Un Proposicion Modesto

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The government controls the lives of everyone living under its jurisdiction, so everyone in the community should have a voice in electing the government, right?

Even non-citizens.

Hey, what’s the problem?  Everyone residing in the community is affected by local government, we all have “skin in the game.”  Why should the accident of birthplace give citizens special privileges not afforded to resident aliens, border jumpers, students who overstayed their visas and even tourists?

However you got here, you ARE here, so you should have a say in the rules you’re living under.  Anything less would be un-American.

Joe Doakes

Take the Democrat approac to borders and the rights and privileges of citizenship to its logidal extreme and they really shouldn’t be barbering about Riussian “interference” in our elections, since the Russians have exactly the same rights as illegal Salvadorans have to steer our democracy.

Chefs On The Battlefield, Generals In The Kitchen

[SCENE:  Mitch BERG is at his county elections office getting an early primary voting packet.  He looks around and notices Avery LIBRELLE walking in.  He briefly considers fleeing out the fire exit, but just tries to make himself look small and inconspicuous.  It doesn’t work.]

LIBRELLE:  Merg!  Donald Trump is a traitor!

BERG:  No he’s not.   We’re not at war with Russia.

LIBRELLE:  Yes we are!

BERG:  How do you figure?  Be specific.

LIBRELLE:  They’ve been attacking our society and election system.

BERG:  They’ve been attacking our society and election system since the 1930’s – ours and every one in Western Europe, with a brief break during the early nineties, maybe.

LIBRELLE:  Espionage is a form of war.

BERG:   Then we’re “at war” with every nation on earth, including all of our putative allies.

LIBRELLE:  Merg!  Merg!  Trump’s performance in Helsinki was a threat to national security!

BERG:  His press conference was a fairly awkward display of ego over common sense.  But since you brought up national security, if you favor open borders…

LIBRELLE:  STOP BREAKING UP FAMILIES!  ABOLISH ICE!

BERG:  …or ignoring the perils of untrammeled migration from Wahhabi-dominated regions…

LIBRELLE:  RACIST XENOPHOBE!

BERG:  …or getting real about China’s ambitions…

LIBRELLE:  MCCARTHYITE!

BERG:  …while obsessing about the Russians…

LIBRELLE:  Dire threat to our security!!!!!

BERG:  …but only in re Trump, and not Obama’s fairly shameful upsucking to the Russians

LIBRELLE:  RACIST!

BERG:  Naturally.  But when it comes to Trump…

LIBRELLE:  LITERALLY HITLER!

BERG:  …you all turn into George Patton?

LIBRELLE:  Who?

BERG:  [theatrically snaps fingers] Wait – this is Ramsey county?  I’ve got the wrong election.  Gotta go!

BERG leaves. 

And SCENE.  

Edge Of Our Seats

On the one hand, few stories have cranked my claustrophobia to 11 quite like the story of the Thai boys trapped in a cave for…

…gulp…

…two weeks.

But as this is written, the staggeringly tricky rescue is finally underway:

Senior officials told Reuters and AFP that six boys had been rescued, but this could not be confirmed.

Rescuers will now need another 10 to 12 hours to get ready for the next stage of the remarkable operation, Narongsak said..

The plan is to take the rest of the group out in batches of four within two days according to the Journal.

All of the rescued were examined and found to be in good health, according to local outlet The Nation.

The governor confirmed this, saying the health of the four boys is “perfect.”

Another local outlet, Kahosod English, said one of the rescued soccer players was being “closely monitored.”

The Thai Navy Seals posted on their Facebook page that four of the boys had been rescued.

Am I the only one who thinks “well, this is the 21st century” on learning the Thai SEALS have a website?

And of course, in a world that venerates vacuous celebrity, it’s elevating to know that the world still has some real heroes 

Sgt. Major Saman Gunan wasn’t abiding by any orders when he joined the effort to rescue a boys soccer team trapped in a cave in northern Thailand. The 38-year-old retired Thai Navy SEAL did so by choice.

Gunan, who was working as a volunteer, passed out underwater during an overnight mission placing extra air tanks inside the cave, along the route divers use to reach the cavern where the 12 boys and their coach remain stranded and the oxygen in the air is depleting. He couldn’t be revived and was confirmed dead early Friday morning, according to Thai officials.

Hopefully this story will be over, with a happy ending, today.

