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March 07, 2009

Fact for the Day

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

A quarter of the kids in the U.S.'s kindergartens are Hispanic.

Source. Get ready for it: By 2023, more than half of America's children will be non-white.

For more cheery predictions, why not cut to a video?


So maybe the time has come to go on vacation ... Maybe even do a little dance on the rubble of civilization ... Hit it, El-man:

Best, if feeling a little overwhelmed by the changes we're witnessing,


posted by Michael at March 7, 2009


"Best, if feeling a little overwhelmed by the changes we're witnessing"

Best, if feeling a little overwhelmed by the Hope and Change(s) we're witnessing

There, fixed it for you! Seriously though, watching this disaster, this slow-motion train wreck with a bunch of incompetents(and criminal tax cheats) at the wheel is almost comical. But hey, at least that moron Palin and doddering old McCain aren't in the White House. Like I said, more food, supplies, guns and ammo.

Posted by: We're Fucked on March 7, 2009 11:31 AM

Yes I agree. I'm very afraid of all those terrifying little brown children. What an inglorious fate for our great white nation to be overrun by 5 year olds whose parents didn't originate from Dorsett.

Posted by: daniel on March 7, 2009 11:49 AM

Daniel -- Nice demo of "patting yourself on the back while concluding the worst about someone else"! I don't know if this will come as a fresh thought to you or not, but let me suggest that it's quite possible to both 1) wish everyone well (brown people included, and a few psychopaths aside) AND 2) think that our current immigration policies are crazy.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on March 7, 2009 1:13 PM

Uh, what? Am I reading this correctly? You're distraught by the fact that there's going to be more hispanic children? ... why?

Posted by: Ryan on March 7, 2009 1:13 PM

Ryan -- A few things about our current immigration policies that irk me:

1) Practically speaking, massive and rapid demographic changes are hard for countries to tolerate, let alone survive. (If you know of a number of instances of countries that have put themselves through what we're putting ourselves through and have thereby prospered, please let me know about them. I'm not aware of many.) In other words, we're monkeying in dangerous ways with a good thing. Not wise.

2) It's all happening to us not because it's wanted by the mass of American people but because our elites are forcing it on us. This is disgraceful in itself, and it's also one of many developments that are promoting a feeling of distrust and resentment between our elites and our everyday people. Not healthy.

3) When crossed with today's PC and multiculturalism, these developments seem to encourage tribal-style political behavior. Not civilized.

4) It's leading to huge (and unwanted-by-most-Americans) population growth. Our population was stabilizing in the low 200 millions back in the early '70s. We now have over 300 million, and 400 will be coming along real soon. Something like 95% of it is due to immigration. Most Americans, when they learn this fact, are horrified. Water rights in the Southwest are complicated now? Fossil-fuel consumption is a challenge now? Your commute is a long one now? You ain't seen nothing yet. Not stabilizing.

5) It's a massive disservice -- in fact a middle finger in the face -- to our native black population. Historically blacks have been our major minority. They've already been displaced in that position by Hispanics, and they're only going to be more overwhelmed numerically. Polls show that when black Americans are informed of this fact many of them report that they feel fucked-over. This is a lousy thing to do to American blacks in itself, and it can promote a "no matter what we do, we wind up getting fucked-over" attitude among people who really don't deserve to be feeling those feelings. Not nice.

6. Not only are our official immigration laws 'way more liberal than most Americans want them to be, we tolerate tons and tons of defiance of these laws. That promotes cynicism. Not smart.

Remember that none of this is happening because everyday Americans want it to happen. Quite the contrary. It's one of the most widely disliked policies around, and it exists entirely because our elites (Dem and Repub both) have forced it on us, and continue to force it on us.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on March 7, 2009 1:30 PM

One thing to keep in mind is that Hispanics are an "artificial" minority, the creation of politics rather than biology. It's possible that over time their "minority-ness" will diminish. Of course, activists seeking a share of the affirmative action spoils and SWPL'ers devoted to political correctness will fight tooth and nail against any changes, but as the Hispanic population grows larger and more diverse our sense of them as a cohesive minority group may fade.

Posted by: Peter on March 7, 2009 2:11 PM

Ryan wrote:
Uh, what? Am I reading this correctly? You're distraught by the fact that there's going to be more hispanic children? ... why?

I love how you use the word 'more'. It went from a few percent to 25% in a couple of decades, that is an unbelievably enormous demographic change. No one cared when the number of illegal immigrants was in the low millions, now its in the 10s of millions and that doesn't count all their children who are considered US citizens. You can't talk about immigration without the numbers.

Another reason immigration is different now is the social welfare state. My tax rate is about 40% when you add everything up. I'm 30, and if you count SS taxes (which I never expect to recoup) my tax rate is around 50%. You can't model employment as a two party transaction of willing worker-employer, you have to model it as three party system government/worker/business. Goods and services flow between all parties. What's a mutually beneficial transaction between business and a worker can cost the government a lot of money. The government, being dishonest, can defer acknowledging/paying those costs for a long time, but not forever. We can't do it much longer.

Posted by: tim on March 7, 2009 2:36 PM

"It's possible that over time their "minority-ness" will diminish."

Possible? How long 10, 20, 30 years? And they'll get smarter, use less welfare and cause less crime? Keep wishing... And if the blacks are any example, you'd better get a deadbolt for the front door, a big dog and a shotgun and start really hiding your money.

Posted by: We're Fucked on March 7, 2009 3:08 PM

Personally, I think the country was ruined when they let all the Irish in.

Posted by: o'racist on March 7, 2009 3:25 PM

Posted by tim at March 7, 2009

Tim, relax. In the not too distant future, we can have a successful, functioning nation much like Mexico. In Juarez, there were only 6000 murders last year. Probably something to with drugs, but so what? And let's not forget to mention that maybe 1,000 young women have been killed by Dios knows who, but hey, shit happens! But if you don't want to go to Juarez to experience vibrant Hispanic culture, just visit Phoenix, now the kidnapping capital of the Estados Unidos. So just STFU and keep paying your taxes, which are going to go up by the way. Free healthcare ain't cheap!

Posted by: Bled Whyte on March 7, 2009 3:30 PM

If those brown children insist on speaking Spanish, and on getting served in Spanish, then the US can join Canada and Belgium in the League of the Linguistically Fragmented.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. And done without the knowledge or consent of the American people.

Prediction: Ted Kennedy's dying will allow an amnesty to be passed in honour of the old warhorse, and that will the final legacy of the single most damaging American politician of the last fifty years.

Posted by: PatrickH on March 7, 2009 4:48 PM

When people wanted an example of what rapid elite driven demographic change can do to a nation, I pointed out the fact that in downtown Honolulu there's a former royal palace.

The sad thing is, they didn't often get my point.

I also use the example with those who fear the new Aztlan, to demonstrate what the end purpose of elite-driven mass immigration is (hint, Hawaii didn't become New Canton or New Tokyo, and nowadays the idea of national empires are passe).

Still, I'm a bit more hopeful than most, why it only took three generations for a new equilibrium to be achieved in my place!

Posted by: Spike Gomes on March 7, 2009 6:13 PM

On today's immigration front, how can you have 10 percent unemployment - with headlines about 700 people lining up to apply for a janitorial position - and, yet, there is no talk of the million of illegals here?

How can there be talk of national health care, yet, no discussion of the ruinous effect illegal immigration has had on the health care system in the border states and elsewhere? And no talk on whose obligation it is to provide health service to the 10 to 40 million illegals?

As for what the elites are aiming for with massive immigration, judging by what they were aiming for with their economic hijinks, it could be just that the elites are fucking insane -- and checking your sanity at the door is part of the entrance fee to this select group. The more of an insane world they create, the insanity inflation rate makes those who sacrificed their sanity winners. Their debt(of giving up sane positions) becomes cheap, and the asylum increasingly becomes the sole distriubtor of reward, while those who hold onto their sanity are holding an increasingly worthless commodity in this world.

Posted by: sN on March 7, 2009 9:26 PM

Let's be realistic - this is being done to us on purpose.

Our political/elite class is no longer American, it's "cosmopolitan." If you want to read a detailed study, I suggest Prof. Samuel Huntington's book "Who Are We," written in 2004 or 2005. In practical terms, what we now have before us is what we have managed to avoid for 200+ years: a political/elite class that depises and is overtly hostile to the citizenry. This is the hallmark, generally speaking, of 3rd world countries, not the USA as we have historically known it.

Even so called conservatives like Michael Barone are out to lunch. He tried to make the point in his book about 10 years ago ("The New Americans") that there was no difference between the wave of immigration 100 years ago and now. Barone is not a stupid man, but in order not to see important differences is either criminal or willfully stupid: back then there was no welfare state, assimmilation was the ideal, the education/political/media elite was not anti-American, etc. etc. etc.

As well, Michael Blowhard is being too kind here. History contains NO example of a society having rapid demographic change imposed on it and said society not experiencing upheaval. So our leaders are either too stupid to grasp what they're doing or they understand exactly what they're doing, and have decided that they prefer poor, dumb, unsophisticated peasants to ordinary middle class Americans. I think they DO know what they're doing, and have chosen the foreigner over us.

Posted by: Eric Stratton, Rush Chairman on March 8, 2009 12:33 AM

"Uh, what? Am I reading this correctly? You're distraught by the fact that there's going to be more hispanic children? ... why?"

Well, your children will find out what it's like to be a minority. At that time, I'm pretty sure you'll learn about this little 'why'.

Posted by: Maciano on March 8, 2009 4:52 AM

Cheer up. When Romanised Britain was invaded by German and Irish barbarians, normality was restored in only about 1300 years. Cultivate patience.

Posted by: dearieme on March 8, 2009 8:47 AM

Ahh, another pass through the immigration issue. So far the comments seem mostly full of the same old shit ... the predictable undercurrent of racism and xenophobia, toss in a dollop of narcissism, make it a partisan political issue, and so forth.

WE (real Americans) are being overrun by THEM (brown skinned, genetically and culturally inferior, foreign language speaking interlopers) against our wishes due to the cynical political calculations of elites (mostly liberals) who hope to be repaid in voting allegiance by those who have managed to gain citizenship.


In a recent thread I reiterated my position that WE (whoever "WE" might be) have far more power as consumers than voters. Immigration is a perfect example of that.

We Americans, taken as a whole, love our recreational drugs, but heaven forefend we decriminalize them. That would take away one of the allures those drugs hold, their very illicitness. So we create a huge, voracious market that is served by criminal cartels that smuggle OUR supplies across the border, bringing as well gang violence, etc. So, we get what we pay for.

