January 13th, 2018

Immigration: the heart of the matter

One of the better s***hole essays is this one by Roger Kimball, which explores a slightly different territory than most:

But sometimes, outrage is but a patina of indignation whose chief motive is incontinent delight. Which is it for the talking heads at CNN? Are they genuinely morally offended by the president’s comments? Or are they really absolutely delighted by the opportunity he has given them to say “shithole” over and over again while also running endless chyrons reminding viewers that the president referred to (if he did refer to) Haiti, El Salvador, etc., as “shithole countries” from which we should not seek immigrants?

I think it is the latter, and I believe there are two parts to the delight…

This is what I was referring to when I wrote, “But there’s no question that Trump’s choice of language made his enemies hoot and holler with glee…”—that “glee” being the “delight” of which Kimball writes.

Once it was clear that Donald Trump had done the unthinkable and won the 2016 election, the opposition was determined to prove him to be unfit for office and remove him from it, and anything Trump himself did to help their cause (or that they thought might help their cause) has been welcomed and celebrated. Sometimes they’ve had to invent things, but Trump’s often supplied them himself—although many of these incidents haven’t worked out for the left quite like they thought they would, have they?

I believe that this is the reason that Senator Durbin,—who was almost certainly the source of the s***hole story in the first place—spilled the beans on Trump. After all, “s***hole” wasn’t a public utterance, and if (as Paul Mirengoff points out at Powerline) Trump’s calling certain third-world countries “s***holes” was likely to “hurt America, then Sen. Durbin and others in the room should have kept Trump’s statement to themselves.” But there is little doubt that the opportunity to hurt Trump and the GOP trumped just about every other consideration.

Kimball goes on to say:

Which brings me to my second question: Was the president right to question the desirability of accepting immigrants from places like Haiti? Let’s leave his colorful language to one side. That was just a bit of rhetorical salsa on the burrito. The coarsening of language in the public square (and the private hearth) means that virtually anyone not cloistered hears and/or utters much ruder language almost daily.

The real issue is whether we justly prefer immigrants from some places over others.

I would say that the answer is an unequivocal Yes. Of course we do…

He is further correct that the Haitis of the world are conspicuously undesirable places: crime- and disease-ridden trous de merde that we may pity and may endeavor to help but that are not necessarily good sources of helpful immigrants.

And here we come to a second curiosity in the preening and ecstatic outrage over the president’s comment. Everyone, near enough, knows that he was telling a home truth. It was outrageous not because he said something crude that was untrue. Quite the contrary: it was outrageous precisely because it was true but intolerable to progressive sensitivities.

In other words, the potency of taboo is still strong in our superficially rational culture. There are some things—quite a few, actually, and the list keeps growing—about which one cannot speak the truth or, in many cases, even raise as a subject for discussion without violating the unspoken pact of liberal sanctimoniousness.

There’s a lot packed in there, and I suggest you read the entire essay. But I think that Kimball misses a big point connected with the deeper immigration controversy that (as I indicated yesterday) has been going on for long, long before Trump.

This is the real heart of the matter: what should our immigration policy be? Is the idea to let in the people we think would be best for the country, and do it at a rate that doesn’t overwhelm the people already here either culturally or economically? And if so, how do we best go about vetting people who would like to enter, in order to get the best result for the US? Does it matter what country the immigrants come from? Should we ask more questions about their ideology? What about their education and skills? Don’t we care about that?

Or is the idea to take in the greatest possible number—and even encourage more and more and more immigration—of people from the world’s most-failed countries (call them s***holes or call them failed-states or call them whatever you want to call them), the less-skilled and more downtrodden the better?

The first option is roughly the position of the GOP, although the party is split between that faction and a group that favors the second option, which is very roughly the position of the Democrats. So although Kimball wrote “Everyone, near enough, knows that [Trump] was telling a home truth” I don’t think that he’s completely correct there. I think that many people believe that countries such as Haiti are the very best sources of illegal immigrants, not despite but because of their failed-nation status. Many people (some of them for religious reasons) believe that it is very much in our interests—both our moral interests and even (at times) our economic interests because they would provide a source of cheap labor. For Democrats, there’s a practical part as well in that they believe it would serve their own electoral interests because they predict that such immigrants will be reliably Democratic voters.

It’s a real disagreement, and it has many parts. I touched on the religious aspects of the issue in this previous post. Here’s an excerpt:

A great many Christians seem to be arguing that we Westerners have a duty to accept all the refugees coming from war-torn countries such as Syria, or those in economic distress such as illegal immigrants from Mexico, whether the “we” be individuals here or in Europe. I’ve read many such arguments on blogs in posts and comments, and have seen them offered by talking heads on TV.

To me as a non-Christian, it is a puzzling argument. To me it seems that the prescription to give to charity, to help the needy, never requires that one help all the needy to the point of beggaring yourself. Nor does it require putting yourself in personal jeopardy. In other words, although Christianity has long admired the saintliness of martyrdom, it does not require it of individuals and certainly not of societies.

