January 12th, 2018

The s***storm about the s***hole countries

Never a dull moment.

The latest furor is over certain remarks that Trump is alleged to have uttered during a meeting about immigration with Dick Durbin, Lindsay Graham, and “other government officials.” His remarks were criticized variously for both form and content: that the words were vulgar, and that they were bigoted.

I would love to be able to quote exactly what Trump said, but unfortunately we don’t know exactly what he said because his remarks were unrecorded. The meeting was not public nor were reporters there.

I always very much prefer to deal with actual quotes because anything said by anyone can (and probably will) be twisted, misquoted, or misinterpreted. I’ve read many different characterizations of what Trump said at the meeting and they differ somewhat from each other. But with that caveat I’ll discuss the situation as best I can, assuming for the sake of argument that the reports are at least somewhat true.

Of course, that may be a false assumption. Trump has denied portions of the stories:

President Donald Trump on Friday denied that he had insulted Haitians amid an uproar about his reported description of African nations as “shithole countries” during a meeting on immigration with lawmakers.

“The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used,” Trump tweeted. “What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made — a big setback for DACA!”

On Thursday, Trump used vulgar language during a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators at the White House, a Democratic aide briefed on the meeting told NBC News Thursday.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who was present at the meeting and spoke to reporters Friday, confirmed the president’s remarks and said that the media reports were accurate. In recounting the meeting, Durbin suggested that Trump’s “shitholes” slur was aimed at African nations.

Two sources and Durbin said that when the discussion turned to Haiti, Trump questioned why Haitians should be given specific consideration.

“Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out,” he said, according to sources.

The White House issued a statement Thursday that did not deny the remarks. But Trump tweeted Friday that he never said “anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country.”

“Never said ‘take them out.’ Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings — unfortunately, no trust!” he added.

What can we glean from that? Trump writes “this was not the language used,” and added “Never said ‘take them out.'” So perhaps “this was not the language used” refers to “take them out” rather than “s-hole.” Who knows?

More importantly, who cares? Plenty of people. I am quite certain that among my liberal acquaintances who already thought Trump to be a racist—in other words, most of them—this report cements the deal. Of course, they were never going to be Trump supporters anyway.

The most salient thing on which accounts seem to agree is that Trump referred to some countries—perhaps in Africa, perhaps also Haiti—as “shitholes” or “shithole countries.” Let’s go with that, anyway, as a good possibility.

The definition of the word is:

vulgar slang

An extremely dirty, shabby, or otherwise unpleasant place.

So the problem doesn’t seem to be the word’s definition; these are in fact pretty desperate countries in which to live, which is one of the main reasons so many people flee them in the first place. That’s what Trump is referring to in his later tweet where he writes, “Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country.”

There’s a problem, though, with the tone of the word “s-hole,” which is rightly called vulgar. That’s about decorum: what Trump said wasn’t couched in the sort of language presidents and diplomats ordinarily use in public, although it’s a good guess (and with some, a certainty—for example, LBJ) that they sometimes do in private. But although the meeting was private in a sense, Trump was nevertheless acting in his official capacity as president, with lawmakers from both parties in attendance. So he should have been on his guard and known that nothing like this remains private. Of course, maybe he didn’t care.

If Trump had originally said “dysfunctional” countries or “failed” countries or some other cliche more commonly used in public to refer to such countries that actually are a mess (such as in his later tweet about Haiti, “a poor and troubled country”), would it have mattered? Perhaps somewhat, although problems would probably have remained (I’ll get to those in a bit). But there’s no question that Trump’s choice of language made his enemies hoot and holler with glee, although it may have made quite a few supporters shrug and/or say “At last, someone’s telling it like it is.”

But tone was not the only issue here. And this is where we get into special difficulty because of the lack of a transcript or recording: what did Trump actually say and what did he actually mean? It appears that the context in which Trump is alleged to have said this was a discussion of a program that favors immigrants from these countries:

The lawmakers were describing how certain immigration programs operate, including one to give safe haven in the United States to people from countries suffering from natural disasters or civil strife…

The program that was being discussed at the White House is called Temporary Protected Status.

In November, the Trump administration decided to end the status for immigrants from Haiti and Nicaragua. It gave the approximately 59,000 Haitian immigrants who had been granted the status until July 2019 to return home or legalize their presence in the United States. Nicaraguans were given until January 2019.

This week, Trump moved to end the status for immigrants from El Salvador, which could result in 200,000 Salvadorans legally in the United States being deported, beginning in September of next year.

The bipartisan Senate plan would attempt to maintain TPS in return for ending or changing a “diversity” lottery program that has been aimed at allowing up to 50,000 people a year from countries with few emigres to the United States…

Another source familiar with the meeting said Trump was questioning why the United States should take in unskilled laborers from the countries under discussion and should instead welcome immigrants from nations that can offer skilled workers.

That seems to make sense, so let’s just assume that’s what Trump was getting at when he made the remarks in question. I think it’s likely that he was asking why we should favor people from these countries over those from more functional countries. It’s actually a good question although a non-PC one.

Liberals and the left (and some on the right, too, particularly some religious people) say that we actually have an increased duty to give safe haven to those who are from the more dysfunctional countries. On the other side, there are people who think our first duty is to make sure our country only accepts the number and type of immigrants we can safely handle, and that too vast an influx of people from dysfunctional countries at one time can lead to trouble and is unnecessary and unwarranted.

When I was very young, the rules about immigration were still governed by the The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, the passage of which had engendered a debate about our philosophy of immigration not unlike the debates we’ve had recently, although some of the details are different. The 1952 Act continued a previous quota system for immigrants from nations and regions based on their proportions already in the US population, and labor qualifications were part it:

The Act defined three types of immigrants: immigrants with special skills or relatives of U.S. citizens who were exempt from quotas and who were to be admitted without restrictions; average immigrants whose numbers were not supposed to exceed 270,000 per year; and refugees.

Harry Truman vetoed the bill; you can read his reasons why here. The gist of it was that he thought the bill was too inflexible in terms of reacting to crises and needlessly restrictive of immigration from Eastern Europe at the expense of Western Europe. But his veto was overridden and the bill enacted into law.

The remarks of one of the sponsors of the bill—Senator Pat McCarran, Democrat of Nevada—seem of special interest in light of more recent controversies:

I believe that this nation is the last hope of Western civilization and if this oasis of the world shall be overrun, perverted, contaminated or destroyed, then the last flickering light of humanity will be extinguished. I take no issue with those who would praise the contributions which have been made to our society by people of many races, of varied creeds and colors. … However, we have in the United States today hard-core, indigestible blocs which have not become integrated into the American way of life, but which, on the contrary are its deadly enemies. Today, as never before, untold millions are storming our gates for admission and those gates are cracking under the strain. The solution of the problems of Europe and Asia will not come through a transplanting of those problems en masse to the United States. … I do not intend to become prophetic, but if the enemies of this legislation succeed in riddling it to pieces, or in amending it beyond recognition, they will have contributed more to promote this nation’s downfall than any other group since we achieved our independence as a nation.

It’s certainly not difficult to recognize such sentiments, although they were made back in 1953. Interestingly enough, they came from one of Truman’s fellow Democrats, albeit one who was an ally of Joe McCarthy and was accused of having been anti-Semitic (McCarran’s statue may not be long for this world, either).

One of the challenges in discussions of immigration is how to voice very real concerns about the very real potential problems connected with the assimilation and absorption (or lack thereof) of immigrants from culturally different (in particular, “failed”) countries, and to differentiate those concerns from mindless bigotry. The left is pleased to call all such concerns bigotry, since they ordinarily emanate from Republicans.

Trump’s alleged s-hole remarks feed into the claims of those who say that Trump is both coarse and bigoted. What he actually said and what he actually meant by it has thus far been nearly lost in the tsunami of commentary on it. Will the entire episode actually matter in the end? Beats me.

