American Elephants


Crime in Major Cities, and How Long They Have Been Run By Democrats! by The Elephant's Child

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A friend sent this comment:

I was just thinking – not long ago GM was building cars in Flint, Michigan and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico.

After 7 plus years of Obama’s administration, GM now builds cars in Mexico and you can’t drink the water in Flint, Michigan.

Hope and Change delivered! Is this a great country or what?



“A Retreat from Proactive Policing Has Unleashed Mayhem in the City by The Elephant's Child

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from City Journal

Chicago on the Brink

Heather MacDonald

Violence in Chicago is reaching epidemic proportions. In the first five months of 2016, someone was shot every two and a half hours and someone murdered every 14 hours, for a total of nearly 1,400 nonfatal shooting victims and 240 fatalities. Over Memorial Day weekend, 69 people were shot, nearly one per hour, dwarfing the previous year’s tally of 53 shootings over the same period. The violence is spilling over from the city’s gang-infested South and West Sides into the downtown business district; Lake Shore Drive has seen drive-by shootings and robberies.

The growing mayhem is the result of Chicago police officers’ withdrawal from proactive enforcement, making the city a dramatic example of what I have called the “Ferguson effect.” Since the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014, the conceit that American policing is lethally racist has dominated the national airwaves and political discourse, from the White House on down. In response, cops in minority neighborhoods in Chicago and other cities around the country are backing off pedestrian stops and public-order policing; criminals are flourishing in the resulting vacuum. (An early and influential Ferguson-effect denier has now changed his mind: in a June 2016 study for the National Institute of Justice, Richard Rosenfeld of the University of Missouri–St. Louis concedes that the 2015 homicide increase in the nation’s large cities was “real and nearly unprecedented.” “The only explanation that gets the timing right is a version of the Ferguson effect,” he told the Guardian.)

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel warned in October 2015 that officers were going “fetal,” as shootings in the city skyrocketed. But 2016 has brought an even sharper reduction in proactive enforcement. Devastating failures in Chicago’s leadership after a horrific police shooting and an ill-considered pact between the American Civil Liberties Union and the police are driving that reduction. Residents of Chicago’s high-crime areas are paying the price.

……………………………………..(Do Read the whole thing)

The statistics are shocking. What we must pay attention to, however, are the incentives involved. When you tell residents of black neighborhoods that the reasons for many members of their families going to prison is not really because they committed a crime, but because the cops are racist, and the system is crooked, and tell them often enough, they’re apt to begin to believe it.

When neighborhoods come to believe that the cops are racist and don’t care about the black people they shoot, the police are inclined to back off a little more. When a cop is killed in the line of duty because the neighborhood believes they are racist, the police are more wary of stopping suspicious drivers or wading into s situation that looks like trouble.

That could all be perfectly innocent — just human nature. Policemen have families and want to go home at night. People in a neighborhood find it easier to believe the worst of cops than of their family members or next door neighbors. And so it escalates.

When the news on television blames the police, or the President of the United States suggests that he is going to pardon large numbers of federal prisoners because they are unjustly imprisoned by an unfair system — that seems pretty official, and likely true.

That hardly begins to touch on the incentives involved. When crime rates are high, fewer businesses are willing to locate in the neighborhood. With fewer businesses, there are fewer jobs, particularly for young men of an age to need their first working experience. If there are no jobs, there are drugs and gangs and petty theft and hatred of the police. Heather MacDonald enumerates the escalating steps, tragedy by tragedy, and on the other side the breakdown in order and control.

Accusations of endemic racism, economic injustice, housing segregation, mass incarceration, white privilege, disparate impact are problematic words that hurt more than they help.  Heather MacDonald’ s calm and careful analysis is important, and all parties involved would do well to understand her analysis.



Heather MacDonald by The Elephant's Child

This is a lecture given by Heather MacDonald in April of this year at Hillsdale College. Heather MacDonald is a scholar at the Manhattan Institute, and a recognized authority on American crime and policing. She has the data and statistics to back up her contentions, which belie  the claims of the Black Lives Matter crowd and their attacks on police and policing.