 

Common Sense Gun Laws!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Gun control advocates insist that if we could have all firearms registered, and government permits for every transfer, then crime would be non-existent.  Everyone would register their firearms, non-registered firearms would be confiscated, no guns on the street means no crime.  Easy.

In the entire country of Mexico, there are only 3,153 firearms.  That’s the total number registered for private individuals to legally own.  I suspect that number does explain the violent crime rate in Mexico.  But not the way gun controllers believe it does.

Joe doakes

And every decade or so, some of them figure it out, and move on to greener political pastures, to be replaced by a new generation that thinks they’ve discovered the holy grail with “common sense gun laws”.

Cultural Genocide!

Donald Truimp proposes to separate children of legal immigrants from their parents for 25 hours a week for instruction in American values – including traditions like Christmas, Easter, and of course fluency in English.    Spokespeople for the proposal say that if immigrants won’t willingly  assimilate to American life, they – or at least their next generation – should be forced to assimilate.

The proposal would also hike sentences for crimes committed in immigrant neighborhoods, and impose potential prison terms on parents who send their kids on extended trips back to the home culture for de-assimilation.

The left is rolling out its big guns against this latest Trump atrocity.

Continue reading

Durantied

Dennis Prager is fond of describing cases of especial daftness by saying “It takes an elite education to be this stupid”.

I couldn’t help but think of that in reading about this “Human Rights Law” professor

Daniel Kovalik, who teaches international human rights law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, argues in a recent op-ed for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that U.S. media coverage of Venezuela “ignores the fact” that the U.S. is the “greatest impediment to democracy” in Venezuela and “throughout Latin America.”

Kovalik asserts that the “true patriots” of Venezuela “resent” the “devastating economic sanctions” imposed by the U.S., claiming that a vote for current socialist President Nicolás Maduro “was a vote against U.S. meddling” in the country’s affairs.
“Venezuela’s electoral system…is an inspiring process that guarantees one person, one vote, and includes multiple auditing procedures to ensure a free and fair election,” Kovalik claims.

Liberalism:  Credulity wrapped in illogic dunked in outrage disguised as virtue .

Uncharted Mental Territory

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

People who don’t understand Trump, don’t understand what he’s doing with Korea. There’s no written agreement. There’s no procedure for verification. We gave away too much and received too little. It’s a disaster!

Calm down. Trump is a real estate developer. This is standard operating procedure. Say anything, promise anything, to get the customer committed to the deal. After that, we hammer out the details. The final agreement may look nothing at all like the initial offer, but it’ll fly because we’re all committed to the deal.

Same technique as selling a used car. Go ahead, sit in it. Drive it around the block. Look at the great tread left on the tires. Feel the cushy seats. You look good in that car. You want it, don’t you? Why not, you deserve it. And the payments, so affordable. Can we do this? Sure, we can.

Trump took the first step at getting North and South committed to a deal, some deal, any deal, something to break the stalemate, something to take to their own people and claim as a victory. Hey Kim, maybe you’d like to own a hotel on the beach? Put your name up in lights? Sure, we can do that, as part of the deal. Ever eaten at McDonalds? Come on, every major city has a McDonalds. We’ve got to get your city into World Class, we’ve got to get you a McDonalds. Can we do this? Sure we can. All part of the deal . . . .

Give the man time to do his thing.

Joe Doakes

The left calls Trump “not presidential”.  And they’re not wrong.

But the big problem seems to be that he’s “not like a politician”.

Which can be both a feature and a bug, of course.

He Knows What Matters

The mayor of London has clearly solved all of their real problems:

If I lived in London, I would start by writing a biography of every woman that was stabbed in the past year, now that London’s violent crime rate has surpassed New York City’s for the first time in history.

Happy to help, Mayor Khan.

Diluting Your Culture Willy Nilly Is Always Fun Until Someone Gets Hurt

Iraqi asylum seeker allegedly1 rapes and murders a 14 year old girl in Germany.

Germans are starting to think unrestricted immigration, as well as the corruption it engenders, might not be a good idea:

The killing comes on top of a deepening scandal and calls for a full-blown parliamentary investigation over allegations that civil servants may have granted asylum to as many as 1,000 migrants in exchange for money — and that some of those migrants may have been criminals or even terrorism suspects.

What?   A smothering “benevolent” social welfare state nurtures corruption?