[ADDENDUM: Ace suggests the “kinder, gentler term Garbage Pits of Wretched Refuse.”]

94 Responses to “The s***storm about the s***hole countries”

  1. lynndh Says:

    Haters gotta hate.

  2. Ann Says:

    I’m with Ramesh Ponnuru on this:

    The reaction to the report reflects familiarity with Trump’s history. This is the same man who said that a judge of Mexican descent could not do his job fairly because of his ancestry; the same man who went out of his way to avoid condemning David Duke for as long as possible; the same man whose businesses have been repeatedly accused, long before he got involved in politics, of discriminating on the basis of race. We have ample reason to doubt that the president judges people based on the content of their character. Ample reason, as well, to judge his remarks based on what we know about the content of his.

  3. Dave Says:

    Ann:

    What do you make of the fact that in the same meeting Trump also commented we should bring more people from Asia in because they financially benefit America?

  4. vanderleun Says:

    A s***storm in a tea cup.

    And here’s a map to the real shithole countries.

    Don Surber: Proof they are s***hole countries

    But this does not mean they are not s***hole countries. Many countries have open defecation. Chief among them are India, where 48% of the people defecate in the open.

    http://riceinstitute.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Open-Defecation-in-the-World-national-2012.jpg

    Looking close you can see, among other, oh my HAITI.

  5. blert Says:

    My nephew spent his Peace Corps years in South Africa.

    It IS a pest hole.

    Corruption: off the charts.

    Stupidity: off the charts.

    He couldn’t convince ANYONE that it was strange and weird to let the livestock use their huts as a privy.

    Yes, no-one scooped up the ‘contribution.’

    They also could NOT comprehend his advice to not drink water from mud puddles.

    It took him many months to discover that they’d been laughing at him and his crazy ways — from the very first days.

    &&&

    What we’re dealing with is Homoism: the idea that EVERYONE is the same… that we can shuttle Blacks from Africa everywhere and Whites to Japan and culture counts for naught.

    But such is not so.

    They may be drinking out of mud puddles, but trust me, they think they’re really ‘styling’ — it’s YOU who are the boobs.

    And they’d be VERY angry to hear otherwise.

  6. Dave Says:

    There is an obvious coverup by the MSM to purposely leave off the part of conservation where Trump also mentioned we should let in more immigrants from Asia (China, Japan, India, south korea I presume) to paint him as racist.

  7. DNW Says:

    There is no pleasing the masochists of the world. They derive what must be akin to sexual pleasure for them from taking the greased slide down to living hell; with the shout “we are all in this together”.

    Here is a famous Vice episode, on Liberia. It is a quite literal shit hole, and hell hole, and it is not the only place. I cite the deploring essays by enlightened Indians on the widespread practice on the subcontinent of shitting just anywhere the urge strikes, and the insistence of the practitioners on the propriety of the habit.

    The Cannibal Warlords of Liberia
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRuSS0iiFyo

    Go to 12:20 for a nose full.

  8. DNW Says:

    Looks like Vanderleun beat me to the subcontinent reference.

  9. Dave Says:

    president Trump why didn’t you record the meeting, here’s a tip for you, record your every word 24/7 like you are living in the trueman show. He gets in trouble everytime when there is no recording like the private meeting with comey, stop having private meetings and stop having saying anything without having it recorded.

  10. vanderleun Says:

    As well as the incontinent on the subcontinent reference…

  11. neo-neocon Says:

    Ann:

    About Trump’s comments about the judge who is of Mexican heritage, read the whole thing.

    If a black person who already felt he or she was being treated unfairly by a white judge said that perhaps it was because the judge was white, would that be racism on the part of the black person? Maybe you think it would be. Nor is that a perfect analogy, because Trump was saying that the judge in his case was already issuing rulings Trump thinks were unfairly against him, and he thinks the explanation may be not because of Trump’s (or the judge’s) races or ethnicities per se but because of Trump’s advocating building the wall, and the fact that the judge is allied with Hispanic groups and causes.

    Then there’s Trump’s David Duke remarks. Trump actually had disavowed him many times over the years. The time he was speaking to Tapper—that’s when all the controversy arose—he seems to have been saying he didn’t personally know Duke (he also said his earpiece wasn’t working well, which may or may not be true). But Trump disavowed Duke many times before and he also did it after, quite unequivocally.

    And then there’s the part about racism in Trump’s business. Those charges stem from the early 1970s, about 45 years ago, and concern the company owned and run by Trump’s father and in which the very young Trump (in his 20s) was also in a high management position. Here’s the story. If you read it carefully, you’ll see that it’s not even clear how much discrimination was happening, or where it emanated from if indeed it did. There was never any admission of wrongdoing, and many clients and supervisors said there was no such discrimination, while a few said there was (and seemed to implicate Trump Sr. rather than Jr.):

    Within the FBI’s newly released documents, totaling 389 pages, are notes by law enforcement and numerous interviews with Trump Management Co. employees and management, in addition to tenants of the building.

    Many of the interviewees said that they had never seen any discrimination against African-Americans or Puerto Ricans.

    One tenant told FBI investigators that “it was obvious that she had not been discriminated against since she, in fact, a Negro female, had been rented an apartment” at one of the buildings owned by Trump Management Co., documents say.

    The FBI released the documents on an area of its website called “The Vault,” a section dedicated to topics on which the bureau has received a large volume of Freedom of Information Act requests.

    However, one employee told investigators that he or she had been specifically directed by the elder Trump to screen applicants and not “rent to blacks” and to steer them to other buildings…

    Many employees stated they had not been instructed to discriminate against applicants based on race and maintained that income became the primary reason that individuals were denied apartments. One employee remarked that some income requirements seemed too high.

    As noted by a Politico report, a man who had previously been a doorman at one property said that a supervisor had instructed him to tell potential African-American tenants that the rent was “twice as much as it really was, in order that he could not afford the apartment.”

    Other employees and tenants offered up observations of “Negros, Puerto Ricans and Orientals” living in the buildings…

    Eventually, the government and Trump Management entered into a consent decree in June 1975.

    The Trumps admitted no wrongdoing and were prohibited from “discriminating against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling.” They were also required to take out advertisements notifying minority individuals that they had an equal opportunity to seek housing at Trump properties.

    Both the federal government and Trump hailed the settlement as a victory.

    I don’t see this as any sort of smoking gun regarding Trump Jr.; what evidence there is seems to be against Trump senior.

  12. vanderleun Says:

    And this tweet has been snagged and retweeted some 2800 times in the last twelve hours.

    “Carpe Donktum 🔹

    @Carpedonktum
    17h17 hours ago
    More
    The day that Trump made the left spend 24 hours saying how beautiful and successful the Shithole countries are, thus negating their argument that illegals can’t go home because their home country is a Shithole.”

  13. vanderleun Says:

    Rats… neo commented right over the top of me.

  14. Dave Says:

    Trump had a legit point regarding the Hispanic Judge, look at kate steinle trial, the shooter got off because the whole jury was consist of liberals.

  15. Dave Says:

    Neo:

    don’t think Ann would bother reading those legit rebuttals, she had made up her mind, she would just skip them because reading something that goes against someone’s established biased is quite difficult.

  16. DNW Says:

    ‘Course it may be in the eye of the beholder … In Bruge

  17. DNW Says:

    Nothing like a misfiring link …

    Bruge is a …

    https://youtu.be/V-W2dknMgs4?t=84

  18. Baklava Says:

    Liberals like Ann do not listen, have empathy, exhibit narcissism and do not know how to deal with another narcissist who is inarticulate like Trump.

    They virtue signal as if they care.

    How Ann feel in an unjust situation?