I don’t mean to imply that Democrats’ motives are especially pure here; I already have said that part of it is very practical for them because they think the vast majority of such immigrants will become Democrats. But there is the moral, compassionate, and sometimes even religious element as well—and that latter piece operates quite a bit for some in the middle or on the right who support the Democratic position on immigration. Trump’s words were offensive to them not just because they were vulgar, but because they go against that philosophy.

My own position is that the country and self-interest comes first, although there is certainly room for some compassion. No country is obliged to take in anybody. On the whole, immigration does help the United States, but not unrestricted immigration. We need to be careful about the ideology and character of those we let in. To me that has zero to do with race and everything to do with the actual individuals who are coming here and whether they believe in the principles on which America was founded, and whether they are likely to become good citizens. I don’t think that’s an easy thing to determine, however. As I wrote in that earlier post:

There is a saying, “charity begins at home” that has these origins:

The notion that a man’s family should be his foremost concern is expressed in 1 Timothy 5:8, King James Bible, 1611:

But if any prouide not for his owne, & specially for those of his owne house, hee hath denied the faith, and is worse then an infidel.

John Wyclif had expressed the same idea as early as 1382, in Of Prelates, reprinted in English Works, 1880:

Charite schuld bigyne at hem-self.

So it seems clear that helping everyone in need is not possible in the real world. Nor does helping people require that you take them into your own home, either in small numbers or large.

Another principle to remember is that generally any behavior that is rewarded will increase in frequency. So, issue an open invitation to your house saying that all who come will be fed and clothed there and given money, and see what happens if you broadcast it throughout the entire world.

Those are the real issues, and the rest is a distraction.

35 Responses to “Immigration: the heart of the matter”

  1. j e Says:

    Unfortunately, far too many in both parties continue to believe in the continued necessity of favoring “‘the wretched refuse of your teeming shore”, conveniently forgetting that the Lazarus poem had nothing to do with the original purpose of France’s gift of the famous statue.

  2. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “So it seems clear that helping everyone in need is not possible in the real world.” neo

    “For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.” Matthew 26:11, King James Version

  3. n.n Says:

    First, there should be emigration reform. There is a reason for ostensibly “charitable” foundations, NGOs, and Peacekeepers to be stationed in shitholes or troublesome and unfortunate environments. That said, immigration should not exceed the rate of assimilation and integration before Planned Parenthood (e.g. selective-child, recycled-child), and other normalized socially and evolutionary dysfunctional Choices.

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “immigration should not exceed the rate of assimilation and integration” n.n.

    Agreed but the problem is that the great majority of today’s immigrants do not want to assimilate and integrate. Demonstrated by;

    “According to Center for Immigration Studies Director of Research Steven Camarota, about 24 percent of illegal aliens who are eligible for DACA — which President Trump administration will officially end in March 2018 — overstate their English proficiency skills and are “below basic” or “functionally illiterate.”

    Additionally, the research found that about 46 percent of DACA illegal aliens only have “basic” English proficiency skills, despite narratives from corporate interests and the open borders lobby that recipients of the program are vastly highly-educated.”

    So 71% of ‘dreamers’, many of whom came to America as children… have demonstrated how little interest they have in learning the primary requisite to assimilation and integration, i.e. functional literacy in the ‘language of the land’…

    We all know that parents set the expectations for their children. So at the very least, the criminals who brought their children here communicate to them that they have no expectation that they should assimilate into American society.

  5. Oldflyer Says:

    The hypocrisy is nauseating. Trump’s language, if he actually used it, was obviously crude (vile by earlier standards); as crude as the language routinely used by so many public figures, including, notably, proud members of the resistance. Language aside, it is breathtakingly dishonest to accuse him of racism for telling the truth about the pest holes (is that better?) that people are so desperate to escape.

    Notwithstanding feelings of sympathy, he is absolutely correct that this country must protect our own culture. That includes screening every potential immigrant for compatibility with our system. It also means on a macro level evaluating how many who will be a clear drain on our resources we can accept..

    For decades, this country has given generously to improve the circumstances in dysfunctional areas only to see so much of the effort consumed by corruption. We only endanger ourselves by importing the culture that is endemic to those populations.

    On another level, we in California have graphic examples of the danger of tolerating numbers of the unassimilated. Authorities are finally acknowledging that some (they don’t say how many) of the most devastating fires that have recently wracked the state originated in homeless encampments that are tolerated across the region. In the past, the origins were usually reported as unknown.

    On a lighter note, it just occurred to me that Trump, being Trump, might double down and apply the cited description to such cities as San Francisco and LA. It would literally fit.

  6. AesopFan Says:

    “To me as a non-Christian, it is a puzzling argument. To me it seems that the prescription to give to charity, to help the needy, never requires that one help all the needy to the point of beggaring yourself. Nor does it require putting yourself in personal jeopardy. In other words, although Christianity has long admired the saintliness of martyrdom, it does not require it of individuals and certainly not of societies.”