We love being able to pick up our inexpensive mesclun mix at WalMart. We want our new roof installed at a bargain price. We like the convenience of grabbing a cheap burger & fries at the drive through. We enjoy having the pool cleaned ... and the hedges trimmed ... and the cattle slaughtered ... but only at a bargain rate. But WE don't want to do any of those jobs ourselves and certainly don't want OUR kids to do any of the work involved in making these desires reality.

If, that is, we have any kids; why should we deal with the mess and expenses, why deal with the emotional and financial commitment required when we have kids? We just want to enjoy OUR lives above the salt without needing to confront the issues of what goes on behind the scenes to make our comfort possible.And let the little people breed to fill the Social Security coffers, we're to busy enjoying our metro-lifestyle to be fruitful and multiply.

So, Juan & Juanita pay a Coyote to get them across the border. They get hired to pick lettuce or process meat or trim hedges for rock bottom wages. They share the rent on a sub-par apartment with seven fellow illegals. Their employers send in the taxes, which are credited to some bogus or borrowed SS#. They send cash home to help keep their village afloat. Then, there is a raid. They get jailed, vilified, and deported. What happens to the employer? A slap on the wrist fine. What happens to the landlord? He has the apartment rented to another batch of new arrivals by the end of the week. And there's always another wetback willing to be a narco mule or flip burgers or mow lawns; so our flow of recreational drugs, cheap burgers, and immaculate lawns continues unabated.

Come on people, first, take responsibility for what we've created, then offer REAL alternatives, not just more scapegoating.

Posted by: Chris White on March 8, 2009 10:01 AM

Come on people, first, take responsibility for what we've created, then offer REAL alternatives, not just more scapegoating.

Yes, "we" are all to blame! Idiot.

Posted by: anon on March 8, 2009 12:20 PM

Chris, this moral preening on your part is just despicable. I have been suggesting for some time that you cease soiling your diapers in this way, but you seem compelled.

I only read about the first line of this crap you write. Really, what you are doing is sinful. You don't seem to have any sense at all once your sanctimony gland is stimulated.

Beyond that, the insane sanctimony you display is the overwhelming problem of this society. As I've said before, the politics of sanctimony is killing the Hudson Valley economically. This is becoming the overwhelming nightmare of America. The world, as you've noted, is full of poor people who are willing to get their hands dirty. This "clean hands" mania of the hippie left, which you display so glaringly, is the mental illness of the U.S.

You are the problem. I can think of no better example of the suicidal path that the U.S. is traveling than this clean hands mania you represent. You need to learn to get some shit and blood on your hands. In fact, you would really benefit from learning how to stick your ass up in the air and take it like a good whore.

Sometimes, you seem like a decent man. I know that political discussion brings out the asshole in everybody. The next time you feel the urge to make an utter ass of yourself in this manner, take a deep breath and find something better to do with your time.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on March 8, 2009 12:56 PM

Chris White: No-one blames Juan and Juanita for wanting a better life and doing whatever they can to obtain one. And yes, ultimately, businesses profiting from illegal alien labour should be fingered as part of the problem.

That said, the question remains, how should the worsening of this situation be prevented? Tightening up America's southern border through both stricter patrols and NOT vilifying the likes of volunteer militia like the Minutemen, as well as ending making it so comfortable for both those already in the U.S. illegally AND any newcomers who might arrive, by ending bilingual education, etc., will help. As will heavy fines imposed on the businesses taking advantage of the cheap labour. Then maybe Juan and Juanita might instead consider working on changing their own country, to better their situation, rather than escaping to another place.

(BTW, if you have a good memory, you might well remember that, like PatrickH and aliasclio, I'm Canadian, and wonder why I give a crap. Well, I guess I feel sympathetic to America's problems, because I'm a fellow Westerner, and this is a pan-Western issue. Moreover, it's also Canada's issue, because increasingly, many Mexicans end up here, attracted by our overly generous welfare state. I say all this, as a brown-skinned individual myself; one who thinks people of European descent should be proud of what their ancestors have accomplished, and shouldn't allow their accomplishments to be ground underfoot, simply to satisfy the demands of the deracinated, governing managerial class.)

Posted by: Will S. on March 8, 2009 1:01 PM

If you want to see some of the problems with the Hispanic invasion of the US, you should visit California. Those little brown children too often grow up to be angry little shaven headed men with tattoos and baggy shorts. Not really the sort of people you'd like to have as neighbors.

In LA Unified, more than half of them drop out of school before graduating. While I think far too many Americans finish high school, the Mexicans take it to another extreme and seem unconcerned if their children are even literate.

Explain to me again, Daniel, how this is a positive development for the United States.

Posted by: Disgruntled on March 8, 2009 1:44 PM

Chris White many of the arguments are the "same old shit" because the problem and its effects are the same ol' shit. Your stating it does not constitute an argument. Arguments against murder would mostly be the "same old shit."

If you want something new, try this. Can you tell me what principle from the dominant left could be used to oppose immigration of a minority group to this country?

Yes, I am questioning the left's patriotism when it is matched up with something that has racial connotations. Would it be possible for the left to say immigration (when it is of what they would call the "ethnic" variety) is harmful to the U.S.? One would think environmental arguments would have a shot, but that does not seem to be the case. It seems there is no way for the left to oppose the invasion without pulling out key parts of the foundation of its house of cards.


Posted by: sN on March 8, 2009 4:39 PM

"One would think environmental arguments would have a shot, but that does not seem to be the case."

Good luck with that, the Sierra Club sold out years ago. Leftists and liberals, for all they "care" about the environment, simply never say anything about how massive immigration is wrecking the environment. They don't want to know and don't care. As if everyone driving a Prius is going to make it better. It is willful ignorance because in the end, race replacement and diversity trumps all.

Posted by: Bled Whyte on March 8, 2009 4:53 PM

So, Shouting One, how am I the problem? If I can take your comment at face value, perhaps your reflexive ad hominem attacks and dismissal of my POV comes less from the reading comprehension issues I've previously suggested might plague you, but instead comes from you not even bothering to read my comments, let alone trying to grasp their meaning. If you only read one sentence, then compose another "Chris is a preening martyr, puritan, hippie, whiter than white, race traitor" response, does that reflect more badly on me or on you?

Once again - my point is that too many comments willfully ignore all the ways WE contribute to a system of commerce that rests in large part on massive immigration, both legal and illegal, HERE and exploitation of labor and resources THERE. I find the endless, ineffective, bitching about how it is all the fault of the elite, paired with the disparagement of the genetic and cultural characteristics of immigrants narcissistic and boring. My point is that this venting is far less fruitful than changing OUR buying habits if we really want to see change.

What do YOU have to offer? Contempt for your neighbors, those SWPL hippies who populate Woodstock and have the nerve to run small businesses instead of working for the big corporations that get their products manufactured in Bangladesh and route their finances through the Caymans? Much better to drive to Kingston and shop at a big box store cleaned by illegals and filled with products from China in order to save $2.23 ... with the bonus of knowing that you haven't helped that damned hippie running the local shop. You are the problem.

Sometimes, you seem like a decent man. I know that political discussion brings out the asshole in everybody. The next time you feel the urge to make an utter ass of yourself in this manner, take a deep breath and find something better to do with your time. Right back at ya shouting One.

Posted by: Chris White on March 8, 2009 4:56 PM

I certainly think it's true to say most Americans want stronger enforcement of immigratin law and most elites, such as Bush, McCain, Obama, Hillary, don't want that. Spitzer wanted Mexican's to have NY driver's liscences. McCain seems to think we are a 'shining city on a hill', so anyone should be allowed to live here.

Elite's have gardeners, nanny's, etc. To them, immigration is the nice lady they don't pay SS taxes for who cleans their hous. The vast majority of American's can't afford 'help'. To them, immigration means someone from Oaxaca willing to work 14 hours a day at half the pay at their roofing job. Funny why they wouldn't be in love with that.

The left really should be against massive, unpopular immigration. It negatively affects the environment, education, and labor. However, they are mostly minorities so the left is hamstrung, completely inable to ever acknowledge anything negative associated with those that have historically been minorities but who will soon be the majority.

What we'll end up with is something like Mexico and Brazil. Shanty towns. More segregation, not less. 3rd world style politics. Etc. Sounds great.

Posted by: Ed on March 8, 2009 6:07 PM

Ugliest. Comments. Ever.

(chris white excepted, of course)

Posted by: wow on March 8, 2009 6:10 PM

----Ugliest. Comments. Ever.---

Faux. Outrage. Rocks.

Hysterical. Thanks for the laugh.

Posted by: Laughing on March 8, 2009 10:02 PM

Being. Overpopulated. 3rd World. Country. Downgrade.

Writing. Style. Lame.

Posted by: Ed on March 8, 2009 10:30 PM

Don't panic. Worry, but don't panic.

1) "Hispanic" != non-white. Many Latin American migrants are of primarily European ancestry. There are many "Hispanics" who are physically and culturally indistinguishable from "white" Americans. Even among those who are visibly "Latin", genuine assimilation is common. (It ought to be universal; but that problem is not insoluble.)

2) Some current demographic trends are probably unsustainable. There just aren't that many more potential migrants, for one thing. A change from 2% to 6% may be proportionally the same as 6% to 18%, but nunerically it's a lot bigger.

3) Also, fertility rates have declined in Latin America. Not much as in Europe or east Asia - but Brazil and Chile are below replacement, and Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and Argentina are not much above. So the flood is drying up at the source.

What I'm really worried about now is African immigration: a much larger source pool, still growing rapidly, of people who are culturally even more backwards and hard to assimilate. I suspect that in another generation, American blacks may be predominantly recent-immigrant stock.

Posted by: Rich Rostrom on March 8, 2009 10:35 PM

The xenophobia being expressed here is too much. Micheal, please don’t allow this blog to disintegrate into the madness and stupid one liners now found at ST’s(®) favorite blog. I come to this blog to broaden my knowledge about art.

It's not the SWPL who benefit from the mass immigration, which by the way is another form of slavery for some illegal immigrants. The business owners benefit. Why pay someone 7.50 when you can pay someone 3.50 to do the same work, no overtime, and not o worry about being reported OSHA for workplace violations. To hate illegal immigrants for coming to this country for work is wrong. Your anger should be directed at business owners (esp restaurants) who hire them. The most the SWPL crowd get is feel good warmth from helping their fellow human beings.

