In which a group of graying eternal amateurs discuss their passions, interests and obsessions, among them: movies, art, politics, evolutionary biology, taxes, writing, computers, these kids these days, and lousy educations.

E-Mail Donald
Demographer, recovering sociologist, and arts buff

E-Mail Fenster
College administrator and arts buff

E-Mail Francis
Architectural historian and arts buff

E-Mail Friedrich
Entrepreneur and arts buff
E-Mail Michael
Media flunky and arts buff

We assume it's OK to quote emailers by name.

Try Advanced Search

  1. Seattle Squeeze: New Urban Living
  2. Checking In
  3. Ben Aronson's Representational Abstractions
  4. Rock is ... Forever?
  5. We Need the Arts: A Sob Story
  6. Form Following (Commercial) Function
  7. Two Humorous Items from the Financial Crisis
  8. Ken Auster of the Kute Kaptions
  9. What Might Representational Painters Paint?
  10. In The Times ...

Sasha Castel
AC Douglas
Out of Lascaux
The Ambler
Modern Art Notes
Cranky Professor
Mike Snider on Poetry
Silliman on Poetry
Felix Salmon
Polly Frost
Polly and Ray's Forum
Stumbling Tongue
Brian's Culture Blog
Banana Oil
Scourge of Modernism
Visible Darkness
Thomas Hobbs
Blog Lodge
Leibman Theory
Goliard Dream
Third Level Digression
Here Inside
My Stupid Dog
W.J. Duquette

Politics, Education, and Economics Blogs
Andrew Sullivan
The Corner at National Review
Steve Sailer
Joanne Jacobs
Natalie Solent
A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside
Rational Parenting
Colby Cosh
View from the Right
Pejman Pundit
God of the Machine
One Good Turn
Liberty Log
Daily Pundit
Catallaxy Files
Greatest Jeneration
Glenn Frazier
Jane Galt
Jim Miller
Limbic Nutrition
Innocents Abroad
Chicago Boyz
James Lileks
Cybrarian at Large
Hello Bloggy!
Setting the World to Rights
Travelling Shoes

Redwood Dragon
The Invisible Hand
Daze Reader
Lynn Sislo
The Fat Guy
Jon Walz


Our Last 50 Referrers

« Responding to Thursday | Main | Crew Vs. Crew »

May 09, 2008

Fact for the Day

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Nearly twenty five percent of Los Angeles County’s welfare and food stamp benefits goes directly to the children of illegal aliens, at a cost of $36 million a month. (My emphasis.)




posted by Michael at May 9, 2008


Just curious, are you presuming that the illegals mentioned are Latino? I lived in Los Angeles most of my life, and I even know the true name of the city (Nuestra Senora De La Reina De Los Angeles) - pretty name is it not? It's Spanish. Los Angeles has a lot, a whole lot, of Latinos. Generations and generations of them have lived there. More recently people came, say in the 1950s from the old country - you know, east of the Mississippi. New York, Alabama, wherever there is no such thing as "dry heat". It probably appears to many that the illegals are largely Latino. Could be. But til I moved to Oregon did I really start to miss my Latino and Asian, African, Middle-Eastern, Western European, South Pacifican neighbors. Who among them was illegal? Is this concern, Michael, a concern for brown illegals, or anyone? I'm wondering, because for all the talk about illegals, the response is always about our SOUTHERN border. Like you've never met an illegal Swede? (I have, and she's kind and gorgeous and smart and about to marry a handsome Oregonian who is also nice (and no way nearly as smart, but he's charming) - at least I think it's still on.)

Posted by: bridget on May 9, 2008 6:53 PM

Good call, bridget. When you don't have an argument to make, insinuate racism.

Posted by: Todd Fletcher on May 9, 2008 7:48 PM

I don't know what's more shocking, the dollar figure or bridget's whining little niggle.

Posted by: vanderleun on May 9, 2008 8:15 PM

"Is this concern, Michael, a concern for brown illegals, or anyone? I'm wondering, because for all the talk about illegals, the response is always about our SOUTHERN border."

Gosh Bridget, maybe it's because 3000 Canadians a night aren't rushing past the Border Patrol. Maybe it's because when Canadians come to visit, most of them actually go home. Maybe it's because people aren't coming over the northern border to have "anchor babies" and consume taxpayer provided welfare benefits.

I will agree that we have a terrorism problem on the northern border. We probably have one on the southern border as well, but what the hell, this problem might just take care of itself! Once the good old USA is nothing more than Mexico's northernmost state, the jihadists will figure "why bother attacking? They're not the 'great satan' anymore. Or for that matter the 'great anything else.'"

