American Elephants


Mindless Protests Have Cost Universities Dearly, Now It’s Football’s Turn. by The Elephant's Child


The news today seems to be entirely about professional sports teams protesting the national anthem because—well, that’s where it gets a little confusing.  I’m not a professional sports fan, and usually pay no attention, so forgive me if I get some of this wrong. Apparently it all began with Colin Kaepernick,  formerly a quarterback with the SF 49’rs, who took to “taking a knee” (two knees is religious and bad, but one knee is a protest?) to protest the National Anthem, because of the oppression of blacks?  That didn’t go over very well, but his winning streak for the 49’rs didn’t last and he’s now a “free agent” which seems to be pro-sports speak for out of a job.

This young man is worth some $22 million, and had a salary of  $10,400,000. which doesn’t sound too oppressed.  So he is obviously concerned about other black people.

We just had a black president and first lady,  for two terms. We have had black Supreme Court justices for years beginning with Thurgood Marshall.  Currently Clarence Thomas serves, but he is a conservative, so he doesn’t count. He is regularly called an “Uncle Tom” and not included in the Smithsonian Black American History Museum. The Congressional Black Caucus currently has 45 members, is described by Wikipedia as a”racial organization,” and you have to be black to belong. There are 6 black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and one of them is a woman.  Blacks are very active in the movie industry, and Morgan Freeman not only appears in every movie, but is right there whenever a deep voice is needed.

There are black professors in most universities, black novelists appear on the bestseller lists, black historians, black chefs (I’ve recently been getting Stubbs slow-cooker sauce, and recommend it), black fashion designers, black artists, and our music world would be poverty stricken indeed were it not for the contributions of black musicians. Black economists have added immeasurably to our understanding of how economies work — Tom Sowell has a particular genius for explaining things in an uncomplicated way, without jargon, that quickly makes sense, and Walter Williams brings a libertarian approach, but both are called Uncle Toms. Easier to insult than to emulate.

Some believe the Black Lives Matter claims, but their Marxist propaganda does not stand up to actual statistics. Cops shoot far more white men than black. More blacks are incarcerated because they commit more crimes. In general the police are trying to keep the peace and stop criminals from harming others, at great risk to themselves. There are some bad cops, some unjust court cases, and some wrong people blamed for a crime they did not commit. That is not the norm.

Now if you want to count comparable numbers, maybe it is unfair, I haven’t counted. It seems that there is no field that is not wide open to those who strive. On the other hand, our schools are not doing so well. Some schools that serve black neighborhoods are failing the kids, despite, in many cases, spending much more than other schools per pupil. That’s what Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education is trying to fix by promoting charter schools, school choice, and insisting that schools are responsive to the needs of students and the expectations of parents. Reports from our universities reveal that the kids cannot write coherent sentences and whole papers are beyond them. But that is not black kids but all kids. The schools apparently decided that in an era of keyboards, it was no longer necessary to teach writing—in the case of cursive writing, and in the case of putting words together in a way to actually make sense. The demise of cursive writing is unfortunate, for one of the best tricks for remembering something is writing it down, and writing it down at length is important so that you can go back and look at it later and see where you have been stupid.

Former president Obama clearly made race a feature of his administration. He vowed to make trouble for his successor, remaining in Washington to supervise the efforts of his OFA, which seems to be behind much of the attacks on President Trump. The New York Post explains how Obama is funding the anti-Trump resistance, with some funny business with the mortgage crisis settlements, and an improper, maybe unconstitutional, slush fund. He certainly managed to make race a much more prominent problem during his administration.

I don’t think knowledge, or skills, or education, or ability, or ambition has anything to do with the color of anyone’s skin. To the astonishment of most university students today, America was not the only nation that once had slavery. Slavery was common all over the world since long before recorded history. “Native American” nations were warring with and enslaving one another long before Europeans arrived. In the South there were blacks who owned slaves. Slavers from the Mediterranean raided the British isles to capture slaves. The African slave trade mostly went to the sugar islands and South America. America remains unusual in having fought a civil war to end slavery and in making successive laws to stamp out the remnants. Look to the Islamic countries where slavery is still common.