    Personally, I agree with this observation, but it’s part of the continual balancing act that makes it challenging to be a practicing Christian. You can find plenty of Biblical stories illustrating all sides of what it means to act charitably, but LDS scriptures illustrate the dilemma in two pithy and popular verses:
    “…when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God.” Mosiah 2:17
    “And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength.” Mosiah 4:27

    There’s not much more I can add to what n.n., Geoffrey, and Oldflyer said, other than to point out that it is even less a demand of charity to beggar other people and put them in jeopardy by ones actions, which is what our Congress and judges bureaucrats and other elites are doing.

    However, I will add this observation because it’s hard to beat the visual image in its rhetoric, and the news itself is welcome:


    “Little needs to be said here about the fascinating phenomenon of the Trump-suggestible media, which seem to scurry from one Trump-lobbed theme-word to the next without pausing to catch their breath.

    The previous word – “genius” – was only beginning to die down. Then “sh**hole” overtook it like a runaway 18-wheeler barreling down the mountainside on an interstate highway, after those yellow signs warning of certain death flash by.”

  7. Yankee Says:

    Since we are coming up on the 255th anniversary of the end of the French and Indian War, and since this is a literary blog, it’s only right to mention Longfellow’s epic poem “Evangeline”, based on the British expulsion of the Acadians from what used to be New France.

    This was hard on those who were deported, but they brought that upon themselves with their continual resistance to the British. This was nothing to minimize, with roughly 80 years of conflicts between the English colonial settlers, the French, and various Indian tribes, resulting in thousands of deaths and numerous burned settlements. During that period, some of my ancestors were killed or disappeared.

    It would have been foolish for the British to allow more of the French to settle in their colonies, or other rival European powers, like the Spanish, or even too many Catholics for that matter, considering the documented history of past conflicts, and what was likely to occur if they had too much “diversity.”

    So the tragedy of this modern age is that so many elites cannot recognize that there were 250 years of American history between the Mayflower (1620) and the start of the Second Industrial Revolution (1870), the latter being when larger number of Europeans were permitted to immigrate to the USA.

    That event, responding to the particular circumstances of the times, has become romanticized to the point of a religious mandate for immigration, with the Statue of Liberty becoming an idol, and a poem by Emma Lazarus a sacred text that trumps the Constitution.

    It’s gotten so bad that the elites can no longer see the forest primeval for the trees.

  8. J.J. Says:

    Why are the Dems so insistent on DACA without any other changes to immigration law (Border security/wall, chain migration and visa lottery system.)? The following could be a clue:

    “CAP Action’s memo says protecting DACA is not only a “moral imperative” for Democrats, it also key to getting votes.

    “The fight to protect Dreamers is not only a moral imperative, it is also a critical component of the Democratic Party’s future electoral success,” reads Palmieri’s memo, obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

    “If Democrats don’t try to do everything in their power to defend Dreamers, that will jeopardize Democrats’ electoral chances in 2018 and beyond,” reads the memo. “In short, the next few weeks will tell us a lot about the Democratic Party and its long-term electoral prospects.”

    This wasn’t supposed to be seen by non-Democrats.

    Read the whole article:

    The Democrats aren’t a bunch of charitable saints. They have their reasons for bringing in many poor. Those reasons have nothing to do with charity.

  9. Barry Meislin Says:

    “….for Democrats, it also key to getting votes.”

    Indeed, charity begins at home….

  10. AesopFan Says:

    J.J. didn’t continue with an even more interesting paragraph, which is a foundation of the Democrat messaging and motivation, “If only President Trump had not ended (pick one of our illegal EOs and agency directives), there wouldn’t be any problem” — they don’t want to bargain with the GOP in good faith (we get DACA, you get X) because they aren’t willing to give up any X, Y, or Z:

    “As with all of the chaos in 2017, Donald Trump created this problem. It was entirely within his power to leave DACA intact. If a legal challenge to the program had been brought he could have allowed it to be addressed by the courts. The current crisis could have been averted. Instead, Trump seized an opportunity to play to the racists in his base by proactively and abruptly ending the program.
    Now, Trump and Republicans are refusing to restore protections for Dreamers unless Democrats meet a series of absurd demands, including building Trump’s infamous and unnecessary border wall and drastically slashing long-standing avenues for legal immigration. “

  11. Frog Says:

    The “great many Christians” of whom Neo wrote are Progressives and thus are Christian in name only; the Prog religion comes first, and is in fact their only true religion.

    But why leave Jews out of consideration? The (today mostly nominal) Jews are the greatest Prog demographic sector of all.They are unchanged from the Pharisees of 2000 years ago, whom Jesus Christ called “hypocrites”.

    I suggest a reading of “Thought Prison: The Fundamental Nature of Political Correctness” by Bruce Charlton.

  12. Cornhead Says:

    We are a nation of legal immigrants. We all have our own immigration story. The third rail of politics is race and tribalism. Trump has insulted many.