Quick Question: If your grandparents came from Europe are you an American? How far back does one need to trace their roots before they can call themselves an American?

Posted by: chic noir on March 8, 2009 11:19 PM

Rich, I see your point. The media will make all new immigration seem like Obama, Sergie from Google, etc. The Post had an op ed, from some demographer saying that this weekend.

I don't think the elites are open minded about the pros and cons of immigration. Anyone anti immigration is Hitler. Period. If there's one guy from Russia, who founds a tech company, you must ignore any news about Russian mafia, etc. That's the rule. The must hand it out with AP Style at reporters orientation.

Posted by: Ed on March 8, 2009 11:31 PM

BTW, the Elvis Costella video was fascinating. Older school videos were more amatuer, but they had some flavor. Nice.

Posted by: Ed on March 8, 2009 11:33 PM

"The xenophobia being expressed here is too much."

Then why link to a racist and antisemitic website?Maybe you could, you know, make your own website, but that would require work, creativity, etc...Much easier to link to someone else's while whining about xenophobia. Please, you're going to have to try a bit harder.

Posted by: Hebrew Hammer on March 8, 2009 11:53 PM

"To hate illegal immigrants for coming to this country for work is wrong. Your anger should be directed at business owners (esp restaurants) who hire them." I thought that largely was the case. Can you tell me how I can have a problem with Ted Kennedy, for example, hiring an illegal immigrant if I don't point out the problem illegal immigration causes in itself?

I love how you are going to faint btw. Should the authors get you smelling salts? If anyone discusses immigration, some people are going to be against it. To stifle their voices is censorship. Politically correct censorship, much cooler than McCarthyism, but the same.

Posted by: Ed on March 9, 2009 12:16 AM

chic (and Chris White),
"If men were angels, no government would be necessary." While a grassroots effort to stick to firms that won't hire illegals might have some chance of partial efficacy, illegal immigration is really a problem where government regulation (enforced regulation!) is very much the most likely solution to succeed. Vigorously enforcing the law would provide a level playing field for all businesses, and would I think be pretty easy and unambiguous.

What is the obstruction to stopping illegal immigration using state power? It is, of course, SWPL piety. The idea that genetics contribute to differences between the US and Mexico in violence and economic production is unmentionable. The idea that anyone could even conceive of such a hypothesis without hating Mexicans is inconceivable.

Thus, the fault essentially belongs to the SWPLs, though neither the business owners or the illegals are angels.

Posted by: blue anonymous on March 9, 2009 12:19 AM

Enforce immigration laws by cracking down on businesses hiring illegal immigrants. That's the most direct and effective way to deal with the illegal immigration issue. Of course, that won't happen. Why? Because of the SWPL crowd? Ha. No, it's because business owners and organizations that represent them don't want that to happen. And by proxy, WE don't want that to happen, because as CW points out, we enjoy paying the same price for kids' jeans today that my mom paid in the early 70s.

I'll agree with some here to a point that the left needs to deal with this issue more honestly. Unfettered immigration and kid-glove treatment of those immigrating illegally and the businesses who profit from that is bad for the U.S. Tightening up the borders and, most importantly, cracking down on businesses is necessary. What the left needs to do is accept those things while simultaneously promoting the continuation of legal immigration and the importance of immigrants to the U.S.

I'll also agree with some here that most of the comments are full of hatred and fear.

Posted by: JV on March 9, 2009 1:18 AM

Sorry, but this kind of thing bothers me for several reasons.
1. Mexico is one of the least alien of other nations, Anglosphere countries excepted. Along the border, there has long been a blending of cultures. I know one woman whose family settled in what is now Texas and Arizona long before the US was established. They speak only a little more Spanish than I remember from high school.
2. Hispanics are half-assimilated by the time they get here. (Puerto Ricans are US citizens, btw, and they make up a large portion of those scary Spanish-speaking kindergartners.) It is simply not possible to live so close to the US without being influenced. The idea that this particular wave of immigrants cannot be assimilated is complete nonsense. The pattern with Hispanics is not much different from others: the generation born here speaks their parents' language haltingly, preferring English. If anything, they are likely to take less time than other groups to become Americanized.
3. White/non-white is binary in the US, but not necessarily elsewhere. That isn't to say that there is no discrimination based on color outside the US. The euphemism "con apariencia agradable," which too often appears in job listings, is used to exclude people with too much apparent Indian or black background. Unlike in the US, though, the "one drop of blood" rule never existed in Latin America (or in the home countries of Spain and Portugal). Members of the same family might look a little more Castilian, or a little more Indian, or a little darker than the others, and be subject to different degrees of social discrimination. Until they get here, the "Hispanic" designation is something that might not ever have occurred to them. Think about it: Argentines are nearly 100% European; Guatemalans are mostly Mayan; in the Caribbean, they can be pretty much anything.
4. I don't for a minute agree that people should have been allowed to enter this country without explicit permission. Neither do I agree that, having been given tacit permission, they are entirely at fault for the situation. The immigration laws were not enforced. We have arrived at a situation where, having looked the other way for decades, we now pretend to be startled to see what has been before us in plain daylight for years. We are going to have to deal with the reality we face in practical terms. There is no way we can deport 10 million people. Not happening, sorry. We don't have the resources to do it. Looking at the "population transfers" of the 20th century (Greece-Turkey, Poland-Ukraine, Germany-Poland, India-Pakistan, Israel-Jordan), I hope we don't consider it seriously. We are going to have to work something out between the American and Mexican governments, with neither side getting everything they want, and the people involved not punished beyond what their actions merit.
5. The American ideal does not depend upon any particular ancestry. We can make an American out of any raw material the earth affords. Give them a chance, and their grandchildren will be attending graduate school with yours, or maybe their grandchildren will be yours as well.

Posted by: Mitch on March 9, 2009 1:34 AM

Chris White:
What happens to the employer? A slap on the wrist fine. What happens to the landlord? [...] offer REAL alternatives, not just more scapegoating.

OK, how about hefty, bankruptcy-inducing fines for the employer and landlord? How about jail time for them? Would you be on board with that, Chris? I know I would.

Posted by: Lawful Neutral on March 9, 2009 3:14 AM

The U.S. is a dead duck. We're broke, and thus we have reached the end of our ability to support the spoiled brat idealists like Chris White. They are a burden that we simply cannot afford. He's right about one of the causes. Those brown people of his fantasies will get their hands dirty and bloody to make a living.

My neighbors are all conservative Republicans. The politics of Woodstock are easily misunderstood. Every election goes about 55-45 Democrat. The margin is provided by transients from New York City who live here for a a year or two, and during that time they want to put in place their currently fashionable "revolutionary" agenda. This agenda changes, sometimes completely reversing itself, every 5 to 10 years.

This agenda is always a financial disaster, which the permanent residents are left to clean up and to pay for. Not surprisingly, permanent residents start to get a little fed up with their town being a playground for poseur revolutionaries.

The worst of the incompetent idealistic slobs work for the Woodstock Times. For years, the only substantial employer in this area was IBM, which employed hundreds of high level technicians. When IBM finally closed their Kingston plant, the morons at the Times held a party to celebrate. Why? They simply hate productive people and businesses and prefer that everybody live on the dole and tether a goat in their back yard.

We are, as I said, reaching the end of our ability to support this spoiled brat society. Soon, the punishments for this clean hands obsession will become manifest. Being a starry eyed idealist at the age of 60 doesn't make you a hero. It means you are a brain dead jerk.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on March 9, 2009 7:42 AM

Rhetoric aside, on a national level there is little practical difference between the two major political parties when it comes to immigration. The Good Cops (Dems) shade their rhetoric slightly more toward compassion for the immigrants and a tougher stance toward businesses that exploit them. The Bad Cops (GOP) shade their rhetoric more toward demonizing the immigrants while being softer on the business community.

Whatever we say our opinion about immigration is, what we do, especially as consumers, is what underlies the status quo we're complaining about. Isn't it worth asking the question, if a clear majority keeps expressing the desire to see tighter immigration, but nothing ever changes, why does nothing change?

To me, a significant part of the complex answer is our politicians know that we continue to support businesses that profit from using cheap immigrant labor here ... just as we support businesses that do their manufacturing or resource extraction elsewhere in order to avoid paying living wages and complying with tougher safety and environmental safeguards here. And those businesses support the politicians.

We want our cheap grapes and lettuce, at all times of the year. We want dirty jobs done by folks we can feel superior to, not our kids or cousins. We want immigration policy to change significantly, but don't want to change many of the things we enjoy in our lives that rest on the immigration status quo.

To be clear; I am all in favor of much tighter borders. And of a better guest worker program that might allow businesses to enjoy many of the competitive advantages they currently do through their use of undocumented workers in ways that would make those workers easier to track and encourage more of them to return to their home countries or enter the legal immigration stream. And, to answer Lawful Neutral, yes I'd be on board with bankruptcy inducing fines and jail time for employers and landlords who consistently violate labor laws by using undocumented labor.

However, since these are top down solutions that rest on government changing the laws and on taxpayers funding more of those damn gummint bureaucrats to administer expanded programs to track guest workers and police the border ... and we all know the gummint is the problem not the solution ... I don't expect any significant change anytime soon.

So, I will continue to buy local as much as I can. Knowing where my greens come from (summers, a farmer in Southern Maine; winters, New England greenhouse growers selling through a company based in Massachusetts) is more important than picking up an anti-immigrant bumper sticker on the way to WalMart. I will continue to avoid those restaurants, especially fast food chains, most likely to employ undocumented laborers.

It is as consumers that I believe we make the most difference, not as two bit pundits kvetching on blogs about our asleep at the switch elites and the Others who keep slipping over the border.

Posted by: Chris White on March 9, 2009 9:26 AM

Chris - I'm a buy-local fan myself, and it does peeve me some the way so many people put "cheap and easy" above all other values.

But I think you may be underestimating how uninformed many Americans are about the immigration situation. If/when I gab to people, I'm amazed how few are aware of the '65 Immigration Act, for instance, let alone of how soon we're likely to make it to 400 mill and then 500 mill. So I think there's a place for doing-some-educating. Since there's also a tendency for the debate to degenerate almost instantly into a "You're unpatriotic!! / You're a racist!!" shouting match, I think it's also important to demonstrate that there are many ways to express opposition to current policies without any of them relying on racism or xenophobia.

But by all means people should darned well be a little more careful about how and where they spend their money, IMHO.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on March 9, 2009 9:55 AM

Mitch -

Race isn't necessarily white/nonwhite binary in America when it comes to Hispanics. The one-drop rule applies primarily with respect to black ancestry, so a person of mixed white/Hispanic ancestry is not necessarily considered nonwhite.