Sunday was a day for sports team protest. They claimed to be protesting President Trump for suggesting that they should be fired for protesting the National Anthem, when so many have fought and died for our country. It was the anthem they insulted, and the country, and the veterans. Owners and coaches may not realize the animosity that our people feel when their country and their flag is insulted. There’s a reason why the Emmys had the fewest viewers ever. There’s a reason why some stadiums are half empty. How about you? Are you boycotting anyone?

 

 

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And on the Environmental Front, They Want You to Shut Up. by The Elephant's Child

California City attorneys in San Francisco and Oakland (just across the bridge) have sued five oil companies, BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Exxon Mobile, and Royal Dutch Shell. They are suing them under California law for being a public nuisance.

They filed two coordinated lawsuits on Tuesday—arguing that the courts should hold those companies responsible for climate change, and force them to financially compensate the cities for the harm the plaintiffs claim those companies are causing to the planet.

“For decades, Defendants have known that their fossil fuels pose risks of ‘severe’ and ‘catastrophic’ impacts on the global climate through the works and warnings of their own scientists or through their trade association.”

The climate cult believes. Those who are prospering from fostering panic about the threat to the planet have federal grants, new equipment for their labs, enhanced salaries, assistants, and the eager attention of reporters as well as a yearly trip to some resort for a big climate conference. This is very big business.

Also on Tuesday, Leonardo DiCaprio was speaking at the Yale Climate Conference, where he took to the podium to announce that:

We have watched as storms, wildfires, and droughts have worsened, and as extinctions have become increasingly frequent. And some of us have also listened as the scientific community sounded alarm bells about climate change as far back as the early 1990s.

That’s total bunk. Not a word is true.He added:

“Yet with all of this evidence – the independent scientific warnings, and the mounting economic price tag – there is still an astounding level of willful ignorance and inaction from the people who should be doing the most to protect us, and every other living thing on this planet.”

James Delingpole has great fun debunking the “predictable and scientifically illiterate eco tosh.”

Up North, they are playing around with a complaint filed by Ecojustice, accusing three groups: Friends of Science, the International Climate Science Coalition, and the Heartland Institute for making false and misleading claims about climate change, including that the sun is the main driver of climate change, not carbon dioxide, and that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

When it launched its complaint in December, 2015, Ecojustice told the National Observer it would press the Commissioner of Competition to refer the matter to the Attorney-General of Canada for “criminal charges against the denier groups”.

There is a notable trend at the present to rush to the courts, and to attempt to tell those with whom we disagree to shut up. Movie people may feel very passionate about their personal beliefs, but that’s not science. It may be extremely annoying to have people claiming that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant and now that we’ve passed 400 ppm, we’re all going to die, but it’s worthwhile to pause and realize that greenhouses are often filled with air containing 1000 ppm of CO2, and the greenhouses are not filled with dead bodies of nurserymen, but happy plants.



Hillary Demands The Elimination of the Electoral College by The Elephant's Child

Hillary is still touring the country on her perpetual “What Happened” First Woman Whine presentation. She simply cannot get over herself.  She was destined to be the first woman president, and now she is demanding that we eliminate the Electoral College, because she is right and the Founders were wrong.  She joins Maxine Waters on the most embarrassing Democrat list.

There is no such thing as a national popular vote. That is not the way our electoral system works, and ill-informed reporters simply prove that they are unfamiliar with the Constitution as well as the law.

As supposedly the most qualified candidate ever to run, Hillary exhibits an astonishing unfamiliarity with the United States Constitution and the reason why the founders invented an Electoral College. Michael Ramirez explained visually what would happen if we elected presidents by some kind of national popular vote.