    The Dems and MSM will continue with the racism charge against Trump. If Dems win the House in 2018 they will move Articles of Impeachment. And the first Article will be “Trump is a racist.”

  13. Cornhead Says:

    Neo wrote, “My own position is that the country and self-interest comes first…”

    The first legal duty of the United States is to its own citizens. That’s what MAGA is all about.

    Rand Paul send it well today: 700 million people want to move to the US today.

  14. J.J. Says:

    Aesop Fan, I didn’t read all of Palmieri’s memo, only that part which the Daily Caller published. So, I did indeed miss important parts.

    However, Palmieri’s assertions such as this:
    “Trump and Republicans are refusing to restore protections for Dreamers unless Democrats meet a series of absurd demands, including building Trump’s infamous and unnecessary border wall and drastically slashing long-standing avenues for legal immigration. “

    Which is typical Democrat boiler plate. Is the wall unnecessary? The pros in the Border Patrol say, “Yes.” I accept their judgment. The Dems don’t and apparently never will because they don’t want strong borders. They believe all those Latinos tend to be Democrats.

    Eliminating long-standing legal avenues of immigration such as chain migration and the visa lottery are necessary to stop the continued migration of people who are a financial and social burden on our society. The Dems will never accept merit based legal immigration because it eliminates their dream of a nation of easily manipulated migrants who will become Democrats.

    The Dems claim to be helping the poor and downtrodden of sh*tholes. Nay, they are helping their electoral chances and they know it. Time for Trump and the GOP to expose those true colors.

  15. neo-neocon Says:


    I agree with your second paragraph, the gist of which occurred to me when I heard this story.

    The beauty of this story for the anti-Trump opposition is that it’s open-ended and “fill in the blanks.” We have no idea what he actually said, and who he may have insulted, which is part of the reason it was reported in the way it was—to maximize the number of people feeling insulted and believing him to be a racist.

    I, for one, would need to know exactly who he insulted and how. All I hear is that he called certain countries “shitholes” (he’s denied it or denied something connected with the story, but it’s not clear what, but I am assuming he said something like “shithole” for some country or countries, probably in Africa and perhaps one or two in Latin America). And also that he asked why we should favor people who come from such shitholes.

    It’s a good question, but who does it insult? The leaders of said countries, whoever and wherever they may be? The culture of graft and corruption and violence and disease in such countries? I don’t think—at least, it’s not in the allegations about his words—that Trump said we shouldn’t take any immigrants from those countries, just that we shouldn’t favor them over others.

    Now, perhaps there are insults in there. Surely, there isn’t praise and sweetness and light in there, and the language is bad. But again, I’d really like to know who he insulted and exactly how he insulted them. Is it now a terrible insult to say these countries are bad places to be, and that we shouldn’t favor immigrants from those countries over other people? Seems to me that these were fairly non-controversial points of view. Or is it something about the word shithole?

  16. Cornhead Says:


    “But who does it insult?” In the minds of many, it insults every single non-white person and every single person in America (including whites) because we are all immigrants. It is pure projection. And it is all about race and feelings rather than facts and the historical failures in Africa and Haiti.

    A perfect example today was Helene Cooper of the NYT on MTP. Trump’s alleged remark was so, so personal to her. Her parents brought her to America as a child. She said that if they had gone to Europe or Canada, then she never would be working for the NYT. (Duh!)

    Surely Cooper already hated Trump and she didn’t need this to bring her over. Her coverage surely reflected her TDS. But it will only get worse from here for Cooper because it is personal.

    The power of this incident is that it has personalized Trump hatred. To many people not only does Trump hate Haitians, he hates them personally because, of course, he is a racist.

    Slick Chuck Todd ran a montage of alleged racist remarks made by Trump over the years. Powerful stuff.

    The agenda is first to win the House in 2018, then impeachment and if no success there, then win in 2020. It is a full war on Trump by the MSM and Dems.

    I don’t know how Trump navigates through this. At the least, he needs 100% GOP support and that is not in the cards.

    At least the tax cut went through and he pulled out of Paris.

  17. neo-neocon Says:


    Yes, of course, I already knew who it insults “in the minds of many.”

    My question wasn’t about that. My question was about who it actually, factually, insulted.

    The vast majority of people seem to be willing to indict someone on unproven allegations, whether it be for a crime or a supposedly racist remark. It presses a button for me, but the button is about rushing to judgment. I know I’m in the minority. But I apply that rule to everyone. For example, I was very very angry (long before I was a blogger) at the huge number of people who felt JonBenet Ramsey’s parents had murdered her, due to the incessant media pushing of that angle. Or that of course Madoff’s sons were guilty—I spent a lot of time and effort arguing against that. I also was very upset by the huge number of people (again, I’m pretty sure a strong majority) who felt that ebola patient Thomas Duncan knew (or should have known) he had ebola even before he was diagnosed. I became almost obsessed with proving there was no reason for him to have known (see this, for example, including the comments there). I’ll not rehash that now, but I feel just as strongly now as then, and it is based on tons of research I did.