Posted by: Peter on March 9, 2009 11:15 AM

MB – I am not inclined to underestimate how uninformed American citizens are about many things. That said, the last place I would expect to find Americans unaware of the immigration situation is on a 2 Blowhard thread. Few of the comments indicate anyone here needs educating about what is happening demographically due to lowered rates of reproduction among white, Euro-ancestry, Americans and elevated birthrates among others, especially Latin Americans, who are immigrating, often illegally.

Perhaps you saw a recent article by Peter Singer on The Chronicle Review web site linked to by Arts & Letters Daily entitled "America's Shame". [Hopefully I managed to correctly code the link, if not its URL is ]

Singer is a professor of bioethics at Princeton University. His latest book, The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty, was published this month by Random House. His Chronicle Review essay examines the moral (and practical) reasons why we should devote more time, care, and dollars into alleviating world poverty. Below is a portion of that essay that both illustrates how uninformed many of us are about what is going on in the world and ties directly to the issue of immigration and why people migrate.

When my students cite American generosity, I show them figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on the amounts given by all the group's donor members. The students are astonished to find that the United States has, for many years, been at or near the bottom of the list of industrialized countries in terms of the proportion of national income given as foreign aid. After several years of vying with Portugal and Greece, we fell to the absolute bottom in 2007. Norway led the way, giving 95 cents per $100, followed by Sweden, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, and Austria. Other rich countries give less than 50 cents, with the average that year 45 cents; the United States gave only 16 cents of every $100 earned.

The ignorance of Americans about their nation's role in aiding the world's poorest people is widespread, and it has been shown in many surveys. Asked by the Gallup International Association in 2005 whether the United States gives more, less, or about the same amount of aid as other wealthy countries do in terms of percentage of national income, only 9 percent of Americans gave the correct answer; 42 percent of the respondents said the nation gave more than four times as much as was true at the time. At the extreme, 8 percent of Americans thought that the United States gave more than a quarter of its national income as aid, a portion that is more than 100 times as great as the actual amount.

Americans also suffer from gross misconceptions about how significant the country's aid is as a percentage of all federal spending. In four surveys that asked Americans what portion of government spending goes to foreign aid, the median answers ranged from 15 percent to 20 percent. The correct answer is less than 1 percent.

A majority of people in those surveys further said that America gives too much aid — but when asked how much America should give, the median answers ranged from 5 percent to 10 percent of government spending. In other words, people wanted foreign aid 'cut' — to an amount that is five to 10 times as much as their country actually gives.

Once again, we want it both ways. Many insist (wrongly) that we spend far more on foreign aid than we do and repeatedly lobby their representatives to cut back on this spending ... even though we are at the bottom of the list for donor nations. Then complain when folks mired in poverty somewhere else want to come here, where the bottom of the socio-economic scale is still well above whatever crushing poverty they now experience.

Once again, in short, I see plenty of xenophobia, and bitching about elites, and general purpose kvetching without much in the way of practical, real world, solutions being explored. Most comments seem oriented toward vilifying the immigrants who are the greatest victims of the current situation or insulting any of us who fail to buy into the notion that the problem is all caused by illegal immigrants out to steal and ruin our country.

Posted by: Chris White on March 9, 2009 1:52 PM

Chris White:
As a consumer, one individual is a drop in the ocean, just as one voter is. Yes, making virtuous choices in consumption is a good thing, but you only control yourself and there are such things as externalities. I suspect you would never argue that government intervention is not a valid answer to, say, pollution, or transportation.

As a consumer you have no way of knowing which business do and do not employ illegal immigrants. You can make educated guesses, and boycott the objects of public scandals, but the individual lacks the time, expertise, and right to examine every firm's employment records before buying. This is a job for the state if ever there was one.

However, since these are top down solutions that rest on government changing the laws and on taxpayers funding more of those damn gummint bureaucrats to administer expanded programs to track guest workers and police the border ... and we all know the gummint is the problem not the solution ... I don't expect any significant change anytime soon.

This is condescending nonsense, Chris, and I think you know better than that. Is it really necessary to misspell words when making a parody of your opposition's argument? Only anarchists believe there is no legitimate role for government, and maintaining that government should be less active in some (or even most) areas doesn't preclude arguing that other areas require more government intervention. The word "nuance" comes to mind.

It is as consumers that I believe we make the most difference, not as two bit pundits kvetching on blogs

Said the pot to the kettle. Of course nobody thinks a blog entry is going to change any policy, but there's no reason one can't both "kvetch" and make responsible consumption choices.

Posted by: Lawful Neutral on March 9, 2009 2:13 PM

Chris, those are certainly interesting stats about aid. However, a big-picture view would have to include the fact that the US is largely responsible for protecting most of the rich countries that give most of the aid. If we didn't spend 3-6% of GDP or whatever on our military, all those other countries would have to do so themselves.

Posted by: blue anonymous on March 9, 2009 2:38 PM

If anyone discusses immigration, some people are going to be against it. To stifle their voices is censorship. Politically correct censorship, much cooler than McCarthyism, but the same.

Posted by Ed
ED, I don't have a problem with people who are against illegal immigration. I personally have some issues with it myself. Mainly, America not having enough well paying jobs for Americans much less feeding the rest of the world. It's the hateful tone that some commenters take on when discussing immigration that bothers me.

@ Hebrew Hammer- I was going for irony and sarcasm but sometimes I can't quite get it right. Forgive me.

Posted by: chic noir on March 9, 2009 3:51 PM

Blue anonThus, the fault essentially belongs to the SWPLs, though neither the business owners or the illegals are angels. For the most part SWPLs don’t employ illegal immigrants in large numbers, business owners do so I put much more blame on business owners than the SWPL crowd.

Unfettered immigration and kid-glove treatment of those immigrating illegally and the businesses who profit from that is bad for the U.S. If there is no work for them, their numbers will decline rapidly. The main reason people come to this country is for a better life which = money which = employment.

Mitch There is no way we can deport 10 million people. Not happening, sorry. We don't have the resources to do it.
Lawful Neutral OK, how about hefty, bankruptcy-inducing fines for the employer and landlord? How about jail time for them? Would you be on board with that, Chris? I know I would
I am
Chris white The Bad Cops (GOP) shade their rhetoric more toward demonizing the immigrants while being softer on the business community.
Only until recently. For a long time many Reps were pro immigration because it helped business owners who made hefty contributions to Republican politicians.
a significant part of the complex answer is our politicians know that we continue to support businesses that profit from using cheap immigrant labor here
Very true. How many people here eat out at restaurants and/or drink in bars?
Chris white So, I will continue to buy local as much as I can
Me too but don’t tell too many people. Buying local means you are apart of the SWPL crowd.

MB I think it's also important to demonstrate that there are many ways to express opposition to current policies without any of them relying on racism or xenophobia.
Agreed sir

Chris, the aid issue is two fold. Yes it’s good to give aid(Ayn Rand enthusiasts excuse moi) but not if it doesn’t effect real change. If government leaders are taking aid money to line their pockets then how does giving money affect positive change? The issue surrounding lack of development in Africa is ten fold. One of which is the waste of aid money by government officials but also the vestiges of colonialism and corporate greed. The Congo is in such bad shape for a reason. It benefits many(governments &corporations) to keep the Congo, a country so rich in natural resources in a tailspin. Diamonds, Colton(cell phones), Uranium(nuclear bombs) and a few more natural minerals can be found in the Congo.

Posted by: chic noir on March 9, 2009 4:19 PM

Lawful Neutral - you seem new here. The number of times the Ronald Reagan quote about how, "government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem," is trotted out in one guise or another is huge. So are misspellings of words to parody your opposition's argument. [President Obonga ring any bells?] In fact, look through the archives and I suspect you'll find more than one sarcastic misspelling of "government" used by someone trying to make that stale "government = our problem" case.

So much for style, as for substance, I'm certainly not saying there is no role for government in immigration reform and enforcement, far from it. What I am saying is that voting every couple of years to choose between two candidates offered by the major parties, maybe backed up by writing the occasional letter to a Representative or Senator, is far from effective if you want to see real change.

We should, as voters, do more than watch the campaign ads and vote for the party we think thinks more like us. We should research issues that concern us and dig into the policy statements of candidates and elected officials to know what they think and much more. Just as, as consumers, we need to become better informed about the policies and practices of the companies we support by buying their products.

Big agriculture, meat packing companies, fast food franchises, and contractors who rely on day laborers are, for examples, all known for their frequent use of undocumented workers. It doesn't take weeks of research to determine that part of the reason Wal-Mart and a handful of other big box stores can offer items at such low prices is related to their use of developing world manufacturers and cheap labor here.

Since most of us are consumers on a daily basis, while we're only voters perhaps once every year or two, those "drop in the bucket" consumer decisions add up much faster than our votes do. And in politics we are, practically speaking, stuck with the Good Cop/Bad Cop duopoly, both of which are funded in large part by big business sectors. They listen to campaign contributions far more than they do voter concerns. As consumers we generally have many more options available to us.

And, for the record, I'm not overly concerned with virtue per se, just recognizing the impact our decisions have on the system as a whole. When folks put their IRA or 401(k) funds in Enron or Citi Group shares, they shouldn't be quite so surprised to see that we get the Cheney era energy policies or the financial meltdown situation we now have before us.

blue anon - Doesn't that bring us back to the recent thread about how we spend more on our military than ALL of the other nations on the planet combined? Just maybe that is not the wisest way to allocate our funds.

chic noir - check out the linked article. The issue of foreign aid overall belongs on a different thread. On this immigration thread I was thinking more about how it might benefit us if we were doing more to help Mexico than the Congo.

Posted by: Chris White on March 9, 2009 4:48 PM

"Well, your children will find out what it's like to be a minority. At that time, I'm pretty sure you'll learn about this little 'why'."

About that. I'm one of those awkward kids who is Mexican but not really (mom an immigrant), so, I'm not really sure what to think of that. The white part of me is pretty unsympathetic to what you're implying here, if you mean that other whites (or future whites) are worried about suddenly becoming minorities. Because oh my god, do I ever think they could deal.