Posted by: c.o. jones on May 9, 2008 8:23 PM

I agree with Bridget. I mean, like, just because 25% of LA county's welfare and food stamp benefits goes to the children of illegal aliens, what does that prove? I mean, like, that doesn't prove that all illegals are like, bad people. Most of them are like, physicists, mathematicians, architects, computer engineers, hedge fund traders.

Also, like, just because 15 out of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, what does that, like, prove? I mean, like, we should still search Filipino Catholic nuns and Swedish grandmothers, because, like, they could be carrying a bomb also, we shouldn't, like, discriminate, or something.....

Posted by: Michael Moore on May 9, 2008 8:40 PM

> Good call, bridget. When you don't have an argument to make, insinuate racism.

Look, most of us bleeding-heart liberals agree that illegal immigration is a problem. But the focus on this blog is always on how it affects us Americans. What's wrong with pointing out that we're talking about human beings here -- and that maybe their immigration status isn't the only important ethical consideration? That's all she was doing, as I read it.

Also, this blog has approvingly linked to an article that pretty much stated that Mexicans were genetically inferior (/archives/2008/03/uhoh.html). So the question of racism isn't an unreasonable one to raise here. And raising the issue doesn't mean that we think you're a bunch of Nazis. We all have racist attitudes from time to time.

I love this blog, but these little "facts for the day" about immigration bother me. Selectively chosen facts don't tell the whole story. Michael and company: why not bring the same complexity to the immigration posts that you bring to the posts on arts and culture?

Posted by: JW on May 9, 2008 9:13 PM

@JW: I can recall numerous substantive posts about immigration on this blog. Just because Michael writes a one-liner post with a quoted fact doesn't mean he's building an argument out of some unassailable loose constellation of facts.

Posted by: Cineris on May 9, 2008 9:46 PM

I'm working on that right here:

Posted by: vanderleun on May 9, 2008 10:08 PM

Well, here's some more facts from the same source:

"Supervisor says county spends more than $1 billion a year on benefits to illegals.

According to new data from the Department of Public Social Services, nearly twenty five percent of Los Angeles County ’s welfare and food stamp benefits goes directly to the children of illegal aliens, at a cost of $36 million a month -- for a projected annual cost of $432 million. "

So I guess the amount of money going into the subsidy of illegals kids is less than half the story?

This urge to be good will be the death of you. But knock yourself out.

Posted by: vanderleun on May 9, 2008 10:37 PM

"Is this concern, Michael, a concern for brown illegals, or anyone? I'm wondering, because for all the talk about illegals, the response is always about our SoUTHERN border. Like you've never met an illegal Swede?"

Canadians are high-quality immigrants when we do come and stay. Latino immigrants, legal or illegal, are low-quality. America needs a fence on its southern border because that's where the low-quality immigrants are coming across. If Swedes came illegally that wouldn't be a problem, because Swedish immigrants would be high-quality. Unless they were Muslim Swedes, in which case they would be low-quality, and should be kept out or deported.

The problem isn't "brown" immigrants. Many immigrants from India are high-quality and are a deep chocolatey brown. It's mass third-world immigration that's the problem, Mexican immigrants in particular because of their combination of large numbers and low-quality. That they are "brown" (are they really?) isn't important. It's that they're not very bright, they're poorly educated, have no skills, and increase America's underclass, its criminal class, and its high school dropouts.

That's why Mexican immigrants and most Latino immigrants should be kept out or deported if they're here. They're not smart enough, they're too prone to criminality and to becoming burdens on the taxpayer. They take more from American than they give, and leave it a worse place for their being here.

Sorry for being so blunt, bridget. America doesn't need third-world people. Legal or illegal. Brown or not. The third-world has nothing to offer America, and America would be diminished if it became more like the third world. That's the issue. So there.


Posted by: PatrickH on May 9, 2008 10:38 PM

"Look, most of us bleeding-heart liberals agree that illegal immigration is a problem. But the focus on this blog is always on how it affects us Americans. What's wrong with pointing out that we're talking about human beings here -- and that maybe their immigration status isn't the only important ethical consideration?"

And how exactly does their status as human beings (which no one here is debating in way, shape or form, thank you) entitle them to anything from us? There's 5.1 billion people on this Earth who dwell in nations with a lower GDP per capita than Mexico's. Every single one of those poor souls is a human being as well - do we owe them a livelihood too?

"That's all she was doing, as I read it."

Well, then you clearly read it incorrectly; she clearly accused almost everyone who disagrees with her on illegal immigration of racism. Of course, you did as well later.

"Also, this blog has approvingly linked to an article that pretty much stated that Mexicans were genetically inferior (/archives/2008/03/uhoh.html)."

No, he claimed that Mexicans, on average, score lower on IQ tests than Anglos. If pointing out a group-level difference that only been confirmed dozens of times by empirical research is "racism," then is it also "racism" to, for instance, claim that West Africans are taller than Japanese?

NB: The author of that piece has a Mexican wife, by the way.

