president. She was furious when the people would not allow her to be co-president with Bill. But it has always seemed that she wants to be, not to do. She wants the power and prestige — the amenities, the deference, the luxury and opulence. That’s what the email scandal has been all about, is the extraordinary lengths to which she would go to use her office to enrich herself and her family.  What she  has suggested she wants to do on the campaign trail is simply a package of the same things Obama has done, only more so.

It takes an incredible lack of understanding of the American economy to even suggest free college education. The absurd cost of an education is in good part due to governmental interference. You respect the things you have to work for, and the harder you have to work, the more you care. It is going to take an extraordinary effort to put the country back together in the wake of Obama.

The world is a very dangerous place right now, and Obama’s strange progressive idea of fundamentally transforming the United States of America into something more modest, just another country, less militarily capable, always seemed mostly related to the anti-American ideas of liberal Europeans. That seemed not just weird, but wrong.

How much has Obama’s spending added to the national debt (which just cruised past $19 trillion)? There are so many ways of calculating that it’s hard to tell. This post gives three different ways of calculating. The leftist press excuses all and blames Bush. I’ll use Zero Hedge, who isn’t interested in blame, but economics, writing on February 1, 2016.

Hillary fell some months ago, had a severe concussion, with blood clots on the brain, and took months to recover. Some are suggesting that she has Parkinsons, a suggestion that has come from several people. Some are suggesting that the DNC needs to replace her. The lapdog media is leaping to her defense, though even the most defensive are suggesting that she needs to release her medical records. She doesn’t get to use sympathy for pneumonia as an excuse for calling Republicans racist, intolerant bigots. She is not a victim.

We don’t know quite what to do with candidates who seem unhealthy.We expect a lot from our presidents, and those who remember their history recall President Wilson’s stroke and his wife being president for him in his last term. We mostly like our presidents better at the beginning than in their final years. We expected more and they just turned out to be ordinary flawed human beings who make big mistakes.

The opposing party readily exposes every lapse of judgment. But surely we have a right to expect that a president comes to office knowledgeable in American history and about the current world situation. Familiar with economics and loving our country and its people, and with some kind of idea about who are the outstanding people in their field and who they want to help them with the task ahead. We’ll see.



Immigration Is A Lot Bigger Problem Than We Realize! by The Elephant's Child

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We are all aware of the problem of illegal immigration at our own Southern border, and of the various euphemisms used to disguise the term “illegal alien” which is not a slander, but accurate terminology as defined by the dictionary, in this case — Merriam Webster:

illegal, il•le•gal, adjective:  not allowed by law.
not according to or authorized by law.

alien, noun:  a person who was born in a different country and is not  a citizen of the county in which he now lives. A foreign born resident who has not been naturalized and is still a subject or citizen of a foreign country.

Straightforward and accurately descriptive. Let’s dispense with the meaningless politically correct euphemisms.

Europe is suffering from our same problems, but a lot more so. Angela Merkel has finally admitted that Germany and the EU have bungled the refugee crisis. German intelligence has acknowledged that ISIS “sleeper cells” have infiltrated the country disguised as refugees. But that’s only the beginning.

The American Interest notes that  “As Migrant Deal Falters,Strains on EU’s Underbelly Grow.” On average, the number of people landing on Greek islands has risen to about 100 a day in August, up from fewer than 50 a day in May and June. About 460 people landed on Greek islands on Monday, a number Greece hasn’t experienced since early April.

The traffic is still far below daily peaks of 6,800 in October last year. But the rising numbers are making Greek and EU officials worried that the fragile deal with Turkey—aimed at returning almost all who land on Greek shores—could break down. Mr. Erdogan is not currently in a getting along with the West mood.

German asylum seekers refuse to work insisting “we are Merkel’s GUESTS.” While asylum seekers are not allowed to work under immigration rules within the EU, they are allowed to do voluntary work.

However officials in the district of Zwickau came up with a plan to help encourage those without employment to get back to work and to help them become more accepted within the local community.

Girls are disappearing from school as Germany has logged over 1,000 child marriages to older men, and there may be many more unreported marriages. Some as young as 11. And that ‘s just some of the reported problems.

An excellent article from Ted R. Bromund at the Hoover Institution: How Should Europe Respond to Islamism?” He points out that the standard of border control is effectively that of its least capable member i.e. Greece.

If Islamism’s first challenge to Europe is to its uncontrolled borders, the second, and far more serious, is to its society and culture once those borders have been crossed. Over the coming years, we can expect to see all manner of pleas for a unified European approach to combating Islamism. What we will not see is any serious effort to deprive Islamism of a measure of its ideological legitimacy by defeating it on the ground in the Middle East.