I’m going to have to absorb this for a bit.

The murder suspect, identified as Ali Bashar, a 20-year-old Iraqi, arrived in Germany in October 2015, shortly after Ms. Merkel opened the borders to hundreds of thousands of migrants. He was rejected in late 2016, but was allowed to stay in the country while his appeal was pending.

“If he had been deported, she would still be alive,” read a headline in the country’s largest tabloid, Bild, which devoted two pages to the case.

He came to the attention of the police several times, involving allegations of jostling a police officer, robbing a passer-by and carrying a knife.

Why, it’s almost as if letting hundreds of thousands of people into cultures like Germany and France and Sweden that are culturally unadapted to assimilating people (even if they want to be assimilated).

 

Downfall

Europe – blessed by US deterrence with the longest period of peace in its history – loves to hector America about how much better Europe does, well, everything.  

Laugh it up, Eurotrash:

There is a Roman Empire-like sameness throughout Europe in fashion, popular culture, and government protocol — a welcome change from the deadly fault lines of 1914 and 1939.

Yet, as in the waning days of Rome, there is a growing uncertainly beneath the European calm.

The present generation has inherited the physical architecture and art of a once-great West — cathedrals, theaters, and museums. But it seems to lack the confidence that it could ever create the conditions to match, much less exceed, such achievement.

The sense of depression in Europe reminds one of novelist J. R. R. Tolkien’s description of the mythical land of Gondor in his epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings. Gondor’s huge walls, vaunted traditions, and rich history were testaments that it once served as bulwark of a humane Middle-earth.

When they were a collection of smallish, ethnically and culturally homogenous statelets, they had something going for them (other than the whole “going to war with each other every generation or more” thing).

But the thing about European cultures is, you can never “become” French, or Norwegian, or Dutch; those societies are defined by language, history and ethnicity (even polyglot Switzerland).  Combine that with being in demographic death spirals (at least those countries west of the German/Polish border) and importing millions of people, first “guest workers” and later refugees to fill in the demographic gaps, workers who can never be truly assimilated into their respective societies…

…and all that placid homogeneity that allowed Swedish and Dutch and French society to actually be Swedish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, whatever, is all by the boards.

And then, the best they can hope for is to become occasionally fractious, like we do.  The worst?

The same thing that always happens when one culture drowns in another.

Resist The Authoritarians!

Over at Power Line, Paul Mirengoff asks a question that is redolent with parallels for anyone that lives in a Democrat-dominated area:   if a government is truly authoritarian, nobody wants to be pegged as a “Resister” – for example, to be placed on an “enemies list”.

If you’re on an enemies list in a genuinely authoritarian country – Franco’s Spain, Pinochet’s Chile, Argentina in the sixties and seventies – being an “enemy” meant midnight knocks on the door and cars snatching people off streets and goons hauling off classrooms full of college kids.

In the parts of the US that voted for Hillary and melted down when Trump won, “resistance” means a latte in the morning after pilates, before a vigorous session of screaming at people on Twitter.

Mirengoff looks at “authoritarian” (according to the current leftist whinging) Hungary:

The Washington Post reports that a pro-government newspaper in Hungary published an “enemies list.” Political opponents of prime minister Viktor Orban promptly expressed outrage at not being on the list.

One of them launched a petition demanding to be on the list. He invited others to join in that demand. Nearly 8,000 did.

This tells me that Orban’s government is not authoritarian. The Post eventually concedes as much. Deep into the story, it acknowledges that in Hungary “there is free expression, with opponents speaking out on television, newspapers, and on the streets.” Earlier this month, when the new, elected parliament was sworn in, thousands of opponents rallied against Orban just outside the building.

Trying to get Hungarians to stop expressing freely takes tanks, as the Soviets found.

Liberals in the media are exercised because nearly every newspaper and media outlet in Hungary supports Orban (occording to journalists who oppose Orban and who aren’t, as it happens either unemployed or in jail).  In other words, for  being the same as the American media, but on the right…

 

On Your Own

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Former Obama officials want European nations to expel US diplomats in retaliation for Trump backing out of the Iran nuclear bribe.  I hope they do.