Posted by: Zarathustra on May 9, 2008 11:19 PM

Yes, judging people as inferior just because they happen to come from a certain culture, as the author of that article did, and PatrickH does above, is what's generally considered "racism." It sounds like you don't like the stigma of that word, but does it fit your beliefs or not?

As for what we owe our fellow humans, well I guess that depends. I think I've been pretty fortunate to be born where and when I was, and I've gotten a lot of advantages from it. So I'd say the least that I owe people without those advantages is a little understanding, and sometimes a little help, when I can afford it. Of course we can't afford to help everyone, but that doesn't mean we don't owe anyone a thing.

Why does this suggestion bring out such hostility?

>This urge to be good will be the death of you. But knock yourself out.

Maybe. But I find this urge to hoard all your advantages to yourself, and to keep out anyone who's poor or from the wrong group, pretty repulsive.

Posted by: JW on May 10, 2008 12:17 AM

Actually the point that occurs to me is that the tax dollars go to the "children of illegal aliens." Last time I worked immigration law, it was clear to me that the children of illegals are more often than not, citizens of the US, regardless of their parent's citizenship status.

Illegal immigration needs to be curbed, but when it occurs, what do we do about the consequences? Does it matter if the children are largely poor and hispanic versus asian, european and african?

As for the debate about racist charges, lets drop the loaded term. I don't understand why repeated studies on IQ tests differences indicate a "genetic" difference by race. A gene for height or left/right handedness may very well be found in the population. Similarly I am open to the idea that the causal link between IQ and genetics may be found as well. For now, I don't think, that the usual sources (Sailer/Rushton) have found causation. In my black family, our genetic pool clearly mixed a few times with non-blacks. How we measure which genes matter by skin color or ethnic variation is an interesting question.

I think the anger from those who reject the claim that hispanics and blacks have less capacity for IQ on the average is found in the very easy slide from that position to some kind of innate inferiority solely defined by race. It is hard to deny that this claim would have implications for public policy and private group behavior.

NB - the fact that the author of a piece intimately associates with one race does not mean that "race" does not matter to them or have implications for their choices and policy decisions. It is clearly possible to have intimate associations outside of one's race and yet beleive or act on race based notions that are deemed "racist" by others. It is the nature of the loaded term and the very different ways it is used that the term gets applied.

Posted by: TJLurker on May 10, 2008 9:40 AM

Canada has a point system for rating the quality of immigrants. It looks at things like education, ability in either of Canada's two official languages, and so on. This is what "quality" means when it comes to immigrants. Canada's point system says nothing about the inferiority of anybody. It is based on the recognition that just because someone is human, that is not a sufficient qualification for entry into Canada!

There is no human right to immigrate to Canada. There is no human right to immigrate to America either. Immigration to these wonderful societies is a privilege extended by the members of those societies.

Skin colour is not one of the things rated by our point system. Nor should it be by America. But criminality, family composition, education levels, language proficiency, and others, most certainly are. It is these stats that Michael has pointed to. It is these things that are used by Canada in assessing the desirability of immigrants. And it is these issues the mere mention of which causes the bridgets and JWs of the world to cry out about "racism".

If demanding something of your immigrants is racism, well then, so be it. And if bridget and JW and others keep equating those demands with racism, then after a while, racism is going to stop being a term of criticism, and will be embraced as a badge of pride. Is that really a good thing?

Posted by: PatrickH on May 10, 2008 10:53 AM

cant we all just...git along?

Posted by: robert on May 10, 2008 2:42 PM

Guys, you make it too easy for the retard lefties. Stop meowling behind lines like "Good call, bridget. When you don't have an argument to make, insinuate racism." or "Skin colour is not one of the things rated by our point system. Nor should it be by America." Or invoking dark-skineed Indians.

There is nothing wrong with saying "I want to live in and see my grandchildren grow up in, a country that is for all intents and purposes a white/European country."

It is legitimate to want to live, love, and work with people of your own race. It's among the most basic of human needs.