Barack Obama’s hard left ideology has kept him from dealing effectively with the problems facing the United States and with Europe. Obama is striving for a borderless world. He expects the flood of immigrants to become future Democrat voters, grateful for free education and welfare. The problems in the Middle East were caused by Bush’s invasion of Iraq, and if he just turns the entire Middle East over to Iran, it will all settle down. And he seems to continue to believe that ISIS is just some kind of J.V. team. The West cannot seem to agree on the aims of the jihadists, or Iran, or ISIS —nor what to do about it. See the post below.

European countries are getting an up-front and real lesson in the aims and customs of their Muslim migrants, but they haven’t quite put aside the hopes of peacefully assimilating them, nor of facing up to the immense problems involved.  Assimilating single families or small groups was one thing, but the mass of millions of young Muslim men, with ISIS fighters as “sleeper cells” disguised among them is something quite different entirely.

It is all a huge problem, and we are called upon to pay attention and try to think clearly. Obama is intent upon importing as vast numbers of “Syrian refugees” as he can get away with, as future Democrat voters — so we may soon be facing the same problems as Europe.

Obama has been asked to consider specifying Christian refugees who, can expect to be killed brutally if they are captured by ISIS. Refugees fleeing religious persecution are supposed to get special consideration under our laws about refugees, but Obama is not interested.



ISIS Has Exposed the True Reason Why They Hate the West. by The Elephant's Child

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ISIS publishes a glossy magazine to spread their propaganda called Dabiq. Issue 15 is entitled BREAK THE CROSS.

The debate about the fault lines in American and Western politics has concerned whether jihadist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS are motivated by their religion or by politics, more specifically, by grievances against Western Foreign policy. Some insist that Islamic doctrine is the basis of their violence, others insist that such groups are not truly Islamic, but are instead using the guise of religion to lash out against Western influence and intervention. A recent issue of Dabiq settles the question.

American scholar Raymond Ibrahim has “sought to translate and publish al-Qaeda’s internal communiqués to fellow Muslims side by side with al-Qaeda’s communiqués to the West to show the stark differences in tone and purpose. The volume is The Al Qaeda Reader, in which he proves that radical Islam’s war with the West is not finite and limited to political grievances, but is existential, transcending time and space and deeply rooted in faith.”

In a recent article from Dabiq titled “Why We Hate You & Why We Fight You” the Islamic State offers six reasons, but Reason number one says it all:

We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers; you reject the oneness of Allah – whether you realize it or not – by making partners for Him in worship, you blaspheme against Him, claiming that He has a son [Christ], you fabricate lies against His prophets and messengers, and you indulge in all manner of devilish practices. It is for this reason that we were commanded to openly declare our hatred for you and our enmity towards you. “There has already been for you an excellent example in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, ‘Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah. We have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone'” (Al-Mumtahanah 4 [i.e., Quran 60:4]). Furthermore, just as your disbelief is the primary reason we hate you, your disbelief is the primary reason we fight you, as we have been commanded to fight the disbelievers until they submit to the authority of Islam, either by becoming Muslims, or by paying jizyah – for those afforded this option [“People of the Book”] – and living in humiliation under the rule of the Muslims [per Quran 9:29].

This is completely plain, and grounded in Islam’s traditional worldview. Unrelenting hatred fuels their jihad — not grievances. Islam commands Muslims to hate non-Muslims. Hard for Westerners to comprehend.” In Osama bin Laden’s communiqués to the West he stressed the idea that al-Qaeda’s war was entirely based on Western foreign policies detrimental to Islam; cease those and terrorism would cease.” A great many Western leaders accepted al-Qaeda’s lies and “it became the default answer to the tired question “why do they hate us?”

So, plain and simple — there it is.

Last November, Hillary Clinton tweeted that Muslims “have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”



Only On the Hard Left: Goofy Dreams of a Borderless World by The Elephant's Child

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Americans have watched the influx of millions of young, Muslim, and mostly male refugees into a European Union poorly prepared to deal with them.  The European Union, envisioned as sort of a United States of Europe, has been troubled from the start with an oversupply of political correctness. The Schengen Area agreements which gave free rights of movement within Europe were not planned to deal with the migrants or their numbers. A popular revolt has arisen. Europeans apparently wish to accept Middle Eastern immigrants only to the extent that they arrive legally and promise to become European in values and outlook, and they are learning that their own values and outlook are quite different from what prevails in the Middle East or North Africa.