    My Mexican wife said of the Mexican judge that of course he is deciding with prejudice.

    Empathy is key.

  19. Dave Says:

    Liberals have no problem voicing the potential injustice in a trial of white police shooting unarmed black teen with a jury full of white people, but somehow deny any possible biased injustice when Trump, who was known to call for the end of birthright citizenship amid the election facing a trial with a judge who was himself an anchor baby.

  20. steve walsh Says:

    Perhaps because I’ve long wondered how it is we are obligated to take in people from poor and dysfunctional countries, I understand the intent of Trump’s remarks to be this: we should only allow immigration for those people that will add to and help improve the conditions of the United States of America.

    The term he is alleged to have used is objectively accurate for places like Haiti and some African nations. Heck, we’ve got some of those sorts of places right here in the US. The offense is that he was impolite, vulgar even, along the lines of calling someone’s newborn baby ugly while speaking the truth.

    Sadly, for him, he’s armed his detractors and opponents with ammunition to subjugate and ignore his larger point.

  21. DNW Says:

    Baklava Says:
    January 12th, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Liberals like Ann do not listen, have empathy, exhibit narcissism and do not know how to deal with another narcissist who is inarticulate like Trump.

    They virtue signal as if they care.

    How Ann feel in an unjust situation?

    My Mexican wife said of the Mexican judge that of course he is deciding with prejudice.

    Empathy is key.”

    You can get by without much empathy if you can reason carefully.

    But it takes some substantial mental effort initially to develop the capacity.

    Many people would rather die, than walk the dry and arid plains of reason.

  22. Dave Says:

    Of course there is error in Trump’s logic too.

    Should we deny all applications for a visa to play pro basketball here from china, a country who is known to have short and nonathletic people? no, because one of the applicant could be yao ming. Just because a country is a sh*thole doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be a potential next Einstein being born there.

  23. Julia Says:

    Since he’s somewhat denied it, and we will never really know for sure (barring a recording, or if the Rs that were there confirm), it all comes down to what one wants to believe about him.

    Regardless, was it vulgar language if true? Yes, but I’m more sickened by the vulgar acts of the Left.

  24. DNW Says:

    While we are at it, it would be fair for some to point out that in places like Denver and San Francisco, the wise-men of the polities are doing their best to turn their cities into shit holes too.

    I doubt I need to cite the news articles on the decriminalization of public urination and defecation.

    There is an almost metaphysical dimension to the idea that San Franciscans are now celebrating in law what many of them have been worshiping privately for decades already.

  25. arfldgrs Says:

    all that to not realize he was being HONEST

    and that honesty will actually go a long way in his favor
    as you said, not amoung those that would never favor anyone on the opposition regardless of whom they were (unless told to by their leader).

    his approval went up
    why?

    EVERYTHING IN NIGERIA IS GOING TO KILL YOU | By Ayo Sogunro
    https://ayosogunro.com/2014/05/02/everything-in-nigeria-is-going-to-kill-you-by-ayo-sogunro/

    You have to understand that the Nigerian struggle is no longer about feeding your family. It is now about keeping your family from being killed. Write this on wall: the struggle has changed. Nigeria isn’t just a corrupt country anymore; it is now a dangerous country. And if you don’t change your thinking and actions along with this fact, you are going to die—or someone close to you will.

    And no, prayer isn’t the answer now—if it ever was. If prayer is your thing, by all means, pray. You’re going to need that confidence builder. But don’t mistake the tranquilizer for the cure. Just as you install a car alarm and fasten the locks on your gate, you will also have to take some physical or mental action before you get killed by Nigeria.

    And there’s more bad news: you can’t secure yourself by isolation. You can scramble to the top of your career all by yourself, you can fill your bank accounts by your own game plan, in fact—you don’t need any help to get up and about in life.

    In life. Everything you’re doing right now only makes sense because you expect to be alive in the next few minutes. But your safety is no longer a valid proposition.

    because other than the left who refuse to see bad that is from them, and see good as bad from others (as a rule of opposition always – see trotsky perpetual war), even their own bad is from others…

    they cant see what a sh*thole is..
    they cant see that the flow of people is from bad to better
    not from better to bad

    but as a friend said (and is now on popular media):
    hell is just heaven for sociopaths

  26. Fractal Rabbit Says:

    Ann has made up her mind, and set it up like concrete. There’s no reasoning with that.

  27. neo-neocon Says:

    Artfldgr:

    Perhaps you missed this part of the post [emphasis mine]:

    So the problem doesn’t seem to be the word’s [s-hole’s] definition; these are in fact pretty desperate countries in which to live, which is one of the main reasons so many people flee them in the first place.

  28. neo-neocon Says:

    I suggest everyone let Ann speak for herself. My experience is that she takes things in and usually reacts to them quite fairly.

  29. Griffin Says:

    Trump has really magnified the left’s breathtaking situational puritanism. The head of the DNC has no issue with peppering his public addresses with profanity yet they get the vapors over profanity in private conversations.

    Why, it’s almost like they don’t really believe the things they say/

  30. Ann Says:

    Neo:

    I read the linked articles in your rebuttal of Ramesh Ponnuru’s comments, and I don’t agree with your assessment. The back-and-forths with news people Trump had over the Mexican-American judge were exactly as I’d remembered them and he comes across as a slippery con man, nothing more or less. And the linked piece on David Duke shows that Trump didn’t just say he didn’t personally know Duke, but that he said he had no idea who he was –“I just don’t know anything about him.” Had he forgotten he’d known about him earlier when he said in 2000 that Duke was “a bigot, a racist, a problem”? As to the piece on racial discrimination in housing, that stops at the charges that were settled in 1975, but in 1978: “The Federal Government charged yesterday that Trump Management, which owns 15,000 apartment units in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, was continuing to discriminate against blacks although it had signed a court stipulation not to do [so].”

  31. BrianE Says:

    I was going to comment about Liberia, which I have knowledge of, but DNW beat me to it.

    My wife and daughter have gone to Liberia on short term mission trips since 2003. We adopted a son from Liberia, and still support his extended family.

    Leaving aside the horrors of the civil war, which raged on again, off again between the mid 80’s and 2003, when President Bush pressured Charles Taylor to leave the country, it still qualifies as a sh*thole.

    Unemployment is 80%, the only electricity in the country is by local generators and billboard signs on the few highways encourage men not to rape women. I think it’s still the poorest country on earth.

    Yet we know many wonderful Liberian people. We support several agencies, including All God’s Children, which offers free schooling and Hope 2 Liberia, which drills wells, and distributes water purification systems, among a host of other endeavors.

    I fully support using our resources to help Liberians improve their lives, along with other countries suffering from the same tribalism and corrupt political systems.

    They are what they are. As to our son, he was a teenager when we adopted him. It’s been a very rocky path for him adapting to this culture. He’s doing much better, but his story isn’t unique as we know countless other adoptees from the country.

    Some of it was due to the trauma of the civil war. Some of it due to the unrealistic expectations of what living in America was going to do for them.

  32. Oldflyer Says:

    Griffin, you know the old saying; “if it weren’t for double standards, there would be no standards at all.”

    Found this linked at http://www.pjmedia.com/instapundit/

    “WALSH: The Folks Who Wear Vagina Hats And Call Us ‘Teabaggers’ Are Offended By Trump’s Vulgarity”.
    There is an accompanying photo that will turn your stomach, or make you LOL, depending on your level of sensitivity.

  33. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Count me among those who support Trump’s characterization of dysfunctional societies as “sh*tholes”. They quite literally are…

    I do wish he’d elaborated a bit and qualified it by observing that it’s not the color of skin but the failure of those societies to embrace enlightened cultural values like ‘hygiene’… and the rule of law… that results in them being sh*tholes.