It’s a long lecture, so you will want to postpone it till you have time, but if you can manage it, her command of the facts will clarify this situation that is getting increasingly dangerous. Or you can just buy her new book, The War on Cops.



There Is No Such Thing as “Gun Violence.” It’s Pure Propaganda. by The Elephant's Child

“Gun Violence” is pure political propaganda. A gun, whether the tiniest Derringer, or an enormous artillery cannon, is an inanimate object. It in incapable of doing anything whatsoever without action by a shooter. It is very clearly the shooters who may or may not be “violent.” Saying “gun violence” suggests that without the inanimate objects of guns, there would be no violence, which is absurd. Far more homicides or deaths take place without guns at all.

Also absurd is the focus on “Assault Rifles” which are just ordinary rifles fancied up with some military cosmetics because people generally like a little added glamour.  This Michael Ramirez cartoon is an older one, and the actual numbers may have changed, but the proportions are undoubtedly the same, and the point made remains valid.

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Democrats believe absolutely in crazy Right-Wing militias training in hidden hollows in the Rocky Mountain West who may come forth to attack them. That’s the plot of many a thriller. Or if not mountain hollows, hidden in the swamps somewhere in the solid South. They want the public disarmed. (Think of Hillary and her “vast right-wing conspiracy.”)

Most farmers and ranchers keep guns. Varmints. Sometimes a wounded animal needs to be put down. Coyotes go for the chickens. There are around 10.9 million deer hunters alone, not counting those who hunt Ducks, Turkeys elk, quail and so on. Yes, you can buy meat at the market, but many people count on a fall hunt to fill the freezer for the winter.

Gun homicides have been declining steadily since 1994, even as gun ownership has increased.

I didn’t note down who said it, but it is quite accurate: “Blaming guns for the Islamist murder of 49 people in an Orlando gay nightclub is like saying that Zyklon-B Gas was the cause of the Holocaust and not the Nazis.”

If you are given to worrying, worry about Barack Obama’s attempt to nationalize America’s police departments. He wants to put your local departments under federal control in the name of civil rights law.



The Danger of the “Black Lives Matter” Movement. by The Elephant's Child

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From City Journal “No Equivalence” by Bob McManus, July 8 2016.

Much remains to be learned about the why and the how of Thursday night’s massacre in Dallas, but there is scant mystery about the what: at least 11 police officers were calmly marked for execution for no other reason than that they were cops. When the firing was over, five lay dead and the remainder wounded—some gravely.

To the untrained eye, the attack appears to have been well-planned and carried out with precision. In this respect, it was fundamentally different than the events that brought hundreds of demonstrators to downtown Dallas Thursday—the police-custody deaths of black men in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and St. Paul, Minnesota, in a welter of chaos, confusion, and conflicting claims of guilt, innocence, and intent.

Baton Rouge and St. Paul, like so many of the similarly tragic police-custody deaths that preceded them, may have been the product of circumstance, or of incompetence, or maybe they were even crimes. Each must be examined in context and judged accordingly. But Dallas was cold-blooded murder—nothing more, nothing less. Attempts to assign equivalence to the horror of it—to suggest, as some are doing on social media, that Dallas is somehow just deserts for Baton Rouge or St. Paul or Baltimore or Ferguson, or even for Eric Garner’s death on Staten Island two long years ago—is morally repugnant.

Nor can this be blamed on guns. Guns are inanimate objects and don’t go around shooting people. It is the shooter who is the problem, not the gun. So far in 2016, 34 police officers have been murdered in the line of duty, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, most by gunfire and others by vehicular assault. Many more have been wounded.

When officers are killed in the line of duty, other officers on patrol become more cautious. It’s only natural, they have families and want to go home at night.

For the media, America is in the grip of an orgy of crime, and wanton murder. These wanton murderers are wearing blue uniforms and police badges. It makes for exciting bylines and good copy. But it’s not true.

White policemen shooting unarmed black men accounted for less than 4 percent of fatal police shooting. In three quarters of  shooting incidents, cops were either under attack themselves or defending civilians, as the policemen in Dallas were doing — trying to protect civilian demonstrators.