    The bottom line is that it’s my observation that people rarely look at things dispassionately and ask themselves what really happened and follow the actual evidence that they have and come to conclusions based on that. They are susceptible to propaganda as well as wild conspiracy theories of just about everything.

    Trump is a boor who uses bad language. He also believes that immigrants from failed countries should not take precedence over others, or at least he questions whether they should. I don’t see the big deal there, if that’s all that happened. But people react in their usual illogical and emotional ways, and are easily manipulated by the press. Most people don’t even seem to care to know what he actually said.

  18. Cornhead Says:

    I guess Haitians, but since they don’t vote here then everyone in the identity politics coalition that is today’s Democrat party.

    Even Chris Wallace was insulted because his grandparents were legal immigrants. See how that works? All of America should be against Trump.

  19. neo-neocon Says:


    See my comment right above yours.

  20. Cornhead Says:


    Scott Adams would agree with your second to last paragraph. People aren’t rational.

  21. Cornhead Says:

    Finally, Dick Durbin is a very smart pol. Not only did he rise to the top of Dem politics in the corrupt state of Illinois, he is a leader in the Senate.

    This leak – and the exact words – was all planned. It has worked out better than Dick ever imagined.

  22. DNW Says:

    Oldflyer Says:

    “On a lighter note, it just occurred to me that Trump, being Trump, might double down and apply the cited description to such cities as San Francisco and LA. It would literally fit.”

    It would. To quote myself from the other day:

    “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.”

    The more we know about the minds and tastes and emotional dispositions and satisfactions of the people we are in the habit of calling progressives, the more clear it becomes that the disagreements are over incompatible core ways of being and senses of the self, and of life.

    Most liberals cannot even talk about these differences without becoming hysterical. They assume that human beings are fungible … and all just as perverse and warped as they are.

  23. AesopFan Says:

    neo-neocon Says:
    January 14th, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    The vast majority of people seem to be willing to indict someone on unproven allegations whether it be for a crime or a supposedly racist remark. It presses a button for me, but the button is about rushing to judgment. I know I’m in the minority. But I apply that rule to everyone.
    * * *
    Didn’t we just go through all of that with the Moore campaign?
    I note that the widespread prediction on conservative sites (including this one) was that if the Dems were able to convict Moore without trial, on innuendo and accusations alone, then we would get even more of that tactic from them.
    Now, this isn’t the first time that President Trump has been misquoted (I trust Cotton and Perdue more than I do Durbin), nor is he the only President so treated, but when every action and utterance becomes fodder for trial-by-media, then a bipartisan representative government simply cannot continue to function.

    PowerLine has covered the subject of the need for at least some semblance of trust in off-the-record meetings, and I agree. However, forewarned is forearmed, and President Trump would really be a fool to continue to meet privately with Democrats in these circumstances.
    And probably with some Republicans too.
    Would he start taping meetings?
    If he thinks he can control his own language, maybe so, but only if they are bipartisan (like the immigration video immediately preceding the fracas) and always known to be potentially public.
    Nixon’s problem stemmed from his belief that no one but his inner circle would ever hear his tapes (and I don’t remember why he even made them, in that case — does anyone else know?) and they displayed the disconnect between his public and private personas.
    That kind of discrepancy is not something that President Trump worries about, IMO.

  24. AesopFan Says:

    J.J. Says:
    January 14th, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Which is typical Democrat boiler plate. Is the wall unnecessary? The pros in the Border Patrol say,“Yes.” I accept their judgment. The Dems don’t and apparently never will because they don’t want strong borders.
    * * *
    Did you mean “No” here, that is, the wall IS necessary?
    Double negatives can be tricky.
    The Wall certainly has been effective in El Paso.

    “Federal data show a far-less imposing wall than the one Trump envisions — a two-story corrugated metal fence first erected under the Bush administration —already has dramatically curtailed both illegal border crossings and crime in Texas’ sixth-largest city, which borders the high-crime Mexican city of Juarez.

    In fact, the number of deportable illegal immigrants located by the US Border Patrol plummeted by more than 89 percent over the five-year period during which the controversial new fence was built, according to Homeland Security data reviewed by me. When the project first started in 2006, illegal crossings totaled 122,261, but by 2010, when the 131-mile fence was completed from one end of El Paso out into the New Mexico desert, immigrant crossings shrank to just 12,251.”

    Etc Etc Etc

  25. AesopFan Says:

    Frog Says:
    January 14th, 2018 at 11:36 am
    I suggest a reading of “Thought Prison: The Fundamental Nature of Political Correctness” by Bruce Charlton.
    * * *
    That was a very interesting essay (very long, Charlton bills it as a book, but it is as most a pamphlet) and can be found via the author’s blog as a separate sub-blog.
    It was published in 2011 — so before President Trump — but it accurately prophesies much of what we have seen, and are now seeing happen on nearly a daily basis.



