American Elephants

The Unintended Consequences of the War on the Police by The Elephant's Child
May 22, 2015, 6:22 am
Filed under: Democrat Corruption | Tags: , , ,

Jonathan Tobin has an essential essay at Commentary magazine’ Contentions blog, on “The Real Victims of the War on Police.”

From last summer’s disturbances in Ferguson, Missouri to the more recent riots in Baltimore, the country has been engaged in a debate about police violence that has hinged on accusations of systematic racism. Regardless of the findings about the shooting in Ferguson or the racial identity of the Baltimore officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, a narrative about police racism has become entrenched in our popular culture that has remained impervious to reason or the facts. One of the consequences of this war on police that has been encouraged by statements coming from the very top of our government, including the president and the attorney general, have been incidents of violence against police. When officers go down that generates some attention, yet less discussed is the way the lives of people in poverty-stricken minority neighborhoods are affected by this attempt to blame the nation’s ills on white racism. But as the Wall Street Journal reports today, it is precisely they who are suffering as arrests have gone down in Baltimore in the last month while violent crime has increased dramatically.

In the weeks after Gray’s death as scrutiny and criticism of the Baltimore police has intensified, arrests have gone down by a rate of 40 percent when compared to the same period of time in 2013 and 2014. What makes this figure so startling is that it includes the hundreds that were arrested during the riots that rocked portions of the city. At the same time, violence in the Western district of the city where the riots occurred has gone up in a way far outpacing the increase in the rest of the city.

What’s happened here is obvious. Nothing can or should excuse alleged police misbehavior and if the six officers — three white and three African-Americans — are convicted of responsibility for Gray’s death while in their custody, they will deserve to be harshly punished. But the willingness of so many people, both on the streets and on the airwaves, to take it as a given that the cops are alien invaders who must be resisted has made it difficult if not impossible for them to do their jobs. The whole essay is here.

What is clear is that there is no “epidemic” of black men dying at the hands of police. The epidemic, Jason Riley says, is of “Young black men dying at the hands of other black men.” But nobody wants to talk about that. Nor do they want to talk about the news that the protesters in Ferguson were bussed in from groups like New Black Panthers, ANSWER and the US Human Rights Network, Now they are complaining that they never got paid. MORE owed the protesters money.

There are always unintended consequences. When the administration makes claims of police brutality, the police are afraid to make arrests. That means that more crime is ignored or excused. Democrats really don’t get incentives nor think about unintended consequences. They are concerned with empathy, and they care about poor black people. They will happily vote for more funds for the schools though. That’s why Baltimore has some of the highest expenditure on students in the country. And nothing will change, nothing at all.

Don’t Judge Blacks Differently! by The Elephant's Child
May 6, 2015, 10:12 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , ,

From Praeger University:

Accountability Is Good. Passing the Buck is Bad. The Best Governance is Closest to the People. by The Elephant's Child
May 3, 2015, 9:17 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

The myth that arises our of Baltimore and Ferguson is that young black men are being randomly killed by white police officers. That lie prompted Michael Moore to call for disarming police officers across the country. Al Sharpton, in the wake of Baltimore riots, has called for the federal takeover of local police, a particularly loathsome idea. The idea of “federalizing” local police comes direct from the Obama administration, and to encourage it Obama is “pretending” that the United States has an epidemic of black men dying at the hands of white police

This false narrative derives directly from the ideology of the hard left. They believe that the source of all goodness and wisdom arises in the hallowed corridors of the nation’s capitol, where the smartest people who went to the right schools reside. One of the characteristics of involvement with the political class in Washington is a certain elevation of ego. You have to think you have something special to offer just to run for office, and the news people who cover the egos and events come to feel that they are something special as well. It is not all that surprising that they come to think their ideas are better, their advice more worthy, and their plans superior.

Obama’s instinctive response to any tragedy or crisis of any kind is for government to take over the problem, in the assumption that problems can only be solved by more government. This covers more laws, more regulation, more supervision, and often new agencies or new task forces. But the more regulation, the more control, the slower the reaction and less effective, less efficient government becomes. Big Bureaucracy does not solve problems, but only makes them worse.

In the past five years 682 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty. That averages out to over 136 dead officers each year. Here are the numbers from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.:
2010 – 161………………………… 2012 – 126…………………….. 2014 − 117             2011 – 171 ……………………….. 2013 – 107

On average there were 96 black males who are killed by white police officers each year — and another 300 white males who are killed by police officers according to the FBI. There were 431 black killers of “whites” in 2014, compared to 193 “white” killers of blacks. There were approximately 6,000 black men who were killed by other black men last year. That is the real tragedy.

As far as a federal takeover of local police officers —federal law enforcement has not been a beacon of cool professionalism. No police force is very good at policing itself, meaning than a national police force would be less accountable, not more. There has been a lot of misbehavior by our federal law enforcement.

There’s the scandal with the Secret Service and hookers just before Obama’s trip to Colombia. There’s the entirely separate scandal with the Drug Enforcement Agency and hookers (hookers paid for by Colombia drug lords, no less). There’s the fact that the Secret Service’s hooker-scandal investigator had to resign amid a scandal of his own. There’s the Secret Service’s alleged attempt to use a fraudulent warrant in an effort to search a house illegally. There are the federal agents charged with stealing Bitcoins during a criminal investigation, and, of course, the laughable inability of the entire Homeland Security apparatus to keep a postal worker’s gyrocopter away from the Capitol despite advance notice.

The FBI, meanwhile, used bogus forensic evidence to convict thousands based on the questionable, if not outright dishonest, say-so of its forensic lab, and, most significantly, didn’t admit the problem for years, letting many potentially innocent people rot in jail. In one case, a man, Santae Tribble, spent 28 years in prison after FBI analysts said that a single hair found at a crime scene was one of his, when in fact it came from a dog.

$22 Trillion Dollars has been spent on poverty programs by Democrats since Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society.” It has not worked. Empathy doesn’t work when the incentives are all wrong. If you penalize young black women for having a husband in the home, you get fewer good fathers. If you offer more money to single mothers if they have more babies, you get more single mothers with more babies. If you penalize someone for accepting a starter job by losing all benefits, it’s harder to get off welfare. And so it goes.

The Democrats’ Baltimore Problem. by The Elephant's Child
May 2, 2015, 10:39 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , ,


“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).

Who, Precisely, Ever Said That Black Lives Don’t Matter? by The Elephant's Child
April 27, 2015, 11:16 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , ,


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.

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