    Until directly witnessed, the degree of filth in many third world societies is quite incomprehensible to first world sensibilities.

    Like Dave, I’m doubtful that neo’s factual argument will have any impact upon Ann’s biases.

  34. OlderandWheezier Says:

    So I guess referring to such countries as the ‘Turd World” is also a no-no?

  35. DNW Says:

    “BrianE Says:
    January 12th, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    I was going to comment about Liberia, which I have knowledge of, but DNW beat me to it.

    My wife and daughter have gone to Liberia on short term mission trips since 2003. We adopted a son from Liberia, and still support his extended family.

    Leaving aside the horrors of the civil war, which raged on again, off again between the mid 80’s and 2003, when President Bush pressured Charles Taylor to leave the country, it still qualifies as a sh*thole.

    Unemployment is 80%, the only electricity in the country is by local generators and billboard signs on the few highways encourage men not to rape women. I think it’s still the poorest country on earth. … “

    It was not always. At one time there seemed to be hope, and the Americo-Liberians looked to have a viable culture, though somehow not oriented toward the engineering arts but rather law and politics.

    Whatever it’s defects or demerits, it did not seem to be a cannibal ridden shithole then.

  36. Liz Says:

    This is a long comment that I have held for a bit and then checked out what everyone else has said. Ok – I haven’t changed anything though I have a few more comments to make..later!

    A long time ago, I worked for an international development NGO. This organization had “a hand up, not a hand out” philosophy. We wait to be invited into a village, then hold meetings to find out what the villagers wanted. We work with them to achieve that goal, even though we might have determined that another action was better. Once we had successes, we could offer suggestions for improvements. Of course, the WN methods may have changed in the years since I worked there, but here is the link … https://www.wn.org/

    When I had a chance to travel, my boss told me that it would change me. It did. Here are a few thoughts….

    In Central America, there was an enclosed toilet area, but you would put your used one-square of single ply tissue in a bucket next to the toilet. Try that at home.

    Going to some areas, I saw the importance of terrace farming. I was shocked when some women told me that they had 10+ children, hoping that enough would survive to be their “pension plan.” Hint, do not fly into Tegucigalpa, it is scary!

    In Africa, there were regular toilets in the cities, but as you traveled to the villages, there were no rest stops with facilities. The guys stopped, you ran to the nearest bush to relieve yourself. Someone told me to wear long flowing skirts since it would be cooler in Africa, more modest (depending on the culture), as well as being a tent to hide certain activities.

    In villages, I encountered varied setups. In one village, we stayed in an open air maze format. In the center were the living and sleeping quarters, but on one side were the latrines – a simple hole in the ground. On the other side of the compound were the bathing areas. Again, a hole in the ground, but I was given a bucket of hot water to bathe. I messed up the first try, but after that – bring a cup to the bath area – wet hair, lather, rinse to let soap go down your body, use suds as needed, repeat with rinsing hair and washing body (from head down). At the end, you get to use the leftover water wash over you. After doing that for a few weeks, you really appreciate a shower at home.

    Really, try doing a bath with one bucket of water. But, in some African villages, the women had to walk distances to get the water, then they boiled it and gave it to me to TAKE A BATH! But, I could not refuse since I was an honored guest. Now, that is privilege and one that I could not forget. I still can’t take a long shower or waste water, 20+ years later.

    In the end, the area supervisor commented that I had respected the customs of the area. I was happy that I was not considered to be an “ugly american”. Unfortunately, the area reps knew of other younger HQ staff that did not listen to local staff and I was embarrassed because of them. That was back in the 1990’s – can you imagine what the newer reps may have to apologize for with some of these social justice types?

    On another matter – if you want to help a company succeed in America as well as help in other areas, check out Biolite.

    https://www.bioliteenergy.com/pages/mission#

    I buy a lot of their stuff, even though I don’t need it but it supports a good cause – to get healthy energy to people who need it. Well, I do use some of the stuff, I just overbuy to support these guys! Check into it!

  37. parker Says:

    This is a battle between the PC sjw crowd and reality. Sh*thole countries are sh*thole countries. That is why they want to find residence in Western countries. Definitely a DUH moment.

    The real question is why is this our problem?

  38. arfldgrs Says:

    Flashback: Rolling Stone Defends Obama Calling Romney ‘Bullsh*tter’ in Its Magazine

    https://www.cnsnews.com/blog/craig-bannister/flashback-rolling-stone-defends-obama-calling-romney-bullshtter-its-magazine

    examples of vulgarity employed by a host of presidents, vice-presidents and presidential candidates:

    Abraham Lincoln: “There is nothing to make an Englishman shit quicker than the sight of General George Washington.”
    Barack Obama: “Obama really drew the ire of the pious, calling opponent Mitt Romney a ‘bullshitter.’ Sometimes the dirty word is the most precise.”

    Joe Biden: “This is a big f**king deal.”
    Dick Cheney: “Cheney reportedly told Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy to ‘go f**k [himself]’”
    George W. Bush: “Commented on the presence of New York Times reporter Adam Clymer. Believing he had an audience of one, Bush called Clymer a ‘major-league asshole.’”
    Barack Obama: “I don’t think I should take any sh*t from anybody on that, do you?”
    Richard Nixon: “The Watergate tapes put the phrase ‘expletive deleted’ on the map.”
    Lyndon Johnson: “I do know the difference between chicken sh*t and chicken salad,”
    John F. Kennedy: “This is obviously a f**k-up.”
    Harry Truman: “In Truman’s eyes, General Douglas MacArthur was a “dumb son of a bitch,” and Nixon was ‘a shifty-eyed goddamned liar.’”

    and they left out johson asking people if they really knew how big his dick was. he would whip it out and show them, and brag about it!!! and that was the wonderful LBJ – the thing they used above is benign compared to the other things. like saying he owuld have those ni**ers voting democrat…

  39. neo-neocon Says:

    Ann:

    It seems clear to me that Trump was basically annoyed by being asked over and over again about Duke, and doesn’t literally mean he doesn’t know anything about him; he means he doesn’t know him.

    The point is that for the vast majority of Trump’s life he has condemned Duke specifically and unequivocally. Are you saying that somehow that is all washed out by saying one time he doesn’t know anything about him, when in that same interview he really seems to be saying he doesn’t personally know him? You are really picking and choosing here and ignoring the mountain of evidence that Trump has had a lengthy dislike for and disagreement with Duke and what he stands for.

    The complete quote from Trump is this:

    Tapper, Feb. 28: I want to ask you about the Anti-Defamation League, which this week called on you to publicly condemn unequivocally the racism of former KKK grand wizard David Duke, who recently said that voting against you at this point would be treason to your heritage. Will you unequivocally condemn David Duke and say that you don’t want his vote or that of other white supremacists in this election?

    Trump: Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke. OK? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So, I don’t know.

    You are omitting the context. Trump is not merely being asked if he knows who Duke is. He is being asked “David Duke, who recently said that voting against you at this point would be treason to your heritage. Will you unequivocally condemn David Duke and say that you don’t want his vote or that of other white supremacists in this election?”

    Trump is saying, according to my reading of that, that he is unaware of exactly what Duke said about him and exactly what white supremacists have said about him. That may be true but my guess is that it’s not totally true, and that Trump knew at least some of what they had said or at least that they had generally praised him. And yes, he probably didn’t mind having their votes, because it might help him win (although he disavowed Duke not long after that interview). Does all of that mean—taken with the entirety of Trump’s many-times-repeated remarks over a period of many years, remarks that are against Duke and what he stands for and are not equivocal about it, as well as Trump’s remarks after that interview in which he unequivocally disavows and condemns Duke—that you somehow see the Tapper interview as clear evidence as some sort of lifelong racism?

    That just doesn’t make sense.