    Charlton unquestionably covers the core characteristics and expressions of what we all recognize as Political Correctness, and calls it an ideology in and of itself, not standing on its own, but as the co-opter of liberals, conservatives, and everything in between in Western Civilization.
    I can’t justly summarize or excerpt it, other than to mark out this particular observation:

    “In PC Utopia there is no ‘need’ for culture!
    People would behave properly because they had no choice.
    Good people would be happy about this; bad people would, presumably, be miserable – but they would be made to ‘do the right thing’ anyway. ”

    His most uncomfortable conclusion is that the secular opposition to “liberal” PC is indeed a fascistic “conservative” PC, which is looking increasingly likely.

    Charlton is motivated by his Orthodox Christian perspective, and I hesitate to critique that viewpoint on sectarian grounds, because I think he is essentially correct: the only effective opposition to the ravages of secular Political Correctness is a personal conversion to the doctrines of Christian salvation.


  26. Ariel Says:

    @j e January 13th, 2018 at 3:59 pm:

    Yep, the Statue of Liberty was given as a centennial present in 1886 (though, really it was a few years early). And by 1886 it was certainly misnamed because we were already moving to what SCOTUS would give its stamp of approval for 10 years later. Nope, we weren’t doing Liberty yet other than lip-service.

    OTH, E. Lazarus wrote that ignoble poem of letting in non-PhDs before that French gift. Maybe she saw the Irish and all those other groups that came here from shithole nations, mostly White nations granted, but still politically and economically challenged. Maybe, just, maybe most of the people that did come here were trying to escape something bad, like the Italians and the Irish did.

    Yep, today we only need Scandinavians. You know, people from real social Democrat nations.

  27. Ariel Says:

    @AesopFan January 14th, 2018 at 5:55 pm
    Over the Wall
    “The pros in the Border Patrol say,“Yes.” I accept their judgment. The Dems don’t and apparently never will because they don’t want strong borders.” Well, that first part is an appeal to authority. Ever think that a government organization could actually be wrong about something even if it’s in their area of authority? Guess not.

    The Dems, maybe like Reagan, realize this is a problem that isn’t going to be solved through simplistic, very expensive, solutions that will be obsolete when the mortar dries. I could mention the issues of rivers, ecology, etc. to keep out nothing other than 4% of the total US population that for the most part do shit jobs. Ever been to Yuma, the lettuce bowl of the USA?

    Whatever you build to keep people out they will find a way around if the see treasure on the other side. So help them create the treasure on their side and they won’t offend you by coming here.

    Really, you have to do what the East Germans did, kill ’em whenever you can. So what was Reagan talking about…

  28. Ariel Says:

    @J.J. January 14th, 2018 at 12:21 am:

    “CAP Action’s memo says protecting DACA is not only a “moral imperative” for Democrats, it also key to getting votes.” So, unlike the Republicans who only see illegals, they see the moral issue but also see the impact on voting, but therefore all they care about is votes. Well, the Republicans see neither, so I guess they’re better.

    Frankly, when I was Republican I would have voted against any Republican against DACA, or it’s equivalent, because I do see the moral imperative. (Damn, that killed my argument that Republicans don’t see the moral imperative. Oh, wait, the Party left me.)

    Moreover, Republicans wanting these Americanized children sent back to countries they don’t know are doing what?, a moral imperative?, the Rule of Law (a law that they can change)?, or pandering to a base that see illegals, any illegal, as the greatest threat to our nation since Communism? Okay the next greatest threat…so it’s all about the votes for the Republicans and for the Democrats a moral imperative and votes.

  29. J.J. Says:

    Aesop Fan: “Did you mean “No” here, that is, the wall IS necessary?”

    My bad. I did mean that the wall was necessary. Or at least the Border Patrol believes it. As Ariel avers the Border Patrol might be wrong, but you cited evidence that the fencing that has been completed has been effective. Of course a wall must be backed up by a well disciplined, highly motivated Border Patrol. There is no substitute for hands on, human enforcement.

    Can we stop all illegals? Nope. But the idea is to make the problem small enough to be manageable. People look at it as it is now and throw up their hands, “Aw crap, it’s too big. Nothing can be done.” Trump doesn’t think that way. He is willing to work the problem.

    Having visited many of the sh*tholes of the world, I don’t look down on the people who live there. They can’t help where they were born. Most of them are trapped in cultures that have no traditions or knowledge of freedom, private property, and how to build wealth. We should all thank God every day for the fortune of having been born here or having been able to move here.

    This is a blessed land, but it didn’t just happen. It was built by enlightened humans who understood that freedom, private property laws backed by courts, and reasonably honest representative government allows ambitious and hard-working people to prosper. I have no objection to taking immigrants from these sh*tholes if they will not be an economic or social burden to the U.S. But we shouldn’t prefer them over other well qualified immigrants either.

