American Elephants


The Democrats’ Baltimore Problem. by The Elephant's Child

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“No Justice, No Peace!” Is that a threat or an invitation? The scenes of Baltimore set ablaze make us wonder what can be done for families trapped in an inner-city culture of violence? We had our own copy-cat riot here in Seattle last night, emanating from Seattle Central Community College. I have no idea why. Just wanted to join in the fun.

Clearly the breakdown of the black family has a good deal to do with the problems of youth run amok. The left talks of new programs, more money, The President pushes his free community college idea, early childhood education (which doesn’t work) and blames Republicans (why am I not surprised?) presumably because he wants a big influx of money which a Republican Congress would be loth to deliver. Baltimore has been a Democrat-run city for over 40 years. It’s Democrats’ problem, and the result of their policies. Republicans and a big number of African-Americans call for fathers.

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Stephen Moore writes of the success of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program which George W. Bush signed into law in 2004.”It has so far funded private-school tuition for nearly 5,000 students, 95% of whom are African-American.They attend religious schools, music and arts schools, even elite college-prep schools.” Moore met with about 20 parents and children who participate in the program.” For the seventh straight year, President Obama has proposed eliminating this relatively tiny scholarship fund,which at $20 million accounts for a microscopic 0.0005% of the $4 trillion federal budget.”

Politics is always Obama’s first priority, And the teacher’s union voters trump black voters. The parents have compelling stories of how the voucher program has turned their children’s lives around. “Democrats say they want to make the 2016 election about income inequality, but they stand united in opposition to one of the most effective ways of reducing the gap between rich and poor: better education. Mr. Obama will not even meet with these parents. Democrats always emphasize empathy. They care (and Republicans don’t). But they empathize with taxpayer money and Big Government programs. When it involves displeasing the teacher’s union empathy goes out the window.

The basic choice open to blacks after the civil rights era, according to the Hoover Institution’s Shelby Steele, was between advancing “through education, skill development, and entrepreneurialism,” or “pressuring the society that had wronged us into taking the lion’s share of the responsibility for resurrecting us.” The second course became all but inevitable when the post-civil rights narrative of white guilt and black victim hood decreed that no black problem — whether high crime rates, poor academic performance, or high illegitimacy rates — could be defined as largely a black responsibility, because it was in injustice to make victims responsible for their own problems.¹ “

“An Education Department-funded study at the University of Arkansas found that graduation rates rose 21 percentage points — to 91%, from 70%, — for students awarded the scholarship vouchers through a lottery, compared with a control group of those who applied for but didn’t get the scholarships.”

The parents who are so passionate about the benefits to their children are opposed by almost every liberal group, including the NAACP, and Eleanor Holmes Norton who represents D.C. in Congress but opposes a program that benefits her own constituents.The DC schools spent $18,667 per pupil. The scholarship amounts are $8,500 for elementary-school children and $12,000 for high school.

The teachers’ unions are doing a lousy job of educating our young people, and our teachers are badly trained. Something needs to change dramatically. There is no excuse for the current situation.

For Baltimore, I would suggest significant numbers of charter schools, and hiring retiring Marine Drill Instructors as teachers. They have a an outstanding record of not only shaping up young men, but of installing a significant code of honor. Start them off with fifth grade. They would shape up the kids, and shape up the teaching profession!

¹Shelby Steele, White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era (New York, Harper Collins, 2006).



Obama Has Made a Dreadful Mess of Our Immigration System Through Executive Orders by The Elephant's Child

Crowds of iImmigrants protest in favor of comprehensive immigration reform on West side of Capitol Hill in Washington

Some of us are bewildered when illegal aliens demonstrate, demanding citizenship now! They claim “No human is illegal” — good slogan, utterly false. Here’s 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.

From William Voegeli’s The Pity Party:

A survey taken by the Mexican Migration Project of 1,353 Mexicans living in their native country found that 52 percent believe “Mexicans have a right to be in the U.S.” and 66 percent agreed that the “U.S . government has no right to limit immigration” Only 9 percent of those surveyed said they intended to migrate to the United States illegally (In that nation of 116 million, 9 percent represents more than 10 million people.) Not surprisingly, 82 percent of the people within that subset thought Mexicans have a right to be in the United States and 86 percent thought the United States has no right to keep them out.