President Obama has effectively planted a big welcome sign on our Southern border. Since 2012, the U.S. has essentially quit policing the border entirely. He has, by executive order, reduced the requirements for citizenship, scattered illegals across the country inflicting hundreds of new students on unprepared school districts. This has directly led to the rise of Donald Trump and his “great big wall.” It may be as much that someone is finally taking notice of the problem, as the actuality of a promised wall. Victor Davis Hanson, whose home is in California’s great Central Valley has written often about immigration and its resulting problems.  He wrote yesterday:

Driving the growing populist outrage in Europe and North America is the ongoing elite push for a borderless world. Among elites, borderlessness has taken its place among the politically correct positions of our age—and, as with other such ideas, it has shaped the language we use. The descriptive term “illegal alien” has given way to the nebulous “unlawful immigrant.” This, in turn, has given way to “undocumented immigrant,” “immigrant,” or the entirely neutral “migrant”—a noun that obscures whether the individual in question is entering or leaving. Such linguistic gymnastics are unfortunately necessary. Since an enforceable southern border no longer exists, there can be no immigration law to break in the first place.

Today’s open-borders agenda has its roots not only in economic factors—the need for low-wage workers who will do the work that native-born Americans or Europeans supposedly will not—but also in several decades of intellectual ferment, in which Western academics have created a trendy field of “borders discourse.” What we might call post-borderism argues that boundaries even between distinct nations are mere artificial constructs, methods of marginalization designed by those in power, mostly to stigmatize and oppress the “other”—usually the poorer and less Western—who arbitrarily ended up on the wrong side of the divide. “Where borders are drawn, power is exercised,” as one European scholar put it. This view assumes that where borders are not drawn, power is not exercised—as if a million Middle Eastern immigrants pouring into Germany do not wield considerable power by their sheer numbers and adroit manipulation of Western notions of victimization and grievance politics. Indeed, Western leftists seek political empowerment by encouraging the arrival of millions of impoverished migrants. …

Few escape petty hypocrisy when preaching the universal gospel of borderlessness. Barack Obama has caricatured the building of a wall on the U.S. southern border as nonsensical, as if borders are discriminatory and walls never work. Obama, remember, declared in his 2008 speech in Berlin that he wasn’t just an American but also a “citizen of the world.” Yet the Secret Service is currently adding five feet to the White House fence—presumably on the retrograde logic that what is inside the White House grounds is different from what is outside and that the higher the fence goes (“higher and stronger,” the Secret Service promises), the more of a deterrent it will be to would-be trespassers. If Obama’s previous wall was six feet high, the proposed 11 feet should be even better.

It’s a long article, but very worth your time. Dr. Hanson has clearly given the matter of borders a great deal of thought.

Clearly delineated borders and their enforcement, either by walls and fences or by security patrols, won’t go away because they go to the heart of the human condition—what jurists from Rome to the Scottish Enlightenment called meum et tuum, mine and yours. Between friends, unfenced borders enhance friendship; among the unfriendly, when fortified, they help keep the peace.



Enough With the Tired Old Slogans. Let’s Talk About the Real Issues. by The Elephant's Child

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“This is the most important election of my lifetime,” unfortunately, that is a statement you hear in every election. But then, sometimes, it’s true.  So do we worry most about — ISIS? The plight of Europe as they can increasingly not cope with the flood of migrants, many of whom are ISIS fighters? Or do we worry about terrorist attacks in our own country? Is it the Zika Virus? Or is it the economy which after over seven and-a half long years has shown little sign of a real recovery. This is really not the new normal.

Republicans are more apt to recall what they learned in school about separation of powers and federalism. Democrats have decided that they are far more interested in controlling the peoople, and that is a problem.

President Obama has maintained a steady course of increasing new regulations, more spending on”infrastructure,” more spending on the chimera of global warming, and through his unconstitutional executive actions, he has backed federal mandates on business, closed a lot of small businesses, increased taxes and in the strange interest of making America just one among the many countries of the world, made America weak. And then there’s the Iran Deal.

The executive actions are a big problem. All presidents do some, but President Obama has carried it to an extreme, and Congress has found it hard to cope. This is the first time we have had a president, schooled by Saul Alinsky, determined to change the country to something that is more in line with his personal vision of social justice, and unconcerned with following custom or the rules.

Republicans are inclined to believe that there is no such thing as “social” justice — that justice is what is embodied in our courts, our body of laws, our Constitution and the constitutions of the several states.