I hope Trump responds by announcing that the wise policies put in place by President Truman to rebuild Europe after WW II have succeeded beyond all expectations.  European nations have demonstrated they are fully capable of managing their own affairs wherefore we intend to serve notice that we’re withdrawing from NATO.  American military commanders will be preparing a timetable for orderly withdrawal of troops and equipment with plans for redeployment along our southern border. We congratulate our European friends and former allies and wish them a bright and prosperous future.

Joe Doakes

There’s a part of me that hopes Trump drops that on the likes of Merkel.

Of course, it’s the likes of Estonia and Poland that’d end up suffering when the pusillanimous central European powers cave in in the face of Russia bullying.

I said when.  

 

Leverage

Donald Trump, 1999:

Donald Trump’s October 24, 1999 Meet the Pressinterview with Tim Russert is a historically illuminating flash forward to the most surprising, promising and history-altering opportunity since the Soviet Union collapsed: “denuclearizing” North Korea without the could-be belligerents waging a hideously destructive war that scars East Asia and seeds a global economic depression…In the interview, Russert says Trump once indicated if he were president he would attack North Korea preemptively in order to end its nuclear threat.

Despite Russert’s vapors and wailing, Trump’s grammatically-challenged beer and barbecue answer is a superb twofer. One: Trump answers Russert’s core question. Two: Trump accurately summarizes the American government’s spaghetti-spined responses to North Korea’s slow but insidious quest for nuclear weapons.

World, today:

On March 5, remarkable news broke: North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un said he is willing to discuss denuclearizing his regime. He made no demand on South Korea and the U.S., other than that they meet to discuss the subject face to face. The South Korean delegation that met with him in Pyongyang indicated Kim said he understood South Korean and American joint military drills would continue. That was a major concession. For decades the Communist state’s propagandists have portrayed allied military exercises as preparations for an invasion of the North. In exchange for negotiations, the Kim regime would demand the allies suspend exercises. Not this time. Moreover, the dictatorship also agreed to halt its provocative nuclear weapons and missile tests while talks continue.

Why, it’s almost as if Winston Churchill was right all along; the only thing tyrants and bullies understand is strength.

Go figure.

I’m proudly on record as a Trump skeptic – but between Gorsuch, his cabinet, his deregulatory frenzy, and the unspooling, unprecedented changes in Saudi Arabia (and its various clients) and now the Korean Peninsula, I’m warming up to at least the foreign policy side of The Donald.

Guns Don’t Kill People. Policy Does

We know gun control isn’t about safety.

First, Britain – awash in the same sort of virtue-signaling panic that befalls Big Left regularly – banned guns after the Dunblane Massacre.

After a couple decades of increases, London’s murder rate passed up New York’s for the first time.

Ever.

If you read this blog, you already know what the Brits are “doing” about it.

Last week, TheBlaze reported the number of murders in London, a traditionally safe city, surpassed the number of murders in New York City in February and March for the first time in modern history. The murders were mostly carried out in stabbing attacks with knives.

Now, London Mayor Sadiq Khan is taking action — by implementing knife control.

What is Khan doing?
In response to the spike in crime, Khan deployed over 300 additional London police officers to the city’s most crime-ridden neighborhoods to stop and search anyone they suspect is carrying a knife. In the U.S., such policies are very controversial and possibly violate the Fourth Amendment, but in England, police are able to stop and search anyone they suspect is carrying a knife.

The results?  The same sort of security theater that happens every time government tries to treat not the disease, not even the symptoms, but the tools involved in the symptoms (and, in the UK’s case, the very act of defending yourself from the disease). It’s like treating flu by banning vomit.

And when I say “security theater”, I’m not speaking imprecisely at all:

So after decades of dictatorial posturing, perhaps the number of knives available to criminals will drop (as Britons gnaw on food they can’t cut, or start buying their awful British food pre-cut for them).  That‘ll solve crime right?

Nonsense.  Criminals will start taping nails onto long sticks, or carrying socks full of five pence pieces.  And when the UK government gans nails and coins, they’ll switch to pointed sticks.  And when pointed sticks are finally off the streets, it’ll be rocks and pavers and fists and feet.

Britian keeps this “mind”-set up, they’ll all be legless, armless, immobile consumption machines in a few centuries.

Except the criminals.

Forward To The Past

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

When I was in college, my PoliSci pro confidently assured me that land reforms in Rhodesia would lead to utopia.  13 years ago, Blacks living in Zimbabwe admitted it didn’t work out as planned, and were wishing they had White Men in charge again.