I'd like to hear more about this that I've quoted below. I'll admit that it sounds outlandish to me, but I'm willing to listen if that author is still reading this thread--

"The idea that genetics contribute to differences between the US and Mexico in violence and economic production is unmentionable. "

Posted by: Ryan on March 9, 2009 6:20 PM

Michael, I was the one who questioned the Left's patriotism on this thread. I did it with a solid argument that no one on this site has rebutted; ( I said the dominant Left does not have a principle that can be used to defend the nation against "ethnic" immigration even if it is harmful to the nation. I think that is a reasonable postion from which to question patritotism. I don't appreciate being lumped in with those making racism charges. Those are basically reptutation death threats, and we all see how they started these posts swinging their precious anti-racists-club club in your direction. Even the soft "Please, Michael" arguments have a strain of authoritarianism in them. Plz, Michael, dont have these awful debates about immigration -- in other words no polite person discusses such matters.

As for fear and hatred -- what is wrong with that. I fear for my country, and I hate that it is being ruined by an invasion that has already killed my state. If you want to talk about my hatred, please discuss the fact that I can't live in the neighborhoods that these invaders inhabit; I would be robbed -- and harassed or possbily killed --and so would Chris White. I am suppose to act like their hate is neutral, or I am not to expect much from them? And please don't hate that?

The illegals don't want to assimilate and all indications show that I am suppose to accommodate them. I am suppose to change my schools, my history lessons, my language for them. Their Mexican govt. aids and promotes this invasion. (Cover your eyes) I hate it.

As for being reasonable, I love the "it is too big a problem for us to take any action against crowd" - how come they never say that on any other problem? And of course the problem grows, so they've created quite a bulletproof argument for an age of stupidity. Then, there is a simple program like E-verify that the left is trying to kill in Congress. If they won't make that simple move, what move will they make? None.

Absolutely, no solution. The only solution will be when they are such a force they can quiet my voice and you know they won't hesitate to do that.

Posted by: sN on March 9, 2009 7:05 PM

I used to enjoy this blog, but I find the dialogue has been getting crankier and crankier. It's like Archie Bunker with hemmorhoids these days.

This post has caused me to delete this site from my bookmarks (I know, I can hear your sarcastic handwringing already). I know most of the shouters here don't give a rat's petoot about somebody that is critical of them -- painting them as lib left pantywaist molly coddlers (I am none of these things) but this post left be speechless with its overt racism.

The thrust of it was not to critique immigration policies (plenty of fodder there) but to decry the presence of brown children in our schools. Well. There you have it. And anyone that commented with a "whoa, fella" was taunted as a lib left pantywaist etc.

Look, all of us come from immigrant stock. Most of our relatives were shat on when they came over, and were pointed to by the elites (those whose families had been here a generation or two longer) as inferior, bringing nasty ethnic ways with them that would destroy decent American culture. However immigrant culture IS American culture. Constantly changing demographics are our strength. Decrying the presence of peope who are "other", to me, is itself unpatriotic.

Now, if the issue is that we have no decent immigration policy, well, OK. But I read this post and most of these comments as absolutely racist. Racial loathing first, debate on policy second.

And that has knocked this blog into Tin Foil Hat Kookville, as far as Im concerned.

Posted by: dilettante on March 9, 2009 8:05 PM

SN Even the soft "Please, Michael" arguments have a strain of authoritarianism in them. Plz, Michael, dont have these awful debates about immigration -- in other words no polite person discusses such matters
Actually I enjoy having a debate about immagration.

Posted by: chic noir on March 9, 2009 10:55 PM

You're a pompous ass, dilettante.

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

And, by the way, since I know you'll check back, I'll state the first rule of the bigot hunting biz.

You, dilettante, are an extreme, virulent racist. Don't know why, but it always works out this way. In your personal life, you are one of the most vile racists on this earth. Guaranteed.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on March 9, 2009 11:11 PM


Archie bunker with hemorrhoids, nice shot now make an argument with it. You know the lunatics on this thread have made points that are not rebutted by your preening of your feathers. And guess what, maybe what the times call for is an archie bunker with hemmorhoids. It's possible.

As for deleting this site, a mostly arts site, because it hits some nerves on this issue. Let me take a swig from my Piss Christ Tall beer and ponder that. What were we discussing unicorns and rainbows? Give these gentlemen credit for opening things up.

After the LA riots the media told us the killings and arson were expressions of the feelings of many in the black community. Did you give up on CNN, NBC, ABC ect..? Talk about allowing ugliness to be expressed. I mean no one here has approached that level.

It is statiscally clear that illegal immigration is changing the demographics of a nation. Changing the demographics of a nation is that a small thing to you? That is what we call a mega tsunami of racial change. (You tell me to fight this without touching any racial nerves.) Racial change that is being done illegally. Most of it is from Mexico, but somehow we are not suppose to let that creep into our arguments. If the illegals' children in my city have a 40 percent drop out rate -- how am I suppose to sugarcoat that for you? If their neighborhoods are gang bang dumps, do i have to pretend otherwise -- must I adopt a sort of updated Victorian manners for our crappy elite? I say a bit troubling that the ruffians control so much of LA perhaps midnight croquet will change things. Every presidential candidate went to La Raza to speak. God forbid, I stand up or even partially rise out of my seat for my raza.

And please -- I would love to leave race out of everything. But holy crap, sir, RACE IS EVERYTHING when the powers that be are using it against me. A frickin noose on Halloween becomes a federal case. They often hire and promote people based on race where I work. The govt encourages and at times forces this. The activists tell me their kids need to be taught by their own race. The list of racial crap from the other side would probably blow up google's search engines.

What does immigrant culture is American culture even mean? Did you buy a bumper sticker from one of Shouting Thomas' neighbors? There is no immigrant culture. They all come with their own cultures --good, bad, ugly and combinations thereof. Since most of this immigration is Mexican are you saying Mexican culture is American culture? Because many Mexicans would want to boycott you for that. Even if they couldnt express it in the eloquent style of your tin foil hats that you must of learned at Lame Internet Comments 101.

As for an immigration policy --this is the real pisser. HEY EVERYONE --WE HAVE ONE! (Apologies to my English teacher who hated exclamation marks.) Yes, we have laws against what I am complaining about. So the demographic change is being accomplished against the law. Now if American culture were immigrant culture they might know that matters. It matter a whole lot. Look south to see how it is where it does not matter - and - Adios, Amigo.

Posted by: sN on March 9, 2009 11:29 PM

SN Even the soft "Please, Michael" arguments have a strain of authoritarianism in them. Plz, Michael, dont have these awful debates about immigration -- in other words no polite person discusses such matters.

Actually I enjoy having a debate about immagration.

Posted by: chic noir on March 9, 2009 10:55 PM

Check your powder. That misfired.

Posted by: sN on March 10, 2009 6:03 AM

I do love this whole debate.
(Oh, and not all of us are immigrants, some of us had America come to us)

Still, I love the breathlessness of the fears of Aztlan. Trust me, the end goal isn't Aztlan, the end goal has nothing to do with race or nation at all. In fact, the end goal will make Aztlan seem like a fairly nice option, because at least even in the worst barrios there's the brutal freedom of tooth and nail.

They be playing all y'alls, so keep on shouting at each other.

Posted by: Spike Gomes on March 10, 2009 6:09 AM

MB – Despite your admirable erudition and cleverness, a review of this thread from the initial posting on also illustrates that you can often be quite disingenuous as well. You are well aware of the commenting style and attitudes of many of the regular posters. So, I have to assume you knew perfectly well the sort of responses you would generate with your pithy, three sentence opener:

A quarter of the kids in the U.S.'s kindergartens are Hispanic.
Get ready for it: By 2023, more than half of America's children will be non-white.
For more cheery predictions, why not cut to a video?

Especially followed by said video, an expression of the most apocalyptic view of our economic present and future. This is decidedly NOT the way to get a substantive discussion about immigration going, nor is it likely to educate anyone not already well aware of the facts regarding US demographics and immigration.

You then immediately slam newcomer Daniel for using sarcasm to point out the racism that lurks just beneath the surface, which you know from past evidence will goad others into making more overtly racist comments. All in all it accomplishes what seems to be your actual goal, a wondrous flame war in which your stable of regulars can vent their spleen on the unwary newcomers like Daniel or the few regulars like me who can be counted on to not ignore overt racism and jingoism when they encounter it.

Review the exchange just above between dilettante and ST; it neatly condenses the dynamic you seem to be going for. dilettante points out the rude, racist, xenophobic, and (for many of us) unpatriotic tone you've been so creatively encouraging here of late. ST then bluntly insults and impugns dilettante's character, intelligence and motives in an inelegant ad hominem attack.

It may be lively and build traffic, but in the end you are still left with a meaningless flame war highly unlikely to shed any new light on the topic.

To end on a more substantive note; among the numbered points in your March 7, 2009 1:30 PM comment your first asks, If you know of a number of instances of countries that have put themselves through what we're putting ourselves through and have thereby prospered, please let me know about them. I'm not aware of many.

Depending on how far back in time one goes, and from whose perspective you view the outcome, the obvious answer is the North American continent in the seventeenth century followed soon after by the Australian continent. Massive and rapid demographic changes were wrought by immigrants, unwanted and unasked for by the continents' native inhabitants. These immigrants destroyed rich, vibrant, and multifaceted cultures and nations. The original inhabitants, somewhat correctly, viewed them as ignorant, pale-faced (racially inferior), interlopers with scant understanding of ecological balance and personal hygiene, let alone civilized manners. Their predilection for using violence rather than diplomacy to solve disputes meant they overran the indigenous population with guns and disease. It took at least a century or more for these newcomers to settle into the neighborhood and become somewhat civilized.

Now, from the perspective of those of us who are descendants of the immigrants thought by the native population to be ignorant, violent, genetically inferior, ne'er-do-wells, we're faced with seeing the descendants of the original inhabitants (and the Iberian branch of our European family tree as well, it's true) reclaiming part of their old neighborhood.

Payback is a bitch, ain't it.

Posted by: Chris White on March 10, 2009 8:24 AM


I understand your frustration, but are the powers that be actually using race against you? The examples you cite seem mostly like annoyances... assuming you're white (sorry if that's off the mark), it seems like using race against you would have to go past misguidedly over-conscientious attempts to be fair to minorities, no? Unless the efforts of those "powers that be" you speak of have produced any kind of truly malignant side effects, I don't see why we have to go out of our way to crucify those who are making an effort to be sensitive to that stuff.

And I really doubt any era calls for acting like an Archie Bunker with butt concerns...

Posted by: Ryan on March 10, 2009 8:54 AM

sN -- Apologies, didn't mean to misuse or disrespect your views, which I enjoy hearing about and learning from.