In that case only four states would determine who the president should be and the rest of the country could go hang. The other states simply would not count. The electoral college assures that the votes of even the smallest or least populated states matter. And if we are to have a country where everybody matters, it’s important. The number of states and their population has changed a lot since the founders were struggling to do right by succeeding generations, but we should be eternally grateful for their wisdom.

The idea of Hillary’s qualifications for being president were based entirely on her job titles: First Lady, Senator, Defeated Candidate, Secretary of State. I’m not convinced that being married to the President is a qualification. She was elected to a safe Democratic seat when Daniel Patrick Moynihan retired. Her accomplishments as a Senator were carefully enumerated by the Huffington Post. She dropped out to run for the presidency, lost, and Obama appointed her as Secretary of State. The accomplishments in that office amounted to a lot of travel, and a “reset button” for the Russians as a joke, but she could not even get the Russian language correctly translated.

Benghazi was a disaster, her ambassador begged for help, for more security, warned that the situation was getting out of hand, and died along with his aide, and two CIA contractors who were trying to save the embassy staff. It was not the fault of someone who made a video that no one ever saw.

Her “carelessness” with classified documents convinced many voters that she was unqualified for office. Anyone who paid attention to the news knew that Moammar Ghaddafi was a bad guy, but he had given up any effort to get nuclear weapons when he saw what happened to Saddam. But he kept a lid on a very troublesome country. Hillary decided that he should be eliminated, and set loose all sorts of terror. Today the Islamic State controls Libya, and much of the population had to flee for their lives.

Somehow, she never seemed to have done her homework, nor to have studied up to have some expertise on a subject, any subject. But that was just an impression.

Somebody remarked today that the ultimate payback will be when Nikki Haley is inaugurated as the first woman president.



Hungary Has Built a Wall, And Cut Illegal Immigration by Over 99 Percent by The Elephant's Child

Hungary, fiercely resisting the European Union’s order to freely admit asylum-seekers, has built a wall. Observing the problems in Germany and Sweden and the 2015 Paris terrorists who made their way through Hungary with some deadly consequences, Hungary  has built twin fences, with frequent watchtowers, manned with thousands of newly recruited border guards. It was faster than building a solid wall, but illegal immigration has slowed dramatically. The fences have caused illegal immigration to collapse from 391,000 in 2015 to 18,236 in 2016 — to just 1,184 in 2017.

After Germany’s Angela Merkel welcomed migrants, announced that there was “no limit” to the number of asylum-seekers that Germany would accept, the flow increased to a torrent. Sweden has been called a “failed state”. Migrants often claim to be “children” to get asylum, but they are well into their twenties. Setting cars on fire seems to be a popular pastime. There are “no go” zones, more than 60, where ambulances must be accompanied by police. Rape is common and even small children, both boys and girls, are raped.

It seems to be a matter of mindset, and language. There is great fear of being called “racist” or “Islamophobic,” though the nation will not admit the disastrous Islamization. Unpleasant news is whitewashed. The Swedes have chosen a path of cultural and societal suicide that is probably the worst in Europe. There are 200 criminal networks, with an estimated 5,000 members. The government is in complete denial, the legal system punishes those who tell the truth, and the major TV, radio and print outlets parrot the government line and ignore uncomfortable news developments. How that they can avoid the clear indication that the “migrants” intend to make Sweden an Islamic country, subject to Sharia law? The government prefers to think of a multicultural idyll. Admitting that you were wrong is far too difficult. Swedish judges care more about the safety of foreign rapists than the safety of Swedish children. They refuse to return these monsters to their own countries for fear that they might be put in danger. It is complete denial.

The UN has slammed Hungary and their “very clear intention” to halt illegal immigration, and criticized their border wall for “looking unwelcoming.” Well, yes. Exactly. That is the object.