    You have also ignored the evidence I gave that most of the discrimination in housing charges are from long ago—and let me just clue you that even 1978 is long ago—and that the personal allegations are against Trump Senior rather than Junior, and that they only involve allegations from a small number of people whereas others claim there was no discrimination. How on earth does that implicate Trump junior in lifelong racism? And let’s look at that NY Times article you linked there from 1978:

    In a motion for supplemental relief filed in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, the civil rights division of the Justice Department said that officers and agents of Trump Management have not complied with a June 1975 court order by continuing to deny apartments to black persons because of race.

    The court papers, submitted by an assistant district attorney, Homer C. LaRue, also charged that the company discriminated against blacks in the terms and conditions of rental, made statements indicating discrimination based on race, and told blacks that apartments were not available for inspection and rental when, in fact, they were.

    Roy M. Cohn, a lawyer for the real‐estate company, said yesterday that, “The Trumps performed so perfectly under two‐year consent decree, which expired last June, that the Government made no move to extend it. Today’s motion is nothing more than a rehash of complaints by a couple of planted malcontents, not’. one of which has the slightest merit.”

    The court papers stated that the Government had informed the real‐state company of complaints made against it. “While Trump has, in some instances, accommodated the needs of individual complainants,” the papers stated, “it has not taken adequate action to prevent future violations.”

    Nothing seems to have come of the 1978 action, as far as I can tell. I find it hard to believe you think that these allegations—which are all they are—prove some sort of lifelong animus on Trump Jr.’s part towards black people.

    Do you really truly think that calling a country such as Liberia or Haiti or other failed countries around the world “shitholes” is a sign of animus towards black people? Do you really think that if a person thinks the US should not make special arrangement to FAVOR the immigration of people from these countries, that means the person is a racist? I don’t. And you of course dismiss the opinions and observations of people like this.

    Trump is many things of which I don’t approve. But I’ve never seen anything that has convinces me he’s a racist. See also this.

  40. Liz Says:

    Another idea – when I was at the international NGO (WN), we had a fundraising event that was very interesting to observe.

    The people came in expecting to enjoy a dinner and listen to stuff about third world countries. But the participants were given a card to tell them what they had to do that evening.

    Some women had to walk around the building for a LONG looking for water, other did not. Some women had to walk to look for food, others did not. At the dinner time, some potential donors had great meals from the target areas. Other donors had so-so meals. And some did not get much.

    It is a powerful message.

  41. vanderleun Says:

    Third world countries?
    Shithole countries?
    DACA Immigration?

    I’m sorry but weren’t we just talking about that book called Fire and Fury as if it were the most important thing EVER?!!

    One reported and denied word and the whole world has moved on from the book.

  42. neo-neocon Says:

    vanderleun:

    That’s why the first sentence of this post is “Never a dull moment.”

  43. Frog Says:

    vanderleun:
    I checked Surber’s site, per your link, which alleges there are 200 defecations per sq. km. in India, and this is an ipso facto ‘health hazard’.

    That actually equals one human defecating in the open per three (3) acres, approximately. Which is not a big deal. After all, bears shit in the woods, as do all sorts of other critters, with no harm to humans.

    What matters is where in those 3 acres one chooses to do it. Do not do it in a rice paddy, for example, or into a watersource! That promotes distribution to others of the worm larvae or cholera bugs in the poop.

    A sewage system is necessary in high population densities, but not in the wide open spaces. In fact, sewage systems concentrate pathogens in their treatment systems; failures are not infrequent, so the bugs are released into rivers, the waters of which are imbibed downstream, etc.

    Rural septic systems release the bugs into the soil, often the soil under the lawns of the landowners, and that is biologically OK. The discharge zone of my rural septic tank is uphill (!) from my pond, as required by the county health department’s sanitation inspector. Rain on the discharge zone goes where? Into the pond! Soil is a marvelous filter and sanitizer!

  44. Harry the Extremist Says:

    Another “unforced error” that detracts the issue at hand allowing the liberal media academia complex to talk about nothing or other excepting an unflattering meme that, if Trump is not really guilty of, (racism, insanity, etc), he could have easily avoided by putting more thought behind what he’s going to say.

    This is winning?

  45. neo-neocon Says:

    I actually wrote a post about open-air defecation not long ago.

    You blog long enough, you get to cover just about everything.

  46. DNW Says:

    parker Says:
    January 12th, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    This is a battle between the PC sjw crowd and reality. Sh*thole countries are sh*thole countries. That is why they want to find residence in Western countries. Definitely a DUH moment.

    The real question is why is this our problem?”

    Because this is how neurotic self-haters relive themselves of the guilt they feel over letting their parents die abandoned, or cheating their way through school, or envying their neighbors and backstabbing them; or their sexual preference perversity.

    I mention this last group having met a number of them from the “medical community”; persons who trundle off to Africa in order to expiate their sins through “good works”.

    Some others, not so well schooled or well traveled are content to use our politics in order beat your breast so as to relieve themselves … “Through your fault, through your fault, through your most grievous fault”

  47. neo-neocon Says:

    Harry the Extremist:

    I agree with you that this is an unforced error on Trump’s part. It gives the opposition a great deal of ammunition.

    However, there’s something about the media reaction that may also turn into a backlash that’s pro-Trump, because a lot of people realize what he probably meant in terms of these countries being failed messes, and they are tired about having to be so PC all the time.

    That’s why I don’t really know what will happen in regard to this incident.

  48. Harry the Extremist Says:

    I dont know neo. I dont see a pro-Trump backlash coming. Even if it does, then there’s, I think, a particular hardening of attitudes on either side that didnt have to happen if this guy was more careful, but maybe this is all inevitable anyway. Obama and Trump being accelerants in a divide that was heading that way anyway.

  49. neo-neocon Says:

    Harry the Extremist:

    I agree that there may not be such a backlash. I just think it’s a possibility.

  50. artemptydgr Says:

    along the lines of calling someone’s newborn baby ugly while speaking the truth

    That’s something that would be classic for somone on the autism spectrum… Those who value honesty… The how they going to take it part, comes late… Like a great comeback an hour later after you were home watching TV… Even if you do realize they might take it wrong (is a crapshoot.. but let’s just say women want lies, men tend to want honesty or accept it more), you dint know which way to answer as the outcome depends on the other (and reading them)… You say truth and they want lie, pissed… You say lie, they want truth, your a condescending ass…

  51. artemptydgr Says:

    Just because a country is a sh*thole doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be a potential next Einstein being born there.

    Ramanujan
    I think first name shrinvasa
    The mathematician hoyle (I think) said finding Ramanujan was his greatest discovery

    I can name many who did it do…
    But that’s not a reason to pay for barrels of rotten apple the outside chance there is a good one in the batch when there may be none or some

  52. Ymar Sakar Says:

    “Never said ‘take them out.’ Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings — unfortunately, no trust!” he added.

    So you want to be like Nixon and record your conversations?

    Haha, and then when you think you turned it off, it was never in your control to begin with.

    Sounds good to billionaires that don’t want to waste money on secretaries taking the minutes, but for COINTELPRO it is an obvious flaw.

  53. Baklava Says:

    Neo and Ann,

    Maybe I’m tired but I can smell narcissists after having reviewed over 1,000 articles and watched almost all of Inner Integration and Melanie Tonia Evans videos.

    Why am I tired?

    Because people so callous to throw the racist term around and then NOT even consider that these 1,000’s of housing lawsuits are not even close to evidence and his condemnation of Duke has been repeated ad nauseum.

    I’m not a Trump liker, you aren’t one but we are trying to shower a dose of reality on someone who doesn’t listen. I saw your post where you said she takes things in but this thread is evidence.