    What is our obligation to the sh*tholes? We have been quite charitable to many of them. Often with little or no thanks. We have attempted to help many countries build their economies through aid and trade. That the concept of real representative government and secure private property rights has failed to catch on in most failed states is not our fault. We can provide an example, but we can’t force them to change. And we should not beggar ourselves in order to provide them with a higher standard of living. Nor should we destroy our culture and squander our wealth to bring all the wretched souls to our shores. End of rant.

  30. neo-neocon Says:


    Lazarus’ poem was written when “that French gift” was already under construction and part of it had been exhibited in the US. Lazarus wrote her poem as part of a fund-raising effort for the statue’s pedestal, quite a few years after work on the statue had already begun. In fact, the statue’s arm had already been created and exhibited from 1876-1882 (photo here).

    The statue was to commemorate the 1776 War of Independence and France’s help in it; Lazarus’ poem was written in 1883 but didn’t become famous until two decades later:

    Lazarus’s contribution was solicited by fundraiser William Maxwell Evarts. Initially she refused but writer Constance Cary Harrison convinced her that the statue would be of great significance to immigrants sailing into the harbor.

    “The New Colossus” was the first entry read at the exhibit’s opening on November 2, 1883, and remained associated with the exhibit through a published catalog until the exhibit closed after the pedestal was fully funded in August 1885, but was forgotten and played no role at the opening of the statue in 1886. It was, however, published in Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World as well as The New York Times during this time period. In 1901, Lazarus’s friend Georgina Schuyler began an effort to memorialize Lazarus and her poem, which succeeded in 1903 when a plaque bearing the text of the poem was put on the inner wall of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

    If Lazarus was thinking of anyone in particular, it was probably Jews. The timing certainly works, because the poem was written in 1883:

    Lazarus became more interested in her Jewish ancestry after reading the George Eliot novel Daniel Deronda, and as she heard of the Russian pogroms that followed the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881. As a result of this anti-Semitic violence, thousands of destitute Ashkenazi Jews emigrated from the Russian Pale of Settlement to New York. Lazarus began to advocate on behalf of indigent Jewish refugees. She helped establish the Hebrew Technical Institute in New York to provide vocational training to assist destitute Jewish immigrants to become self-supporting. In 1883, she founded the Society for the Improvement and Colonization of East European Jew.

    And of course no one—including Trump—is saying anything as absurd as “we only need Scandinavians.”

    We did Trump actually say about Norwegians? We don’t know, you don’t know; all we know is that the WaPo said that “several” anonymous people who were not at the meeting but were “briefed” on it said they had been told he had said. Perhaps you like to play advanced games of telephone; personally, I don’t, and it doesn’t matter who is being quoted or misquoted, or what party they’re from.

    But for what it’s worth, here’s what the WaPo was told by their anonymous informants who didn’t hear it themselves:

    Trump then suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries such as Norway, whose prime minister he met with Wednesday. The president, according to a White House official, also suggested he would be open to more immigrants from Asian countries because he felt that they help the United States economically.

    In addition, the president singled out Haiti, telling lawmakers that immigrants from that country must be left out of any deal, these people said.

    The “deal,” by the way, was a reference to a deal that favors and encourages immigration from certain countries at the expense of other countries.

    Not even Trump was talking about banning anyone, and he wasn’t talking about race. He was talking about economics and education—even according to those anonymous informants who are certainly not his fans. He was talking about whether we should favor and encourage more immigration from failed and depressed countries.

    So no, we don’t only need people from Scandinavia, nor was anyone suggesting that. I realize you probably know that and were raising a strawman. But I’m putting the facts out there for anyone else who might be interested.

    And the Berlin Wall, by the way, was to keep people inside a country, not out. Building a border wall to keep people from another country out, on the other hand, is actually quite common, as you can see. Is it okay with you that all these countries do this, or would you like all those walls to come down? Or is it only the US that’s not allowed to have a wall?

    By the way, regarding whether an actual wall could be built along the entire border, I tackled that question in August of 2015. And by the way, Trump has often said it won’t be a solid wall along the entire border. The most recent time he said this was here, but even back during the campaign he was saying it on occasion (see this).

  31. FOAF Says:

    There are at least two big differences between immigration now and immigration of the “Ellis Island” era from which so many of us are descended:

    1) There was no welfare state then. You had to sink or swim on your own. I read once (sorry don’t have a link or independent proof) that some years the number going back to Europe exceeded the number coming in.

    2) Assimilation was expected. Until the day they died my paternal grandparents seemed like they just got off the boat (even my grandmother who was born in the US!), but my parents were fully assimilated greatest-generation Americans. Both my family and my country are better off that they Americanized so thoroughly. Nowadays “assimilation” is a dirty word, maybe not only from the immigrants themselves as Geoffrey suggests but from American leftists who promote “multiculturalism” and division for political purposes.

  32. Kyndyll G Says:

    There’s two separate things going on here, both of which are troubling.