Posted by: PA on May 10, 2008 3:35 PM

Actually, we also have a problem with legal immigration. The influx from the Third World courtesy of trial lawyers, activist organizations who offer charity on OUR dime, the legal 'refugee' system, plus nutty visa for sale deal -- all 15 varieties - 3 attached to 'trade treaties,' then there is family reunification which has brought in entire villages from Southeast Asia and Somalia. My sister teaches in an upscale school system in Minnesota that took in nearly all the children in one Somali village. The boys treat the girls like little slaves and head scarves are the order of the day. They also have NO respect for female teachers - their religion permits looking down on women at least the way they learn Islam in Somalia. Forget niceties like use of toilet paper - not unusual to go into a bathroom and see it tossed on the floor and not in the toilet. Okay if it is just wet but a real nasty problem when icky. Then there are the Hmongs, Vietnamese, Laotians et al. By the by, the Vietnam war has been over for - oh decades but we are still allowing Vietnamese into the US. The last boatload to Minnesota were quaranteened in Thailand for a year because the vast majority had active cases of TB. Then of course there are the Hmongs - many of them dumped on white bread Minnesota-- the land of the politically correct uber alles. According to the last mayor of St. Paul, the Hmongs had taken over most of public housing in that city. The state and/or counties housing the Twin Cities built an ethnic school for Hmongs many of whom do not speak English even after having been in the US for decades. They offer travel vouchers BACK to Vietnam so the Hmongs can experience first hand their culture. The young Hmong of a teen age - the boys for instance have gangs which pimp out Hmong girls. Traveling gangs of Hmong and other southesast Asian groups have caused problems all over the midwest, east and west coast. Hmong girls, like their Somali cousins, are disrespected in the macho culture of southeast Asia. Hmongs have pretty much taken over entire hunting areas staking them out as private preserves - few have any understanding of private property rights - but then neither does the federal gummint it would seem. According to a study by the University of Wisconsin of recent years, plus one extensive research tome from the Univ. of Chicago reveal gang culture that would make Al Capone look like a piker. I won't even bring UP M-13 and the other groups - they are 'brown.' The cost in attempting to assimilate diverse groups of recent legal immigrants costs as much or MORE than the cost of illegal immigrants. In Minnesota the healthcare system has dropped entire groups of poor whites in order to accomodate the hundreds of thousands of recent refugees plus illegals to the state. The information packets sent out by the healthcare system is in 8 languages at a cost of millions just for that little courtesy alone. Meanwhile, eight police officers in southern Minnesota near Mankato/Austin Jolly Green megafarms hiring illegal worker were found to have been infected with the TB virus. In Tennesee - Nashville, for instance, has had to absorb Kurdish families fleeing our recent unpleasantness in that area. Kurdish gangs of young men are 'acting out' their transference from a 13th century culture to ... the home of Johnny Cash and Travis Tritt. The University of Chicago study on immigrant gangs in 90s - and I don't mean 1890s - also related that modern urban gangs in the Chicago area may be Russian but often are middle and upper class children of Chinese and Japanese inhabitants of the land of twilights' last gleaming. So it is - just about the time we had finally assimilated the last group that were more enterprising [keep your enemies closer] sorts - the PTB insists we take another round. Our own home grown gang culture was more or less under control. Now we have a third of those in federal, state and local prison who are foreign born. Such a deal. Their problems may be cultural as much as anything else but knowing that and fixing it may be way beyond our bankruptcy problems. The American '''problem''' is-- we have not asked 'who we are' and answered the question so that those coming to t he US, plus our PTB understand what that maybe. The PC among us can celebrate 'diversity' but that does make a cohesive culture or society. The topic of southern borders and Hispanic invasion is the obvious trouble spot. We may have forgotten that in the late 1890s and early 1900s nearly a million Mexicans died in their revolution which began to expand to THIS side of the border until the PTB figured out open borders was a losing proposition - cheap labor or no. We have an immigration problem with or without Mexico and Hispanics. It has cost us at least 346 billion. Our problem isn't blaming 'brown' people from a position of racism but rather as people rightly observing and concerned about the implosion of the entire economic and political system. At some point we may have to halt the influx simply because life in an urbanized rabbit hutch may suit the PTB. It won't suit many Americans - at least those who still have a sense of their own identity as a nation intact.

Posted by: DianeL. on May 10, 2008 9:57 PM

Comments probably closed now, but I just got here after the weekend. Want to apologize profusely - didn't mean to infer anyone HERE is racist. Just asking a really good question. The subject of race in the immigration is the big one. And when I ask people this question in person, as opposed to this format, I get a lot of varied responses, but no one thinks I'm calling anyone a racist by asking the question - I am asking: What you think this discussion is all about? America, as she is now, and as she has been since at least since California became a state, has her destiny interwoven with our wonderful neighbors to the south. I say wonderful, others say different. But the people themselves, our southern neighbors, make much more often than not, really fabulous Americans if they chose it.

The biggest population of the United States is in the exact opposite corner of the Southwest, and perhaps it is easier to point fingers this-a-way.

Again, I apologize - I wouldn't call you guys here racists. I've watched this post often, and admire many of the posters as much as our hosts. I think we're all "just askin" and I'm sorry I don't write well enough to be clearer. Thanks for listening.

Posted by: bridget on May 13, 2008 6:13 PM

Bridget, you need to learn your history (esp. of LA). Some towns in North America also have French names, German names. Don't confused the language that the name of a town is with it's historical demographics. Back to the drawing board for you.

Posted by: Marc on May 26, 2008 9:15 PM

Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember your info?