Dilettante -- Glad you've been visiting, sorry if you've decided to stop. If you're returning to this thread, though ...

"The thrust of [this posting] was not to critique immigration policies (plenty of fodder there) but to decry the presence of brown children in our schools." Well, no. As I explained in a comment above, the thrust was -- as always with my postings on immigration -- to criticize policies that are imposing a massive and risky demographic change on a country that demonstrably doesn't want it. I realize the posting itself was pretty terse, but since I've been writing about this stuff for six years now I don't see the need to spell every single one of my points out out each and every time I throw a link up.

"Look, all of us come from immigrant stock." Can I suggest that you're buying into an argument that may be worth taking a look at? It's called the "proposition nation" thesis -- basically that the U.S. has no ethnic history of its own, that it's just a nation of immigrants, etc. It's not really agreed-upon historical truth. In fact, it's a debating argument that's championed by people who want high levels of immigration, who want to suppress all discussion of who and how many come in, and who want to pre-emptively undercut any and all objections from people who already inhabit the U.S. The opposing stance (which makes more sense to me) is roughly this: 1) The U.S. has, like any other nation, its own history. 2) It was formed and shaped by an invading and then settling population (note: NOT an "immigrant" population), crossed with the slaves they brought along and the natives they conquered. 3) Its institutions are very much extensions of the Anglo world. 4) On and off, this historical nation has allowed larger or smaller groups of people to join them, on the understanding that they would assimilate to local norms. 5) A massive change in all this was imposed by the Ted Kennedy-sponsored 1965 Immigration Act, and by the multicultural establishment that has taken shape in in the wake of the '60s.

Hey, one non-whitey-centric example of why the "proposition nation" view is hideous: It leaves no way to respect the historical place and importance of black people in this country. If "we're all immigrants," then how can you object on any principled basis to letting an immigrant group numerically overwhelm blacks? Why should it matter? And so you wind up with the rather hilarious if tragic spectacle of lefties (generally big advocates for black people) advocating policies that are screwing black people over.

If your understanding of the country is a different one (we're a mix of anglos, blacks, and natives who have over the centuries folded some other groups of people into the mix), then you're perfectly comfortable saying, "Hey, black people have always been important in the U.S., slavery really is something to remember and take into account, screwing our black people over numerically would be a new form of disenfranchising them, so let's not do that." From respect-for-history to respect-for-black-people to a principled-objection-to- current-policies. Nice.

Anyway, just as a practical matter, it doesn't hurt to be aware that the "we're a nation of immigrants" line isn't in fact widely-agreed-upon-historical-truth. It's in fact a line that's peddled by the heavy-immigration/ multiculturalism crowd in order to assume and impose the set of conclusions that they want.

Chris -- Awesome job of projecting, patting yourself on the back, and generally playing thought police. I'm in sympathy with a lot of your tastes. The moral preening, though, I just don't get.

Ryan -- There's a nice side to multiculturalism and PC, being considerate and respectful and all that. I think of it as "soft" multiculturalism. But the multiculti/PC thing long ago got taken over by power-hungry interest groups, and they wield it as a club to bash the opposition with, to silence objections, and to generally get their way. These aren't sweetly-misguided people who get a little carried away sometimes. They're highly-conscious, cunning, wannabe tyrants. Some are sincere in their attachment to the ideals of multiculturalism, some are just using it to achieve power -- but past a certain point, does it really matter? It's fun that you're joining in the conversation here, by the way. You might enjoy an interview we did with Jim Kalb, who's very smart and eloquent about what he calls "the tyranny of liberalism." I don't agree with every single point of Jim's, by the way, but I always find wrestling with his arguments to be enjoyable and brain-opening.


Posted by: Michael Blowhard on March 10, 2009 10:57 AM


Of course I checked back. Your rudeness bile and spite is exactly what I am talking about. Would you talk like that to anyone you were looking eye to eye with? Why act like this? I wouldn't accept this kind of puerile venting behaviour from my 7 year old. Get a grip.

Nowhere did you even attempt to address my statement. If you think it is wrong, or wrongheaded, fine. Say why. Insults do nothing.

Don't know why you think I am a racist, but, OK, fine. Don't know if I am one of the most vile racists on the planet yet. Let me work on it, though. Where do you get them bedsheets? Catalogue?

An as long as we're assessing each other's characters, my guess is that an on line shouting bully is in real life a weak disempowered intellectual lightweight who has soiled most of his personal relationships with his intransigence and bile. Or, worse, you are really a decent guy in real life who internalizes his rage and self loathing and channels it into sad little tantrums in front of his computer.

Beats me what purpose is served by it all though.

Posted by: dilettante on March 10, 2009 11:26 AM

Payback is a bitch, ain't it.

The rationale for your views on immigration in a nutshell.


Jesus Christ, that a country like America could produce large numbers of people with views like yours is a mystery to me. Wanting, wishing, willing your own country, your own people, to suffer for "historical wrongs".

Of course, you don't view Republican/flyover country/red state/suburban types as being your people, do you? Item: "The original inhabitants, somewhat correctly [love that 'somewhat'! Mealy-mouthed PC press flunky C. White strikes again!- ed.], viewed them as ignorant, pale-faced (racially inferior) [loooove those parentheses! Mealy-mouthed PC media design flunky C. White strikes again! - ed], interlopers with scant understanding of ecological balance and personal hygiene, let alone civilized manners."

Civilized manners like those Aztecs who thoughtfully provided a tangy tomato sauce to go with the hearts they carved out the evening meal and served up to guests...with musical accompaniment!

Oh wait, the descendants of those Aztecs are precisely the people who'll be a good chunk of that quarter of kindergarteners in the rapidly darkening future of your soon-to-be-third-world country. Perhaps they'll continue to have a beneficial effect on your cuisine.

[To the tune of the spoonful of sugar song from the Sound of Music]
Just a dash of tomato makes that ventricle go down
Ventricle go dooow-oown
Ventricle. Go. Down.

And as long as the payback is paid back to them, by their thin brown (racially superior) victims, paid to those big fat interlopers with their big fat bodies and big fat body odour and big fat meals and big fat eco-rapingness and their big fat cars and big fat violence...well, keep it coming. Keep paying them back.

And that way, at long last, right-wing America will suffer their just (low-cal) desserts for all their right-wing sins.

I just wish the people who think like you would be as inadvertantly revealing as you were in that last sentence.

Posted by: PatrickH on March 10, 2009 12:09 PM

Mitch - if I may take a whack at 2 or 3 of your observations:

#1 and #3: In answer to all the points you bring up here: Sure. But what's your point? I agree that "Hispanic" can be a crude and imprecise term, depending on what you're using it for, and often used to obfuscate and throw sand during immigration debates. For example, as any discussion of "Hispanic" immigration into the U.S. expands past say, 20 or 30 comments, the probability that someone will inform us that Argentinians are Europeans goes to 1. This is true, but it's also pretty much irrelevant to the problems (if you even agree they're problems) caused by recent large-scale migration of mainly Mexican and Central American populations into the U.S. But as you do here, the people who with one breath will tell you that you can't speak of "Hispanics" as a monolith, will turn right around and (back to #1) claim that Californios and Tejanos - who've been around since the Fall, who've been Americans from the time the U.S. conquered the land, whose ancestors very likely had no patriotic attachment to the writ of Mexico City, who are not immigrants at all, as a matter of fact - are somehow now the mirror of all these previously elusively diverse "Hispanic" immigrants. (In a similar fashion Cubans are not Guatemalans (true), but Guatemalans are Cubans (when it's convenient for the argument)). I've seen these two contradictory claims placed back to back probably a hundred times, and for the life of me I can't make out what point is being argued.

And Mexico may be "less alien", but it has a culture very distinct from that of the United States. Of course the border region has always had a blending of the two cultures - border regions are like that everywhere. But something else is happening when an anglophone kid in Iowa can no longer attend her neighborhood school because over summer vacation it was designated a Spanish-speaking school, or anglophone parents in Houston are told to stuff it when they demand that their kid be taught in English, not Spanish. (Insert myriad examples of this sort of thing from many states). I don't recall that in the past the process of assimilation involved the natives having to learn the newcomers' languages. Now, you may think this sort of transformation is just peachy and not a problem, and that the U.S. becoming a bilingual and bi-cultural nation is a glorious thing. (I don't - I think Anglo North America has a unique and valuable cultural worth preserving, and that Latinizing it will reduce the vibrancy of the hemisphere. I guess I'm just a sucker for diversity.) But if you want to make that argument you're going to have to abandon the pretense that 2009 is exactly like 1840 or 1900 when it comes to immigration, and that the current influx of Hispanic immigrants is exactly like previous waves.

#2: If anything, they are likely to take less time than other groups to become Americanized.

Are you extrapolating this from your beliefs about Mexican culture, or do you know this for a fact? I've seen studies that are all over the map, and the conclusions depend very much on "whose study" and what is meant by "Americanized". Are recent Mexican immigrants into California being Americanized, or is California being Mexicanized? Is the on-going out-migration of working and middle class whites and blacks from California the result of these people just being ignorant racists who haven't got the message that cultural foundations and continuity are "unAmerican", or are they normal human beings with an existing national culture who prefer not to live in what has become an alien cultural environment? (Are Mexicans who complain about yanquis filling up their towns and "Americanizing" them racists? I sure don't think so.)

#5 is pure romantic nonsense. Even if we assume that there are no meaningful differences - wherever you place the origins of those differences - among people (and that's a faith-based if), "[w]e can make an American out of any raw material the earth affords" only under the specific conditions of vigorous cultural confidence on the part of the host country, conditions (including the geographic and demographic) that impose the sort of "civic boot camp" that forces most members of immigrant groups out of the comfort zone of their ethnic ghettos, and willingness on the part of the immigrants. That last condition varies, the first two no longer exist or exist in impotently attenuated form.

Posted by: Moira Breen on March 10, 2009 12:24 PM

The inevitable Chris White: But WE don't want to do any of those jobs ourselves and certainly don't want OUR kids to do any of the work involved in making these desires reality.

If you and your kids are really such effete, soft-handed little parasites, kemosabe, don't you think that indicates a certain failure of character and paternal responsibility? Nice to see that you and Karl Rove feel the same way about your kids not having to get their hands dirty. I've done plenty of those "jobs Americans won't do" in my time, and *my* kid has been earning money since she was fourteen, doing hard agricultural labor and cleaning hotel rooms, when she's not studying her butt off in the hardest-core classes available. So screw you, whiter man.