    Would I condemn my sister of racism after having been a commercial real estate agent based on the evidence provided repeatedly by the press and Ann? No. Ethics requires us to act ethically and leveling significant charges on someone is not ethical.

  54. Baklava Says:

    And how has Hillary Clinton suffered for her obvious racist intonations in certain settings like African American churches? I honestly don’t think Hillary is racist but the seriousness of the charge must be elevated to mean something again.

  55. Baklava Says:

    Obama called Libya something:
    https://twitter.com/WalshFreedom/status/951856871832514560

  56. Artfldgr Says:

    Perhaps you missed this part of the post [emphasis mine]…

    no i didnt miss it, i just know a lot of peoples imaginary sh*thole is a lot nicer than a real sh*thole (like where i grew up in the bronx).

    many many people have this idea that the variations in governments and living is the same all over, and have no comprehension of really how different they can be – and normally so without any thought at all…

    they TRULY cant comprehend what it was like to live under soviet rule in the extreme. or that the airport workers in the hong kong airport consist of a lot of military (and your always on camera)… you can tell easy if you know habits and notice little things.

    an example is how a young lad can end up dead over a poster
    or another scarred for life for spitting out their gum in a certain country in asia..

    they might get that….
    but they do not comprehend the example of the Chinese state punishing a child for reaching for a potato. reaching, not touching. the punishment? The father had to bury the child alive.

    or how a teacher i had, quite bonkers, lived through idi amin… he was forced to do things, and had scars physical and definitely mental. good teacher, bad issues.

    often they decide that such acts were rare aberations rather than lifestyle norms.

  57. AesopFan Says:

    Geoffrey Britain Says:
    January 12th, 2018 at 4:18 pm
    Count me among those who support Trump’s characterization of dysfunctional societies as “sh*tholes”. They quite literally are…

    I do wish he’d elaborated a bit and qualified it by observing that it’s not the color of skin but the failure of those societies to embrace enlightened cultural values like ‘hygiene’… and the rule of law… that results in them being sh*tholes.

    Until directly witnessed, the degree of filth in many third world societies is quite incomprehensible to first world sensibilities.

    Like Dave, I’m doubtful that neo’s factual argument will have any impact upon Ann’s biases.
    * * *
    I dimly remember from reading about Joseph Campbell, back when I was actively studying mythology and archetypal constructs, that he was very enthusiastic about the Indian people, their religions and legends.
    And then he actually went to India and experienced the disconnect of dirty reality with his heroic idealizations (idolizations?) — turned out he didn’t much care for India after that.
    Seemed on a par with other things I was learning about “liberals” at the time.

    Of course, just because it rings true doesn’t mean it is true, but I remember thinking that he really didn’t care about how India’s myths affected the people, just how they fit into his abstract theses about Heroes.
    I also think about the parallel with Linus’s profundity that “I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand.”

  58. AesopFan Says:

    neo-neocon Says:
    January 12th, 2018 at 5:40 pm
    I actually wrote a post about open-air defecationnot long ago.

    You blog long enough, you get to cover just about everything.
    * * *

    Tell me you didn’t say that on purpose.

    On a practical level, this is a favorite of backpackers.
    https://www.amazon.com/How-Shit-Woods-3rd-Environmentally/dp/1580083633
    How to Shit in the Woods, 3rd Edition: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art

  59. Artfldgr Says:

    According to the Atlantic: The Obama Doctrine
    The U.S. president talks through his hardest decisions about America’s role in the world.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/the-obama-doctrine/471525/

    “So we actually executed this plan as well as I could have expected: We got a UN mandate, we built a coalition, it cost us $1 billion — which, when it comes to military operations, is very cheap. We averted large-scale civilian casualties, we prevented what almost surely would have been a prolonged and bloody civil conflict. And despite all that, Libya is a mess.

    Mess is the president’s diplomatic term; privately, he calls Libya a “shit show,” in part because it’s subsequently become an ISIS haven — one that he has already targeted with air strikes. It became a shit show, Obama believes, for reasons that had less to do with American incompetence than with the passivity of America’s allies and with the obdurate power of tribalism.

  60. neo-neocon Says:

    AesopFan:

    I said it on purpose.

  61. Dave Says:

    I finally watched gangs of New York tonight, now I understand that the liberals do not think illegal aliens voting is a bad thing, in fact they believe it is the righteous thing for the honest immigrants to do to win a place in America from the evil natives (conservatives) to live. The Hollywood has been indoctrinating Americans with their bs falsehood for years.

  62. vanderleun Says:

    The Lord of the universe knows why I should remember the following scrap at this juncture, but I did….

    PEER GYNT. (Act IV)

    “King Apis, you see, while out hunting,
    got down from his horse, quite unplanned,
    and went on some private business
    onto my great grandpa’s land.
    But the field that King Apis manured
    has nourished me with its corn;
    and if further proof is required
    I’ve got an invisible horn.
    And isn’t it simply disgra”

  63. vanderleun Says:

    eful
    that no-one will honour my might?
    By birth I am Apis of Egypt
    but a peasant in others’ sight.

    (This fragment I have shored against my ruins.)

  64. parker Says:

    So much bla blah. In a sane society the rules of law decides who may enter legally. All who enter illegally are criminals, and thus illegal aliens. They have no rights under the rule of law period. Why is this so difficult to understand?

  65. Yankee Says:

    I was so engaged in watching The Gorilla Channel that I am late to this discussion.

    Some thoughts:

    1. Mr. Trump is exhibiting clarity of thinking with the policy of immigration: who is let in, how many are let in, and why they are let in. Whatever language he may have used should be irrelevant.

    2. Who was the little tattle-tale who ran off to the media, so they could all breathlessly report yet another shocking story from yet another unnamed source? The media coverage was just nauseating, most especially from CNN.

    3. The reaction from some reveals deeply irrational thinking, all because they are unable to conceive of any alternative to mass immigration. Immigrants of whatever sort have become a fetish object, and high levels of immigration is a divine commandment. Globalism, open borders, diversity, virtue-signalling, multiculturalism, political correctness: it’s all related.

    4. If we’re not very careful, all the time, we could lose our national sovereignty very quickly. It’s very apparent that the rest of the world feels entitled to move here. But this is our country, it belongs to American citizens, and we decide who comes here.

    5. As a practical matter, the USA has a population of around 315 million, behind only China and India. We don’t need any more immigrants, and it’s far past time to just have a moratorium.

  66. The Other Chuck Says:

    For those who have forgotten and those who wish to forget:

    http://www.floridahistorynetwork.com/june-4-1939—jewish-refugee-ship-turned-away-from-florida-coast.html

  67. FOAF Says:

    Ann, were you as outraged when Obama repeatedly invited the fanatic antisemitic demagogue and racial hatemonger Al Sharpton to the White House for private meetings? Just wondering. BTW Sharpton has incited more murders than Charles Manson.

  68. steve walsh Says:

    Prediction: the Stormy Daniels story is going to drive the sh*thole controversy to the trash heap.

  69. Frog Says:

    A list from CNS News, and our beloved Barack used the S word about his opponent, and buddy Uncle Joe Biden used the Eff word, remember:
    https://www.cnsnews.com/blog/craig-bannister/flashback-rolling-stone-defends-obama-calling-romney-bullshtter-its-magazine

  70. The Other Chuck Says:

    There was a good discussion yesterday on Tom Sullivan’s radio show about visa overstays vs. border jumpers. Far more come here legally and don’t go home than actually cross the southern border illegally. Does Trump have a plan to round up these people who are the majority? Canada seems to have a better handle on it than we do.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/visa-overstays-outnumber-illegal-border-crossings-trend-expected-continue-n730216

  71. Dave Says:

    Democrats please stop lying about overstays being the bigger problem than border jumps. Overstays are less the problem because anyone who can get a visa to come must go through a vetting system, at least they are cleaner than the border jumpers, even though there might be more illegals staying with expired visas there are way more hardcore criminals among border jumpers the real kinds trump try to eliminate. Canada has a better handle on it proves that border jumpers far outweigh overstays since Canada doesn’t share a borders with Mexico.