A Beacon of Liberty For The World by The Elephant's Child

Illegal immigration was down sharply after Donald Trump was inaugurated, with his commitment to building a wall and cutting back on illegal immigration. As the talk of amnesty for the DACA group has grown, immigration has been increasing sharply—up by 22% in August (a 100% increase from April). It has doubled in just 4 months. There are no overall statistics, but those apprehended by ICE and the Border Patrol give a rough estimate for the total flow.

Among those apprehended, there are lots of family groups—parents and children. So we can expect that we have another bunch of “childhood arrivals” Do they get to stay too? If not, “cruel”, and “no fair.”

Most parents have no real guide to parenting beyond how they were raised, what their friends are doing or not doing, and what they read in the news.What most moms learn gradually and often painfully, is that “Well just this once” is a very bad idea. If you have rules, then they have to be rules and obeyed, otherwise they are only a sham.

The fact that some people oppose open borders, oppose DACA, and want a wall is presumed to be clear evidence that they are white supremacists and their opposition to illegals is racist, because some Central and South Americans have brown skins. Has nothing to do with the fact that the average cost of deporting someone was $10,954 in 2016. Or the crimes and drugs brought along with illegal aliens. Or the families who have lost a loved one, murdered by an illegal alien. Nice people have sanctuary cities, to keep criminal illegal aliens from being deported.

I think I may speak for millions of Americans who believe that American citizenship is something special, and should be difficult to reach, because you prize something more if you have to work hard to get it. Our Constitutional freedoms are unique in the world and require constant defense from those who prefer a welfare state that gives you stuff. We seem to have brought forth a generation that has no understanding of the rarity and importance of being able to say out loud what you believe in, and to publicly challenge your government when it has gone astray. It’s very easy for our elected officials to come to think that they are the important ones and forget that they work for us, and can be dismissed.

*This 2014 cartoon by Michael Rameriz captures the idea perfectly



“Homeless Camps Are Infectious Disease Time Bombs” * by The Elephant's Child

(*Headline shamelessly borrowed from Alex Berezow.)
According to HUD statistics, the homelessness problem is greatest in New York City, NY, 75,323, Los Angeles City & County 75,323 and Seattle/King County 10,122. These statistics, the most recent are from 2015. (It apparently takes that long for government computers to massage that much information.) My Seattle suburb is currently beginning to try to deal with our homeless problem with contentious arguments over housing location.

“Homelessness” is a contemporary problem that encompasses the out-of-work people who literally have no home and cannot afford one, those whose problems are alcoholism, drugs, mental health, or just a subcategory of those who enjoy the independence of living on the street. It has been suggested that the problem arose when the do-gooders tackled the idea of people being involuntarily committed to mental hospitals, with the idea that people were committing relatives for reasons unrelated to mental health. So it is much harder to get anyone committed, and many mental hospitals have closed. “Homeless” is another Leftist do-gooder name for much bigger problems.

At the same time addicts have to decide that they need help to overcome their addiction and be able to pay for it. We do not have drug courts that force addicts to accept treatment, and I don’t know if there is any help for those who don’t particularly want to overcome their addiction.  Addicts who have reached the homeless state pose enormous costs on society. Seattle, I believe, has an apartment building for hopeless alcoholics who are constantly picked up by police. It ‘s justified as a place where they can drink themselves to death, but it gets them off the street.

Alex Berezow’s article suggests that a methodology that measures the homeless per 100,000 population is more accurate, and he includes a graph, again for 2015 statistics. Seattle drops down a bit on the list, but is still in the disgusting range.

Funny! As I write this, there is a commercial on the radio for “Hotel California by the Sea” in Bellevue, a luxury hotel for those dealing with addiction problems. Since they go on a bit about their luxury, I assume it is also costly.

Here’s the graph for the first statistics. Clearly, neither is truly accurate, with 2015 numbers, and the problem of city/county/metropolitan area as guideposts to what’s happening. I would be surprised if with current technology, it would not be possible to have more current statistics, but government computers aren’t up to the task.