You know what I like best about your comments, Chris? That for all your posing as Mr. Progressive, 75% of their content sounds as if it comes straight from corporate propaganda central. You should keep that in mind if you find yourself in want of employment in these tough economic times. Corporations spend millions upon millions vilifying American workers to Congress, and there are signs that they're just going to keep ramping up the slander as times get tougher, as there are still just too many of your countrymen with reasonably well-paid jobs, and the current crop of guest workers working 80 hours a week for low wages just aren't working hard enough and cheap enough to stay competitive in this cratering global economy! Spending your days in a nice clean swipple office, denigrating your countrymen and lauding slave labor conditions for foreigners! Your dream job, in a growth field! Think about it, Chris! But no need to thank me for the suggestion. I think we Americans ought to be sticking together and helping each other out in any way we can in these dark days.

Posted by: Moira Breen on March 10, 2009 1:52 PM

So, I get slapped for "moral preening" with no comment about the Shouting One and some others' generally boorish and personal attacks? What's with that, Michael? I know, I know, life ain't fair.

It is difficult, if not down right impossible, to offer counter arguments to a string of comments by, what did someone call them; Archie Bunkers with hemorrhoids, without slipping from the mythic elevated plane you might wish characterized these exercises. Faced with comments like, " if the blacks are any example, you'd better get a deadbolt for the front door, a big dog and a shotgun and start really hiding your money. or responding to suggestions that I cease soiling [my] diapers in this way makes it hard to avoid resorting to sarcasm or sanctimony.

Speaking of disingenuous, I really enjoyed the semantic tap dance you performed that transformed the wave of European civilians who arrived here when it was still known as the New World, like the Puritans fleeing religious persecution back home, from immigrants to invaders. Don't the natives see all unwanted immigrants as invaders? Isn't that exactly the nature of the complaints raised here about those brown Spanish speakers, that they are invaders? While I give this props for its PoMo use of semiotics it doesn't address the point being made by those of us who recognize American culture as the product of an on-going, dynamic, and ever-in-flux mix of peoples from many different countries, ethnicities, and ancestral cultures.

Do you seriously think that most of those commenting from a tough anti-immigration POV care a whit about the negative impact on blacks that dramatic increases in browns might have? If so, I think you need to seriously review the aggregate of the opinions expressed by said posters.

While it is fine to use poor old Teddy as a whipping boy and pretend that everything was fine and civilized until 1965, this is a serious distortion of historic facts. Being a New Englander I am well aware, for example, of the long and contentious history of the Francophone community here. I suspect a thread focused not on brown skinned Spanish speakers, but on French speakers would reveal a very complex and often ugly past that our Canadian posters would find still resonates in their bi-lingual country.

Perhaps I've gotten tagged for moral preening because of my repeated attempt to suggested practical, doable, everyday actions we can take ourselves to lessen this problem; other than getting guns and big dogs, of course. No one wants to risk upsetting their cozy relationship with the hostess of the trendy restaurant by asking the owner who is busing tables or washing the dishes. No one wants to pay a few bucks more for American made shoes. In short, I'm the sort of prig, puritan, and preening moralist who points out that we need to solve problems through our own actions, not simply complain about the elites and make scapegoats of the immigrants.

Posted by: Chris White on March 10, 2009 2:45 PM

Oh dear. Mr White, I can't believe that you're using the fate of Native Americans to help you make your case in favour of immigration - which is, in effect, what you're doing. (I mean, how's it working out for them, hey?) I can't help but think that you know very well that this kind of mass immigration is bad for many Americans, but that you enjoy the possibility that they'll suffer "payback" for their own ancestors' invasive arrival in the US. That's an atrocious suggestion, and you deserve to be called on it.

The motives of some commenters (racism, insularity, etc.) regarding immigration are entirely irrelevant to the issue of whether the flood of immigrants from Mexico is good for the United States or not. That's an ad hominem argument, and a foolish one when the stakes are so high.

To use an example that may resonate better with you: does the fact that some people stand to make a packet from various anti-global warming schemes, and that some (Al Gore) appear to be hypocrites, mean that efforts to control global warming ought to be abandoned, or that global warming itself is a fraud? (I'm a bit of a global warming sceptic myself, but I expect that you are not.)

I sometimes agree with your comments, unlike most of your other critics in this thread, but on this occasion I think their suggestion that you enjoy your righteous anger too much to give it up, even when you suspect that your opponents may be right, is correct.

Posted by: aliasclio on March 10, 2009 5:02 PM

I agree that CW's "payback" comment was reprehensible, but I find it interesting that one of the very few times he lurches into frustrated attacks, he's immediately taken to task for it, while the rest of the usual boors, led by ST, continue bleating away with nary a word against them. I realize it all comes down to whoever you happen to agree with, but still, it's annoying.

Posted by: JV on March 10, 2009 5:50 PM

"Payback is a bitch, ain't it."

Yes it is....

Am I allowed to oppose immigration so that I don't get killed by a car bomb?

Posted by: anon on March 10, 2009 6:03 PM

Not all Hispanic immigrants are from Mexico. Most are entering the country through Mexico but are from Bolivia, Peru, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Brazil(-His) etc..

If I entered France by way of the Italian border, does that make me Italian?

fun fact: Some of the most violent immigrants come from a South American country by the name of.... El Salvador. These gang members come from the most vicious gang this country has ever seen MS__ .

bonus points for the name of the senator who invited MS folk over .

Posted by: chic noir on March 10, 2009 6:50 PM

JV is Chris's comment any different from those who are hoping that Obama fails?

Posted by: chic noir on March 10, 2009 6:52 PM

Do you seriously think that most of those commenting from a tough anti-immigration POV care a whit about the negative impact on blacks that dramatic increases in browns might have?

Steve Sailer has written about this very thing, yet no one listens to Steve because we all know he is a racist.

Left wing people are all about trying to change human nature, right wing people are trying to build societies around it.

Posted by: slumlord on March 10, 2009 7:32 PM

JV, I'm sure I speak for others when I say that I've long since given up either remonstrating or reasoning with Shoutin' T. My silence doesn't indicate that I agree with the man's views, or esp. the language in which he expresses them - although, of course, every now and then I do.

To his credit, ST doesn't really present his opinions as arguments; they are simply expressions of his feelings about those issues which he chooses to discuss. Chris White, on the other hand, does attempt to present his own highly emotion-charged views in the form of an argument, thus opening himself to the irritation of readers here, who sense that he is being disingenuous - to use his own word - about the way in which he arrives at his point-of-view.

I've occasionally suspected in the past that he enjoys the sensation of being "holier than you all" more than he really approves or disapproves of a particular policy, but this is the first time I've seen such striking proof of it.

I mean, I'm certain he's right and that some commenters on immigration here are moved as much by racism as by a considered view of what is good for the US, but so what? They deserve to be punished for it by being flooded with illegal newcomers even if it destroys the country? I'm equally certain that, as he says, gov't policy, the attitudes of consumers who want cheap goods, and employers who want cheap labour, have helped to make the present situation possible, but again so what? The way to right these wrongs is not to turn a blind eye to yet more illegal immigrants. It's hard not to suspect that he's arguing in bad faith when he tacitly supports this approach to the problem.

p.s. I don't know if you're aware, Chris, that the people of Quebec are very insistent about their right to control immigration to their province - because they want to ensure that the French language is protected. They know, as Americans apparently don't yet, that the language of your immigrants is likely to become the language of your future.

Posted by: aliasclio on March 10, 2009 7:42 PM

chic, if he means it, it's no different. But from reading his comments over the past few years, I've grown to respect CW's thoughtfulness when stating his opinions and so chalk up his remark to frustration.

Posted by: JV on March 10, 2009 8:00 PM

fun fact: Some of the most violent immigrants come from a South American country by the name of.... El Salvador. These gang members come from the most vicious gang this country has ever seen MS__ .

Looks like they're going to get a run for their money:

Payback will be a bitch, Chris! More dead cops, who cares, right? Yay, diversity!

Posted by: anonymous on March 10, 2009 8:03 PM

clio, CW is usually one of the few offering up any real, and more importantly, immediate solutions to such problems as illegal immigration. From what I can tell from the vast majority of his comments on the subject, he recognizes that there is a problem and is in favor of things like tightening up the borders and prosecuting business owners who employ illegals. But he realizes that those things are up to our financial and political elite to enact, and so he consistently offers up ideas that individuals can undertake; very sensible ideas, IMO. And yet he's just as consistently bashed for it because things like buying produce from a CSA sounds like something a damn dirty hippie would do.

His tone can get sanctimonious at times, I guess (I personally don't find it so, not counting the payback comment), but the substance is there.

Counter that with rants against the "elites" and/or whatever minority group were discussing, sans any real solutions, that make up most of the rest of the comments on such subjects. I'll take CW's style any day.

Posted by: JV on March 10, 2009 8:32 PM

JV, correct me if I'm wrong, but CW's solution to the problem of massive immigration appears to amount to little more than telling people to "buy local" (esp. produce and other foodstuffs), and "don't buy so much".

I doubt that these gestures will make much difference. It isn't the well-off middle-class that is driving up the demand for cheaper produce and meat, it's those who are a little lower down on the social scale. Arresting or fining those who hire illegal immigrants for cheap labour might work better, but it's not really enough either. As long as there are people desperate to work for a pittance, there will be employers who find a way to take advantage of this fact. Better not to allow them in, in the first place, than to try to prevent them from being hired, or working, once they've arrived.

(A semi-related corollary: I would really prefer to buy clothes manufactured in Canada or the US, or somewhere where I can be certain that labour laws protect their makers. Since it's very difficult to find any clothing here that isn't made in China, I end up caving in and buying the Chinese-made goods. That's why a change in the laws that have flooded us with this stuff might be better than a personal boycott against it, which no one is likely to notice except me.)

As for your complaints against those who blame the "elites", I think you're missing the point. The elites are at fault not because they're the only ones who benefit from illegal immigration (although they probably benefit more than most other Americans, at least in the long term), but because they have a tendency to shout down every attempt to address the problem with cries of "racism" and "xenophobia" and so forth.

Posted by: aliasclio on March 10, 2009 9:28 PM

aliasclio – Your comments, including arguments you have with mine, generally do respond to the points I actually make. In this case you seem willing to accept the off-kilter views of my position put forth by the likes of His Shoutingness.