Today, Blacks in South Africa are dead-set on repeating their neighbor’s mistakes.

Whatever we do, America must NOT send any aid.  That would be imperialist aggression.  It would be interfering in their chosen culture.  Zimbabwean Blacks wanted out from under the White Man’s thumb, wanted to be independent and stand on their own.  They insisted they were ready to manage their own affairs, learn from their mistakes.  Who are we to judge the results?

Similarly, if South African Blacks want to take back their country and run it themselves – without any outside interference – then we ought to be fully supportive.  Go right ahead.  You’re on your own.

As for the White farmers who are losing their lands, well, I hear it’s nice in Australia.  Might want to move before the necklacing begins.

Joe Doakes

I’m tempted to say the same thing whenever I heard about “Democratically”-elected governments destroying their own nations – see Venezuela and Bolivia along with Zimbabwe and South Africa.

We warned you – but you did it anyway.  Fix it yourselves.  Still feel good, sticking it to the Yanqui?

Just To Be Clear

I do advocate tolerance.  Most notably and recently, I’ve mixed it up with activists in the MN GOP who’ve said there’s no room in the Republican party for people of the Muslim faith, because – this is a paraphrase cut so closely it might as well be a quote – the Koran tells Muslims to deceive the infidel, and all Muslims follow the Koran to the letter in exactly the same way.  And their goal is to spread Sharia law everywhere.  Even in the MN GOP.

Of course, they – and I – say Muslims, and all immigrants, should assimilate into our culture (and, for my part, that “multiculturalism” must be killed with fire).   To which I respond “What on earth is more assimilatory than trying to attend a Minnesota GOP caucus?

Some of them have gone so far as to say there’s no room for people who are inclusive of Muslims (not Islam, mind you –  they they gotta support the rest of the GOP’s platform and, of course, the US) and them.  To which I’ve replied “don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out”.

But with all that said – this is the sort of thing that needs to be kept on the other side of a high, spike-topped, literal and intellectual border wall

 

Counterintuitive?

Given the vigor with which Scandinavian countries (and those who romanticize their welfare states with all the subtlety of Swedish Chef Night at Karaoke Hut) play up the “gender equality” card, you’d think they’d have the whole “gender equity” thing figured out.

You’d be wrong.

Comparing the Nordic countries with each other, a pattern emerges: Those with more extensive welfare-state policies have fewer women on top. Iceland, which has a moderately sized welfare state, has the most women managers. Second is Sweden, which has opened up welfare services such as education, health care, and elder care for private-sector competition. Denmark, which has the highest taxes and the biggest welfare state in the modern world, has the lowest share of women in managerial positions.

The rise of the welfare state has been a double-edged sword for women’s advancement.Essentially, the rise of the welfare state has been a double-edged sword for women’s advancement. On the one hand, it has created jobs in women-dominated fields such as health care and education, and aided the labor-market entry of women by offering day care and other family-related services. On the other, the attendant high taxes have reduced the economic incentive for both parents to work full-time, and have also made it difficult for families to purchase services that alleviate household work (such as cleaning). Parental-leave policies have given women an incentive to take long breaks from working. And state monopolies in female-dominated sectors such as health care and education have limited women’s career choices.

Also worth noting – Scandinavian societies going back to the Vikings gave women rights they wouldn’t have for centuries elsewhere in the world – the rights to own land, inherit property, and file for divorce.   An astonishing level of gender equality predated the Scandinavian social state by centuries.  Not that that stops the left from claiming credit they dind’t earn.

ivvIf you’ve been readint thias blog any length of time3, you know how “unintended conse3qiuences” work.

Leftist Social Media Kills Children

Facebook – which is unstinting about signaling its progressive virtue domestically – is being assessed some culpability in the oppression of the Rohynga minority in Burma:

A U.N. fact-finding mission has highlighted the role of social media networks, and Facebook in particular, in fueling hate speech against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar, telling the U.N. Human Rights Council this week that “incitement to violence” is “rampant” and “unchecked.”

Reuters reports that in an interim submission to the U.N. Human Rights Council, fact-finding mission chair Marzuki Darusman emphasized the “determining role” of social media networks in the conflict, which he said “substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissension and conflict” in Myanmar. “As far as the Myanmar situation is concerned, social media is Facebook, and Facebook is social media,” Darusman told reporters.