Democrats have had a degree of success with “social justice” and the associated ideas of an unjust minimum wage, income inequality, racial injustice, “white privilege,” a War on Cops, excessive incarceration of black perpetrators, too many blacks in prison, thousands of Syrian “refugees” who cannot be vetted are put ahead of those who have waited patiently in line as legal immigrants, and of course “crumbling roads and bridges.” You will notice that most of these are rallying cries in the Democrat campaign.

I continually get the sense that Democrats operate with talking points handed down, and thus do not have to study issues, read, or think seriously about history or the world, or about whether their issues are right or workable or even make sense. Or maybe that’s just Hillary.

They seem to be fixated on an improved version of socialism that will be socially just, totally different from all those other socialisms, and will fix all the dreadful problems of America — as it is. They find the old buildings and their peeling paint and the antique cars in Havana charming, and can’t get it through their heads that it is “charming” because that’s all they have. They completely ignore the devastation in Venezuela where the people are dying from lack of the simplest medicines, and plain starvation. They broke into the zoo to kill a horse to eat, but the animals in the zoo are starving to death too.

Hillary wants to raise taxes on the rich, who already pay most of the taxes, and on corporations, capital gains, death taxes and stock transactions, without the slightest understanding that will simply deliver more stagnant growth, falling wages and declining productivity. But then, that’s what her economic plan promises. More of Obama’s “success.”

What makes economies grow and prosper are free markets and free people who can work to come up with new ideas and bring them to fruition in their garage or small town or big city. Freedom works small and big miracles every day. Tried and tested for 240 years.



Judge Jeanine Pirro Explains Hillary Clinton. by The Elephant's Child

I don’t watch television, but get my news online or on the radio, ao I wasn’t really familiar with Judge Jeanine Pirro, but she went on a bit of a rant on Saturday that is really special.

You have probably guessed that I am a Republican— the American Elephants thing is  a clue. When the Clintons moved into the White House, I didn’t really know all that much about them. A political campaign is not exactly a good way to get to know the real candidate, and politics is a weird occupation — pays well though.

Living in the White House must be a strange change for most newly-elected Presidents and their families: big staff, little privacy, and you have the Secret Service to accompany you everywhere, for your safety and protection. It’s a thankless task. The service members are sworn to lay down their lives to protect the President and his (or her) family.

Hillary taught Chelsea to refer to the Secret Service men — as “the Pigs.” Then I learned that she called them, directly to their faces, in the most vulgar epithets, even when they made the simple mistake of saying “Good Morning.” Hillary has a mouth like a sewer. I knew the words existed, I’m not that naive, but I had never heard of them being directed to a public servant in such a situation. That’s not bad manners, it’s bad character.

She has never given me reason to change my opinion.



Now California’s Climate Cops Are Going After the Cows by The Elephant's Child

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California is sliding slowly into the abyss. It’s not enough that 9,000 companies have packed up and moved to more tax-friendly states. The Bay Area is so expensive that few can afford to live there. Progressives run the place like their own personal slot machine.

The California Air Resources Board has issued regulations to cut the state’s greenhouse emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, but the board is getting worried about their climate agenda. It could all be ruined by natural phenomena.They’ve gone after the oil producers, the manufacturers and now they are going after the cows.

It’s methane, which”according to the board is a ‘short-lived climate pollutant with an outsized impact on climate change in the near term.” ” “Cow manure and ‘enteric fermentation’ (flatulence) account for half of the state’s methane emissions.”

“If dairy farms in California were to manage manure in a way to further reduce methane emissions,” the board explains, “a gallon of California milk might be the least GHG intensive in the world.” And the most expensive. Many California dairy farms have already been converted into nut farms, which are more economical amid the state’s high regulatory costs.

The board suggests that dairy farms purchase technology to capture methane and then sell the biogas to consumers. Yet the regulators acknowledge that most ideas involve environmental trade-offs and are not cost-effective without substantial government subsidies and regulatory credits that can be sold to fossil-fuel producers….

Other brainstorms include breeding animals that belch less and testing “gut microbial interventions”—though no doubt Democrats will want to see if the anti-genetic-modification activists object. This all may be too much information for readers, but it shows that in their attempt to impose their climate religion there is no corner of the economy or life that progressives won’t try to control.

They don’t give up. They believe what they want to believe, and are sure that anything else is a lie and shouls probably be prosecuted. The climate of the earth over the past century has warmed by approximately 7 tenths of a degree Centigrade.  Carbon dioxide, which they are desperately trying to get rid of, is fertilizer for plants and is greening the world, and helping to feed a hungry planet. California has managed its water resources so poorly that the great Central Valley, the breadbasket of the world, has turned into a dust bowl as they attempt to save the Delta smelt, a tiny bait fish that may or may not be endangered.




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