But what do you do? Seattle has many homeless camps, under the freeways, intruding on public parks. Area churches host homeless camps on a sort of rotating basis, because they are churches and supposed to be “nice.” The camps include drug dealers, prostitution rings, and increasingly, as Berezow reports, homeless camps are infectious disease time bombs. That the rest of  us don’t have to worry too much about infectious disease is due to the strong defense provided by the “pillars” of our public health system. The pillars include chlorination of the water supply, vaccination, and pasteurization of  dairy and other products—add medication. San Diego has had an ongoing outbreak of hepatitis that has hospitalized nearly 300 and killed 16. Streptococcus in Anchorage, Shigella in Portland and Tuberculosis everywhere. The squalor is a threat to society as a whole. The opioid crisis is hitting rural parts of the country as well.

What do we do? We have tried doing nothing, and that isn’t acceptable either. “It is dangerous, costly and inhumane.”



DACA is More Complicated Than You Think by The Elephant's Child

From the New York Post today:

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday that it was “not in our nation’s interest” to expel the roughly 800,000 young people protected from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“I do believe that kicking these 800,000 kids out to countries that they have probably not been to since they were toddlers, countries that speak languages that they may not even know, is not in our nation’s interest,” Ryan said.

Who are these “young people”, “kids”, “dreamers”,  innocent children, that were covered by former President Obama’s illegal executive order?  They must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, so some of them are 35 years old. Kids, indeed. Here are the guidelines, read them carefully.

So that batch of children under the age of 31 are dreamers and must be covered, but according to today’s news, “despite the intense summer heat, thousands of illegal alien minors and families risked their lives to illegally cross the border with Mexico in August. The apprehension of family Unit Aliens rose by 37 percent this week, the fourth straight month of increases.

So these illegal alien children, brought to the United States by their parents, are not covered by DACA, but is that fair? Do we have to give the same consideration to all children of illegal alien parents  the same coverage to be fair? One thing a good many mothers learn is that saying “Well, just this once…” doesn’t work. You either have rules or you don’t.

A former immigration official estimates that the fraud rate for the DACA program is at 40 to 50 percent. Experts say that under Obama, background screening was lax and applicants lied about their qualifications. USCIS employees deferred to get them through. 21 percent have dropped out of high school, far above the national rate.

These are not 800,000 innocent children who are headed for college and going to enrich our nation with their entrepreneurial spirit. Some may be, some won’t. Many have  already committed felonies. Yet the Democrats’ latest talking point is simply that not making them all citizens is cruel. And we can’t have a wall because a wall is cruel (though walls work to reduce the flow). If we must offer citizenship to this bunch, why then must we not offer citizenship to the next bunch and the next?

I am not anti-immigrant. I welcome immigrants. But I do believe that the 4.4 million people who have signed up legally to immigrate to the United States and are waiting patiently in line — for years — for their turn, deserve priority.

I believe we need a new immigration system that recognizes that we can only admit a certain number in a year without too much disruption. I don’t believe in chain immigration, where once someone gets in, they can get all their relatives in, uncles and brothers and grandparents. There’s the problem of “anchor babies.” Some women from foreign countries hide their pregnancy to visit and have their baby as an American citizen. I don’t believe that some industries should be able to import cheaper workers so they can refuse to hire Americans and increase their own billions. American workers should be protected from that kind of competition. But where do you draw the line with farm workers or computer programmers or doctors? What about exchange students who don’t go home, or legal visitors who simply overstay their visas? Democrats lean towards open borders, and those who will be future Democrat voters, without addressing the problems involved. But they are always a little light in the consequences department.

The Center for Immigration Studies (cis.org) is a think tank devoted to the study of immigration, which is a very complicated subject, and worth your attention. Here’s a speech by Heather MacDonald (in 2016) examining mass illegal immigration and its effect on American society. Europe may be committing a slow suicide. Its a very contentious subject, and it behooves us to study up. Our representatives in Washington seem to be more worried about how they will be treated by the mainstream media, because we seem so poorly informed.




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