Many Mexicans…see themselves as sojourners who will return home once they have made some money. The typical Mexican male earns about half what a non-Latino white earns so if he compares himself to other Americans he is likely to feel like a failure. But if he compares himself to the Mexicans with whom he grew up, he is likely to feel quite successful. So he clings to his Mexican identity, sends money back to his parents, goes home for holidays with gifts that his relatives could not afford, tries to buy property in Mexico for his retirement, and retains his Mexican citizenship.

We currently have 4.4 million foreigners who are trying to come to the United States, legally, according to the rules — over 100,085 more than last year. Waiting lists are needed because of annual limits on the number of immigrants that can be admitted in certain family and employment categories, and because of caps on the number who can come from each country.

Applications for H-1B visas, which allow U.S. businesses to hire foreign workers in science, engineering and computer programing, reached a record of 233,000 for fiscal year 2016, according to new government figures. Under limits set by Congress, only 85,000 of the work visas, including 20,000 for holders of master’s degrees, are available yearly. Companies are frustrated with the cap and have been aggressively lobbying to raise it.

America has no shortage of engineers. Companies aren’t bringing in Third World engineers on H-1B visas because of a shortage, but because they want to fire their American workers and replace them with cheaper foreigners. American IT workers are forced to train their H-1B replacements before being fired.

At a time when the labor force participation rate has fallen to 62 percent and the employment growth for the last 15 years has gone to immigrants, opposing the Super-Amnesty of 12 million illegal aliens is still considered an extreme position… in the Republican Party. Scott Walker suggested that Congress should make immigration decisions based on “protecting American workers and American wages” he was excoriated by the American media. A poll has shown that 13% of the world’s adults or 150 million people would move to the United states if they were allowed to do so.

Jeb Bush argues that immigration reform could bring about an influx of new talent that would keep the U.S. in position to compete with foreign nations that have made gains in technology and other sectors.

Well-heeled foreign students come to America to study in American colleges and universities. Once they graduate, they can again become “students” presumably to attend graduate school, but then become eligible to work. So foreign students who study in American universities are more desirable than American students studying in American universities?

Here’s the New York Times rhapsodizing about the wonderful effect of immigration on the economy:

Immigrants lift the economy as new workers and consumers, and they do not strain the welfare safety net. There is not a fixed number of jobs over which immigrants and the native-born grapple. The economy is far more dynamic than that, and a lot of its dynamism comes from immigration.

So only 62% of our working age people who want jobs are working, and a good percentage of those are underemployed. President Obama has essentially opened the borders encouraging wide open immigration, and is sending those illegal immigrants to every state in the union to get them registered to vote. States have been forbidden to ask if those seeking to register to vote are citizens.

Clearly none of this makes sense. Amnesty encourages more illegal immigration. A country has a right to decide how many immigrants they will welcome, and under what rules.

Our economy has been essentially stalled in the first quarter of the year. No growth at all. Inflation-adjusted median household income has dropped — during an “economic recovery.” The president who harps on inequality as a “defining issue of our time” has clearly demonstrated that progressive ideas don’t help the economy, or the middle class. We are desperately in need of fewer slogans and more careful thought.

From the Center for Immigration Studies:

The president has now set into motion his sweeping executive amnesties. He has done so through a series of memoranda issued by the Department of Homeland Security that will provide legalization and working papers for as many as five million illegal migrants. That action and number is without precedent in American history.

No sacrifice or penalty will be asked for in return as a condition of legalization. Indeed, with working papers and Social Security numbers, these newly legalized aliens will be eligible for certain federal welfare benefits.

This is not something that has been done to benefit the United States of America.



Who, Precisely, Ever Said That Black Lives Don’t Matter? by The Elephant's Child

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Apparently unaware that there are real problems in the world, the black youth of Baltimore decided to have a riot, theoretically based on the idea that “Black Lives Matter” which no one  disagrees with. Of course they matter, but not to the people involved. Baltimore has the fifth highest murder rate in the country. The murder rate in Baltimore stood at 37.4 out of 100,000 people So far this year, there have been 63 murders. Fifty-six of the victims were black.