    The border walls are for blocking the drug traffickers which democrats which continue to ignore, 99% of our drugs are from there. The visa system is next, do not grant tourist visa to school aged visa applicants, do not grant tourist visa to adults who don’t hold a steady job in the applying country or own a certain amount of net worth. Each visa application requires a letter from a upstanding guarantor to grant a personal guarantee that the applicant will return or the guarantor is subject to a steep penalty.

    Democrats please stop lying about overstays being the bigger problem than border jumping. Overstays are less the problem because anyone who can get a visa to come must go through a vetting system, at least they are cleaner than the border jumpers, even though there might be more illegals staying with expired visas there are way more hardcore criminals among border jumpers the real kinds trump try to eliminate. Canada has a better handle on it proves that border jumpers far outweigh overstays since Canada doesn’t share a border with Mexico. Canada immigrants are mostly rich retirees because there are virtually no low paying jobs there which are what Hispanic illegals seek, no one goes there, I know, I am from Hong Kong, that was the reason my family chose to come to America not Canada.

  72. Dave Says:

    I don’t understand why there is a repeat in my comment

  73. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave:

    Visa overstays are a big problem, though, and certainly were a problem that helped create 9/11. Some of the hijackers had overstayed visas. This article is outdated and old, but it explains the visa status of terrorists at the time, and I believe a great deal of it is still true today. Visa overstays are definitely in the picture.

  74. Dave Says:

    Immigration system is necessary to maintain diversity, immigration actually helps poorer areas. If there is no immigration system, the most productive taxpayers of poorer areas would all flock to more prosperous areas with better opportunities, the poorer places would become even poorer, because only people left would be benefits recipients. Detroit is perfect example of that. China is politically communist, but China also has a immigration system within the nation, people in poorer provinces cannot freely move to richer provinces for the exact reason, to maintain economic and population balance, otherwise Shanghai would be overcrowded as the whole country would move there.

  75. Dave Says:

    I understand that overstays is a big problem, but border walls are also necessary because the most hardcore criminals come by border hopping. How do known Hispanic gangsters with a long history of criminal records obtain a visa to come here legally in the first place?

  76. Irv Says:

    For 2 years now it hasn’t mattered in the least what Trump has said or hasn’t said or how he has or hasn’t said it. The media, the left and the establishment right have twisted it all to his detriment. Accusing him of giving them ammunition is irrelevant because they manufacture all the ammunition they need regardless of what he says. Any extra he provides them is superfluous.

    We ought to be protecting his back from these incessant attacks while he’s working on our behalf to save our country.
    Unfortunately we’re playing right into the hands of the attackers. By expending our valuable time and energy discussing the credibility of these continuous trivial attacks we’re helping them distract from the important work he’s doing and thereby allowing them to prevent him from doing it.

    If we allow him to be stopped by all these trivial attacks, the country will be the loser, not him.

  77. Ann Says:

    A May 2017 article in the Washington Times, not a liberal newspaper — Staggering number of visa overstays now biggest problem in illegal immigration:

    The nexus of illegal immigration into the U.S. has shifted away from the southwest border and into the country’s air and sea ports, where more than 54 million visitors checked in last year — and nearly 630,000 of them didn’t go home, according to new numbers released Monday. …

    The Trump administration’s report stands in contrast to the Obama administration, which played down the numbers last year when officials released a similar report…

  78. Mike K Says:

    Just because a country is a sh*thole doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be a potential next Einstein being born there.

    Yes and I know a number of very bright African students. If we had a merit system, they would be just fine. Look up sometime the number of Ibo (or IGBO as they now call themselves), who are working as “quants” in the financial services business. A merit based system for immigration would solve all these problems.

    The Democrats want voters who are not too smart.The rest of us want immigrants who are smart, civilized and prepared to assimilate.

  79. Dave Says:

    Have you ever applied for a visa to America? If no then whatever you say is invalid. I have, my family has, you have to first pay a fee, about 100 usd, no reimbursement even when the application is rejected. They look into your income, there would be a personal interview with an us ambassador deputy, your criminal records, everything. I was rejected once when I was ten in the 90s because they were afraid I would overstay to study. The vetting was intensive and the application took place in a low crime city like Hong Kong.

    Democrats like Ann or chuck refuse to listen to reasons, they repeat what they hear on cnn. Overstays are not the main concern if crimes committed by illegals is what trump is targeting, because hardcore criminals or criminals who were deported before can’T come here with a visa, they can only come here by crossing the border. Don’t lie about the effectiveness of walls by bs like overstays outnumber border crossing because criminals don’t come with visas, if walls are ineffective against illegals and only reasons democrats are against building the walls is that its a waste of money, the cost of the wall is no more significant than obama wasting our money to give Iran or housing refugees.

  80. Dave Says:

    Why do some countries have visa waiver system and most don’t? Countries with visa wavier are those with income per capita in the same level as Americans, overstays from those nations are minimal as job and income opportunities between those nations and America is about the same and no incentive for people from those countries to overstay.

    Overstays is an overblown problem, most overstays happen with Chinese pregnant women coming here to have an anchor baby. however, most of the parents who chose that route from China are rich themselves, and having an America born baby is more a status show offing trophy type of thing or a security in the very unlikely ocasion that China experience a complete social and economical meltdown thing than trying to take advantage of America welfare system.

  81. The Other Chuck Says:

    Dave:

    I don’t know about Ann, but I have never registered as a Democrat, and can’t remember for sure the last time I voted for one. From 1968 and Nixon (the first year I could vote for president) through 2012 I voted the Republican ticket. 2016 didn’t matter all that much since I’m in a heavily blue state. I voted 3rd party for the 1st time but would have held my nose and voted Trump if it mattered.

    You have to realize that there are many shades of conservatism. Not all of us are hell bent on making 12 million plus illegal residents from Mexico, Central America and farther south, into scapegoats for the failure of our government to adequately enforce immigration laws for decades. I’m all in favor of most of Trump’s proposals for cleaning up immigration laws. As to the wall, a physical wall, I think it will never ever happen. There are other ways, like fences, drones, electronic surveillance, and border patrols that will achieve the same thing. Notice that he’s backing down on it? Mountains and rivers – not necessary. Next he will be calling a beefed up fence a “wall.” The symbolism of a wall is terrible. For me it brings up images of Berlin, as I’m sure it does for others.

  82. Frog Says:

    Pity The Other Chuck, who finds symbolism “terrible”.
    Got any walls in your house, Chuck?
    Don’t lock your doors at night, do you?

  83. The Other Chuck Says:

    No Frog, I sometimes don’t lock the doors at night, often forget when I leave for town, and am not in the least worried about it. Still living the the 50s I guess. As to the Barbarians at the gate, they are inside and have been wrecking havoc within academia and other institutions for awhile now. The poor as dirt Mexican working at Taco Bell is the least of our worries.

  84. Ann Says:

    “The poor as dirt Mexican working at Taco Bell is the least of our worries.”

    Yes! Thanks for putting it so perfectly, and humanely.

  85. Irv Says:

    Saying a wall brings up images of Berlin is a perfect example of the stupidity of political correctness. The Berlin Wall was to keep people in, not out. The Berlin Wall was built to protect the state and enslave them, whereas a wall to keep people out is built to protect the people and keep them free.

    But since someone in history used a wall for evil purposes then anyone who uses it now must be guilty of the same evil.

    Political correctness is simply a tool that people use to control others. It has nothing to do with good and bad or right and wrong. We should fight against it whenever it rears its ugly head.