    The first, of course, is the childish “Mommeee! Johnny said a bad word!” aspect of the whole tempest to begin with. We’re not 5 years old. This is juvenile to begin with, but what makes it worse is that it’s yet another case of the hard left launching an unanswerable accusation (in this case, indirect) at political rivals. So now, apparently, Republicans should not even enter closed-door meetings with lefties, unless they are recording the session (which isn’t legal in many states of course).

    Secondly, is the lefty projection of their own issues on other people. There are sh%holes in the world. They are sh#^holes not because of the color of anyone’s skin, but because of the broken cultures that made and sustain them. In the desperate drive to drag the West into third-worlddom, the left wants to pretend that all cultures, especially non-Western ones, are perfect just the way they are, but I, and millions of others, know differently. Without the rule of law, without some cultural concept that all people have fundamental rights, cultures are fundamentally broken and cannot coexist with lawful, peaceful neighbors. Violent lawlessness, cultural intolerance (as in cleansing, executions, imprisonment, destruction of businesses and property, forcing people to flee, and so forth, based on ethnicity or religious practice) and corruption that is rife among the s^#holes of the world make them places we don’t want more people from. Assuming Trump actually did say the pottymouth word and did say we don’t want more people from such places – he’s right. We see what has happened to Europe. We all know it’s true and no one is brave enough to say it.

    The naïve first world has been trying to fix the sh#%holes of the world for a long time. We throw money at them, only to have it line the pockets of corrupt governments. Now, the hard left has decided that it would be even better just to mass-transport the populations of these places to other people’s neighborhoods, so that they can bring their sh#^hole culture and build new sh#^%holes, while living on the largesse of working taxpayers – and voting for Democrats, which of course is the important part.

    If I say sh^#hole, and you think “dark skinned person” the problem is in you, not me. Someone has to start shutting the left down every time they try to project their racism, their intolerance and their hatred on everyone else.

  33. Yankee Says:

    From 1638 to 1655, there was the New Sweden colony along the Delaware River, passing first to the Dutch in New Amsterdam, and then to the British. It was too small to be viable, with only 600 settlers, and with Sweden lacking a large navy to defend its colony.

    After that, it took over 200 years for Swedish immigration to the USA to start up, with one factor being the Famine of 1866-1868 in Scandinavia. Swedish immigration tapered off when cheap land in the West and Upper Midwest was no longer available, and when Sweden itself began to industrialize, essentially ending in the decade before WWI.

    Even back then, Scandinavian immigrants were regarded as more desirable than other sorts (the Irish and those from Southern and Eastern Europe).

    Presumably, some of the varied and less developed nations of this world could become better functioning and more developed over time, and perhaps that could more easily be done by importing great numbers of Scandinavians into them.

  34. Ariel Says:

    Damn, I hate to be wrong about history. So the Lazarus poem was actually tied to the Statue from the beginning as an effort to fund-raise for the Statue? I thought they were separate rather than tied. So even if years later, the adoption of those words is still in the context of the Statue.

    My reference to the Centennial being a few years off had nothing to do with the French gift on the Centennial of their making all the difference in the USA confederation becoming a nation, but when the USA actually became the nation it is through our Constitution. That’s 1789, before then there was no Bill of Rights, states actually made economic war on each other, and had their own armies and navies. It simply isn’t the same country other than geography, demographics, and 1776. When people call to the Constitution, they aren’t calling to the nation under the Articles of Confederation.

    “And of course no one—including Trump—is saying anything as absurd as “we only need Scandinavians.” But then you undid that by “We did Trump actually say about Norwegians? We don’t know, you don’t know; all we know is that the WaPo said that “several” anonymous people who were not at the meeting but were “briefed” on it said they had been told he had said.” The two statements are in opposition to each other. If we or you don’t know what he said then neither we nor you can say he didn’t say anything ‘as absurd as…’ or did. Going back to your take on him before the election, those words are not out of character for that man.

    Further, and I’m allowing for your comment being on the 15th, it’s more than just WaPo. We have Grahame dancing around the subject while asserting that he made the President aware of his belief about our high ideals. We have Republicans, yeah anonymous, saying Trump didn’t say ‘shitholes’ but ‘shithouses’ like that’s a distinction with a difference. And we have Durbin, someone I don’t know was at the meeting or wasn’t, saying Trump said something with bad with ‘shit’ as the first part, wtih Trump tweeting “Senator Dicky Durbin totally misrepresented what was said at the DACA meeting. Deals can’t get made when there is no trust! Durbin blew DACA and is hurting our Military,” There’s some irony there about an habitual liar, as well as things not necessarily tied to each other. I did think ‘Dicky’ was elevating.

    Finally, what’s really going on here is the 2018 elections. The ruling party usually loses power in the mid-term elections, So the Republicans have to down play anything bad, and the Democrats will play up anything they can. If the ruling party was the Democrats, the roles would be reversed. Given that every President since Truman has had more approval in their first year than Trump (https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/) I can understand the Republican fear of this mid-term.

  35. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Aesop, since the Left is a religion, it would be natural for the cure to be conversion out of it or a conversion to a religion opposing it.

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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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