More than half of Baltimore’s police force are black. The police are there to try to prevent those murders. Their job hovers on the edge of violence — they are called to stop something, to catch the perpetrator, or in the middle of something to prevent it getting worse. It is not an easy job, and if someone gets hurt, it is not surprising even when really good cops are trying hard to restore order.

The usual media commentary from afar (they’re not going to get in the middle of a riot) is usually about a peaceful protest  that is “marred” by a sudden outbreak of violence. The peaceful protest in Baltimore was marred by smashing and firing cars, smashing windows, throwing rocks and bricks, and setting buildings on fire as well as assaulting random people who just happened to have white faces.

It was supposedly in response to the death of Freddie Gray while in custody. What happened is not yet known. It is unlikely that many actually knew Freddie Gray, the son of an illiterate drug addict, who has repeatedly been busted for drug possession with intent to distribute. So far this year he was charged with second-degree assault, fourth-degree burglary and malicious destruction of property, and it’s only April.

The mass murder of young black men is being committed by black men. A peaceful protest wouldn’t attract many. Violence is the point, to be followed by looting. The attempt is to blame it on white supremacy in a city where the mayor is black, the police commissioner is black and the majority of the police force is black. Studies show that black officers are harder on black suspects, and that cops already hesitate more when the suspect is black.

One of the saddest stories was the burning of an eight year old Baptist project to provide affordable housing for poor seniors. Pointless.

One of the weirder supporters of the riots was Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who tweeted his support and sympathy for rioters burning down Baltimore while slashing fire hoses to prevent firemen from containing the fires they set. Khamenei said Americans selfishly abolished slavery for economic gains. If only the Baltimore police had converted to Islam, they would stop committing “crimes against blacks.”

@khameinei_ir  Even abolition of #slavery in #US wasn’t based on humanitarian intents but on North-South wars & conflict b/t landowners& industrialists and

@khameinei_ir Power with cruelty isn’t favored by #Islam. #Police should embody justice and mercy while being potent.

Uh huh.really helpful.



A Smattering of Knowledge Derived From Talking Points by The Elephant's Child

If you actually take the time to read what Secretary of State John Kerry says in a  speech about the climate, or actually listen to him, you can tell that he has never read a world about the science of Climate Change. His entire background is derived directly from Democrat talking-points.

If you accept that as a given, then you start to wonder about other speakers and what they have to say. It’s a really scary exercise.

Kerry Pumps Up Arctic Climate Agenda

The Arctic is a “critical part of the global climate system,” Kerry said. “The numbers are alarming,” the region is “warming faster than any region on Earth,” he said. Arctic sea ice is receding, which is creating an expansion of shipping and trade through the region along with opportunities to develop natural resources and energy. Kerry said the changes are also threatening the people who live in the region. More



The Immigration Problem Is Far Bigger Than You Ever Imagined. by The Elephant's Child

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Immigration is a touchy subject — minefields in every direction. We are a nation with borders and immigration laws, or at least we used to be. The president of the United States believes that American Immigration policies are not determined by the Constitution, nor by the laws of our country, but by his personal preferences. He apparently hopes to admit enough poor, non-English speaking illegal aliens from Central America and give them driver’s licenses, and thus the right to vote—to guarantee the next election, and future elections.

“Progressive,” “socialist,” and “liberal” are today interchangeable terms that describe participants in a moral crusade with a political agenda, usually referred to as “social justice.” It can be summed up as equality imposed by the state.The quest for a utopia of equals forges progressive alliances, defines their allegiances, and justifies the means they are willing to use to get there.They may differ on policies and tactics to advance the cause. But they are ever ready to subordinate their differences to achieve the common goal. Since the Democratic Party has become a party of the Left, progressive missionaries view it as the practical vehicle for making their idea a reality. They are willing to follow its marching orders because a political party that controls the state is the only way to achieve the goal. (David Horowitz: Take No Prisoners)

“Social Justice,” defined by the left as equality imposed by the state, is equality of the ordinary people out there, but the “progressives” proposing it view themselves as the state, those who impose equality, not those who actually participate in it. See the case of Hillary, who charges $300,000 for a half-hour speech (Bill gets $500,000) is clearly a paid-up member if the 1%, and excoriates corporate CEOs for making too much money, Which is not just silly, but major hypocrisy.