  86. Steve57 Says:

    ‘the upp chuck sez…

  87. FOAF Says:

    Well said, Irv. Another example is the falsely named “apartheid wall” in Israel that has been effective in protecting Israelis, both Arab and Jewish, from terrorism.

  88. Ariel Says:

    neo,
    I just have to remind you of what you said you saw in Trump before the election:”But the summary version is that I have long thought him to be an enormous narcissist, a nasty and vulgar guy, a dirty fighter, untrustworthy, angry, not a conservative, and a habitual liar who was also smart and strategically clever.” To keep it in context, you did say: “I hoped I was wrong about his untrustworthiness and lack of conservatism (I was pretty sure I wasn’t wrong about his narcissism!). As president, he has been a pleasant surprise to me in those ways, but he’s still narcissistic and can be a very nasty guy when he decides to be.”

    Of course, it’s contingent on “in those ways” and what that means. So I must ask:
    Is he no longer an habitual liar? Why?
    Is he no longer vulgar? A synonym is coarse. Why?
    Is he no longer untrustworthy? Why?
    Is he no longer angry? Why?
    Is he no longer a dirty fighter? (That actually goes with the ‘liar’, ‘untrustworthy’, ‘vulgar’, and ‘angry’.) Why?
    Is he no longer not a conservative? Why?

    You should do a post on this, contrasting what you believed Trump to be to your ‘pleasant surprise’ now. I just don’t see it other than

    Me, I agree 100% with who you saw him to be, and see no ‘pleasant surprise’ now. All I can grant is that the job changes the man, but this man is fighting the change all the way. How does an habitual liar suddenly stop being one?

  89. Ariel Says:

    And I will remind you of this for the future:
    Ariel Says:
    January 11th, 2018 at 1:50 am

    @neo-neocon January 11th, 2018 at 12:57 am

    Exactly. Your take is no better than mine or manju’s because it is all about how we perceive his words. And there’s the problem with his words, which goes back to mercurial, petty, vindictive, thin-skinned, and so on. As well as, in his tweets, words poorly formed. Just thank g*d that Bush didn’t tweet. That poor man is so inarticulate.

    And that in response to:

    “Ariel:

    He isn’t you, either, nor do you have a clue how he’s using the phrase. No one has a clue except Trump, and maybe even he doesn’t know.

    My opinion of his tone is based on a lot of study and observation of the man and of his tweets, and of his talk—both scripted and unscripted—over a period of decades.

    Of course I could be wrong, as could you.”

    Deconstructing that by way of your original assessment of the man would be a hoot.

  90. neo-neocon Says:

    Ariel:

    You display a strange unfamiliarity with my posts and my opinions, considering you supposedly read this blog.

    The short answer is I have not changed my opinion about Trump’s anger, vulgarity, dirty fighting, untrustworthiness, etc. I have changed my opinion of his conservatism, however. I did not think he was a conservative prior to his election, and it’s because I based that on my observations of his previous statements and actions (previous to the 2015-2015 campaign, that is—going back quite some years). I now believe he is actually a bit of a political changer and had become more conservative over time. Anything he does as president that I agree with, I consider an unexpected bonus, and there have been quite a few of them.

    “Coarse” is indeed a synonym for “vulgar.” It is also contained in the definition of vulgar. So your point is no point at all. Writers like to mix up their words on occasion. Trump is probably quite a few of the synonyms for “vulgar” on that list. Let’s see:

    boorish
    coarse
    crude
    impolite
    nasty
    obscene
    off-color
    profane
    ribald
    scatological
    suggestive
    tasteless
    tawdry

    Perhaps I should rotate them around on some sort of schedule in order to please the Ariels of the world, who would then move the goalposts someplace else.

    Don’t you get tired of this trolling?

  91. The Other Chuck Says:

    FOAF:

    What Palestinians call a wall is actually a fence:

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/feb/13/ron-johnson/border-fence-israel-cut-illegal-immigration-99-per/

    And not unlike the one voted for by our congress in 2006:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Fence_Act_of_2006

    Which was never fully funded or built.

    It’s not the “big, beautiful wall” that Trump wants, but it serves the same purpose. Putting aside personal feelings, in order to get funding for his wall he would have to convince a super majority of the senate. With the current one vote margin that isn’t going to happen. He would not even get all the Republicans to go for it. Why is he beating this dead horse? Why couldn’t he say something like this:

    After six months of study and after consultation with the our Israeli allies, I’ve decided that a fence would better serve the purposes of protecting our country. The wall is out and a big, beautiful fence will take its place. I will be working in a bipartisan fashion with both sides of congress who voted for the 2006 border fence, to expand and update their pilot project.”

    FOAF, Irv, and all the others who want this damn wall built, we will not convince each other of our positions. Heels are dug in just like with Trump. There will be no compromise here, or in congress either.

  92. Irv Says:

    The Other Chuck – It looks to me that what you’re saying is we should just quit calling it a wall and everything will be okay.

    What it’s called is irrelevant! That’s just an excuse for not voting for border security.

    Why can’t one side call it one thing and the other call it another?

    What the left wants is a political victory. They want Trump to admit defeat. Nothing else will satisfy them. Since that will never happen, we can forget about the whole thing. There will never be a deal.

    When one side in a negotiation demands that the other admit defeat, it’s no longer a negotiation. Until the left is willing to negotiate it’s all a waste of time.

  93. GRA Says:

    The left’s rage about Trump calling such places shitholes is hypocrisy, straight up. The left has no issue condescending to middle America, especially the Midwest and the South, sometimes openly saying that said regions are shitholes, calling its residents dumb, rednecks, and white trash in major news and journal outlets like CNN and the NYT. We have high ranking Silicon Valley personnel degrading middle America, whether a Democrat or Republican is in office, and worst that happens to them is that they delete their twitter account.

  94. Ariel Says:

    Neo,

    I didn’t move any goalposts. I used the word ‘coarse’ because because from my own experience I know that too many people believe the synonym for ‘vulgar’ is just ‘profane’, rather than all those other words you listed, which do mean ‘vulgar’ to me. I have to take into account, just like you do, that anything I write will be read by many people. I didn’t add ‘coarse’ to for you, I added it for all the people that think ‘vulgar’ means ‘profane’. I do remember your knowledge of synonyms, mine is more a sense.

    And, yes, you could use all those synonyms to describe Trump. I meant all of them through vulgar. Likely, they have been used over the last 30 or so years by many that have had dealings with him…

    “You display a strange unfamiliarity with my posts and my opinions, considering you supposedly read this blog.” Neo, I was a regular follower until about 2010, give or take a year or two, but I did say that I haven’t been a follower for years or maybe just used commenter for years. I am just coming back and know nothing of all the posts you’ve made in-between. I have to start from when I came back, you’re too prodigious a blogger for me to read all in-between to get a sense of how you’ve changed, if at all. I hope you have

    ” I now believe he is actually a bit of a political changer and had become more conservative over time. Anything he does as president that I agree with, I consider an unexpected bonus, and there have been quite a few of them.” But that still doesn’t answer any of the rhetorical ‘whys’ I asked. For me, for example, an habitual liar can never be trusted. Moreover, someone doing some things that can be called ‘conservative’ isn’t a conservative, just someone doing some things…But I do now understand the extent of your ‘pleasant surprise’, it’s just not mine.

    Now as for the trolling, trolling is like the flu, one symptom doesn’t make a troll like a fever doesn’t make the flu. I try fervently to not move goalposts, because that’s just ignoring the answer. It addresses nothing. My training on how to think is analytical, It doesn’t mean I’m perfect at it, but it’s not how a troll thinks or argues. I might add that I’ve watched the definition of a troll being defined down to where it’s nothing like what it originally meant.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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