According to the Department of Justice, blacks represent 12.6 percent of the population, but committed 52.5 percent of the murders in America from 1980 to 2008. This is not to say that there are not bad cops and killings that call for investigation and jury trials. The worst neighborhoods in Chicago, where gangs run wild, have a higher murder rate than world murder capitals like Honduras. (116.7 per 100,000 compared to 90.4 per 100,000).

Barack Obama has encouraged racial animus from the beginning in an effort to secure the black vote for Democrats. It’s what he did as a community organizer. That he wanted to assure black votes is not arguable; that he wanted to stoke black fears of racist police is unknown, though that is what has happened.

Black Lives Matter was launched in 2013 with a Twitter hashtag after neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman was acquitted in the death of Trayvon Martin. It was founded by radical Left activists, and has gone on to stir up resentment against “the system”  on college campuses across the country, responding to phony “hate” crimes, and increase demands for revolution and racial separation. Another outgrowth of communist/socialist agitation.

Heather MacDonald has been one of the most important voices in explaining American policing and the current attack on law and order. I would urge you to read her whole piece, from Imprimis.



Only 8% of American Farmers Believe in Climate Change! by The Elephant's Child

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A headline from Fortune magazine: “The Paradox of American Farmers and Climate Change”, by Beth Kowitt.  “Some U.S. farmers are skeptical of climate change, even though they’re among the most affected by it.” huh.  More than some.

There’s a strange paradox in the world of agriculture: farmers are perhaps the segment of the population most affected by climate change, and yet a significant number of them don’t believe in it—especially the notion that it’s man-made.

I encountered this phenomenon as I reported a feature for Fortune on how agricultural giant Monsanto is attempting to help farmers both mitigate their impact on the environment and adapt to climate change. All the farmers I talked to readily acknowledged that the weather patterns governing growing seasons had been turned upside down in recent years, but I was on the receiving end of a lot of eye rolls whenever I brought up climate change.

Monsanto MON -0.58% gets a similar response from the growers who buy its seed. The company’s chief technology officer, Robb Fraley, told me he’s received numerous angry emails from farmers asking why the company is supporting what some call “this government effort.

Well, of course the farmers are annoyed. Farmers lives are governed by the weather. They live it daily, and they know far, far more about weather, weather patterns, and forecasts that a condescending writer in the offices of Fortune magazine. And more than the salesmen in the offices of “agricultural giant Monsanto MON-0.58,”as well. Their lives are mostly conducted out of doors — in the weather.

That’s how I grew up, at around 4000′ in the foothills of the Rockies, I guess you could say. We had mild summers and hot summers. Some winters we had 5′ of snow on the level, others, not much more than two.  I’ve been snowed in more than once, had floods, and bad fire years.

Dr. Tim Ball, Climatologist, wrote today about climate alarmism, and how it all began with the “Ozone Hole.” A perfectly normal thinning of the ozone layer was said (falsely) to be a catastrophe. Yet eventually it was noted that the ozone hole was recovering and almost back to normal.  It was essentially, a dry run, a test case for the deception that human produced CO2 is causing global warming.   Read Dr. Ball’s piece to begin to understand how politics has infused the whole climate deception. But back to Fortune magazine:

I don’t want to suggest that all farmers reject the concept of climate change. That’s not the case. But here’s what some of the numbers show: A survey conducted by Iowa State Professor J. Arbuckle and Purdue University professor Linda Prokopy of 5,000 Cornbelt farmers—representing about 60% of U.S. corn production and 80% of farmland in the region—found that only 8% believed climate change is taking place and caused primarily by human activity. That 8% figure is significantly lower than the general population. A poll from January found that 27% of the general public primarily blames human activity.

There’s a big difference in outlook between apartment people in large cities and American farmers. For city people, it’s deciding whether or not to take the umbrella. For farmers, it’s going out in the rain to make sure the water is going to flow properly into the ditches, and not wash out a newly planted crop, and may take most of the day. Farmers listen closely to the weather forecasts, city people not so much.