If we are going to have immigration laws, who should we let in? Everybody that wants to come? People who bring desirable skills? Refugees from the hell-holes of the world? The president can’t even get around to admitting the translators who worked with the U.S,Army in Iraq — whose lives are in danger from ISIS. That’s a disgrace. How many of the relatives of a new citizen should be admitted? People with significant assets? Degrees? Business owners? English speakers? People with no assets who will require welfare, food stamps, housing? Diversity? Ethnic origin? A large portion of the countries in the world are hell-holes.

A large percentage of the people of the world would like to come to America. If no immigration curbs are enacted, another 14 million immigrants will come to the U.S between now and 2025. That means adding a new population almost four times larger than that of Los Angeles in just 10 years time. But empathy, compassion, caring?

Businesses claim to need new immigrants, claim that immigrants have added much to American society, but when examined more closely, high-tech workers are being forced to train their replacements who will work for less money. One Silicon Valley company was paying legal Indian immigrants $1.24 an hour to work 100 hour weeks. There is currently a program that converts foreign college graduates back into foreign students so they can stay and work legally. That number soared to nearly 100,000 in 2013. Since they are defined by ICE as “students” neither the employer or the alien has to pay payroll taxes —so the United States pays a bonus of as much as $11,600 to an employer when they hire an alien graduate rather than a U.S.graduate with the same qualifications and the same salary.

Conservatives usually say they want the border controlled before we reform immigration laws and set quotas. They want the border fence completed. Scroll through this Google Images portrayal of the “Border fence With Mexico.” Mexico, by the way, is extremely offended by any border fence of ours, but anyone crossing into Mexico without permission may spend months in jail. They depend on remittances from illegals who have crossed into the U.S. to work  to support their economy.

I welcome legal immigrants with open arms. Immigration is not a suicide pact. We have a right to determine who and how many and when we will admit immigrants. But deciding who and how many and under what circumstances needs to be decided on the merits — not by ;politicians who are trying to appeal to particular voting groups. And Legal immigrants must assimilate, renounce their former country and become Americans. Barack Obama is doing wrong, and doing great damage to the country. He needs to be stopped.



George Will, Who Was Disinvited, Spoke at the Disinvitation Dinner by The Elephant's Child

The William F. Buckley Program at Yale University, sponsored a “Disinvitation Dinner,” in honor of those who our American universities had invited to speak, and then disinvited because some of our precious students had been frightened by the possibility they might hear some words spoken which disagreed with their own. Excellent idea. The dinner, not the disinvitation. Students are enrolled in our colleges and universities because they don’t know much of anything, a fact of which they need be reminded.

George Will gives an excellent speech that is very funny about the very serious matter of freedom of speech, which is under threat today as never before. Make time for this when you can. You will enjoy every minute.



Earth Day, 2015. A Day Like All Days, Except With More Platitudes and Recycling. by The Elephant's Child

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For Earth Day: The late Michael Crichton on the intoxicating vanity of man
destroying or saving the planet.

You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity. Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There’s been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multicellular life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land. Then finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs, at last the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing, dying away — all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval. Mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, cometary impacts, volcano eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant, violent change, colliding, buckling to make mountains over millions of years. Earth has survived everything in its time.

It will certainly survive us. If all the nuclear weapons in the world went off at once and all the plants, all the animals died and the earth was sizzling hot for a hundred thousand years, life would survive, somewhere: under the soil, frozen in arctic ice. Sooner or later, when the planet was no longer inhospitable, life would spread again. The evolutionary process would begin again. Might take a few billion years for life to regain its present variety. Of course, it would be very different from what it is now, but the earth would survive our folly, only we would not. If the ozone layer gets thinner, ultraviolet radiation sears earth, so what? Ultraviolet radiation is good for life. It’s powerful energy. It promotes mutation, change. Many forms of life will thrive with more UV radiation. Many others will die out. You think this is the first time that’s happened? Think about oxygen. Necessary for life now, but oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive gas, like fluorine.

When oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself. In the thinking of the human being a hundred years is a long time. Hundred years ago we didn’t have cars, airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can’t imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven’t got the humility to try. We’ve been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we’re gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.

From the prologue to Crichton’s two-volume book Jurassic Park and Congo, via Mark Perry.




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