Review this thread and others in the archives on immigration. The opinions I've expressed are: (1) there should be tighter border control; (2) there should be much harsher penalties for employers who hire, then exploit immigrants, both legal and illegal; (3) immigrants are fellow humans trying to do the best they can for their families and deserve compassion, not vilification; (4) elites are the problem, not the solution, and, most importantly; (5) if we want to change things, we have more influence as consumers than we do as voters.

I am consistently baffled that a bunch of posters who often seem one new outrage shy of setting up guillotines on Wall Street and in front of the Capitol keep talking about solving the problem with stricter laws, better enforced through tighter border control. Which is fine and dandy, they're points I've repeatedly agreed with and expressed myself, but how has that been working out so far? The problem I see is that these ideas require top down governmental actions.

Given another point most here apparently agree with, that the political duopoly serves the interests of the oligarchy not those of the average citizen, I'm suggesting we look for actions we can actually make rather than simply complaining about what they do to us. Since I see most immigrants as fellow victims of the same oligarchs who are screwing me and mine over, a vigilante solution doesn't appeal to me. That only embraces all the negatives we fear and heads us toward becoming more like Mexico, not more authentically American. And it still serves the interests of the oligarchs.

Use the tools and power we have to encourage the changes we want to see. I buy as much as I practically can locally. Whatever ST might claim, I don't make myself a martyr to the cause of localism. If the shirts are all from SE Asia but I still need a shirt, I buy a shirt.

My points can be dismissed as SWPL. Is that really a valid counterargument?

For the record, I've done, and still do, plenty of jobs considered blue collar. I've gotten dirty and bloody for a buck as have most of my family and friends. From evidence offered in comments here the Shouting One has lived a far more genteel white-collar existence than I have. That he repeatedly impugns my character and makes off the mark assumptions about my life pushes my buttons and gets my dander up, which may well be his intent. So, sometimes I sling one back.

There does, however, seem to be a clear double standard when it comes to reaction to the use of hyperbole, snarkiness, and invectives. Attempting to craft comments that avoid simply attacking those with whom I disagree makes me prissy. Detailing those things I do to support change makes me a martyr. Suggesting courses of action others might consider taking makes me a puritan. Letting an ill-considered zinger slip out makes me reprehensible.

What do direct personal attacks like this most recent riff; "They can make the despicable choice that Chris White has made: to become a kiss ass for every sissified liberal cause." by His Shoutingness get?

"Oh, that card Tommy, gotta love his cranky style."

Posted by: Chris White on March 11, 2009 1:17 AM

I am consistently baffled that a bunch of posters who often seem one new outrage shy of setting up guillotines on Wall Street and in front of the Capitol keep talking about solving the problem with stricter laws, better enforced through tighter border control. [...] The problem I see is that these ideas require top down governmental actions.

You aren't showing much subtlety on this point. Everyone but an ultra-libertarian wacko agrees that state power is more appropriate and effective in some areas than others. There's no hypocrisy in believing that government should have full control of the nation's air force and food labeling standards but not of the health care system.

Posted by: blue anonymous on March 11, 2009 4:40 AM

All right, Chris, I expect I have done you an injustice. Your position sounds reasonable in the last comment you wrote here. But I did read your previous comments on this thread quite carefully, I thought (I haven't yet done so again), and I couldn't detect much of the position you set out so clearly above. You appeared to be far more concerned with attacking the motives of the other commenters than stating what you think is wrong with current immigration laws in your country. I haven't read your other comments on the subject in other posts because I usually avoid those posts' comments. I don't much like their tone myself, and I fear it plays into the hands of the "oligarchs" who love to pronounce that all those who would restrict immigration are racists, etc.

You do appear to have misunderstood what I said about ST. It's not that I think he's a lovable crank, exactly. It's that his invective is clearly invective, so I don't take it seriously. When you, however, make comments about payback, it sounds as if you mean them - partly because the concept fits so neatly with your anger towards American insularity and racism.

Posted by: aliasclio on March 11, 2009 10:36 AM

No one made you drop the mask/let the cat out of the bag/show your true colours with that "Payback is a bitch" comment, Chris. In defence of you, JV has described it as "reprehensible" and ascribes it to your being "frustrated".

So, what is Chris? Were you frustrated? Do you think the comment was reprehensible? Or did you compose the comment in a state of mental clarity and with intent? I think you did, JV's defence of you notwithstanding. So, blame it on ST and repudiate the comment. Or don't repudiate it...but that means you can't blame it on the Shouter, can you?

Either way, you wrote that sentence and hit the Post button. Time to man up, Chris. Take responsibility. Are you repudiating it now? Or do you stand by it?

Posted by: PatrickH on March 11, 2009 12:52 PM

Was I frustrated? Absolutely! The bitching, moaning, ad hominem attacks, and scapegoating of fellow victims based on their ethnicity seem to me ineffective and often, given the invectives, slurs and epithets used, (dare I say it?) reprehensible.

Do I stand behind the comment "payback is a bitch"? That is somewhat more difficult to answer. Seemingly it has been interpreted to mean that I support or encourage the worst effects of unchecked immigration, which is not at all how I meant it. It was meant to be a cautious reminder, to use another cliché, "that what goes around, comes around." Or to use an Allen Toussaint lyric, "The same people that you must use on your way up/You might meet up/on your way down."

As the US was undergoing rapid population growth and expansion we (our ancestors that is) took over vast portions of the continent. In doing so we treated the inhabitants already there, the ancestors of today's immigrants, in ways not designed to build friendship and trust. The default attitude of the American majority toward most non-white, heck, non-northern European, heck, non-Anglo, immigrants was that they were at least somewhat inferior and their assimilation was, at best, conditional and limited to second class status.

Our relationship with the countries of origin of the wave of Hispanic immigrants also needs to be kept in mind as we discuss the immigration issue. How many regimes of corrupt oligarchies have been installed after direct invasion or through proxy coups then supported by the US in Central and South America over the last century? Let's see there's Panama, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Ecuador, Bolivia, Mexico, Chile ... am I forgetting any? This history, much of it within the lifetimes of many of those same immigrants, is crucial to understanding the dynamics of today.

So is the simple truth that demographics are destiny. When falling birthrates among white Americans meet up with rising populations of various other ethnic and cultural groups there are few means to avoid the inevitable. We could breed our way out of the situation. We could consider eugenics or partial genocide. We could recreate the Iron Curtain over here with the goal of keeping folk out rather than in. We could retreat to gated communities protected by vigilantes. To be honest, none of these particularly appeal to me.

So I suggest we devote our energies toward celebrating and nurturing our own culture. One way we can do that is to redirect our personal cash flows to shrink the amount of funds flowing to the oligarchs, here and abroad. And I'd love to learn what other constructive, proactive, suggestions anyone else has to offer. So far, such suggestions seem to be in mighty short supply.

Posted by: Chris White on March 11, 2009 3:47 PM

Posted by Chris White at March 11, 2009

"Do I stand behind the comment "payback is a bitch"? That is somewhat more difficult to answer."

I'll bet it is. And you failed to answer because you don't have one, despite the obfuscating commentary you left as you tried to bullshit your way around it.

Posted by: anon on March 11, 2009 6:55 PM

if we want to change things, we have more influence as consumers than we do as voters.

I think this is false. It's like saying it's possible to win a war by boycotting the enemies grocery stores instead of voting to fund an army. Controlling the border is a classic public good, requiring mandated contributions by all and enforcement by a public authority. Attempts to provide public goods through individual voluntary actions (like shopping) inevitably fail because of the collective action problem. It's sheer sentimentality to pretend otherwise.

Posted by: MQ on March 12, 2009 9:53 PM

It's like saying it's possible to win a war by boycotting the enemies grocery stores instead of voting to fund an army.

Not that I buy the underlying presumption that we are in a war with our various neighbors to the south, but in wars one does not usually vote to fund an army to defend against some perceived enemy while also remaining the largest consumer of goods produced and exported by them.

Nowhere have I suggested being in favor of totally open borders. What I have suggested is that when our collective actions as consumers are in conflict with what we claim we want through our votes our buying power will dominate the results we see.

Posted by: Chris White on March 13, 2009 6:52 AM

MQ used an analogy involving war to make a point about public goods. He didn't suggest we are at war with anyone. COnsider a look at the classic "Tragedy of the commons" paper from Science, or this:

As for our military outlays - for all I know they could stand to be cut by 25% or more, and my instincts do run that way, but I lack the knowledge to have a serious opinion. That's not my point, though. My point is that if we cut our military down enough, the rest of the world would have to spend to protect itself from Russia and China (which might push various countries around, without necessarily conquering them). Thus, although the EU and Japan may give more money to the poor countries, we effectively give rather large amounts of money to the EU and Japan, thus freeing up disposable revenue for them to donate abroad.

I also wonder if your figures account for private giving from the US vs that from Japan etc?

I'm not saying the US is necessarily head-n-shoulders the greatest country ever to exist (though I think it is a pretty good one). I've taken a course on the often heavy-handed interventions in Latin America that I think you mentioned. Yes, that was largely some *&^%&^% up stuff. But I think the anti-communist context for many of those actions have to be borne in mind. We wouldn't be quite so worried about those things had they been done on an anti-Nazi basis, would we? Ask yourself, then, if Stalin was really that much lovelier than the Nazis, and how exactly American leaders in say the 60s were supposed to know that there was not going to be another Stalin. Does that justify Vietnam or Nicaragua? I don't know for sure, but that certainly seems like the indispensable context in which to inquire - it just doesn't make sense to just look at the Nicaraguan Contras acontextually.

Posted by: blue anonymous on March 13, 2009 11:51 AM

While I recognize that MQ was using an analogy, since there are numerous references in the thread to the US and its culture being under attack by invading immigrants I saw no reason not to continue to use it myself.

Posted by: Chris White on March 13, 2009 12:56 PM

throwing around "Xenophobe" and "racist" = crutches for people unwilling and/or unable to defend their ideas.

modern white people = only people in human history naive and/or stupid enough to believe that reducing the majority race of a country from 90% of the population to a minority in the span of 70 years is a good thing for that country.

all races are the same save for skin color = indication of insanity and ignorance of world cultures.

white explanation for why certain groups, e.g. Bushmen of Africa, are Stone Age savages = "It's just due to culture." Apparently the Bushmen and other groups got to the culture basket last, or the Culture Fairy didn't sprinkle enough culture dust on them.

Naive and/or stupid whites trying desperately to explain away the unblinking reality that whites have made contriubutions to humanity without rival (technology, medicine, music, politics, human rights, etc. etc.) = pure hilarity.

Posted by: jim jones on March 17, 2009 4:18 AM

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