The idea of human causation is very nebulous. When humans cut down a forest and start tilling the soil, that’s a major human influence and it does affect to local climate. When acres and acres of natural growth are razed to plant wheat or corn, that’s human influence. Exhaling CO2 by millions of people, not so much, either.



It Does Not Follow From the Facts, We’re in Some Alternate Universe. by The Elephant's Child

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Many of us have noticed that the Democratic Party has changed significantly. Congressional Democrats used to cooperate on many issues and bipartisan votes were common. But here we were yesterday on the Fourth of July, fireworks, barbecues and beer, and sparklers for the kids, and we have Democrats demanding that we confiscate all guns (Matt Damon), bellyaching about God Bless America (Gersh Kuntzman), just after Democrats in Congress had engaged in a silly sit-in, despite plenty of empty chairs.

Hillary has released a plan to call for all families earning less than $125,000 to receive free college tuition. She did say it wasn’t right for” Donald Trump’s kids” to attend college for free.  She’s also pushing for Medicare for all, apparently unaware that Medicare is on the verge of collapse.

It’s immediately clear that Hillary never studied economics. But that’s where the Democratic Party has changed. The hard left are ideologues. They are right, their opinions are right, Democrat talking points are right, and they don’t have to bother with knowing anything about history or economics or math or the Constitution or world affairs either.

Hillary and the other leaders of the Democratic Party talk a lot about rights. They want to grant new rights to Americans — the “right to a college education,” the right to affordable health care,” the “right to a living wage.” But just last week they wanted to deny the right to buy a gun to anyone on the “no fly” list. And just a week or so ago, an Air Marshal admitted that they just put random people on the no-fly list because they have quotas to fulfill.

And there’s this little thing called due process which means that you cannot take anyone’s rights away without a judge and a court of law. “The Second Amendment needs some changing, because Americans don’t agree with it and we’ve had it,” (Rep. Mike Doyle D-PA).

Democrats don’t like the First Amendment either.They quite specifically do not want anyone to be allowed to disagree with them. A majority of Democrats said in a YouGov poll last May that they support government limits on what they consider to be “hate speech.” California Democrats pushed a state bill that would have criminalized speech that questioned the “consensus” on climate change.Attorney General Loretta Lynch told the Senate Judiciary Committee in March that she has discussed the possibility of civil actions against “climate change deniers.”

The Democratic Party unveiled its 2016 national platform last Friday. They promise to put “a middle-class life within the reach of more Americans.” They are quite sure that America’s most serious problem is “income inequality.”

“At a time of massive income and wealth inequality,” it states, “we believe the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations must pay their fair share in taxes.”

One of the reasons for so many American businesses moving to other countries is that we have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, and it is also one of the reasons why the economy has not recovered in the past eight years.

It is now official Democratic Party policy to call for the Department of Justice to investigate any energy companies who “mislead” shareholders about global warming, and a proposal to investigate alleged corporate fraud on the part of fossil fuel companies who have reportedly misled shareholders and the public on the scientific reality of climate change was also adopted by unanimous consent. I’ll also bet that not one of the platform committee has ever read any climate science whatsoever.

They want to make American corporations “pay their fair share” and make American companies pay U. S. taxes immediately on foreign profits. Most countries don’t even tax profits made outside their borders.

On education, they pledge more resources for “pre-K to 12 schools in every zip code”, though there is no evidence anywhere that spending more improves the schools. It just makes the teachers’ unions happy.  Kids should not be forced to attend the schools in their own zip code either. They also want immigration preference for relatives of people already here. Emphasis on family ties brings in  unemployable people and unskilled workers.

We had a recession when Barack Obama took office, but the Federal Reserve declared it over in 2009, in June if I remember correctly. But the economy has not really improved in the seven  years since, nor has it recovered.  There is not the slightest evidence that Hillary can or would do anything to help the ranks of the unemployed. Her monumental failure of the situation in Libya does not bode well for dealings with ISIS or the Taliban. Since she seems to have absorbed nothing from her experience as a senator or as Secretary of State, we’re left with the need to elect her because she is the first woman, or because it’s her turn, or because she has an unusual ability to avoid potential prison terms.




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