Granted, it’s only the UN.  And it’s a broadside against hate speech – which is applicable in this case, but Facebook will use it as further grounds to stifle conservative speech even further.

Still, it’s nice to see virtue-signallers get slapped.

Events Of A Feather

Six years ago, Venezuela banned private firearms ownership,  via a piece of legislation that had to have sent a tingle down Linda Slocum, Erin Maye Quade, Jamie Becker-Finn and Dave Pinto’s spines.   It was done to consolidate and reinforce the control of a government that, one might suspect in concept had to have sent a tingle down Linda Slocum, Erin Maye Quade, Jamie Becker-Finn and Dave Pinto’s spines.

Of course, we know the results; socialism degenerated “unexpectedly” into thugocracy (which, being “haves” in a socialist society, wouldn’t not send a tingle down Linda Slocum, Erin Maye Quade, Jamie Becker-Finn and Dave Pinto’s spines, necessarily – socialism is a wonderful thing for the kommissars).

And here we are today.

The left would like you to consider them separate events.

They are not.

Earthquake

Americans who are weary of Muslim excuses ask “so when will ‘moderate Muslims’ take a stand against the radicals?”

Here you go; one of them is taking a stance against the radicals:

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman invited Egypt’s Coptic Christians to visit Saudi Arabia after a rare meeting in Cairo’s main cathedral.

Speaking to Egyptian media after the visit the head of the Egyptian church, Pope Tawadros II said: “In the name of the Coptic Orthodox church we welcome Prince Mohammed’s visit to his second country Egypt.

“Prince Mohammed spoke a lot of his affection for the Copts,” the Pope said, adding that the kingdom’s heir to the throne invited him and all Copts to visit Saudi Arabia.

The two men walked together through St Mark’s Cathedral, in what Egypt’s state news agency described as the first tour of its kind.

The visit came on the second day of the Saudi Crown Prince’s visit to Egypt – his first foreign visit since he became heir to the throne. …

He also met Egypt’s top Islamic official, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb at Al-Azhar, the foremost seat of learning in Sunni Islam.

Thomas Lifson notes in AmThinker:

Simply stated, MbS is seeking to defang Muslim extremists who seek to destroy Christianity in Arab- and Muslim-majority countries. Garnering support from the most respected source of Islamic scholarship (no doubt accompanied by the offer of funds from the Saudi treasury) is the carrot to be used in persuading Wahhabi clergy to change their preaching, with the denial of Saudi funds to recalcitrant advocates of armed jihad supplying the stick.

This is potentially huge.

So why is it getting zero reporting in the Big Media?

Blame Truimp!

American media mostly are clueless about religion and lack any understanding of the momentous changes underway in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the full support of the Trump administration. The fact that MbS is reputed to be close to Jared Kushner seals the deal: the mainstream media have little interest in extolling the world-historical transition underway in the nation that is pre-eminent in Sunni Islam, the Guardian of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, and which has been the moneybags for radical jihadists for three generations.

Bin Salman is taking a huge risk – the Wahhabi aren’t going to be happy, being cut off from all that oil money.

But if it goes right, this – and the very quiet Saudi discussions with the Israelis –  could be an epochal change the religious war in the middle east.

And if it’s tied to Trump, Big Left will deny, or scupper, it.

Paperwork

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Trump’s administration will allow importing elephant trophies, reversing an Obama era ban.
Trump’s policy is correct. If it’s an elephant owned by a tribe who raised it to be shot in a trophy hunt and who get the proceeds (and meat), then there’s nothing wrong with allowing the import. Poached elephants, obviously not. This is not an elephant issue — there’s nothing inherently bad about elephants — it’s a documentation issue, removing the incentive to poach while retaining the power to license hunts.

It’s similar to the Gibson guitar fiasco. President Obama’s Justice Department raided the guitar maker’s factory and seized $1 million of imported ebony and rosewood which it claimed was protected under the laws of other nations and therefore banned for import into the United States. But there’s nothing inherently evil about rosewood. It’s a paperwork issue: import from this country, you’re okay; import from that country, you’re not. Remember “conflict diamonds?” Same deal.

A blanket ban on importing all rosewood, diamonds and elephant trophies harms the economies where those products are legally produced. We can be smarter than that.

Joe Doakes

Government isn’t great at “reasoning”.